Unlike skateboards, longboards are a distinct category of personal transportation.
The claim may seem clear, yet the subject goes deeper than you might imagine.
Skateboards are better for quick bursts of movement and tricks, while longboards are better for longer distances and higher speeds despite the fact that both types of boards were created to provide surfers a chance to enjoy the rolling motion when the surf is low or the weather is too bad.
Because skateboards are more maneuverable but also less stable, longboards are the logical extension of this concept.
Generally speaking, longboards are a subtype of skateboards, with the most noticeable distinction being not the size, but rather the construction of the board itself.
Skateboards are typically 30 inches long and 7 inches wide, however longboards can range in length from 22 to 45 inches and 9 inches wide on average.
How to Choose the Right Longboard Size
For longboards, there are several considerations to keep in mind: length, breadth, flex, style, shape, and a few more.
Obviously, all of this is dependent on your intended purpose for the board.
While skateboards are mostly utilized for trick and turn-based riding, longboards can be used for everything from getting around town to cruising the hills and even doing tricks.
A longboard is categorized as cruising (or carving), downhill, freeride, or freestyle based on the style of longboarding it is used for and its associated specifications (although this is roughly speaking, and some longboarders may argue for a different division).
For the time being, let us take a closer look at the board’s specifications and how they impact its performance.
The rule of thumb is that the longer a board is, the more stable it is.
Conversely, a shorter board has less stability but is more agile, allowing you to slice streets and turn corners with greater efficiency. This works both ways.
If we’re talking about deck size, it’s safe to say that the wider the board, the more stable the ride.
As longboard sizes range from 22 to 45+ inches, it follows that the width should follow suit, therefore the smaller ones are about 7 inches wide (similar to a skateboard), while the larger ones can reach up to 9 inches wide..
The board’s flex, or ability to absorb shocks and produce a springy feel as you ride it, is just as important as the board’s size when it comes to pushing and carving power.
The board’s overall stability is, of course, impacted by the flex.
Soft, medium, and stiff are the main types of longboards, with the choice mostly based on personal preference.
If you desire a particular look, then the deck should descend as low as possible.
Each of the four styles of mounting is ranked in order of how sturdy they are: top mount, drop-through (also known as a drop deck), double drop (sometimes known as a double drop), and drop deck.
As a result, pushing or breaking will require less effort if the drop is smaller.
For those of you who haven’t figured it out, top-mount and drop-through are two distinct styles of skateboarding.
If you’ve ever been on a drop deck, you’ll know what the double drop does.
It’s not the only thing to consider; it’s not the most important.
You can choose either symmetrical or directional with your board, which will have an impact on what you can and can’t accomplish with it.
Carvers, cruisers, and downhill longboarders will enjoy the first type, while freeriders and freestylers will prefer the second variety, known as a “twin board.”
Perhaps the most important consideration is whether the board has a kick tail (nice for tricks, but not essential) or what type of indent it has (the latter is more important) (enhances the grip your feet have on the board).
For instance, what are the ideal longboard sizes for different styles of longboarding?
Let’s break this out numerically.
Even if you’re only driving across the country to visit your significant other in another state and don’t plan on going down any hills, you’ll need a vehicle that provides stability and comfort.
Shorter boards are better for quick turns and sharp angles, while longer boards are better for carving at higher speeds because of their greater stability.
Even if you’re looking for a first longboard for your child or you’re a short rider who is confident enough to ride one, longboards between 28 and 32 inches are suitable.
Sizes between 32 and 42 inches would be the most ideal for novices regardless of their height.
Consider something in this price range if you’re sick of borrowing a buddy’s board for quick cruises (or if your friend is).
You should not be scared to go over 40 inches if you require anything for a leisurely ride.
However, bear in mind that the weight increases as the length increases.
Longboarders can reach speeds of up to 50 mph while competing in the sport of downhill longboarding, which is the most competitive component of the activity.
If you want to go as quickly as possible down hills while still retaining control, you’ll need the correct board.
You’ll want a board with a drop through the deck, w-concave, and square-lip wheels that is at least 36 inches long.
Just to be on the safe side, if you’re new to downhill boarding, a 40-inch board or longer could be a good idea.
Don’t start longboarding downhill right away; practice for a long time beforehand to ensure your personal safety!
Freeriding necessitates a certain level of skill and comfort with riding at high speeds up hills, as well as the ability to include slips and curbs into the ride.
Obviously, a stable board is needed for this, so anything between 38 and 42 inches in length should work OK.
So as not to compromise the stability but also not to make it too heavy and bulky, you should not go below 38 inches and not above 42 inches.
Seemore: how to tighten skateboard trucks
As the name suggests, there are no prerequisites for freestyle.
It’s available to all levels of experience, with the sole restriction being your level of proficiency.
It’s important to have a board that’s both stable and agile for freestyle, but the most difficult part will be deciding on the design and color scheme.