Longboards are like skateboards except, well, they're longer. They are good for transportation and for cruising down the street. Longboards aren't often designed for tricks and tend to be wider than skateboards, allowing easier balancing and a lower learning curve. They tend to have wider wheelbases and bigger wheels. Choosing the right longboard depends on a few things, all of which you should consider before buying a cruiser-style skateboard.
Determine what kind of ride you want on the longboard. If you want a smooth and relaxed ride that's easy to balance on, choose a mid-sized or longer longboard. If you want more control and speed and have experience boarding, choose a shorter board.
Try out different sized boards based on your height. Children and shorter individuals will do fine on a small longboard in terms of being comfortable standing on the board. Taller individuals may find it less of a relaxed ride if they have to balance on a short board or feel cramped on the board; if that's they case, consider mid-sized or longer boards.
Determine how often you'll be carrying the board around. The longer the board, the heavier and more awkward it will be to transport. Consider how you'll use the board, how you'll move it (attached to a backpack, in a car, under your arm), and how much weight you can lift.
Decide if you want a board with or without a kicktail. A kicktail means one end of the board (the back end) tilts upwards, which lets you pop up the board to make quick turns and perform some skateboard style tricks.
Decide if you want a firm board or a flex board. A firm, stiff board will often be a less smooth ride but allows you to feel the road better, as some skaters will tell you. A board with some flex can help handling and also acts as a dampener, giving the feeling of a smoother, less bumpy ride.
- Always wear proper protection such as a helmet and padding when boarding.
Maxwell Payne has been a freelance writer since 2007. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. He holds a Bachelor of Science in integrated science, business and technology.