How to Choose a Longboard? Beginners & Expert

A poor-quality longboard wouldn’t do you any good, even if you are a beginner. It takes a lot of thinking to buy the best longboard. If you are a beginner or an expert rider, you need to consider many aspects before investing your money in a longboard. For instance, you will first choose a longboard according to your riding style. Comfort and confidence are the two most important things you should experience while riding a longboard.

If even one is absent, the ride wouldn’t be as you wanted it to be. It is, therefore, necessary to choose one according to your style. Moreover, you should also select the deck type, wheels, bushings, trucks, and much more wisely so that you can have the ride of your dreams. We are here to talk about choosing the right longboard to have your money invested in the right thing.

Choosing a Longboard

If you are struggling to buy a longboard for yourself, you can always tell your requirements and style to the one selling it. However, that wouldn’t suffice in many cases. You don’t have to worry about that; this article will help you choose the right longboard. Listed below are the different styles of longboards according to the rider’s requirements.

Features to Look For in a Longboard

Size of the Deck/Wheelbase

The measurement of your longboard’s deck has a crucial role to play. The length and width vary from longboard to longboard. However, a longer and wider deck and wheelbase allow for a stable ride. A longboard with a longer wheelbase and deck is best for beginners because they get ample room to move their feet. In addition to that, you can experience less wobbly rides with such longboards. However, if you are an expert rider, you can choose shorter longboards for smaller radius while turning.

Height of the Deck

Deck height affects the style of how you ride. It refers to the distance between the ground and the deck. You should always go for lower deck heights if you are a beginner. It is because the longboards with lower deck heights are easy to ride and control. You can quickly push your longboard in the forward direction, and it allows for easy braking as well. Other than that, such longboards also allow for a stable ride. Meanwhile, according to longboarding history, many people prefer longboards with higher decks because they give them more speed due to the bigger wheels; this has now become the current trend.

Mount Type

There are two general categories of longboard based on the mount type. One is the top mount, and the other is the drop-through mount. In the top mount longboard type, the trucks are screwed directly to the deck. Such longboards are most preferred by the pro rider because top mount longboards allow for extreme responsiveness and sharper turns. On the other hand, drop-through longboards have trucks that are dropped or mounted through the deck. Such longboards are great for beginners because they have lower deck heights and allow for excellent stability in the ride.

Durability and Profile of the Deck

When buying a longboard, make sure you get one with the most durable deck. The deck holds your weight; therefore, it should be tough and strengthened. Maple plies and bamboo are durable, making the best decks for longboarding. Also, you always need to make sure that the deck of your longboard has a good weight capacity.

As far as the profile is concerned, there are two general types. For instance, one is called cambered, and the other is called rocker profile. Cambered longboard decks have upward curvature that allows for easier turning on the sharp turns. Cambered longboards also will enable you to perform certain tricks with more efficiency and convenience. For instance, these longboards are used for pumping and carving. On the other hand, the rocker deck longboards are bent downwards and are excellent for speeding. These longboards have lower deck distances; therefore, they are best for beginners.

Truck Type

Trucks are the essential components of a longboard. A longboard comes with two trucks, and there are two types of trucks that have different roles to play and affect the style of your ride. Those types are traditional kingpin trucks, also known as TKP, and reverse kingpin trucks, also known as RKP. TKP has a low profile, and they come with a hanger set up for the grinds.

In addition to that, TKP is best for downhill riding and made for people who love to perform tricks. On the contrary, RKP sits higher and accommodates almost all riding styles, for instance, downhill racing, freestyle riding, tricks, and much more. They are also incredible for sharp turns.

Bushings

Bushings are also highly crucial components without which a longboard cannot perform well. It has a considerable role in correct turning; there are many types and shapes of bushings that affect your riding style. For instance, there are harder bushings and softer bushings.

What types of bushings you choose depends on your preference, weight, and riding style. For example, harder bushings are great for stability, more resistance in turning and tricks. On the other hand, softer bushings are best for speed and easy turning. If you prefer downhill riding and long-distance commuting, you should choose softer bushings.

Wheel Diameter

Wheel diameter affects the speed of your ride on a longboard. The diameter of longboard wheels is measured in millimeters. Smaller wheels are best for performing tricks and slower speeds. You can get a longboard with smaller wheels if you are a beginner. On the other hand, wheels with greater diameter are excellent for higher speeds. If you are a commuter or a downhill racer, you will need a longboard with bigger wheel size.

Wheels Lip Profile

Wheel lip profile refers to the outer shape of the wheel, and there are two wheel lip profile types: rounded lip profile and square lip profile. Square lip wheels touch the ground entirely, allowing for better traction and grip. Such wheel type allows for more stability in the ride. On the other hand, round lip wheels are great for sliding and turning. Therefore such wheel types are excellent for carving, cruising, and downhill racing.

Bearings

Bearings are the essential components of a machine. Bearings allow for a smooth and efficient motion. You should be very keen on the bearings because they will affect your riding to a greater extent. Standard bearings do fine only if you properly maintain them.

By that, we mean cleaning your bearings regularly with effective cleaning methods, and heavily lubricating them will prolong the life and integrity of your longboard’s bearings. Ceramic bearings are also very famous as they need less maintenance and provide excellent performance. However, they are pricier than the regular bearings, so it’s not a choice for everyone.

Choosing A Longboard Based On Deck Shape

There are many types of deck shapes that are specifically made for different riding styles. The shape of your deck might seem the least important factor to you. However, it has great importance for many people because the deck shape can have a great impact on the riding style. Listed below are the deck shapes for different riding styles.

Double Kick Popsicle

Such longboards have longer and wider decks on which the rider has an ample deck surface to move on. This type of deck is best for beginners. Other than that, this type of longboard is incredible for people who perform ollies and other tricks. Its design makes it an excellent skateboard for regular cruisers and freestyles riders.

Pintail

As the name suggests, pintail longboards have one rounded edge and one protruding pin-like edge. Pintail longboards are top-mounted ones, which makes the deck distance higher. These longboards are best for effective turns. Other than that, pintail longboards are excellent for carving and cruising. You can cruise across the town at incredible speeds.

Kicktail Longboards

If you love performing tricks and turns, kicktail longboards are the ones for you. Apart from convenient turning and speed, you can perform amazing tricks using a kicktail longboard. For instance, getting up the curve, and obstacles, are something that can be easily and effectively done with a kicktail longboard.

Double kick

Double kick longboards are for the people who perform freestyle tricks. For instance, Casper, rail-stand, big spin, shove-it, and much more. It comes with an upturned nose and tail, preventing wheel bite, which most riders dread. Double kick longboards are not for beginners; instead, it is for the pro riders. You can also perform free-rides on it owing to its shape.

FAQs

What are the most important things you should consider before buying a longboard?

Buying a good longboard isn’t as easy as it might seem. It would be best to consider a few things before spending your money on them. For instance, you should consider deck types, length, and width. Other than that, you need to consider wheel size, its durometer, truck shape and type, bushing, and many more things.

What kind of longboard should a beginner get?

The type of longboard you want greatly depends on your riding style and skill level. However, if you are a beginner and want to get a longboard, you need to get one with a bigger deck and longer wheelbase. Such a longboard allows for a smoother and much more stable ride. Other than that, you should go for a longboard with less deck height so that you can push it forward and apply brakes easily. Lastly, bigger wheels will provide a stable ride, so a beginner should start with bigger wheel size.

Is longboarding hard to learn?

Longboarding isn’t a strenuous activity to learn. It is even easier than skateboarding. Due to the longer decks, and bigger wheels, longboards allow for more control over it because of its size. Other than that, you will experience increased stability and smoothness in the rides owing to their bigger size. The wheel size allows for increased speed, so longboards are suitable for relaxed and long-distance commuting. There are longboards for commuting that we have reviewed, please have a look!

Final Thoughts

You might think there isn’t much to consider before buying a longboard; however, you should consider many things before getting your hands on one. Longboards may appear to you as plain boards with wheels to take you from one place to another. However, the dimensions, wheel size, wheel hardness, truck type, bushings, deck height, and length play a vital role in the ride. You should always pay attention to the details and invest in the right product to match your riding style. We have listed some of the factors and features to consider before spending your hard-earned money on a longboard.

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