“Wow, I feel as if I could dance with this longboard”
“They really look like hipsters with those cruiser”
“It seems like it would be fun to cruise around on a nice day or something”
Yes, longboarding is awesome according to skaters around the world. Nowadays, people seem to care more about longboarding and become crazy about this kind of sport. Compared to skateboarding, longboarding is more challenging in performing cool tricks, still, the more challenging it is , the more people attempt to acquire. While skateboarding mainly focuses on competitive trick based activity, longboarding is a completely different, it’s about speed and freedom.
Millions of people including children, teenagers and even adult are now having their own riders for many different purposes. Along with this, hundreds of longboard brands are doing the best to provide the most outstanding products that impress their customers.
Are you still weighed the pros and cons picking yourself the best longboard? Then lucky for you, this series will certainly meet your need. It’s clearly not all about your passion and techniques that maximize your amount of fun on your go around longboarding but a great rider will. Understand that, we’re here to presentyou the most detailed guide to choose you a longboard that includes perfect components:
- Choosing your best longboard decks
- Choosing your best longboard trucks
- Choosing your best longboard wheels
- Choosing your best longboard bearings
In addition, we also provide some suggestions which might be useful for you to make a wise choice.
First of series is how to purchase best longboard decks, take a look at our buy guide
Remember, always ask yourself “What style of riding do you want to use longboard for?” There are numerous kinds of shape, size, stiffness and design, you have to know what riding style you’ll go with. No worry, you’ll get the perfect rider for every style. There are 3 main riding styles that we give you specific guide for:
- Cruising/ Carving – Beginners
- Freeriding/ Sliding – Intermediate
- Downhill/ Racing – Advanced
In case that you don’t know where to start, Cruising & Carving longboard is the type that almost everyone is fond of.
THE BEST CRUISING/CARVING DECKS
If you need a rider with a view to travelling to class, work, library or just going around the street for joy, a cruiser would be a great transport which makes it easier for you to weave through heavy traffic or small alleys. There are 3 most suitable types of cruiser:
- Drop – though: The lower platform provides more stability at high speed and enable to ride with ease
- Traditional design: Shorter in length, more flexible when riding through crowds and cruising on rough pavements
- Commuter style: Great top- mounted design gives a lot of control in turning and sliding.
1. Choosing right deck length
|Short deck||(28”- 32”)||Fit small riders, easy to carry|
|Mid-sized deck||(32”- 42”)||Suit for nearly everyone|
|Long deck||(42”- 46”)||Heavier, provides more stability and relaxing rides|
2. Choosing right deck flex
Flex seems to be an interesting factor which is considered to be “impact absorbents”, it is able to reduce bad influences on ankles and knees when riding on rough paths. Furthermore, it would be more fun wandering around with a flexible board.
- Slight flex deck: With a low center of gravity, it provides extreme balance riding with little flex. It also reduces the chance of getting ankle damage when skating on uneven and rough surface. Especially, after a long time of using, the board gains the flex itself as well.
- Stiff deck: Stiff decks really do well in high speed. Compatible for downhill or racing rides.
3. Choosing Kicktails or not
- Decks with kicktail: It comes down to matter of preference when choosing deck with or without kicktail. Basically, a kicktail make it convenient to do tricks, quick turns or down curbs. If you are cool with tricks and enjoy at speed, you go for it.
- Decks without kicktail: Contrast to Kicktail boards, no kicktail maximize the efficient wheelbase and help beginners feel more stable in motion.
You can check out the selection of Arbor, Sector 9, Loaded… to find the coolest campus cruisers which can give you intriguing rides. We would give you 3 suggestions:
- Product: Bamboo Skateboards Hard Good Blank Long Board (Square Tail)
- Reviews: Believe me, this board is awesome. You will think about buying whole set of it after trying this board. Earned 2012 Skateboard of the year, it turned out to be an extremely durable, trustworthy board
- Pros: - Tailored and tapered with clean lines - Extended wheel position enables high- speed turns without wheelbite - Durable and flexible with bamboo material.
- Cons: - Quite simple design - Attractive look can be easily faded after a long time.
- 38.75" x 9.65"
- Product: Sector 9 Rhythm Deck
- Reviews: Sector 9 Rhythm Deck is Eco board
- Pros: - Bamboo material helps reduce weight - Nice flex - Great balance - Eco- friendly - Eye- catching design
- Cons: - Kind of a light board so it won’t suit for heavy riders
- 9.25" x 38.3"
- Product: Bamboo Skateboard - Pintail Longboard Tiki Man
- Reviews: From my point of view, this deck is exceptional. Recognized as the best performing sustainable skateboard, it will not let you down
- Pros: - Unique design - Strong bamboo construction - Great flex - Extremely high- quality and durable deck
- Cons: - Quite expensive - Purchase without grip tape
- 44" x 9.25"
CHOOSING BEST FREERIDE/SLIDING DECKS
Freeriding is a style very well defined by riding lots of hills and sliding your board, you can do the stand slides, 180 switch slides by slashing some driveways, drifting around the corners. In another way of saying, it is the combination of downhill and freestyle when you do the tricks going downhill. You can maximize your creativity in this longboarding style.
1. Choosing deck dimensions
We would highly recommend the board that is 38 – 42” in length, 8- 10.5” in width. Wheelbase is also an important component, which will perfectly match with 20- 30” in length. A lot of people especially more recently are riding boards that are similar to normal skateboard but a little bit longer and wider to put foot on it. This is really an ideal board to blend your style.
2. Choosing deck shape
The first and foremost feature for a good freeride deck is stiffness. Freeriding includes many tricks, turns, slides at speed so you’re going to need something more stable. The most suitable materials may be fiberglass and maple because it makes board stiffer and lighter.
Here are 2 recommendations of freeride deck shape:
- Drop – deck: with a lowered foot platform that sits below the height of the trucks, there is lower center of gravity, which provides stable, easy-to-push and drifty ride.
- Drop – though: Great deck with very little flex, which is tailored for freeriding.
Freeriding is all about styles and creativity. So a board with kicktail would be more interesting.
Here are some good recommendations:
- Five Mile Black Sheep Downhill/Freeride Longboard Deck w/ Grip Tape
- 10" x 39"
- Five Mile Lady Liberty Downhill/Freeride Longboard Deck w/ Grip Tape
- 9.75" x 37.5"
- Five Mile Warhorse Downhill/Freeride Longboard Deck w/ Grip Tape
- 9.75" x 38"
CHOOSING BEST DOWNHILL/RACING DECKS
Considered to be the best style of longboarding, downhill riding requires a lot of rider’s experience and desire to acquire to high speed. By the time going downhill, the pace is extremely fast and furious. So the stiff construction and aggressive concave are the crucial features.
1. Choosing deck dimensions
The ideal length for a downhill deck is between 38” and 44” with the wheelbase 25”- 30” long.
2. Choosing deck style
- Drop – through (especially for beginners): Provided you have never tried on a downhill board, you will be surprise with the stability drop- though deck offers. It is design to lock your feet to the board. Great directional board!
- Top mount: Advantages to this design include increased grip and ease of turning; disadvantages include a high center of gravity, which could contribute to a lack of stability.
When it comes down to downhill riding, speed is preferred to tricks. Therefore, kicktail seems to be disregarded or unnecessary in this style of riding.
Similar to cruising and freeriding, there are also some great decks made just for downhill:
- Arbor Vugenhausen Grip Tape Topsheet Longboard Deck
- Sector 9 Dojo Downhill Division Longboard Skateboard With Grip Tape
- 9.75" x 34.75"
- Sector 9 Bomber Downhill Division Longboard Skateboard Deck With Grip Tape
- 9.75" x 37"
Choosing the best longboard decks is the first step to build your perfectly complete longboard, thus, pick wisely. Follow our guide above and choose for yourself the flawless board. Also, remember to follow user and maintenance guide to increase deck durability. And now read more how to choose best longboard trucks.