Having a basic understanding of longboard decks is key.
It’ll help you build the right setup for your riding style.
In this guide, we’ll provide you with the essential knowledge.
Longboard decks are commonly made of 7 or 8 plys of Canadian maple veneers, but some are even made with materials like bamboo, plastic, carbon fiber, birch, and fiberglass,
Bamboo decks are lighter and more flexible than wood decks.
Length & Width
Longboard decks come in various lengths and widths to suit different riding styles. A longer deck provides more stability and a smoother ride, while a shorter one offers increased maneuverability. Wider decks offer more space to balance on, making it more comfortable for riders with bigger feet or beginners.
This is subjective and longboards can come in lengths/widths outside of the ranges below.
Deck length range…
- 32-48″ / 81-121cm
Deck width range…
- 8-11″ / 20-28cm
Kicktails & Noses
Kicktails and noses are the upturned ends of a longboard deck, functional for tricks or deep carving. There are various kicktail designs, including single, double, and symmetrical.
It’s all personal preference, but for most tricks, you need a kicktail.
The grip tape covers the top of the board, and it helps keep your feet on.
Griptape grit refers to the roughness of the grip tape. Think of it like sandpaper: the higher the grit number, the finer and smoother it is, while a lower grit number means it’s coarser.
Concave is the rail-to-rail curvature. Some common types of concave are radial, w-concave, and progressive. The concave can be steep or mellow.
Camber is the upward curvature of the deck from nose to tail, helping in even weight distribution and enhancing carving ability. If your board has camber, then it’s likely to flex more.
Back in the day camber was used for slalom skateboards, but today they are mostly used on longboards and cruisers.
On the other hand, rocker is the downward curvature, which lowers the center of gravity, thus improving stability and slide control. When a board has rocker it acts as a wedge, which will make your setup turn sharper. Rocker is most commonly found on cruisers and surfskates.
Wheelbase refers to the distance between the front and rear trucks, affecting the maneuverability. Shorter wheelbases offer better turning and responsiveness, while longer wheelbases provide increased stability at high speeds.
The longboard deck’s material, construction, and thickness determine it’s flex. It affects how the longboard responds to a rider’s weight and movements. Soft flex provides better shock absorption, making it ideal for cruising and carving.
They come in various shapes and sizes depending on the riding style it’s built for.
- Double Kick
- Drop Through
This shape is lower to the ground, making it easier to push and slide.
This shape is higher off the ground, providing more leverage for turns and slides.
This shape is great for cruising and carving, with a narrow front and wider back for stability.
This shape has a kicktail on both ends, making it great for freestyle tricks and maneuvers.