The right type for the right style
Here is a common issue!
Many beginner skateboarders are confused or don’t know which skateboard types are best for them. I understand you feel challenging to know what is best for you while you don’t know a lot about skateboarding.
I will help you by explaining the two most common types of board in this article: Longboard vs. Skateboard.
I promise this guide will provide you with everything you needed to pick the right skateboard.
The best is the one that matches you!
Longboard is optimized for speed
Let’s jump right in!
Longboards earn lots of love from skateboarders mostly due to the high speed and great mobility. They are best for cruising on the street, sliding, carving sidewalks, downhill skating or even racing.
You can easily notice their differences compared to the normal skateboards with these features:
- Long deck – usually between 7.5 inches to 9.5 inches
- Soft wheels – bouncy, and gives lots of pop. 73A to 87A durometer
- Big wheels – high speed, but slow acceleration. 60mm diameter plus
- Ratings – ABEC 7 to 9 ratings, even Skate rated
Regardless of your skill level, don’t worry too much as the Longboards suits for everyone.
If you want to do some basic tricks like flipping, and carving on smooth surfaces, you can do it with a longboard.
Besides, you can use a longboard for transportation purposes without worrying about your gas expenses.
If you need to get from point A to B fast within the neighborhood, you can definitely get on a longboard and skate around. Longboards are convenient and fast to travel within a short distance.
Cruising is likely the main activity that you would love with a longboard!
All thanks to the high speed and soft wheels, you can travel on many rough streets, roads, sidewalks, and alleys. The longboard is specialized to handle rough surfaces such as gaps, cracks, pebbles, etc.
You obviously have the quality of life here while cruising on the streets. If traveling and performing basic tricks are your style, then don’t hesitate to pick up a longboard.
However, we can’t ignore the facts that longboards are inferior to skateboards when it comes to complex tricks. As you progress your skateboarding skills, you soon realize the longboards are not suitable to do lots of flipping, spinning or air tricks.
Because of the long deck, you actually lose more control and feel clunky to perform advanced movements. This is where all of the longboards’ benefits become obstacles.
Try to do a 180 spin and 360 flip combinations altogether in mid-air and you will feel what I am talking about! Then do the same on a normal skateboard, you will immediately feel the difference.
Even for those prefer to skate on a ramp, longboards won’t perform better than skateboards. You would need a lower speed to control your tricks better. At the same time, you want a higher acceleration to get to your desired speed level faster.
Moreover, the longboards’ wheels are inefficient on smooth surfaces too. You will realize that soft wheels won’t give you the top acceleration but rather hinder your movements too.
So the key point here! Longboards are good for you to travel around and perform simple tricks. Don’t take it too far and feel disappointed when you can’t use your longboard for all skills and purposes.
This is where the skateboards make an entrance!
Skateboard is all about tricks performance
Skateboards are great for both beginners and professional too. The advantage you have here is skateboards can easily transition to perform advanced tricks later on.
If you are a hardcore skateboarder or committed to be a pro, having a reliable skateboard is a MUST!
You can easily notice the differences compared to their longboard brothers with these features:
- Concave deck – usually between 7 inches to 8 inches, likely having a W shape
- Hard wheels – tough, and stable 88A plus durometer
- Small or medium wheels – OK speed, great acceleration. 50mm to 59mm diameter
- Ratings – ABEC 5 to 7 ratings, best is having Skate rated
With the concave deck, you can easily pop your skateboards up and perform sick tricks in mid-air. My favorite is the W-concave design that gives a great balance and control overall.
You can get to your optimal speed with the hard wheels as they are best on smooth surfaces. This is why most professionals choose street parks, ramps, bars, etc as their ideal places for top performances.
You can’t go wrong with any advanced tricks here!
With the skateboards, you will likely focus more on control and balance over top speed. This is why going all fast and furious is a bad deal with the longboards! Even a simple Ollie would feel better on a skateboard if you have complete control.
The skateboards’ wheels might not grip better than the longboards, but it does well assume you are skating on a smooth surface. Otherwise, you will get lots of shocks and discomfort while using a skateboard on the street.
You are starting to see a pattern here!
Each type of boards will cover each other’s flaws. Although the purposes might vary, the skateboard manufacturers design these two type of boards to support one another.
This is the reason why there is no “the best type of skateboard” as I mentioned in the beginning. You need to identify your purpose first before picking up a skateboard.
The bottom line is
The best skateboard (or longboard) is best for you when it matches your style and skills.
Having an expensive skateboard (or longboard) does not guarantee you the best experience. It only indicates having high-quality components and designs.
I hope you have an overview of Longboard vs. Skateboard with both the benefits and flaws of each type.
Hence, I wish you good luck with your skateboarding discovery and have a fun time skateboarding.
See you on the streets and let’s get to shredding!