Longboarding is awesome.
Some people call it the snowboarding of the summer, some people call it the surfing of the city, but everyone agrees of two things - that you can go really fast and that it's a lot of fun.
While you may think that choosing a longboard should be fairly simple, take one look online and you'll realise that there are a lot of decisions you have to make before buying.
Have read through these points and we promise, by the time you're finished you'll know the type of board that is right for you.
Figure Out The Basics
When buying a new board, firstl consider two things: price range and skill level.
If you're trying out longboarding as a new hobby and aren't yet sure that it's going to stick, you really don't want to be splashing the big bucks quite yet.
Look around online and you'll find some very decent full boards for around £50.
As with surfing, the bigger the board, the more balance you'll have. Some beginners do learn on a thinner board or with a more custom design, but this will be harder.
Make it easy for yourself and buy a big old deck of a cruiser or a downhill rider to begin with, while you find your feet!
What Kind Of Rider Are You?
Like other boardsports, longboarding has many different styles of rider, each of which have particular board requirements.
Think of surfing and the difference between someone who rides a gun and someone who rides a shortboard - it's the same deal.
As you learn, you'll probably find that you'll progress into a different style, but for now, its time to decide what type of rider you want to be.
Here's the main four types of longboarder:
If you're just getting into longboarding, chances are you're a cruiser. These guys are all about carving slopes and ripping through long distances.
The clue is very much in the name. Crouch down and rip down those hills as fast as you can. You need to have a good sense of braking before you take on these type of longboarding.
These riders are usually pretty expert and spend their time taking on the big descents, while also taking on slides and curb hops.
Whatever you want! Freestylers are all about tricks, sliding, riding goofy and even dancing. On the other hand, it's a good way for beginners to learn the basics, before they take on any particular style.
What Shape Board Should I Get?
You'll probably have noticed that longboards can look radically different to each other. One of the best things about them as that you can choose the one perfect for you.
To begin with, you only really need to know the two main styles that all over variations fit into.
These boards are usually the choice for crusier and downhill boards, as well as some freestyle riders.
The old school pin tail is the most popular directional board. Best for going fast and going forward.
2) Twin (Symmetrical)
These boards are best suited for freeriders and freestylers. You can ride it the same whichever way you're facing.
Want to learn 180° slides? This is the board for you.
Your deck style decides how stable your board will feel, as well as how easy it is to brake and push on flat ground.
The lower the board, the more stable you'll feel and the easier it is to push. A higher board will be nowhere near as stable - but you'll find tight turns and quick carves a lot easier.
1) Top Mount
The most traditional type, this board is mounted high above the trucks which gives you a higher centre of gravity and good control. It's fine for cruising, carving, downhill, freeride and freestyle. Also it's the cheapest around.
2) Drop Through
Easy to recognise, drop throughs have their trucks mounted through the board. Great for braking, long distance freeride, downhill and commuters.
3) Drop Deck
This deck is moulded so that your feet are below the trucks giving a low sense of gravity, while still keeping top mounted trucks. Popular with downhill riders.
4) Double Drop
Drop through trucks and a drop deck style, these boards are all about getting your feet as low to the ground as possible. This is the most stable bard available (but usually the most expensive!)
Board flex is decided by material, laminates, length, and amount of concave.
There are three levels of flex to choose between: soft, medium and flex.
Want to do mellow cruising and board tricks? Go soft. Carving, easy cruising and commuting? Go medium. All about bombing hills, going fast and freeriding? Go stiff.
What Gear Do I Need?
There are a lot of accessories that you can get to go with your new board. While these aren't compulsory, they can make your ride better.
Foot-stops: Attach on the top of your deck to keep your front or back foot in place.
Nose/Tail Guards: A protective bumper that attaches to the nose or tail of your board and protects it from smashing up against hard objects.
Risers: Hard plastic that can be used in between your trucks and your deck to increase a board's ride height. Help avoid wheel-bite.
Shock Pads: A softer version of a riser, also help to reduce shock and vibration.