Longboarding is a great sport that is growing in popularity. It is fun for beginners and experts alike. Here's a good reason why people can't get over it:
But before you get started, let's explore what makes a longboard great and how to choose the right board.
So what makes a great longboard?
Here are a few factors to consider when choosing the right longboard:
Deck length - Longboard decks range anywhere from 28 to 46 inches. Shorter boards work for shorter rides or kids, mid-range boards of 32-42 inches work well for almost anyone, while the longest boards of 42-46 inches are best left to experienced riders.
Deck material - Deck material affects flexibility. Maple, bamboo, carbon fiber and even plastic are commonly used materials.
Wheels - Wheel diameters range from 65 mm to 75 mm. They also vary in hardness and softness which is indicated by the durometer. Hard wheels are made for speed while softer wheels are shock absorbent, delivering a smoother ride.
Bearings - These are what make your wheels spin well. The spining speed is measured by “Abec.” The higher the Abec number, the faster and more precise the bearings.
Trucks - These connect the wheels to the board. Quality is the key, so you want them made of strong, sturdy material.
Bushings - Truck bushings are rings that are usually made of rubbery polyurethane, that fit around the trucks' kingpin. They are the rubbery rings that fit around the kingpin. Bushings help the board maneuver and turn well. Bushing tightness is really a matter of rider preference, and can be easily adjusted.
Your Riding Style - Are you an easy rider or a daredevil who loves racing down hills? Are you a commuter or a hobbyist? The deck shape, drop of the board, and all of the other factors will depend on how you want to ride your longboard.
We considered all of these important factors and compiled a list of 10 longboards that offer great features and variety of options for your personal riding needs.
|Product Name||Made In||Size||Weight|
|Santa Cruz Skate Mahaka Rasta||California||9.9 x 43.5||9|
|Penny Skateboards Complete Longboard||USA||6.5 x 36||8|
|Sector 9 Bamboo Lookout Drop Longboard||USA||9.62 x 41.12||8.7|
|Playshion Freeride Freestyle Drop Through Longboard Complete||USA||9.1 x 28.5||7.7|
|Rimable Pintail Longboard 41 inch||USA||9.5 x 41||8|
|Quest Super Cruiser Longboard||USA||9 x 44||10|
|Quest Skateboards Zero Dark 40 Downhill Style Drop||USA||10.3 x 40||7.5|
|Atom Drop Deck 41 inch Longboard||Colorado||10.63 x 41.73||10.14|
|Aeroactive PRO Complete Longboard||California||9.5 x 45||9|
|Yocaher Professional Speed Drop Down Stained Complete Longboard||California||9 x 41.25||8.35|
This board is manufactured by Santa Cruz who have been producing California-made longboards since 1973. Santa Cruz was founded by a surfer, and the laid back, rasta motif of this board reflects that. You can also see the surfer influence in its pintail, surfboard shape. This particular board has a deck made of 100% North American maple. This board is marketed as a “cruzer,” coming in at 43.5 inches. It has a high quality, sturdy deck, however it may feel stiff, so that’s important to note if you like a more flexible board.
Watch out as there are some confusions over trucks that are on the board. We found out that although Bullets are advertised, it arrived with Road Rider trucks. You may want to consider replacing the bushing with the trucks attached to the board. However, that is up to you.
This is a great board for beginners and can be easily modified for more advanced riders. They might want to change the bearings for more speed. This board would appeal to a diverse crowd of longboarders, novices and veterans alike.
After speaking to people about their ride and trying the board it certainly has met our expectations.
Now this 36 inch board is a bit different, sporting a deck made from a secret plastic formula which is supposed to give the board durability and a very controllable flex. The deck also has a special concave design and a grip coating. Here are some stats:
Between the plastic material, shorter length, and light deck weight, this board might be better suited for younger riders. That being said, it would be a great starter board. It would also be great for someone transitioning from a shorter skateboard to a longboard.
Our riders found the ride to be very smooth cruise-like, however, there were also some vibrations in the ride. The 83A durometer is pretty solid, so it can pick up some speed if you want to. It was also quite stable on cracks and bumps in the pavement.
The board has big wheels making travel safe and smooth. The camber on the deck provides extra support for the ankle joints. we are not very impress with the plastic deck as chips and chunks break off easily. That said, the trucks and bearings could use an upgrade.
We were generally pleased with the product in terms of specs and performance as it met many of our expectations. We think the board is great for people who are not riding long distances, which is usually the category where many kids and teens would fall. The board also has a very toy like look which definitely appeals to the younger crowd.
This Sector 9 board has a classic vintage surfer look. The company began in a La Jolla backyard in 1993, and was inspired by a longboard converted from a snowboard. The Sector 9 company knows longboarding and take their boards seriously.
The deck is just a bit over 41 inches, making it a longer board in the mid-sized range. The deck is made from bamboo which is a great natural material that gives a nice flex and is relatively lightweight. This bamboo deck is also an eco-friendly choice for those who look for green products. This should come as no surprise because Sector 9 is a very environmentally conscious company.
The deck comes with clear Sector 9 factory grip tape which some riders said easily gets dirty and wears down fast. But the real appeal of this board is the flexibility of the deck and its low ride. The deck also has a slight camber, and is good for carving. The board is advertised as a great choice for commuters who use their longboard as a serious mode of transportation. The drop-through, and low profile make the ride pretty stable and help with balance. The bearings seem to be pretty good and the wheels have a good spin.
One thing my friend loved about this board is that the ride is very steady and enjoyable. The trucks might need to be tightened depending on your preference, but it is tough to find anything that’s wrong with this board. The drop through design gives it a steady, balanced, and controllable ride. We think the board is ideal for any skill level, for a classic, laid back, west coast longboard experience.
Playshion is a Chinese company that produces a variety of boards, scooters, and accessories. This board is popular among those who like a freestyle board. It has a 39 inch deck with a drop through shape constructed of 8 ply birch maple which has a subtle concave shaped deck. The board aims to combine flex with sturdiness and seems to do a good job delivering a really nice ride.
The Playshion board has some features that make it a good choice for a wide variety of riders. The trucks are powder coated aluminum. Riders reported the 70 mm wheels gave a nice, stable ride that can still pick up plenty of speed. The speed is probably good because the bearings are of high quality with a fast spin. Between the trucks, wheels and bearings, the wheel set-up is what gets most riders excited about this board.
This is a freestyle board, and the drop through design lowers the center of gravity for the rider because the board rides lower to the ground by “dropping through” the wheel set-up, not sitting on top of it.
It can handle bumps and cracks well but does not allow for serious tricks. It appeals to new riders who are not very particular with the specs. All in all, everything about this board seems laid back and easy, which are precisely the qualities you might want in a longboard.
This board offers a drop through low ride with the look of a pintail deck. This is on the longer side at 41 inches. The deck is made of 9 ply maple. Rimable does offer other deck designs as well, so if the stripes do not really speak to you, you will find a deck you like.
Rimable is an overseas, mass producer but is still a reputable company which uses quality parts and materials on their boards. We see this board as a good birthday or holiday gift for someone interested in trying out a new sport.
We have mixed experience about the bearings while boarding. While we are quite happy with the speed get from lubricated Abec 9s. But others seemed to have problem with the bearings on heavy load and felt that it need to be replaced. However, so far from what we have gathered as well as personal experience goes. The ride is rather smooth and enjoyable.
The grip tape needed a bit of trimming out of the box but is not a big deal, especially since grip tapes need to be replaced pretty often on most boards.
We recommend this board mainly for beginners. Even though this is a budget board, the Rimable, is probably every bit as good as the more expensive Penny boards we have already looked at.
Quest is an American company that knows what skaters and longboarders want, and takes their craft seriously. This immensely popular board is a good option for more intermediate to advanced riders.
The value of this board is all about the deck. A true longboard at 44 inches, its deck is made with high quality materials like luxurious artisan bamboo combined with sturdy multi-ply hardwood maple. The result is a board that is strong enough for even the heaviest rider.
It has a surf like ride to match its surfboard, pintail design.The reason this board is awesome for more seasoned riders is that the trucks are mounted like a traditional, shorter skateboard. This is allows for deeper turns and precision. At the same time, this board lives up to its cruiser name, making it great for commuters. Some riders reported that the ride is a bit wobbly for a cruiser, but with the longer length and more advanced style, it may not bother an experienced boarder.
What this board gives you in strength it loses in flexibility. This is not the cloud-like ride of the cushiest cruiser. Although, it allows for some sharp turns, quick maneuvers, and nice carving, so you won't get bored riding it.
The trucks seem pretty basic, it may need a little work in terms of hardware customization if to be used by professionals. Beginners on the other hand can enjoy riding it right out of the box. This Quest board also seems to work just as well for heavy riders weighing up to 200 pounds as it does for kids and teens. It has a lot of possibilities and gives riders a really fun ride.
Here is another great board from Quest. At 40 inches and with the drop through style, this board offers a different experience from the other Quest board have we just tested. Though this board is sometimes marketed as a skateboard, for our purposes it's definitely a longboard.
The deck is 40 inches long and the setup is a drop style which gives that classic longboard cruise-like ride. This particular board is made of “cold climate” 7 ply hardwood maple. Here are the stats:
This board rides every bit as well as the more expensive ones, but the turn radius is not very good. It could still deliver an enjoyable ride despite some minor issues which can be easily fixed with a few upgrades, like new bearings and maybe new trucks.
This 41 inch drop style board has some real pros, and some real cons as well. The reason we chose it is because we think that it balances out to be a good choice that offers great value. This board boasts an ultra low ride, which makes it good for downhill carving. However, several riders say that they would never take this board down steep, fast hills, so the jury is still out when it comes to how this one performs on hills. The board is also seriously heavy, coming in at a whopping 10.14 lbs.
Which you may stress your arm when carrying it, so this is not a good choice for smaller folks or people who frequently carry their board. Hence, you may consider a slightly shorter version of the Atom drop deck at 39 inches, which would probably provide a slightly lighter weight.
Atom is actually a product line produced by a company called MBS. MBS is out of Colorado Springs and has been around since 1993, and they are inspired by mountain sports. MBS actually invented mountain boarding, a sport that allows snowboarders to go down hill year round. That Colorado winter sports culture is at the core of the company.
This board can use some help in the bearings department, you need to change them out or add lube if you want more speed. The out of the box setup up rides like a brick, perhaps due to its heavy weight. If weight is a deal breaker for you, this one is not your board.
This Atom drop deck board seems to be a mixed bag, but overall we are very happy with it.
This is the longest of all of our boards, coming in at 45 inches. This board has been described as a “sidewalk surfer,” which makes sense since it looks like a surfboard on wheels. This board is a great hyrbid for those who seek a cruise-like ride for travel and a kicktail for tricks. The deck is multi-ply maple hardwood and is coated with a clear sandblast instead of grip tape. Here are the stats:
The deck is very sturdy and solid, giving a lot of support for heavier riders. Still, it somehow manages to be light enough to manage tricks pretty well. The slightly smaller wheel diameter might be the reason this board stays maneuverable, in addition to its nicely balanced, top-mount style.
The main reason this board shines is its speed. The board gets good acceleration and can get moving pretty fast, so if speed is what you are after this is a solid choice. The ABEC 11 bearings obviously give the wheels a fast spin.
We think this board has a look that gives you that California coast feeling, so if looks matter, this is a board to consider. You can have a lot of fun on this particular board, with a smooth ride and really enjoyable speeds.
For our last pick, we chose a board that markets itself as a board for professionals. The Yocaher board has a deck that is 41.25 inches, made with 9-ply maple wood. This is a drop down board with a nice low ride, but it also has a pretty decent concave in the deck, putting the rider below the trucks. This lowers the center of gravity for easy balance, and a smooth, gliding ride. However, if you need a lot of flex you may not want to consider this board as it doesn't provide it. Rather it has the concave instead.
Yocaher is a company from Los Angeles that started making skateboards back in 2001. Sixteen years later they have changed their focus to longboards that can work for all riding styles. They keep a pretty up to date blog on their website which shows that they are actively interested in the sport. Here are the stats:
We find it both fast and smooth, without a lot of wobbles at high speeds. My brother's friend however had the deck board actually broke on him, which is obviously a major concern as far as quality and safety is concerned.
Still, this board remains as popular as ever with longboarders, so it must offer something that is keeping Yocaher boarders happy.
We are not sure if we would call this a board for “professionals,” especially with the reports of breaking deck boards. That doesn’t really add up, so we are not sure what makes this board for professionals. But Yocaher’s website says that they stand behind their products 100 percent, which is good to know. They also have a cool website, so they will probably be responsive if you were to run into any problems.
Editor's Pick: Playshion Freeride Drop Through Longboard Complete
After checking out a lot of longboards, our favorite is the Playshion Freeride Drop Through Longboard Complete. When it comes to the features of a great longboard, this one checks off every box. First, it offers a high quality deck with the 8 ply birch maple which gives riders the right mix of strength and flex. The design is sleek and stylish, and would likely appeal to lots of riders of any type. The trucks and bearings satisfy most riders right out of the box, and it also has great wheels with the SHR 70% rebound. We picked this because it is suitable for wide range of riders.
Runner up: Aeroactive PRO Complete Longboard
We decided we should also give you a budget pick as a runner-up, and for that, we chose the Aeroactive PRO Complete Longboard. We just loved the vintage surfboard look. The board is nice and long which gives that smooth, cruiser ride for commuters, but it also has the kicktail which will keep you from getting bored if you want to do some tricks. The kingpin trucks are great, and the super fast bearings and slightly smaller wheels give this a fun, speedy ride. This board has a unique combination of features and performance that many riders will love.
There are plenty of companies making longboards, and many of them offer good choices. However, there are three brands that we think provides very good quality longboards.
1. Sector 9 - Sector 9 produces quality boards that are conscious of the longboard experience. Sector 9 boards are rated favorably by many on a consistent basis. These boards utilize top shelf materials, strong features for seasoned riders and a reliable and enjoyable riding experience. Sector 9 boards also have a really professional look for those wanting to show that they know what they are doing as a longboarder.
2. Playshion - This brand is not a conventional choice for many classic longboarders, but we think you will hear about this brand more and more. They make a great board that is conscious of the longboarder's needs while still providing great value. They also make nice looking products. Playshion is a name that might not immediately come to mind, but this isn't a brand to leave out of the longboard search.
3. QuestQuest - is another name where you can't go wrong. Quest produces a lot of great boards which is loved by a many longboarders. Again, this brand makes boards with great materials. Quest also makes a great variety of board styles and looks, so you can look a bit more serious or show off more possibility.
Atom Drop Deck makes slick looking boards that stand out from the crowd. The visual design you get from Atom boards is top rate, and the board quality consistently holds up as well. Atom boards is also one of the highest rated choice by our testers.
Walter J. Farrell is an accountant who is very passionate about sharing his knowledge on high tech gadgets. He started AuthorityAdviser to help people know more about the products that are currently a hit in the market.