Overview of the Best Longboards
The most important aspect in longboarding is your choice of board and parts. If buying a complete board, you want the entire package: good trucks, good wheels, and a good deck as a base for the components. Buying individual parts, you can tailor the board slightly more to your needs by choosing specific trucks if you want to start doing fast downhill or different wheels if you want to start sliding.
This guide is intended as a reference for beginner riders to determine what kind of board they should be looking into buying.
See below for our top longboard selections in cruising, downhill, and free riding longboards. To guarantee that you like these longboards, each of these were personally reviewed and evaluated for ease of use, component quality, and overall ride quality.
Although different brands and different longboards can differ, cruising longboards typically have a stiff deck, loose trucks, and hard wheels. Also common, is a short length of anywhere from 30 to 40 inches. These different aspects allow a slim turning radius for these longboards allowing riders to make those 90 degree sidewalk turns and go through crowds easily.
While not the typical longboard due to their extremely short length, Penny Boards also fit in this category. Penny boards are designed exclusively for commuting unlike the other cruising longboards. These penny boards come in a variety of different styles and colors and can be very cheap depending on where to get them. The drawback to this version of a cruising longboard is that there is no versatility.
With the longboards above, riders can easily take those boards downhill and learn how to slide with them. Due to the Penny Board design, any riding but for commuting purpose is strongly discouraged.
However, Penny Boards excel as a commuting longboard and are best sellers due to their style and light weight.
Downhill longboards are characterized by their slightly stiffer deck and trucks. Depending on the setup and longboard, the wheels can range in diameter and hardness. Downhill longboards typically have a lower center of gravity than cruising longboards which allow them to stay stable at higher speeds. This stability makes these boards ideal for beginners who want to start riding and learning how to go fast.
Downhill longboards are sometimes the best longboards for beginners because to some extent, they can do it all. While they excel at going fast, in order to control the board, it must have good carving capability. These are also the most popular kind of starting longboards for beginners.
Free Ride Boards
Beginners are generally afraid of free rid boards as they are aimed at more advanced riders. There’s no need to be though! A lot of the free ride boards available currently excel as commuter and carving boards in addition to being free ride focused boards. This is because they are designed to be nimble boards which lends itself well to having a great carving capability.
One main advantage of Free ride boards is that they typically represent one of the higher end parts of the longboard market. This means that when you buy a free ride board(our favorites are shown below), you can be assured of great components and a solid ride.
A company that is very popular with excellent free ride boards is Arbor Collective which makes the Arbor Longboard Axis shown above. This board is made completely out of bamboo, comes with excellent Caiber trucks, and is a carving machine.