You have different types of longboards that are specially designed for a particular style within longboarding... That is why it is important to be realistic about what you are going to do with the longboard and your own skills. If you take this into account, you will have a lot more fun on your board. Each longboard has its own shape, construction and flex pattern. This strongly influences the driving behaviour of the board and therefore also affects your driving style. In the following story about longboarding we try to give you as much useful information as possible about this fun sport.
Different driving styles
Within the longboarding there are different styles. Fireproof, make it plain easy? Yes sorry, we can't make more of it. You can enjoy a trip on your board to your school or work, but you can also go freestyle with all kinds of tricks or for the real men and women on your downhill board sloping down a hill. This also depends on where you live. In Rotterdam it is difficult to find a good hill, while in Maastricht you can have fun.
Cruising / Carving
Cruising and carving is nice with a little bit of pressure on your board your bends turning over the promenade, bike path or parking lot. If you're just starting out, this is probably the first introduction to longboarding. Just drop off and place your bends with a little bit of pressure on the board.
Downhill longboarding is like a racket letting yourself go down the mountain, while you are in complete control of your longboard. You're deeply burdened on your board so you can catch less wind and it's not surprising when you're working in a curve full of a slider. As you probably understand, downhillen is not directly suitable for the real beginners.
Freeride longboarding means that your speed is already a bit higher and you take the bends sloping. You also have full control over your longboard during the descent. This longboard shape requires some form
balance on the board and rely on higher speeds.
This is where the creative minds express themselves. Here you can do what you want. Freestyle longboarding involves technical tricks such as slides, board tricks, normal and switch riding and much more. Freestyling is a good way to get acquainted with your longboard, especially if you are a bit advanced or expert.
There are two boardshapes that cover all designs. Both shapes are suitable for both beginner and advanced longboarder.
These boards (e. g. pintails) are designed to go one way and that's ahead. If you go backwards with such a board, it will not feel very comfortable. Carver/Cruisers, downhill and freestyle longboards are usually directional.
A symmetrical twin feels the same in any direction. When you plan to make 180 degrees slides (a normal freeride and freestyle trick) then a symmetrical longboard is your thing.
The deck plays an important role in how stable the board is, how easy a foot-brake* is and how easy it is to move forward steppe nom. One rule of thumb is that the higher you stand from the ground, the higher the centrifugal force is. This results in less stability and is the stepping and foot-braking with your board heavier.
(*Footbrake is a technique in which you place your footstep slightly on the gravel to brake. On the other hand, a lower board is more difficult with short bends because you're sitting on the ground faster. And how you can keep your board slanted, the sharper the curves become.
Drop Trough Longboard
The "trucks" are mounted on a drop trough longboard through the deck. This lowers the thickness of the deck at ground level (plus minus 1.2cm). This ensures more stability and less effort with steppes and footbreaks. Ideal for long distances (commuting from e. g. train to school or work) or freeride and downhill.
Drop Deck longboard
These are those crazy looking longboards. Due to a special construction, the deck hangs low on the ground, which makes the board extremely stable. And so is ideal for long distances steppes and downhills. The trucks against this are normally mounted.
All longboards come with their own specific shapes which give the boards special characteristics and thus indicate the desired use of the board.
Terms such as kicktails, wheel cutouts and concave.... to name but a few.
Kicktails is what sits at both ends on normal skateboards. These kicktails make it easy for you to lift the board on one side to do a trick or a quick turn. Longboards can have a kicktail on one directional board or two sides (symmetrical). They're doing well on cruizers to go over bumps and pavements more easily and an important part on freestyle longboards.
Wheel cut outs / Wheel wells
At the underside of some longboards, arches have been milled at the wheel level. These ensure that the wheels do not bite the deck when the curve is too sharp. If that happens, your board will stand still and you're moving forward, so that's not really desirable. Your wheels can still hit the deck when the trucks are too softly adjusted or you have too big wheels underneath.
The grip tape (transparent or black) ensures that you are firmly on the board. But a concave in the deck also helps. Concave means nothing more that the sides of the board are higher than the center of the board. When you are standing on your longboard, your feet will shape towards this shape, so that your contact with the board becomes bigger, resulting in more grip. The size of the concave often determines what the board is made for. Downhill boards have a deeper concave than cruisers.
Longboard length / wheelbase
The length of your board or wheelbase is decisive for the driving behaviour of your longboard. Longer boards or boards with a longer wheelbase offer more stability at higher speeds. The disadvantage is that they don't run as fast as boards with a shorter wheelbase. The length, width and wheelbase of a longboard are often displayed in inches.
The most common is the use of multilayer thin layers of maple or baltic birch wood as most traditional skateboards are made. The layers are glued to each other (usually 7-8 layers) and pressed together in a mould. You can imagine that the more layers you use, the stiffer the board becomes.
Some manufacturers use the rediscovered Bamboo because of its resilience. Together with a low fiberglass or other composite material such as carbon, you get a strong and resilient longboard. A very expensive variant is when the longboard is made up of carbon, a thin layer of foam and a layer of bamboo. This results in a strong board which is lightweight. Ideal for downhillers.
Longboards come in different flex patterns, which are determined by factors such as the use of materials, finish and degree of concave in the deck. That's why each board has its own personal touch. You can place the flex in three categories:
Soft: Shock-absorbing, unstable at higher speeds. Ideal for mellow cruising and certain board tricks
Medium: More stability at higher speeds, gives good rebound and plaice absorbing. Ideal for carving, cruising and commuting
Hard: Stable at high speeds, less absorbent and therefore ideal for downhill.
The trucks ensure that the wheels and deck are connected to each other and can be controlled by your movement. Longboard trucks are different from those of normal skateboards. Longboard trucks often have a reverse or inverted kingpin (the area on which the truck is running). This ensures better side-to-side movement for stability and control. By loosening or tightening the trucks you can influence the steering movement. Losser means that the trucks move better, so better turns. If you attach your trucks you are more stable at higher speeds.
Adjusting the hardness of the rubbers (durometer) can also influence steering behaviour.
This section is attached to your longboard with four screws
The pendant rotates around the baseplate and is the axis to which the wheels are attached.
The bushings are the rubber part between the kingpin, baseplate and pendant. There are two bushings per longboard truck. Tougher bushings are harder to turn and go back to the starting position faster. Softer bushings absorb more energy, which makes turning easier. Turning the truck tighter can affect the characteristics of your board.
The wheels play a major role in how your longboard does it. The wheels provide contact between you and the road. The wheels are packed for speed, balance and cornering behaviour. There are several factors that determine which wheel behaves. These factors are the shape, width, durometer and core type.
There are two types of shapes of wheels, at least the cheeks of the wheels which are decisive. Straight or round
Wheels with round cheeks is what you see on normal skateboards. The side of the wheel is rounded, giving less friction during cornering. So it's easier to slid with it than with the straight wheels. Wheels with round cheeks are therefore more suitable for freeriders and freestylers. Are you new in the sport? Then choose straight wheels......
Wheels with a straight cheek are the most common longboard wheels. Due to its right angle, the wheel has more grip on the road. Ideal for starters. When the wheels have been run-in, you can also use them to downhill or carve and cruise.
Width and height of a longboard wheel
The width of a wheel is the distance between the inside and outside of the wheel. A knitting wheel offers more grip, but will also be slower due to the contact surface with the ground.
The wheel height (diameter) is the distance between the contact surface with the road and the top of the wheel. Measured in a straight line. The dimensions are usually expressed in millimetres. Larger wheels give a smooth ride because they actually roll over the whole body, but are less likely to accelerate. Smaller wheels are faster, but are less palatable when it comes to small stones and the like. Beginners we always recommend larger wheels.
The Durometer tells you about the hardness of a wheel. Is often mentioned in the name of a wheel. For example 7mm/78A. The letter tells something about the material it is made of. A is in this case a softer/rubber-like material. While B are harder and feel more plastic. The lower the number is the softer the wheel will feel. Softer wheels give more grip and are ideal for riding on a wide variety of surfaces. Tougher wheels or wheels with a higher durometer number will have less friction, but will perform less on a variety of surfaces. In addition, these wheels will break out faster in bends. A beginner of intermediate is best helped with a 75a - 85a wheel for the best grip.
The core of a wheel
The ABEC wheel bearings are placed in the centre of the wheel. There are three different core types: center set, offset and sideset.
Centerset is found on most slide and skateboard wheels. The symmetrical shape allows the wheels to be turned when one side is worn.
Offset wheels have the core more to the inside of the wheel. Which gives a better balance, grip and slide possibilities.
Sideset wheels have placed the core extremely close to the side of the wheel. This gives the wheel better slide characteristics because there is less pressure on the wheels on the inside. The disadvantage is that the wheels cannot be rotated when worn on one side.
Simply put, the bearings ensure that the wheels rotate. The quality of the bearings is expressed in ABEC. The higher the number, the better the bearing. We supply longboards with ABEC 5 bearings and higher.
It is important that you regularly maintain the bearings. Nothing as frustrating as a beautiful longboard with a pair of bad bearings. We recommend that the bearings be serviced after every 50 hours of skating. You understand that driving in the rain and sand is disastrous for your bearings. We do not recommend using WD-40. These will let your bearings dry out with the consequences of that. It is best to use a little oil which you use to lubricate your bike chain, for example. When tightening your wheels, use the term "fixed is fixed". You can move your wheel a little bit back and forth.
Have you become a little wiser and would you like to see longboards? Check out our longboards of all top brands.