Longboarding is an exhilarating sports and a pure Adrenaline rush for the board surfing enthusiasts. Just like any other sports, proper equipment is a must. Because, if you are compromising on its quality; you are definitely compromising on the quality of the game itself. And nobody wants that, now do we?
So here we are with some useful tips and tricks which will help you in choosing the right kind of Longboard for your surfing adventure. Now, considering your expertise level, there are three kinds available, namely:
- Cruising – Beginners
- Downhill – Intermediate
- Freeriding – Expert
So the first thing that should be kept in mind while making the purchase is your level. And if you think, they look all the same, so why such a fuzz about categorizing them? Then, you already have compromised on the quality of the game you would enjoy by the end of the day. Here are the reasons why.
This is the beginner level surfing longboard that are especially crafted for the newbies who are taking on this sports for the first time. It is made to be stable and let the new rider get the feel of the game by helping him to learn to balance himself and take long distance pushes to move from point A to point B. It is also designed to taking smooth carvings around a crowd and takessmooth weaving cuts through it. So, using this board to your school or through busy market place, you can cruise through in smooth manner that you will enjoy.
Downhill is the next level, the intermediate when you are relatively skilled and confident enough to ride the longboard with more command and authority.It’s all about going downhill; as simple as that. The experience is exhilarating and liberating for the enthusiasts and it’sabout speed and stability. Downhill riders crouch down to reduce wind inertia and improve on stability. These boards provide the rider the right kind to make the ride safe and scintillating.
Freeriding is for the pros and provide the maximum chills and thrill that’s associated with this game. This level is attained after much bombarding of downhill rides and ample amount of expertise in controlling the speed and direction of your descent from big or small hills or ascends. It means that your comfort level is at the peak in controlling your ride at high speed and even higher comfort level in controlling your board and balance.
Next comes the board itself. There are plenty of things that you need to look into while buying your favourite longboard, and they should not, ever, be ignored. They are:
1. Board Shape
There are two basic shapes of longboards which are basis of all the board shapes designed and available in the market. Both of them are made to provide smooth and stable ride to beginners as well as pros.
These boards move in only one direction, forward. Pin Tail longboard is the most popular directional longboard. Most of the Carvers, Downhill and Cruisers are directional longboards but still, there are exceptions as well.
Twin or symmetrical boards look the same from whichever direction it’s facing. It is the best shape to assist freeriding and freestyle surfing, especially when you are trying to do 180° slide.
2. Deck Styles
Deck styles determine the kind of ride you get and the style of longboarding you are into and accordingly, different longboards come with multiple deck styles to provide you with best riding experience. Deck styles are defined by following factors.
- Foot-brake capability
- Pushing forward capability
- Agility factor while carving
These factors are taken in consideration while designing a deck of longboard which are different for different sort of rides.
This is the most traditional design decks available in the market and least expensive as well, making it the most chosen one. These are less stable for the centre of gravity is higher than other deck styles as the deck is mounted above the trucks. But this gives it leverage to make carves round the corner of streets more quick and clean than the others. They are more versatile and best choice for cruising, downhill, Freeride and freestyle.
Trucks of this longboard being mounted through the board lower the height of the board automatically. It helps to reduce the fatigue factor while pushing it as the foot has to drop less down to contact the ground. The board becomes more stable during its ride. This deck is considered ideal for long-distance-rides, Freeride and downhill riding adventures.
These decks are moulded while there manufacturing process so that they are nearer to the ground. This makes them look weird but make them stable and convenient to apply foot-brakes. Their stability factor makes them favourite among the downhill daredevils as well as the freeriding surfers.
Lowering the lowest bar, these longboards showcases both drop through and drop deck features making them almost kissing the ground. They are not very common as their manufacturing is a complicated process. This makes this longboard an expensive one as well. Mostly ardent downhill riders use this.
3. Board Length
Board length, or more appropriately, length of the wheel base figures high in the turning agility and stability of longboards. Longboards which are longer are more stable while moving at speed. But they lack the agility to take smooth and fast turn as boards with shorter wheelbase.
4. Board Flex
There multiple ranges of boards available in the market featuring different flex rating. This rating depends upon the board material, laminates, length and the degree of concave. According to this rating, boards flex falls into three categories.
- Soft: Excellent shock absorber but unstable at medium to high speed
- Medium: Stability at speed with good shock absorbing ability
- Stiff: Most stable at moderate to high speed but unforgiving on bumpy pavement
5. Longboard Wheels
Wheels are very important component of the longboard, that’s what make you move, literally! There are multiple factors that really figure high when you are choosing wheels for your board as they will be taking all the heat of the road as well as your stunts. Wheels come in basic two shapes; Round and Square. Squared ones are more in contact with the road, making it more stable. It provides more traction and resistance to sliding making it ideal for downhill and cruising. While, the round shaped wheels make them ideal for freeriding and freestyle enthusiasts as it offers less traction in its movement.
There are other factors that also hold significance while looking for the most versatile longboard for your kid or even yourself; but we have stated the basics that would be enough to make you a pro shopper for your ideal longboard!