Longboards for beginners US/UK
Table of Contents
Longboard beginners are usually faced with a difficult decision, namely the choice of the right board. In this article I will explain to you which characteristics a board should have to meet your requirements. But first everything from the beginning:
A longboard is like the name says a long board. The significant difference is the intended use. Very well known is the so-called downhill riding. Longboarders ride down a mountain at very high speed. Due to the length, the rider keeps his balance even at higher speeds and does not get into a spin. Consequently, they are better suited for such extreme conditions than a penny board. As with any piece of sports equipment, there are also different longboards:
A longboard for beginners is usually a mixture of everything.
What should a longboard beginner consider?
It is best if I explain to you, starting from the deck up to the ball bearings, what you should consider before you buy a longboard cheaply.
The flex indicates how stretchy the deck is. This flex is usually divided into 3 levels (Flex 1,2,3). The higher the number, the softer and more pliable the deck is. The value depends on two criteria. Firstly your body weight and secondly your preferences. First of all you can leave your weight out if you weigh between 120-176 pounds. In addition, almost every manufacturer gives information about how much the weight plays a role anyway. With preference you mean the driving style. An adrenaline junkie who loves speed and tight turns demands a lot from his board. All those should go for the Flex Level 1. Generally speaking, one talks about aggressiveness. The more aggressive you plan to ride, the stiffer the board should be. People who want to ride smooth and comfortable should prefer level 2 and 3. This includes carving and cruising.
With concave one means the curvature of the deck. The stronger the curvature, the more pressure you exert on the deck and the more hold you have. There are 4 different types of concave decks:
- Flat ➤ No curvature. this type of deck is very suitable for dancing longboards and for general soft riding.
- Radial/ standard concave ➤ slight curvature. This is the most common form. It is designed for allrounders and can therefore be seen by most freestyle longboard beginners.
- High concave ➤ stronger curvature. Perfect for fast descents.
- W-concave ➤ A rather new shape, which is also very good for downhill skiing.
A kicktail works like a kind of lever. It favours tricks, such as manuals and ollies. So if you plan to do tricks in the future, the kicktail would definitely be an advantage. Here is a small example of what tricks are available:
Directional shapes / Pintail ➤ With this type of deck, the direction of travel is predetermined. Ideal for fast rides or cruising. Furthermore, this shape is especially suitable for longboard beginners, because they are cheaper.
Twin shapes ➤ With this shape the board is symmetrical. This is perfect for 180° (trick) and other tricks.
In general both board types are suitable for beginners as well as advanced riders.
In general both board types are suitable for beginners as well as advanced boarders.
First of all, there are no such thing as the perfect wheels. Every characteristic has its advantages and disadvantages.
The degree of hardness, for example, is one such property. The Longboard rollers are made of polyurethane (=plastic). There are different mixtures and these again have a different degree of hardness. The whole thing is comparable with car tyres. The winter tyres are softer because they offer more grip. This is also true for the wheels. Unfortunately, they wear out very quickly and you have to sacrifice top speed. Harder rollers are great for sliding because of the low grip. You can also reach higher speeds. This is all well and good, but you have less control in the corners. Not only that, the damping also leaves a lot to be desired. As you can see, you can’t do much “right” with this degree of hardness. These degrees of hardness are expressed in numbers: from 1a (very soft) to 100a (very hard). You should also calculate your weight. The heavier you are, the harder the rolls should be.
For longboard beginners ➤ 78a – 82a
There are 2 possibilities for the shape. Either rolls with rounded edges or rolls with sharp edges. The former offers slightly less grip. Therefore, you can more easily manage slides. The latter offers more grip. You can ignore the shape for the time being, because you will learn to cruise first.
Size also plays a role (*bad joke*). You can compare the whole thing again with car tires. Monster trucks have big tires and can handle any obstacle without problems, but have you ever seen a truck with 125 mph? No? Neither have we! So let’s keep in mind: bigger wheels = more grip + easier handling of bumps. Smaller rollers are excellent for slides. Unfortunately they have the disadvantage of losing grip. There is a very good average value for beginners, the is between 68mm-72mm.
Too large rolls can lead to wheelbites!
The bearing seat indicates where the ball bearings are located in the rollers. This is divided into:
Sideset » Cruising and carving
Offset » Downhill and slalom
Centreset » Mixture of everything
the ball bearing in the middle (centreset).
complete board vs compile
✅ Buy a longboard, unpack and start riding
✅ without much previous knowledge, because mostly the components are coordinated with each other
✅ place one order only
⛔ not individualized
⛔ less expensive, but not always the best materials are used
✅ better components and therefore better quality
✅ You learn how to build a longboard and are prepared for later replacement of the wear parts
⛔ more expensive
⛔ great previous knowledge necessary, which components fit together for the driving style
⛔ buy, unpack, assemble and only then drive (whereby the assembling can also be a happening)
Especially Longboard Freestyle beginners are usually not sure if they will stick to the sport. Many of them are already at the beginning often on the snout and are fed up (again: *bad joke*). Therefore it is recommended to buy a complete board first, because it is much cheaper. With this you can let off some steam and test it out. Later you can still buy and exchange single components or buy a new and better longboard.
How much should I spend?
This is obviously a difficult question…
Be aware that it wouldn’t make sense to buy a slalom longboard, because the quality leaves a lot to be desired and as you now know, deck, axles, wheels and ball bearings should be of a minimum quality to learn to ride sensibly. Furthermore you have to know if you really stick to it. It would be a waste of money if you stopped sailing after a few days. Therefore we always recommend: Rent a board and see if you really like it. Then you should still remember that you will have certain maintenance costs. The reels are worn out so fast, you can’t look that fast. Besides, the kicktail longboard will not be enough for beginners, because you want to ride down the hill and you need “professional” components. Longboarding is not the cheapest hobby, but it is a lot of fun. In short: The more experienced you become, the higher your demands on the longboard will be. This can be compared to driving a car. A beginner first of all wants to learn how to drive. Later he can’t do without air conditioning, and again later the car needs seat heating and and and and… The price range starts at 20$ and ends at 250$. If one had to give an approximate price range now, 60$ – 130$ would be optimal.
More facts that make a good longboard for beginners
If you have understood everything so far, you now possess a fundamental knowledge. Nevertheless, there are some facts that you should still get to know. Beside all the components which decide about the handling, the deck is one of the most important. A Drop Through has the property to make learning easier. After all, this is the first and most essential step. Besides, a beginner will probably not directly access going downhill at 100 miles an hour. That is why cruising is the first thing to do. This is also completely logical, or have you ever met someone who first learned to downhill and then to cruise. The longboard as a means to an end is of course also a variant. Here the one uses a board to get from A to B. Both types have pretty much free choice. When beginners progress from longboard beginners to professionals, many people don’t buy a complete board anymore. It is much more profitable to put together a board. By then you will almost certainly have found out everything about longboards yourself. Because one can never be fed with information alone… experience.
TOP 4 – the best longboards for beginners
Finally, I would like to remind you that longboarding can be dangerous. Top speeds of 75 mph often lead to serious accidents. Here a small article about what can go wrong. I wish you an accident-free ride.
Visual – Is a too cheap Surf Longboard worth anything at all?
Dancing is a trick. The rider literally dances on the board. But that doesn’t mean that a Dancing Longboard was developed just for this one trick. It is much more intended to combine tricks and movement in general. You can recognize such a vehicle by its length. It is with 120 cm almost 20 cm longer than all other longboards. In addition, only a very weakly pronounced concave (curvature) is recognizable. Therefore the board goes beyond the rollers. So the deck has a nose and tail. This is perfect for manuals.