Longboarding is another awesome sport that is very popular. Longboarding is easier than skateboarding. Longboarding still gives the feeling of cruising sideways. It is not surprising that attracts various kinds of people. From people who are just attracted to the chill and freedom feeling of longboarding to skiers, surfers and snowboarders.
So what is it? It is more than just a longer version of a skateboard. Longboards’ wheels are bigger as well as softer. Thus, it gives the rider a more beginner-friendly and smoother ride. There are many varieties of longboards length, width, shapes and flexes. Each of them is designed for different rides. When you are comfortable on a longboard, you can get down with board slides, carving, speed and other tricks.
And here, we will tell you how to choose the best longboard. Having a prior knowledge of longboard will help you make the right purchasing decision. With it, you will likely to get the best longboard that fits your needs and wants. Without further ado, let’s begin.
The name pretty much speaks for itself. What is it?
A cruiser longboard is a means of transportation. And yes, this is the best longboard for beginners. Some of the cruiser longboards are shorter. They are designed to weave easily in and out of foot traffic and get you to school, work, or maybe food court. If, however, you are planning to cruise on some hills, you may want to choose a longer board. Why? Because it is more stable at higher speed.
Next, you will need to decide on the length, stiffness and tail shape. No worries. We will help you.
This is the length of the board from nose to tail. It is measured in inches. A board ranging from 28 to 46 inches is a great option for a cruiser board. If you are new to longboarding, if you go any shorter than this, it will be more difficult to learn. Not like snowboards, length is more of a preference and not of necessity. If a snowboard is way too short for body size, it will not offer a true flex. Not to mention it will break easily. The length is almost complete preference.
Shorter boards enable the rider to make quicker, shorter turns. Longer boards are ideal for carving at high speeds. If you don’t know what size to get, go for the one in the mid-30s.
Here are the categories:
1. Shorter cruising boards
Length range: 28 to 32 inches
This is a good choice for young and shorter riders. Of course, taller riders can use it too. Although it will require skills because it is more difficult to navigate
2. Mid-sized cruising boards
Length range: 32 to 42 inches
This is the most popular as well as recommended for beginners of all sizes. With a length between short and long, these boards are just right
3. Longer cruising board
These boards are great for longer, relaxed rides. They are perfect for cruising the boardwalk or sidewalk when the surface is flat. However, they may be quite heavy to carry.
The flex is an important part of a cruising longboard. It is the part that will absorb the shock from some of the bumpy roads, rough terrain or tiny rocks. A flexy board enables the rider to ride closer to the ground, which can be quite fun. This type of shock absorption will help to relieve some of the stress on the rider’s ankles and knees. Thus, making it easier to balance and push. After all, riding lower to the ground adjusts your center of gravity. If you want some flex, make sure to check out the weight range on the board. On the other hand, a stiffer board will provide more stability. Stiffer boards are popular for downhill longboards, sort of the original style of longboards. For a beginner, the more rigid board is a better option. This is due to the flexy boards are difficult to master from the start.
Kicktail (or no kicktail)
What is a kicktail? It is when the board’s tail is kicked up a bit. Yes, just like the traditional skateboard shape. Having a kicktail longboard can be very convenient. Especially, if you need to make quick turns, pop up and down curbs and do tricks. If you are beginners, you can go either way. That is, you can choose either a longboard with a kicktail or one that is without. That is up to you. After all, you are less likely to use it from the start. Longboards that have no kicktails can maximize the effectiveness of the wheelbase (the distance from one axle to the other). Thus, allowing them to be more stable for beginners. If you are not planning to turn or doing tricks with your longboard, a longboard without a kicktail is your best option.
This type of longboard is for the intermediate to advanced riders as a freeriding involves riding down hills while doing technical maneuvers.
Are you ready for some board slides on the pavement while you are going down a concrete hill? Honestly, any board can be used for freeriding. Some decks are designed specifically for a freeriding purpose. An ideal downhill is longer than the average longboard. It will also be completely rigid. And thus, having increased stability at higher speeds. Indeed. Thin, flexible longboards are designed for fun in the streets or parking lot. Not to be used down hills. There are two options from here, drop through and drop platform.
1. Drop through
This is for the intermediate rider. Drop through decks has a slimmer construction. They are lighter. Make sure you choose one with little flex as it is not a good idea for freeriding.
2. Drop platform
This is meant for the beginners. Drop platforms have a lowered platform on the decks. Which results in an enhanced sense of stability. Thus, making initiating slides much easier.
3. Deck dimensions
For a freeride, anything ranging from 38 to 42 inches will be perfect. Shorter than this will be unstable. While longer than this will be too cumbersome. You don’t need to worry about the width as it will be proportional to the length.
This type of longboard is for the advanced riders only as downhill longboarding involves riding at very high speeds and it requires a lot of precision.
For precision, stability as well as speed, the majority of pro longboarders, prefers a top mount deck. However, some are more comfortable with the lower, more stability that the drop through decks offer.
1. Drop through
When you go fast down a hill, have you ever had the wobbles? Indeed. It is terrifying when your board seems to shake uncontrollably beneath your feet and to take your legs with it. Don’t worry. A drop through deck offers great stability as it sits lower to the ground. Thus, offering the rider a more stable center of gravity. To mix things up a bit, this kind of deck can be mounted the regular way for a top mount ride. That is, underneath the deck as opposed on the sides of the deck. If you are new to downhill racing, you should choose this type
2. Top mount
Similar to a traditional skateboard, top mount trucks attached to the bottom of the deck. This mounting style provides the board with more grip when speeding around turns. When sliding is necessary to slow down for tight corners, a top mount board will give better performance. Keep in mind that there are a lot of skills for you to master before you gain the benefits of a top mount board. Unless you are an experienced longboarder who is comfortable riding at very high speeds, the drop through is your best option.
For downhill purposes, decks that are 37 to 43 inches in length will be ideal. A deck that is shorter than this will be unstable at high speeds. A deck that is longer than this will lack maneuverability. If you are a beginner, you should stick with the longer setups. At least until you are accustomed to riding down hills. If you still don’t know what to decide, choose something that is around 40 to 41 inches just to be safe. You can’t go wrong with that size range.
Which to choose?
Sounds fun, right? There are a lot of options that you can when it is about the best longboard. If you are an experienced longboarder, there will be more options for you as you can customize it to meet your need. If you are a beginner and just starting longboarding recently, it may be best for you to go for the cruiser longboard. Don’t worry. This is just a start. As you become more comfortable, you can choose between other types.