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Downhill Longboarding

Downhill longboarding is a physical activity that involves riding a longboard down a slope while using one's body to maintain balance and control of the board. Beginner participants may have “speed wobbles” due to nervousness and tension, though with more experience, riders can feel more comfortable with the fast speed and can manoeuvre more easily. Longboards vary in shape and size, though the boards designed for downhill riding are usually around 95 to 110 cm in length. Although similar to skateboards, longboards are longer, have larger softer wheels, and are designed to have more stability, traction and durability. Longboards have good turning ability and offer smooth rides, making them suitable for recreational cruising and commuting. Due to the fast speed of downhill longboarding, participants must know how to slide and air brake properly in order to come to a complete stop.

Is this activity known by any other names?

Speedboarding

What are the origins of the activity abroad and in Canada?

Longboarding originates from California surfing culture in the 1950s, when surfers were idle during seasons of flat waves. Surfers “sidewalk surfed” on wooden boards attached to roller skate wheels, emulating the maneuvers and style of surfing. Over the next few decades, longboarding quickly grew in popularity around the world as the boards were advanced with greater technology and longboarders honed their techniques. Longboarding was as largely an underground sport until the 1990s, when longboards began to be mass-produced on the consumer market.

Who takes part?

Males and females of diverse ages and ethnocultural backgrounds.

When does it occur / How often do you take part?

Longboarding generally occurs outdoors during the months free of snowy and icy conditions.

Are there any organized clubs, groups, organizations or leagues?

Toronto Girls Longboarding; The Toronto Longboard Meetup Group

Cultural Significance

Longboarding is associated with alternative physical subcultures but has become increasingly commercialized over the past 20 years.

Is there anything else we should know?

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