There's no greater feeling in the world than the feeling of freedom that you get from riding your longboard down an open stretch of road.
If you already skate, then you know that it's one of the closest things to flying you can do -- without actually leaving the ground.
But, the only way to achieve this feeling is by having the right set of wheels.
If you're on the market for a new longboard and aren't sure where to start, don't worry -- we're here to help you out.
Here is a longboard buying guide that will make finding your next board as smooth as the ride you'll get from it.
Pick a Style
Not all longboards are equal.
When it comes to picking out a new longboard, everything depends on how you're going to ride it. While some boards excel and carving up the side of a hill, others are better for doing tricks.
Once you figure out your style, then you can pick a board that will work best for you.
These boards are best for cruising, and they tend to be more flexible than other boards. Cruisers are great for beginners and skaters who are only looking to get from one place to another.
This kind of board is excellent for those skaters who like the feel of a longboard but still want the ability to do tricks. These boards are usually a bit stiffer than cruisers which allow for a little extra speed.
This kind of board is almost like a more advanced cruiser. Its design makes it great for performing more elaborate maneuvers and riding in hilly areas.
Freeride boards are one of the best longboards for skaters who rely on their boards for transportation.
The downhill style board is excellent for one thing -- riding crazy fast down hills.
If speed is your thing and you aren't anticipating making any advanced maneuvers than a downhill longboard is the best pick for you.
Style aside, there are a few other aspects you need consider before making your final decision.
Longboards are not one-size-fits-all.
The width of your board should correspond roughly with your shoe size so you can comfortably maneuver it.
Generally speaking, there are three longboard lengths you can consider when picking a board.
Long longboards are roughly 50 inches are for longer, faster rides and tall skaters.
Midsize boards, 42-inches, is the most common length and will work for pretty much any style.
Finally, short longboards, 34-inches, are for younger or smaller skaters.
Whether you should get a kicktail depends on your skill level and primary riding habits.
If you're a beginner, or you don't like making fast turns or doing tricks, then you don't need a kicktail. Or, if you're an advanced rider who wants to do more than cruise around, then you should get a board with a kicktail.
The material from which your longboard is made also makes a difference, in speed and manoeuvrability. You should give some thought to choosing your longboard deck material.
If you go looking for an exhaustive list, you will find that longboards are made from a wide variety of materials, but the three main types of material are Maple, Bamboo and Carbon Fiber.
Have a look at these three types of longboard material and choose what will suit you the best. These are the most popular kind of longboards.
Longboards made from Maple
This is by far the most common material for skateboard decks. Maple is essentially sturdy and long lasting, so is a very good choice. This material longboard deck will stay solid and in good shape no matter how much and how rough you use your longboard. You can go in for a Maple longboard whether you are a beginner or a pro.
Bamboo Decks for skateboards
The popularity of bamboo decks for longboards is on the rise. Compared to Maple longboards, the bamboo longboard decks will be more flexible and also significantly lighter. This makes the bamboo longboards easier to ride as well as to carry around.
Longboard decks made with bamboo give the skateboard qualities that make them really good for carving and for cruising the streets. Overall bamboo is a great choice as a longboard deck material.
A carbon fiber longboard will be the most expensive among these options, and for good reason. A carbon fiber longboard has a foam core that makes the boards light, and layers of carbon fiber over this core, making it a high performing skateboard.
Actually carbon fiber is more or less the most expensive material for longboard decks. The reason these kind of decks are gaining popularity and skateboarders are going in for them in droves is because they are designed with the sole purpose of making your skateboarding better, faster and easier.
These carbon fiber longboards get your off the starting line faster, and also makes turns and slides effortless. Carbon fiber as a material is light and extremely tough and is slightly less flexible compared to other longboard materials.
Since these kind of longboards are so much better in performance, you will see pro skateboarders using them a lot. If you want a next level skateboarding experience and are ready to shell out slightly more, then go in for longboards made from carbon fiber.
Your Longboard Buying Guide
It doesn't matter whether you're a novice or you've been skating for years, picking out a new board can be tricky.
And when you add on the fact that longboards aren't exactly cheap, choosing the best board for you becomes that much more significant.
By following this longboard buying guide, you'll be able to find a perfect board that you'll be able to ride for years to come.
Ready to buy? Check out our top 10 recommendations for some of the best longboards on the market today.
Are you looking for more skate gear tips? We have articles on everything from the best boards to the greatest gloves, visit us today!
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