BY JOHN DOE, May 20, 2017 11:00 AM
Right from school, I had a passion for longboards. Surfing, carving, those tricks; it has never been a sweet journey. Most of the time I returned home with skinned knees, cuts and so on. But, never stopped. It got some magnetism that only longboard enthusiasts can feel. I used to save my pocket money to get different longboards. Today, I am supposed to pick the best longboards 2017. So, I picked 5 of my favorite boards. Me and my TSB buddies would take turns riding them to provide you with an exhaustive compilation of the top longboards reviews.
If you are just stepping into Longboarding, you must know how to buy the best and ideal longboard for yourself. It is not about the artwork or graphics. Evaluating the top longboards is a painstaking task. However, before you purchase a ride, you must ride one of your friends' board to get a hang of it. It also helps you to develop a preference which lets you decide what's best suitable for you.
There is nothing as such as the best longboards for beginners. It is all about deciding which ride would match you best. Either you can assemble one or buy a complete longboard. It is better to buy a complete one if you are a beginner. Let's get started with the basic deciding factors when it comes to picking one among so many top longboards.
1. Decide your purpose – First, decide why you want a longboard or skateboard before analyzing different rides. Each riding style whether it is cruising, carving, freestyle riding or downhill riding demand some specific features in the longboard. Like to perform tricks you need a longboard with a kickflip. Moreover, some styles demand the rider to be expert in longboarding.
2. Consider your topography – Where are you going to ride? Are the streets filled with cracks? Are there hills in your locality? Consider the topography of the area where you are going to ride the longboard. If it got a rough terrain then you need something with soft wheels and medium flex. If there are hills, then go for top mounting boards with standard trucks, square or beveled wheels.
3. Consider the deck styles – It decides how stable the board is. The deck style can make it effortless to footbrake and push. More the ground clearance, higher will be the center of gravity. There are so many questions to think over.
· Would you like a top mount board or a drop-through? In top mounts, the decks are mounted over the trucks and are flexible. In drop-through, the trucks are fastened through the board. It secures the boards firmly while braking or pushing.
· Do you need a twin tail or a kickflip? It helps you performing tricks.
4. Study the parts of longboards and features- Each and every part of a longboard plays an important role in the quality and performance of the ride. Therefore, you must know how it works and what is best suitable for you.
How to Master Longboarding? Get 7 Best Longboarding Tips Now!
Whether it is the deck or the wheels, each of the parts come in several varieties. You need to analyze which variant, features would suit your style, body weight, and purpose. Here, we go;
It is the plank on which you put your feet on and ride. There are a few things to consider when it comes to choosing the good longboards.
A. Shape & Style. As discussed above, decks come in several shapes and styles. Always look for a board with a flat deck or with a little curve. Below, I am sharing a small table stating which deck shape goes well with which riding style.
Suitable Deck Shapes & Styles
Traditional pintail. Cruiser. Drop-through. Drop-down.
Top mounting boards, Cruisers.
B. Material. A deck is generally made of several wood layers. Sometimes it is just made of one type of wood, sometimes it's made of a fusion of layers of several kinds of wood. Again, some are made of sturdy plastic. The material decides the flex of the board. It absorbs shocks and stabilizes you. Go for medium to soft flex.
C. Length. It is also important to decide on the length of the board. Longer the board is, lower will be the maneuverability.
D. Width. The thumb rule is to be comfortable. It should be wide enough there is ample space to rest your foot comfortably, especially if you are just starting off.
Deck Width Guidelines to Follow
7 ½ to 8 inches
8 to 8 ¼ inches
8 ¼ inches and more
Ideal for adults and advanced level riders. Ideal for doing tricks.
Good for riding in the pools, skating ramps or parks.
Good for beginners.
Ideal for traditional cruising around.
To ride a board you need a pair of T-shaped metal pieces that lock the wheels to the board. Three important parts of a truck are the kingpin, axle, and hanger. Now, let's check out the features of a truck that you need to examine.
A. Width. For cruising and narrow decks, the trucks should be 150mm wide. While for the 8.5" to 10.5" wide decks and for carving the trucks are ideally 180mm wide. Make sure the width of the truck is closer to that of the deck.
B. Standard or RKP Trucks. In these trucks, only the positions of the kingpin and the axle differ. RKP trucks are ideal for cruising and carving. It improves the maneuverability and flexibility while the standard ones are stable and ideal for downhill riding.
C. Truck profile. The truck profile is the distance between the bottom of the deck and the hanger. Generally, there are three truck profiles. High profile for 56mm or larger wheels. Mid profile for 53-56mm wheels and small truck profile for small wheels sizing between 50-53mm. Trucks with mid-sized profile trucks are an all-rounder.
Your wheels decide your speed! Generally, they are made of polyurethane. However, they differ in size, shape, color and hardness. When you are analyzing the wheels, you need to consider fours things.
A. Size. Depending on your deck length pick the size of the wheels. Generally, the smaller wheels of 60mm to 67mm size are good with 34-inch or smaller boards. Wheels sizing between 68mm to 72mm are a good match with 34-inch to 42-inch long longboards. While 70mm to 75mm large wheels are good for 40-inch or longer rides. Larger wheels provide stability. You can always add larger wheels to a smaller board, but you must include risers in your setup.
B. Wheel core. The wheel core is responsible for distributing the heat evenly which is produced by the rolling wheels. It prevents the melting of wheels. The bearings rest on it. There are three kinds of cores; offset, centerset, and sideset cores. Offset cores are great for sliding, while centerset cores are popular among the street skaters for easy flips. However, sideset cores got an excellent grip.
C. Wheel shape. There are several shapes of longboard wheels like square-edged beveled and round wheels. It is the contact patch between the wheel and the surface that make a big difference in the riding experience. For example.
a. Round wheels are perfect for sliding, freeriding as well as cruising around. It got less contact area which means less friction and less effort.
b. Square wheels are square in shape. There is one great thing about these wheels – grip! They have the largest contact area and therefore, the best grip. Also, it evenly divides the weight of the rider over a large area reducing the wheels' resistance that may otherwise slow you down. Perfect for performing tricks and bombing down a hill.
c. Beveled edged wheels are neither round nor flat. Instead, they got a slanting edge giving it versatility while sliding down the hill slopes.
D. Hardness level/Durometer. When did you last check your weight? If you are wondering what's the connection, let me clear it. Your bodyweight, your preferred riding style, and your purpose decide the appropriate hardness level or durometer rating of your wheels.
First thing first, a durometer rating tells you how soft or hard your longboard wheels are. Softer the wheels are, better the grip and stability. However, softness will also slow you down. However, you don't want your ride to squash down under your weight. Right? Therefore, you need your wheels to be strong and hard enough to withstand your bodyweight. There are two different durometer scales; a-scale and b-scale. If the hardness level of the wheel is 90a on the a-scale then it would be 20 points less i.e. 70b on the b-scale.
Now, I will share the standard rules of picking the right durometer according to your weight.
Wheels with hardness level between 78-80a.
Below 135 pounds
Wheels with hardness level between 80-83a.
Weighing between 135 to 175 pounds.
Wheels with hardness level between 83-86a.
Weighing more than 175 pounds.
a. Soft longboard wheel: Wheels with 78a to 87a durometer ratings are soft and good for light weighing riders to slid over the rough surface. They absorb all the cracks and the bumps of the road giving an excellent grip and smooth riding experience.
b. Medium-hard longboard wheels: Wheels with 88a to 95a durometer ratings are relatively firmer. They offer relatively less but nice grip. They run smooth on rough and splintered streets.
c. Hard longboard wheels: Wheels with 96a to 99a durometer ratings are pretty hard and offer great pace. They also offer good grip. However, they are ideal for skateboarding on smooth and even surfaces like ramps, skating parks, smooth roads, pools and so on.
These round-shaped metal pieces determine the speed and performance of your ride. It fastens the wheels and the truck axle together. There are several parts of a bearing; C-ring, bearing shield, inner and outer rings, steel balls, ball retainers and rubber seal. There are two types of bearings – steel and ceramic.
In the steel bearings, all the parts are made of steel. While the ceramic bearing is made with a combo of ceramic and steel. The outer part is made of steel and the ball bearings are of ceramic. The ceramic bearings come with more ball bearings and they give a smoother performance as compared to the steel bearings. Also, the ceramic bearings are more expensive.
The bearings are evaluated by ABEC standards. There are five ABEC ratings; 1,3,5,7 and 9. High the ABEC rating better the bearing quality and high the price is. So don't go by the cheapest price tag. ABEC5 bearings are the standard one and most of the manufacturers use them. They are perfect for newbie, commuter, cruisers. However, for performing tricks and speedy downhill riding you should put in ABEC 7 or 9 bearings.
Risers are not that mandatory. However, it is better to learn about it lest you need to mount your setup. This hardware is made of plastic and is used to escalate the space between the deck and wheels. It helps to prevent wheel bites during the turns. If you are pairing a small board with large wheels, then you must add these to your settings. This hardware come in several sizes and colors. There are 8 locknuts and bolts in one hardware set. Depending on the size of the risers, you need to pick the hardware set. Here's a size chart for your reference.
7/8" to 1"
1" to 1 1/8"
6. GRIP TAPE
It is a sandpaper like coarse material with an adhesive top glued to the deck. It is responsible for gripping the riders' feet at its place while riding. It is available as a single sheet in several patterns, graphics, and colors to suit everyone's unique taste and preferences. You can always peel off the old one and paste the new one yourself.
That was all that you must know prior to your first longboard hunt. Analyzing all the top longboards and their features could be a really tiring task, especially when there are so many brands flooding the longboard market. Therefore, analyze your requirements, your preference first. Don't go straight for the ratings, check out what matches your criteria most. Then start analyzing the good longboards brands and their best longboards. Now, compare and find out their features with the guide I just shared above and narrow down your options to a few good longboards. Thereafter, consider the customers' reviews and make your pick.
Atom boards need no introduction. Atom Drop Through Longboard is one strong contender in the race of best longboards. It comes with a 41-inch maple deck that looks stylish. It got great stability, making it perfect for downhill rides or even leisure cruising. The exclusive perimeter-shaped longboard with 80S grip tape gives you 9.6" of leverage while you make those turns.
Together with 40 degree Reverse King Pin trucks, 245mm axles, Wide-Lip 70x51mm SHR urethane wheels and ABEC 9 bearings, it promises high performance. Further, it guarantees no wheel bite. You are definitely going to have an excellent time riding it.
Even for us, it was super-smooth ride. Just an effortless push and it left everything behind!
Check out our detailed Atom Drop-Through Longboard review here
This high performance longboard is definitely worth your money, it is a durable product, which will fetch you the finest longboarding experience of your life. Consumers who have bought this product seem to love every bit of their experience with it. Reviews suggest that most of them loved this longboard.
Quest Rorshack Bamboo Longboard Skateboard weighs merely 6 pounds. Hence, pretty lightweight and easier to carry around. A construction of multi-layer of bamboo with a strong Maplewood lamination makes it extremely sturdy and durable. It got medium flex, which is ideal for cruising and traveling around.
This board is a smaller and more interesting version of the popular Quest Bamboo Longboard. But bigger than skateboard; 34-inch long, 9-inch wide and 4.5-inch high; small and perfect enough to enhance maneuverability, control, and smooth riding experience.
The hardware used in this board include 6-inch aluminum trucks, 65mm polyurethane wheels and ABEC5 bearings. All are of superior quality and ensure the ride absolute control over the board.
The deck is slightly concave giving you the best friction between your shoes and the deck. Also, it got a kick tail that facilitates you while turning and performing tricks. You feel no bumps or knocks as you glide ahead at a high-speed. It is stable and secure to ride on.
There are several features and advantages why you should pick it over any other rides. Check out the reasons yourself;
1. For beginners, it is difficult to master the longboarding tricks. On it, if the longboard is too long, it gets even more difficult to control. This Quest longboard is smaller than a regular longboard, but bigger than a skateboard making it perfect for anyone new.
2. The board got a kick tail that enhances the maneuverability and control even at high-speeds. Often the rides quivers while carving or sliding at a very high speed. This addition makes the ride more secure and smooth to ride on.
3. Being small and lightweight, it is easy to stuff in the backpack or in the locker. So, when not cruising around you can stack it in your backpack or locker with no problem.
4. It is a good quality longboard on the lower side of the price scale.
This Rimable Drop-Through Longboard is an ideal choice when you are looking for something all-rounder. It comes in two attractive patterns; blue skull and Africa pattern. Though it weighs as low as 8.1 pounds, but it can support up to 220 pounds.
This board is 41-inch long and 9.5-inch wide; perfectly spacious to make the rider comfortable riding. Perfect for anyone new to longboarding. The slight curve in the deck helps the rider exercise better control over the ride. Rimable Drop-Through 41-inch Longboard is super-smooth no matter where you are riding.
It got a cold pressed Maple laminated 9-ply deck along with 7-inch 180 drop-through aluminum trucks. The 85A 70x51mm polyurethane wheels are soft and grippy giving you the smoothest ride. Further, the ABEC11 bearings keep you stable even if you are riding at 45mph. The drop-through longboard got a low center of gravity along tight turning radius; improving its maneuverability and stability.
The manufacturer is known for producing a small collection of longboards, but each of them showcases great versatility. This ride is designed for riders who like to cruise around the campus, go downhill, freeride, freestyle and even go on long-distance rides.
Rimable Drop-Through Longboard got everything to impress you. However, to consolidate;
a. Whether you are a newbie or an expert rider; you would find this Rimable board useful and a pleasure to ride.
b. It is an all-rounder; absolutely ideal for cruising, carving, downhill riding, freestyle and freeriding.
c. You would find it stable, easy-to-push, responsive, smooth and comfortable.
d. The Maple deck got stylish graphics. Fully covered with coarse grip tape to keep the rider's foot in its place.
e. Versatile; you can ride it anytime anywhere.
f. Earned 4.4 stars out of 5 on Amazon.com. Appears to be a nice deal.
It is made of 9 layers of Super-Flex Maple ply with a heat transferring printed pattern on the deck. This board comes in 5 different patterns or colors; skull, eagle, jellyfish, eye and words. It is hard to decide which one is more attractive!
Being 41-inch long and 9-inch wide; it provides ample space for the ride to be comfortable while riding. Fully covered with premium quality grip tape to make sure the rider's foot stays at its place while riding. Magic Union Maple Drop Down Longboard weighs 7.7 pounds only - though long, however, easy to carry.
The Magic Union ride comes complete with ABEC11 high-speed chrome steel bearings, 7-inch powder coated aluminum trucks and 70mm polyurethane wheels. The ABEC11 bearings are strong and can easily support up to 330 pounds. The trucks keep the ride stable while taking sharp turns at a high speed. The soft wheels provide nice grip keeping you stable. Further, it got PU shock absorbing rings that act as a cushion and absorb all the knock and bumps for an excellent, safe and stable ride for all riders despite age group.
It got a low center of gravity and a wide turning radius, which add to its downhill riding abilities. It is meant to please all the adventure enthusiasts looking for the best longboards for going downhill, freestyle and freeride. Again, it is stable, secure, smooth and sturdy. Therefore, ideal for beginners.
It is a collation of some of the many reasons why you should consider this Magic Union longboard.
a. First and foremost, you get great quality, sturdy features at very low price. If you compare it with other boards with identical features, you can spot there is huge difference in their price tags.
b. Can support up to 330 pounds, yet lightweight and easy to carry.
c. Comes in 5 different, but attractive heat transferring patterns.
d. Perfect for downhill and freestyle riding. You can also perform some tricks on it.
e. Lower center of gravity, wide turning radius; extremely stable and smooth.
f. Ideal for beginners who wish to ride downhill in future.
g. Appropriate for all adventure enthusiasts from all age groups.
h. Loved and appreciated by the customers. So far, it has achieved 4.3 stars on Amazon.
Volador Freeride longboard weighs 7.5 pounds and comes in five different photo heat transfer graphic patterns; Fuji Summer, Chrysanthemum, Cocktail, Lemonade, and Petunia.
It is hard to find style, strength, versatility, safety, speed, responsiveness and control in one ride. But, this Volador longboard can promise you much more than you yearn. In every way, it is ideal for long distance rides, downhill, cruising, carving.
The 42-inch drop-through deck is constructed with 8-plies of hard Maple laminate giving it strength and durability. The camber deck absorbs all the shocks and bumps of the ground so that you don't get exhausted after a long ride. Being 9-inch wide, it is easy to turn in a tight radius and low deck height makes it effortless to push ahead.
It comes equipped with 180mm aluminum die casting trucks that add to its robustness and stability. It can hold up to 250 pounds while riding downhill with absolute stability even at a high speed. The 70mm 78A SHR Volador rounded wheels are soft and exceptionally smooth. The ABEC9 bearings add precision and speed to it. This is one of the top longboards you can ever find when you are looking for nothing less than a first-class ride.
Whether you are skirting through the people or cones, going somewhere far or just moving around the town, riding on the pavement or beach; this single longboard can exceed all your expectations. No matter if the rider is an expert or beginner; Volador Freeride Longboard is made for all. It is smooth, stable, effortless and luxuriously fun to ride!!
There are so many reasons to go for this Volador longboard and not for any other freeride longboards. Let's consolidate the reasons;
a. It got a sturdy multi-layered Maple deck which is 42-inch long and 9-inch wide along with a camber that makes your ride effortless and comfortable,
b. The 70mm 78A Volador wheels are soft with lowest rolling resistance for smooth and stable rides.
c. The 180mm aluminum die casting trucks and ABEC9 bearings boost the speed, performance and responsiveness of the ride. The high-quality bearings add precision to the ride.
d. Ideal for downhill, cruising, carving, freeride and even long distance rides.
e. Comes in 5 different eye-catching patterns.
f. Covered with OS780 coarse grip tape that ensures ultimate grip and stability.
g. Ideal for males and females, newbie and expert riders weighing up to 250 pounds.
It has earned 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon.com. It is a great ride at an entry-level price.