GETTING STARTED ON YOUR FIRST DAY

Learning to ride the LEIF is just like learning to snowboard, ride a bike, ice skate or anything else that requires a learned muscle memory – it takes practice and allows for a lifetime of progression. Here are a few tips that can help you learn the LEIF system much faster and get shredding on your first day!

User Manual Download Link

Helpful Pre-Requisites:

skateboarding/longboarding – being comfortable on small wheels and riding sideways on pavement is good.
snowboarding – understanding the concept of riding using the edges of your board
freebording – a great pre-requisite for the LEIF
wakeboarding/surfing/kiteboarding – same sideways and drifting motions

GETTING STARTED OUT OF THE BOX

The LEIF ships with the bindings not attached to the board. Leave the bindings aside your first time. It is fully possible to ride the LEIF without the bindings, and this is the way to get started since it is easier to jump off the board quickly when not using the bindings.

The LEIF has gnarly grip tape that will provide all the traction you need on the deck, so don’t worry about not having enough control

HOW THE RISERS WORK

Using the Remote Control

Before you ride, you must learn how the remote control works and how to drive the powered SR360 wheels. In snowboarding, the mountain hill is your power. On the LEIF, the motors create the power like a mountain hill – and ‘downhill’ direction is always whatever direction the SR360 is pointed!

The thumbwheel on the remote control accelerates the motors when rolled forward, and applies brakes to the motors when rolled backward. The safety trigger must be engaged for the motors to be able to drive – therefore, if you drop the remote or crash, the board won’t keep accelerating.

Get started with the Rolling Start

Since the SR360 wheels are omnidirectional caster wheels, you must have them both facing in the forward direction to be able to get started. If they are opposing each other, then the motors will be working against each other and you won’t go anywhere – the board will just vibrate and make an unpleasant noise.

To get the SR360 caster wheels facing the forward direction, give a small push start like a skateboard. This will get the board rolling forward, which will automatically align the SR360 wheels. This will also give you a smooth start and save a ton of battery energy since getting started from a stop requires a ton of energy! Always use a rolling start if you want to maximize your battery range.

Getting Your First Turns

When you first step on the LEIF, it will feel very foreign. The center wheels and edge wheel system is very weird at first, and this is something that takes a good hour or so to start to understand and get comfortable riding. The LEIF ships with 1/8″ risers under the trucks. This lowers the ‘rocker’, which is the difference in height from the ground on the center and outer wheels. This is easier to get started on, but eventually you will want to remove the risers to increase the rocker – which makes the LEIF much easier to slide on and ride like a snowboard.

It is so tempting to try to start to slide, but first start by learning to carve like a longboard, which I mean mostly straight but with some carving turns. Making carves on the LEIF requires bouncing from edge to edge. Like a snowboard, you want to use your edges but you don’t want to put too much force on them – otherwise you’ll tip over or turn too sharply. Get comfortable riding in a straight line and bouncing from heel edge to toe edge.

Try to ride while putting the least amount of weight on your edges. Put just enough weight to make your carve turn and smoothly transition to the opposite edge. It is important to learn this before trying to slide!

Sliding to a Stop

Once you feel comfortable carving turns, try sliding to a stop. Just like in snowboarding, you will likely catch an edge because sometimes that is the only way to find where the edge is! Therefore, you should not use the bindings while learning to slide.

Keep your knees bent and a low center of gravity. This way is much easier to control your edges than standing tall with straight legs.

The most important part of learning to slide is to really visualize the snow beneath you and do your best to use your snowboarding muscle memory. Doing this is tough because your brain fights it and tries to make you ride like a skateboard – but if you can get into your snowboarding muscle memory even for a moment, it just magically works.

Once you get the sliding to a stop down, see how far you can slide in that stopping position. Putting a ton of weight on your edge will make you stop very quickly. Easing your weight onto your edge slowly will allow you to extend your slide – just like on a snowboard. Use parking lot lines or other markers to help you challenge yourself and see how far you can extend the slide.

How to Bail

Learning to extend your slide is critical because this is teaching you to ride with more weight on the SR360 wheels and less weight on the edges. Great LEIF riders put 90% of their weight on the SR360s and 10% of their weight on the edge wheels – using them for small adjustments and control while riding.


Sliding on the LEIF

Once you get the slide to a stop on both edges, you have got the feeling for what its like to slide on the LEIF. Now you’re ready to start weaving slides into your turns. Start by doing a frontside carve and letting the back end slip out a bit to engage the slide. Again, if you can summon your snowboarding muscle memory then this will just happen naturally.

It is a crazy feeling when you get it the first time! For some reason, the backside slide came more naturally to me when I was learning the LEIF.

Allow the back end of your board to drift out, then pull the board back straight to center (like riding straight on a skateboard). Going back to center is something you need to learn because going back to center is getting back to the safe zone. It is impossible to catch an edge while riding straight and not sliding, so always be able to snap back to center at any moment while riding. Always being ready to snap into a slide stop is great too and will increase your confidence at any speed.

If you feel the back end of your board slipping out while riding, especially on the backside edge, then select Myagi mode. If you are having this problem in Myagi mode, then shift some more weight to your back foot. This will fix the problem instantly (we call it "squashing the bug"). You can also tighten the trucks on the back foot with a 9/16" or 15mm wrench - this will make it much more stable.

Full Board Control with Footholds

The included LEIF footholds are like power steering - so much more control that is almost effortless. Here's how to get set up with your footholds. These will allow you to really gain full control of the board, which will actually make for a much safer ride!

Now Shred Longer Slides 

The included LEIF footholds are like power steering - so much more control that is almost effortless. Here's how to get set up with your footholds. These will allow you to really gain full control of the board, which will actually make for a much safer ride!