Longboarding has become fashionable, and it’s no wonder why. Longboarding is one of the best activities you can do in the streets or at one of the many skate parks that exist. Unlike a normal skateboard, longboards are longer, more stable, and far more suitable for cruising the streets or going downhill.
What separates longboards from typical skateboards even further is there are many different disciplines within the sport of longboarding. From the classic turns or slalom to acrobatics or downhill at full speed, longboarding is a very diverse sport. In the following guide, we will explain everything you need to know about longboards. This will help you significantly if you are considering buying your first board. Read this guide carefully and you will go a long way to make a great purchase.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best longboards on the U.S. market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about longboards
- 3.1 What exactly is a longboard?
- 3.2 How much does a longboard cost?
- 3.3 What kind of longboards are there?
- 3.4 What shapes can a longboard have?
- 3.5 How flexible can a longboard be?
- 3.6 What level of concave can a longboard have?
- 3.7 What accessories can I add to my longboard?
- 3.8 Are there any electric longboards?
- 3.9 How often should I change my longboard?
- 3.10 What maintenance does a longboard require?
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- To go longboarding, the board is, of course, the most important element. However, it is not the only piece of equipment required, as body protection gear is also highly recommended. If you plan on performing some tricks (for example, skids or drifts) you will need to purchase extra accessories such as gloves.
- Practicing longboarding helps to develop coordination and balance. It is an excellent sport for children, as they can use this sport to become aware of their size, weight, and natural skills. Additionally, as skateboarding is a means of transport, children can learn road safety rules along the way.
- A longboard is not just a large piece of wood with four wheels underneath. The evolution of the longboard has been such that there are now many types, shapes, and brands on the market. This is also the result of so many different disciplines that can be practiced with a longboard.
Ranking: The best longboards on the U.S. market
As there are so many different models and types of longboards on the market, narrowing down the options can be a very challenging task. In the following section, we present to you the 5 best longboards on the market. We have selected these products based on their value for money, their features, and customer feedback. Take a close look below as we are very confident that your next longboard is on this list. Read and review this section carefully and base your purchase decision on your particular needs.
No. 1: Retrospec Zed Bamboo Longboard
The Zed Bamboo Longboard is a classic shaped longboard that helps to improve balance and slice corners with precision and speed. With silky-smooth 70mm wheels, precision ABEC-7 bearings, and a superior grip pad, you’ll be able to cruise the streets with style and flair.
This is a 44-inch artisanal longboard that is made from sustainably sourced bamboo and 8-ply Canadian maple. Featuring rugged and lightweight 7-inch aluminum trucks, the Zed Bamboo longboard comes in a variety of colors and designs that are simply beautiful. Choose between the Cruiser or Pintail model for an excellent longboard that you can use for pleasure or transport on the streets of your city.
No. 2: White Wave Bamboo Longboard
The White Wave Bamboo Longboard is a 31.5-inch x 9.25-inch longboard that is the ultimate cruising and carving board. This board has a beautiful bamboo design on the top and bottom, a concaved deck, and a large kicktail.
The fast bearings, wide trucks, and big wheels are all high-quality products that will enable you to cruise the streets in style. Each component of the White Wave Bamboo model has been specifically selected to enhance the skater’s experience.
No. 3: Playshion 39 Inch Drop Through Freestyle Longboard
The Playshion longboard is a 39-inch multi-functional board that is perfect for cruising, sliding, carving, downhill, freeride and freestyle. Thanks to the strong 7-inch reverse kingpin aluminum trucks, this board can handle sliding easily and the ground clearance of 4 inches ensures that you never scrap on the asphalt.
This a great board for a beginner as it is hard enough for firm steering yet soft enough to make a smooth ride. This longboard weighs approximately 7 pounds, so it is light enough to carry around. This longboard will arrive at your door ready to go, all you have to do is take it out of the box enjoy endless amounts of fun.
No. 4: Quest Rorshack Bamboo Longboard
The 34-inch Cruiser Longboard by brand Made in Mars features a multi-ply hardwood maple and beautiful Artisan Bamboo deck, rugged aluminum trucks, and durable 70mm wheels. The “single-kick” design is perfect for carving the streets or cruising down the sidewalk with complete control. With a cool design on the underside of the deck, all the kids in your neighborhood will want to try out your new longboard.
No. 5: Globe Blazer XL 36.25″ Cruiser Skateboard
Globe is by far the most well-known and highest regarded brand when it comes to skateboarding. From shoes, trucks, clothes, and of course skateboards, Globe makes the most innovative and highest quality products on the market. The “Blazer” Cruiser skateboard is the ultimate trendsetter and the coolest skateboard on Amazon.
Featuring 6.0 Slant trucks, soft cruiser wheels, and a built-in bottle opener on the underside of the deck, this is by far the most hipster longboard on the market. If you want a high-quality, unique, and super-trendy skateboard, you have to buy the Globe Blazer!
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about longboards
If this is your first longboard, you need to take into account your limitations, as these will be far lower than someone with experience. No one starts out as an expert in any sport, you need to learn slowly and with patience.
To start longboarding, the best thing to do is to buy a multi-purpose board that will allow you to learn and progress slowly. Keep reading to find out all there is to know about longboards.
What exactly is a longboard?
A longboard is the piece of equipment used to practice the sport of longboarding, which is a version of skateboarding. This sport is done by standing on a board with wheels, that is longer than a scooter and does not have handlebars. Similar to surfing, longboarding is a sport that was born in California. It is practiced on asphalt or concrete, so it is advisable to wear a helmet.
Longboarding not only consists of moving around the city streets on a longboard but also downhill, racing and acrobatics. Those people who practice longboarding are called skaters and it is very common to see them at skateparks and hanging around downhill streets. Long, smooth, sloping streets are perfect for longboarding as the speed generated on a longboard provides the ultimate adrenaline rush.
How much does a longboard cost?
It is possible to find a longboard on Amazon from $50 but, as always, the price of the product will depend largely on the brand, quality, and design. If your budget is tighter, we recommend buying a complete package that includes all the accessories needed for skateboarding (deck, wheels, trucks, and bearings). As you progress in the sport, you can replace each element (trucks, wheels or bearings) with something better that may be more adapted to your needs.
What kind of longboards are there?
A longboard is longer and wider than the common skateboard, which translates into greater stability and more speed than a normal double-kick skateboard. Longboards are used to go downhill and have fun doing acrobatics, racing or simply as a means of transport between home and the beach, school or work. Longboards have softer wheels that reduce the impact on your feet and the high-quality bearings allow you to travel further with less effort. Below we present a table with the different types of longboards that are available:
|Pintail||Inspired by old-school surfboards. This is an asymmetrical board with a long tail and wide nose. This board is great for “cruising”.|
|Fishtail||Similar to pintails but with a more “surfing” design. The board is usually a bit wider and the tail has a wedge cut into it. Skaters who also surf love these types of longboards.|
|Blunt||They have a wide nose and a rounded tail.|
|Twin||This is a traditional skateboard that is wider and longer. This longboard has a symmetrical shape, so it is possible to ride it in both directions.|
|Cutout||The wheels of these longboards are set wider apart and it is also a bidirectional board. These boards have a lot of stability at high speeds. This is a very versatile type of board.|
|Dropdown||These are the boards that are the lower to the ground. They have a small step-down, as their name suggests. These boards are very stable at high speeds but dangerous if there are any bumps in the road. They tend to be more rigid and more stable due to the lower center of gravity.|
|Downhill or Speedboard||These are designed to maintain stability at high speeds. They provide great control and they always use thin bearings for extra speed.|
|Cruiser or Minicruiser||Small and versatile to skate difficult streets or footpaths. They are easy to carry under your arm because they are smaller. These boards offer poor stability but are very maneuverable. They are ideal for traveling on asphalt or concrete.|
What shapes can a longboard have?
There are so many forms of longboards available that it is hard to keep track of every design. Unlike traditional skateboarding, longboards have many more varieties and shapes depending on the style of longboarding being performed. It is up to the individual skater to choose the board that interests them the most according to the shape of the board and how they plan on riding it. It is however possible to divide longboards into two categories (depending on the symmetry): directional and symmetrical. Below we will explain what each category means:
|Type||How are they characterized?||What are they for?|
|Directional||They are thin from behind and gradually widen toward the front of the board. These boards are only symmetrical along the length||They are used to practice downhill skating and for cruising.|
|Symmetric||They are symmetrical along the length and the width||They are used by free riders and freestyle skaters.|
How flexible can a longboard be?
The flexibility of a longboard is primarily determined by the material that it is made from. It is also determined by its grip tape, the length of the longboard and the degree of concave that it has.
|Degree of flexibility||Characteristics||What type of riders use it?|
|Flexible||Perfectly cushions your feet while skating.||Perfect style for cruising and beginners.|
|Semi-flexible||Somewhat firmer than the previous one but the extra firmness gives it more stability at higher speed.||Ideal for practicing freestyle skateboarding.|
|Semi-rigid||Provides more stability at moderate speeds.||Perfect for practicing freeriding.|
|Rigid||The firmest and least flexible type of longboard.||This type of longboard is used by those who go downhill.|
It is interesting to note that what you think is just a simple longboard, actually has so many types, intricacies, and shapes. You can think of this as an advantage, as you can find a board that best suits your tastes and needs.
What level of concave can a longboard have?
The concave of a skateboard is determined by the angle formed by the profile of the deck and is measured in degrees. The concave is the curved shape of the wood deck and this affects its rigidity and the handling of the board. Concave can be more or less pronounced, depending on the riders preference and provides more or less grip when moving or skidding. The below table explains the 3 most common types of concave skateboard decks that exist:
|Camber||Medium level of concave. Helps to make turns easier.||Cruisers|
|Flat||Totally flat deck.||Beginners and freestylers.|
|Rocker||High level of concave (U shape). It provides more stability.||Free riders and downhill skaters.|
What accessories can I add to my longboard?
As is the case in many sports, accessories can be used to add extra enjoyment to the sport and increase the level of performance. Below we list four accessories that, although at an initial glance may not seem very useful, help to improve your longboarding experience:
- Foot-stops: These are small pieces that are added to the deck of a board to stop the feet from moving or sliding. Additionally, these guides serve as a reference point to know exactly where to place your feet without having to look down. They are great as an extra safety feature and are perfect for beginners.
- Nose/Tail guards: These are plastic protectors that are attached to the front and tail of the board to prevent the deck from breaking or splitting.
- Risers: Otherwise known as elevators, these are plastic blocks that are placed between the trucks and the board to raise the height of the board.
- Shock pads: These are similar to risers, but they also act as shock absorbers as they are made from rubber.
Are there any electric longboards?
Unlike other electric means of transportation such as bikes and scooters, motorized longboards are uncommon. The electric version of a longboard is exactly the same as a non-electric longboard: a board with two wheels, bearings, and trucks. The difference between an electric longboard and a traditional longboard is that the electric version has assisted thrust. The method for controlling electric skateboards is usually via a remote control that the rider holds whilst skateboarding.
The fact that an electric longboard is operated with a remote control means that the original essence of longboarding is almost completely lost. However, since there are longboards that are often used as means of transport, it is useful to know that electric versions also exist.
How often should I change my longboard?
As a longboard is made from wood, it is expected that it will become damaged with use. The moment to purchase a new longboard depends on the individual rider, but if you see that the wood is splintering or breaking away, it is time to buy yourself a new board. The life of a longboard will depend on the quality of materials used to make the board and the frequency that you use it.
The main factors that contribute to board wear-and-tear are water and sudden changes in temperature. Always try to keep your board dry and avoid skating if it is raining or just after rain. Also try to avoid skating if it is excessively hot, as the heat from the asphalt has the ability to change the shape of the wheels. Remember that a longboard in good condition will help you to practice your sport better.
What maintenance does a longboard require?
Although a longboard does not require significant maintenance, it is recommended to regularly check that all the parts of your longboard are tight. To do a proper check of your longboard, you should check that all the screws and trucks are tight, that the wheels have not been deformed, that the nuts on the trucks have not loosened and that the bearings are clean and greased.
There is a huge range of longboard models on the market today. As a result, it is essential to compare a number of different areas before purchasing a new board. In the following section, we show you the most important criteria to analyze before you pick out a specific product. By closely following this shopping criterion you will be able to select the best longboard according to your needs and experience level.
- Fabrication material
Longboards can be made of many different materials, with the most common material being laminated wood or plywood (7 to 9 layers to create a flexible yet resilient structure). Longboards are also manufactured from other materials which are detailed in the table below.
|Maple wood||This is a very common material used to make of longboards. It is a very rigid and durable material. This material maintains its original properties well over time and even after significant use.|
|Bamboo||This material is more flexible and lighter. Bamboo longboards are often used for carving and cruising on the streets.|
|Wood with fiberglass||Provides rigidity and resistance. It is a very durable combination. Used for freeride, freestyle and downhill.|
For the more critical parts of a longboard, such as the trucks, nose, and tail, different materials are used. A material that is commonly used is carbon fiber, which provides greater performance, although the price is usually higher than fiberglass. Carbon fiber is usually used in professional skateboards.
A small board is far easier to maneuver but will become more unstable as you reach high speeds. A smaller longboard is a good option if you want to use a longboard to move around the city or for cruising.
As it is smaller, it is more agile and easier to avoid obstacles and pedestrians. A bigger board will have less maneuverability but will remain more stable at higher speeds.
The width of a longboard will affect the stability of the board, whether it be for freestyle or downhill riding. The wider the board, the more stable it will be but less responsive. On the contrary, the narrower the board, the easier it will be to maneuver and make sharp turns.
The length of a skateboard is the distance between each end, from the nose to the tail. If you are learning how to longboard, the recommended size should be between 36 and 42″. If you have practiced longboarding before, choose any size that takes your fancy.
The trucks are the piece of equipment that affects the control of your longboard and how well you can change direction on the board. Skateboard trucks are a T-shaped accessory located underneath the deck of the board and to which the wheels are attached.
The trucks allow the wheels to change direction depending on the movements made on the deck of the board. The width of the trucks should be the same as the width of the board.
The wheels are the direct link between the rider and the asphalt. They are made of polyurethane. The harder the polyurethane, the longer the wheels will last, and the softer the wheels, the faster they will wear out. If you want to skid, it is much easier to have slightly harder wheels. Please be aware that not all wheel diameters are suitable for all boards.
Bearings are the round steel parts that are inserted inside the wheel core to make your longboard roll with minimal resistance. The higher the ABEC category (how bearings are classified) the greater the efficiency and the easier it will be to achieve higher speeds.
When it comes to longboards, the concave of the deck plays a very important role. This factor will determine how the board feels under your feet and the type of skateboarding you can practice. The rocker boards (have the center lowered with respect to the rest), are used for carving and downhill skateboarding. On the other hand, the camber boards (with a medium level of concave) provide more flexibility.
A longboard is a skateboard that is longer than a traditional board and often a lot wider. Longboards are used by experienced riders to go downhill, either in a race, slalom or simply for transport. As a longboard is wide, it is more stable, safer, and more comfortable to ride than a traditional skateboard.
The size and weight of longboards make them perfect for performing fun tricks and skids. The different components of a longboard contribute to the smooth glid of a longboard and the ability to travel great distances with just a single push.
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(Source of featured image: ToniMarinov: 63122292/ 123rf.com)