Well, it's a form of skateboarding that involves cruising, bombing hills and getting to and from places on a long board that is 30” to 57”.
Traditional skateboarding is more about tricks. There are some longboard "hybrids" that allow a skater to perform street style skateboard maneuvers while maintaining the cursing and carving ability of a longboard skateboard. Longboards also have soft, bigger wheels ranging from 70mm-78mm. Longboard specific trucks are also necessary for the setup.
A beginner is going to want a longboard that's stable. Some boards have an immense amount of flex in the deck, which allows the rider to be closer to the ground for a more stable center of gravity. However, newbies needn't worry about that just yet. Here are some key features when considering which longboard to buy:
The shorter boards in the 30" - 32" range are perfect for youngsters or shorter people who are new to longboarding. For obvious reasons, they will be easier to maneuver for people with less mass. Super long boards are perfect for intermediate to advanced skaters who will be cruising at higher speeds. As a general rule of thumb, the shorter boards perform best on flatland and mild downhill scenarios. The shorter length allows the longboard to carve a sharper turning radius, giving the rider greater maneuverability. It's also ideal for weaving in and out of foot traffic or making 90 degree turns on sidewalks. For campus transportation and all beginners alike, choosing a longboard that's 40" in length or less will be best.
There are three main board styles from which to choose - cruising, freeride and downhill. Cruising boards are without a doubt the best longboard for beginners. For those interested in downhill riding or downhill racing, consider purchasing a stiffer board for stability. Freeride longboards are more for the advanced longboarders, combining downhill with boardslide styling. If this is your thing, stick with drop-through and drop platform decks for increased stability. Truck mounting really comes down to preference, however, those new to downhill may prefer the drop through mounting style to be closer to the ground and maintain a lower center of gravity. Those interested more in sliding may prefer a top mount board. The recommended downhill longboard length is 37”-43”.
With a lower center of gravity, a flex drop through board makes these longboards more stable and easier to push. The flex also acts as a dampening system to help avoid discomfort on longer rides.
Making it easier to navigate sidewalks and crowds, these medium-length longboards are popular because their smaller size and the addition of a kick tail.
Great for carving, these top-mounted cruising boards have a lot of leverage over the trucks. The wheels are placed at the very ends of the deck giving them an increased sense of stability over traditional cruisers.
Still not sure what longboard you should get? Check our article and video about how to choose the right longboard.
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