Top 10 Best Longboards (Sep. 2019): Review & Buyer’s Guide
Longboarding. It’s my true passion. Who doesn’t love it? It is super fun. I tried it out a fair few years ago now and I was hooked instantly. Sure, it’s tough as a beginner. I stumbled and tripped all over the place and have the scars to prove it (tip: wear knee and elbow pads!). However, what I did not realize was that it was the board that would have made all the difference. Getting the right board eventually meant that I was on the way to becoming a much better longboarder and at a much quicker rate.
The thing is, I did not know what to look for when starting out. I could not find a guide anywhere that would show me everything that I needed to know about longboards as well as picking out the best ones for me to think about buying. It took years before I found one that I was happy with that suited my style.
So, this is where I come in for you today with these best longboard reviews. They are all here in one handy buyers guide. If you’re a beginner, I’ll even tell you why you should consider a longboard and what you should be looking for. The good news is that we have a range of longboards in this review, so by the end you should have found one that suits your wants and needs. Let us begin.
What You Will Get Here
- Why Use Longboards?
- How Did We Pick These Products?
- What to Consider When Buying a Longboard?
- Our Top 10 Product List
- Editor’s Choice: Retrospec Zed Bamboo Longboard
- Runner Up: VOLADOR 42inch Freeride Longboard
- Choice for Beginners: Quest QT-NSC44C The Super Cruiser
- Choice for Heavy Riders: Playshion 39 Inch Drop Through Freestyle Longboard
- Advanced Choice: SKATEBOLT Electric Skateboard Longboard
- A List of 5 Other Product We Reviewed
- Longboard Maintenance Tips
Why Use Longboards?
A longboard is the big brother of the skateboard. However, it is different to its little sibling in many ways too. Longboards came about in the 50s and 60s in Hawaii when suffers wanted to surf the waves, but the ocean was not at all cooperative. Instead, they could ‘surf’ the sidewalks with their longboards with the idea that it replicated the experiencing of surfing on the land. Today, they are used not just for fun but also to get places.
Whether you want to do downhill, cruise the town, or carve paths, there’s a longboard for you somewhere. You will need to know a little about longboards so that your choice is an informed one.
Longboards and traditional short boards may both be a type of skateboard, but actually, they’re pretty different beasts. Shortboards are, well, short! They are designed for stunts and tricks and for portability. Longboards are like the surfers – more laidback! Wider and longer, you get a lot more board for your money, but they are not really suited for tricks. Having said that, they are easier when you are first learning to ride!
There is no set length for a longboard other than being longer than even the longest of shortboards! That said, if you have a board that is more than 91cm long, it is classed as a longboard regardless of the manufacturer’s label. They can also reach lengths of around 130cm or maybe even longer!
Longboards still need you to push off but longboarders are able to “pump” themselves forward on long, downhill or flat sections. Thanks to the width and length of the longboard, both feet can stay riding and help to shift weight forward and backward, creating forward thrust.
There are a couple of downsides when comparing to shortboards. For example, they are much less agile thanks to their weight and length. So, you may struggle to use one at a skate park if that’s your thing. They are more suited to competitions, for transportation, or simply just for fun! Having said that, there is not just one type of longboard, as you will see later in our review.
How Did We Pick These Products?
When I first got into longboarding, I just bought the cheapest one at first to get me started. I soon learned that it was not suited to what I wanted to do with it and, after a while, found myself looking for reviews as to what I should look for instead. They were really hard to find. Finding a list of comprehensive and unbiased reviews was tricky. This is the reason why I am writing these reviews for our readers today! It should not be so difficult to find out everything you need to know before you buy.
I began with my team having a look at all the longboards out there on the market. We had a look at all of their advertised features, read their product descriptions, and, after twenty hours of research, we selected twenty of them to analyze in more detail. With our team of testers including experts, we put these longboards through their paces, looking at the style, speed and substance as well as their ratings and reviews. Following all of this research and testing, we finally made our choices and are presenting these to you in our best longboard reviews.
What to Consider When Buying a Longboard?
Now that you are considering buying a longboard, it’s wise to think about what type of longboard you should buy and what features it should have. Firstly, there are several types of longboard, so this is where we will begin.
A blunt longboard has a nose that is blunter than other styles of longboard. It is more similar to the usual shortboards, but they often have larger wheels and taller trucks. This makes up for having a wheel clearance that is reduced as there is decking above the wheels.
The name of this one is a giveaway. The deck in the center drops down compared to the parts over the trucks. This means that there is not as much distance to travel when pumping and this reduces leg strain for the rider.
Another one with a key in the name! Speedboards are designed for speed. The have great stability and are able to accelerate quicker than most styles of board as they have large wheels and reduced flexibility. These have similar bodies to blunt boards.
Pintails look much like surfboards when you first look and are mostly a cruising board. They have larger wheels and tapered ends. They make a good all-rounder board yet can also be good if you want to carve.
The fishtail is shorter than your typical pintail and is a good board for cruising. A fishtail makes a good choice for carrying it around as they have a body that is slightly shorter and can be transported easily.
A cut-out has a section of the deck board removed just above the wheels, in a similar way to a dropdown board. These boards don’t have a front or back and they can be ridden in either direction, so they are good for freestyle as well as downhill riding.
- Twin Boards
This type of board is actually one of the only types that you can use at skate part as they are only a little longer and heavier than a short board. If you need stability, a twin board is a good choice, however, because of its smaller size, they are little harder to ride than the other styles.
2. Riding Style
When looking for a longboard, you also need to consider what riding style you have or hope to have. Longboards are like shortboards as well as other forms of transportation that people use for pleasure, meaning there are a few different styles or ways of riding. Cruising boards usually have wheels that are softer and there also have decks that are more flexible so that they are easier to pump.
Cruising is the obvious choice of riding style, not that it is really a style as such. It is a hobby in itself. People who use longboards for cruising look for easy rolling, stability and good balance.
In a similar way to cruising, carving is like riding a snowboard, having some steady downhill sections. Snowboarders cut through the snow in s-shapes, which is similar to the way a longboarder can carve. These boards have responsive trucks, softer wheels as well as good flexibility in the deck.
As you might guess, downhill longboard riders go very fast. They can get up to speeds of 50 miles an hour, perhaps even faster. They need to hit the dips, bumps and curves too. Boards for downhill longboarding need to have a center of gravity that is lower, including a dropdown deck and shorter trucks. They also have less flexibility than other models.
If you want to be a drifter, you need wheels that are able to break out easily with a board that’s not as flexible. If you cruise and downhill ride you will also drift. The rear wheels slide the pavement and break traction, this means the rider can drift and skim around the turns.
Free riding as it’s also known is basically adding a couple of tricks into carving and cruising. For freestyle, shorter boards are best but you can do freestyle on longer boards too.
Length is vital for control. If a board is shorter, you have more control. They are also easier if you want to do tricks. But longer longboards are speedier, give more balance and are more stable.
4. Deck Materials
There are many sorts of materials used in decks. Some boards, particularly medium and low-range boards have decks made from thick plastic. Other boards are made from types of wood such as birch or maple and sometimes even bamboo. For the more exotic boards, carbon fiber is sometimes used. Of all of these materials, carbon fiber is lightest with wood being heaviest. So, a wooden board is usually one that is not meant for boards made for speed, such as in cruisers. The lightest materials are best suited for speed. However, they usually cost a bit more.
Deck flex is an important consideration and is linked with what kind of riding you wish to do. Carving needs more flex, downhill does not. With more flex, you will have more control and you will better at pumping the board.
The wheels of a longboard are up to 107mm in size. This is in comparison to the wheels of shortboard, which are usually up to about 60mm. Larger diameter wheels hit faster speeds. Make sure you choose the right shape for the lip. If you want to have greater stability, square is better. But for tricks, round is preferable. Also, you need to opt for the right hardness for your style of riding. If your longboard has A wheels, these are softer, with B meaning harder wheels.
7. Kicktail/No Kicktail
Kicktails are raised sections at the tail and head of the board, like you would find on a shortboard. Many longboarding styles don’t have a tail section (cutout boards, for example). If a board has a kicktail, you will be able to control it more easily and will be able to do tricks. Boards without kicktails are more stable.
If you board doesn’t have bearings, the wheels simply won’t rotate. There is a huge range of bearings for longboards (which we have written about previously on our website). Bearings have an ABEC rating. With an ABEC rating, the higher it is, the faster the bearings turn. However, most longboard riders would agree that this rating does not matter so much in leisure activities and is much more important when talking about machinery and engineering.
9. Bushings and Trucks
The parts of the board that connect the deck to the wheels are called trucks. Trucks are important as they affect handling and flexibility. The bushings affect control. If you have softer bushings these allow much more control. Harder ones reduce the rider’s ability to turn.
Our Top 10 Product List
Now that you know what it is you are looking for when it comes to a longboard, let’s dive into our Top 10 Product List. First up is our Editor’s Choice, followed by the Runner Up, a Beginner’s Choice, and a Heavy Rider choice as well as the remaining choices. I’m sure you will agree that there is a choice there that will suit everyone. Let’s begin.
Our top choice is the Retrospec Zed longboard, which is made from bamboo and 8-ply Canadian maple wood. In terms of its specification, this board measures 44” and is lightweight yet rugged, with aluminum trucks measuring 7 inches.
Retrospec’s longboards give a nod to the first ambitions of the street ‘surfers’ of the 1950s that thought up the concept of longboarding. We really liked how the Zed board evoke times of yesteryear in its design. By this we mean that they are tough and durable, which was important in the first longboards when they were put through their paces with intense training.
Not only that, its wood combination is ethically sourced too and are designed right in the middle of Los Angeles. It has a classic shaped for improved balance, allowing the rider to slice the corners with speed and precision. The wheels measure 70mm and are made from 85A PU with top quality ABEC-7 bearings. The trucks are made from black-casted PU with 90-A bushing.
All of this combined will mean this longboard will stand the test of time. What is even greater is that hundreds of people agree. On Amazon, the average rating at the time of our research was 4.6/5 stars with over 900 reviews. Additionally, we were able to buy this longboard for just under $60.
There was a great deal that we liked about this long, namely its retro feel and enhanced durability. We were a little sceptical at first as one of our testers had to tighten the trucks on their board before it was used, but we were not at all disappointed. For such a great price, you get a brilliant board with a true, vintage feel. It really is a great choice for our Editor’s Pick.
Coming a close second, the Volador 42” longboard is a Freeride. It is classed as an “artisan” work, engineered with this brief in mind. It has a drop-through camber deck which gives super flexibility and shock absorbency. Made from 8-ply natural maple with epoxy glue, this healthy, natural material combination brings a lot of fun and is much better for the environment too.
The kingpin trucks are made from pure aluminum and are adjustable to 45- or 50-degree angles and measure 7 inches. They allow great maneuverability. The wheels are durable and made from 78A PU measuring 70 x 51mm with ABEC-9 rated precision bearings. This makes for a super smooth ride.
We loved the design of the Volador. It is created from across the Atlantic with avant-garde styles right from vintage looks. It really is a beauty to behold. That, coupled with top-most longboard engineering, means you will get a joyful and smooth ride. Indeed, the wood pressed into a concave camber deck means that its performances surpasses many others, thanks to its being shock absorbent and flexible as well as strong.
As well as the aluminum trucks and PU wheels, there a chrome-steel bearings and carbon steel bolts. With top-notch components, you expect a top-notch ride, and that is exactly what we got when we tried it.
We tried it for cruising and found its 34-inch wheel base and 9-inch wide deck gave it the perfect combination for hours of cruising. With the trucks flipped to 50 degrees, we found that it cut the corners superbly, making it a great racer too.
So, why is this fantastic beast our runner up? How did the first pip it to the post? Well, primarily, it was to do with its overall customer rating being slightly lower at 4.3/5 stars, but the number of reviews was similar at 915. The price was also identical at the time we tested, at $59.99. So, you can see why this was a very close second!
If you are wanting a cool looking board that is great for both speed and cruising, then this one is a great choice. It comes in beautiful designs and is made from good-quality environmentally friendly materials to boot. The ratings and reviews speak for themselves and we have found them to be accurate too! As a runner up, it certainly comes up as a very close second to our Editor’s Pick.
This board is our beginner’s choice thanks to its sheer size. At 44” in length, it is a perfect size for those getting to grip with longboarding for the first time. It is built from a hardwood maple and bamboo multi-ply. Featuring beautiful artisan designs, it has all the added details that are often not found at such a good price.
The board has authentic, genuine components with ABEC-7 bearings and 7” aluminum trucks with durable PU 70mm wheels. Quest assures that its boards cannot be compared to others as they have better components, resulting in better performance. We found this too, certainly for our beginner rider testers. It is a pro-style but has the ease of riding needed for those just starting out.
The company makes pretty much all of the product and have worked with some of the true surf, skate and snowboarding pioneers of the world to get their product to be as good as it is, with new technology and fresh-looking designs. It works great as a cruiser for getting out and about.
Perhaps the most obvious reassurance of this product’s quality is the amount of reviews that it has received. With 3377 reviews with an average rating of 4.3/5, you can’t go far wrong with this beginner’s longboard. Coming in at the same price as our top two longboards, at $59.99, you can be sure that what you are getting is good value for money. We weren’t disappointed, and you won’t be too.
If you are a beginner and you want to set out longboarding, then this beginner longboard is a perfect choice. It has all the features that a beginner could need: added size and stability primarily. This makes it good for cruising, which is the best place to start when beginning your longboarding adventures.
This longboard is the perfect choice for the heaviest longboard riders out there. It is strong yet flexible with an eight-ply deck made from maple wood which can hold weights of up to 250lb. The wheels are also large as well as soft, measuring 70mm x 50mm and are made from PU and are combined with ABEC-9 rated bearings giving it a smooth ride. The wheels are soft enough for a smooth ride but hard enough for steering. There are also aluminum trucks measuring 7 inches that are fitted with soft brushings too.
The drop-through mounting tech means that the board is low to the ground meaning that it offers greater stability for heavier riders as well as beginners. In fact, it has a ground clearance of four inches. It measures 39 inches in length, so it is not the strongest of the boards we tested, but it is classed as a multi-function board. This means you can use it for a variety of styles including downhill, curving, cruising, sliding, freestyle and freeriding.
You can brake easily with either foot and it is easy to push off thanks to the lower ground clearance, as mentioned. It also only weighs around seven pounds so it can be transported easily when not being ridden.
And, to conclude, this one has amazing reviews too. At the time of our research, the average rating was a staggering 4.6/5 with 420 reviews and it also sells for $59.99, which is pleasing too!
For the heavier riders up to 250lbs, including beginners, this makes an amazing, highly-rated choice. It is a smaller-sized board with a lower than usual floor clearance meaning it is suitable for lots of different riders and riding styles whether cruising, downhill, curving or speed work. Why not give this one a go? You are not limited with its possibilities, and we loved it for that.
Our advanced choice is, well, for some people’s eyes only. Why do we say this? Because of its price, that’s why. Sure, anyone can opt for this one. But realistically it will be out of most people’s price range, hence it’s position in our top ten longboard reviews.
Anyway, enough about the price, let’s talk detail. You may have noticed that this one is an electric longboard. It makes it a lot easier to ride as a means of transportation, that’s for sure! There are two ways of riding this: sports mode and normal mode. It has a maximum speed of 13.5mph and is agile in nature. This normal mode is suitable for riding through traffic or in a dense crowd with ease. With the sports mode you can go faster with speeds of up to 25mph, allowing you speed through wherever is suitable.
This electric longboard is powered by 500w dual motors and powerful batteries allowing the rider to travel between 15 and 20 miles. This motorized longboard is ideal for commuting or traveling to university.
As with any electric good, it is reassuring to know that the Skatebolt has passed all quality assurances. In terms of its technics, it is made from 8-ply sturdy maple. It also has a support center based in the U.S. as well as having a 6-month maintenance service. In terms of its reviews and ratings, at the time of our research it only had 138 reviews with an average of 3.9/5. As you can appreciate, this is not the best of ratings in our list. But this is often what occurs when paying for a high-end product with a price tag of $599.99 at the time of our testing and research. Yikes.
If you are wanting something advanced and speedy, this is the one for you. But only if your budget allows thank to its whopping, eye-popping cost. It is the only electric we have included in out list and, as such, it certainly has some unique qualities. For what it is, it’s very good and we loved its speed and battery life. But, watch those reviews. It’s a tough call.
A List of 5 Other Product We Reviewed
In place number six of our top-ten longboard reviews is the Minority Downhill longboard made from 100% maple. It measures 40” in length and has a low-gravity construction making it a good choice for any speed of riding. The maple itself is 8-ply hardrock maple that has been cold pressed.
The wheelbase measures 37 inches and there’s a room 10” deck board, meanings it has a fully table platform for downhill riding. There are aluminum reverse king-pin trucks measuring 7” that are adjustable to 45 or 50 degrees giving the rider top maneuverability. The wheels are made from 78A PU and measure 70mm x 51mm, featuring ABEC-9 precision bearings for the smoothest of rides.
These boards have a great look about them with designs from across the Atlantic. That and their smooth handling are what we loved about this board. Essentially, it has been built for speed and smoothness, but it can also hold weights of up to 220lbs, so it is suitable for some larger riders.
The reviews of this one are not as good as some. At the time of our research, this longboard had an average rating of 3.7/5 stars. But, so far, it is our cheapest product at $53.99 when we carried out our testing. The company prides itself on being sustainable too, which is an added plus.
This one is a good sixth-placer in our top ten best longboards. Sure, it doesn’t have as positive rating as some in our list, but it is a little cheaper than most out there. It has some great features such as adjustable trucks and a sustainable maple deck board. It is certainly a worthy contender in this top ten best longboard list!
Next up is the White Wave Bamboo Longboard. It measures 41” x 9.25” and is constructed from multi-layered Canadian Maple and Bamboo and has heat-transferred graphics with clear colored grip tape that are extremely durable.
The 7” trucks are made from polished aluminum and have super-high rebound bushings. The wheels themselves measure 70mm x 50mm and are made from high-rebound urethane. This means they are extremely durable and fast, aided by their fast, hardwearing ABEC-9 Hellion-2 bearings and their in-built spacers. All of the parts of this longboard have been chosen and designed specifically to ensure that the rider gets the best possible ride.
This longboard does set riders back a bit more in terms of cost. When we carried out our testing and research, the average cost for this board was $99, therefore it is a little bit more expensive than some of the other longboards in our list. This is the main reason why it is towards the bottom end of our list. Having said that, if you want a top-rated board then this one is a worthy contender as its average rating when we carried out our research was 4.6/5 stars based on 207 reviews, which is pretty decent!
For a fast ride that lasts a long time, you would be wise to choose this one. With top-quality materials including its bearings with in-built spacers, all parts of this longboard have been carefully chosen to be the best they can. Of course, this is all reflected in the cost of the longboard and it is one of the more expensive ones in our top ten best longboards list.
The Atom Drop is another bamboo and maple hybrid mix for its deck. It has a stunning design with a heat-transferred graphic photo design, making it stand out from the crowd. The grips are made from a 46 coarse grit so that you don’t slip when riding. As far as trucks go, it has a navigator drone style truck with 180mm hangers and 40-degree bases. The wheels are known as Atom’s Area 51 wheels, measuring 70mm x 51mm and made from 78A SHR material.
No longboard is complete without bearings and the bearings in this one are top-notch ABEC-9 bearings complete with a high-speed lubricant. With all of its great technicalities, this board not only looks beautiful, but performs well too. With superb craftsmanship, we really enjoyed the ride, feeling like we were skating along the smoothest of paths with pretty much no resistance.
The fact that the deck is flexible, curved and wide a well as having a good length means that it can also bear up to 210lbs in terms of rider weight. We did find that the radius for turning is a little wide and you would need to lean a little for a full 180-degree turn. But, once you’ve mastered it, there’s no stopping you.
Lastly, it also has positive average ratings too. At the time of us testing it out the average rating was 4.4/5 on Amazon based on 285 reviews. However, a slight niggle of ours was the price. It was selling for around $117, which was certainly on the higher side of prices in our list, hence why we placed it in eighth place.
This Atom Drop longboard slots into place eight in our list. It has a great appearance and performs well, if a little tight on its turning circle. It has a curved, flexible deck meaning that you can pull off pretty much what you want with this board. It can take heavier riders too, which is pleasing. In terms of its reviews and ratings, it certainly is up there with the best, but it does come at a price!
Our ninth place in the best longboards stakes is this Slendor longboard. It is a larger longboard measuring 42” x 9” and has a drop-through camber deck that works well at shock absorbency and super flexibility.
The board itself is made from cold-pressed 9-ply hardrock natural maple with epoxy glue, all a better environmental choice.
The bearings in the wheels are ABEC-11 rated and made from high-speed chrome steel. There are 7” aluminum trucks too which are thoroughly adjustable between 45 and 50 degrees, which means that the board can be used for a variety of longboarding styles. Why not try speed, downhill and freestyle riding styles? This one has wide turning in terms of its radius. This means that you can use it at any age too.
The wheels themselves measure 70mm x 51mm and are made from 85A PU with a rock finish. There is also the PU shock-absorbing ring which gives great cushioning and adds extra comfort to the whole experience.
What is even more pleasing is that this company offer 100% of your money back if you are not satisfied for any particular reason. To add to this, it’s average rating on Amazon at the time of our research and testing was 4.5/5 stars, with 60 reviews. We have to point out that 60 reviews are not all that many compared with the longboard above that had over three thousand! Its price is pleasing though as, at the time of our research, it cost $65.99.
If you are wanting a pleasing board that is large and gives you the option of different riding styles, then this one is a good choice. It has positive reviews but not very many, which is not the best. However, with a 100% guarantee, what do you have to lose?
Last but not least in our top best longboards reviews is the Sanview 42” longboard made from bamboo and is 9” wide. It is a cruiser design longboard which would suit both beginners and pro riders. The design is made is a beautiful artisan style and the bamboo is what makes it comfortable and flexible.
It has a cruiser shape for top performance when riding regardless of ability. The 7” casting trucks are made from aluminum and are fitted with 83A PU bushings which make control and turning easy peasy. The wheels measure 70mm x 51mm and are made from SHR 78A PU that’s high in its rebounding. There are also ABEC-9 bearings with nylon balls fitted which means that the ride is quick and smooth too. The deck is fitted with OS780 grip tape to make your ride comfortable and stable too.
Lastly, it fits in well with the average price of our top ten as it also cost $59.99 at the time of our research. Reviews, although there are only 121 of them, showed ratings of 4.5/5 stars, which was really pleasing.
The last one in our list is still worthy of a place. It is a great price and a great average rating. What we liked was how smooth and comfortable the ride was as well as how easy it was to maneuver thanks to its grip tape and durable wheels. You can turn it with ease! Why not give this one a try? Its price is fab, too!
Longboard Maintenance Tips
In theory, longboards should last a long time. Longboards are essentially designed with cruising in mind, so they are less like to break due to tricks that the typical skateboards out there. As such, this extends their life (unless you’re one of those who enjoys doing tricks on your longboard).
However, carrying out some basic maintenance will mean that your longboard should last even longer. The more time you end up spending on your longboard, the less money you’ll have to spend on fixing it or buying a new one.
The main threats to a longboard’s health are exposure to sun and water. If your deck becomes soaked it will weaken and crack or break. If you do get your board wet, you should dry it off as soon as you possibly can. Also, long sun exposure could make your board fragile. When you are not using it, you need to store it in a shady place or indoors.
Cleaning the board is also important. Make sure that you detach the trucks to clean underneath them. You can use soapy water and a nylon brush to clean the deck and do so in a circle motion including the sides of the grip tape.
With a sponge, you should rinse the deck with clean water in order to remove any leftover soap. Once you’ve done this, flip it over and wipe the underside. Take care washing the area where the trucks go. Dry the whole thing off with a towel and leave it to dry for around three or four hours. Once it is dry you should reattach the trucks.
You also need to maintain the bearings too if you want your longboard to continue to perform well. If the board sounds squeaky or it feels like they’re sticking, you need to clean them too.
You should keep your longboard away from sand, rain or puddles. With good care, it could last you a lifetime.
From our true passion to yours, our longboard reviews are here to help you make up your mind as to which longboard would suit you and your riding style. If you’re a beginner, heavier or an advanced rider, there’s a longboard out there for you. If you are on a budget and are looking for an inexpensive longboard, we’ve got a choice there too. There really are some amazing looking longboards too and at affordable prices. Of course, sometimes it’s tricky to get the board your want for under 200 or even 500 dollars, but we’ve done our best to provide you with the options. Now it’s make-your-mind-up time!