When it comes to the selection of longboards for great riding experience, one must take many factors into consideration.
They include the components of a longboard and its characteristics, the rider and the riding surface. When it comes to longboards, the most important factors are usually the deck, wheels and trucks. The riding surface is important in determine which kind of longboard is best suited to the surface.
Take your body into account
For a great ride, it is paramount to keep the rider in mind. This is because the height, weight, riding styles and skill levels of a rider all affect the riding experience in a great way. Weight is an important factor especially for heavier and taller riders.
Riders who are tall and/or heavy have to consider the way height and weight affects stability, acceleration, momentum and maneuverability when selecting a longboard.
When it comes to selecting longboards for a heavy rider, the durability and reliability of the board is one of the most important factors. The board must be sturdy and strong enough without undergoing too much deformation.
It should also handle predictably whenever the rider steps on it. Heavier riders accelerate slower due to their weight. However, once they are speeding, the can achieve higher speeds than lighter riders due to momentum.
The ability to make tight turns is usually desirable at high speeds.
Selecting a longboard for a big rider
Longboards for big riders have usually been sturdy with little or no flex. This has changed with the use of new materials in the construction of longboard decks such as fiberglass and cork. Decks with 8 plys and above are best suited for heavy riders and one can never go wrong with a 9 ply deck. This offers little flex and for riders weighing over 250 pounds can result is bumpy riding.
Selecting a deck with maple and bamboo can provide some flex and make for a smoother riding experience, especially important for commuting and cruising longboards. Fiberglass and bamboo decks are also great alternatives for heavy riders around the weight of 200 pounds.
A cork layer is featured on some decks and is great for increasing the durability of the board. It also makes for a smooth rider whatever the weight of the rider. This is because of it shock absorbent nature and the fact that it protects the bottom of the board.
More to think about
Another great issue that heavy riders face is the trade-off between the height of the deck from the ground and wheelbite. This is especially so when it comes to freestyle, freeride, commuting, cruising and for long distance longboarding (LDP) requirements.
One way that heavier riders can enjoy both stability and avoid wheelbite is by selecting decks with wheel flares, wheel wells and wheel cutouts. Risers and wedges are also a viable way of avoiding wheelbite
Most heavy riders are also on the taller side. This can raise their center of gravity which combined with the rider’s momentum when riding can easily throw them off the board. The deck should therefore feature concaves and grip tape with a rocker being desirable.
The decks selected should be longer and wider than lighter riders would normally go for. However, the most important consideration should be the wheelbase and thee effective foot platform (EFP). The wheelbase selection should ensure the rider is stable while also being highly maneuverable to account for the greater momentum and higher grip generated by heavier riders. The EFP should be large enough to accommodate the rider comfortably.
Selecting trucks for a big rider
The most important factors when selecting trucks should be strength, durability and maneuverability. Trucks meant for longboards for heavy riders should be sturdy and durable enough to handle the force they support. The trucks should also be highly maneuverable to ensure that heavier riders can make turns easily even when traveling under high speeds and momentum.
Depending on the riding style, the mounting of the board is important. For heavier riders, the mounting of the deck on the trucks does not affect stability as much for heavier riders and emphasis should be on maneuverability. This is because the weight of heavier riders makes for great grip with the riding surface and a relatively low center of gravity especially if the rider is not so tall.
This makes even top mounted decks ideal for downhill riding for heavy riders. Drop through mounted boards should ideal feature wheel wells to ensure there is no wheelbite.
Selecting longboard wheels for a big rider
As stated earlier, the force generated by heavier riders provide sufficient grip for a stable ride. Wheels attached to longboards for heavy riders should be relatively hard and small to medium in size. Harder wheels ensure that the wheels are not compressed too much by the rider’s weight and that wheel grip is not too much to make the ride unstable.
At the same time, wheels that are too hard will make for an uncomfortable ride. This is because the momentum results in one hitting obstructions harder and small cracks and obstacles feel even larger and even cut the board from under the rider.
Wheels with a diameter of around 70-75mm are ideal for heavy riders. The durometer rating for heavier riders is around 80A works well for most. Bushings are also important, with 90A+ bushing working well for heavier riders. Having bushings with a 3-6 higher rating in the back wheels typically makes for a more stable and controllable ride.
Great longboards for a heavy rider
The characteristics listed are mainly meant to be rule of the thumb as opposed to immutable laws. The way a board is put together and component quality can vary the best boards for heavy riders. Listed below are some great longboards for a heavy rider.
Sector 9 FaultLine Longboard (39.5 Inches)
The Sector 9 39.5 Inches FaultLine Longboard is great for commuting, freeride and downhill riding. The symmetrical deck features a deep concave, wheel cutouts and a rocker.
This makes the 9 ply maple deck longboard easy to control, stable and eliminates wheelbite. Provides for an amazing ride on Gullwing Charger II trucks especially when the deck is top mounted. Works well with 70mm Race Formula wheels or 73mm Race Formula wheels with a durometer rating of 78A.
Landyatchz Switchblade (40 Inches)
The Landyatchz 40 Inches Switchblade is great for heavy riders and amazing for downhill riding. The deck is made of 9 plies of maple and two of fiberglass, making it strong and durable. Measuring 40 inches by 10 inches, it provides enough room for comfortable riding. A wheelbase of 31 inches provides both stability and maneuverability.
It features a drop down deck design which allows high or low mounting of the trucks. A concave and foot pockets further increase riding stability and comfort. Work well with 180mm Bear Grizzly or Paris V2 trucks. Some great wheels are 70mm Mini Zombie Hawgs with a durometer rating of 86A.
One can also use 72mm Divine with a 78A rating for cruising and commuting if it doesn’t result in too much grip and wheel compression. This is a great all-around and an amazing downhill board. It is without a doubt one of the best longboards for heavy riders.
These are just some of the great longboards available in the market for big riders. Other great longboards for heavy riders include the Landyatchz Drop Hammer, Yocaher Professional Speed Drop Down Stained, Arbor Cypher, Yocaher Punked Stained Pintail and the Krown King to name but a few.
Making a great selection is a matter of understanding how different factors affect the riding experience and selecting the longboards that can deliver the desired experience. By selecting great longboards for heavy riders, bigger riders can maximize on their larger momentum.
Strong boards mean riders can enjoy extremely high speeds and tight without worry. This makes for an amazing riding experience.