Acquiring a new skill is difficult so it pays to have the right equipment to help the learning process. This is true for learning how to ride longboards. Having the right longboard will not only shorten the learning curve, but it can also help you to avoid picking up bad habits.
By using a longboard that is meant for beginners, you can master the skills and techniques much quicker and become an expert in no time.
Playshion 39 Inch Drop Through Freestyle Longboard Skateboard Cruiser
These 39-inch longboards are versatile and can be used for cruising, carving, and sliding. They are also ideal for riding downhill, freeride or freestyle. This longboard promises to be sturdy yet flexible thanks to its longboard deck made of 8-ply hardwood maple material. Sliding is made easy thanks to its 7-inch reverse kingpin aluminum longboard trucks.
This longboard’s clearance is just 4 inches because it uses drop through mounting technology. Beginners will find the low center of gravity to their advantage because it makes the board more stable.
It is also easier to balance on drop through longboards and this makes them ideal for beginners who are still mastering their balancing skills. Because the longboard is closer to the ground, it is also easier to push and to brake using a foot.
The SHR 78A wheels that are standard to this longboard are hard enough to enable firm steering while still being soft enough to deliver a smooth ride. Weighing just 7 pounds, this longboard is lightweight and easy for anyone to carry around no matter the rider’s height or age.
Atom Drop Through Longboard
Atom Drop Throughs have decks made of Maple/Bamboo laminate for added resilience. The hybrid deck is a little concaved enabling more flexibility. The Atom’s flexibility becomes evident while the rider is carving. The deck is also wide at 10 inches.
This full deck can be helpful for beginners because they should have more room to practice their stance and balance. The Atom comes with Navigator Drone trucks that will suffice for beginners and shouldn’t require any upgrades.
These Drone Trucks also have quality bushings that allow riders to smoothly pivot or turn their longboards. Turning is one of the skills that a beginner must master, and the bushings in this longboard can help make that learning curve much steeper.
These longboards also come in different designs and color combinations, giving riders the chance to pick one that lets them express their individuality. Aside from the variety of designs available, Atom also has longboards in differing lengths, from a shorter 39-inch to the longer 41-inch longboard.
Loaded Boards Dervish Sama Bamboo Longboard Skateboard Complete
The Loaded Dervish Sama is one of those versatile longboards that will suffice whatever your skill or style is. It can be used for carving, practicing, freeride, freestyle, or as a means of transportation.
It is drop through mounted, which makes it stable and more comfortable to push. These characteristics are essential for beginners who are still testing the limits of their stamina. The nose and tail kicks of the Dervish Sama assist steering and are very useful when navigating crowded streets.
This longboard also features a cambered profile with a mild concave that provides a responsive yet comfortable platform.
The bamboo and fiberglass deck make the longboard durable yet lightweight. Another advantage of the bamboo and fiberglass deck is that it offers more flexibility. The Dervish Sama offers longboards with 3 different flex ratings so you can choose the one that suits your riding style and your weight.
The lower flex rating is suitable for heavier and/or more aggressive riders, while the higher flex rating is ideal for lighter riders or those who want a more responsive board. Riders also have a choice between a Orangatang 75mm, 80a In Heats or an Orangatang 75mm, 83a Durians for their wheels.
Santa Cruz Skate Land Shark Rasta Sk8 Complete Skateboards
At just 27.7 inches in length, the Santa Cruz Skate Land Shark is the shortest board in this list. The size of this longboard makes it ideal for those who use it to commute since it is easy to carry and store. This is also an ideal length for smaller riders who may be intimidated when navigating longer boards.
The board is designed to look like a surfboard. The deck is minimalist with its plain white surface broken only by the Santa Cruz logo and Rasta Rails. On the other hand, the bottom is alive with Rasta colors and graphics. If you’ve been looking for a longboard with retro design, this is the one you’ve been waiting for.
Another useful feature of this longboard is its Bullet B137 trucks. These aluminum trucks are great for carving. The Land Shark also features Bullet bushings that you can adjust to make the trucks as loose or as tight as you need them. The Land Shark also comes equipped with ABEC-5 bearings that are more than enough for beginners, but may need upgrading if you want to further your skills.
RIMABLE Drop-through Longboard (41-inch)
If you’re just starting out as a longboard rider and you find balancing a challenge, the Rimable Drop Through Longboard is an excellent board to practice with. This board has a low ground clearance which makes it stable and easy to balance on.
This also makes practicing on this board safe, since you won’t have to worry about wipeouts. A lower deck is beneficial during long cruises or commutes because it makes pushing the board effortless.
The standard wheels on the Rimable are 70x51mm PU Wheels that are designed to give speed while also maintaining stability. These wheels are made to maintain a smooth ride even on rough terrain.
In addition, the wheels are made to maintain a firm grip on the surface to prevent wobbling at high speeds.The deck on the Rimable is constructed from 8-ply Canadian Maple, that is elastic and can support more weight.
Among the longboards listed above, the one that I’d recommend for beginners is the Dervish Sama. Its drop through design makes it easier to balance on. This design also makes the longboard much easier to push. This will help beginners build up their stamina and prepare them for using higher-profile boards.
The bamboo and fiberglass deck make it lightweight but durable. Another thing that I like about the Dervish Sama is the varying flex that they offer. You can choose the flexibility level that will suit your needs. This also means that whatever height or weight you are, there is a longboard that will be a good fit for you.
Lastly, the Dervish Sama is an efficient choice. It is easy to handle for beginners but still sufficient for advanced riders who may want to practice tricks or new skills. This means that there is no immediate need to purchase another longboard as you advance or if you want to improve your skills and techniques.
What is the best material for longboard decks?
There are numerous deck materials available for longboards. There are decks made of wood, bamboo, fiberglass, nylon, Plexiglass and other synthetic materials. The main thing to consider is if the material can support your height and weight.
Sure, some materials look better than others but they won’t do you any good if they won’t be able to support your weight. The worst case scenario is you end up snapping your board after a few runs.
One suitable material is maple wood. A lot of longboards use maple so you won’t run out of choices. Maple wood is hard and strong enough to support the heavier riders. This also means that there are numerous designs you can choose from and you’re bound to find one that will match your taste and reflect your personality.
The only disadvantage of maple is that it has little flex. For beginners though, this shouldn’t be an issue since flex is more necessary when riding at high speeds. Another material worth considering is bamboo.
This material provides flex and also durability. Last but not least, you can consider hybrid decks that are made of both maple and bamboo. The marriage of these two materials provides you with a deck that is sturdy but still provides flex.
What should I look for in a longboard?
Flex is the way that a board springs up and down when weight is applied to it. The heavier the rider is, the more the deck will flex. The general rule is, a good longboard should still make you feel balanced even when it flexes.
Some riders don’t want flexy boards because they feel that they’ll lose their balance. For beginners, a board with less flex can be better because a sturdy board will give you the chance to practice your balance on your first few rides. As you get more accustomed to riding, move towards more flexible boards.
Get a board where your heels and toes are touching the sides of the board. This will allow you to steer the board with ease. If the board is wider than your feet, you’ll end up in the middle of the board and you’ll have to exert more effort before you can steer.
The concave is the way that the board is slightly depressed in the middle part and raised on the sides. Some boards will have concaves and some will not. A concave can help you steer a longboard because your toes and heels will have more leverage.
Flat boards are harder to steer because you’ll be forced to shift your weight to one side to steer. Just be mindful, because some longboards have deep concaves that may cause your feet to feel uneasy.
So, how deep is too deep for a concave? If you stand on a board and your feet are uncomfortable and the angle just seems wrong, it’s probably best if you look for one with less concave.
The pivoting or turning power of a longboard is affected by the wheelbase. A shorter wheelbase means that your turning will be sharper. If you have a longer wheelbase, your turns will be wider.
However, the wheelbase also affects the stability of a longboard. A longboard with a shorter wheelbase is less stable compared to one with a longer wheelbase.
The Dervish Sama is the best longboard for beginners that I have seen. The bamboo and fiberglass deck are an ideal mix of strength and flexibility. Since they have different flex ratings available, you can find one to your liking and riding comfort.
The board is also lightweight so it can easily be carried around and width of the board is perfect for my feet and I didn’t have a hard time steering.
The wheelbase is enough for me to do turns without encountering problems, yet stable enough to feel secure. The trucks and bearings are not top of the line but they are more than enough for beginners!
Overall, the Dervish Sama is a very good longboard if you are just learning to ride. A board I won’t hesitate to recommend to anyone who is looking to get into riding.