Choosing the right longboard or skateboard can be a confusing and difficult process. There are a wide variety of shapes, flexes, designs, and sizes to choose from. A good longboard should be customized to fit your riding style, weight, and desired characteristics. This guide is meant to be a simple “how to buy a longboard” guide for first time riders trying to choose the right board.
Double Kick Popsicle: This shape is great for riders with experience on traditional skateboards. Double kicked design is great for ollies and tricks, and having a larger platform makes for a more flowy feel than a traditional skate deck.
Cambered Pintail: A classic shape and design for deep carves and relaxed cruising. The directional shape and and cambered platform is great for a surfy feel, walking the board, cross stepping etc. Most pintails will have a small tail and are easily kick turned.
Pintail with Kicktail: Most of the advantages of the Cambered Pintail with some additional utility. Bigger better upturned tail is perfect for city cruising, small ollies, and easy fun tricks.
Double Kick Cutaway: Upturned nose and tail offer opportunities for freestyle tricks while the “cutaway design” helps prevent wheel bite. These boards can run the gamut from cruiser designs to freestyle or freeride. Best for intermediate or advanced riders.
Drop-Through Double Kick Cutaway: Lowered riding platform makes these boards easy to push for beginners or commuters. Kicktails offer opportunities for tricks or kick turns. Cutaway design helps reduce wheel bite. Drop through mounting decreases maneuverability but may feel more stable at moderate speeds for some riders.
Drop-Through Symmetrical Cutaway: Lowered platform is great for pushing. Cutaway design eliminates wheel bite. Drop-through mounting reduces maneuverability but may feel more stable at moderate speeds for some riders. Great board for first time riders.
Drop-Through Directional Cutaway: Very similar to the drop-through symmetrical cut away but with a directional shape. The directional shape allows designers to customize the board width for the front and back foot and also adjust the flex pattern of the board.
“Double Drop” Drop-Through Symmetrical Cutaway: Great board for pushing or freeriding. These boards create an extra low riding platform by using a “dropped deck” and also a drop-through truck mount. The low platform is perfect for pushing long distances and the “dropped deck” creates nice pockets that lock in the feet for freeriding.
Choosing the Right Size and Flex
Size and flex are a critical decisions when finding the right board for you. Like yin and yang, peanut butter and jelly, and any other delicate balance there is no absolute right answer, you need to determine your personal preference between, flex, weight, and physical size and find the right board for you.
Flex (layup): The “layup” (physical materials) that give a board it’s structure combined with the shape profile of a board determine the amount of flexibility in the deck. Boards with more flex are generally lighter in weight and thinner. The spring from a flexy board can be great for absorbing vibration or adding a bit of energy to your carve. Stiffer boards are perceived as more stable and offer more responsive turning, ideal for higher speeds and more technical maneuvers. For new riders and cruisers and carvers we recommend a board with moderate flex.
Size: Board Length and width should be an important factor when selecting your longboard. Shorter boards with short wheelbases will have a smaller turning radius and turn quickly while longer boards will have larger turning radius’ and turn more slowly. For beginners longer boards with less maneuverability may be easier to adapt to and balance on. For experience riders shorter boards and wheel bases can offer greater performance when turning, carving, and sliding.
Still Not Sure?
These guides are meant to be a recommendation but not the rule. There are plenty of special cases and exceptions that may lead you to veer off of our standard recommendations.
If you are every in doubt, make sure to drop us a line via chat, email, or phone.