Buying Your First Longboard (Beginner’s Guide)

By Billy James | Updated: August 8, 2023 | Edu

Buying your first longboard can be overwhelming.

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

Topics we’ll cover…

Longboard buying advice

I encourage you to support brands that genuinely care about this industry. If you know you’ll stick with longboarding, save up and purchase from a reputable longboard brand. Each brand on that list makes high-quality longboards that will last a long time.

Buy from a local shop, independent retailer, or the brand’s website.

Parts of a longboard

It’s helpful to have a basic understanding of the parts of a longboard. Reference this article for a more in-depth explanation.


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.


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.


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).

Common Riding Styles

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

Reference our longboard riding style guide for more information. Everyone connects with something different, so get educated!

Avoid downhill and freeride due to their high speeds and advanced skill requirements. You can explore those disciplines later on as you gain more experience.

Beginner-Friendly Shapes

The two best shapes for beginners are drop-downs and drop-throughs. The reason is that they’re lower to the ground, making it easier to balance on and progress.


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. They’re commonly used for casual cruising, commuting, and long-distance pushing.

Recommended Brands
Pantheon ($$$)


A drop-through longboard is when the trucks are installed through the deck. This lowered position provides a lower center of gravity, similar to drop-downs. They’re commonly used for casual cruising, carving, and commuting.

Recommended Brands
Arbor ($$)
Landyachtz ($$)
Loaded Boards ($$$)
Pantheon ($$$)


A kicktail longboard is a type of longboard that features an upward curve at the end of the deck. Kicktails are functional for increased maneuverability and tricks. They’re commonly used for casual cruising and freestyle tricks.

Recommended Brands
Landyachtz ($$)
Loaded Boards ($$$)

Billy James

I've been skating for over 20 years - it's been a lifelong passion. Our mission at Concrete Waves is to fuel the growth of all genres of skateboarding.

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