Getting your first longboard is a big deal. Theres so many different kinds of boards it definitely can be overwhelming trying to choose one. This guide will go over all the basics to longboarding tech such as flex, concave and length to help you make a good decision when the time comes.
So a longboard is super long right?
Wrong. Longboards come in all shapes and sizes and some are even shorter than your regular short board. It’s more about a combination of things, especially the wheels which are soft and usually larger (60mm+). The larger size allows you to go faster and roll over cracks and rocks easier. The trucks are also important since there wide and can turn a lot better than a shortboard.
You have to figure out where your going to be riding and what size longboard will actually be practical. If your looking for a campus cruiser definitely look at something under 40 inches as the smaller size will be easier to carry and ride around pedestrians with. Longboards under 35 inches are going to be super responsive and twitchy which is great for thrashing about but can be a pain for a beginner to learn on.
Flex: Flex is basically how much the board gives underneath your weight. There are longboards that range from completely stiff (the Landyachtz Evo and the Sector 9 Bomb Hills) to super flexy (the Loaded Dervish and Vanguard). Flex is a personal prefrence and really depends on the type of longboarding your going to be doing. If your looking to do downhill then go for a stiff board and if your looking to pump around town then go for a board with some flex. I personally love a board with a nice snappy flex to it such as the Insect Mosquito or Rayne Hustler, which are great fun to carve and pump with.
Deck Design: The design of your deck greatly how it rides. Topmounts such as the Sector 9 Cosmic series are great for carving and getting around the city on since most have a kicktail making it ideal for riding the sidewalks. Also know that the wider the board is, the more leverage you’ll gain for turning making it easier to slide.
Concave: Most longboards are either flat or concave. A board with concave has a U shape to it when looking at it from eye level. This shape allows you to keep your feet locked in while doing hard carves and slides. It’s definitely a nice thing to have concave, I feel it really allows you ride more aggresively especially when carving and doing downhill. (Some boards with concave are the Landyachtz Evo, Sector 9 Kommi, and Rayne Nemesis).
Basically there are lots of great boards out there to choose from. It all depends on what discipline of riding your interested in and how comfortable you are on the board. Definitely go for a longer board starting out, it’ll make learning go that much easier to keep you stoked. Remember you get what you pay for so don’t skimp out on a cheap board. Also many local skate shops don’t carry a good selection of longboard gear, usually it’s the basic Sector 9 or Gravity longboards which are good but it’s nice to see what else is out there too. I recommend looking at online retailers such as Daddiesboardshop, Pipelinesurf or MileHighSkates to name a few.
Anyway heres a basic list of categories and the longboards I feel would excel for that situation.
Campus Cruisers: Loaded Ceviche, Ladera Purple Heart, Sector 9 Rasta N8V, Sector 9 Juel Tudor, Gravity Bruce Logan, Landyachtz Bamboo Dingy
Carving and Cruising: Loaded Dervish and Vanguard, Gravity Hypercarve, Landyachtz Urban Assault, Rayne Hustler, Rayne Timeline, Rayne Nemesis, Sector 9 Goddess of Speed, Earthwing Superglider, Earthwing Widerglider, Insect Mosquito
Downhill: Landyachtz Evo, Landyachtz DH Race, Rayne Nemesis, Rayne Hellcat, Rayne Demonseed, Rayne Avenger, Sector 9 Bomb Hills, Sector 9 Kommi, Insect Lightning Bug, Insect Firefly, Kebbek (all of them)
Sliding: Earthwing Bigfoot Drifter, Earthwing Corchia, Gravity Segio Yuppie
If your still having trouble picking the right longboard, give me a shout and I’ll see if I can help.