Longboards have become an increasingly popular alternative to skateboarding throughout the last decade. The sensation of cruising on smooth asphalt is exhilarating yet also relaxing. Due to their large size, longboards are relatively easy to control and can take you quite far without too much effort required. If your balance permits, you can even learn some cool tricks on a longboard.
Choosing the right longboard for your cruising needs can be challenging. With so many brands, styles, and technical jargon to decipher, it can quickly become overwhelming.
What is a longboard?
Longboarding became popularized in the 90s by the surfing community in Hawaii. They basically wanted to recreate the act of surfing, but on the land. While longboards are most frequently compared to skateboards, they are essentially a hybrid between a skateboard and a surfboard. Some might also consider it a hybrid between a skateboard and a snowboard.
Similar to a skateboard, a longboard is made up of a wooden deck, trucks, and wheels. While skateboards are typically about 30 inches in length, longboards can be nearly twice as long. They are also about 2 inches wider than a standard skateboard. The combination of a wide and long deck, coupled with flexible and soft wheels, almost mimics the gliding sensation of surfing or snowboarding.
The 5 Best Beginner Longboards in Canada in 2022
The amount of longboards on the market is enormous. Deciding which one to buy can be overwhelming, especially for beginners who are shopping online on Amazon. Here are our top picks for this year, based on value, performance, and quality.
VOLADOR’s 42-inch longboard is perfect for free riding. With an 8-ply natural hard rock maple drop-through deck, it’s great for riding at high speeds, going downhill, and carving. Its deck is also amber concave, making it comfortable and easy to maintain stability.
The VOLADOR has 7-Inch reverse kingpin trucks that can be adjusted to 50 or 45 degrees. It can turn very easily compared to other boards. Overall, it’s the perfect longboard for beginners who want to take their longboarding to the next level.
Magneto’s Kicktail Cruiser Longboard is perfect for cruising, carving, dancing, or tricks. Its kicktail allows you to have greater stability and control over the board when riding. The deck has a solid maple wood core and a bamboo veneer coating. It has a sand grit finish that provides an excellent grip. It also eliminates the need for replacing grip tape.
With a 44-inch kicktail deck, you’re sure to feel stable on this board. It’s perfect for smooth wide turns, but less suitable for sharp turns. Overall, the Magneto is an excellent choice if you’re a beginner who is looking for a versatile longboard.
If you’re looking for a smaller entry-level longboard, the Savaii Twin Drop-Through Cruiser Longboard is a great choice. Its shorter length offers better manoeuvrability, making it great for caving.
The deck is made from 5 layers of maple wood and 2 layers of bamboo on the top and bottom. While it’s not as solid as other longboards on the market, it’s reflective of its low price.
The Savaii has 7” aluminum reverse kingpin trucks that are easy to tighten or needed if needed. It conveniently comes with a T-Tool to make that easier for you.
If you’re looking for a beginner longboard that can handle heavy weights and downhill speeds, the Junli Freeride Longboard is for you. With 80A PU wheels and ABEC-11 high-speed bearings, the Junli is perfect for maintaining traction at high speeds.
The deck is made from a durable 8 layers of cold-pressed natural maple. It has a brushed black anti-slip surface. The board is 9.5 inches in width, making it slightly wider than most other boards.
The board has a weight capacity of 330 lbs, making it a great longboard for heavy riders who are just starting out.
Restrospec’s Zed Classic Pintail Longboard is as classic as it gets. Its long length and pintail design make it feel almost like a surfboard on wheels. The board has reverse kingpin trucks for reactive and smooth riding. Its size makes it an excellent longboard for beginners who are looking to learn some tricks or dance.
The Zed has durable 85A PU wheels and ABEC-7 bearings that can handle decent speeds. However, with long-term use, you’ll probably have to upgrade the bearings. The deck is made from 8-ply Canadian maple wood and bamboo.
At 9.5 inches in width, you’re sure to feel stable on this board. Overall, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly longboard for tricks and smooth cruising, the Restrospec Zed is a great option.
What are the different types of longboards?
There are many types of longboards available, and each type caters to different longboarding styles and purposes. While some are designed for basic cruising, others are better for freestyle tricks or even dancing. That said, which type of longboard to buy will ultimately depend on how you plan on using the board. Every board has its own style, in the same way that every skater has their own style. Here are the most popular types of longboards:
Classic Longboard or Cruiser Longboard
A classic longboard mimics a surfboard the most in terms of the shape of its deck. They generally do not have a kick tail, and they tend to be the longest type of longboard. A classic longboard is easy and predictable to ride and is perfect for cruising down the street or in parks. The board’s trucks can be set up to suit your style, whether you plan on pumping with it or simply push cruising.
A cruiser longboard is quite similar to the classic longboard, but is generally less long. Cruiser longboards will often include a kicktail. Similar to classic longboards, cruiser boards can be configured in different ways, depending on the style of the skater. If you’re a beginner, a cruiser longboard is probably your best option.
If you’ve snowboarded or surfed before, you’re probably familiar with the act of carving. Otherwise, carving is basically the act of riding in a back and forth, S-shaped, trajectory. Carving is a technique worth learning that can help you build and maintain momentum and speed on a longboard. That said, carving longboards are designed for carving. They tend to have a unique shape that exposes the long board’s wheels. They also have looser trucks than most longboards. Another detail is that their deck is higher off the ground and more concave. This design allows for greater responsiveness and deeper carves.
Long Distance Longboards / Push Longboards
Long-distance longboards, also known as push longboards, are designed for covering long distances in a short period of time. Long-distance longboarding has actually become a sport of its own, known as long-distance pushing (LDP).
Unlike cruising longboards that are designed for smooth cruising, a long-distance longboard is designed for extreme pushing in order to build and maintain maximum. They will have tighter trucks that are designed for hard pushing. Their deck is similar to a dancing longboard, with little to no concave. The deck should also be lower to the ground than a typical longboard. Another distinguishing factor is its wheels. A long-distance longboard will always have bigger wheels, with a diameter ranging between 78a and 85a.
Longboards designed for downhill riding can vary. The deck’s design will ultimately depend on the rider’s experience. A top-mounted deck is suitable for an experienced longboard, while a drop-down (or drop-through) deck is better for beginners. Longer decks, ranging from 37 to 43 inches in length, are preferable as a short deck is not as stable at downhill speeds.
Dancing longboards are designed specifically for dancing. In order to dance on a longboard, the deck has to be long, wide, on the heavy side, and not too concave. It’s important that the board can handle sudden weight redistribution as well as be suitable for some tricks. Dancing longboards will sometimes be curved lengthwise and lower in the middle to help provide comfort and stability while moving around. Depending on the dancer’s style, a dancing longboard can have different levels of flex.
Is it easier to ride a longboard or a skateboard?
For many reasons, longboarding is considered to be easier than skateboarding. Since longboards are wider and longer than skateboards, maintaining balance is much easier. You have more space to move around on the board in order to find a comfortable position. Their soft wheels also contribute to feeling more balanced and comfortable on the board.
That said, a longboard’s design makes it easier to build and maintain speed than a skateboard. Thanks to their flexibility, and looser trucks, they are also easier to turn with. If you are intimidated by skateboarding, longboarding is an easier and safer alternative.
What are the benefits of longboarding?
Longboarding offers many benefits in terms of convenience, health, and fitness. Here are the main benefits that longboarding can offer:
Convenient Means of Transportation
Longboards are a convenient means of transportation.; Unlike a bike, you don’t have to worry about leaving it locked up outside. While it’s not as compact as a skateboard, you can still carry it with one arm and prop it up next to your desk in the office. With an average cruising speed of about 10 km/hour, longboarding is pretty much like running at a very high speed, but with much less effort required. Best of all, longboarding is a free means of transportation.
Excellent for Cardio & Weight Loss
Similar to running or biking, longboarding is an excellent form of cardio. A longboarding session of at least 30 minutes will get your heart pumping and will help strengthen your cardiovascular system. Cardio is important since it helps supply your body with oxygen.
Longboarding for at least an hour can also help you burn up to 420 calories. The harder you push while longboarding, the more calories you can burn. Also, the higher your body weight, the more calories you will burn.
Excellent for Building Muscles & Core Strength
Longboarding is an excellent activity for building muscles and core strength. When longboarding, your body constantly shifting your weight and working hard at maintaining balance. You’ll even find yourself squatting at times. The simple act of maintaining balance works out your core muscles, hence its popularity in yoga. The act of carving on a longboard is also a great lower body workout. Many of your body’s joints are in use when carving.