Choosing a longboard shape to suit your style
Ever since the first surfers added roller skate plates to wood, longboarding has been about recreating the thrills of riding waves, when the sea was too choppy. “Sidewalk surfing” has carried on since those early days and has grown and branched off into many different types of riding, each using different styles of deck to get the best results. Let’s take you through a few different styles and what style of riding they are best suited for. This should help you in choosing the right longboard for yourself.
The classic shape of this deck is iconic and also makes for one of the easiest shapes to ride. If you’re just getting into longboarding, this would be a great style to pick due to its typically wide axle distance, giving an incredibly stable ride. Best suited for cruising around town and mellow carving there are other variations of this classic shape which include a fishtail and a rounded tail for subtle tricking.
Drop-through decks are a very popular option due to the design which has two cutouts at the nose and tail for the truck to be mounted allowing a much lower centre of balance and unparalleled stability. These type of decks are perfect for cruising around town and for downhill descent, the shape is designed to pick up speed quite quickly so may not be suitable for beginners. As well as drop-through boards there are also drop-down boards which achieve the same stability, but it is the midsection of the deck that is shaped lower than the trucks then the trucks being dropped through the board. There are also double drop boards which marry both the different styles to make an incredibly fast and stable set up which is very slick for downhill skating.
Cruiser boards really do come in all shapes and sizes from Penny Cruisers at 22” in length to 32” pool decks, The majority of cruisers will be perfect to get into freestyle cruising and carving whilst still being more portable than their longer counterparts. Alot of cruisers will have a kick tail to allow better control for quick turns and for tricks.
Dancer or Free-ride Boards
Longboard dancing takes it’s roots from surfing in being able to navigate your steps and bodyweight around the whole of the board fluidly. So commonly these boards will be 40” plus with a nose and tail kick tail for tricking. Longboard competitions have been going from strength to strength and the bar is constantly being raised for what is possible in regards to achieving more technical tricks usually more common in skateboarding.
Down Hill Top Mount
Descending steep inclines and gradients on one of these boards is not for the faint of heart, it’s not uncommon to reach average speeds of 40 to 50 miles per hour and wiping out on your board is pretty common so we wouldn’t recommend this style to beginners. Top mount decks will usually be stiffer to better handle fast turns and slides around hairpin corners. The decks will have flared edges and concaves to give the best foot grip and board feel possible.
A lot of companies are expanding the range of shapes they offer to be ‘Hybrid’ boards, capable of being multi-purpose and multi-style so you aren’t locked into one style of riding. Whatever your style, here at SkateHut we have you covered and if you need more help then feel free to speak to our customer service experts. Shop our full range of longboards here.