The best longboard to buy
A longboard buying guide
Longboarding, like skateboarding, is a popular activity. Because of how many types of longboards are available, it's important for you to perform proper research to help you decide on which longboard to buy. Use this buying guide, so you can start riding soon.
>> What is your skill level?
In order for you to understand how to buy a longboard, you need to first consider your skill level. If you already have some experience riding skateboards, consider a board that allows you to perform advanced maneuvers. Drop-through longboards are a popular option for intermediate skaters. These types of longboards feature a slim design and lightweight construction that is lower to the ground for additional precision. A great longboard for beginners uses a drop-platform deck. Also known as a "drop deck", this style of longboard lessens the turning radius, which allows you to get used to controlling the board during your ride.
>> What type of terrain will you be riding on?
Terrain plays an important role when choosing a longboard. For instance, if you are trying to determine how to buy a longboard for downhill skating, many pros favor top mount decks. A top mount longboard works well for downhill skaters because it allows for easy sliding around corners and better grip with high speeds. Keep in mind as you shop longboards that mini-cruisers are beneficial for commuting because of their shorter deck size. It's important to remember that different types of longboards are set up for different terrains. By considering terrain as you shop longboards, you are better able to understand how to choose a longboard that fits your skating needs.
>> Consider board style
There are many longboards available that are built for specific activities. A cruiser longboard is great for beginners because it is made for transportation purposes and features a stiffer flex to help absorb the shock from cracks in the sidewalk and other rocky terrain.
A carving longboard works well for hills and advanced tricks. Carving decks feature reverse-kingpin trucks and additional flex to allow for a surfing style of skateboarding. If you are deciding on which longboard to buy for carving, consider wheels of at least 70mm in diameter to help maintain control. As mentioned earlier, drop-through longboard designs work well for both flat land and downhill skating. With a low center of gravity, it is much easier to push and brake with your foot.
>> Consider material
When you shop for longboards, there are a variety of materials to choose from that each offer their own sets of benefits for the rider. Similar to starter skateboards, one of the most common materials used for longboards is maple. Maple longboards are resistant to breaking and are comprised of many layers held together with glue. If you are deciding on which longboard to buy for performing simple tricks like the nose-manual, consider a board made of maple. If you are experienced with riding professional skateboards, then you are probably used to using a carbon fiber deck. Carbon fiber is favorable because of its strength-to-weight ratio and light weight. Bamboo works well for carving. Along with being flexible and thin, bamboo longboards are eco-friendly with a low center of gravity.
>> Consider deck length
Keep in mind as you are deciding on which longboard to buy that length affects everything from your stance to the type of tricks you are able to pull off. If you are wondering how to buy a longboard for a beginner, consider a deck length between 38 and 40 inches for cruising empty flatland areas or down steep hills. If you will be primarily riding your longboard in a crowded area, consider a mini-cruiser with a length of at least 24 inches for easy control in tight spots. The best longboard to buy for advanced skaters allows for more maneuverability and carving abilities. The length of these longboard sizes should fall between 36 and 42 inches, depending on desired form of skating.
>> Consider kicktail
A kicktail is the bent tip on a longboard to help with things like turning. If you are looking for a longboard that allows you to pop up curbs or make sharp turns, choose a longboard with a kicktail. A kicktail also lets you do additional tricks such as ollies or spins. Choosing a board without a kicktail is perfectly fine as well for both beginners and experts. A longboard without a kicktail offers additional stability for flatland cruising.
>> Consider trucks
You need to understand how to choose longboard trucks after picking out your deck. Trucks on a longboard differ significantly when compared to those on a skateboard. Longboard trucks are typically wider and sometimes utilize a reverse design of the axel. They come in two common sizes: 150mm and 180mm. Truck width needs to fit alongside the longboard sizes you are considering. Both your truck and deck's width should be similar. As you are deciding on which longboard to buy, think about both reverse-kingpin and standard types. If you are looking for longboard designs for carving, reverse-kingpin trucks are ideal because they allow for more turning of the board. If flatland cruising is more of your style, consider standard trucks for tighter turning and more responsiveness at higher speeds.
>> Consider wheels
Your longboard's wheels play a key role in factors like speed on different types of terrain. If you are a beginner that is deciding on which longboard to buy and you ride on skateboard mini ramps or bowls, consider wheels with a diameter between 54mm and 59mm. Anything that is greater than 60mm works well for downhill skating and tougher terrain. As you shop longboards, you also need to consider the wheel's shape. Wheels with straight edges work well for downhill skating, as they give the rider additional grip around tight spots. Round wheels are more common with longboards, as they work well for flatland cruising, carving and sliding.
Research the individual longboards you are considering. This way, you can be sure to make an informed decision and find the longboard that is right for you.