Longboards come in many different shapes and sizes and appear very similar to skateboards, the most obvious difference being the size! Longboards usually measure between 90 and 150 cm although smaller or ‘mini longboards’ are available best longboard.
Longboards are primarily designed for speed and can best be described as street going surfboards and although skateboards are more suitable for tricks and stunts, fluent motions can be strung together on a longboard, this is referred to as ‘dancing’.
The greater weight and bulk of a longboard allows them to create increased momentum making them ideal for downhill or slalom racing. The design also enables the rider to make turns or ‘carves’ in a similar fashion to a surfer or snowboarder. Because of the high speeds that can be achieved it is advisable to wear a helmet and elbow and knee protection, as falling onto concrete is a lot less forgiving than falling onto snow or water!
Longboards can be purchased as complete items or built from individual parts allowing the user to customise their board. The main parts of a longboard are:
Decks: These come in a variety of different shapes including, pintail, drop-through and flat nose-riders.
Trucks: The trucks provide the steering mechanism for the longboard and are made up of a base plate that screws to the underside of the deck and hangers onto which the wheels are attached. The hangers are available in different lengths to allow for wider decks or bigger wheels.
Bearings: Most bearings are made of steel and are found sitting inside the wheel allowing it to spin on the axle. Ceramic bearings are also available and provide less friction but tend to be more expensive.
Wheels: Longboards tend to have larger and softer wheels than skateboards; this allows them to cruise effortlessly over cracks and light debris on the sidewalk or road. Wheels usually range from 65 to 85 cm but sizes can vary.
The decision to purchase a complete longboard or put together your own will depend on your expertise and finances. If you are new to the sport it may be a good idea to buy a complete longboard. There are many different manufacturers including Loaded and Sector 9 and it may be worth spending a little more on your first board to ensure you do not compromise your first experience. If you would like to check out more information and reviews please CLICK HERE!