Buying Your First Longboard (Beginner’s Guide)

By: Billy James | January 10, 2024 | Longboards

Buying your first longboard can be overwhelming.

Have no fear; this beginner’s guide will help you pick the right one.

Topics I’ll cover…

After talking to many beginners, most only want a cheap longboard ($100) to test the waters. Remember, the quality won’t be as good as a reputable brand like Loaded, Landyachtz, or Pantheon.

But you gotta start somewhere.

Also, if you’re just getting started, it’s worth checking out my longboard beginner mistakes post.

Beginner-Friendly Longboards

Drop-throughs, kicktails, and drop-downs are beginner-friendly longboard shapes.

02/24/2024 10:51 pm GMT

A drop-through longboard is when the trucks are installed through the deck. This provides a lower center of gravity, making them easier to balance and push on.

A kicktail longboard is when there’s an upward curve at the end of the deck. Kicktails are functional for increased maneuverability and tricks.

A drop-down longboard is when the deck drops downward. The center of the deck is lower than the points where the trucks are mounted, creating a lower center of gravity.

Common Riding Styles

Cruising, freestyle, dancing, or long-distance push longboards are usually beginner-friendly.

Reference my longboard riding style post for more information. Everyone connects with something different.

You might still wonder if a longboard is even right for you. If that’s the case, then check this longboard vs skateboard post.

Avoid downhill and freeride due to their high speeds and advanced skill requirements. You can explore those disciplines later on after you build a solid foundation.

Parts of a longboard

It’s helpful to have a basic understanding of the parts of a longboard.

Wheels

If the roads you ride on have cracks and rocks, you’ll want your board to have large, soft wheels. Large, soft wheels will roll over rough terrain easier because they deform and absorb the impact.

Reference our longboard wheels guide for more info.

Deck

You’ll also want a deck that’s on the larger side. More deck space = more room for your feet. Avoid decks that have a lot of concave (rail-to-rail curvature).

You also might want to consider a setup that has an angled kicktail/nose. If you can’t make a tight turn based on weight distribution, you can use the kicktail to adjust.

Trucks

Reverse kingpin trucks (RKPs) are the most common type of longboard trucks. If you need to make quick turns, you might consider a setup with a smaller wheelbase and traditional kingpin trucks (TKPs).

Billy James

I've been skating for over 20 years and it's had an incredibly positive impact on my life. My mission is to get more people into skating and help them carry it as a lifelong passion.

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