Should I build a Longboard or buy a complete?
In short, buy a complete. It will almost always be more more expensive to purchase a longboard in pieces rather than as a complete set. Building a longboard is great if you have the money to spend and want something specifically built for your style and body. If you want to build a longboard the guide for building a board is here.
Which Longboard should I buy?
There are dozens of quality longboard brands out there that would be a good purchase. The most important thing is to not buy a cheap longboard. I’m talking a board in the $40-100 range. You can get a cheap long board, but it will likely break on you within 1-6 months. In the long run it is much cheaper to buy a quality, American-made board for $120-$200. A quality branded board will last you years with the proper care.
I’ve been riding the same Sector 9 board for 8 years and the only maintenance I do is changing the bushings and bearings occasionally. It cost me $90 dollars in 2012. So buying a quality board is something you should seriously consider, even if you have to save.
Best Longboard Brands
These are all quality brands that will come with a solid deck and good trucks.
- Sector 9
- And many more.
What Size Deck should I get?
Your longboard size and shape preferences are probably going to influence your buying decision more than any other factor. In general, longer Long Boards are more stable and shorter Long Boards are more maneuverable.
Longboard Deck Size
Longboards range in size from 33 to 59 Inches. The longer a longboard is, the more room you need to make your turns and slides. But with a longer board you will wobble less at high speeds.
- Longer = More Stable, longer turns
- Shorter= Less stable, shorter turns
Some people will tell you that your height shouldn’t impact the length of your future longboard. These people are wrong. Well, kind of. When you’re 6’3, your center of balance is going to be higher than a shorter person and taller people should compensate for this by getting a slightly longer (more stable!) longboard. Your height shouldn’t play a huge factor in your process of picking a longboard, but if you’re really tall (6’3+) you should consider it before getting a tiny pintail board.
If you’re a beginner and are still unsure of what is best for you, purchase a board between 34″ and 42″. That is a good range for getting started.
Longboard Deck Types
There are a lot of different longboard deck designs. The easiest way to pick a deck is to first decide what type of Long Boarding you want to do. The categories of longboarding are in this image.
Freeride is a discipline for people who are trying to ride down steep hills, slide through turns, and feel a huge burst of adrenaline. Longboarders in this category have normally skated for a few years.
Freeride boards are usually…..
Almost all people start longboarding in the Cruising category before picking one of the more challenging disciplines below. Cruising longboards are good “all-around” boards meant for general turning, stability, and riding around.
Distance pushing is exactly what it sounds like, pushing long distances to get from one place to another or to enjoy scenic flatter roads.
You may have noticed one of these is not like the others. That is because “pintailers” isn’t a category of longboarder. Pintails are just a terrible board design for a beginner. They are okay if all you are going to do is cruise, but they are extremely limiting if you ever desired to expand your longboard skillset.
Some reasons to avoid buying a pintail board:
- Pintails aren’t a functional design.
- They force you to take unnecessarily wide turns.
- Pintails are widest in the places where your feet don’t go. There is no point in that.
Last but not least dancing (sorry your boards are the lengthiest), it is an impressive discipline, dancing boards are longer in length and are typically flat or have a just slight concave. Longboard dancing and freeride focus more on the footwork, board movement, and dancing tricks more than anything else. Most boarders in this category have already become completely comfortable with all parts of cruising.
If you’re just starting out, you don’t need a kicktail, but don’t get a board with a pintail. It will make it harder on your foot placement and it will be more easily damaged when kicking your board up. You don’t need a kicktail, but they can help you make quick turns, hop up and down curbs, and do tricks. If you happen to find a good, quality board with a kicktail feel free to grab it.