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Setting Up a Slide Deck - Sliding Gear and Equipment for Downhill Longboarding


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Setting Up a Slide Deck
Setting Up a Slide Deck

Slider - Setting Up a Slide Deck

Photo: silverfishlongboarding.com
Sliding can be one of the most enjoyable facets of downhill skateboarding. Few things simulate the feeling of slashing a wave or throwing an edge into deep powder like sliding can. Besides the fun, there’s utility: a well-placed slide in a moment of danger can save your life. One of the best things about sliding is that so much can be done with a simple deck, some hard wheels and bearings that can take a beating. From a technical standpoint, there are some basics for tuning your board setup that I’ll cover here. So, get your deck, we’ll do a few tweakers and it’ll be time to screech on the street.

The primary issue is your basic ride. Take a look at what you feel comfortable skating and work from there. Fact of the matter is, you can slide any deck and any setup but your deck should allow you a comfortable, shoulder-width stance. With the variety of longboard-style slide decks out there, it should be easy to find something that not only conforms to your height but agrees with you as a ride.

For real manipulation of your board in slides, you’ll want a deck with some concave, good pockets, and comfortably accessible nose and tail kicks. This will help to lock you in with rotations and pressure the deck during slides. At 5’10”, the Earthwing 35.5” fits my body size just fine. Earthwing, Gravity and a number of other companies make decks in a variety of sizes and concave styles, so you should be able to find something that fits you. Like Michael Bream once said, “The most important factor of a slide deck is that you feel comfortable on it”. This is too true: to pull multiple rotations one need not only to be able to get up to speed but to maintain control, once you slide.

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