Posted June 25, 2021 in Skateboards by Salena Retsos
Longboards are the most versatile form of skateboarding. From cruising pools to bombing hills, longboards are a great way to get around and carve up the road. There’s a Longboard out there for every style of riding imaginable. Based on deck construction, features and parts — this comprehensive guide will help you choose the right Longboard to buy for you.
Whether you’re just starting out or have been skating for years, there’s a type of longboard perfect for the kind of riding you’re interested in doing. If you’re just starting to dip your toes into the Longboard pool the easiest boards to start with are cruiser or commuter boards.
If you’re a more advanced skater you’re ready to jump on a Freeride or Freestyle board.
Now that you understand the different types of longboards available, check out shape construction and deck flex.
The when skating you stand on the deck of a longboard. They come in different shapes, sizes, and flexes to accommodate specific riding styles. Take a look at each style of Longboarding.
Cruiser boards have an old school, compact shape compared to most longboards. Usually featuring a kicktail and a slight nose kick to give you the maneuverability of a skateboard like the Globe Blazer. Cruiser decks are built to ride in the skatepark or carving up the streets. These decks are stiff, short, and wide for a stable ride.
Carving/Commuting boards can have many shapes. For a beginner friendly longboard get a board with a concave shape that gives you edge control on those turns. Pintails, like the Sector 9 Swift , are decks that will give you a classic surf feel with a soft convex flex in the deck to pump through your turns. For a shorter deck with a fun shape to get you around town look to the Arbor Zeppelin or Sizzler.
Downhill/Freeride boards are the most specialized and stable longboard decks. These decks typically have wheel cut outs to prevent any chance of wheel bite when you lean into those deep turns like the Sector 9 Lookout or the Globe Geminon. If you’re just straight bombing hills the drop deck longboards like the San Clemente Double Drop set you lower to the ground for more stability as you fly down hill. Designed to be super responsive these decks are stiff with concave or ‘W’ concave decks that hold your feet in the deck pocket for control at high speeds.
Freestyle decks are twin shaped decks with a kick tail and nose kick construction for superior board manipulation and foot work control. These decks are typically long, wide, and flexy so you could walk the surface of the deck and control it’s movements by pumping through steps. These flatland boards are super specialized.
Trucks are the glue that hold the whole thing together. Trucks attach the wheels to your deck, made from durable materials to last. It’s important to get the right pair for your skating needs.
Longboard trucks will either have the deck mounted on top of your trucks or your trucks will drop through the top of your deck.
Finding the right Longboard Wheels depends on size and shape which affects the performance of your longboard.
Longboard wheels typically start at 60mm and can go upwards of 70mm in diameter. The bigger and softer the wheel the smoother the ride. Wheels with a higher durometer are made up of a harder urethane and typically found on Cruiser boards because they are more responsive. Wheels with lower durometer are soft, forgiving and better suited for gripping the road.
There are two shapes in the world of longboard wheels. Rounded wheels, like skateboard wheels, have a rounded edge or lip which provides less traction on turns. Perfect for power slides on your board for Freeride, Cruiser, and Freestyle boards. For superior hold and road grip at high speeds Flat lipped wheels prevent sliding and more traction on turns. For a super stable wheel when bombing hills on your Downhill board or pressing deep into the turn on your Carving board.
Bearings make the wheels go round. The ultimate fit for most Longboards would be Ceramic Bearings. The Ceramic ball bearings create less friction and are resistant to dust and dirt for wheels that will roll faster for longer. Typically a higher price point than skateboard bearings, ceramics last longer because they take less of a beating making them the perfect investment for Carving, Freeride, and Downhill longboards.
For Cruiser, Commuter, and Freestyle longboards save with a higher ABEC rated set of Bearings. Look for ABEC 5 or 7 bearings.
Grab a Longboard that fits you AND your riding style. Check out all the Longboard Completes, and shop our Longboard Parts and Accessories to customize your board or replace worn out parts! Then sign up to ride for Shred and enjoy the benefits of our Team Rider discount program for BMX, Skateboarding, and Snowboarding.