When first wanting to get into the riding of a skateboard or longboard you may be having a hard time choosing which one you should start with.
You may think that one may be easier than the other or more suited for someone new.
Well, after reading this article you will learn that both are best for different purposes, so even though they are both boards with wheels, they aren’t that much alike when it comes to choosing between the two.
You will learn the purpose of each type of board, and then with that information, you will be able to determine which one you should start with.
First, we will touch briefly on what longboards and skateboards have in common.
You will see that it isn’t that much. The main thing that they have common is that they are both boards with trucks and wheels attached to them.
At first look, the only difference seems to be the length of the board. That is why people try to decide which one to start with thinking that one might be easier than the other to learn.
Though, you have to think about why you want to ride the board in the first place and then decide which one to start with.
You should read the what is different between skateboards vs longboards to know exactyle.
If you want a board to do tricks, then a skateboard is the way to go.
This is because being shorter makes it easier to maneuver. Also, skateboards have harder and smaller wheels that are designed to grip the ground more. This is good when riding on smooth surfaces, such as a skate park, but not so good when riding on a bumpy street. That is because while riding on a street the hard wheels will cause you to feel every bump making the ride unpleasant.
Skateboards are also designed to do tricks better with how the kicktail is, and how they are weighted. It is much easier to be able to smack down on the end of a skateboard and get it up in the air. The smaller size also helps with keeping it under control while it is air born and spinning it around.
The grip tape on skateboards is also somewhat different from longboards. Skateboards are designed to be more grippy so that you can do tricks.
If you want a board to cruise on and get around, then a longboard is the best option for you.
This is because the longboard has big soft wheels that absorb the bumps in the road and help to not transfer them to board and your body. This means you can ride a longboard around for hours without having the same fatigue as a skateboard.
Longboards also build and hold momentum better. This means if you want to learn how to ride without kicking the ground, then you can do that easier with a longboard. A lot of longboard riders learn a technique called pumping that can transfer the energy of their body to the board to keep it going. We have an article here to learn how to pump better.
You still can do some tricks on the best longboards as well, even though that is not the main purpose. Balance tricks are easier since it is longer and you can get a better stance. Grinding and air born tricks though are a lot harder. This is because longboards are normally flatter and don’t have curved edges to kick the board up with. As for shape, longboards have more variety.
You can get symmetrical boards or none symmetrical, and you can get boards of various heights. If you want to customize your board longboards, have more options, but this does not mean that skateboards can’t be customized. They can, and most riders do. That is one thing about the world of skateboarding is making the board your own.
One last type of riding that fits into the cruising area and that longboards do a great job at is downhill riding. This type of riding is focused on speeding down hills and getting as fast as you can while maintaining control. Longboards being longer helps with the control at top speeds and having the softer wheels again really helps because a bump won’t send you flying off.
Some may be wondering if their frame or body make a difference in which is easier to ride and the answer is maybe.
Some people are just naturally more coordinated than others. If you are shorter, then you can probably ride both types of boards with comfort and not tell much of a difference.
If you are taller though, then the extra length of a longboard might make it easier to get a comfortable stance that helps you balance.
Since you can spread your feet on a longboard more, it might make it easier for a taller person. This isn’t to say that tall people can’t ride skateboards though, they can, but it just may be harder.
Also, some of you may be wondering if one type of board is safer than the other.
The answer is no, not really.
Both boards are safe, especially once you are experienced. When first learning you will fall, but that isn’t the board’s fault.
No matter what type of board you have you will probably fall a few times. Safety does come in with the riding you are doing. Learning tricks is more dangerous than just cruising, so some people might say longboards are safer than skateboards, but that isn’t the case.
When it comes to safety the most important thing is to be using the right board for the right thing and also to take your time learning and don’t be a beginner trying to do Tony Hawk type tricks.
So as you can see picking between a skateboard and longboard comes down more to the riding that you are going to be doing.
If you still can’t decide which type of board you should get first, then the real best answer is just to try both out.
Hit the local skate shop or skate park and see if you can ride some different boards. This will give you a feel for what is comfortable for you. What is comfortable for one person won’t be for the next. You just have to learn yourself and eventually learn your board.
It is a process, but once you have started, you will get to the point that you have a board specifically customized the way you want it and it will be just for you.
You may be a beginner with longboards or you may already be a popular pro who can pull off numerous tricks with a swing of his feet. Whatever status you have in the universe of longboarding, there is one thing you can’t deny. Longboarding is not as safe as it should be.
Most people who practice with a longboard or even skateboard for that matter do it on the roads. Roads are full of so many cars and vehicles. There are pedestrians and potholes. There are too many hazards and as a result, there are a considerable number of fatal accidents.
In the United States itself, the infrastructure for all major sports is great. However, Longboard and Skateboard, which are the third most popular sport amongst teenagers, have limited dedicated arenas. The charm is there, but not the facility.
If there were as many skate parks that cater to the budding long boarder, then the injuries would be reduced and it would be a much safer sport to follow.
If not the roads, then kids usually pick parking structures in the after-hours and cause hysteria for the guards on duty. Sometimes they get caught and busted and sometimes they escape. Nevertheless, it is not the ideal situation. It is a problem that has a simple solution: dedicated skate parks.
There are not many dedicated parks for skateboarding and longboarding, but it is not like there are none. You should try and locate a skate park. Chances are, you will find one if you look sincerely for it. Once you have found it, take your gang skating there and you will never miss the parking that you trespassed into.
Leaked oil and dangerous poles and pillars will not be present. However, the structure would give you all the thrill that you seek.
Take your longboarding to places that are made for longboarding. Stay away from the vehicles and the danger they bring with them. Skate parks are the answer to many longboarding problems.
Long boards are associated with the wheels on which they roll on when you ride. Obviously, wheels are there for good reason and they must be soft to roll faster while riding the board.
Also, the riding experience must be smooth and seamless offering better grip on the board and this is all because of good quality wheels. Soft wheels give more control over the board and in this guide; you will get to know the types of wheels that are to be considered.
The shape, size, urethane properties, durometer and the core placement plays a major role to find the best type of long board wheels. Let’s start with study these factors in detail:
The very first thing that comes in mind while choosing the best longboards wheels is the size that you want. Almost all the wheels are around 64-80mm in diameter where 70mm is common. The basic thing behind the larger wheels is that they accelerate slower as compared to smaller ones.
But they have higher top speeds with easy roll over on cracks and garbage etc. On the other hand, smaller wheels do fit on more long boards but they have slower top speed.
You have to check whether the wheels cause wheelbite and they fit perfectly. Reverse kingpin trucks offer more wheel clearance so go for these. Having cut outs on the board is good as any wheel size fits on such boards. And if there are no cut outs, you have to add a ¼ inch riser pad so that the wheels can accommodate wheels larger than 70mm.
It is the outer part of the wheel that means the edges of the contact patch. Shape of the lips tells you much more about the way a board rides. The wheels offer more grip if the lips are thick or sharp whereas if the lips are rounded, they break down easily offering smoother transitions from grip to slip.
For free riding, rounded lips are fine and for downhill riding, sharper wheels are preferred.
But if your purpose is to use your board for transport purpose, then lip style is not that important. In fact, if you are not going to slide the wheels, lipped wheels are perfect especially when you have to carve deeper. Also, lipped wheels don’t make you lose traction at all.
Durometer rating is associated with the hardness of the wheels. Having a durometer of 75-88aa means that the long boards are very soft as compared to those wheels that have a rating of 90-101a. Basically, lower durometer wheels are grippier and also roll slower whereas higher durometer wheels offer lesser grip and also roll faster.
Hard wheels slide faster than typical wheels and also have a tendency to slow you down less thus making you glide across the road surface easily. Soft wheels slide slow and also slow down faster and these wheels are often referred to as buttery wheels that are quite easy to control.
For all types of long boarding, 78a and 80a are the most common types of durometers. It is because they have a nice blend of perfect grip, slide ability and rolling speed.
No doubt, durometer makes it very easy for you to narrow down your choice regarding wheels, but let me tell you that not all 78a wheels perform equal. Urethane formula of the wheels explains the performance of the wheels on which the longboard rides.
Grip, slide ability and durability are all different in every urethane formula and it is you who have to decide which one to pick. The perfect way to know about urethane formula is by trying various formulas to know the preferences. Get a feel by trying various urethane formulas.
Many companies have mentioned different formulas for freeride and downhill. Basically, it is seen that freeride formulas are much easier to slide and faster too. Also, they offer less grip and durability as compared to downhill formula.
Shape, size and composition etc. are all the factors that decide the performance of the long board wheels. If you add large diameter to the wheel, it will roll faster and it is a major benefit for downhill, transportation and freeride. It is because wider composition of the core supports the urethane that further makes the wheels more durable.
Also, it supports even wear out of the wheels. If the core is made of hard material then it will enhance the rolling speed of the longboard wheel thus making it slide faster. For downhill racing, easy and quick slow down is quite easy and this is the reason why the companies pay special attention to manufacturing the wheels with perfect size and core.
If you ask me, I would like to tell you that RAD wheels are greatly designed keeping all the factors in mind. Such wheels have durable grip, faster rolling speed, slow and even wear out. So make sure to focus on the core size and shape.
Core placement of the wheels are divided into three categories and I would be explaining the main category i.e. centerset. Other two categories are: offset and sideset. Each category has its own performance and sliding attributes.
Centerset category is that in which the core is placed directly in the wheel’s center. This style has the most perfect grip than other two. Grip is perfect because a large inner lip is created while riding and also the wheels offer longer life as they can be flipped inside out.
These wheels have even wear out and this is the major reason why freeriders prefer centerset placement of the wheels. Also, the centerset core performs great when paired with round lips and small contact patches.
I hope you guys understand well that which factors are important to look in the long board wheels while buying one. So whenever you plan to buy a longboard, consider these factors to make a smart purchase.