1.1
Decks

General Information

Most longboard decks are made of pressed Canadian maple wood or bamboo, both of which are often mixed or coated with other materials, such as fiberglass or epoxy. It’s also possible that the board just has a core made from these materials. In recent years, materials such as ashwood, poplar and basswood are more frequently used.

As you may have already noticed, there is a wide variety of materials, shapes, lengths and widths, which all have different properties of course. Firstly, you should make sure that the width of the deck is adjusted to the size of your feet, to ensure a safe position on the board. The length of the deck should also have the right size to guarantee a comfortable position when standing on it. There are Longboards with and without Flex. Flex is a really nice thing for carving and cruising, but is less suitable for fast downhill runs for example.

To ease the selection in our shop, we use the three levels of Flex to help you make the right choice: “stiff”, “medium” and “flexy”. It is important to note that the Flex also depends on your weight. The heavier you are, the more the board will flex. For our categorization, we use the standard weight of 70-85 kg to indicate all relevant information. Some companies such as Loaded Longboards also offer various flex levels for different weight classes.

1.2
Decks

Downhill

Banner Downhill Longboard deck

In Downhill skateboarding, speeds of up to 100 km/h and more can be achieved. Most trucks however tend to wobble already from about 50 km/h (known as speed-wobbles). Therefore, most downhill boards have a drop so the board sits closer to the ground than other boards, and thus prevents the board from wobbling. Here, only the nose and tail are raised, so that the wheelbase is closer to the ground. The pressure point of the rider on the board migrate below the truck turning point, so the board is much more stable at higher speeds. Due to the low center of gravity, taking narrow corners is easier. Mostly, such dropped decks are somewhat slower in steering, which is why many downhill riders choose for flex-free top-mount boards with a high concave – especially on routes with a lot of curves. These boards are often more agile than the dropped boards.

1.3
Decks

Freeride

Banner Freeride Longboard decks

In recent years, Freeride Longboarding established as an extremely popular discipline. Freeride decks are designed for speed, similar to downhill boards. However, you can also find models with a slight flex. Most freeride decks are twin-tips (symmetrical), so there is no clearly defined front and rear, which is a great advantage for slides. In addition, most freeride boards are designed as a drop-through board to facilitate sliding and that is why dropped boards often find themselves in the freeride world; because of their deeper position. Some freeride decks however do have nose- and tailkicks to make wheelies and shove-its possible.

1.4
Decks

Carving

Banner Carving Longboard decks

Carving is not about reaching the highest possible speed, but rather to take deeper downhill turns. Carving decks are usually somewhat more flexible. In addition, some segments above the wheels are often slightly hollowed out or not even present (cutouts) to prevent the wheels from touching the board (wheelbite) and therefore prevent the associated horrible sudden stop. Carving decks often have a camber-profile, so the deck is slightly curved upwards, which supports the flex and provides better turn initiation. The layers are pre-tensioned so the deck really “springs” out of carves and gives a very surfy and snowboard-like feeling.

1.5
Decks

Cruising

Banner Cruising Longboard deck

Cruising boards or cruisers are actually just extended skateboards, since they usually have a tail and some are also equipped with a nose. Ollies and airs are also possible in a limited context when using this deck. But the classic pintail shape remains the most popular shape for cruising boards.

1.6
Decks

Slalom

Banner Slalom Longboarddeck

Slalom boards are slightly shortened and typically have a length of 60-90cm, which is why the core scene often discussed whether they should be among the longboards or not. Especially for riders who only occasionally use the board, the slalom board is very popular because of its maneuverability and transport-friendly size.

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1.7
Decks

Truck Mounting

There are four different ways to attach Longboard Trucks:
  • “Top Mount”: the standard installation from below.
  • “Drop-Through”: With a drop-through or Drop Mount, the trucks are mounted on top of the board, which shifts the center of gravity and changes the steering behavior.
  • “Dropped”: Longboards with a Dropped or Lowered” assembly have a downward center of gravity, making them more stable at higher speeds.
  • “Double Drop”: a double-drop is the rare combination of “drop-through / Drop Mount” and “Dropped / Lowered”.
  • In addition, the possibility of mounting with “Flush Cuts” exists. Here, the range of the axles is partly cut out so that they are not mounted directly on the bottom, but sit somewhat further inside of the deck. This provides a good compromise between top-mount and drop-through, but pre-flush cuts are very rare, since the cutouts must fit exactly to the base plate of the axis.
Different truck mounts on Longboards
1.8
Decks

Griptape

Grip tape is a sandpaper-like sheet with a sticky self-adhesive underside that you stick on top of the longboard deck to provide grip for your feet. Protruding residues can be easily cut with a utility knife (cutter). There are boards with sprayed-on grip tape and normal grip tape and you can choose from a variety of different colors and grains. You can check out all of our griptapes here. Shop Griptapes
2.1
Trucks
Longboard trucks are the metal axles that mount the bearings and wheels to the longboard and are absolutely crucial to complete your longboard, otherwise you would just have a piece of decorative wood. Every longboard requires two trucks and they come in various sizes and colors.

Width

Banner Standard and Reverse Kingpin Trucks
Most Longboard-trucks have a different truck geometry than Skateboard Trucks. With longboard trucks, the kingpin usually sits diagonally in the truck and is on the outside, the so-called “Reverse King-Pin Trucks”. These are much more agile than usual “Standard King Pin Trucks”. Nevertheless, “Standard King Pin Trucks” are still very popular with retro and cruiser boards due to the close connection to skateboarding. There are also some freeride and downhill longboards that use standard king pin trucks, due to the low level of the trucks and their inertia. When selecting the trucks, you should pay attention to the width of your deck. In general, the position of the ball bearings should be on the outside of the deck. Of course, it is very rare that the trucks will fit exactly to the board, so you better choose wider trucks than too narrow. Narrower trucks are more agile, but if you use them on wider boards, you should definitely add Riserpads to avoid wheelbites. Wider trucks however, offer you more stability. Another important feature is the pivot angle of the base plates. High angles such as 50 ° are well suited for a lot of turns and low angles, such as 42 ° to guarantee more speed.
2.2
Trucks

Hangerflip / Bushings

There are some tuning possibilities for example in tightening or loosening the Kingpins, different bushings, which are available in various hardness’s, and with some manufacturers it is also possible to flip the hangers of the trucks, which makes the truck sit a little lower and thus more stabile. It lowers your center of gravity and makes the trucks less responsive, because it changes the deck’s lean resistance of the hanger. Especially in Downhill skating, you should make sure that the rear truck is tightened harder than the front truck.   Longboard Trucks and Pivot Angle The bushings are the rubber rounds inside the axes. Normally, an upper and a lower steering bushing is required for each truck, though this is not always obligatory. Bushings are available in different shapes and hardness, and affect the steering behavior of the trucks. Tapered (Cone) Bushings offer you more maneuverability. Flat Bushings (barrel) make the axle slower but more stable. In addition, there are also Eliminator and Chubby Bushings that block the truck at a certain point, which is definitely beneficial for freeride and downhill. Every axle with two bushings is fitted with a top, the road-face Bushing (Top Bushing) and the lower, the Board-face Bushing (Bottom Bushing). If you are not completely satisfied with the performance of your trucks, we recommend – depending on your body weight – the following combinations:
  • Cruising: Cone Bushings up and down
  • Carving: Cone Bushings up and down, or Cone Bushing above and Barrel Bushing below
  • Freeride: Cone Bushing on top and Barrel Bushing on the bottom, or Barrel Bushings top and bottom
  • Downhill: top and bottom barrel bushings, or Barrel Bushing above and Eliminator / Chubby Bushings below
Shop Longboard Trucks Shop Bushings
3
Wheels

Longboard Wheels

Longboard wheels are made of polyurethane and have different diameters, widths and hardness’ that are specified with “A”. The higher the number after the A (for instance:101a), the harder the wheels are and the more they are suitable for sliding. Wheels of 73a are considered soft and ideal for rough surfaces. When choosing wheels, you always have to take certain compromises in terms of grip, traction, slide ability and smoothness. Here we explain everything you need to know to help you find the most suitable wheels for your setup. Shop Longboard Wheels
3.1
Wheels

Durometer

Longboard Wheels
Softer wheels have more grip on the road but tend to slide uncontrollably as they constantly try to grasp grip. They also wear out faster because the friction between the road and wheel is higher, which makes them a little bit slower than harder wheels. Harder wheels slide better, are more controllable and predictable and run faster because of less friction with the road, but they have less grip than softer wheels and they are not so forgiving with rough cracks in the road as well as it is the case with the softer ones. You should also pay attention to the hardness of the wheels in function of your body weight: the heavier you are, the harder the wheel should be.
3.2
Wheels

Size

The diameter of the wheels affects the riding behavior: smaller wheels have better acceleration and braking can be just as easy, but they are not the smoothest of the bunch and the ball bearings heat up faster. Large wheels remain stable at high speeds and the bearings heat up less quickly. But when choosing the diameter, you should also worry about the height of your board, as this can lead to the wheels touching the deck (wheelbites), and all the bumps and bruises that come with that… Wide wheels have a higher friction, which makes them a little less fast than narrower wheels, although this factor is not as serious as the hardness of the wheels. Wider wheels however do run more smoothly and have more grip, so sliding is a little bit more difficult than with narrower wheels. The bigger the wheel, the higher the topspeed and the longer it takes for you to brake. Smaller wheels accelerate faster and slides are easier, but they are less forgiving than bigger wheels on rough surfaces. Shop Longboard Wheels
3.3
Wheels

Hub / Wheel core

Longboard Bearing Seat Hub
The Hub of the wheel plays another important role. The Hub indicates the location of where the ball bearings are mounted inside the wheel, so the core. A distinction is made in Centerset, Sideset and Offset (see image). Sideset wheels are the easiest to slide with but are most likely to deform conical. Centerset wheels deform conical the least. Offset wheels offer you the best compromise between these two shapes. Generally speaking, the wheels wear out where the bearing sits. The edges of the wheels play a big part in riding behaviour. Sharp and straight sides cause rapid slides. Hard edges offer you more grip and soft edges; well you’ve guessed it, less grip. Round edges slide more predictable and a lot more controlled than very thin edges and help you to get back easily into the normal movement. Shop Longboard Wheels
4.1
Parts

Bearings

Banner Longboard Bearings
For your longboard, you can just use normal skateboard bearings. You should however make sure that the bearings are of good quality to ensure high durability. Each wheel is equipped with 2 bearings and you should make sure to use spacers to avoid compression of the bearings and not to damage the wheel core. Ceramic ball bearings are especially recommended due to their high heat resistance and resistance to water. You should also pay attention to whether you ride trucks with a 8mm or 10mm truck pin diameter, as most ball bearings are made for 8mm axle pins, but there are also special bearings for 10mm axle pins. It should be noted that the 8mm is the standard here at skatedeluxe and trucks with a 10mm axle pin are specifically marked. Shop Bearings
4.2
Parts

Riserpads

Banner Longboard Riserpads
Riserpads are made of either rubber or plastic and are available in various thicknesses and hardness’s. They absorb the impact and increase the distance between your deck and the wheels. This increase in distance between the wheels and deck can especially help if you encounter a lot of wheelbites. However, you should ensure that you do not rise the board too high, as the pushing could become very unpleasant because the harder because you will have to bend your leg at each push. Furthermore, there are also angled shockpads (called wedges) that can greatly change the steering performance due to the change of the angle at which the board is fixed on the trucks. If you mount the wedges so that the truck is more directed to the front, the agility is increased, so steering will be easier and it feels more natural. If the wedges are mounted so that the trucks are further directed inwards, the steering is more rigid and thus slower. Shop Riserpads
4.3
Parts

Hardware

Banner Hardware/Bolt packs
The mounting kit makes your longboard…well, a longboard! Without it, you would not be able to connect the trucks to the board and you would just have a nice decorative piece of wood. They hold together what belongs together. Choosing decent mounting kits forms a huge safety-related part of any skate or longboard. Therefore, mounting kits have self-locking nuts to prevent the spontaneous loosening under road vibration. However, you should always check repeatedly before every ride that all screws are still firmly connected. It may well be that you need to tighten them again to make sure everything remains nice and secured. Mounting kits are available in two different forms and a variety of lengths. The forms of the mounting kits are distinguished with Philips screws (cross slot) and Allen screws (Inbus). Topmount longboards made of wood are mostly mounted with Allen screws because the screwhead pulls itself seamlessly into the material, so it does not leave any stubby screws on the surface. This allows for a much more comfortable boardfeel. Philips screws are mostly used with Drop-Through decks. They rest on the material and do not pull themselves in. Therefore, they are also used to protect the material of Foamcore-longboards. To determine the correct length for your screws, you must add the following values: • Deck thickness • Shock- / Riserpad • Baseplate height + self-locking nuts (3/8″) For example: Deck thickness 0.6″ (1,5cm) + Shock Pad 1/8″ + Baseplate height + self-locking nuts (3/8″) = 1 1/8″

Height Shock- / RiserPads
Deck Thickness No riser 1/16″ 1/8″ 1/4″ 3/8″ 1/2″
1 – 1,25cm 7/8″ 1″ 1″ 1 1/8″ 1 1/4″ 1 1/2″
1,25 – 1,55cm 1″ 1 1/8″ 1 1/8″ 1 1/4″ 1 1/2″ 1 1/2″
1,55 – 1,9cm 1 1/8″ 1 1/4″ 1 1/4″ 1 1/2″ 1 1/2″ 2″
1,9 – 2,2cm 1 1/4″ 1 1/2″ 1 1/2″ 1 1/2″ 2″ 2″
Shop Hardware
If you are absolutely new to longboarding or do not want to build a custom setup, then pre-assembled complete longboard decks are the way to go. Our completes contain all the parts we sell individually, so they are perfect as a first longboard to get you started. Check out our complete longboards here. Shop Longboard Completes
Of course, if you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to contact our customer service. We’re not robots but really nice people that love longboarding, so we are happy to help you with everything you need to know. Contact our Customer Service