Longboarding is one of the popular sports nowadays. Of course, you have to ride on the best longboard for the most fun. Claims, choosing the best longboard is not a very easy task. There are so many options available in the market today, and most of them look similar as seen.
A longboard is the sum of its parts, such as a deck, truck, wheel, and bearings. There are different types of riding-cruising, carving, downhill, and freeride. Longboards are also made from materials like bamboo, maple, carbon fiber, or fiberglass. So, what to look for in a longboard depends on your riding style and what’s suitable for yourself. Don’t worry!
In this article, we will discuss all things about how to choose a longboard based on our own experience. Hopefully, our longboard buying guide will help you to pick the perfect board for you. Let’s dig deeper without further delay.
Types Of Longboard
There are different types of riding while longboarding. Each riding style has a different type of longboard, deck shapes, trucks, and wheels. However, what are the different longboard riding styles? Which one is yours? Below we describe in-depth the different types of longboarding and how to do them.
There are mainly four type of longboard, these are:
- Cruising Longboard
- Downhill Longboard
- Freeride Longboard
- Freestyle Longboard
Cruising is one of the common types of longboarding, the ‘Cruising’ says itself. Anyone can do it; beginners to experts can cruise around. Cruising a longboard comes in different sizes and shapes, but all are for the same thing. There are various shapes for the cruiser deck, such as drop-through, drop mount, or top mounts. These decks are mainly made with wood and flexible for a comfortable ride.
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Downhill is about doing slides and going fast downhills on your longboard. It’s for adrenaline junkies, speed, sliding down, carving, and drifting. The downhill longboard is typically stiff for better stability and control when going fast. Downhill longboarding is going in races, and it’s about high hills and going down as fast as possible. So, you need to wear slide gloves and a face helmet, full pads, and a suit for safety.
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Freeride is a form of downhill types of longboarding, but it’s technical and track-oriented, and the rider slides and carves to control speed while going down. That means you will ride hills with an amount of speed and control your speed while sliding. The freeride longboard has a concave shape with medium-stiff, which is more stable on moderate speed. Always make sure you have little flex because it’s not good to have high flex for freeriding.
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Freestyle and freeride both are confusing for the terms-‘free’. However, the freestyle is the art of doing any tricks on a longboard with all skill levels. It’s all about the creative style of longboarding-standing, jumping, spinning, and dancing. Freestyle riding is fit for beginners because they learn longboard control skills, but it’s also enjoyable for experienced riders. Usually, freeride riders can use two types of longboard- drop through and dropdown.
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Longboard Deck Styles
Longboard deck styles play an essential role in how to choose a longboard and how stable they are on the ground. The 1st question you ask yourself is- what are the different types of longboard decks? Read here to know all about the longboard deck styles and key differences between them. Always remember that there are many deck options for different riding styles, so select the deck style that is suitable for you.
Longboard Deck Styles:
- Top Mount Longboard
- Drop Through Longboard
- Drop Deck Longboard
- Double Drop Longboard
Top Mount Longboard
Top mount is one of the most traditional shapes in longboarding, and it’s also inexpensive. As the name indicates, the top mount deck is mounted top on the truck, increasing the center of gravity than the other board styles. It decreases the stability of the top mount deck yet is nimble than other boards because of turn leverage. It’s versatile and used for downhill, carving, cruising, and freeride freestyle.
Drop Through Longboard
The truck is mounted through the deck on a drop through longboard. It increases the stability and also reduces the fatigue of the board. You can quickly push, get more stability yet lose responsiveness. Drop through decks are best for commuting, downhill as well as freeride riding style.
Drop Deck Longboard
Drop deck is very weird-looking; it’s molded in such a way that your feet ride under the truck. This is highly effective for lowering the center of gravity, increasing stability, and less fatigue when pushing. The drop deck is usually found on the downhill and freeride longboards.
Double Drop Longboard
Double drop is a blend of drop through and drops deck; that’s why it’s named a “double” drop. It’s one of the most stable styles of a longboard but also less common for its degree of construction, making it expensive. Double drop is usually found on the downhill longboard.
What Is The Best Material For A Longboard?
Longboards are made from different materials, such as bamboo, maple wood, carbon fiber, or fiberglass. However, what is the best material for a longboard? And what to look for in a longboard construction? Here we will discuss all of them to get a clear idea about longboard construction.
- BAMBOO: Bamboo is the top fastest-growing plant on the glove. It’s the most sustainable longboard construction material till today. Fiber in bamboo makes it super strength-strong and flexible for longboard production.
- MAPLE: The specialty of maple is its density as they grow in cold and wet areas with short sessions. This density provides strength and flexibility for longboard construction. It’s unique from any other wood; it’s bent shaped with maintaining structural integrity. So, 7-10 layers of maple are used together to make a longboard deck more sturdy.
- CARBON FIBER: Carbon fiber is a lightweight but super-strong material that comes from crystallized carbon atoms. It’s chemical resistant, high temperature tolerant, on the other hand, adaptable, and easy to use. The carbon fiber and bamboo blend make one of the best materials in the longboard industry. Because bamboo is known for its strength and stability, carbon fiber is good for stiffness with stability. By adding a carbon fiber layer on a bamboo board, the result is awe-inspiring.
- FIBERGLASS: Fiberglass is a lightweight, strong, and durable reinforced plastic material used in surfboards, longboards, and skateboards. Its high flexible material, so it’s versatile for use, maintains physical strength and durability.
Choosing the best longboard isn’t an easy task. Because, you have to look for a longboard truck, wheel and bearing along with it. However, we will discuss in detail all about them on our longboard buying guide.
- Longboard Trucks: Trucks are one of the main features of the longboard and are designed for smooth and stable turns. It attaches the longboard wheel to the deck and works for turning on the axle. The trucks are considered as the hearts of the longboard. Longboard trucks are pretty different from skateboards; the only similarity is the purpose. In general, reverse KingPin trucks are top popular for longboard trucks. Oppositely, standard kingpin trucks are helpful for small setups.
- Longboard Wheels: Wheels work as a medium between the rider and the road. It’s an essential part of the longboard in contrast to the speed. The longboard wheel size and hardness differ from one brand to another; the thing is will it fit your board or not. The most used measure of the longboard wheel is 70mm in diameter. Hardness is also an essential parameter for longboard wheels. Usually, harder wheels are difficult to control, so a medium-hard wheel is best for longboarding.
- Longboard Bearings: Longboard bearings are added with the wheels so that they can rotate freely. ABEC rating is the industrial standard for longboard bearing. Longboard bearings are built-in materials such as steel or ceramic etc. However, steel bearings are highly durable as well as low-cost as the longboard standard. Again, regular maintenance is necessary for the longboard bearings for smooth rolling. That’s all.
In our longboard buying guide, we will discuss all the things about how to choose a longboard. Now, choosing the best longboard is as easy as falling off a log, most likely. Different options are available on the market, and what to look for in a longboard will depend on yourself.
Let’s select a suitable one for you and go for a ride to do more fun with your longboard.
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