How to Choose the Best Longboards
When searching to buy a longboard, it can be a challenge especially because there are so many types of longboards with varying feature and specifications. However, you need to pick the right longboard to meet your needs and goals. This is dependent on several factors including understanding the different longboards in the market. In addition, your level of expertise plays a key role when selecting the best longboard.
Importance to Select a Perfect and Suitable Longboard
When looking at the different longboards in the market, they may all seem similar but they come with key differences to ensure that they meet the different goals and objectives of different riders. It is therefore important that you select the best longboard. This is because:
- It will help take on your specific terrains
- It matches your expertise
- It helps minimize on the risk of accidents
- It helps meet your riding abilities
The four major parts of a longboard
The deck is important in determining how stable your longboard is as well as the ease of your braking. This also comes in handy in determining how well you can push your longboard on an even and flat ground. When the deck is higher, this means that the center of gravity (COG) is also high and in turn decreases stability and vice versa. The different deck styles include:
- Top mount is mounted above the tracks leaving a higher COG thus slightly unstable but are great for downhill longboards
- Drop through has trucks mounted through the board providing a lower COG thus making them great for long distance riding a well as downhill riding styles.
- Drop deck offer a low COG as they top mount their trucks making them ideal for downhill riding
- Double drop offers the lowest COG and in turn provide the most stable longboards in the market. This is found in dedicated downhill boards.
It is also important to note that wooden decks provide a better grip as opposed to those made from plastic, aluminum, or fiberglass.
The trucks play the role of attaching the wheels to the deck so you can turn flexibly.
- Reverse kingpin allows for better side by side movement while retaining control and stability
- Standard kingpin
- Bushings are rubber pads between the kingpin and base plate. You can obtain hard or soft bushings. Harder bushings may be difficult to turn but they offer better resistance to bumping whereas the softer bushings allow for easier turning.
These are responsible for the actual movement of your longboard. The key factors to consider are their shape and size when selecting the best longboard to meet your needs.
- Round or square
Round wheels allow for less traction making them easier to slide as opposed to the square wheels. Round wheels are better suited for professionals who understand how to maneuver. Longboards for beginners are best suited with square wheels as they provide better contact with the ground thus offering sliding resistance.
- Small or big
Larger or wider wheels offer more grip and are slower thus a better preference for longboard for beginners. On the other hand, smaller wheels provide for faster acceleration though the risk of getting off the board is also higher due to speed.
Bearings are responsible for making the wheels turn. They are made from two major materials and thus the key factor to look at when looking to select the best longboard.
- Stainless steel bearing are more affordable and thus used on several types of longboards
- Ceramics bearing are lightweight, deliver on good quality, as well as last long.
Longboards for beginners
Longboards for beginners come with the most basic features when looking at longboards in the market. This is because the rider is not experienced and they are not riding over long distances. In addition, the rider is not experienced in pulling stunts. This will not easily require the high-end longboards. A simple longboard with a low center of gravity to enhance stability is best for beginners. Go for a longboard with a wide deck, soft wheel for easy turning, and square wheels to slow down motion and speed so you can have control over the longboard.
Longboards for Downhill or free riders
Best longboards for downhill riding need to have a low center of gravity and a firm grip so it does not throw you off balance from the high speed. It is recommended that you settle for one that has a fiber and maple deck construction. This combination is the best choice to help control the speed and take on turns when need be while at the same time ensuring that riders remain safe. While they deliver on flexibility, they are also comfortable as you take the turns. Also, ensure that the wheels have a firm grip. The bearings are highly recommended that they be made from ceramic material for durability and easy maintenance.
Longboard for cruiser
Longboards for cruising are ideal for riders who prefer long distance riding. It is recommended that the best longboard for cruiser come with small wheels as this offer a low center of gravity so they offer stability. Also, look into features such as pin tail or a fish tail so you can easily maneuver and make the necessary turns with ease. Check on the trucks to ensure that you can make the necessary turns while remaining comfortable with the ability to brake with ease. It will also prevent quick fatigue.
Longboard for girls
Longboards for girls have also gained popularity and manufacturers are seeking to provide the best longboards to meet their needs and preferences. The preferred selection come with a pintail and are mini longboards to help ease with portability as well as maneuverability. They also come with drop through deck thus providing a lower COG thus making them great for long distance riding a well as downhill riding styles. To add a touch of feminism, they come with colorful designs that are attractive to the eye. Longboards for girls aim at providing the best balance between functionality, great and outstanding designs.
It is important that you find the best longboard to meet your needs and preferences. There are different types of riders and the market aims at meeting their goals and objectives by defining different features and specifications. They come in different sizes and shapes, designs, deck styles, trucks, wheels size and shape, as well as different bearing materials. With the above guideline and some research, you will be able to choose the best longboard for you despite the crowded market.