How to Choose the Right Longboard Skateboard

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Longboarding is yet another totally awesome sport that has swept adrenaline seekers coast to coast. It’s easier than skateboarding, yet still gives you that feeling of cruising sideways. Snowboards, surfers and skiers are all attracted to long boarding in addition to those who are just attracted to the freedom and chill feeling of longbaording. The wheels are softer and bigger than those of a skateboard, so it’s a much smoother ride and more “beginner friendly.” There are various shapes, lengths, widths and flexes for different rides. Once you’re comfortable on a longboard, you can really get down with carving, board slides, speed and other tricks like the peeps in this inspiring video below. If you’re like anyone who works at The House, having an arsenal of longboard styles is the way to go!

Cruiser Longboard
 The name pretty much stakes it’s claim! A cruiser board is a longboard for a means of transportation and perfect for beginners. Some are shorter, designed to easily weave in and out of foot traffic and get you to work, school, the store or for a bite to eat. If you think you’d like to bomb some hills, then opt for a longer board for more stability at higher speeds. Next, you’ll need to decide on the length, stiffness and tail shape which we’ve defined for you…

  • Deck Length – Naturally, this is the length of the board from nose to tail (in inches). A board raining from 28″ – 46″ is a great choice for a cruiser board. If you are new to longbaording, going any shorter than this will make it more difficult to learn. Unlike snowboards, length is more of a preference than a necessity. If a snowboard is way too short for your body size, it could easily break and won’t offer a true flex. Longboards are different in that the length is almost complete preference. Again, shorter boards enable one to make shorter, quicker turns and longer boards are great for carving at high speeds. If you’re totally lost on what size to get, go for one in the the mid 30s.
  1. Shorter Cruising Boards – Lengths in the 28″ – 32″ range are perfect for young riders and shorter people. However, taller people can rider shorter cursing boards if they have their skills down since it will be slightly more difficult to navigate.
  2. Mid-Sized Cruising Board – Longboards in the range of 32″ – 42″ are the most popular and recommended for newbies of all sizes. With a length between small and long, these boards are just right and can do almost anything!
  3. Longer Cruising Board – Great for longer, relaxed rides, these boards are perfect for the sidewalk or cursing the boardwalk when the surf is flat. Be forewarned, these boards can be quite heavy to carry!
  • Deck Flex – Flex is a pretty important component of a cursing longboard. The flex of the board will absorb some of the rough terrain, bumpy roads or tiny rocks. A flexy board also enables the rider to ride close to the ground, which can be quite fun and perfect for hands down 360s! This type of shock absorption will also help to relieve some of the stress on your knees and ankles. Making it easier to balance and push, riding lower to the ground adjusts your center of gravity. If you would like some flex, be sure to check out the weight range on the board.  On the other hand, a stiffer board will provide more stability. Such boards are popular for downhill longboards and are sort of the ‘original’ style of longboards. Once thing to consider is that newbies could find a very flexy board to be quite challenging to master from the start, so a stiffer board is likely the way to go!
  • Kicktail or No Kicktail - A kicktail is when the tail of the board is…kicked up a bit (think traditional skateboard shape)! Having a kicktail can be very convenient when you need to make quick turns, do tricks, and pop up and down curbs. Beginners can go either way since they won’t be using a kicktail from the start. Boards without kicktails are able to maximize the effective wheelbase (distance from one axle to the other),which allows them to be a bit more stable for beginners. If you don’t think you’ll ever be turning or doing tricks with the help of a kicktail, then opt for no kicktail.

Freeride Longboard
For intermediate to advanced longboarders, a freeriding involves riding down hills while doing technical maneuvers. Watch this unreal clip for some freeriding eye candy…

  • Deck Style – Are you ready for some boardslides on pavement while going down a concrete hill? Truthfully, any board can be set up for freeriding, but some decks are specifically designed for such a purpose. An ideal downhill deck will be longer than the average longboard and will be completely rigid for increased stability at higher speeds. Thin, flexible boards are designed for fun in the parking lot or streets, not bombing down hills! There are two choices from here – drop through and drop platform.
  1. Drop Through – For the intermediate rider, drop through decks are lighter and have a slimmer construction. Be sure to choose one with little flex since it’s not a good idea for freeriding.
  2. Drop Platform – Geared towards beginners, drop platforms have a lowered platform on the drop platform (and double drop) decks gives riders an enhanced sense of stability. It makes initiating slides much easier.
  • Deck Dimensions – Anything in the 38″ – 42″ range will be perfect for freeride. Shorter will be unstable and longer will be too cumbersome. Don’t worry about the width since it will be proportional to the length.

Downhill Longboard – For the advanced only, downhill longboarding involves riding at very high speeds and requires a lot of precision. Although it doesn’t look like they are going that fast, the dudes in the clip below clocked in at 50 MPH!

  • Deck Style – For speed, stability and precision, the majority of pro longboards (yes, there are pro long boarders!) prefer a top mount deck. Still, some are more comfortable with the lower, more stable feeling that drop-through decks offer. If you’ve been reading this entire article, you probably have noticed a theme – longboard styles vary and it’s easy to customize your ideal ride for various types of riding!
  1. Drop Through – Have you ever had the wobbles when going fast down a hill? It’s pretty scary when your board seems to uncontrollably shake beneath your feet taking your legs with it. A drop through deck offers incredible stability since it sits lower to the ground offering the rider a more stable center of gravity. To mix things up a bit, a drop through deck can be mounted the “normal” way (underneath the deck as opposed on the sides of the deck) for a top mount ride. If you’re new to downhill racing, drop through is the way to go.
  2. Top Mount – Like a traditional skateboard, top mount trucks attached to the bottom of the deck. This mounting style give the board more grip when speeding around turns. When sliding is necessary to slow down for tight corners,  a top-mount board will give better performance. Keep in mind, however, there are many skills to master before obtaining the benefits of a top mount board. Unless you’re a seasoned longboard who is comfortable riding at very high speeds, a drop though would be a wiser choice.
  • Deck Dimensions – For downhill, decks in the length range of 37-43″ will be ideal. A shorter deck will be unstable at high speeds while a longer deck will lack maneuverability. Oh the choices. Beginners should stick with longer setups until they are accustomed to bombing down hills. Still torn? Stick to something around 40-41” to be on the safe side. You can’t go wrong with that size range!

Now for the fun part. Shop around for your new board (or boards) on The House’s extensive selection of longboards!

37 Responses to “How to Choose the Right Longboard Skateboard”


  1. Is there a certain brand you would recommend?


  2. gufrocks on said:

    It depends on what type of riding you want to do. There’s a different board for flat land cruising, bombing hills, carving, and tricks. What do you see yourself doing the most?


  3. harperrr on said:

    what kind of songbird could i get for flat land cursing?


  4. harperrr on said:

    * longboard


  5. Whats the best board for stand up sliding??


  6. Hi! I’m a newbie. I like the Landyachtz Switchblade but don’t know what size ( in length) to get. It’s either the 38″ or 36″. I’m 5′ 3″ tall and everyone tells me to get the 36″ but I like the graphic on the 38″ better. Idk what to get. :/ I know for a fact the 40″ is too big. I’ve stood on one. But haven’t on the others.


  7. My seven year old wants a longboard for Christmas – he is a beginner – any recommendations on size?


  8. I would suggest a shorter long board around. such as the Arbor Woody Cruiser or the Cliche Statue Of Liberty Longboard Complete. Feel free to give our sales staff a call they will help you find the perfect board. 1-800-409-7669.


  9. a 38″ would work great. If you looking to do more down hill you could ride a 40″.


  10. For sliding it really comes down to the hardness or durometer of the wheels. Your going to want to get wheels that have a durometer of 85a-90a.


  11. I would suggest the Loaded Vanguard.


  12. Hey I’m new to longboarding, and I’m thinking about getting a board. I really like Gold Coast Classic Red/Black pintail, it’s 44″ and I’m 12 and
    i’m 5′ 5″. Any suggestions?


  13. gufrocks on said:

    The Gold Coast Classic Longboard Complete is well, a classic. The shape and wheel base are idea for cruising flat and bombing hills. The Gold Coast Classic is a very well rounded board that can handle basically anything!


  14. Mahmoud on said:

    Hey I’m new to long boards like many, but have no clue what brand, flex, size, etc. I should be looking at. I am currently in University and would like something to get around campus (sometimes can get a little crowded so I might need something that can maneuver well) but also something to cruise with, to get from one spot to the next (usually kilometers apart). I am 6 feet tall if that helps haha. I would appreciate any advice considering I’m kind of lost.


  15. For pushing around campus I would suggest a smaller board with sidewinder trucks. I would go with the Sector 9 Puerto Rico Bamboo.


  16. I’m new at longboardimg and want to get a board. I want a pressure tail board but not sure on what size and all. I’m 5’4 and want double suspension to for smoother riding! Help!(x


  17. Morgan Klostergaard on said:

    Im a beginner 5’9 and will be riding mostly on the side walks and bike paths what would you Recommend


  18. I just ordered a 34″ cruiser board with a kicktail. The board for me would be a means of short range transportation in lieu of a bicycle, a way to get in some aerobic exercise while getting from the MRT stop to my final destination, and a way to turn a long boring walk into a short fun ride.

    I actually wanted a very long longboard for the surfing feel, and for maximum efficiency in Long Distance Pumping. But I live in a major metropolis and need to dodge pedestrians and ollie up sidewalk curbs. I just didn’t think a 47″ pintail would cut the mustard in terms of practicality. So reluctantly I settled for a much shorter board.

    For the record, I’m a baby boomer who was part of the first skateboard craze of the mid 60s. I was never a fan of the swimming pool and half pipe craze of the 70s. By then I had graduated from college and was long out of skateboarding.

    I actually concocted a crude 36″ long cruiser board of my own design back then, using 5/8″ plywood, a jig saw, and a wood rasp. I even put the front truck close to the nose, but the rear truck pulled farther away from the tail, so that I could kick the nose up when I wanted ollie up curbs. I don’t believe the term “ollie” had been invented yet!


  19. I really like boards with sidewinder trucks for cursing the streets. Another good brand to check out is Loaded. If you want to get into sliding let me know and I can send you some other options.


  20. Now when you say “double suspension” are you talking about board with sidewinder trucks?


  21. Jared on said:

    I want to do sliding and be able to carve and stop-sliding. Do I want a drop-through or a drop-deck?


  22. Dana on said:

    You do not need a drop deck or drop through for sliding/stopping. Although it can help by lowering you center or gravity, which is great for high speeds. Personally, I ride a Sector 9 bamboo pin and have no problem sliding.


  23. I’m 5’0″ complete newbie board recommendations??


  24. Jeada on said:

    My long board was really thin and I just use it to go to school and ride around but it kind of just broke in half so is there any brands you would recommend with thicker boards?


  25. gufrocks on said:

    Long boards and cruisers vary in thickness – some have 5 ply some have 8 ply and those plies can vary in thickness too. In addition to that, some boards use bamboo and other maple wood.

    Some of my favorite brands are Sector 9 and Gold Coast. Check the links out below…

    Sector 9 » http://www.the-house.com/vendor-sector-9-skateboards.html

    Gold Coast » http://www.the-house.com/vendor-gold-coast-longboards.html


  26. gufrocks on said:

    The Gold Coast Glyph Cruiser is pretty awesome! Check it out HERE » http://www.the-house.com/skcgcgly322513zz-gold-coast-longboards.html


  27. basketball 2 on said:

    What kind of board would be best for going down hills on a tar/gravel road?


  28. basketball 2 on said:

    Im 5 foot 4 inches and I have a hilly road, what board would be best to get. Like what style

    and size? I am a beginner.


  29. gufrocks on said:

    Drop through longboards with BIG wheels. With a drop through’s lower center of gravity you’ll be more stable at high speeds.


  30. Long board can increased stability and shred-ability, which works best for cruising! Your given the ability to expand your horizons, that’s why I love it. Boards in the length range of 28”-46” will be a good choice for a cruising deck. The best way to find the right board for a beginner is to test a few out and see what you feel most comfortable on, since there are many brands, lengths, shapes, and wheel sizes to choose from.


  31. I have been skating for years. Never got good at tricks just cruised. Then last year I found longboarding got a sector 9 41 in bamboo drop thru board and absolutely loved it. Now as I’m getting better I want a more responsive better turning board. But as my board wobbles out at 30 or above I’m worried about jumping right to topmount. I ride a cruiser with 14 in wheelbase that I’ve gone probably 20 on and find I have not problem. Any way I’m stuck between arbor high ground and landyatchz switchblade 38. If it’s the flex in my board making it wobble I’ll go top mount for sure. And I’ve gotten use to the wobbles and just relax tuck and ride them out. Which board would you suggest? Find it extreme cumbersome for garages and tight fast paths. Also so much board I have a hard time sliding as I have a pretty small frame and


  32. My 12 years Son owns a Mini Cruiser and he has become quite proficient in it. In my opinion small sized skateboards give that speed that you won’t get on a lengthy board.


  33. My 12 years Son owns a Mini Cruiser and he has become quite proficient in it. In my opinion small sized skateboards give that speed that you won’t get on a lengthy board.


  34. Have you check out the Arbor Axis? it might be a great fit for you… For Down hill I have been really digging the Db Urban Native. I have never got the chance to use a landyatchz Switchblade so I cant really speak about it. As for the the wobbles have you tried tightening up your tucks? Also picking up some wheels whit a higher durometer might help you slide a little easier.


  35. im 5’7 and looking for a beginner down hill board.any suggestions for a deck ?


  36. Matt on said:

    I have been long boarding for a while on a Stella Kicktail, it is more for tricks. Now i am thinking i want a drop through that i can power slide on but also has some speed to it. i was looking at the Stella Double Dose, and the Stella Dictator. i was wondering if those would be right for what i want? i also snowboard so i know sizes, so that is not an issue.


  37. I’m looking for a beginner board for cruising around campus, I wont be doing much of downhill cruising since my campus is pretty flat all around. I’m 5’5, and from what I read drop through is popular for stability, but that’s all i know. I just don’t know brands or stores to look for. Also if anyone knows any stores that aren’t really expensive that’d be great too.

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