Are Longboards Easy To Ride? – Beginner Guide
The question most beginners ask: Are longboards easy to ride? And between longboarding and skateboarding, which one is easier?
Definitely, longboards are easy to control, and it takes much less time to learn compared to skateboards. But why is that? And on what terrain is the most suitable for longboarding?
Worry not! We will tell you right now!
Are Longboards Easier To Ride?
To answer the big question: Are longer longboards easier to ride?, knowing longboard parts and how they work is necessary.
A longboard has five main components: a deck, trucks, bearings, grip tape, and wheels. Those five parts play an important role in your ride, so not picking up the right one for yourself may cause uncomfortable riding experiences.
A longboard deck is about 22 to 45 inches long and 9 inches wide, bigger than a skateboard or a penny board. The main reason that makes a larger deck easier to control is that a bigger platform and wide shape for your feet will help increase balance.
Not only does the size matter, but the shape does, too. Due to different purposes, the deck has many shapes, which is an annoying part for beginners. If choosing the right deck shape and size, using a longboard will be less difficult than ever.
For riding your board around at a slow speed or turning your board continuously, a cruiser or a drop-through is a great choice for they are easy to push around stably and can turn into various radiuses.
For daily commutes, which need stability and speed, a drop-through or even a double drop-through would be the best option for you. We do not recommend pintail or a top-mount for this style.
The reason behind this is that longboarders can get closer to the ground with a drop-through board. When that happens, the center of gravity is lower; as a result, your longboard ride is more stable and smoother, and it takes less force to push during the ride.
So, on the streets and pavements, longboards are much easier for new learners to slide owing to their stability and fair speed. But that doesn’t mean longboarding is easy for other riding styles.
Longboarding is quite a challenge when you want to do freestyle or take a downhill. A top mount deck is preferable for these riding styles for its easy controllability and more traction with the deck.
Mentioning the wheels, you should consider two points: the wheel’s diameter and durometer.
A wheel’s diameter and durometer directly affect your longboard’s speed, durability, stability, and traction.
An average diameter of a wheel is about 65 to 72mm, while a 70A to 82A durometer is ideal, depending on your purpose.
This is because harder wheels will increase more friction when cruising, which is a long ride with turns. So you will feel less shaking and easier to control on a soft wheel.
Bigger wheels mean a higher speed when riding compared to smaller ones. Decreasing acceleration is also what bigger wheels can do to make the ride smoother.
For starters, a set of wheels with a 65 to 75mm diameter and 70A to 78A durometer will provide a great speed but moderate traction to slide through rough surfaces.
Things are slightly different when you want to take a downhill. To make things easier, you can choose wheels with a 68 to 72mm diameter. The size is ideal for a moderate speed but still great enough to speed up when going down the hill.
Also, wheels with a durometer 78A to 82A, or even slightly harder, are suggested to slide down a hill with jagged terrain.
In general, wider trucks will be more stable and turn more smoothly, for they can handle the big forces of the wheels gripping on the road. So this type of truck is advised to set up on longboards.
You can see it obviously that people use reverse kingpin trucks for their longboards.
Reverse kingpin trucks (RKP), as opposed to traditional ones (TKP), face outwards, giving you a more responsive and stable ride.
About the size, reverse kingpin trucks can be slightly longer or shorter than your board. The longer it is, the better your board’s stability. If it is slightly shorter than your expectation, it is not a big deal as your board’s turning ability will increase.
Apart from the deck, wheels, and trucks, the other parts are not different from those of a skateboard. They all make your board easier to ride, thanks to the enhancement of durability and traction.
Why Is It Easier To Ride A Longboard?
For experts, things are familiar and more laid-back depending on what they want to choose.
But for new learners, longboarding is relatively simpler to learn and perform. Like its name, a longboard has a wider and longer board, so you’ll find it easier to push and less challenging to keep balance.
Also, longboarding is all about cruising, carving, and freeride, which does not include performing continuous tricks in skate pools. So longboarding wheels are much softer to slide through rough and bumpy surfaces.
Frequently Asked Questions
Knowing about a longboard’s main components may not be enough to understand it thoroughly. So we have come down to 4 commonly asked questions, which may help you know how longboarding works in reality.
Between Longboarding And Skateboarding, Which One To Go For?
To the untrained eye, longboards and skateboards look pretty much alike and can be used interchangeably in most circumstances.
However, they are considerably different from each other. Different board shapes are created for different purposes and styles, and that is the basic point setting longboard and skateboard apart.
On skateparks and hazardous ramps, skateboards are the most popular. But if you are a beginner and would prefer to take a long and smooth ride, a longboard is the way to go.
Not only great for long and cruising rides, but a longboard is also ideal for downhills and slaloms, which are true thrills and spills for professionals.
Are Longboards Good For Beginners?
From our experience, longboards are perfect for starters who want to learn the basics and get used to the board. They will feel more balanced and controllable thanks to the long and wide board.
Not just that, a longboard is specially made for users who want a long and relaxed ride, so its wheels are softer than those of a standard skateboard.
Therefore, if you are new in this field and want to gain experience before trying more demanding skills and techniques, longboarding is a good starting point.
Which Type Of Longboard Is The Easiest To Ride?
Although longboards are famous for being the easiest to ride, a wide selection of them may sometimes confuse you when purchasing a suitable board for yourself.
If you are searching for the easiest type of longboard to slide, a board with a drop-through deck is the best option.
A drop-through deck helps riders get closer to the ground during their ride for better balance and stability. The ride is stable and durable with this board type.
What Should We Do When Riding A Longboard?
It is advisable to follow safety precautions to protect yourself and others when cruising on a longboard:
- Wear a helmet specialized for longboarders and skaters. For choosing the right one, ASTM F1492 or Snell N-94 helmet is recommended.
- Wear protective gear such as wrist-guards, knee and elbow pads, flat-sole shoes.
- Before taking a ride, make sure that the important parts of a longboard are guaranteed.
- Keep a watch out for obstacles like small rocks or holes on the road.
- Be cautious about speed wobble during sliding, which may cause you to fall off the board.
- Do not do longboarding after using drugs or alcohol.
- Do not allow children under the age of 5 to ride longboards. Plus, 5-to-10-year-old children need adult supervision.
So to the question: Are longboards easy to ride? Clearly that it is.
Longboarding has various types that can be suitable for many people. It can be those who want to seek a hazardous trip or only want cheap and convenient transportation.
Whatever your purpose is, it can be seen as the first step to getting familiar with your board. So to both professionals and amateurs, it is much easier to learn and to ride a longboard.
And here is the end of the article. We hope that all of your questions about longboards have been satisfied.