A longboard is a skateboard featuring a longer and often wider board, according to the experts at Daddies Board Shop. Most skateboards that are considered longboards are over 40 inches long, although they can be smaller or much larger. Longboards feature some amount of flexibility in the board and softer wheels for comfortable cruising and downhill riding. While they can be used for tricks by experienced skateboarders, most longboards are used for transportation and general riding.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Decide your main use for a longboard. Shoppers looking for a skateboard for commuting to work or school can use a larger board with softer wheels than professional skaters wanting a board for technical downhill tricks.
Consider the challenges and benefits of each length. Longboards around 40 inches will turn slower than smaller boards, but are more comfortable for daily rides. Boards over 50 inches are usually best for special surfing-style tricks.
Weigh yourself before shopping for a longboard. Heavy riders may find the more flexible longboards to have too much give, which can disrupt a ride. The experts at Daddies Board Shop recommend choosing a board with enough flexibility to smooth out a bumpy ride, but to avoid boards that bend enough to scrape the ground during a turn.
Purchase the right set of wheels. Some longboard skateboards come with smaller, harder urethane wheels installed to try and improve their speed or turning radius. Longboards work best with 65 or 70mm soft wheels, according to Daddies Board Shop.
Read customer reviews of any longboard skateboards you are considering. Many mass-produced decks will crack or delaminate and peel apart after just a few rides. Customer reviews can help you avoid longboards that were made poorly.
Consider alternative materials for your longboard deck. Mike McQuaide discussed a special, extra flexible carbon-fibre longboard in an article for the The Seattle Times. Its extra flexibility is utilised in a special skating method for long-distance travel.
Test ride a longboard before purchasing one. Even if you can't test ride the same exact board you plan to purchase, riding a board with a similar length will help you decide if a longboard is the right choice.
Tips and warnings
- Many longboards come in extra wide sizes. If you plan to use a longboard to travel or commute, a wider board often helps you distribute your weight better and is more comfortable over long periods of time.
- Do not ride a longboard skateboard without the proper protective gear. Even if the skateboard is stable and will not be used for tricks or jumps, a fall without a helmet can be life-threatening.
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