Longboard Decks: How to Choose The Best One
Do longboard decks matter at all? How you be sure you’re getting the right longboard deck for you? Are there any special considerations that you ought to take into account in choosing a deck? If you’re torn on the matter, then, I’m here to help you with this handy little guide to picking the right longboard deck.
But first, we ought to ask the question: what exactly is a longboard deck all about? Yes, the question sounds pretty silly, so to speak, and not one sane longboarder would probably be ignorant about it. But anyway, it is where you stand whenever you’re longboarding.
Longboard decks typically are around 33” to 60” in length, allowing ample space for longboarders to stand on. The standard length of decks isn’t so much of an issue, in any case. In spite of this, there are still plenty of things that you should note.
The Different Longboard Deck Materials
Credit : inhabitat.com
There are various types of materials used for longboard decks. This would actually depend on the manufacturer, and there’s no standard when it comes to what’s prominently used. Among longboarders, there are certain preferences to which materials are best.
- Maple is the material most commonly used by longboard manufacturers. It’s cheap and is easily grasped. It’s also incredibly durable. Hence, it’s also used by a lot of makers of skateboards, among other things.
- Bamboo : While this may seem like the unconventional choice, it’s bamboo is actually one of the best out there that you can pick. Bamboo is incredibly light. What it lacks in durability, it makes up for flexibility and its light weight. For many, bamboo is the best pick.
- Carbon Fiber : This is probably the most expensive pick out there. But the most affluent of longboarders swear by it! It’s incredibly durable, considering it’s also the type of material used in the bodies of many military aircrafts. But again, it’s not the cheapest option out there—although you may want to go for it if you have extra money to spend.
- Fiberglass: Fiberglass is as reliable as always. It’s lightweight and durable enough to withstand pressure on roads, among other things. A great fiberglass longboard aids in softening vibration on the road, allowing for a more comfortable ride in the process.
- Plastic : Although plastic is ideal for beginners, decks made of it should be used sparingly. It’s not a good idea to use plastic decks extensively, since they’re not as durable as one might hope. In any case, you should spend some extra on other materials if you want the best out of your longboard.
The Different Deck Shapes
Suffice to say, longboard decks also come in many different shapes. There’s not one uniformed shape for longboards, as makers also afford longboarders the choice of the decks they want. Prominently, there are two different longboard shapes that you can choose from.
- Cruiser Shape : As the name implies, a cruiser-shaped deck are incredibly maneuverable, and are designed for going around the street.The shape is elongated, much like a teardrop. They’re lighter and have better weight distribution. The most casual of longboarders prefer cruiser-shaped longboards.
- Downhill Shape : The downhill shape, on the other hand, has a more rectangular look. Downhill decks are overall heavier and are made to be more stable. Consider that you’re going to need all the balance and stability when it comes to rapid descents. A downhill deck will help you breeze through downward slopes, among other things.
Choosing The Right Longboard!
What Are Some Other Things to Note?
There are several other factors to take note of when it comes to longboard decks. Whether your longboard is made from maple, bamboo, carbon fiber, or other lesser-known material, these aspects of a deck remain the same.
- Weight: As a rule, you’re going to want your longboard to be as light as possible. You’d want to carry it around and you’d want to easily maneuver it through roads and hills. In this regard, you should take the weight of the longboard into account.
- Width: Longboards are personal items that should cater to the users themselves. The right width of the longboard, similar to the width of the user’s leg’s apart, should play an important role when choosing the best longboarding deck
- Wheelbase: The wheelbase is otherwise known as the distance between the inner mounting holes of your board. They determine the stability of the deck and of your board as a whole. It is a must that you know the wheelbase distance you’re comfortable with. Nuances in wheelbase distance can drastically change how the longboard performs.
- Length: While length does indeed play a role in longboarding, it is also quite general. Decks typically go over 32”. In any case, the length of the longboard isn’t really one of its most important elements. But still, I suggest you take note of the length that you’re comfortable with.
- Concave: As the name implies, the deck’s concave refers to the curve of the wood in the middle of the deck. The right curve allows for a more controlled ride. That’s why it’s important to check the concave of a deck beforehand, before you even think about making a purchase. I don’t think I need to emphasize on that further.
- Pintail: You may have noticed that most longboard decks prominently feature pintails. These pintails allow longboarders to ride in a directional manner. They make curves and turns easier. There are different pintails on different longboard decks, so it’s best that you choose wisely.
Have you chosen which deck is best for you? I know for certain that longboards aren’t as straightforward as they seem. That’s why you should consider every aspect and every part of longboards as much as you can.
As someone who’s been into longboarding myself, I’ve been made to pick between tons of decks out there and many of them hardly made any sense. If you’re new to the sport, always consider the deck, first and foremost.
What did you think of the short guide on longboard decks? Did you learn anything valuable from it? Let me know in the comments below!