Longboarding is becoming increasingly popular as an intense version of skateboarding. At present, the longboard comes with more traction, stability and durability thanks to its best manufacturers. The construction and angle of turn of longboards make them better for cruising and coasting long distances than skateboards. The concept of longboarding originated when Hawaiian surfers wanted to move their hobby to land, especially during times when the waves were too small for good surf.
Getting Acquainted With Longboards
Longboards are very similar to skateboards, but they come with longer with strong bodies and bigger wheels, making them faster and easier to ride than regular skateboards. Longboards are fair while:
Cruising, Skating Downhill, Sliding, Transport and also Racing
Longboards come in different sizes, shapes, construction styles and features, so you will naturally need to make a decision based on your personal preferences. Most longboards range from 33 to 54 inches in length, while the widths can range from 7 to 10 inches. Users can choose from different longboard shapes like:
Drop-through, Drop Down, Swallowtails, Pintails, Kicktail, etc.
Mid-length boards tend to be the most versatile choices because they provide lots of momentum and flexibility to riders. The design of a longboard is such that is enable quick short carves or big turns and proper maneuverability.
How to Choose the Best Longboards for You
Choosing the best longboards for your personal use requires some careful planning because the shape and size of different longboards may have a different purpose. Here are some considerations when choosing the best longboards for your specific needs.
Choosing a longboard deck is an important consideration when you plan to use your longboard for getting to work, travel or class by weaving through some foot traffic. In this case, you may want a smaller to medium (33 to 38 inches) longboard since it will be easier for you to navigate through sidewalks and crowds. The deck material of a longboard is Maple, Bamboo, Carbon Fiber, Maple-bamboo Hybrid.
You will also need to consider what kind of ground you will use your longboard. Cruising usually happens on the mostly flat ground, so a medium or small drop down longboard is ideal. If you plan to use the longboard on downhills, then you may want to look at drop through boards with longer length because they provide better stability.
The longboard size you choose will entirely depend on the activities you plan. While longboards are typical between 33 to 54 inches in length, this gives you the opportunity to choose something that resonates with your personal performance and activities. They can be broken up into medium-length, small-length and long-length longboards.
Medium-length Longboards: Medium-length longboards are usually between 33 to 40 inches in length are ideal for cruising and freestyle on flat ground for most people. Teenager kid’s longboards are typically in this range, also making them the most popular choice with all types of longboarders.
Small-length Longboards: You could go even smaller if you desire. Some longboards start from 28 and go up to 32 inches. These are ideal for smaller-built, tricks riders. But if you are just getting started, then staying in the higher range of 33 inches will help you maintain a greater deal of stability.
Long-length Longboards: Longer-length longboards are usually between 40 to 54 inches in length and are ideal for relaxed rides, long range traveling or when you want to climb downhill. These are great, as long as you don’t mind lugging around a heftier longboard. Most of the pro or adult riders require such kinds of boards.
There isn’t any particular wheel that is better than another because this is a simple matter of personal preference once again. Here’s what you need to know when it comes to longboard wheels:
Most longboard wheels are constructed from a material called high rebound Polyurethane.
Longboard wheels typically range from 2.5 to 4.2 inches in diameter.
Taller wheels have faster acceleration speed, while smaller wheels have the faster-rolling capability.
The hardness of the urethane is related to the durometer (A) of a wheel.
Softer wheels will be slower than harder wheels when used on flat surfaces. But while the surface is rough, softer wheels will get faster and smoother. Usually, softer wheels have better grip than harder wheels on most surfaces. Above all longboards with longer decks are best for bigger wheels, while smaller deck work best with smaller wheels.
The truck selection for longboards is of particular importance because this enables the turn while keeping the wheels anchored to the longboard. If you’re just getting into long boarding, then you will want to choose a truck that is closest to the deck width. Such types of trucks will enable proper wheel selection while giving you a comfortable and consistent ride over flat or sloping surfaces and bent roadway. This will help you understand the truck width you need:
If you have a skinny cruising deck less than 8.5 inches, you will need a 150 mm truck. If your deck is wider between 8.5 and 10.5 inches, then you will probably need an 180 mm truck for your needs. Also, you should select soft bushing and RKP truck for essential carving and maneuverability.
Bearings are crucial when you want to retain proper movement without pressing down continuously. This is especially useful when your longboard over icy roads. The capability or a bearing is measured by ABEC rating. Using odd numbers only, the ratings exist from 1 to 9. Higher rating means more precise tolerances.
These are some important factors to consider when it comes to longboard bearings:
Smooth Ride: Since they reduce unnecessary friction, they allow you a smoother ride on the longboard. Bearings also enable the wheel to turn smoothly. In this case, you need 5 or 7 ABEC rating bearing.
Materials: Bearings are usually made from a variety of materials, including steel, ceramic, and titanium, etc. The most widely used bearing is stainless steel bearing but the ceramic bearing is the best for all kind of environment and riding style. Titanium and steel bearings are relatively cheaper than ceramics. If you keep them dirt-free, you’ll likely use them the long time. ABEC 7 to 9 bearings are the best quality in the market. Those quality bearing could be used all types of riding style.
Longboard prices vary dramatically from small budgets to expensive, depending on the specific materials you are looking for. Typically, you have two choices when it comes to buying the best longboards for you.
Not Assembled: If you’re an expert and want to build a longboard of your own, then you can buy each component individually to assemble it according to your use. This kind of longboard would be a little bit costly.
Readymade or Full Assembled: If you’re a novice, you’re probably better off buying a pre-assembled or readymade longboard. A readymade longboard will save your both money and time.
Before making a decision, take a look at the myriad of models, sizes, and styles available in the market and make a decision that resonates with your personal needs.
Choosing the best longboards for your needs is a simple matter of basic knowledge, along with the long boarding activity you’re planning. If you’re new to long boarding or simply need some help, this in-depth guide is designed to help you choose the best longboards, whether you’re buying the whole piece or only picking up some parts for assembling your new downhill or cruising ride.