Longboarding is white-knucklesport and has aficionados all around the world. It’s a game that needs certain amount of skills as it is a relatively difficult sport. It needs balancing and controlling skills on part of the rider and visual coordination and reflex actions need to be highly developed for safe surfing experience. But once, you mastered this set of skills, you are going to be hooked for good.
Longboard is a long skateboard and showcases considerably different features than the skateboard. In this article, we are going to discuss and guide you in getting the best longboard for beginners. Longboards come in different categories depending upon many factors and one factor is the level of expertise you have. Longboards for beginners are available in the markets which are built especially to assist the newbies in their learning experience. So to avoid bruised elbows and skinned knees, invest on the longboard that will assist on your virgin flight, so to say and How can Longboarding keep you fit?.
What to Look for as a Beginner?
There are a few things you should focus on while choosing your longboard. Like:
- Different components of longboard
- Kind of ride you are interested in
- Shape of longboard based on personal preference
Overview of Components
Let’s just get to know the components that make up the longboard and we’ll try to understand which components individually assist beginners.
Deck is the principal component of longboard as it supports the rider. It comes in different types.
These three are the basic kinds of decks available and refers to the way trucks are mounted on them. Drop-through has trucks mounted through the deck and mounted on top of the deck. While, in Top-mount, the deck is mounted on top of the trucks. Drop-down are the ones that are shaped in such a way that they drop down even more nearer to the ground. These are gaining quite popularity among the longboard junkies but is considerably expensive as compared to the rest.
When it comes to the choice of decks for the beginners, drop-through decks are considered the best ones for beginners. As the trucks mounted on top means deck is near to the ground. It not only makes it easier on your legs and feet while pushing, but also makes the ride stable. They are all-rounders and can be used for any kind of ride.
Material of the Decks
Mostly, decks are made of Maple or Bamboo wood. Maple is hard while Bamboo is light and more flexible. Mable being stiffer provides more stability and is best for Freeride and downhill surfing and will definitely provide beginners with a safe and stable ride. Bamboo offers more flexibility for carving and cruising. Choice lies with you, of course!
The next most crucial component of longboard is its wheels that make all the moves! They play a crucial part in making the ride exciting or otherwise. The most important things to know about the wheels are its size a Durometer. There are other things as well that make the wheel go round, but these are the basics which should be done right.
Size matters. Large sized wheels takes time to accelerate but keeps their speed steady once they gain momentum and have faster top speeds than smaller wheels. Due to more area in contact with ground, larger wheels also provide more stability than small ones as they negotiate bumps and debris with more ease than the other. So, getting large size wheels would be a good idea for your first longboard.
This refers to the softness of the wheels and longboards are known for having them. The softer the wheel, more grip and control over the movement and the board is ensured. 78a to 82a Durometer of a wheel is best for beginners to start with.
By tightening and loosing of the truck, you can adjust the stability factor of your longboard. Wheels are attached with the trucks so they are very important components. The trucks that are firmly tightened are more stable and will give smooth Freeride and downhill experience. So, you don’t have to mess with the truck unless you have adventure in mind. By loosening it, you give it more freedom to turn. People, generally make a mistake of tightening the trucks unnecessarily when they are starting out which makes its turning difficult. So the best thing is to feel the ride of the board and tighten only enough to make your riding experience easy for you.
Shape and Width
Width though, doesn’t make much difference but it does provide stability factor if the longboard has wider deck. Decks are available in Concave, Flat and Camber shapes. They all showcase different riding experience. Flat decks, in my opinion, will provide much better and stable ride to the beginners.
You got your longboard and are ready to roll. But not without your protective gear. Beginners or no beginners; protective gear is a must even for the pros.
Head injuries are highly likely in every wheel based sport and they can be fatal so the most important item in protective gear is helmet. Going fast or slow doesn’t matter as having head striking the road or sidewalk can prove fatal no matter how fast or slow you were surfing. Helmets come in various shapes and sizes; get one that fits you right. Don’t leave home without it.
Slide gloves are next in the list. They are the brakes for longboard. Having padded palms, they keep your hands safe from road rash while applying brakes or using your hands to shutdown slides.
They are not as important as helmets or slide gloves but for beginners, it is highly recommended. Especially, when you are going downhill or learning how to slide.
Going downhill at fast speed definitely calls for every kind of protection you can get as the road rash at high speed is going to be pretty painful.
It comes in form of shorts worn under clothes. They come in handy when you are learning new tricks or surfing downhill.
Hopefully, this article is going to be helpful in your longboard journey and make it a stimulating experience as beginner.