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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.Shop Longboard Decks
Truck MountingThere 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.
GriptapeGrip 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
Hangerflip / BushingsThere 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. 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
Longboard WheelsLongboard 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
SizeThe 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
Hub / Wheel core
|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″|