If you’re still a beginner in longboarding, then take note that it refers to a hobby or sport, which requires you to ride a long skateboard. One of the reasons why it became extremely popular is that it’s fun and exciting.
However, beginners may have a tough time when they’re still starting to learn the sport. They may be at risk of stumbling, tripping, or biffing it. That said, it’s crucial to learn exactly how to choose longboard for beginners.
Your choice plays a major role in ensuring that you’ll have a more manageable start in this sport.
Step 1 - Determine your Riding Style
Choosing the most suitable longboard for beginners is easier if you’re fully aware of the specific riding style you intend to use. In this case, you also have to determine the specific place where you intend to longboard frequently as this plays a major role in deciding on your specific riding style.
Here are the most common ones:
- Cruising and Carving – This style requires you to carve down gradually on sloped streets, rip through the quad, or do long distance pushes on grounds that are either slightly sloped or flat. For beginners in longboarding, this is the most common riding style for them.
- Downhill Longboarding – This style involves bombing hills quickly while still having full control over your movements. In most cases, you’ll be in a tucked or crouching position while staying in your board so you can increase your stability while reducing wind resistance.
- Freeride Longboarding – In this style, you’ll ride hills with just the right speed while also moving on curb hops and slides. You’ll also need to slide as a means of controlling your speed in case you’re facing bigger descents.
- If you’re planning to ride using this style, then take note that you need to be skillful in controlling your board. It’s also essential for you to be comfortable when longboarding on high speeds.
- Freestyle – This style allows you to be creative as you can ride based on your preferred style. You can do this riding style if you have already acquired plenty of technical skills in longboarding, including sliding, goofy and regular riding, and board tricks.
- The good thing about the freestyle riding is that it lets beginners learn some skills in controlling their longboard. Expert and advanced riders also find this enjoyable.
Make sure to find a longboard, which perfectly fits the riding style you intend to use often. Such will ensure that you’ll have full control over the sport while feeling comfortable and confident.
Step 2 – Consider the Style of Longboard
Another factor to consider is the style/type of longboard. Check the most suitable dimension and size for you. Also, decide on the specific purpose you want your chosen longboard to fulfill. Note that there is a different style for a particular purpose.
If you’re still a beginner, then look for a simpler style, which is ideal for those who are still learning the sport. You can even find these longboards online. Just make sure to pick a style, which has all your required specifications and features.
Step 3 – Check the Flexibility of the Deck
Keep in mind that longboards have various levels of flexibility. If you want a very flexible longboard, then those with decks constructed out of wood are ideal. Composite decks, on the other hand, are stiff.
You’ll know whether a longboard’s deck is highly flexible if you can easily lower it to the ground. Such flexibility is crucial as it aids in absorbing the impact usually linked to riding on rough surfaces.
More flexible decks are also ideal for you if you want to jump on or off your board. Stiff longboard, though, like those with decks made of composite material, are still useful, especially if you plan to try downhill longboarding.
Because of its stiffness, you’ll gain full control just by responding to slides and drifts and boosting your leverage. Conduct a research on the board’s level of flexibility then figure out which one suits you best.
Note that there are also providers who offer different levels of flexibility based on your weight.
See more: How to Longboard Skateboard
Step 4 – Assess the Material
If you’re planning to determine how to choose longboard for beginners like you, then remember that the material mainly used in constructing your options plays a major role in your decision.
Just like what has been mentioned earlier, the decks are made of either composite or wood. While wood is a good option, take note that some of its types also tend to split easily, especially when the board hits another object or a curb.
Composite, on the other hand, is more capable of holding to abuse. Do not solely base your deciding on this, though. Conduct a good research on the specific board material, which captures your interest.
Figure out whether there are many users who experienced problems with it, like splitting on either the tail or nose. If there are minimal to zero complaints on a specific material, then there is a great possibility that it’s a good choice.
Step 5 – Check the Length, Width, and Shape
The longboard’s length also plays a major role in making your choice. You can find shorter ones – usually around 28 inches – and they are perfect for short rides.
It’s ideal to go for the medium size – around 33-42 inches – as it works for almost all forms of longboarding. It lets you cruise, dance, carve, and perform other longboarding styles.
You can also go for long ones, at least 42 inches if you want to use it for dancing and cruising on flat surfaces. Length is a vital factor in your decision as it affects the stability of the longboard. Going for a longer board also means that you’ll take a hold of a stable material.
The width and shape of the longboard can also affect your overall feel when riding on it. That said, make sure to pick one with just the right width and shape that can make you feel secure and comfortable regardless of the surface or terrain you’re dealing with.
How to choose longboard for beginners is actually a matter of deciding which one can give you full control, comfort, and security. Consider the factors mentioned in this article as those are the key to finding the best longboard for your needs.