Longboards are a great form of transportation for experienced riders and advancing hardware technology offers more variety than ever before. Longboard designs and materials have evolved, and if you’re in the market for a new longboard, you’ll want to check out our top five picks.
Longboards are mostly associated with cruising and used for commuting in city type environments. Riders prefer the flexibility of traveling by longboard, and also prefer not having to worry about bulky bikes or scooters.
What to Look for In A Longboard
When you’re an experienced rider, you may know exactly what kind of performance you want from your longboard. However, with new materials and designs emerging as brands release new products, it’s a good idea to consider these components when choosing your next longboard.
Overall Deck Length
Longboard decks can range from 28-46 inches with the general idea being that the longer the board, the more experienced the rider. While this does not always hold true, and some riders prefer slightly shorter boards, there are also longboards for kids that are appropriately sized for their stature.
Whichever length you end up choosing, keep in mind that the deck length can greatly affect the performance and feel of the longboard as you ride it. Make sure to give any boards you are considering buying a thorough test run.
Experienced riders will probably prefer a longboard that has a deck length of 42-46 inches, but many mid-range boards between 32 and 42 inches are also popular choices. If you are an experienced rider, don’t let the deck length deter you from trying a longboard as it may end up being more comfortable for you.
Shorter decks may also be suitable for those who have shorter legs or prefer to have their legs closer together when they ride. Generally, a wider stance helps to ensure stability, but for those more modest in stature, it can make for a less comfortable ride when going over bumps and cracks.
Deck Material and Weight
While there are a variety of different materials that can be used to make a longboard, some will be better than others concerning feel and weight. While some cruisers prefer a heftier ride, those who are interested in tricks or speed may feel differently.
Plastics have come a long way in the last ten years, and new varieties are now being used to make longboards. While not all kinds of plastic are suited for use in longboards, the right types can add a different stiffness that others materials are unable to replicate.
Bamboo is another common material which delivers the ultimate balance between flex and rigidity, without any of the weight associated with plastic or wood. Bamboo is also durable, comfortable to work with, and can potentially be repaired in some situations.
Maple and some other hardwoods are used to make longboard decks, and the results can be visually appealing. Some maple decks are left unfinished to display the natural beauty of the wood. What is intriguing about maple is that it strikes a good compromise between stiffness and rigidity that many riders find incredibly appealing.
Carbon fiber is another option, but it can be one of the most expensive materials for making longboard decks. Carbon fiber has excellent strength and durability, which appeals to many riders, but some love the flex and general movement of the board and hated by others.
Carbon fiber is also super lightweight compared to other materials being used to make decks, and this can change the overall feel of the longboard and how it performs. A rider might get more speed out of a lighter longboard, but responsiveness and turning may be different than on boards with heftier decks.
Bearings, Wheels, and Bushings
Riders will often switch out the bearings, wheels, or bushings on their longboard to use their favorite combination that offers them their most preferred ride. While not all riders will do this, longboards come with various hardware replacement parts that can be installed with few tools.
The important part when it comes to bearings, wheels, and bushings, is that you’ll want those components to be high quality. Low-quality components can put a rider at risk when they fail, or when they unexpectedly underperform on the terrain.
Wheels, in particular, are known for something called “wheel bite” which is the leading cause of injury for many longboard riders. Selecting broader and harder wheels might help, but the overall feel of the board is typically the prominent element to consider.
Quality components will have a much longer life than their knock-off counterparts and will also ensure that you are safer when riding on varied terrain. Of course, you’ll want to check your hardware regularly to ensure there hasn’t been any damage and replace parts that show any wear and tear.
Personal Riding Style
While there are a variety of longboards out there for different kinds of riding, considering your style before buying your next board is essential. If you prefer a laid-back ride designed for smooth sailing on flat city sidewalks, you’ll want to avoid longboards built for tricks and freeriding.
Longboards may look quite similar, but the intricacies of the hardware and deck can make a massive difference to how the longboard performs, and how long it will last. It’s also important to consider that finding a comfortable deck is a worthy endeavor, even if it means you need to switch the hardware.
It’s possible to buy the longboard deck separately from the hardware, but we recommend finding a great setup that is assembled. Not only is it easier to find a longboard that you love that is already joined but tracking down individual parts can be a hassle that doesn’t always pan out the way you’d like.
Longboards come in a variety of prices, and you may be tempted to buy a more expensive board without trying it out. Experienced riders strongly recommend testing your board in person before buying it so that you can get a feel for it and confirm that it’s the best fit for how you ride.
Many riders also swear that the cost of the board doesn’t represent quality, and these individuals prefer to buy a lower cost board that they can upgrade with specific high-quality parts of their choosing. Whether or not you choose to do this is up to your preference, but many of these longboards come with high-quality hardware that is the best available.
Our Top 5 Longboards
Longboards come in various sizes and with different hardware, but the feedback on these boards as a whole has been very encouraging. After sifting through the data and buyer feedback, these are the five we’d most recommend.
1. Playshion 39 Inch Drop Through Freestyle Longboard Skateboard Cruiser
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The Playshion Drop Through Freestyle Longboard is technically recommended for beginners, it’s also an excellent option for experienced riders looking for a reasonably priced board. The Playshion comes in several different designs and features a flat 8 ply maple deck.
This longboard is meant for cruising and isn’t well suited for tricks. The durable 50mm wide wheels are made from Polyurethane and vary in color based on the design printed on the deck. The combination of flex and durability in this longboard makes it an excellent option for experienced riders who are more likely to put this board through its paces day after day.
The Playshion weighs 7.7lbs, with a deck length of 39 inches. The 180mm trucks are made from lightweight yet durable powder coated aluminum and feature wheels with a diameter of 70mm. With the drop through design, riders can expect their center of gravity to be lowered somewhat which offers increased stability when riding on a variety of terrain.
The Atom Drop Deck Longboard comes with bold designs and an ultra-low riding stance that makes it ideal for downhill conditions. The design makes commuting around town more comfortable and keeps excess strain from consistently pushing off of the board.
The maple deck is fully laminated and comes with axles that are 245 millimeters. With the unique shape of the deck, wheel bite is virtually eliminated, and you can look forward to 9.6 inches of leverage every time you take a turn. This performance means you can turn faster without experiencing nearly as much wheel bite.
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All of these features considered, the Atom is deemed to be an excellent value for the price, and it even comes with some essential accessories. Riders will notice the 80S Grip tape that makes this board feel responsive and the Reverse Kingpin trucks are a sign of genuine quality.
The Atom is one of the more substantial boards, weighing in at 10.14 pounds, so it may not be best for those who plan to carry their board around town for the day.
The Quest comes in a slightly different tear-drop shape, and the deck is a blend of maple and bamboo. The brand touts that their longboards are made to higher specifications than other brands since they are designed for California boardwalks and other demanding conditions.
With a 44″ deck, you can expect a significant amount of stability from this longboard, and the 7-ply deck also comes with high-quality ABEC 7 speed bearings. The lightweight 7-inch aluminum trucks round off this fantastic board, and the Mars brand makes almost all of the product in-house.
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The open wheels design is part of what makes this longboard unique, and coincidentally it does a great job preventing wheel bite that is often the cause of injuries. At 7.5 pounds, this board is far from too heavy to carry along and offers excellent value for the price.
Some riders report being disappointed with the turning radius on this board, but many remain unbothered by it. For those that take issue, the remedy is upgrading the bearings and possibly the trucks to your favorite brand and giving the board another ride. These two upgrades seem to fix any turning issues riders reported and increase the performance of the board.
4. Yocaher Punked Stained Pintail Complete Longboard
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The pintail design of the Yocaher gives it a distinctly vintage feel that can’t be ignored with the deck boldly stained in black. While this board is an excellent option for both beginners and advanced riders, both will enjoy the 9-ply maple deck and the medium amount of flex they can expect.
The ABEC 7 Chrome bearings help to ensure that this longboard moves along smoothly, and the deck comes with Black Widow Grade 80A grip tape to provide the best grip while at speed or doing tricks. The heavy-duty trucks made from aluminum alloy are also a welcome addition to the 70x52mm wheels by Q-Ball and give this board a satisfyingly stable feel.
The deck of this board is flat with no concave shaping, and it comes with a wheelbase of 27″. This board is best for flat terrain that is relatively smooth but is also best suited for riders that like to move along at a brisk pace.
5. Aeroactive Longboard Skateboard Cruiser 45 Inch
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The Aeroactive has a vintage surfboard shape and a more extended 45-inch deck which gives it an overall smooth feel that is perfect for city commutes. The high-quality kingpin trucks and slick bearings keep this board moving and responsive while the smaller wheels help to maximize performance.
The unique thing about this longboard is that it is well suited for advanced riders and some beginners because of the quality materials and smooth ride. While this board doesn’t have a low-rider stance, it is still a popular favorite for those that like to cruise at an astonishing speed.
This longboard comes fully assembled and features a multi-ply maple deck for enhanced durability. The construction is intended to be super solid and even features a kick tail for the occasional trick. The deck is also finished off with clear sand like material which enhances grip and allows riders more controlled movement while on the board.
Last update on 2022-01-23 at 05:10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API