12 Best Longboards in 2017
Skateboarding was once a skill reserved for flexible kids who didn’t mind losing some skin on the road. As time progressed and technology improved, the styles have changed, and now you find riders of all ages doing ollies.
That means there is a now a skateboard for almost everyone, including models that run on electric power and ones built for distance. If you want to try something a little different from a traditional skateboard, longboards are a fine option. Most are made for cruising, not doing tricks although some of the best longboards can give you a little bit of both.
If you are unsure of which way to roll, we’ve put together a guide that keeps things simple, and our top 12 features some of the top longboards around.
Top 12 Longboards Comparison Table
|1. Atom Drop Through Longboard||40-inch||62 x 51mm||4.6|
|2. Ten Toes Board Emporium Zed Bamboo Longboard Skateboard Cruiser||44-inch||70 x 51mm||4.6|
|3. White Wave Bamboo Longboards||41-inch||70 x 50mm||4.5|
|4. SCSK8 Natural Blank & Stained Assembled Complete Longboard Skateboard||Varies||70mm||4.5|
|5. Aeroactive Longboard Skateboard Cruiser||45-inch||62 x 51mm||4.5|
|6. Atom Drop-Through Longboard||Varies||70 x 46mm||4.5|
|7. VOLADOR 42inch freeride longboard complete cruiser||42-inch||70mm||4.4|
|8. Sector 9 Blue Wave Lookout dropthrough Complete Longboard Skateboard||42-inch||74mm||4.4|
|9. Rimable Pintail Longboard 41 Inch||41-inch||70 x 51mm||4.4|
|10. MINORITY Downhill Maple Longboard||40-inch||70mm||4.3|
|11. Quest Super Cruiser Artisan Bamboo Longboard Skateboard||44-inch||70 x 51mm||4.3|
|12. Santa Cruz Lion God Rasta Drop Thru Cruzer Freeride Longboard Deck Complete||40-inch||72mm||4.1|
Is a Longboard Still a Skateboard?
If you’ve never ridden a skateboard, much less a longboard, you may be wondering what the difference is between the two. Well, that all comes down to the length. As the name implies, longboards are longer than a traditional skateboard which can range from between 28 and 30-inches or so. Longboards still have the same basic construction and parts as a skateboard although they do not ride the same way when it comes to one key area.
While you can “cruise” down the road on a skateboard, you can also hit ramps or pull off tricks as you skate around your neighborhood or park. That’s not necessarily the case with longboards. They are geared for cruising, not doing death-defying tricks. Downhill racing and freeriding are common as well, and while you can still pull a few tricks if you’re good enough, it’s not what they’re made for.
If you’ve ridden longboards before, this one will be easy as you already know what you’re looking for out of a board when it comes to length. Beginners will find digging through the best longboards more difficult as the length of the deck is only one part of the equation.
- Downhill/Drop-through – A downhill longboard is built for speed and sits lower the ground than our other styles which makes them more stable. These boards are also stiffer than other styles with not much flex, and cut-outs around the wheels if they are a traditional Drop-through.
- Pintails – This style mimics a surfboard, which is where longboard gets its name. They are narrower towards the tail, and while they resemble cruisers, there’s less chance for those wheels to hit the deck causing wheel bite.
- Cruisers – These decks will look like a normal skateboard deck more often than not, but considerably longer. That means there may be a kicktail on one end, but will still have higher trucks along with different bushings and wheels. If you’re unsure of which way to turn, a cruiser or hybrid is your best bet.
Wheels & Weight
The cool thing about skateboards of any kind is the ability to customize your deck. The deck essentially acts as your base, and if you don’t like the wheels, trucks or bearings, you can replace them with ease. That means you can set up a board to suit your riding style if it’s not exactly what you’re expecting out of the box. While all of our picks are of the highest quality, add-ons can take your ride to a whole new level.
The weight of your new longboard is significant for two reasons. Obviously, it needs to be able to hold your weight without breaking although that isn’t going to be an issue for most –skateboards are sturdy. That said, the longer the board, the better chance it can become weak in the middle, so check for an actual weight limit if you believe it may be a concern. The weight of the board is something to keep in mind if you’re a downhill demon as eventually you will have to carry it back up that slope.
Top 5 Best Longboards Reviews
Some companies make skateboards along with a smattering of trucks, wheels and other accessories for the street. Well, not Atom as they specialize in longboards, so it’s no surprise they found their way onto our list. The Atom Drop Through is a fan favorite and without a doubt one of the best longboards around.
Looking for a board that lets you zip down the road at a high rate of speed? This one will do the trick, and it can quench your eternal need for speed. The Atom Drop-Through Longboard has an 8-ply laminated deck made from maple measuring 40-inches from end to end. The cut-outs around the wheels are precise and ensure you won’t experience wheel bite. The hardware is top-notch as well with cr-mo axles, 7-inch aluminum hangers, and Atom Retroh wheels. Worried about grip? Don’t be as it has 80-grit silicon carbide on the deck.
This sturdy longboard can hold riders big and small and comes in five different designs although we went with Purple Veneer. While the deck specs mostly remain the same on most models, the Bamboo board is a hybrid made from a mix of maple and bamboo.
This slick deck comes from the minds at Ten Toes Board Emporium. It’s a true longboard in the sense that it resembles a surfboard from aside from the kicktails at each end. The Zen Bamboo longboard is also one of the longest decks on our list at a whopping 44-inches.
This deck doesn’t have a lot of “pizazz” as the company went with a clean look that will remind you of the beach with its Cali style. It’s a bamboo and maple hybrid, so it’s going to be durable as you cruise down the streets and sidewalks. While not made for speed, it offers up a smooth ride with 70mm x 51mm 85a PU wheels, abec-7 bearings, and PU cast 90a bushings. The 7-inch trucks are made from aluminum, so they are going to hold up well and have riser pads to boot. Despite its size, it’s a responsive beast that’s going to draw attention on the road.
From the sturdy grip tape across the deck to the stylish graphics on the bottom, there’s a lot to like about the Zen Bamboo. It’s sturdy, sleek and comes in five different flavors. It’s not quite as fancy as some of the other options, but a great board for beginners that are just picking up their first longboard.
Looking for something truly unique? If so, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything cooler than the Cobra from White Wave Longboards. While the design is nice, the deck is what makes this one unique as it drops down in the middle but raises up on each end.
This board is 41-inches long and of average width at 9.75-inches. That’s just for the middle of the board however as the ends are narrowed down to which gives it a roomy wheelbase of 33.5-inches. Measurements aside, the Cobra is quick, but not one you’ll want to necessarily ride downhill at a high rate of speed. You’ll also want to be careful with the transitions considering it’s prone to bottoming out due to the design. That said, it can take a beating as it’s made from a blend of Canadian maple and bamboo.
We dig the style of the White Wave Cobra, and it’s one of the more unique options we’ve come across although it will not be for everyone. If you fancy the style but not the lowered deck, the company has several other options available including a thick plastic deck, pintails and downhill racers.
Our first pintail comes from SCSK8 and is a lightweight longboard simple enough for anyone to ride. It’s also one of the more affordable options available which make it ideal for beginners or seasoned veterans looking for a secondary ride.
Pintails can be an acquired taste depending on your skill level on a regular skateboard. They are narrower with a standard deck although this one’s made from maple with no composites involved. It’s lighter than most due to its style and the fact it’s made from 7-ply, not 8-ply maple. Unfortunately, that also means heavier riders will need to proceed with caution as the weight limit is only 220 pounds on this one. As for the hardware, it has the standard 7” aluminum trucks, PU wheels with flat-spot resistance, and SCSK7 Abec-9 bearings.
If you’re looking to pick up a pintail, this one is a solid option and is available in five different colors and two patterns. Depending on which way you roll, you may get a choice in size as well with 34, 40, and 44-inch models.
Being able to race downhill on a longboard is an absolute blast, but so is cruising around town if you have the right board. If you need one that serves as an alternate means of transportation, we think you’ll be thrilled with this one from Aeroactive.
Cruisers need to be comfy, stable and offer a smooth ride as well considering plenty of people use them as a means of transportation. Aeroactive’s Longboard performs admirably in all those key areas although, and it’s an excellent choice for consumers looking for their first deck. At 45-inches it offers up plenty of room underfoot and has Kingpin reverse trucks which allow you to carve up the street. It also has a standard kicktail on the rear so you can do tricks with this one even if that isn’t really what it’s designed for.
Like most of our options, the Aeroactive Longboard gives you a choice when it comes to style. There are three colorways available, but the hardware stays the same down the line. That includes abec-11 bearings, 62mm x 51mm PU wheels and clear sandblast grip tape, which provides sure footing.