Longboarding blends the sport of surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding into one -- on land. Although some longboards can be pushed using your feet, other longboards are made to be paddled with poles. The paddling motion mimics the movement of surfers who use a long paddle or pole to push out into deeper water. As a result, longboard skating with push poles is commonly referred to as “land paddling.”
Longer than traditional skateboards, longboards resemble surf boards due to their roots in surfing. Like skateboards, longboards can be pushed using one foot for downhill riding, carving and regular cruising. However, push poles can be purchased as an optional method for propelling longboards on flat pavement. While standing with your feet spread apart on the board, you can move the longboard with the pole using a stroke and push motion. The motion resembles a surfer using a paddle to stroke out to sea.
Manufacturers commonly create longboard push poles that are 4 to 6 feet long or more. The push pole itself is typically made of wood such as bamboo. However, some push poles can be built using materials such as carbon fiber and fiberglass for added lightness and durability. The tip of the pole contains a carbon rubber tip that allows riders to propel themselves along streets and sidewalks. The rubber tip does not spin. Instead, it grips the road for more control when turning corners and gliding down hills. Some manufacturers offer different replacement tips, including wheel-shaped and undulated road grips.
One of the benefits of using a push pole while longboarding is upper body conditioning. Pushing and gliding, as well as dragging the end of the stick for control, can provide an upper body workout, according to Redding.com writer Stephen Regenold.
When purchasing a push pole for your longboards, decide whether you will need an adjustable stick to accommodate your height. For example, some adjustable push poles can be modified for riders from 4 feet tall to 6 feet, 4 inches tall. Purchasing push poles that change length is also convenient for different styles of riding. For example, push poles can be shortened for uphill strokes and lengthened for downhill strokes.