Say yes to longboarding and watch the inanimate atoms at your feet personify. Your longboard will become your companion and partner in concrete crime. A unique relationship indeed: Imagine Michael Jordan without a basketball. A skateboard without Tony Hawk. J.K. Rowling without a pen. If even possible, it is a difficult task. These people have made their crafts and their crafts have made them. The legacy and all the glory are results of a simple choice. Yet, the choice makes all the difference.
Do not stress if picking the right longboard is a time consuming process. It should be! A board that your friend uses to win competitions may feel uncomfortable to you. There are many types of longboards, so it is important to take time to shop around and find what is right for you. Remember to never make a purchase without a plan because the type of longboard you want really depends on what you are trying to accomplish…
Are you a rail addict?… Do you want to make deep carves?… Do you like 180 powerslides?…
Understanding the design of your longboard in relation to the maneuvers you want to complete will point you to your dream board direction:
This magic carpet of the longboard comes in many shapes and sizes. You can choose anything from the cruiser, which is similar to the shape of a skateboard deck, to the commonly used pintall deck, which is shaped like a teardrop. The neat thing about the pintall is that the deck is cutout to allow more space between the deck and the wheels. The importance of this space is that it prevents wheelbite.
Wheelbite is not your friend. It is the unwanted condition of deck hitting wheel, which will clearly slow down your speed if it does not stop you altogether. Wheelbite will not appear if you are skating in a stand up position. However, once you get into that gnarlistic carve, wheelbite will pop up and say hello like a rat crossing your path on a New York City day. Therefore my suggestion is choosing a twin tip deck in which the wheel cutout occurs both in the front and the back of the board. This twin tip design is perfect for someone with a Shaun White edge, who wants to do 180 powerslides all day; and both regular and goofy footed carves all night. However,if you like soaking up the scenery in a sweet slow waltz, the pintall is just fine.
For me progression is the most desirable aspect of longboarding. With a twin tip I can slow drawl on a Sunday and then get gnarly on Friday. I think a great board is one that does not limit you. Yet, boards that prevent you from one maneuver can open up the door for another.
Longboards the size of surfboards exist! They look so fun and can seriously fit two people, which is probably good for cute things like making out with the one you love, in longboard motion. However if you want to do crazy 360 and 180 slides, this is not the board for that.
Trucks and bushings
Your trucks are the medium between the deck and the wheels, while the bushings fit into the trucks and take away shock value and vibrations when sheddring the road. They both are dependent on the deck you choose. Therefore it makes sense to first choose your deck and proceed to inquire which trucks and bearings you need from employees of the store of your choice. They are paid to know these things so ask!
Wheels and bearings
When I was picking out my first longboard, I told the nice guy who was helping me that I wanted pink wheels because they matched the design on my pretty pink deck. Never do this, because you will get “the look”. Post look, he kindly shook his head. I was denied my pink wheels because the wheel color does not determine the aesthetic, but instead the duromter (hardness) and diameter of your wheel. Shredability trumps beauty. The softer the wheel, the more grip you have on the road. The harder the wheel, the more you will slide. If you want to master pendy slides your first month of longboarding, you know what to choose.
Ps: bearings basically allow the wheels to spin. I don’t have any sparkling advice on them. Just keep them clean and free of water or else they will not spin in the wind.
I survived 8 months of my longboarding life without slider gloves… Don’t ask me how!
These gloves are as important as buying your longboard and helmet, so you should buy them the same day! The urgency is based on the fact that sliding is the most efficient way to break on a longboard, especially at high speeds. Also, if you are wearing your gloves a fall can easily turn into a pendy slide. My first occured that way!
Aside from the riding experience what I like most about my longboard is the company I bought it from. It was not the first store I walked into however, the uniqueness it was drenched in made it the last. The special thing about the crafters of my longboard Nola is that they are born out of the city I currently live, they hand screen their decks, are kind people, and the owner happened to attend school in my hometown. We connected on a personal level and everything about this company evokes the surf and longboarding spirit I love.
Whether local or nationally recognized, I think it is important to choose a brand that creates the board of your choice, while strengthening your love of the sport.
All of your decisions may not be made today, but passion will take you there… Use it!