Is a Longboard Best for Beginners?

Most people think that longboards are the best choice for beginners because they are more stable and easier to control than skateboards.

Longboards are longer, wider, and heavier than skateboards, which makes them easier to maneuver and balance on. Additionally, longboards tend to have softer wheels which provide a smoother ride while also providing better traction on slippery surfaces.

The wider and longer deck of a longboard makes it easier for beginners to keep their balance and stay upright. The larger wheel base also helps with stability when riding over cracks or bumps in the pavement. This is particularly helpful for beginners who may not have perfected their balance yet.

Most longboard decks are made of maple wood, bamboo, or composite materials like carbon fiber or fiberglass.

Maple wood is the most common material used in longboard decks due to its strength and durability. Bamboo is a good choice for those looking for lighter weight boards with a bit more flex. Composite materials can be used to create stiffer boards that are perfect for downhill racing or tricks.

Longboard trucks are designed with either reverse kingpin or traditional kingpin configurations. Reverse kingpin trucks offer greater stability at lower speeds but require more effort to turn at higher speeds; these are great for cruising around town or carving up hillsides.

Traditional kingpin trucks provide superior turning abilities but lack the ability to maintain high speeds; these are great for technical street skating or performing tricks in skate parks.

Lastly, longboards usually have softer wheels than skateboards. This makes them perfect for cobblestone streets or dirt paths, where a stiffer wheel would make too much vibration. In addition, soft wheels provide better grip when cornering on slippery surfaces like wet pavement or gravel roads.

Longboard Riding Style

Everyone has a unique riding style. If you can understand each style and see where you fit, you’ll be in a good position to choose your longboard. To keep things simple, there are four longboard riding styles.

  1. Freestyle 
  2. Freeride 
  3. Downhill

1. Freestyle

Because it involves tricks, freestyle is the most similar longboarding style to traditional skateboarding.

  •  Flip tricks
  • Dancing 
  • Carving
Freestyle
Source: Amazon

 They are all classified as freestyle longboarding. Freestyle longboards are typically beginner-friendly because their decks are larger and wider, making balancing easier. Decks with a platypus shape and drop-through trucks are common. Drop-through setups lower the deck to the ground, making it more stable and easier to push.

Their wheels are typically softer than cruiser wheels (80a-83aish). Most freestyle boards will have kicktails and noses to aid in trick performance.

2. Downhill

Downhill is when you race down massive hills at breakneck speeds. If you’re a beginner, you should definitely avoid this riding style. Before you attempt anything downhill, you must first master the fundamentals. I still wanted to include it because you should be aware of it.

Downhill boards are typically stiffer and have lower-angled trucks. The boards are also covered in aggressive griptape to help keep your feet in place.

3. Freeride

Freeride combines high speeds with sliding. Think of it as a cross between downhill and freestyle. The high speeds of downhill combined with the expressive form of freestyle. It’s not a beginner-friendly longboard style, just like downhill.

In most cases, freeride longboards have more flex than downhill boards. They have aggressive grip tape to help lock you in when sliding. Also, harder, smaller wheels make sliding easier.

What Do Beginner Longboarders Need to Know?

As a beginner longboarder, you need to know a few things in order to learn tricks faster, improve your pushing, and have a good time. 

What Do Beginner Longboarders Need to Know?
Source: Amazon

Wear safety equipment

This applies to all riders, but wearing protective gear is especially important for beginners. Helmets and elbow pads are a good place to start, and knee pads are a good addition for young beginners.

We also recommend starting on a flat, paved area where pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles will not be a problem. If you have a driveway, this is a great option. 

An empty section of a parking lot is another option, but bring someone with you and take turns keeping watch.

Some basic pushing tips: keep your weight biased towards the front truck, lean to turn, and most importantly, have fun! You will be frustrated, but you will also feel incredible as you achieve longer and longer successful pushes.

How Do I Pick the Correct Size Longboard for Beginners?

The size of the longboard you need depends on your height, weight, and riding style. For beginners, you should look for a board that is 9-10 inches wide and 32-45 inches long. This will give you enough stability to learn how to ride, while also allowing you to make turns and carve easily.

If you are heavier or taller than average, then consider getting a slightly longer or wider board.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Longboards Good For Beginners?

The short answer is yes! Longboards, particularly long, wide boards, and drop-through decks. The drop-through will lower your center of gravity. 

Is It Easier To Learn Longboard Or Skateboard?

It depends on the individual. Some people find it easier to learn longboarding, while others prefer skateboarding. Ultimately, the best way to determine which is the best fit is to try both out and see which one you feel more comfortable with.

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