Choosing Longboards: Size, Shape, and Flexibility

Longboarding is over half a century old and has provided people with a mode of transportation, served as a form of leisure and sport, and has even evolved into this extreme downhill event as well. Whatever your intended purpose is, make sure that you consider a few things before you go out buying a board.

Complete or Self-Assembled

The biggest disadvantage to assembling your board yourself is probably that you have to assemble the board yourself, though many people actually enjoy self-assembly.

When you buy your board complete, you can be 100% positive you are buying a quality, well-put-together board but when you assemble your board yourself, you get a much more custom experience because you can mix and match different pieces.

  • Deck
  • Grip tape
  • Wheels
  • Bearings
  • Trucks
  • Hardware

If you know how to assemble all of these pieces, you may find that doing so is much more satisfying. It’s especially common among those with longboard experience who know what they are looking for in each component. If you are just beginning, however, there’s nothing wrong with buying a complete board. The best longboards will always be the ones you feel most comfortable with.

The best longboards will always be the ones you feel most comfortable with

Where Are You Riding?

Before you buy, think about why you are buying and where you will be riding your longboard. For sure, personal preference will play a role in your decision; also consider that longboards are designed differently for each intended use.

Cruising Boards

You will find the most versatility in cruising boards and can essentially use any style of board to cruise around but you will still find differences in shapes and sizes.

  • Pintail
  • Bamboo
  • Cruisers
  • Dropdowns
  • Drop-through

If you are just using your board for cruising, you don’t have to think much about shape. Cruising boards may be wider or longer and typically more flexible.

Freestyle and Free Ride

Most commonly, you will find people riding dropdowns or drop-throughs that are a little stiffer than cruising boards. They allow you to perform tricks and more technical manoeuvres such as carving as well as provide you with a little more speed.

Downhill Riding

Speed boards have a little bit of a different shape than the other boards and these, in addition to top-mount boards, are typically used for downhill riding. These are even stiffer boards made for straight, downhill riding and typically pick up more speed than the others.

So, there is definitely some variety when it comes to longboards and you will be able to strategically choose between the different options to give yourself the best advantage at whatever is you will be using your board for.