Longboards are essentially skateboards but are wider and longer, used for transportation purposes and for slalom, exhibition, and competitive riding. Typically, a longboard is made up of a deck, a set of wheels, bearings, and trucks in varying sizes depending on the kind of riding to be done. They may also be made from synthetic materials like carbon fiber and fiberglass or natural woods like maple or birch.
Kinds of longboards to choose from
Pintail longboards are best for general transportation, flatland cruising, and downhill bombing. They are very narrow skateboards at just about nine inches in width and extending up to 48 inches in length. Along with trucks installed at the farther ends of each side, they also have semi-slanted riser pads, allowing the rider to make deeper turns. However, because of this, beginners might find that pintail longboards may be difficult to maneuver. Lowrider longboards, on the other hand, are best meant for street riding. With decks made from durable laminated wood, lowrider longboards also have low profiles ideal for pushing and carving. Lowrider longboards also have trucks installed nearly at the tips to achieve better control and stability.
Choosing longboards: some tips
If you’re more of a recreational rider, go for decks made from natural wood. They are inexpensive yet strong enough to handle the beating that accompanies general transportation. If you’re more of a competitive rider, look for decks made from synthetic materials for more durability, since competitive riding is more punishing than recreational riding.
Longboards with stiff bushing is ideal for downhill bombing or adventure riding since they offer stability at high speeds. Softer bushing offers more control so they’re more suited for general transportation.
General recreational riding calls for steel ball bearings, while downhill skating benefits from ceramic ball bearings because they lessen thermal resistance and friction. Ceramic ball bearings, though, are more expensive.