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How to Choose a Longboard

The most commonly asked question we get is - “Which longboard would be right for me?”
It is not that easy to answer as everybody is different and there are many exciting - completely different - things you can do with a board.
“Do you want to buy a complete longboard or the individual parts and assemble it yourself?”
In both cases you need to understand what each part does so you can decide which complete board or what parts are the best for you.

Many combinations are possible and you know best what you want to do with your board.

The following 8 questions are a good starting point to pick your perfect longboard for beginners.

1.

What are the parts of a longboard?

There are many variations in boards available, however they all have the same parts. Each part may have different characteristics, which makes a huge difference on how the board behaves and what you can do with it.

Parts of a Longboard

parts of a longboard, what parts does a longboard have

2.

How am I going to ride my longboard (what is my style)?

Many boards can be used for multiple activities, so pick your main purpose to get started.

are you planning for cruising, freestyle, free ride or downhill with your longboard?

Experience
Speed

how much experience do you have with longboarding?

3.

Which longboard shape should I get?

Boards come in different shapes for every style. You will see some overlap.
Personal choice is a large factor in this as many shapes are right. Here the most common shapes per style.

Shapes

what shape longboard do you prefer, pintail, bamboo, cruiser, drop down, drop through, topmount, dancer?

4.

How FLEXible do I want my longboard to be?

The flex determines how shock absorbent the board is and influences the stability.
Flex and speed don’t go together. When you choose a style and shape it will come with a certain flex. Not every combination exists, however it is good to know what’s out there. Most boards have a flat deck, some have a bit of a camber (more for cruising) and some are more of a rocker (more appropriate for free ride and downhill).

cruising longboard, free style longboard, free ride longboard, downhill longboard

Board Flex

board flex, soft, medium or stiff

Profile

camber longboard, flat longboard, rocker longboard profile

5.

Should my longboards have a kicktail?

The kicktail makes it easier to do turns and tricks. For many riding styles and shapes you can find a board with or without a kicktail.

longboard with kicktail, longboard without kicktail

6.

What size longboard should I buy?

Width is more important than length as it determines how much space your feet have to stand on. You feet will stand almost perpendicular to the boards, so pick one that’s about your shoe size. Most decks are between 7”-10” wide. Longer length gives you more stability during your ride.

Board size

what board size length, height should i get

7.

Which longboard trucks are the best for my board?

The trucks connects your wheels to your board. They are typically available in 2 hanger sizes: 150 mm and 180 mm of which the 180 mm is most common for longboards. The axle size should be about the same as the width of your board.

are 150mm or 180mm truck better for my board?

8.

Which wheels should I get for my longboard?

Smaller wheels go with shorter boards. Bigger wheels are more suitable for higher speeds, however they accelerate slower. The most common longboard wheel sizes are 65 mm and 75 mm.

Wheel size

how big should the wheels of my longboard be?

Durometer

The durometer indicates the hardness / softness of the wheels. Softer wheels are more shock absorbent and provide a smoother ride for your board, where as harder wheels are a bit more bumpy. Harder wheels are better for speed. Rating is indicated by an “A” . The lower the number the softer the wheels are. Most common cruising wheels are around 78A durometer. For freestyle, free ride it’s 86A.

what is the best duromoeter - hardness of longboard wheels?

Wheel shape

There are 2 main wheel shapes: square lip and round lip. The square lip is more common on longboards.

square lip longboard wheels versus round lip longboard wheels

Now choose your perfect Longboard!

You now know about the major longboard parts, shapes, sizes, flex, kicktail, wheel size, wheel shape and wheel durometers. Also their impact on how your board behaves and what you can do should be clear.

Everybody is different and most longboards will be great to ride on whatever you specificially want to do.
It's time to select your longboard.

Go outside, go shred and have some fun!


p.s. Also check out the longboards for beginners section.
If you have question contact us at info@longboardsusa.com

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