Longboard: What’s the best in 2021?
Today we are going to talk about the longboard, the “cousin” of skateboarding, a means of transportation (and fun) that has the smoothness of surfing and the speed and simplicity of a roller car.
With a longboard, you don’t have to worry about spending hours training maneuvers, you can just enjoy the curves of the path, or the wind in the face of a long descent – but you can learn some tricks, if you want. In fact, there are a multitude of things you can do on a longboard, and there is an ideal model for each of them.
In this Guide, we will show these possibilities, and especially the varieties that fit each of them. Shapes, trucks, bearings, buying tips, we’ll show you all that too. Then scroll down this text like a long on a slope, enjoying the moment, but with great attention.
First, the most important
- Use safety equipment (helmet, elbow, knee brace) whenever riding your longboard.
- Stay tuned: do not confuse Cruising, longboard mode, with Cruiser, variety of skateboard assembly (and the longboard itself).
- The price of a longboard varies from R $ 200 to R $ 500, in pre-assembled models. Personalized ones can reach three digits, if more sophisticated.
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The practice of longboarding in Brazil and around the world explores the “counterculture” of skateboarding and its competitive and media growth. The tracks give way to the slopes and acrobatics at speed, in a rescue of the pleasure of “rolê”, but without losing its sporting and aesthetic streak.
That’s because longboard encompasses several modalities, with different intentions and movements. Thus, adaptations are necessary, in the length of the shapes, in the hardness of the wheels, in the adjustment of the trucks. In the Shopping Guide below, we will explain all this diversity and variety, in addition to exposing its advantages and disadvantages.
What is longboarding?
The literal translation of longboard is “long board”, the best definition for product and sport.
In a technical question, the “long” is characterized by being analogous to skateboard (also called “board” in the English language), differing only by the size of its board, the wooden or carbon fiber structure on which the feet rest .
While the skateboard is between 80 and 90 cm long, the longboard measures around 70 cm to 2 meters, with the width varying from 22 to 28 cm. Wheels and trucks – parts that connect the shape (board) to the wheels – are also wider.
In the lexical question, the name refers to its origin, when in the 1950s, boys from California adapted their surfboards to slide on the asphalt on bad tide days.
Finally, when it comes to sports, the activity is based on the dynamics of a skateboard with a larger board, which is not suitable for acrobatic maneuvers, but which provides stability for high-speed movements and which allows the sinuous aesthetic of surfing, even far away from the waves .
What are the advantages and disadvantages of longboarding?
The option for the longboard generates a series of advantages and disadvantages related to its use. Starting with the positive points, the first one is the fluid and unique movements that you are able to make, to a certain extent safe, but always pleasant, relaxing.
Next, we have the stability that only he has, enabling high-speed modes and their use as a means of transportation. Finally, longboarding is a great alternative for those who enjoy skateboarding, but not necessarily their maneuvers.
At the same time, if you like to go for a ride but also risk a maneuver or another, long can be a little frustrating. There are tricks to do, but quite different from street flips and vertical turns.
Another disadvantage is the practicality of its use, hampered by its size, being difficult to carry, to store, to transport, to handle, in short. A problem common to all board sports and above all, its maintenance must be constant, adjusting and changing parts periodically.
- Fluid and unique movements
- Alternative to maneuvers
- Unable to traditional maneuvers
- Practical handling
- Constant maintenance
Downhill, Street, Dancing or Cruising?
In the end, the longboard is the sum of the parts that make it up. Size of the shape, hardness of the wheels, the tightness of the trucks, everything interferes with the performance and the ability of the longs to make certain movements, which makes the variety of the product endless.
However, the configurations of the pieces have an intention, which is to enable the model for some modality, among Downhill, Street, Dancing or Cruising. Those that end up, objectively, differentiating the types of longboard.
Let’s start with Downhill , which in English means “downhill”. It is the mode that goes downhill, and that involves more speed (but not only that, as we will see in the next part of the Guide).
Thus, longboards are configured not only to achieve speed, but to make the necessary movements efficiently and safely. This means that they have a lower height in relation to the ground, to have more stability, as well as less flexibility on the board, for greater control.
Longboard Street is the sport most similar to skateboarding itself, and the rarest as well. It consists of maneuvers on tracks and obstacles, so its shape is also the most similar to skateboard, with medium flexibility, average height and more sharp curves in the shape.
The name Dancing is quite faithful to what is done in the sport. With the widest and longest boards on the market, this model allows the body maneuvers of its users, with jumps, turns and slides to be landed on it. A dance on four wheels, practically.
But the Cruising is the “anti-mode,” the rollin rollin by, either on slopes, whether on the street, parks and etc. Flexible shapes with a shape closer to a surfboard, looser trucks and wheels of intermediate hardness tend to characterize this type of longboard.
Longboard Downhill: Speed, Carving or Freeride?
We separated a segment of the Guide especially for Longboard Downhill, as it is the most specific modality and the only one with subcategories: Speed, Carving and Freeride.
In all of them, the speed acquired in the most varied descents is what guides the movements and consequently the configuration of the model, but it is only in the Speed, where, obviously, the speed is the end of the modality itself.
- Downhill Speed : These longboards need to be very stable, with very tight trucks, soft wheels – which have greater traction -, and a low center of gravity, from a lower height between the shape, which must be rigid, and the ground.
- Carving : Here the goal is to take advantage of the width of the slopes and control the speed of the descent from large curves. Thus, the wheels must be a compromise between hard and soft, just as the shape must be between rigid and flexible, in addition to having a more curvilinear shape.
Another important point is that the model prevents contact between the wheel and the shape, which in a curve means a sudden and dangerous braking. Check out this modality in practice:
- Downhill Freeride : It is a middle ground between Speed and Carving, which seeks curves and maneuvers at high speed downhill. It is perhaps the most popular modality. To facilitate the slides, the shape of this model is usually symmetrical, without a defined front side, the wheels have to be hard, and the height between the board and the floor, low.
What is the difference between longboard, skateboard or cruiser?
If you are new to the world of four wheels, you may be in doubt between what type of “mobile board” to buy, between Longboard, Skate and Cruiser – which is nothing more than a small skate with the shape shape of a longboard.
More than paying attention to the technical differences between them, which we have talked about a little later in this Guide, and which, in the end, is more about component sizes, let’s talk about their “ideal” use.
Skateboarding, for example, with its huge community and relatively numerous parks and tracks, can be the best for you to enjoy sporting, training your maneuvers daily and exchanging experiences with other skaters.
The longboard, stable and to a certain extent simple, is perhaps the best option if you just want to enjoy the sliding of the wheels, the wind in the face, the movement of the curves.
The practicality of the cruiser makes it ideal for those who always thought they could make their way to the bakery or the bus stop on four wheels, but without having to carry almost two meters of wood for the rest of the day.
The value of the longboard varies from its components, mainly from the quality of its materials and the technology they employ. The most basic combinations of these elements are around R $ 200, and the most sophisticated, up to R $ 500.
There are also professional models, assembled with pieces from different brands and handpicked by the user and / or specialized store, which can reach up to R $ 1,000 or even R $ 2,000.
Where to buy?
In malls, galleries, or even on the streets, there are a multitude of shops specializing in skateboards and longboards. Oxi Skateboards is one of them, to name a physical store.
It is on the internet, however, where you will find a greater variety of brands, prices and models, apart from the possibility of assembling your longboard, and doing all of this from the comfort of your home. Amazon and Mercado Livre, among the largest, and Off Boardshop, among the segmented ones, are among the most recommended stores.
Purchase criteria: What to note before buying your longboard
Most want is to help you choose your ideal longboard model. For this, we have put together a list of criteria – elements that you should note before continuing with your purchase.
- Shape (board)
Now, let’s talk about each of these items, as completely and succinctly as possible. With the right information in hand, the better your option will be.
In fact, it is even hard not to notice the shape, the most visible component of the longboard. The question here is how to identify the right elements for the type of tour you intend to do.
The flexibility of the board, as we said, will define the stability of the model, the more rigid, the more stable. The length of the board, in turn, is inversely proportional to the agility it provides.
Finally, the curvature dictates the model’s ability to perform maneuvers and other faster movements. The more curved, the more control your feet have on the board.
On wheels, you have to pay attention to its softness and its size. The softness, measured inversely proportional by the ASTM unit, or just “A”, talks to the friction of the wheel, in this case proportionally.
And the greater the friction, the less the ability to slide the longboard.
The size, in turn, although also influencing the wheel’s adhesion to the ground, is more a matter of fit. It must follow the distance between the shape and the truck (the larger the size, the greater the distance).
If the measurements are disproportionate, the chances of the wheel touching the shape during curves are great, which would cause sudden braking and a likely cloak of the user!
The truck criterion follows the logic of the shape, with its details directly interfering in the type of longboard performance. Its width, for example, is proportional to the stability it gives the model.
The angle of the truck base, in turn, interferes with the stability of the curves. The bigger and more open the angle, the easier it will be to take sharp turns, while smaller, closed angles guarantee greater stability and control in big and fast turns.
The materials used in each component will influence not only the performance, but the durability of the longboard. In shapes, prefer those made of ivory, maple or even bamboo. Complements such as carbon foils are welcome.
In trucks, there’s no mistake: aluminum. They need to be light, resistant, and nothing better than aluminum for this. Already on the wheels, avoid those that are not made of polyurethane, a material that revolutionized the sliding not only of the longboard, but of the entire industry of the four wheels.