Best Longboard For Beginners
Longboarding is one of the most thrilling sports that gives you an adrenaline rush and allows you to have some wicked fun. With longboards, you can enjoy some crazy cruising drills and regular trips to college and shopping malls. But for that, first you need to get yourself a perfect longboard. Beginners might find it pretty tricky because they usually have no idea how to pick best longboard for beginners rightly. From built to model and size to maneuverability, different features need to be considered when buying a longboard. For flawless longboarding, it’s essential to find yourself a right piece according to your skating style and comfortability. Here is a complete longboard beginner’s guide so you may not end up buying a wrong longboard.
Top 5 Best Longboard For Beginners
How to Choose the Right Longboard for Beginner
There are thousands of models and brands of longboards in the market hence it’s not easy for beginners to choose a right one. Apart from ability level, longboard styles and shapes are also needed to be considered before purchasing a longboard. Longboards that are good for freestyle might not work well with cruising or carving. You will also need to look for right longboard deck styles such as pintail and double-kick to make sure your riding style is well supported by the deck shape. Weight and length of the deck also matters when choosing a right longboard as an amateur. Being a beginner, stability is the most important factor than speed you must look for.
How to Choose Longboard Decks for Beginner
Being beginners, you must understand the difference between different riding styles because that’s what helps you to choose a right deck. Here are different styles of longboarding requiring specific decks:
Cruising and carving means point A to point B transportation that includes regular trips to college and nearby shopping malls. From flat lands to hilly roads, you can do cruising on different types of surfaces to have some fun with your group. For this particular riding style, there are many longboard deck optionsoffering different shapes, sizes and performance levels.
If we talk about shape, pintail and fishtail boards offer quick and flawless rides. Mini-cruiser is also a short 33” long deck type that is perfect for beginners and youngsters. Decks in lengths ranging from 28” to 46” are best for cruising and carving. Being beginner, it’s better to go with longer decks because shorter decks are pretty tricky to ride smoothly. Usually, decks between 32” to 42” are easy to control and suit cruisers.
Apart from length of the deck, width should also be considered following your size and riding style. The deck should be at least 7.5” wide else you will have trouble balancing. Decks with ‘w concave’ are good for cruising and carving as they allow more stability by locking your feet in a right position. Also, look for decks with more flex as they offer longer rides by absorbing the rough terrain shocks.
To buy a deck for freeride, first you need to understand this riding style. It is all about riding hills and sliding your board a lot. While freeriding, you will be doing stand-up slides, swift slides and drifting around the corners. There are different boards in market for this style of riding but to make a perfect choice, you need to consider various features including shape, size and flex.
During freeride, you will doing a lot of switching that means you need a deck that doesn’t make you feel like riding backward whenflipped over. For that, symmetrical board is the best option. Having same front and back, this deck style won’t make you feel awkward while attempting maneuvers. The drop platform decks are also pretty good for beginners, offering riders more stability and making initiating slides much easier. Whereas drop through decks will allow you to push out even more easily and spin around to do up slides.
Another important thing is flex. For freeride, something stiffer than average is a good choice. As this riding style includes speed and quick turns, stiffer decks would be more stable. As far the size is concerned, decks with lengths between 38” and 42” and widths between 8.5” to 10.5” are perfect for freeride. Anything shorter and narrower wouldn’t be stable and longer plus wider decks become quite difficult to control. Make sure, the size of longboard suits the size of your skateboard shoe pretty nicely.
Also, decks with feet pockets known as concave curves are good for freeride style. The decks with ‘w concave’ feature will offer you more grip on the board allowing you to attempt drills more comfortably and confidently.
Downhill riding style is when you’re trying to maximize the speed down the hill without pausing or slowing down. You will be bending, sitting and using hands to smoothly turn around the corners in a speedy way while keeping a sufficient amount of control. When choosing a board for this particular style of riding, you will looking for few different types of features such as the shape, length, width and concave. Due to a lot of crossover between downhill and freeride decks, you can also use your freeride longboard for downhill style and vice versa.
For downhill style, the most essential feature is the stiffness. A little flex is fine but if you are planning on more speedy rides, stiffer decks would serve better with high stability. Another key factor to look for in your downhill board is its wheelbase. You will be needing something between 25” and 30” as it will keep you more stable and comfortable. Being a beginner, it’s better to go with longer size of wheelbase and slowly work your way down to shorter wheelbases once you get comfortable.
Concave is also important for downhill boards. Unlike freestyle, downhill is more of like standard sliding in speed and you won’t be doing any flip overs or dancing maneuvers but still, those lumps and curves are essential. Directional and symmetrical boards with ‘w concave’ are usually used for down-hilling by the riders.
Coming to styles, if you are not confident to go faster, drop through deck is perfectly okay for you. Being lower to the ground, this board offers more stability and helps beginners to train themselves in maintain balance and developing control. Whereas, if you want more speed, top mount decks are the best ones to get.
Trucks play a significant role in the performance of a longboard in the terms of stability and response. When choosing a longboard for downhill style, you will be looking at different features of trucks including their width and angles.
The width of your trucks should be close the width of your deck. If both will match perfectly, the performance of your longboard will be flawless. If trucks are little wider or narrower than decks, it must not create any bigger problem. But when it comes to downhill style, it’s better to go with wider trucks as they offer more stability during high speed whereas narrower trucks are more responsive and less stable. Usually, riders use 10” or 180mm trucks for downhill and freeride style.
When it comes to choosing between standard kingpin and reverse kingpin for downhill, reverse kingpin is the best choice to make. Standard kingpin trucks are fine for street riding because they generally come in narrower width. Whereas, reverse kingpin trucks are most commonly used by riders because they offer responsiveness at slow speeds and control plus stability at high speeds.
Bushing seats are also important to consider when choosing trucks for your downhill longboards. Tight bushing seats restrict the movement and turns of trucks hence pretty beneficial for riders who are into downhill style and panning on to push their speed with stability. As far baseplate is concerned, we recommend you to set up the back truck around 40°for stability at high speeds while front truck can be somewhere close to 50° for better responsiveness. Once you’re done being a beginner, you can go for precision trucks as well that offer advance level performance for downhill style.
Soft wheels are considered to be the best match for longboards for a very good reason. If you are riding on a smooth and plain concrete surface or grinding handrails and ledges, soft wheels will roll faster and smoothly with better grip than hard wheels. Considering different characteristics such as shape, size and placement, you will be able to find the perfect wheels for your longboards.
Most longboard wheels come in the size range of 64-80mm while 70mm wheels are most commonly used by the riders. Larger wheels have slower acceleration but a higher top speed and roll well on uneven and cracked surfaces. Whereas, smaller wheels setup nicely and offer better acceleration but slower top speed. It’s also better to consider your truck setup before choosing a wheel size to avoid wheel-bite.
Once size is decided, now check out the lips of the wheels. Sharper lips means more grip as they grab the road pretty well and don’t break the track. For downhill, sharp lip wheels are good to go with. But if you are planning on some freestyle sliding, you will be needing rounded lips as they roll well and stand nice around for you.
Next comes the contact patch of a wheel that directly makes contact with the surface by rolling smoothly. Although most commonly preferred contact patches range from 38 to 55mm, you can find a wide variety in the market ranging from 29 to 70mm. The wider contact patch offers more grip hence good for downhill whereas narrower contact patch has less grip and preferred for freestyle.
You will be also considering the durometer of the wheels. Harder wheel with 83-88a durometer typically slide faster whereas softer wheels with 75-80a durometer slide much slower. It’s good to stay between 78a and 80a as these durometers offer medium grip, roll better and slide finely. Apart from durometer, wheel’s urethane formula also affects its overall performance. The Urethane characteristic allows you to decide whether the wheel is good for downhill or freestyle as downhill formula offers more grip and durability. The shape and size of the core and its placement also play a vital role in improving the performance of the wheel.
Top 5 Best Longboards for Beginners
1. Atom Pintail Longboard, 9.4 x 39.0-Inch
This longboard is perfect for beginners who are planning to start with cruising style. Featuring pintail shape, it has maple laminated deck that has full coverage of grip tape at top side. Its aluminum trucks with 8.5 inches size and Abec 5 bearings offer smoothest and flawless rides. Coming to wheels, it has 65mm and 78a wheels along with Urethane formula. Deck shape is just perfect to prevent wheel bite and bushing is good enough for starters. Considering its price, this longboard is surprisingly amazing and much cost-effective. The best part about this board is that wheels spin for a longer time and you will be amazed to see how much distance you can cover with a single kick. It’s undoubtedly a decent longboard and highly recommended for beginners as well as pros.
2. Quest Super Cruiser
Here comes one of the top trending longboard for amateurs who are planning to do some freestyle riding. This classic Quest 44″ Ultra Cruiser Longboard Skateboard will take you smoothly in style wherever you will ride it. It’s great for regular use to get to class, get around the town and cruising along the sidewalks. Its high quality features maximize durability and optimal performance. It comes with rugged and lightweight 6’ aluminum trucks and flawless reverse kingpin truck setup. Its components also include precision ABEC 5 bearings and hollow 4mm risers and wheel wells to prevent any “wheel bite” on extreme turns. This longboard also features seven ply super flex bamboo and hardwood maple deck for long lasting use and undisturbed rides.
3. Rimable Drop-through Longboard (41-inch)
This is a drop through board that comes in 41 inch length and 9.5 inch width. It’s a perfect piece for beginners to get for freestyle riding. Featuring cold press 9 ply full maple laminated deck, this longboard has 7 inch 180mm aluminum trucks that are light in weight and setup easily. With 70X51mm PU wheelsand 85A hardness, this board offers more stability and responsiveness hence can be used for downhill as well. It also provides control to the riders with its ABEC 11 bearings at a very high speed as well. Whether you’re planning on craving, cruising, freestyle or sliding and flip-over tricks, this board is just perfect for these all sorts of disciplines. Considering its price, quality and all features, this piece is just all-rounder and hard to beat!
4. SCSK8 Professional
It’s one of the best cheap longboards available in the market. The deck of this SCSK8 Professional longboard is made up of 7 ply maple and pro black grip tape is finely applied to its top side already. The maple construction makes it a little flex hence it’s good for cruising and carving. It has 70mm PU wheels and aluminum manufactured 7” trucks. It’s a very decent board for amateurs and can also be used by pros by making some advancements. It also has precision ABEC 9 bearings that do not wear out soon. It rides faster, smoothly and offers sufficient stability. Its wheels are a bit slow but then again, for beginners it’s better to start from slow and eventually learn their way down to speedy wheels.
5. SCSK8 Natural Blank
This is another pintail shaped longboard that is cheap in price and high in quality. It is a 7 ply maple constructed board with 70mm PU wheels. The deck is already covered with black pro grip tape hence you will not be required to worry about finding a right grip tape. It has 7” trucks made up of aluminum and pretty light in weight. This longboard is pretty easy for beginners to learn due to its simple features and smooth ride. You can also loosen or tighten its trucks as per your choice to enjoy a better slide. Wheels roll smoothly and pretty good for tricks and flip-overs. It is overall a good piece beginners and even pros can use to enjoy cruising and freestyle.
Although these 5 longboards are currently rating as top trending boards for beginners, you can also check out some more boards here, available at amazon.com at surprisingly cheap prices and in pretty good quality
With this complete guide, beginners can now find themselves some best longboards for flawless sliding and riding. Every longboard comes with different features and offers different level of maneuverability. Hence, it’s important that you consider all features and your style of riding to decide which longboard has the ability to serve your needs well. Also check out our list of top 5 longboards for beginners as we’re sure you will find at least one of them to be the most suitable.