If you have the slightest knowledge about the sport of skateboarding, you probably know that there are multiple skateboard styles. Most people know about longboards, cruisers, carvers, and double-kick skateboards. These four boards separate styles of riding and various skateboard disciplines.
Each one has its own special characteristics that make it ideal for its corresponding style of riding. However, many people don’t realize how deep the lineup of longboards is.
This sub-genre of skateboarding is a style primarily used for downhill speed-skating and cruising flat terrain that might have smaller obstacles. Their larger wheels are perfectly designed for speed and navigating potential roadblocks during a rider’s commute.
There are nearly 20 different types of longboards to choose from. Each board is specifically designed for a different style of riding or different terrain.
If you’re thinking about getting into longboarding or are a newcomer just getting into this discipline, we can broaden your horizons. We have a detailed guide on types of longboards and what they do best.
Table of Contents
1. Downhill Longboards
Downhill longboarding is only about one thing: speed. Longboarders cruise down steep hills, averaging speeds of about 50 mph, and are known to top out at 90 mph. And 90 mph on a skateboard is mind-blowing. It takes incredible balance and concentration to skate anywhere close to 50, much less 90 mph.
There are several different dynamics that go into the speeds you reach when you’re downhill longboarding. Your technique, the degree of the hill, your weight, the center of gravity, and the board design all come together to create a lightning-fast ride.
Even though the end goal is speed, there are a few other skills that a downhill longboarder must master. Their balance and turning ability come into play with every movement. The stance required to ride these boards requires a rider to tuck, so their center of gravity is very low, and this adds to stability and balance.
These boards have plenty of foot space for secure placement, which leads to a faster ride. Larger wheels are required on these boards because of the speed and possible bumps in the road, which make the board harder to turn. This makes the feat even more amazing, considering skaters on these boards have to carve down the side of a steep hill.
2. Carving Longboards
Carving longboards makes a rider almost look majestic. If you’ve never seen a longboarder carve down the side of a hill, making huge, arcing turns, you’re missing out. A skateboarder on a carving longboard navigating a spiraling road is truly something to behold.
Carving is a technique that requires a skateboarder to make huge, sweeping turns in order to navigate. When a skater is carving, they move from left to right in beautiful fluid motions, making it look nearly effortless.
We can assure you; it’s far from effortless. Carving requires top-notch balance and a high level of stability. There are a few specific features to look for in a carving longboard.
This longboard deck is between 34” and 42”. This measurement window seems to be the most efficient for a carving longboard. If the deck and wheelbase are too small, it’s going to be hard to produce the momentum needed to complete the turns.
The wheels are typically larger than normal, even for longboards. This generally can lead to wheel bite, but carving longboards specifically comes with wheel wells or cut-outs to remedy this problem.
3. Cruising Longboards
Cruising longboards probably have the lowest number of features out of all longboard options. This style of skating is made for a laid-back, slower style of riding. Speeds are generally on the slower side, and there aren’t as many obstacles or steep hills involved.
Normally a cruising longboard sports a pintail design, which is the type you see that has pointed ends. Usually, you want this longboard deck to be between 38 or 40”. There are no arches on the board, and the deck is completely flat. A cruising longboard deck is somewhat flexible, which also leads to a healthier ride. Decks that flex aren’t as rough on your joints and bones.
Normally you would want larger wheels for a cruising longboard, but not for the speed. The big wheels actually combine with the board flex to give a rider better balance and stability.
There are actually sub-genres of cruising. There is commuter cruising, as well as long-distance cruising.
Related: Longboard vs Cruiser
4. Drop Through
Drop through decks look similar to regular longboards, except for the giant cut-out that lies in the deck. This cut-out allows for the trucks to fit much better and prevents wheel bite.
Drop through longboards have quickly become one of the more popular types of longboards and are great for general free-riding and commuting. These boards offer a very comfortable ride.
The drop through is considered the best board for all-around use. If you’re a jack-of-all-trades on your longboard, the drop through is probably for you.
The best part about these longboards is the fact that they increase in stability when your speeds get higher. Normally, skateboards work the opposite way.
This board is ideal for low-speed carving. However, there is a drawback when it comes to using a drop through. These boards normally have poor grip because of the reduced deck size, so don’t expect a lot of foot space.
For inexperienced skaters, this could cause balance issues. If you’re not very well versed in downhill riding, you might want to keep your drop through on flat ground.
5. Bamboo Longboards
Bamboo longboards are more about the visual element than the technical design. These boards are incredibly flexible and very lightweight.
The pintail design of these longboards makes them perfect for cruising. There’s not much flashy about them, so don’t expect to carve the side of any hills with one. However, they do have their place in the longboard lineup.
If you’re a commuter or looking for a laid-back, comfortable ride, the bamboo longboard could be for you. Their lightweight frame makes them perfect for carrying on a bus or clipped to your backpack while you’re not using it.
6. Pintail Longboards
Technically there are several types of longboards that could be considered pintail longboards, but this is the pintail longboard. The other boards are just borrowing the name.
The pintail design on these boards is very prevalent. The front and back tips of the decks get very thin. The positive about this is the fact that you don’t have to worry about wheel bite.
The design of pintail longboards makes them ideal for carving on hills or flat tops. You can do some serious leaning and bending on these boards without worrying about wiping out over wheel bite. These boards might seem like they don’t have a lot of foot room, but the average pintail is 46”.
The length makes these boards perfect for beginners because of the overall platform space on the deck. They are also over 10” wide. These longboards have top-mounted trucks, which raises the elevation slightly.
Heavier longboarders might want to consider choosing a different board. The flexibility of the trucks and affinity for leaning could lead to problems for bigger boarders.
7. Fishtail Longboards
These boards get their name from their design. It’s not just a clever name; these boards look exactly like a fish.
Fishtail longboards are technically pintails, but the cut-out design on the tail makes sharper turning possible. There’s a lot more outplay from the kicktail, as the fishtail design makes it easier to use your heel to slide the back end towards one side or another.
The deck is slightly concave, which gives the rider more toe and heel control overall. These longboards are made for high speeds and do great on long, sweeping carving terrain.
The fishtail longboard also does a great job at preventing wheel bite because of the slender nose. If you’re aiming for downhill speed and carving, this is the board for you.
8. Blunt Longboards
Blunt longboards are a play on the pintail design. Technically, these longboards are of the pintail design. However, instead of the sharp point that is typical of the pintail, the pin design is traded for a blunt edge. Hence the name, blunt longboard.
These boards bring a great mix of durability and stability. The larger wheels add to this board’s stability, but this board might be unsafe for hill riding.
It’s hard to bring this board to complete sharp turns, but beginners might enjoy using this board because of its ability to balance. The deck also has some flex to it, which makes a rider feel more secure.
Because of the flex, this is also an ideal longboard for larger skateboarders. The bendability of the deck holds up to heavier weights.
9. Mini-Cruiser Short Longboards
It seems like having something called a short longboard might defeat the purpose. However, mini cruiser short longboards barely make the cut, measuring 33”, which is the low-end of longboard measurements.
Longboards start at 33” and go up to 48”. These longboards don’t offer much towards stability and balance because of their stature and lack of foot space. This probably isn’t the ideal board for new longboarders.
However, seasoned veterans could find this version of the longboard fun to use. The lightweight design makes them easy to carry around.
These boards are closer in design to the popular penny board. The penny board was birthed from the popular nickel board, which is a miniature skateboard.
See also: Nickel board vs Penny board
10. Twin Longboards
The twin longboard was one of the original designs of longboards. This particular style is made for street skating in both directions. The deck on this board has extra width, making them much easier to control.
The curved nose and tail of these longboards give them a look that is similar to the blunt longboard. The twin longboard is a design that is often used by professional longboarders.
Riders can make sharp turns, carves, and cuts with ease because of this longboard’s brilliant design. You can make downhill speed riding look easy with a twin longboard.
Because of their unique and efficient design, twin longboards can also be used for tricks. This is an incredibly rare characteristic, as longboards generally are never used for trick-skating.
11. Cut-Out Longboards
The cut-out longboard has a sleek, advanced design that is great for advanced longboarders. There is plenty of wheel clearance on the cut-out longboard, so wheel biting isn’t a problem if you want to do a lot of carving.
This design has a wide wheelbase with narrow edges that exist because of the cutouts near the wheels. The trademark design is what earned these longboards the name cut-out.
Wheel bite was the inspiration behind these longboards. The shaved-down design of the deck is what led to one of the first solutions to wheel bite. Because of this design, using large wheels is no problem.
These longboards are very similar in function to the dropdown longboards. Both allow you to ride with a high level of stability. The cut-out longboard is used in freestyle and downhill speed skating as one of the most popular boards of choice.
These boards are also multi-directional, which makes them a suitable style for cruising as well. This design is one of the most versatile boards on our list.
12. Dropdown Longboards
These boards received their name because of their trademark look. With an elevated heel and tip, the middle of these boards drop down to form a sloping deck that’s excellent for stability.
The design of this longboard is similar to the cut-out listed above. This design provides ample wheel clearance, which eliminates the risk of wheel bite.
The dropdown longboard is another versatile offering on our list. It’s comfortable enough for cruising, and the design is efficient enough for high-speed, downhill carving.
13. Speed Board Longboards
This is another board that’s built strictly for speed. However, it’s only designed for the experienced longboarder. The width of these longboards vary, making them able to accommodate different foot sizes.
The nose and tail are thinner with a blunt tip. This allows easier carving and lightning-fast speeds. These lightweight boards have a design similar to the dropdown.
The tail and nose are slightly elevated, but the middle of the deck is completely flat with no concave at all. The width is also slightly smaller on the speed board compared to the dropdown longboard.
14. Topmount Longboards
These boards get their name from the way the trucks are attached to the board. Topmount longboards are designed with the trucks mounted directly to the bottom side of the deck.
This specific design gives the rider more ability for sharp turning. Riders can cut and slide on these boards with ease, making them a top choice for freestyle riding.
The negative side of these boards is their elevation. They are slightly raised because of the design of the trucks, which makes speed wobble a problem.
If you want to counter the risk of wobbling, there are potential remedies you could try. Installing different bushings or wheels could provide some relief from this longboarding nightmare.
15. Double Drop Longboards
These longboards have a unique design. There are two different levels of drops from the tail to the tip of these funky skateboards.
The double drop longboard was born from a combination of the drop-through and the drop-deck design. This style has plenty of width, and the angled heel and tip provide a great spot for a rider to plant their foot. This makes turning and carving much easier.
The double drop design makes this board ideal for carving without the risk of wheel bite. You can use large wheels without worrying about wiping out. The combination of the deck design and the ability to install large wheels make this longboard a favorite for downhill skating.
You can reach incredibly high speeds with this longboard selection. Combine the speed with the ability to carve gnarly arcs in the side of hills, and you’ve got the recipe for a great performance skateboard.
16. Dancer Longboards
Dancer longboards are made for a specific style of longboarding competition. Longboard dancing was made famous by the great Rodney Mullen. This particular style of longboarding has an ulterior motive.
When a skater perfects the art of longboard dancing, they’re actually perfecting their balance, which prepares them for faster downhill riding. The art looks pretty cool, as well.
Longboard dancing requires a skater to twist and curve their legs up and down the longboard, giving them the appearance of a dancer. Because of these moves, dancer longboards are considerably longer than regular longboards.
These boards are also equipped with a double-kick design, much like a trick skateboard. This gives the board the ability to pop, and riders can propel it in the air and twist it around their bodies during their routine.
There is also some flex in the middle of the deck, making this board suitable for beginners who want to perfect their stability and balance. The long design also makes it efficient for downhill cruising. However, it’s not as elevated, so when you’re carving at high speeds, wheel bite could become a problem.
17. Freeride Longboards
Freeriding requires a lot of sliding. This style of riding is very demanding and requires a lot of speed. Freeride boards are great for long, straight stretches at high speeds. However, carving doesn’t come so easily with these boards.
The wheels are slightly smaller, so wheel bite isn’t an issue. The small wheels are what prevent this board from being efficient in downhill skating settings. However, small wheels are required because of the sliding that is made famous by freestyle longboarding.
Freeride boards could potentially be good for beginners because of the deck design. Normally, freeride longboards have drop-through decks, which naturally leave them lower to the ground. This adds to the overall stability of the board, which is also what makes it perfect for sliding.
The concave designs of the deck give this board perfect options for foot placement. Certain versions of freestyle longboards have double-drop designs, which puts them even lower to the ground, adding to the already high level of stability.
18. Push Longboards
The push longboard, also known as the commuter, is a daily driver that’s great for simple to-and-from rides. This longboard probably has our vote for the best beginner board.
There’s nothing too flashy about this design. They sit lower to the ground, which makes balancing easy. They also have a drop design, which gives newcomers comfortable options for foot placement.
The wheels are medium-sized, and the trucks are narrow, so there are minimal chances for speed wobble. This board turns tight, so it would be harder for a beginner to lose control.
For a beginning longboarder or a younger skater, it doesn’t get much better than the push longboard. The highlight of this longboard is its potential for being one of the safest boards on our list.
19. Electric Longboards
This is the next generation of skateboarding.
Well, probably not, but at least it’s a cool concept. These longboards contain everything that a normal longboard would, but there’s no need for pushing or kicking to propel yourself. This is perfect for the most leisurely ride you could imagine.
If you’re considering trying an electric longboard, there are some important safety elements you should understand first.
· Electric longboards can handle weights of 200-300 pounds easily. However, this also depends on the quality of the longboard. You should check the load restrictions on the manual before you attempt to put heavier weights on the board.
· The braking distance is extended with heavier weight. Being able to stop in the right amount of time on a skateboard is one of the most important dynamics of the sport. If you put too much weight on these longboards, you could put yourself in a potentially dangerous situation.
· A board with heavier weights will severely hinder performance. When bigger loads are placed on the board, this could drag the design down and substantially lower your speed. You could also lose the ability to climb hills if the board is weighed down too heavily.
· Heavier loads make the engine on these boards work a lot harder. This could drain the battery much quicker than normal. The heavy strain on the board could also lead to a shorter lifespan of some of the most important parts on the board.
It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s specifications on weight limits when you use an electric longboard. Otherwise, this could lead to a very expensive replacement or injury.
It takes about five hours to charge the battery on an electric longboard fully. The deck is typically made from carbon fiber or fiberglass. Because of this design, it’s important to stand properly on the board. Instead of standing in the middle, you should always place your feet directly over the trucks near the front and back of the board.
How Should I Stand On a Longboard?
Your stance on a longboard depends on the type you’re riding. When you’re on a longboard designed for downhill skating, you should use a stance known as “the tuck.”
The tuck is designed to give riders minimal air resistance and allows them to keep a low center of gravity. This stance is crucial as it provides riders with much-needed balance and stability while moving at high speeds.
To perform this stance, the knees need to be bent, and the rider should be in an extremely low, squatting position. Weight should be shifted towards the front of the board to prevent speed wobble.
Both arms should be extended out to the sides in an airplane pose. This adds another level of balance and helps during turns as well.
Otherwise, a rider can use the regular-foot stance or the goofy-foot stance. Small variations can be used depending on the specific discipline. Certain boards offer flexibility to a rider’s stance, especially when the deck is concave providing efficient foot-planting.
Choosing the proper longboard is a tough decision. You should factor in your level of experience and where you see yourself using the board the most. Based on whether you’re leaning towards more cruising, downhill riding, caving, or freestyle skating, you should be able to make an educated decision for the board that works best for you.