Beginner’s Longboard Buying Guide for 2019 November 21, 2018 – Posted in: Product Reviews – Tags: skate
Welcome to our complete Longboard buyer’s guide, we’re going to take you from A to Z in the world of longboards so you’ll know everything you need to know before buying your first longboard (or one for a family member or friend). This is a no judgement zone, therefore we’ll start with the basics of what makes a longboard a longboard and then we’ll compare various other styles of skateboards to see if they actually fit your needs better.
Another thing you’ll notice in this guide is our components breakdown. We will discuss the various parts that when put together make up a complete longboard. Brands are another focal point of this article, which brands are the best? We will discuss the top 5 longboard makers and what they each offer to to the niche. Lastly, we’ll give you some recommendations on which boards to buys and close it out with some beginners tricks and tips to get you rolling off to a good start.
For those who don’t like to read… here are the top 3 Long boards on the market this year. We made these selections based on price, value, and overall quality.
Top 3 Longboards for 2019
What makes it a Longboard?
A longboard at its core is longer skateboard, i.e. “Longboard” or long skateboard. Other differences besides length is the various shapes available in the longboard category.
While longboard started in Hawaii with surfers customizing skateboards to create a way to imitate the rolling waves on land, The first longboards available commercially came out in the 1950’s and caught on in the California by the mid to late 70’s.
Longboards are much faster than traditional skateboards used for street tricks or park riding. Due to the larger wheels and wider axle set up longboards can be used high speed downhill bombing commonly called “free-ride” longboarding, check out this insane video!!!!
Don’t be disheartened because you’ll never have to do anything remotely close to that if you don’t want to. Many others find longboards great for leisurely neighborhood cruises and even commuting.
Components that make up your Longboard
A longboard is typically made up of 6 parts or sets of parts. First you have arguably the most important part which is the deck followed by your grip tape, trucks, bearings, wheels, and hardware.
The Best of The Best in Longboards
No matter what you want to get from your longboard these are the very best boards on the market today!
Skateboarding VS Longboarding
Skateboarders aren’t really into longboarding because of how different the two activities can be. Both consist of a wooden deck, trucks, grip tape, bearings, hardware, and wheels but the movements and skills utilized couldn’t be more different. A skateboarder is going to be concerned with technical skills and a longboarder is going to be concerned with balance and flowing movements. Because of these key differences, the physical characteristics of the two boards differ quite a bit.
Length is a major difference, a longboard will measure between 35″ and 60″ inches. On the other hand, a traditional skateboard will fall somewhere between 28″ and 34″ inches, making the longest skateboard an inch shorter than the shortest longboard. Wheels on a Longboard will also be bigger and softer than the wheels found on a shortboard. Thinking physics this makes a whole lot of sense. If you’ve been on a skateboard before you know that a rock or deep crack can ruin your day throwing you head first off the board. Larger wheels will absorb pebbles and cracks with no issues keeping you rolling. The trucks on a longboard will be lose in comparison to those on a skateboard when longboarding you need more flexibility to pull off tighter turns and maneuvers.
Longboard Riding Styles
Bombing down steep hills and freestyle tricks aren’t for everyone, sometimes you just want the sensation of wind in your face which can be accomplished just cruising down the sidewalk. You can have a ton of fun on any well paved path or trail especially if its beach side. Longboard cruising is a great alternative to going for a brisk walk! Your legs and core are all activated while kicking and steering your board.
If you think you’d get board with just cruising think about getting into Longboard freestyle. Free-styling can include basic flat ground tricks like shuv-its, fancy footwork and dance moves. What is cool about long board dancing is the element of individuality and freedom one gets from expressing themselves on their long board. No two long board dancers will be exactly the same, so be you on your board and have fun! For one wanting to get into cruising and freestyle dancing here are some of our recommended boards.
Best Cruising & Freestyle Longboards
Maintaining Your Board
The first thing you can do to keep your Longboard rolling smoothly is clean the bearings! Wheel bearings although small are really one of the main components of your board. Basically they are what make you go, so making sure they are functioning properly is key. Your bearings are exposed to harsh elements like rain, dust, dirt, mud and grime. When left unchecked a failed bearing can lead to serious issues and even injury.
To limit the amount of maintenance needed on your bearings make sure to AVOID RIDING IN THE RAIN! This can’t be stressed enough, everything on your board is adversely affected by rain water…your bearings and deck could both be ruined. Use shock pads! Those little rubber rectangles that sit under your trucks are important. They preserve the life of your deck by preventing your trucks from being forced into the soft maple wood of your deck. You’ll be surprised how much damage is prevented by using these seemingly insignificant components. Lastly, rotating your wheels for wear is a good routine to get into. Longboard wheels wear unevenly due to the variety of surfaces you ride over. Switching your wheels around occasionally will make them last longer.
Taking care of your bearings is quite easy and can be accomplished following these simple steps:
Safety First While Long boarding!
As you’ve seen early on in this guide riding your long board can be potentially dangerous, so we advise that before engaging in any hill bombing or trick riding that you wear the proper safety equipment. At the very least wear a helmet, while you might be able to shake off a scrape knee it’s never cool to risk impact to your head. Here are a few of our recommended helmets and other safety gear!
Helmets & Other Safety Gear
Longboarding can be both a fun and rewarding activity, when done properly. Be sure to always wear the appropriate safety gear and be careful when riding in uncontrolled environments. Also don’t forget to check your bolts and hardware before riding. Hopefully, you’ve learned enough from this guide to be able to make an informed decision on a longboard and maintain the board you select because that the purpose of this write up. Thanks for reading!