How to SlingBoard – Slowing
As referred to in previous articles, the SlingBoard team has taken time to identify a couple means by which a rider can slow himself or herself on a board. This is a crucial part of riding because for those who do not incorporate their brilliant new Ground Brake System into their SlingBoard, there will be greater difficulty in stopping. The SlingBoard brake is a perfect means of speed control. However, there may be some who would prefer to ride without one. These riders should still be prepared with the knowledge of how to slow and stop a SlingBoard when needed. Here are three helpful techniques that can be used:
Probably the easiest method of slowing while riding is the paddle drag. This is a simple and easy technique which can really be defined by its name. Dragging a paddle can be achieved by pressing the foot of the SlingStick down into the ground behind the board. The friction produced between the SlingStick and ground will slow or control the speed of the rider. The rate of slowing can be varied based on how hard an individual presses the foot into the ground. If more pressure is applied, the board will slow faster. If less pressure is applied, the slowing process will be much more gradual. In fact, this can sometimes be used on downhills not for stopping the board completely but rather to keep from accelerating.
A similar technique is the foot drag. Some may find this more difficult to do, but practice will lead to mastery. The concept is the same in dragging something against the ground to create friction and slow the board. However, instead of the paddle being dragged, the rider will lower his or her foot and drag a shoe against the ground. Doing so requires practiced balance. A rider should feel very comfortable riding a board and should have the ability to reposition his or her feet easily before attempting this technique. The rider first must adjust whichever foot will not be dragged into the middle of the board. The reason for this is that a rider will only be able to direct the board with one foot while dragging. Then the drag foot must be slowly lowered so that it initial is only brushing the ground. If it is lowered too forcefully, it will slow the board too suddenly and result in the rider being thrown forward. This is not an uncommon technique among skateboarders and longboarders, but the warning should be given that doing so can wear on a shoe’s sole material. Also, it should be obvious that this should never be performed in bare feet.
The last technique is rather different from the others and requires all different practice to perform. A rider can slow himself or herself by gently touching his or her back shoe against the side of the wheel as it is rolling. Doing so will create friction between the wheel and shoe and will slow the board. This technique takes a longer period of time though and can be difficult to master since a rider has to reposition his or her feet. Also, land paddlers should be cautioned that rubbing a SlingBoard wheel with a shoe at high speeds can wear down either the shoe or the wheel. So, this should only be done at very controlled speeds.