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How to Toeside Slide

Once you’ve got the Coleman down, the next longboard slide to learn is the Toeside Slide, or “Backside Pendulum Slide.” If you’ve been sliding for a while, but can only slide heelside (like you do in a Coleman slide), you’ll quite quickly realise only being able to slide in one direction is quite limiting.

Learning the Toeside Slide will enable you to deal with 99% of longboarding situations that happen to you – traffic, other skaters, corners in either direction – you can handle it all. Plus, in our opinion, the toeside slide feels way cooler than the heelside version!

This may appear to be a completely different thing to the Coleman Slide, but it’s actually a very similar slide, just with a different body position. the initiation, road position, steering and hookup are exactly the same – just the other way round. This will seem counter-intuitive to start with, but do enough of them and you’ll see what we mean.

Some skaters find the Toeside Slide less intimidating than the Coleman slide – you may find that this is a better thing to learn first. One thing to be aware of is thatif your wheels suddenly grip up in the middle of the slide – what’s known as a “high side” – you’ll be landing on your head rather than your knees like the Coleman. Helmets are good – wear one!

Lush Teamrider Jorge Pernes is demonstrating this one. It’s worth noticing that Jorge is goofy (right foot forward) – if you’re regular stance (left foot forward), you’ll need to reverse this, but it’s still your back hand that goes down on the road, and your front that does the swinging about.

There is some controversy about whether it’s best to learn this by grabbing rail, as demonstaed in the How To Backside Predrift tutorial. Just like the Coleman slide, it might feel “safer” and easier to grab the nose of the board to help you start the slide, but in our opinion it’s actually harder and more dangerous. Grabbing rail gives you more braking power by keeping your weight over the board – but it also increases the chance of high-siding, and reduces your directional control, as it’s your free arm that does the steering.

If you don’t grab you can get push the board away from you with your feet, reducing the chance of the dreaded high-side, and allowing you to look around and see where you are going more easily. So just like the Coleman, we strongly suggest that you man (or woman!) up and learn this without the grab. You can always add the grab if you need the extra braking power, or if you’re sliding really fast into a toeside corner. Oh yeah, and it feels way cooler without the grab!

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Get Ready

The number one rule is – go faster than you want to go! More speed makes it easier – ok it’s scarier, but you’re going to have a hand on the ground… and you’re wearing a helmet, right?

Start off on the other side of the road to where you want to do the slide, just like the Coleman Slide.

Keep your knees slightly bent, weight centered on your board, and relaxed.

It’s also worth thinking about your back foot at this point – hang your back toes slightly over the rail of your board, as you’ll be using them to kick the board out into the slide in a minute.

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Setup Carve

Carve across the road to the side you want to do the slide. This setup carve is important, as it’ll prewind your body into the initiation of the slide

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Spot your slide

As you carve across, pick a spot on the road where you’re going to plant your hand. Get low over the nose of your board – just like the Coleman slide, you want your weight as far forward as possible! If you’re grabbing rail, now is the time.

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Plant your hand

Plant your back hand on the road in front and to the toeside edge of your board.

As Jorge plants his back hand, notice how his shoulders, body and head are still facing down the hill. By planting your back hand in front of you, you’re opening your body up so that it faces down the hill. That’s really the key to this trick – look where you are going, not at your board!

As your put your weight forward to plant your hand on the road, you’ll come up onto the very tip toes of your back foot. This maybe gives you an idea of just how far forward you really need to be – send it!

You won’t have started sliding just yet. Keep your front arm down and behind you – you’ll need it to initiate the slide.

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Initiate the Slide

You can get the back of the board to break grip by doing two things – kicking out with your back foot, and swinging your free arm up and around.

 

The kick out should be easy, as you hung your toes over the rail when you set up for the slide in Step 1. When you’re first learning the toeside slide and every one is really scary, it might help you to remember that the further your get away from your board, the less likely to high side you are. So give it a good kick and get that board away from you! You can tidy it up later.

Swinging your arm up and around in front your your face will unweight the back wheels a little and help with the initiaion. Just like the Coleman Slide, your free arm swings the board round and brings it back again, so the more you swing with your arm, the more your board will swing round.

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Let it Slide

Welcome to the coolest feeling hands-down slide in longboarding! Hold the slide out for as long as you can, or for as much as you want to slow down. Make sure that you keep your body twisted over and keep looking down the road, otherwise you’ll over-rotate and have to put your other hand on the ground. Keep you arm behind you as Jorge does to keep you heading in the right direction.

Once the board is sideways, you’ll find that you can use your feet to control direction really effectively. Hold the board slightly off 90 degrees to stop flatspots.

The reason that we’ve taught you this slide without grabbing rail now comes into play. You’ll find that you can use that free arm to control the direction and timing of your slide – meaning you can do this round sweepers in either direction, or in a super-plumb straight line.

Many skaters find that once they’ve got the toeside slide down, it actually gives you more control than the Coleman Slide. A bit of practice and you’ll be able to steer all over the road, and even look around to see what’s going on as you’re slowing down – a very useful thing, especially when skating in big packs of other skaters or in traffic.

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Bring it back

Drop your free arm, open up with your body and “suck” your back foot back underneath you to hook back up. The Hookup can get tricky if you’re really moving – check out the Backside Predrift Tutorial for more ideas on that.

As long as you’ve not swung your arm too far over, and you’ve kept looking down the hill, this should be easy.

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Roll Away

Bring your hand back up and cruise off into the sunset…

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Next Step

There’s a lot to be said for really getting the Toeside Slide dialled in. Alternate between it and the Coleman Slide on your local slide hill until you can do both at your top speed with impunity, and you’ll find that any other hill you visit will be a lot more straightforward.

Once you’ve really got the Toeside sorted out, find a decent “toeside” corner and try a Backside Predrift into it.

Then it’s time to go faster… and start learning standup slides!

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