Longboarding is surfing on wheels and quite popular among the youngsters who want thrills and enjoy the adrenaline rush that is synonymous with this edgy sports. Surely, you enjoy it too but do you know how to buy the best longboard?
Remember, every game needs top gear to give you quality time and enjoyment. Now there can be two scenarios:
- You are a newbie and haven’t bought a longboard before.
- You ranked up and now want to upgrade to an intermediate or pro level.
In both cases, you should know what you are buying and whether it is the best longboard for your level of surfing. It is going to be a little tricky if you don’t know anything about which longboard is best for you.
But fret not; this article is going to help you with just that. Let us surf through a detailed overview of the best longboard to buy for the kind of longboard experience you want.
The best longboards buying guide
While buying a longboard, the first two things that should be kept in mind are:
- Price range
If you are taking longboard surfing as a hobby and still doubtful about the longevity of your enthusiasm for the sports, then it’s no use spending a large amount on its purchase.
You should search online and get any reasonable bargain for cruising or beginner level longboard. Bigger boards are better for the stable ride for beginners rather than narrower ones so while getting one, bigger the better!
Your riding rank
Longboards come in different styles and shapes depending upon the level of surfing you do. So if you are a beginner, don’t get a longboard built for the pro; that would be a huge mistake. Here, are four main riding styles.
Cruiser: This is the most basic kind of longboarding and mostly used by people who are new to this sport. This longboard is used for carving and long-distance cruising. These boards are built to provide the newbies with a stable ride to make them used to it.
Downhill: This kind of ride falls into the intermediate category. Downhill means crouching down and speed down the hill. You have to know about braking in this kind of ride.
Freeride: This is for the pros. Expert riders surf down big descents and also slides down the curb hops. They are experts in controlling the longboard.
Freestyle: They do every trick in the book; carving, sliding the big descents even dancing. Beginners can adapt any style they like but not before practicing a stable ride first.
After you decide about the kind of riding you are into, comes the shape of the board.
The shape of the longboards is also very relevant in determining the ride’s quality and style. There are two types of shapes that longboards come in.
- Twin (Symmetrical)
Directional: Longboards with this shape are used for cruisers or beginners, downhill and sometimes, for freestyle surfing. Pintail longboard is a directional longboard and is best for the beginners, helps them move fast and forward.
Twin: Both sides of this board are the same whichever way you want to choose to ride, it doesn’t make a difference. It is best for Freeride and freestyle longboarding. It is the best shape if you are trying to learn 180° slides.
The deck is the component that supports you on top and its style matters for the different kinds of rides you enjoy. It is categorized based on three things.
- Ability to apply brakes
- Pushing on flat ground.
Featuring the above-mentioned qualities, the decks come in three types. We are going to discuss them to make your choice easier for your type of riding.
Top mount: It is the most common and traditional kind of deck that is mounted on top of the trucks, making them higher and more controllable.
It gives you a higher center of gravity and makes carving and cruising easier. It is used for cruising, carving, freeride, downhill and freestyle.
You will find it rather inexpensive than other kinds of decks available in the market.
Drop through: The trucks of this deck are mounted through the deck making the level of ground nearer to the foot. This help applying brakes during rides much easier. It is, therefore, deemed best for long-distance Freeride, downhill, and commuters.
Drop deck: This deck drops even further than the Drop-through it is molded in a way that it provides a low sense of gravity. It is more popular among the downhill longboarding daredevils.
Double drop: These are the decks with Drop-through trucks and Drop deck style combined; making is the most stable board available in the market right now.
The foot is as near to the ground as possible. These are the most expensive one among the lot, so if you are a hard-core longboarding surfer for life, go for it.
Board flex is the flexibility of the board being used in a longboard. It is determined based on the material used, how it laminated, its length and amount of is concave it showcases. The degree of flex comes in three levels. Here is a chart depicting the different degrees of flex and its ideal application.
|Soft||Best shock-absorbing quality on the bumpy surface. Highly unstable at medium to high speed.||Mellow cruising (Beginners) and can perform a few tricks|
|Medium||Speed with stability. Gives a spring-like character and provides lively carves and pushes. Good shock-absorbing quality||Best for carving. Cruising at medium pace and best for commuting|
|Stiff||Best for medium to high speed providing stability. Can’t negotiate bumpy roads that well.||Best for downhill speed riding and freeriding.|
Whatever are your preferences, how to buy the best longboard can only be understood with a keen understanding and knowledge of the different longboard designs and brands out there. Remember, there is always a great fit for your particular riding style; you just have to look carefully.