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.
The long board with the wide wheels has become an established means of transport over the last few years. This reputation was lost with the development of the skateboard.
Now not only skateboarders are turning around, but also many beginners see the much wider and bigger longboard as a challenge.
However, to get into longboarding, some questions should be answered before. You want to learn to ride a longboard? We give you basic tips on what to look out for when buying your first longboard and answer exciting questions about longboarding.
To make the search for your first longboard easier, we have compiled a top 10 of the best longboards for beginners. But let’s start at the beginning.
What riding styles are there?
Before you start looking for your first longboard for beginners, you should learn a little bit about the philosophy of longboarding. It is important to know if you are heading in a certain direction or if you are buying a longboard for the joy of riding. So the first thing we do is to look at the different riding styles.
Pushing: Pushing is probably the best known and easiest riding style. Here the longboard simply takes over the function of a bicycle. The goal is to cover long distances.
Cruising and Carving: Cruising is a similar riding style. Here the focus is on “cruising”, i.e. relaxed riding through the neighbouring town or through the city. If you still manage to make clean turns, then you have covered the area of carving.
Tricks/Freestyle: The longboard does not offer such an extensive repertoire of tricks as the skateboard, but you can still get creative. There are several possibilities to use the longboard as finesse for example wheelies, light flips, tiger claws, early grabs or other tricky figures.
Dancing: Surely you have seen longboarders walking on their board while riding. You can extend this basis by a lot as well. Cross Steps or other so-called “walking combos” are very popular among longboarders this riding style is called dancing.
Sliding: Sliding is already rather a demanding riding style. The aim is to push the board across the asphalt at right angles to the direction of travel. An ideal challenge for the masters of balance among you. Slide Gloves, specially prepared gloves, helmet and knee or elbow pads are highly recommended for this riding style.
Freeride: The supreme discipline of daily longboarding! Longboarders race down slopes like snowboarders and combine their descent with slides or drifts.
Downhill: Probably the most dangerous riding style! Boarders throw themselves into so-called “leather fullsuits” and race down steep slopes. They wear closed helmets that protect their entire head. Under optimal conditions they can reach speeds of up to 80 km/h. This guarantees the ultimate kick!
Is longboarding difficult to learn?
Now you are familiar with all riding styles. Maybe you are already attracted to one, which can make choosing your first board easier. To make sure you know exactly what you are getting into when longboarding, we will answer a few questions.
The degree of difficulty to learn longboarding varies from person to person. Of course it would be advantageous if you have already stood on a skateboard in the past. This refers to skateboards, surfboards or snowboards. Any kind of wheels can make learning easier.
Besides the past, the view of the longboard plays a decisive role. You can look at the sport from different angles. On the one hand, the longboard can simply be seen as another option for moving around. On the other hand, some people see longboarding as a challenge and want to become reckless.
This of course makes the learning process more difficult. So you see the difficulty is strongly dependent on the past and the goals you set yourself as a beginner.
Why a longboard for beginners?
You might ask yourself why it is more advantageous to buy a longboard for beginners than to start immediately with a Profilongboard. The answer is easy. Beginners boards help you to build up confidence in the device.
Since it is still a new experience for many people to stand on a longboard, it is not recommended to go directly to the most professional board. With a beginner longboard you can learn the movements bit by bit and slowly develop towards a certain riding style.
You will reach a perfect riding feeling much faster. And furthermore, beginner boards are much cheaper. So you should save your wallet at the beginning, otherwise you might spend a huge amount of money on something you don’t like anymore after a few days. Then the purchase was expensive and senseless.
Another argument for buying a beginner longboard is that a longboard for beginners is not specialized in any type of riding. In technical jargon it is called an “all-rounder”. A beginner longboard leaves the choice of your riding style open, while a Profilongboard usually specifies a certain riding style.
What are the characteristics of such a beginner longboard?
As already mentioned, a good longboard for beginners should never dictate the riding style. It is important that your development towards a certain riding style is open and that you are not chained to any riding style from the beginning.
Another factor is the ideal board length. This is of course also variable. However, a length of 90-100 mm is recommendable, as most beginners are used to much smaller boards or no boards at all. This in turn quickly leads to irritations regarding the extreme deck length of such a longboard. Even if such short board lengths lose stability with increasing speed, they are still suitable for relaxed riding and learning purposes.
Advanced riders adapt the flexibility of their board, i.e. the pliability of their deck, to their weight. For a beginner, this characteristic is rather secondary. Important are a firm stand and a lot of stability, which means a beginner board should have little flex.
This way you achieve a stiff, skateboard-like flexibility and the rider gets a firm stand.
Not only the flexibility, but also the mounting of the axles play a role in the first purchase. Please note that you can choose between two mounting methods: Top Mount or Drop Through.
With the Top Mount Deck, the axle is screwed to the underside of the board from above, as on a classic skateboard. This makes pushing and braking more difficult for most beginners. In addition, the large distance to the ground makes them insecure.
This is not the case with the Drop Through. Drop Through decks have a cutout on their underside, through which the axle can be fixed. The lower centre of gravity is more comfortable for beginners because the distance to the ground is very small.
In some cases the feet will still hit the rollers at the beginning, but this can be quickly controlled. So as a beginner you should tend more towards the Drop Through Deck, so that you can learn to drive without too much difficulty.
The last characteristic is the price. The cost of a good beginner longboard usually starts at around 120€, but not more than 190€ either. This means costs that are between these two sums are recommended.
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.
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 top of beginner longboard!
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.
The Apollo brand has its roots in the Cologne board
Apollo Twin Tip TMdviertel Ehrenfeld. Inspired by the origin of the longboard, namely surfing itself, Apollo has set itself the task of producing special boards for special riders. At least that’s what their slogan says. They offer a wide range of different longboards for different riding styles, whereby the surfing feeling on the road is always in the foreground.
Length: 98,4cm / 38,7inch
width: 25,4cm / 10inch
Shape: Drop-Thru, Twin Tip, Concave
7 layers of canadian maple
The above-mentioned model is suitable as a beginner’s board, because it has a drop through deck, a classic grip and with 984 mm also a quite comfortable board length. Wide wheels and axles guarantee a firm stand. The whole thing is rounded off by a pleasant flex, which appeals to beginners.
RAM Longboards is a young German longboard manufacturer, who, through many discussions with the scene, pursues the goal of building affordable boards. The design of the boards appeals to many riders, while the rolling boards themselves stand out due to their straightness.
Deck length: 106, 5 cm
Deck width: 23, 5 cm
Deck axis mounting type: Topmount
Material: 7 layer canadian maple
Ram’s longboards are suitable as a beginner’s board, because they are equipped with hard bushings that contribute to a stable stand and at the same time have an ideal board length for beginners. There are no lifts and a good flexibility.
The Hawaiian manufacturer “Aloha Longboards” succeeds like no other in transferring the surfing feeling to the road. The manufacturer became known with boards beyond the usual construction methods.
Length: 99,5 cm
Width: 25 cm
Construction: 7 layers of canadian maple wood
Axles: Freedom 180 Trucks (black)
Roll: Aloha 83A; 70x51mm
The Anchor above is characterized by particularly high quality axles, which guarantee irresistible stability and thus provide safety for every inexperienced beginner. Add to this the affordable price and the board is perfect for beginners and gives from the beginning a smooth, surf-like feeling that measures up to other beginner boards.
Founded by the Australian brothers Peter and Stephen Hill, the Globe brand today enjoys popularity due to its versatility. Initially only active in the skateboard business, the company switched to other markets in time and now also offers longboards.
Complete length: 41,25″ (104,78cm)
Width: 9,875″ (25,08cm)
Material: 8 layers of Canadian maple with kicktail and clear broadcast grip
Axles: Slant Inverted 180mm with Globe First steering rubbers
Roll: Globe Conical 65mm/83a
Ball bearing: Globe Abec 7
The Classic is characterized by extremely good steering rubbers, which will appeal to beginners who are interested in carving. The board has a length that is rather untypical for a beginner board, but nevertheless it does not diminish its simplicity. A little practice is required here, though. The price also reflects this tendency.
Jucker Hawaii Longboard
The Jucker Hawaii brand stands for true Hawaiian board sports art and impresses with regional influences on longboard development. Jucker Hawaii longboards are characterized by durability and extremely high quality.
Length: 990 mm / 39 inches
Width: 242 mm / 9.5 inches
Material: full bamboo/fibreglass
Axle distance / innerhole wheelbase: 690 mm
Axle mounting: Drop Through, Newschool
The New Hoku model embraces many of the ideals of the company. For example, it is available in three different flex levels and has an exceptionally good shape. A true all-rounder and therefore suitable for beginners who do not yet know which direction to go. A drop through deck with pronounced nose and tail lifts complete the allround longboard.
Osprey Longboard Twin Tip
For Osprey and Urban Beach, functionality and fun are in the foreground. Therefore Osprey longboards are extremely suitable for beginners, but also advanced riders will find variety, quality and action in the wide range of products.
39″ x 9″ 7-layer deck made of Canadian maple, concave
ABEC 5 carbon ball bearing
7″ rigid OSX aluminium axle
75mm x 65mm PU-cast rollers
With this model, the price immediately catches the eye and is even below the price limit indicated. Nevertheless, the Twin Tip offers a high degree of flexibility and the possibility to try out many different driving styles. This makes the board especially suitable for beginners who want to save their wallets.
Rune comes from the north of Germany and is well known for boards that are used in all areas of longboarding. The company has been one of the top manufacturers on the market for years.
Length: 40″ (104,14cm)
Deck: 8-ply 100% Hardrock maple with epoxy resin
Axes: Slant Inverted 180mm
Castors: 70mm 80 A stone ground castors
Axes: 180 mm inverted RUNE axes
The Heimdall is characterized by a special deck shape, which is based on the shapes of surfboards. Therefore this model is suitable for trained surfers who do not want to spend too much money on their first longboard.
The manufacturer Madrid Longboards is one of the forefathers of the sport and was founded in the 1960s. It convinces with its versatile designs and the outrageously high quality for affordable price ranges.
Madrid Longboard Trance 39″ Plastic (99 cm x 24,5 cm)
Sensational designer longboard from Madrid!
Shape: Concave, Top Mount, Drop-Thru
Axles: TR180 Black/Black
Roll: Madrid Smoothride 70mm Red Wheels
The Trance 39 is a board with a lot of flex, so it is suitable for more experienced riders. Beginners will enjoy the attractive design, the versatility in riding styles and the reasonable price.
Long Island Longboard
Contrary to what the name might suggest, the company Long Island comes from Spain, more precisely from the Canary Islands, and has many years of experience in the board market.
Camber size: 9.5″ x 34.5
Wheel base: 23.4″
Form: Mini Drop
Construction: 7 layers of USA hard stone maple
The Sun Mini-Drop-Through Twin Tip has an appealing flexibility and specializes minimally in freestyle due to the nose and tail lifts. Beginners who like this style of riding should definitely consider the Atlas Rocket. In addition to the lifts, you will also benefit from the wide deck areas when pushing.
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.
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.
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.