What’s The Best Longboard For Beginners? (Buyers Guide)

Updated: February 20, 2023 | Shreducation

How do you know what longboard to pick if you’re a beginner?

Well, there are three things to consider…

Define those three things, and you’ll be in a good position. I’ll recommend a few options at the end.

If you want a quick summary, find it below.


As general advice, you’ll want something that’s long/wide (30″- 45″ / 8.5+”). Large, soft wheels (60-80mm / 77a-83a) so you can cruise over rough terrain. And reverse kingpin trucks for stability at higher speeds.

Longboard Riding Styles

Everyone has a different riding preference.

If you can understand each style and see where you fit, you’ll be in a solid spot to pick your longboard.

To keep it simple, there are four longboard riding styles…


Cruising is exactly how it sounds, it’s when you ride around in a chill manner. Your city, neighborhood, or campus.

99% of beginners should start with a cruiser longboard.

If you’re looking for a beginner cruiser board, I’d recommend it being at least 30” long and 8.5” wide. A long, wide deck will be easier to balance on. The wheels should be large/soft (60mm-80mm / 77a-83a) so they can easily roll over cracks/bumps. The trucks should be reverse kingpins, so they’ll be stable at higher speeds.

The next style you might want to consider is…


Freestyle is the closest longboarding style to traditional skateboarding because it involves tricks.

They all fall under the freestyle longboarding category.

freestyle longboarding

Freestyle longboards are usually beginner-friendly because…

Their decks are large and wide, easier to balance. It’s common for the decks to be a platypus shape with drop-through trucks. Drop-through setups make the deck sit lower to the ground, making them more stable and easier to push.

Their wheels are softer, although usually harder than cruiser wheels (80a-83aish). Most freestyle boards will have kicktails and noses to help with performing tricks. If you want to learn longboard tricks, I recommend checking out Amp Skate.


Downhill is when you bomb massive hills at mind-boggling speeds.

downhill longboarding

You’ll want to avoid this riding style if you’re a beginner. You need to get the basics down before attempting anything downhill. I still wanted to include it because you should be aware of it.

Usually, downhill boards are stiff and have lower-angled trucks. The boards are also topped with aggressive griptape to help keep your feet locked into place.

If you want to learn more about downhill history, watch Signal Hill on Redbull TV. It’s pretty wild! 

Downhill is pretty self-explanatory. Mark this style as a “not yet” if you’re a beginner.


Freeride is mixing high speeds with sliding.

freeride longboarding

Think of it as an in-between downhill and freestyle. The high speeds of downhill, mixed with the expressive form of freestyle.

Like downhill, it’s not a beginner-friendly longboard style.

They have griptape on the aggressive side to help lock you in when sliding. Also, harder, smaller wheels for easier sliding.

At this point, you should know what riding style you fit into.

So, the next logical step is to think about your…

Riding Environment

It’s important to think about your riding environment. It’ll help you determine the best components for your setup.

I’ll cover a few scenarios to paint a clearer picture.

Rough Terrain?

If the roads you’ll be riding 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. Harder wheels have a higher chance of seizing up and throwing you off the board.

You’ll also want a deck that’s on the larger side. A longer and wider deck will offer more surface area to balance on.

More deck space = more room for your feet.

Quick Turns?

If you live in an area where you’ll need to make quick turns, here are a few things to consider.

You might want traditional kingpin trucks (TKPs) over reverse kingpins (RKPs). TKPs are more agile because they have a higher baseplate angle offering more turn. Be aware that TKPs won’t handle higher speeds as well as RKPs.

A deeper dive on trucks here.

A smaller wheelbase will also contribute to a more agile setup. If you need to be able to take sharp turns, TKPs with a smaller wheelbase is the move.

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

If you need something portable and nibble, a cruiser skateboard might be for you.

The final piece to the puzzle is to…

Define Your Budget

This is straightforward. What are you comfortable paying?

Under $100 Budget

Is your budget under $100?

The best advice I can give you is to ask around your area. Chances are someone has an old longboard collecting dust that you can upgrade for cheap.

Or you could search used marketplaces. If you’re clueless about where to start, read this article.

$100 – $200 Budget

Spending somewhere in the $150-$200 range will significantly increase the quality of your setup. You’ll find a decent longboard that’ll last in this price range. My first ever longboard was from Sector 9, and it’s still going strong.

$200+ Budget

If you know what riding style you prefer and will stick with it long-term.

Popular high-end brands…

The “Loaded Boards” and “Landyachtz” links are affiliate links, meaning we’ll receive a small commission if you buy using that link. It’s at no additional cost to you.

Bottom Line

Hopefully, at this point, you know how to pick the best beginner longboard for you. I tried to keep all this information clear and concise.

Cruiser longboards will be the best option for most of you. Then, freestyle if you see yourself getting into that.

Avoid freeride and downhill. Well, for now, at least.

I hope you found this beginner’s longboard guide useful.


I've been skateboarding for over twenty years. When I'm not skating, I'm most likely surfing my local break. The goal is to fuel the growth of all genres of skateboarding.

Check Out Next