Longboard Buyers Guide
Intro to Longboards
Like the name alludes, Longboards are longer than skateboards. The styles of longboarding differ so much from traditional skateboarding, that longboarding and skateboarding are considered two different things. The overall design of a longboard is reminiscent of a skateboard, they both have the same components (deck, grip tape, wheels, trucks, bearings, and hardware). However, the components are made to different specs than a skateboard.
To simplify why someone should choose a longboard over a skateboard really comes down to whether you plan on doing aerial based tricks or if you want to cruise around. If you want to do aerial based tricks, you want a skateboard. If you want to cruise around, you’ll most likely want to go with a longboard.
If a longboard sounds like the choice you’re going with, the next step will be figuring out what style of deck will work best for you. The first step would be figuring out how you plan on skating.
Styles of Skating:
Cruising / Carving
Cruising is just casual skating. Using the board to skate around, enjoying the breeze and the view. For those who are just looking to cruise around, there is no need to look for premium components or decks. When cruising, most skaters enjoy Carving. Carving is skating in a wide S shaped motion, swaying side to side. This is a great method for controlling speed.
Freestyle / Dancing
The terms “freestyle” and “dancing” go hand in hand with each other. This is the creative style of longboard skating. Longboard dancing consists of side-stepping across the length of the board. Freestyle skating on a longboard is mostly flat ground tricks, involving flipping and controlling the board in air with your hands.
Downhill skating is like the name states, skating down a hill. When skating down a slope, the board naturally picks up speed quickly. Being able to handle the high speeds require skill and precision. Most longboard races are downhill races. This is a more advanced style of skating for more skilled skaters. We wouldn’t suggest downhill skating for those who are just starting out on a longboard.
Freeride skating and downhill skating are very similar disciplines. Both involve going down hills fast, however, freeriding is the art of sliding the board. Most freeride skaters want their board to be light and agile. They are not concerned with getting the max speed on their board, but rather making the trip down technical and as flashy as possible.