Longboarding has become a hugely popular sport in recent years, attracting people of all ages who are looking for a fun and exciting way to enjoy the outdoors. If you’re in the market for a new longboard, it’s important to know what to look for to ensure you get the best longboard for your needs. To help you make an informed decision, this comprehensive guide provides all the essential information you need to choose the best longboard for you.
A longboard is a type of skateboard that has different dimensions. It is usually larger than 91 cm and features wider trucks and wheels with a larger diameter and softer compound. This design provides greater stability, higher speeds, and a more surf-like ride. Longboards come in a variety of sizes and shapes, allowing riders to choose the best board for their specific needs and preferences.
This longboard is suitable for drop-through, freeride, or cruiser styles and is made of glass and bamboo wood. It’s lightweight and stable, featuring 70mm diameter, 51mm wide wheels with a 78A hardness and ABEC 9 RS ball bearings.
The high-end longboard is constructed from bamboo and boasts 8 layers that can support up to 110 kg. This rigid board is equipped with soft 78A hardness wheels for a smooth ride on asphalt.
This affordable longboard is made of 8 layers of maple wood, measuring 94 cm in length and 24 cm in width. It features 6-inch aluminum trucks and has a smooth ride thanks to its ABEC 5 carbon steel ball bearings.
Buying a longboard can be a great choice for those seeking a fun and convenient mode of transportation. Here are some reasons why:
Longboards are wider and longer than skateboards, making them more stable and providing greater inertia. Their larger wheels also provide better grip and make them suitable for off-road use.
Longboards can be used for anything from short walks to long trips, offering a comfortable, fast, and eco-friendly mode of transportation. They’re perfect for urban walks, beach trips, commuting to work or school, and even specialized tracks.
Longboarding is not only a mode of transportation but also a fun sport. With a longboard, you can perform various stunts and tricks, which can improve your mood, reduce stress, and boost self-esteem.
Longboarding requires significant physical effort and can help improve your physical condition and flexibility. By participating in this sport, you can strengthen your body, improve your cardiovascular and respiratory systems, and lead a healthier lifestyle.
To improve your longboarding skills, there are various types of boards available for purchase. To select the best board that meets your requirements, it is crucial to take into account some important factors. These are the top elements to consider.
When choosing a longboard, one important factor to consider is the material it is made from. This can affect not only the board’s strength and stability but also its longevity. The most common materials used to make longboards are wood, glass, and carbon fiber.
Maple wood is a popular choice as it offers a good balance of strength and affordability. Bamboo is another option, known for its lightweight and flexibility, although it can be more expensive than maple wood.
Carbon fiber offers the best of both worlds, being lightweight, strong, flexible, durable, and rust-resistant. However, glass is the strongest material, but it is less flexible and often more expensive. When deciding on a material, it’s important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks against your specific needs and budget.
Another important aspect to consider is the shape of the longboard, specifically its concave profile. The concavity can come in three forms: camber, flat, and rocker.
Camber longboards are slightly concave in the middle of the deck, allowing the rider to have a higher riding position and making it easier to make turns. This shape is best for cruising style riding. Flat longboards, on the other hand, have a completely flat deck, making it the preferred option for freestyle riders and beginners.
The third form of concavity is the rocker shape, which has a “u” shaped deck that is slightly convex. With this type of longboard, the rider rides at a lower height, offering greater stability. This shape is best for free riding and downhill riding.
When it comes to longboards, the size of the wheels is a crucial factor to consider. The wheels for longboards typically range in diameter from 60mm to 130mm, with the most common size being between 60mm and 70mm.
It’s important to note that longboard wheels need to be larger than skateboard wheels to handle higher speeds. The larger the wheel, the faster the longboard can move and it will also provide better shock absorption when riding over rough terrain such as potholes or cracks in the pavement. On the other hand, smaller wheels can provide quicker acceleration and improved maneuverability, but larger wheels offer better stability.
When choosing a longboard or skateboard, it’s important to consider not only the diameter of the wheels but also their hardness. The wheels of these boards are typically made of polyurethane and can come in different hardness levels, which affect the grip and riding experience.
The hardness of the wheels is measured on the Shore A hardness scale and is represented by a number between 75a and 100a. A lower number indicates a softer wheel with more grip, while a higher number means a harder and faster wheel with less grip.
For leisurely cruising, soft wheels with a hardness index of 78a to 87a are ideal. These wheels offer good grip and are suitable for uneven surfaces, making them ideal for strolling and navigating small cracks and stones.
For a more energetic ride, slightly harder and faster wheels with a hardness index of 88a to 95a are a good option. They are perfect for moving around streets and can handle uneven surfaces, although they have less grip than the soft wheels.
Wheels with a hardness index of 96a to 99a offer both grip and speed, making them versatile options for a variety of smooth surfaces such as streets, ramps, parks, pools, etc.
For professional riders, the hardest and fastest wheels with a hardness index of 101a or higher may be a good choice. However, these wheels have less grip and are not suitable for slippery and uneven surfaces.
When choosing a longboard, it’s important to pick wheels that meet your specific needs and preferences.
The axles of a longboard are important components that connect the wheels to the board and allow for smooth rotation and trick performance.
When choosing a longboard, it’s crucial to consider the width of the axles and the distance between the central pivot and the reverse. Make sure the axle width matches the width of the board to ensure optimal performance.
For practical purposes, reverse kingpin axles are the preferred choice as they offer improved responsiveness, stability, and control at high speeds. It’s important to ensure that the axle width matches the width of the board for the best possible performance.
The bearings of a longboard are essential components that support movement and improve the accuracy of maneuvers, flexibility, and speed. They also help control the direction of movement and reduce friction.
The best bearings for a longboard are those made of steel and have universal measurements of 22 mm for the external diameter, 8 mm for the internal diameter, and 7 mm for the width. They are classified according to the ABEC standard, which defines tolerances in bearings and has 5 categories: 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9.
A higher ABEC category, such as 9, indicates greater efficiency, precision, and the ability to reach higher speeds. When choosing a longboard, it’s best to select one with the highest ABEC category for the best performance.
Different types of longboards exist, and the design is a major factor in determining the type of longboarding that can be performed. Here are some of the most common longboard designs and the styles they are best suited for:
Inspired by surfboards, these longboards have an asymmetrical design with a long and pointed tail, a wide base, and a narrow nose. They can be used for various styles, including carver and cruise longboarding.
Similar to the pintail but with a wedge-shaped tail to mimic surfboards, these longboards are good for cruising and carving styles.
Similar to the pintail but with a wider, more rounded tail and nose, these boards are often equipped with elevators for larger wheels.
With a symmetrical design resembling a traditional skateboard deck, the twin is ideal for freestyle longboarding and dancing.
These boards have a unique design allowing for larger wheels and versatility for cruising, downhill, and freestyle styles.
With a low profile design, these longboards are stable at high speeds and good for freeride and downhill riding.
Designed for stability at high speeds, downhill longboards are rigid and sensitive, with specific wheels and fine bearings.
An electric longboard has a motor and can have various shapes, ranging from 100-150 cm in length and 20-22 cm in width. These boards are slower and heavier than manual longboards but are suitable for city use, with the most powerful models reaching speeds up to 35 km/h.
The cost of longboards varies depending on various factors such as the type, size, materials, wheels, and bearings used. For those looking for a budget-friendly option, longboards for the carving style can be found for around $60. On the other hand, prices for these boards typically range from $80 to $220, with electric models being more expensive, costing over $320.
If you’re looking for a good quality longboard from a well-known brand, the Apollo special edition, made from several layers of glass and bamboo wood with ABEC 9 RS ball bearings, is a great option and can be found for just over $110. Another good option is the Miller Road Trip longboard, made from 8 sheets of 100% Canadian maple and equipped with ABEC 7 bearings, which costs around $140. Lastly, a Roxy longboard specifically designed for women can cost almost $200.
For those looking to purchase a longboard, online marketplaces like Amazon are a great option. They offer a wide range of products, making it easy to find the right longboard to suit individual preferences and needs.
For those new to longboarding, cruising is a great place to start. Cruiser longboards are typically used for short or long-distance transportation and are ideal for beginners. These boards are typically short and can come in various shapes like pintail, fishtail, etc. They also come with soft wheels that help absorb bumps in the terrain, making it a great option for kids as well.
Drifting or sliding is a popular technique in longboarding and also serves as an effective way to stop without using your feet. To master this skill, you can check out tutorials and practice regularly. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Begin the drift at a low position for more force when kicking and more movement in your back leg.
Speed is crucial. Try to go fast, as this will reduce the force required to initiate the slide and make the movement easier.
Start by rolling your shoulders and let your hips follow the motion. This will help transfer the momentum to your feet, which will assist in initiating the slide.