Boards that are taking the world by storm: longboards are everywhere these days, be it on the shopping streets of vibrant cities or on secluded country roads. The sport is fast becoming a trend as more and more people are discovering the joys of surfing these boards on wheels. No wonder, really: longboards are not all that expensive, are available in many shapes and sizes, and will get you to your destination fast. And: surfing the streets looks pretty cool and is also a lot of fun.
What do you need to look out for as a beginner? Which boards are in and what is the difference between the various types? Is a shortboard not more practical in urban surroundings? Read on to find the answers to these and other questions.
Let's start with a short review: what many people don't know is that the classic skateboard evolved from the longboard – even though the former has, in the meantime, become far more popular. However, longboards are fighting their way back onto the streets of the world. The idea of longboarding originated in the 1970s from surfers that wanted to bring surfing to land. So they screwed wheels onto their surfboards, and over time the boards became smaller. Thus equipped, the hip surfer boys and girls carved their way along the beaches of this world. Meanwhile, longboards have become suitable for mass use: all you need to do is put on your sunglasses, grab your board and hit the road - not only does it look cool, the board also quickly takes you where you want to go and is always ready for use.
What do you need to look out for when buying a longboard? A conventional longboard is between 70 and 150 centimetres long. The size also reveals much about its intended purpose. Various types of longboards have developed over the years, allowing for customizations. Do you like it fast? Then get yourself a longer board, the so-called speedboard. It has a low profile, which moves the pressure point of the rider downward and makes it easier to keep your balance. You want to take the curves at high speed? Then go for a slalomboard. Slalomboards are up to 90 centimetres long and especially suitable for cities. Or you could use a shortboard, which is easy to transport.
There are also various decks to choose from (i.e. the actual board on which you stand). Two types of decks are used most of the time: the Pintail looks a lot like a classic surfboard, only much smaller, of course. Its design is ideal for cruising, but it has a relatively small radius and is not really suitable for performing tricks. If this is what you are looking for, then you should opt for a Twin Tip. It has a cut-out above the wheels, which prevents the wheels from hitting the board during a hard turn. Of course, the looks are also very important: there are countless designs, with each manufacturer trying to stand out from the rest. No matter whether you like it plain and simple, offbeat or colourful: there is a trendy board for every taste. And looks do play an important role – after all you don't only want to impress with your skills, the longboard should also attract plenty of attention when parked up against the wall.
How to ride a longboard
As an absolute beginner, you will need some time to master the art of riding a longboard - but anyone who has skated before will find it easy to adapt. Start off on even terrain, slopes are only recommended for experienced riders.
You can practice various riding styles: for downhills, all you need to do is to navigate downhill at maximum speed. As with skiing, carving involves smooth, continuous turns from side to side. Sometimes this requires special tyres and axles, Twin Tips are mostly used for this purpose.
As you can see, choosing a suitable longboard is crucial. Before making a purchase, also consider how and where you want to ride. Our tips will help you to be well prepared. For sure.