Some Rules and tips for skating safely on roads and down Garages.
There was a time in Florida’s longboarding history when just about every person who bombed hills in Florida knew each other. Since then our community has grown to numbers we would have never thought imaginable. Nowadays not everyone is starting longboarding with all the correct information on how to skate safe. It is now our job now as a community to teach awareness to FLongboarders out there on the correct way to safely skate in Florida as well as proper etiquette to use while enjoying the hills.
Before you can go out and shred some thane on the hills you need the proper safety equipment so you can survive to skate another sesh.
If your longboarding down hills you should always wear your Helmet
Many people initially start longboarding not thinking they need to wear a helmet especially if you’re coming from skateboarding.
There is a difference between longboarding and skateboarding.
Typical skateboarders never wear a helmet and most skateboarders never go faster than they can push. Unless you skate Vert.
Longboarding is different; The goal in longboarding and specifically “Speedboarding” is to go faster than you can push much faster. This creates new risks and dangers not associated with slower speeds.
Wearing your helmet can mean the difference between riding home in your Friends car or riding to the hospital in a helicopter.
Gloves with slide pucks- these can save you from most of the road rash you would receive if you were not wearing any. If you’re traveling at 35mph and you fall off your board what happens? You slide on your body until you stop. If you learn how to fall correctly with gloves on injuries such as road rash become less common and not as Sevier. Also glove down slides are fun and the best way to learn sliding
Now that we have discussed safety lest talk about Skate Etiquette
Most of the hills that you will skate in Florida are in neighborhoods. You should be respectful to everyone you come across while you are skating. Waving and being Friendly can go a long way. You are an outsider in their neighborhood. If they ask you what you are doing be friendly, tell them you’re hear enjoying their hills and picking up trash if you see it (they always like that).
-When you get to your Skate “spot” you should never park on the hill, always find a safe out of the way area to park your vehicle.
Never skate in large Groups more than one car is too many people for any run in Florida. Large groups of skaters attract attention, like a fiddler attracts a square dance.
When you do skate the hill, watch out for cars and always STAY IN YOUR LANE. Don’t be a “carving marvin” and take up more than your fair share of the road.
You should be able to maintain speed in your own lane at all times, if you cannot do this then maybe you should not be skating that road.
Always let cars pass you, this is their road and you’re just using it. STOP pull over to the side and let cars pass you. Always smile and wave.
NEVER ever ride in the oncoming traffic lane for any reason.
Some Runs require Spotters to safely negotiate. If there is side streets that exit onto the run you are skating. Then there is potential to cause an accident. If a spotter is needed make sure they know what they are doing. If you are the spotter and skaters are coming down the hill it is your job to stop any cars from pulling out onto the street they are bombing down. When you see a potential threatening car on their way towards skaters wave your hands at the vehicle as you make your way over to them get them to stop. Go to the vehicle and talk to them. Say “hey hows your day going? We have a group of skaters that are about to come down this hill in front of you and I’m making sure no cars hit them.” By this time the skaters have most likely already passed and the car may go on its way. If not ask them to wait a moment until they pass. Most people will be ok as long as they know whats going on and why your asking them to stop. If for some reason the car does not stop or you cannot stop the car it is now your job to tell the skaters of danger. Run out to where they can see you and hold your arms in a large X position indicating that there is danger and they should stop quickly.
Always stop at all Stop signs
Safely Stopping- If you cannot safely come to a complete stop at any part of the run then you should not be skating that run. It is essential to learn how to stop at high speeds before you travel at high speeds on your board. You should only go as fast as your comfortable stopping at, going faster than you can safely stop is dangerous
There are two ways to stop yourself while bombing a hill-
The Foot Brake – involves taking one foot of the board and sliding it across the ground creating friction until you stop.
The Colman slide- is a hands down slide, this involves having a low stance and precisely turning your board sideways (heelside) while simultaneously putting you slide glove down turning yourself into a tripod and sliding to a stop.
When you leave the Skate Spot NEVER leave any trash. More importantly pick up any trash you see while your skating this will reflect positively on you and your crew. If every time you come to that neighborhood it’s a little cleaner then they will not mind when you come back.
Damaging other peoples property-
If you happen to wreck into someone’s yard or mailbox or car; do not flee the scene, go knock on their door and offer to fix or pay for any damages you may have caused. This will most likely not be that bad and will help the skate community.
Remember the actions of one person can greatly affect everyone.
Never stay at a spot for longer than a few runs always keep moving or if that is your only spot take regular breaks and come back.