How to choose a cheap longboard for beginners

Longboarding is all about keeping yourself in control yet having big fun. If you have decided to explore this sport then it’s high time to choose the right board for you. This will not only expedite your learning but will also help to set your style in the future.

There are some basic rules for choosing a longboard:

Don’t get too excited with all the available options in the market. Set your priorities and then choose accordingly. Select your style first from the following:

  1. Freestyle
  2. Freeriding
  3. Downhill

Since you are a newbie, you will begin with cruising. Later on, your interest would let you pick the right style for you.

It is understandable if you are looking for an option of a longboard that is not heavy on your pocket.

In this article, we will discuss some ground rules for choosing cheap longboards for beginners. Let’s begin with the features you should look for:

1. Shapes of the boards:

Understanding the shape of the board is the first step in your journey of longboarding. Many professions have glued to their first choice of longboards so, you must spend some time and invest in the right type of longboard for you as it is going to be the base step for your long-lasting journey.

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No matter what style you opt for in the future, your choice, in the beginning, holds immense value. There are several shapes available in the market. Some of the common shapes are:

  • Pintail
  • Bamboo
  • Cruiser
  • Dropdown
  • Drop through
  • Speed board
  • Top mount

Now each of the above holds a unique ability to suit your style.  The picture above would have explained the appearance of each board along with its name.

2. Material of the longboard:

The fact that longboards are a great source to commute has compelled many manufacturers to jump into the industry. Its popularity among youngsters is another reason. Many companies have introduced different materials to make longboards. Here is some common one;

  • Bamboo
  • Maple
  • Carbon Fiber
  • Fiberglass

As a newbie, you must pick the one that has the characteristic features of durability and affordability.

3. Shoe size and width formula:

The width of the board must not be less than the size of your shoe. Consider it a thumb rule.

If the width is less than your shoe size you won’t be able to balance yourself and there is a possibility of hurting yourself. Consider it a principal concern.

Now for the length of the longboard, it provides you with utmost stability but one must not forget that your height determines the length of your board.

Midsized boards are something commonly used. Stability and flexibility are the things you need essentially as a new learner.

4. The Deck hack :

The next step involves, is choosing the right outline and flexibility for the deck.  The deck of the board is an area where you are going to stand.

You can choose any of the following; each comes with its benefits:

  • Flat
  • Rocker and
  • Camber

Flat boards as the name suggested has flat surface from start to end. Rockers are curved in the center and camber ascends from the middle.  Camber is considered best for those who have just begun. Once you have practiced well you can master over any board.

The scale of the flexibility goes from soft to stiff

Soft                 >                 soft/medium                 >                 medium/stiff                 >                  stiff

Soft is the most shock absorbent and stiff being the least. The Cambered board is usually soft and therefore considered best for cruising however for downhill you need stiff.

For:

Cruising                                           ===>                   soft

Freestyle and cruising               ===>                   soft/medium

Cruising and free ridi                 ===>                   medium/stiff

Downhill                                          ===>                   stiff

5. Tale of KICKTAIL:

To have a kicktail or not, is completely your choice. Having a kicktail lets you rock and show some tricks while no kicktail makes you travel with more stability hence giving you enough control to have proper balance.

Consider it carefully and then decide.

Beginners usually start with no kicktail, as it helps in balancing initially and later on they move on to kicktail type. Whatever you choose it would not affect your future performance.

6. The other factors:

The other factors to be considered include:

a.Truck                         b.wheels 

Truck:

The size of the truck depends upon the length of the board.

It is important to understand the nitty gritty of your board.  The “truck” is the “T” shaped entity present at the bottom of your board; the wheels of your board are attached to the truck’s handle

As a new beginner, you must remember that the width of your board is directly linked to the right side of the truck.

Now the question arises how do you measure the right size?  Keep in mind two basic things;

  1. The size of axel and
  2. The size of the truck.

For the deck;

Deck width (inches)Hanger size (mm)Axel size (mm)
7 to 8130195
7.5 to 8.5150220
8.5 to 10180250
10 or above185265

wheels:

choice of size, shape, and material of the wheel effects vastly on the performance of your deck.

  • Size of the wheel :

When the size of your wheels is concerned, treat the length of the board as a major entity.

Take note of a thumb rule;

The length of the deck is directly linked to the size of the wheels of your truck.

The longer the deck bigger the wheels,

Smaller the deck smaller the wheels

For general measurements, you can have a rough idea with the following example;

For a deck 42 inches long, 65mm to 75mm size of the wheel is appropriate

For a deck 50 inches long, 75mm to 100mm size of the wheel is appropriate

  • Shape of the wheels:

There are two types of wheels;

  1. Square lip wheels
  2. Round lip wheels

As a new learner square lip wheels will suit you best as their grip on ground is commendable. It is considered best for cruising.

For making rapid twists and a tight turn, round lip wheels are advantageous for you. They react faster in all these drills.

For beginners, square lip wheels are thought to be the first choice due to their gripping ability.

  • Texture of the wheels:

When you are understanding the anatomy of your longboard as a fresher, always remember that rating is followed by a letter in technical terms like 70A, 82A, etc.

This tells you the hardness of the wheel or simply describes the durometer of the wheel. The smaller number indicates less hardness of the wheel.  In other terms, we call it soft wheels.

Soft wheels are the best shock absorbent therefore considered excellent for cruising and thus for beginners, they are ideal to use whereas hard wheels give you better speed.

You can always choose between any two. Most of the time new learners are introduced with soft wheels and later on they switch to hard ones.

Just for an idea for a new beginner:

Wheels with a durometer of 78A are ideal for cruising

Wheels with a durometer of 86A are good for freestyling and free riding.

The material usually used to make wheel is POLYURETHANE and topnotch brands use polyurethane with the little presence of plastic.

AFFORDABLE LONGBAORD BRANDS

We have learned what features are to look for while choosing a longboard as a beginner. Now in this section, we would look for available options in the market that are cheap with no compromise on quality.

When we say cheap it means affordable and not heavy on pocket. It doesn’t mean low quality longboard that is a headache for a new learner.

Here is a list of some best yet affordable longboards available in the market:

  • QUEST SUPER CRUISER
  • AODI 46”CANADIAN MAPLE WOOOD COMPLETE LONGBOARD
  • SANTA CRUZ MAHAKA RASTA FADE PINTAIL CRUZER
  • SCSK8 NATURAL BLANK PINTAIL
  • VOLADOR 42’ FREE RIDE
  • ATOM DROP-THROUGH
  • PUENTE 41” LONGBOARD
  • RIMABLE PINTAIL 41’
  • MINIRITY DOWNHILL MAPLE LONGBOARD    
  • TEN TOES BOARD EMPORIUM ZED

A detailed description and its pros and cons would help you to decide which longboard is most suitable for your requirements.

1.QUEST SUPER CRUIZER:

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This longboard has taken the internet by storm. The web world is full of reviews and ratings. It is 44’ longboard, made up of multi-ply maple wood with an aluminum truck of 7’ and its wheels are PDU 70mm.

Its wide deck makes it comfortable for a beginner to ride and the stiff deck doesn’t let it bent. It is a durable product and seems to be made with precision and top-notch design.

Its durability makes it one of the best selling products. Since it is best for cruising new learners find it amusing and supportive to learn the skill initially.

Pros

  • Durable and strong. It can hold up to 250lb weight.
  • Great width for beginner to ride confidently
  • solid deck
  • Great material
  • Stability and balance
  • affordability

Cons

  • It is heavy to carry. Especially for girls and children.
  • hard wheels risk of being exposed to wheel bite
  • ABEC-7 bearing

2. AODI 46” Canadian Maple Wood Complete LONGBOARD:

2. AODI 46” Canadian Maple Wood Complete LONGBOARD:

 

Claimed to be the best ride for beginners this longboard is ultimate for those who are looking for a cheap yet amazing ride.  It is great for cruising, free ride and dancing.  This 7-ply maple laminated board is 46” long and 10” wide.

It has an ability to withhold maximum load up to 250lb so the product naturally proves to be durable and lasting. The product itself weighs 7.94 pounds. It has an ABEC-7 wheel bearing that lets the shock absorb and give the rider a stable ride.

Pros

  • Ideal for both experts and beginners
  • Maximum weight holding ability
  • Shock absorbent wheels
  • Durable

Cons

  • abundant pressure might force the user to alter the size of the wheels.

 

3.SANTA CRUZ MAHAKA RASTA FADE PINTAIL CRUZER:

A RASTA FADE PINTAIL CRUZER:

 

This popular longboard comes from a very good brand. It is light weighted and thus portable. This 39’ longboard comes with an eye-catching design. The width of the deck is 9.58 inches and the wheels come with a durometer of 90A.

The soft bushing gives it a complete advantage for the new beginner.  You can always count upon its durability as it is quite easy to push and It is maple laminated.

It has a unique perimeter shape and therefore with every turn, it allows leverage of 9.58 inches.

Pros

  • Light-weighted
  • Durable
  • Flexible
  • Stable
  • Minimum risk of wheel bite
  • Good grip tape
  • Faster
  • Friendly for beginners

Cons

  • Availability issues: sometimes it is hard to find an object due to its demand

 

4.SCSK8 NATURAL BLANK PINTAIL:

TURAL BLA

 

The brand SCSK8 is popular and best known for making longboards for beginners.  SCSK8 is aimed to manufacture a quality product at the best price compared to the competitors. Considering the feature it contains the longboard’s price is comparatively affordable.

This particular board is 44 inches long and 10 inches wide. Its deck is 7-ply maple and the upper part of the deck is adorned with graphics and the base of the deck is usually kept naked.  With this board in your hand, you stand out in a crowd.

If the durability of the board is to be questioned then this board is no match. The weight of the board is distributed in a commendable way and hence increases its stability.

The main attraction of this board is 7” aluminum truck and its grip tape.  The wheel comes with 70mm and a durometer of 80A. ABEC 9 bearings boost its speed commendably.

Pros

  • Capable of handling weight up to 220lb
  • No compromise on speed even on a rough surface.
  • Makes turn smooth
  • Ideal for the skate park
  • Compact
  • Considered ideal for girls
  • stability

Cons

  • Hard wheels

 

5. VOLADOR 42’ FREE RIDE:

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This longboard is slightly higher than $100 but the features; it promises are far better than its price. Though we are looking for cheap longboards we must not forget that quality not necessarily be compromised.

It has fallen into the editor’s choice many times. The 42inches long deck has distinct curved and generous camber. The appealing quality contains stability, flexibility, and durability. It has a tendency to hold up to 200lb weight. The proportioned design gives enough support to new riders thus making the ride smooth and controllable.

The deck is made with eco-friendly material, it’s protracted wood is glued with methanol epoxy-glue.  It is designed by different people from diverse cultures and the discrete bottom designs have the finest resilience thus not only the board but also its design would never fade away.

Talking about technicalities it has an aluminum truck with 7 inches hangers and soft bushing makes it less prone to wheel biting. 77mm wheels are equipped with 78A durometer with ABEC-9  bearing.

Pros

  • Striking graphics.
  • Brilliant grip
  • Proportioned design
  • solid grip tape
  • great for high skaters,
  • shock absorbent wheels
  • smooth ride
  • Easy quick turns

Cons

  • Trucks might need to be adjusted before the ride, for the first time.
  • infrequent QC issues from the factory

 

6. ATOM DROP-THROUGH :

6. ATOM DROP-THROUGH :

 

This longboard along with other purposes is designed for downhill style.  For downhill lovers, it endows the skater with high stability and superb speed. The product ensures a warranty of one year for its users from the manufacturer and this is surely a big deal for those who are spending a fair amount on their hobby.

The company describes it as a “down to earth” longboard.

The fully laminated maple wood deck comes with the dimensions of 41.73 x 4.72 x 10.63 inches.

The product weighs about 10.14 lb. Its reverse kingpin Truck has 245mm axels. 70mm wheels have a durometer of 78A. The trouble-free turning provides the leverage of 9.6 inches thus minimizing the wheel biting. The bearing could be ABEC-5 or ABEC-7 or ABEC-9 depending upon the model.

The distinctive feature of this particular longboard consists of Navigator Drone Trucks. Now Atom’s anticipated intentions is t provide its skater a smooth ride whether mounting downhill or hovering around the street.

Pros

  • Low-level design for utmost stability
  • Durable
  • Minimal chance of wheel biting
  • trouble-free turning
  • appropriate for all heights
  • comfortable placing for feet
  • Navigator trucks

Cons

  • Not ideal for advanced level tricks
  • For a ride on a rough surface, some fine-tuning is required.

 

7. PUENTE 41” lonboard Skateboard :

E 41” lonboard Skateboard

 

Talking about cheap longboard for beginners, PUENTE 41” is the top-notch choice. This high-quality board, otherwise known as “dancing board” is best recognized for the tricks and turns performed with it.  It has the ability to adapt itself to the weight of 220lb. Besides cruising, it is fantastic for freestyle and downhill.

The 41 inches deck has a width of 9 inches. This fully laminated 9-ply maple board has an entire heat transfer pattern. The kingpin 7inches trucks are modifiable as 50 or 45 degrees. The black grip tape definitely reduces the risk of wheel biting. The wheels are 70mm and have a durometer of 80A making the longboard long-lasting and without any noise.

The bearing  ABEC-7 comes with speed lubricates which allows the skater to move with the speed he likes and carry out all the tricks, he wants to exhibit.

It has low-center gravity and a broad turning radius.

Pros

  • Suitable for downhill
  • Broad turning-radius
  • Minimum risk of wheel biting
  • Quieter turns
  • Dancing board

Cons

  • Bearing issues have been reported by some users

 

8. RIMABLE DROP-THROUGH 41’:

8. RIMABLE DROP-THROUGH 41’:

 

For beginner’s choice, drop-through longboard gets the maximum vote. They are ideal for speeding therefore free riders can do some tricks with them.

This 41 inches longboard has a width of 9 inches. For better stability, it has 7 inches aluminum hanger truck. 70mm urethane wheels have a hardness of 85A. Its bearing is said to be ABEC-11. Its easy pushing ability makes it the ultimate choice for long distances.

Pros

  • High speed
  • Easy push
  • Stable

Cons

  • Hardness of wheels
  • Wheels may shake at high speed but fine-tuning can be done accordingly

 

9. MINIRITY DOWNHILL MAPLE LONGBOARD :

ITY DOWNHILL

 

As the name “Downhill” suggests that it means high speed.  This particular longboard comes with an exclusive design cue which is built to enhance the speed. The product offers less gravity and greater control.

8-ply cold-pressed hard rocked maple deck is 40inches long and 20 inches wide. Wheels hardness is 78A.  Reverse kingpin trucks allow skaters to move at an angle of 45-50 degree making it possible for riders to adjust positions without any difficulty. ABEC-9 precision bearing takes care of the smoothness and wheel biting.

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Balance control
  • Strong grips

Cons

  • To make smooth turns, some adjustments might be required

 

10. TEN TOES BOARD EMPORIUM ZED:

10. TEN TOES BOARD EMPORIUM ZED:

 

The product was first from the company but its popularity has made it the best pick for many beginners. It is measured perfect for cruising. ZED longboard is the 8-ply bamboo deck is 41” wide.   For facilitating the new learner a firmer footing the company has introduced a generous dip and kick.

70mm wheels have an 85A durometer and ABEC-7 bearings.

Pros

  • Better cruising
  • Firmer footing
  • Kick and concave

Cons

  • Not suitable for experienced skaters
  • Some users complained about the hardness of the wheels
No matter what style you chose the beginning of any sport is difficult and requires a lot of patience and practice. Though some experts believe it is a risky/dangerous hobby but remember what life without a little risk is. Happy boarding to all those, who have set their journey towards proficiency

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