An Introduction

A longboard is a longer version of a skateboard which in nature is a sport medium and is used for transportation, cruising, downhill racing and slalom racing. It consists of a deck that could be made of wooden planks, bamboo or fiberglass material and has wheels, trucks, bushings, footpads, bearings, nuts and screws. I won’t go into the history of lonboarding but will straight tell you what it is and what it is not. Let’s take a ride with me slowly and then speed up to know what boards you require whether you are a beginner or a professional skater.

Longboard as a Transportation Medium

Longboard is a healthy and environmental friendly medium of traveling and transportation. Riders keep their longboards in different sizes, shapes and designs and customize their skateboards according to their needs. Longboards are free from any traffic problems, space constraints and can be easily transported from one place to another.

Longboard manufacturers keep in touch with beginners as well as skilled skaters before manufacturing any new product. Today’s longboards are a result of deep research and continuous improvement in the shapes and sizes of longboards according to the demand of skaters.

There are certain disciplines which a skater must follow for example long distances can also be covered with longboards but one has to check the rules and regulations of those areas. After we are finished with this article you will have a fair knowledge about the best longboards and their brands .

Best Longboard Brands?

Finding the best longboard and selecting the best longboard brands can be tough if you are just a beginner. Talk to many riders and everyone will give you a different answer, some answers will satisfy you while others might confuse you and at the end of the day you will come to a conclusion that there is no definite answer in choosing the best longboard.

When you begin with any sport your skill level starts from zero and if you practice continually the graph of your skill starts improving day by day and a time comes when you become well versed in it. You can be proficient in one game and might not be that expert in any other game because you may not be appropriate for that sport, same is true with Longboards, not all are suitable for each individual ability. Learning a skill and becoming an expert in it also depends on your ambition. To encourage your spirit, I have a quote for you of a famous writer Suzanne Collins “Aim higher in case you fall short.” May be you are a hobbyist or you want to become an advanced skater, the truth is the more you practice, the more you will learn the tricks of becoming an advanced surfer, the lazy you are the unskilled and novice you will always remain.

Longboards come in completes which include decks, trucks or risers, wheels, bushings, etc of the same company. There are custom longboards too under which you can choose decks andaccessories of different longboard companies and assemble them to make your own customized complete. Assembling a customized board is OK to the extent that you choose best products for your styles, however it is my recommendation to buy a complete because mostly their manufacturers research a lot and provide good solutions. If you want to assemble yourself, we will guide you in the future about how you can get the best for your longboarding needs.

Longboards come in different flavors starting from beginner skills like learning to stand on a board to expert skills like jumping or dancing or even doing flips. Thinking about your skill levels and to help you, I have made seven categories and assigned a graphical chart to each category, by going through these charts you can choose the right product according to your skills easily.

Longboards for Beginners

When you are starting and looking for best longboards for beginners always look for boards that are durable, strong, have smooth wheels and must be affordable. Their are many good longboard companies out there, but keeping a novice in mind I am pointing these five longboards. These are good ones, easily available and also fits in your pocket.

ImageCompany & Product NameRiding StyleMaterialSize in InchesRating
ImageCompany & Product NameRiding StyleMaterialSize in InchesRating
Wedge CompleteCarving, Cruising, Freeride, Downhill7 Ply Cold Pressed Maple31.3" L x 7.25" W x 15.5" WB4.7
Quest (2012 Classic)Carving, Cruising, Freeride, Downhill7 Ply Hardwood Maple40.0" L x 4.5" W x 10.0" WB4.0
Penny (Graphic Complete)Carving, Cruising, Freeride, DownhillUnbreakable Hard Plastic22.0" L x 7.00" W x 7.0" WB4.6
Madrid (Dream Drop Through)Carving, Cruising, Freeride, DownhillFull Maple Laminate38.875" L x 9.25" W x 30.875" WB4.5
Atom (Drop-Through)Carving, Cruising, Freeride, DownhillFull Maple Laminate41.0" L x 4.7" W x 10.6" WB4.3

Longboards for Carving

Carving is a technique that allows a surfer control his speed while traveling downhill. To control the speed the surfer leans his board left and right making an “S” shape. It is an effective way to control your travel and thus boards meant for carving only are recommended.

Usually concave boards are used for carving purposes because they help in transferring your weight appropriately along the board when you lean your longboard to turn or stop, they also help in taking full advantage of your carving skills. Below are my recommended brands of longboards for carving.

ImageCompany & Product NameRiding StyleMaterialSize in InchesRating
ImageCompany & Product NameRiding StyleMaterialSize in InchesRating
Arbor (Timeless Pin Koa)Carving7 Ply Maple with Premium Wood Top46.0" L x 9.5" W x 32.25" WB4.8
Gravity & Larry Bertlemann (Circa)Carving7 Ply Hardrock Maple32.5" L x 9.25" W x 20.0" WB4.7
Loaded (Dervish Sama Flex 3)CarvingLaminated Bamboo42.8" L x 9.0" W x 31.5" WB4.8
Never Summer (Clutch)CarvingMaple Composite39.0" L x 10.0" W x 29.4" WB4.8
Original Skateboards (Apex 34 AV Rocker Concave)CarvingHigh-End Quad-Axial Fiberglass34.75" L x 9.0" W x 24.0" WB4.8

Longboards for Cruising

Longboards for cruising are quite different from normal skateboards, they are made for long journeys, sharp turns and rough roads. Usually long length boards are used for curising, their trucks and wheels are chosen specially to support them for better turning and smooth rides.

These days short length and mini cruisers like 80’s retro-styled boards are also in vogue as they are easily transportable, durable and can be put in a storage locker easily. Below are the longboards of my choice.

ImageCompany & Product NameRiding StyleMaterialSize in InchesRating
ImageCompany & Product NameRiding StyleMaterialSize in InchesRating
Arbor (Shakedown Koa Complete)Cruising7 Ply Maple, Premium Wood Top36.0" L x 9.0" W x 17.25" WB4.9
Yocaher (Mini Cruiser)Cruising7 Ply Hard Rock Maple27.0" L x 8.0" W4.0
Bahne Skateboards (El Muerto)Cruising7 Ply Hardwood Maple35.0" L x 8.25" W x 5.5" WB4.0
Globe (Chromantic Cruiser)Cruising7 PLY MAPLE33.0" L x 9.75" W x 6.0" WB4.8
Santa Cruz (Sugar Skull Pintail Cruzer)Cruising7 Ply Canadian Maple43.5" L x 9.9" W x 31.619" WB4.9

Longboards for Slalom

Slalom is an art of waving in and out to avoid obstacles places on path to test the skills of a skater. This longboarding style was very favorite in 70’s and it is again gaining popularity. Skaters decide to wave between whatever obstacles come in their path, they follow the disciplines and thus make it a non-competitive play.

This style is very similar to carving style and skaters who are good at carving can do it better. Usually standard decks are chosen for this style, but the choice of wheels should soft and clutching in the rear and harder wheels in the front to reduce vibration and accelerate speed. My choice of longboards for Slalom are.

ImageCompany & Product NameRiding StyleMaterialSize in InchesRating
ImageCompany & Product NameRiding StyleMaterialSize in InchesRating
Santa Cruz (Trip Dot Tie Dye)SlalomBamboo, Fiberglass38.0" L x 9.0" W x 29.0" WB4.9
Sector 9 (Hot Steppa)Slalom5 Ply Vertically Laminated Bamboo32.5" L x 8.375" W x 27.0" WB4.9
Fullbag (Red Baron-Hybrid)SlalomHigh Quality Maple33.5" L x 9.0" W x 20.0-21.5" WB5.0
Sk8king (AXE II Ultimate)SlalomTop Quality Carbon Fiber32.5" L x 8.625" W x 20.75-21.75" WB5.0
Dusters (Kosher Complete)Slalom7 Ply Maple33.0" L x 9.5" W x 22.375" WB4.8

Longboards for Freeriding

Freeriding is a convenient discipline of longboarding which includes many styles and is a mixture of creativity. Freeriders spin or switch their boards while sliding without touching their hands on ground. Usually freeriders stand to slide or surf their boards but if they plan to touch the ground, they wear preventive hand gloves.

Utmost important discipline of freeriding is to first learn how to balance the body weight and control the speed. As there are less restrictions, a freerider can choose different styles and amalgamate to make his own style, it can be a fun form for advanced learners as well as beginners too. Below is the chart of my favorite freeride longboards.

ImageCompany & Product NameRiding StyleMaterialSize in InchesRating
ImageCompany & Product NameRiding StyleMaterialSize in InchesRating
Rayne (Avenger)FreerideBamboo, Tri-Axial Fiberglass37.0" L x 10.0" W x 30.0" WB4.8
Landyachtz (Drop Speed)Freeride7 Ply of Maple, Tri-Axial Fiberglass38.5" L x 9.4" W x 28.6" WB4.9
Original Skateboards (Apex 37 Double Concave)FreerideDouble Concave 9 Ply Maple37.75" L x 9.25" W x 26.5" WB4.9
Sector 9 (Chamber)Freeride8 Ply Maple33.75" L x 8.25" W x 22.8" WB4.9
Arbor (Genesis 44 Premium Complete)Freeride4 Ply maple, 2 Ply Fiberglass, Koa Wood44.0" L x 9.6" W x 32.0" WB4.9

Longboards for Downhill

Downhill racing as the name implies is referred to a discipline that involves racing down hills at fast speeds but at the same time keeping the board under control. Sometimes the velocity rate could be 70-75 mph and it could be dangerous for new riders to ride downhill, however skilled commuters take advantage of their skills and try to maintain their balance and speed without losing control even on steep turns.

In other posts I’ll tell you how many types of longboards are there, which board is for which technique, what trucks and wheels you should use while following certain styles, but for now it is important to understand that protection is necessary for any style that you choose. Helmets, hand gloves, elbow pads, knee pads, goggles, good shoes, etc are some of the protective materials that you should put into your backpacks when you go for riding.

Downhill riding has become a popular style today and it is growing very rapidly, manufacturing companies keep an eye on the skaters and amend their products regularly that are meant for racing. Art and Technology has changed the face of riding, today learning this skill has become easy and it only depends on a skater how fast he becomes an expert in his style. In the chart below, I list my favorite downhill boards.

ImageCompany & Product NameRiding StyleMaterialSize in InchesRating
ImageCompany & Product NameRiding StyleMaterialSize in InchesRating
Landyachtz (Evo 2014)Downhill11 Ply of Canadian Maple39.0" L x 9.8" W x 32.2" WB4.9
Rayne (Demonseed 2014)DownhillBamboo, Pre-Tensioned Fiberglass44.0" L x 10.0" W x 34.5" WB4.9
Loaded (Vanguard Flex 2)DownhillBamboo, Fiberglass42.0" L x 8.5" W x 35.0" WB4.8
Sector 9 (Brandy)Downhill8 Ply Cold Pressed Maple40.0" L x 10.2" W x 25.5-30.5" WB4.9
Gravity (M3 Complete)Downhill9 Ply Hardrock Maple36.0" L x 10.0" W x 27.0-28.0" WB4.8

Longboards for Dancing

Dance longboarding is an old school technique that allows a skater to mix many moves like spinning the board, changing positions on the deck, performing side-stepping, boardwalking, etc for maximum creativity. These days many skaters are doing well on smaller boards, but if you want more stability and smooth performance then you should consider longer boards above 43 inches. Below are my choice of longboards for dancing.

ImageCompany & Product NameRiding StyleMaterialSize in InchesRating
ImageCompany & Product NameRiding StyleMaterialSize in InchesRating
Sector 9 (Super Tubes)Dancing7 Ply Maple43.5" L x 9.0" W x 30.875" WB4.9
Rayne (Supreme 2014)DancingBamboo, Fiberglass42.5" L x 10.0" W x 30.0-31.0" WB4.9
Arbor (Timeless Pin Reclaimed)Dancing6 Ply Maple, Premium Wood Top46.0" L x 9.5" W x 32.25" WB4.9
Loaded (Bhangra Flex 2)DancingLaminated Bamboo48.5" L x 9.5" W x 32.75" WB4.2
Bustin (Cigar 38 Subway Green)Dancing8 Ply Hard Rock Canadian Maple38.0" L x 9.0" W x 30.0" WB4.5

There are many techniques of longboarding which we will cover in other sections. To my knowledge the longboard brands which I have covered above are some of the best in the market today. Longboarding is fun, the techniques of today become history tomorrow, the longboards of today will be upgraded tomorrow, what will not become obsolete is your style, your expertise and your passion for this thrilling sport.