Longboarding is a fun and full of energy hobby, which is also a cool-looking means of transportation. Have you seen some guys having fun together while riding on the street with fancy boards and wanted to learn it?
I mean, why not?
But to know how to choose the best longboard for beginners is not an easy task. But our article can help. We know it’s a long list, but please read carefully before spending any money on it for the journey ahead.
Purpose And Style
This is where you should focus.
The models used in urban skating are called Cruisers, in which you can casually roll around town in a relaxing manner. This is the most recommended style for beginners, helping you learn how to longboard.
They are flexible and maneuverable, which can help you navigate your way through a crowded sidewalk. Some longer models provide more stability in tight turns and at higher speeds.
Freestyle & Downhill
Proceed with caution!
You do not need to worry about these styles at this point as they are for skilled riders only. Freestyle, as you can guess, has basically no limits. You can do whatever you want, as long as you think you can pull it off: dancing, sliding, or other showing-off tricks.
Downhill is on the speed side of longboarding. The goal is trying to achieve the highest speed possible while maintaining control at long slopes.
It’s fast, really, really fast, and sometimes the speed may reach up to 50 km/h. And of course, the requirements for longboards in such performances are different from that of what you will need as a beginner.
This is a popular choice. You can Weave your way through sidewalks and crowds easily thanks to the small kicktail and overall size.
These longboards are closer to the ground because of the way the trucks are mounted, lower the center of gravity of the entire board. It can provide comfort, stability when riding.
You can consider a flexible drop-through because you can push easier and maintain a stable speed due to the low profile.
These models are suitable for carving with a lot of benefits. You will also notice the improved stability due to the position of the wheels, which are at the end of the deck.
Short (under 32”)
This is the perfect choice for short and young riders. Many experienced riders also prefer these longboards as they can take advantage of it to perform hard tricks. But since it is more difficult to navigate, beginners should be careful.
Mid sizes (32-42”)
The recommended choice for beginners no matter what’s your height. You can take these boards and begin to enjoy your first cruise right away.
Long (above 42”)
Those who want to take long, relaxed rides should buy these longboards. Although they are heavy and not a good choice for you to carry every day, they can help you ride on boardwalk or sidewalk.
Beginners should avoid large wheels since they can run and turn faster, which is more suitable for advanced riders.
On the other hand, they should have a look at longboards with small wheels. While they have lower speeds, these boards are easier to learn and navigate without introducing injuries.
Boards with soft wheels run slower, so they become stable on pavement and give you smooth tight turns. They can also help you ride efficiently on difficult surfaces. So while they are meant for urban riding, soft wheels are not always suitable for beginners.
Hard-wheel longboards are born for downhill riding. They are tougher and can operate at high speeds without problems. But on the flip side, they have not very maneuverable, and as a result, not efficient for urban riding.
But always remember that you can replace the wheels later if they are broken or you feel their size and hardness are not for you.
The ABEC (Annular Bearing Engineering Committee) standardizes the bearing ratings, which is from 1 to 9. You can use them to determine the longboard you need.
Coarse bearings, which can slow the board, have the ABEC 1 rating. This is the option you should opt for as a beginner. On the other hand, longboards with ABEC-9 bearings usually run faster and smoother, which are more suitable for skilled riders.
The flex is vital to the performance of a longboard because it is the main component in pushing the board’s wheels on the ground, jutting it out at tight turns.
You can a quick test to see if the flex is for you at the longboard shop.
First, put the board on the ground and stand on it, keep your feet in the trucks. It should not flex, even just a little. Now push your weight on it. If you can drive the deck flex, the board should be flex.
The kicktail is the part where you can see the board curve a little. Have it or not is a question about your purpose: whether you want to practice difficult techniques or not. Skilled riders can use longboards with a kicktail to perform fancy tricks like hopping down curbs or quick turns.
But that does not mean you should always avoid a kicktail board as a beginner. Maybe you won’t need to use it much while still learning to ride longboards, but in the long term, if freestyle is attractive to you, you can save money by not having another board for it.
In case you are a straightforward guy and prefer speed and distance to show off, you can choose a board without it.
This wood is the most popular longboard material. Maple, which is hard and highly durable, can be efficient and useful in long downhill rides. But you may find it hard to navigate with it between crowded streets or maneuver at tight turns because of its rigidity.
Longboards made of bamboo are flexible, suitable for urban riding. They are becoming a favorite choice among longboard riders.
When standing on them, you will feel they are lighter than maple boards. They are also thinner, enabling the board to bend easier to provide better stability. But be careful when jumping them on rough surfaces as they are not as strong as maple boards.
As you could guess, these boards are new to the market. Built with modern and accurate technologies, they are stronger and lighter than traditional longboards. But to have a board like that on your hand with such quality, you must pay a much higher price. This renders it almost an impossible choice for beginners.
This depends entirely on your market. In most cases, longboards that cost more have better quality. And as a beginner, you should choose a durable model to keep you safe when trying your first moves.
But that is not the entire picture.
Like many other hobbies, longboards maybe just a fleeting interest of yours. So before being sure about whether you really like it and want to improve your skills in the long term, opt for simple and easy to use boards first.
We can’t give the absolute answer to the question of the best longboard for every beginner as there are various riding styles, sizes, designs, etc. But we hope these criteria above can help you narrow your choice in search of the best longboard for beginners.
If you still have any questions or just want to share your thoughts about a board you purchase after this article, please leave them in the comment section, and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.