Finding your way to the world of longboarding entails curiosity about using it and what type of board is best for you. As a newbie, you are probably confused why you need to be more specific with the type of longboard you should be using since they all look similar.
Yes, they all look the same, but not quite. For longboards, every slight difference means a lot. The shape is also a significant factor.
That is why you have to be very particular in choosing what fits you as a beginner. You can seek advice from veteran longboarders based on their riding experience when they were beginners like you.
You may get a different experience as every newbie longboarder has his or her own phase or learning curve depending on the longboard he is using. Therefore, it is essential to explore the best longboards for beginners to decide which one fits them.
However, beginners like you are always in a dilemma when choosing a perfect board. How can beginners determine a beginner longboard if they are clueless about what works based on experience? Don’t worry. This article will guide you and familiarize you with what you need to know about beginner-friendly boards.
Which Shape Must Be the Choice for Beginners?
The above options are the most common shapes beginners are choosing. Most likely, you will find at least one of them is right for you. But, unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to choosing the right longboard shape.
If you opt for cruising around the park, a cruiser may be the right choice. And if your excitement is for downhill longboarding, a double drop longboard fits you.
But as a beginner, you would probably go for whatever is popular because it is very likely that you can get many popular tips. In that case, a pintail board can be best for you.
Reasons Why Longboard Skateboards Are Good for Beginners
Before diving into the thrill of longboarding, you must know the differences between longboards and skateboards to determine whether you choose the latter over the former.
Longboards themselves are designed for beginners and moderate users as an alternative to conventional skateboards meant for stunt and artistry. However, because not all board-enthusiasts are interested in becoming an acrobat, longboards have emerged in various shapes and flex.
To understand deeply why a longboard is suitable for newbies, let’s compare it with a skateboard.
The nose and the tail of a longboard are usually flat or straight, while those of a skateboard are sharp or curved. The curved nose and tail help skaters shred on a skating ramp, while the flat-shaped nose and tail provide ergonomic comfort for longboarders when riding with cargo.
Although longboards are supposed to be longer than skateboards, some are even shorter. The more extended version is typically 59 inches, which is 23 inches longer than a typical skateboard. However, the shorter version of longboards generally is 28 inches.
Surprisingly, the difference you will notice is that a longboard is wider. This is funny as the name suggests it is long, while the inherent character is wide. Nonetheless, the short version is merely a short longboard.
Wheels and Trucks
Skateboard wheels and trucks are rigid and narrow so that skaters can easily grind on rails and ledges. On the other hand, longboards have larger wheels and trucks designed for flexibility and a smooth ride.
Skateboards are for shredding, grinding, ollieing, kickflipping, and tricks, while longboards are for cruising, hill-bombing, long-distance ride, freestyle, freeride, and traveling with cargo. That is why longboards are good for beginners because they are safer and easy to use.
Does the Shape of a Longboard Really Matter?
The shape of a longboard determines your ability to learn longboarding very quickly. Although you can find most shapes and sizes are very similar to skateboards, that wouldn’t matter. Keep in mind that longboards have wider trucks and wheels; therefore, they also have wider boards.
It means that some shapes common with skateboards are incorporated with longboards to add more flexibility and functions. That will give you many options according to your riding style.
For example, a longboard with a curved nose and tail won’t help you shred, but it will give you so much space in the centerboard as the wheels and trucks have been attached to the nose and tails instead.
Since longboards are for beginners, shapes can also be an excellent transition to learning different tricks over the long run.
Best Longboards for Beginners According to Shapes
New riders have their own unique reasons for choosing a beginner longboard. Every shape meets a particular purpose. Make sure you know what fits you. To help you, here are the best beginner longboards in different shapes:
Symmetrical Top Mount
This type of board doesn’t have any front or back area. Instead, you can call either end a nose or a tail, but they are symmetrically similar so that you can either move to whatever direction you want, whether you go forward or backward.
Cruiser is the small and short version of a longboard. The name speaks for itself. It’s perfectly designed for cruising like going to school or riding downhill.
Double drop is the combination of a drop-down and a drop-through longboard. The board is lower and closer to the ground. It also distributes the center of gravity from the rider to the entire surface for increased stability.
Kicktail is a longboard that has a longer tail but with a shorter nose. The length of the tail is optimized for ollieing, maneuvering, and grinding.
This type of longboard is prevalent as it almost looks like a typical skateboard. The shape is like a leaf with a flat concave. Pintail is perfect for shredding and kickflipping.
Picking the shape that is right for you doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t have to stick to a particular shape or design. As a matter of fact, it would be best to try every type along the way as you learn more and more. But if you are budget-conscious, choose the one that you can use for a long time.