There is a difference between skateboards and longboards. You might find it a casual thing to talk about but when it comes to real use it really makes a difference. As both boards are practically designed for the purpose of surfing for enjoying the weather freely and roughly. If you want speed and short distances maybe skateboards will go better with you. But if you are planning something for long trips with greater speeds, longboards are a better option.
When it comes to skateboards they offer better maneuverability. but when it comes to stability they are less accommodative than long boards which are less maneuverable. Now when it comes to longboards you need to know the best length for cruising. Longboard sizes do matter as different lengths are suitable for different people. Some longboards are the best size for beginners and some are best for pros.
In this article we are going to tell you how to choose the best size longboard for yourself.
If you are thinking of buying a longboard, especially when it is your first longboard. You really need to consider a few features like you need to check it’s length it’s width, its flex,its shape and style. Moreover, you need to consider the activities you need to perform with your longboard. If you are looking for some activities like commuting, street carving or hill bombing, longboards can be your perfect choice.So if our target is to perform tricks and turns, I guess you need skateboards.
In short you need to check different types of longboards. Majorly there are four types of longboards considering the style of longboarding. A few of those are for cruising, downhill ride, freestyle and freeride. Definitely these categories vary for various longboard experts but that can be the simplest division. Definitely we need to check a few further details but let’s start by checking deck specs and their effect on the performance of the longboards.
Length The Longer The Stable
As far as the length of the board is concerned you need to keep in mind that the longer your board is you will get a better stability on the roads. On the other hand if you have a smaller board that will be small in size you will get less stability. But when it comes to maneuverability smaller decks offer better services. So with smaller decks you get better control on your turns and tricks.
Width The Broader he Better Stability
Beside the length of longboards the width rules don’t change much. As when you have a broader and wider deck you get better stability on the road. So when it comes to the length of longboards it is something between 22 to 45 or more inches and when it comes to the width, smaller boards have 7 inches width, whereas a bit bigger one has width up to 9 inches.
It’s not only length or width of the long board which you need to check before purchasing, you also need to consider the board flex. Because the ability of absorbing shocks and providing a luxury ride depends upon the flex of the board. The better board flex provides better energy and comfort to ride.So when it comes to flex you can either get fully flexible, slightly soft, a fully siff flex type in your body. Again the choice depends upon in which you like to ride your longboard.
Note: You need to keep in mind that maneuverability and stability goes in opposite directions. When you get better stability you lose a bit of maneuverability. So for longboards for beginners I suggest you should choose broader and longer boards.
After considering the length with and flex of your board you also need to make sure which style of board you will prefer to ride. For instance either you want to ride on a higher deck or you prefer something which is a bit lower towards the road. You can either choose a drop deck or a drop through deck or top mount one or a double drop. Each style offers a maximum to minimum level of stability. When the stability level is high you need a lesser scale to ride the board and when the stability level is low you need higher skill to ride the board.
All the above mentioned types have different pros and cons. For instance when you opt for the lower drop type you need to consume less energy in pushing the longboard or even when you need to stop it. But if you prefer the top mount style the deck is installed above the trucks. Whereas in drop through style the trucks are installed through your board. But for the drop decks the trucks are at the upper level and the deck is placed under it.
While considering longboard sizes or best size longboard you cannot forget to check its shape as well. Shape criteria is also important if not crucial while determining the best size for beginners. Actually the shape of your longboard will determine the limitations of your longboards and the possibilities which you can do with your longboard. The first option is for those who like cruising and downhill longboarding. And the other option is for the freestyle riders. So using a symmetrical or redirectional one really makes a difference.
If you’re planning to ride down steep slope streets or you wish to cruise within your campus while you are on a way to attend your lecture… Or you just want long distance traveling on your longboard on smooth and flat stretchy roads… or you want to visit a neighbourhood county for all these you need stability and comfort.
Now if you consider only the length of anything that is between 28 inches to 46 inches long it can work well for you. The shorter boards can help you in making quick turns and even go smooth on sharp angles. But when it comes to longer boards, cruising at higher speed will still stay perfectly stable on the road.
It really makes them cool but if you are looking for the best size longboard for beginners I suggest you take something that is no less than 32 inches. Or if you have a kid who wants to ride the board I suggest you get a shortboard of no more than 28 inches for his heart’s delight. But for the tall riders it’s better that they opt a medium length especially if they are not very much confident of their riding skills.
As I mentioned earlier that length of your board will determine its stability so for beginners 32 you or more is fine length. Now no need to borrow a board form your friend for cruising go get your own that is within the range of 32 to 42 inches. And it will provide you a purpose of cruising and relaxing. Moreover, if you can go more than 40 inches you don’t need to be afraid that it will be too big for you to handle because your weight will be very much accommodated with the length of the board.
To enhance your knowledge on longboard deck shapes, Let’s check a few more details….
When it comes to deck shapes it’s a bit of a technical issue to understand and their shapes interfere a lot in their functionality. One is called directional deck shape and the other is called symmetrical or twin deck shape. These both shapes can be used easily by experts and even beginners.
Directional Deck Shape
Directional deck shapes allow the long road to move in one direction and that is forward. If you have seen pin-tail designs which are very famous these are the best example of directional deck shaped longboards. But if you want to do a ride switch these boards are not going to be very much compatible.On the other hand, if you are looking for a board which can assist you in down hill rides and simple cruising… Directional boards can go well with you and may come up to your expectations.
Symmetrical Deck Shape Longboards
Symmetrical or twin-shaped longboards are different from directional ones; they have almost the same shape from both ends. These are very much compatible for 180 degree slides so if you are a freestyle rider symmetrical or twin deck can be a best choice for you. Because it restricts you less and lets you ride as per your feel and wish.
To enhance your knowledge on longboard deck styles, Let’s check a few more details….
You might be thinking…What is the difference between deck shape and deck style? The deck style determines the stability of your board along with the power required to apply foot brake.Moreover, the difficulty included in pushing the longboard on a flat ground. The deck style determines how high the deck is from the floor or the ground.
The higher it will be, the less stability I will provide to you. Moreover, you will have to apply more pushing force and more force for braking. On the contrary if you will go with a board that is closer to the ground. You can toss it and curve more easily and you need to apply less friction force for braking and pushing it.
Top Mount Style
In this type of board the deck is placed over the trucks so the deck gets higher from the gravitational pull. This type of longboard is the most traditional one and also the most economical one but it is also less stable. If you want to know the best use of top mount longboards: I will suggest you can use them for downhill ride, cruising, freestyle riding and freeride carving but you need to be an expert.
Drop Through Style
Drop through style is different from top mounted style because the deck is not placed over the trucks but the deck is placed through the trucks. That makes it a little lower than the top mounted style and also improves thickness of your. All this combination helps in improving the stability of your board and you need to apply less force in pushing and breaking as compared to the top mount style.
It is also comfortable to ride because you have to lean less lower to the ground to push it ahead. If you are purchasing a longboard for long distance travelling and commuting drop through style can be very supportive for you. It is even very much suitable for long distance commuting and usable for downhill and freestyle riding.
Drop Deck Style Longboards
Drop that style is kind of awkward looking. The reason is in this style the deck is placed under the trucks so the trucks are actually mounted on the deck. This brings the deck really close to the centre of gravity and makes it more feasible for pushing and breaking. You can use them best for downhill riding and free riding style but they are a bit awkward.
Double Drop Style Longboards
In this style the deck is placed as low as possible. Definitely the trucks are mounted over the deck and beside that the deck is placed even lower. So that you can get closer to the centre of gravity as much as possible. This style is the most stable style you can ever get in longboard deck styles but this is not a very common one. Because it is quite difficult to make drop double job longboards it makes it a bit expensive as well. This type of long bones are generally used by professional downhill riders.
If you want to dig a little more details about longboard features this article yet have a lot to offer you..
Longboard Features You Need To Know
All longboards do have some specific features which are not formerly known and the buyer don’t check them occasionally but if you want to be very precise about your purchase need to check the following features as well the first one is
You might have seen this is a tail at both ends of any skateboard; these are called kick tails. These are a bit lifted so can allow you to perform your tricks easily. Moreover, if you want to lift up your board you need to press one of these kick tals. It also helps.
Directional kick tails, in making you turn quickly, longboards don’t have kick tails on both sides when they are directional longboards. But when they are symmetrical longboards they do have kick tales on both sides. Kick tail determines whether you can drive your longboard from both sides. Or you need to determine its directional side which will help you move forward. but if you choose a directional board then you cant use it from both sides.
Wheel Cutouts for Longboards
Wheel cutouts is a term which is normally not used by the sellers and not known by casual buyers. But they can bring a lot of difference in the usability and durability of your longboard. Have you ever heard about wheel bites? Yes, wheel cuts, if not proper, can reduce the age of your longboard also cause you’re falling off even on smooth places. Moreover, it can make your turning difficult. If your longboard has a proper wheel cut that will help you in turning even from sharp turns and will help your wheel getting stuck or getting rubbed by your longboard deck.
Deck Concave Of Your LongBoard
Beside the best size of your longboard you also need to check the deck concave angle of your longboard. Concave deck is actually a bit lower from the centre and raised from both sides. Its shape is very much appropriate to provide better grip to your feet while you are standing on the deck of your longboard. Because the concave shape goes perfectly with the shape of your feet. Grip tape also provides good stability and grip on the board. But when it is added with a perfectly concave deck your feet get more comfortable on the board. So if you are planning to do long rides on your longboard it’s better to get a concave deck instead of a straight one.
In concave decks you have more than one type one is a regular concave and other one is w concave. W-concave is a better choice because it has two concaves instead of having a single one. So the board is a bit high from the start, lower down a bit then goes high then goes low and then goes high.
This concave is very interesting and provides perfect grip, W type concave is usually not offered in cheap boards. Because it is crafted with more skill and provides you with better grip so if you are looking for an expert level professional longboard. You should prefer the W-concave instead of the simple concave.
Long boot flex determines the flexibility of your longboard deck. Mostly there are three kinds of flex available in the market. You can get along with soft flex, medium flex, and stiff flex …if you have chosen soft flex you are going to get perfect shock absorption and stable ride even on rough roads.
If you have chosen a medium flex it will help you to maintain stability even at high speeds. And when there is a jerk it will provide a spring like barrier so will add more energy to your board and you will move further ahead more easily. Its shock absorption is of medium level. If you choose a board with stiff legs the stability levels rise really high. But you have to bear all the jumps and bumps on your own because it is not going to provide you with much shock absorption.
Shape Of The Longboard Wheels
When it comes to the shape of your wheels, they can be either round or can be square.
Longboards With Round Lips
This is the type of wheel which are usually used in the longboards and the edges of the wheels are round so cause less friction and easy movement. So when you need easy movement and constant flow you better choose round lips over square lips. So if you prefer freeriding and freestyle riding round lip longboards can be a better choice for you.
Longboards With Square Lips
Longboard wheels are typically square shaped. The square shaped wheels are actually not properly rounded. So they add a bit of resistance and hindrance in continuous movement of the wheels. But square wheels are effective in sliding so this makes them a better choice for cruising and especially downhill cruising.
Longboard Width And Height
You need to check the diameter of your wheel to check the functionality of your longboard. Most people prefer broader wheels as they provide better stability but on the other hand they can make you slower while riding.You also need to check the height of the wheels, that can be measured from tip to top of the wheels. Usually people prefer larger wheels to have a ride, because when the wheels are larger they move over all the jumps and jerks of the roads softly and swiftly.
But on the other hand as the larger wheels accelerate slowly they may cause a little lower speed as well. When the longboard wheels are low in height they do move faster but are at higher risk of falling and feel the jumps and bumps more harshly.
Longboard wheel material
Do you know that all the longboard wheels are not made out of the same material? Some of them are extremely soft and some are a bit harder. Both types have different uses and misuses. You can check the hardness by checking the code A or B. If “A” code is used with your wheel type it means that your wheel is made out of soft material. That tends to be a bit rubbery and soft. If it is mentioned with “B” code it means your wheel is made out of hard plastic.
If you choose a long boat with soft material they provide better shock absorption and better movement even on rough pavements and they are a bit slower as well. On the contrary if you choose a longboard with harder wheels you will feel the jumps and bumps more harshly. But they are faster and their main benefit is their easy braking system. If you are a beginner in long boarding I suggest you choose the softer wheel option.
Wheel Cores Of Your longboard
Core comes in the centre of the wheel and the main purpose of the core is adjusting the bearing. When it comes to core types, longboard wheels have three core types: one side set core,other type s is offset core type and third is centerset core type.
If you will choose a view that offers a centre set core style you will find it helpful in your sliding activities. Moreover as it is a symmetrical design it makes your longboard life longer as when one side is done with its lifespan you can use the other side.
If you choose offset core style here the bearings are not located in the centre of the wheel but inside close to the wheel .This type helps you with better stability and grip.
If you choose a side set core style that one will offer you good slide ability but they are not flippable. when one side is torn off or exhausted.
Wheel bearings of longboard
Most wheel bearings are small parts which lie within the center of your wheel. They might don’t very important but seem like a small spare part. But actually movement and flow of your longboard wheel is caused by bearings. To check the standard and rating of longboard bearings ABEC ratings are the current standards and criteria.
When a longboard would have a higher ABEC rating it means your longboard will move faster. So if you are selecting your longboard for simple cruising I suggest purchasing one with ABEC 3 rating. If you want a long board to enjoy your free rides you can choose ABEC 5. And if you want maximum thrill and speed while your down hill racing I suggest purchasing something between ABEC 5-7. The faster speed you love, the higher rating bearing you need.