Finding the right skateboard is important, but for those who are new to the hobby or who are trying to switch things up, it can often be difficult to know which one to choose. After all, there are a lot of options when it comes to styles, trucks, wheels, and more. It can seem impossible to figure out which one is the right fit.
Here, we’ll be looking at longboards and the available mounting options. This can help you get a better understanding of what you need.
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How Are Longboards Mounted?
Longboards are available in two different mounting styles. You can choose either top mount or drop through. How the truck is attached to the board determines whether it is a top mount or drop through.
Both of these options have pros and cons, which are discussed below. If you’re new to riding skateboards in general, or if you’re considering switching things up and trying out a longboard, you need to understand the differences between the mounting options.
Top Mount Longboards
When a board is top mounted, it means the trucks are attached directly to the bottom of the deck. The top mounted boards are a good option for those who are hoping to quickly master the fundamentals of riding. They are often narrower than drop through longboards, which means you will have to pay attention to your foot position to maintain stability.
Many riders like this because it will give them more control and maneuverability when it comes to making sharper turns. It could be a good option for a professional longboarder.
Of course, even though there are some wonderful benefits to this type of mount, there are some cons to consider, as well. Namely, there tend to be more speed wobbles that occur when you start moving fast on the board. This is because the top mounted boards are higher off the ground.
Fortunately, it’s possible to add some additional steadiness to the board by using different wheels, trucks, and bushings geared toward stability. Below is a quick look at the pros and cons you can expect with a top mount board.
- Great option for responsiveness
- Good option for learning
- The trucks can be loaded with most of your body weight
- Excellent grip
- Allows for deeper carving
- Tight turning radius makes it easier to get around obstacles
- It is a good choice for cruising
- Works well for new riders and professional longboarders, as well
- Not as versatile
- Not as stable
- Not the best option for long-distance riding
Drop Through Longboards
This type of mounting features the truck’s baseplate on top of the deck rather than beneath it like a top mount longboard. The hanger part of the truck will drop through the bottom of the board. Many riders find that this is a comfortable way to ride and that it provides quite a bit of added stability. The increase in stability has helped to make this a popular option over the past few years.
Drop through boards have a nice design and they tend to be lightweight, which makes them easy to carry. One of the best features of these boards, when compared with top mount longboards, is improved stability even at high speeds. This is because they are lower to the ground.
Those who are looking for a longboard that can be used to gain some high speeds will enjoy the drop through longboards. They can maneuver and change direction easily on the board, and they are an ideal option for cruising. Quite a few professionals have opted to switch over to the drop through boards.
The board can also carve quite well when going at moderate speeds. Free skateboarders enjoy the boards because it allows them to slide more easily.
Although there are a lot of positives, there are also some negatives to consider. They tend to drift and could be wobbly. The shape of the lower deck can also make it more difficult to make sharp turns.
It’s important to keep in mind that these types of boards are specifically for cruising and carving. This means that they may not be suitable for all riders. You need to think about what you are going to be doing with the board and how you want to ride when choosing.
- Being closer to the ground provides more stability
- Excellent maneuverability
- A nice choice for cruising at high speeds
- Works well for carving and sliding at moderate speeds
- Drifts, so sharp turns will be harder to execute
- Wobbles on some platforms
- Not as strong as top mount longboards
See also: Different Longboard Styles
Top Mount vs. Drop Through for Cruising
You will find that both top mount and drop through longboards can be a good option for cruising. Of course, there are different reasons for this. Drop through boards have the deck sitting closer to the ground, which adds stability. It’s easy to push and provides the riders with a comfortable experience.
However, some riders like the top mount boards because they have better responsiveness and can make faster, sharper turns. The capability to make tight turns can be an advantage when there is limited space, such as on a sidewalk where people are walking.
The way you like to cruise and what you want to get from your board will help you determine which one you should choose.
Drop Through vs. Top Mount for Longer Distances
If you aren’t just going to be cruising around and you want to use the board for commuting or traveling long distances, the drop through boards will be the best choice. These boards ride lower, which means that pushing is easier. Many riders opt to use them for long distance pushing because of this. There is a major difference in the way it feels to push a top mount vs. drop through for 10 miles or more.
With the top mount, it will cause riders to get tired faster since the foot has more space to go before it reaches the ground. The added stability of the drop through also means that the ride will be more comfortable.
Some riders have found that despite the low weight, though, the drop mounts are bulkier than top mounts. They can be more difficult to carry with them when commuting and using a bus, for example. It could also be harder to store them.
Top Mount vs. Drop Through Longboard for the Free Ride
Free skateboarding enthusiasts will find that there are some benefits to both when they compare drop through vs. top mount boards. The one that the rider chooses will depend on their preferences and style.
The top mounts are a solid choice because they are responsive and make learning and turning so easy. They may also find that sliding is easier with the top mount since they can place their weight directly on the trucks.
Other riders might like the drop through longboard because they are stable at higher speeds. They aren’t as likely to wobble, which can be a concern when riding faster. These boards tend to have large wheel cutouts and clearance, allowing for tight carving, so descent can be controlled. It’s also nice for a range of different types of tricks.
Top Mount vs. Drop Through for Downhill Riding
Longboarders who ride downhill will often choose top mount boards. This is because they can turn better and are very responsive even when you are moving at a high speed. These boards will often have wheel well flares for excellent wheel clearance, whereas the drop through longboards will usually have wheel cutouts.
Those who want agility and performance will opt for top mount skateboards for the best downhill experience. They offer more benefits for this particular type of riding when compared with drop through boards.
What’s the Best Choice for Beginners?
Although it’s ultimately up to you which type of board you get—top mount or drop through longboard—you will find that the top mount boards tend to be a better option for those who are just learning to ride. They are all-around good boards and they’re easy to use. They are responsive and fun.
Eventually, you might want to move on to a drop through longboard, though, to experience the benefits that it can provide. Of course, there’s nothing preventing you from starting with a drop through if you wish.
What’s Right for You?
Now that you have a better understanding of the pros and cons when it comes to top mount vs. drop through mount longboards, it should be easier for you to make your choice. Think about how you like to ride or want to ride and what features and benefits are most important to you. This can help you determine whether top mount or drop through board will suit those needs better. Then, you can figure out which brand board to get, which longboard trucks, wheels, etc. Remember that it’s important to have the right safety gear with you, too.