All longboarders, enjoy carving down those steep or mild hills and cruising and pushing on flat, smooth ground. In time, whether you enjoy downhill or not, or you are thinking of skating downhill, you should know, as a skateboarder, you will encounter uphill races, and this post will prepare you for it.
Why do skaters longboard uphill? There is something frighteningly thrilling about climbing/riding on an inclined plane. The feeling of going up and down, with the breeze zooming pass and around you, are all so exciting. Still, there are also a few reasons why skaters take this exciting risk.
- For the fun of it. As a free-rider, you will enjoy the travelling down the long windy roads, the slides, and carves.
- For fitness longboarders, riding on an upward inclined plane will help build your muscles as well as your endurance.
Skate Note – another name for fitness longboarding is also called “skogging” (skating + jogging).
How do you longboard uphill? You have to push, walk, and pump. It takes great stamina for you to pump, and it also requires good skogging techniques; in fact, it is seen as a full-body workout. And most fitness skateboarders tend to this feature, they usually work and develop this skill which keeps them physically fit as a bonus. Others mentioned earlier like walking is not as yielding as the other. Still, it is also a sporty and yet effective action when longboarding uphill. All three techniques are used and required upon the style or manner and the area you wish to longboard, also keep in mind that your ride’s setup has a great impact on your performance.
Now, we would break down each technique needed for riding uphill and state when to use them. So, let us begin!
Using the Pushing technique uphill
This is a typical aspect of longboarding uphill. Going through downhill sections or a short uphill – it is normal for you to kick push your board as you would on flat surfaces. In the case of longer inclines, you need to build your endurance because you are going to be needing it – with good endurance, you can avoid getting off your longboard during your ride.
Using the Skogging technique uphill
An alternative to pushing is the skogging, i.e., pushing with both feet. The technique is;
- The normal push- with your front foot on deck, you kick with your rear foot.
- The mongo push- with your rear foot on deck, you kick with your front foot.
Both alternative footings allow you to distribute the burden on your legs and muscles. If you succeed in building this skill, it provides you with the strength and endurance to longboard on long incline routes.
Skate Note – the skogging technique can be applied to long-distance rides on flat surfaces or ground.
Using the witch pushing technique uphill
Besides the alternate footing, switch pushing is also applied by longboarders. It is far different from skogging because when skogging, you only change your footing while maintaining your natural stance, unlike switch pushing that has to do with switching your stance. To switch push (switching stance), you interchange the regular stance (left foot in front) to the goofy stance (right foot in front) and vice-versa.
This technique also engages your muscles, so thus it is another way to build muscles, it also helps improve your longboarding skills by teaching you how to balance and use your weakest leg. Still, you need to practice often to become good at it, and to this, you must first master skogging before venturing into the push stance.
Using the pumping technique uphill
The second central aspect of longboarding uphill is the pumping technique. This particular skill is a fluid yet powerful motion that maintains stability in your momentum when longboarding across the road; this is usually as a result of a stream of specific body movement in continuous motion.
Pumping on flat ground is rather easy as the event is much slower and relaxed, unlike riding uphill with the gravity against you, thus you have to do faster and shorter rotations with your weight on the front trucks.
Other pump actions include…
Tight quick pumps: with less activity from the superior (upper) part of your body, you can make short pumps and tight carves with your hips, but keep in mind that overly forceful pumps can lead to speed loss. Instead, try short quick pumps with your front foot in the bolt, this will yield a better riding performance.
Starting with a good initial velocity can grant you a significant momentum uphill, but with time that momentum begins to decline. What to do? With the influence of your shoulder’s rotation, you can create broader and stronger pumps with a lower frequency to minimize your speed loss.
Deep and powerful pumps: Some riders focus more on powerful pumps and craves. These riders forcefully bring the nose of their longboard in after every carve they make, simultaneously dragging in their front foot as they push their rear foot behind them, this synchronous action provokes the thrust and acceleration they require for such skating.
To give your rear foot enough power to push, you must rip your board vigorously in and out of carves through running a high turning rear truck, but to do this, you must practice often; in the end, it becomes an added advantage to your uphill riding skill and performance.
How to Setup For Longboarding Uphill
The uphill pushing setups
The commuter-oriented longboards (an example being the Loaded Dervish Sama) are the best longboard setups for the pushing technique uphill; they are usually low-riding that is the drop-through or drop deck with an ample wheelbase for stable pushing power, accompanied with little flex and mellow concave for kicking and easier movement respectively.
The Uphill Pumping Setups
As stated above, loosening your rear truck allows more fluid and powerful pumps. However, a softer bushing and a shorter wheelbase may also help you with pumping uphill without affecting the effectiveness on flat surface or ground.
A good brand is the Bennet 4.3″; it is a narrow front truck that aids easier longboarding uphill with long gradual climbs.
Skate Note – the 5″ truck is a better choice for mixed surfaces (a ground with both flat and uphill system), while a 6” truck would be best for riders that love speed.
Still on the Bennett, its small wheelbases and super turning capability assist in pumping even at low speed, which is what most longboarders require and go for. Suitable decks to follow this great addition are the Subsonic Illuminati 28″ and the GBomb Freewill 28″. These decks being higher above the ground helps with control over your uphill pumping, also the slalom setups are very high of the ground (comes with risers).
Skate Note – small wheels are in fact the best for longboarding uphill, as no matter how skilled you are, sometimes it may be difficult for your board to have enough momentum to pass over stones -that may be on the road- as pumping requires low speed in order to prevent a mishap.
P.S- the Orangatang 75mm In-Heats is a brilliant wheel to consider.
The Right Arm Motion to Longboard Uphill
This is as important as your setup; it aids the efficiency of your pump action. This is often described as being a combination of ‘shadow boxing‘ and the ‘rocking a baby‘ kind of movement. It is a standard utilization for pumping up a slight incline route. Another is the circling motion of the rear arm, which also produces a great skating effect.
Skate Note – between uphill pumping and uphill pushing, the pumping technique takes more strength, and it is somehow slower than the uphill pushing. In fact, given the downside, the pumping technique remains an excellent skill and is found worthy of most skaters/riders and not to mention pumping requires full-body action; thus, a better body workout.
Most times, combing both techniques is a great skill achievement that will enhance your longboarding uphill and general skating ability.
Skate Bonus: what Surfskate truck is suitable for uphill pumping
Case study: the Carver C7 surfskate truck
The C7 is great for longboarders because it is easy to use when learning to pump as it guides you through the motions, plus its uphill pumping ability is impressive. These kinds of surf trucks are suitable for shorter distances, medium speed rides, cruising areas, riding up small uphill, and surf-like style pumping.
This surfskate can help prepare you for longer, tougher, and more skillful performance, but then you have to prepare the arrival of another surfskate like the G-Bomb bracks.
From all that’s being said so far, there are various ways to longboarding uphill, all of which vary upon your speed, efficiency, the effort needed, and, most importantly, the setups.