As the name suggests, the longboard is a long board. In this case, with wheels, which is what we’re usually interested in. Longs are longer than skateboards and come in different shapes and sizes. Surely you have seen them going down the hills at full speed, but there are also other disciplines that are practiced with the Longboard, which are very different and which we will see later.
Above all, the first thing is to understand that there is a difference between skate and Long. Skateboards measure around 32 inches in overall length (around 81cm) and can be used to do tricks (jumps), jump spots, or ride bowls, ramps. If skateboarding is your thing, you can check out to our complete guide to skateboarding or this post where we explain how to choose your first skateboard.
How was the Longboard born?
The idea seems to have been born in California, in the 1950s. Surfers and skiers were looking for ways to practice something similar to their sports when there were no waves or snow.
Longboard Set Up
The longboard is basically made up of the same parts that a skate is made of, although of course they have been adapted, as the functions are not exactly the same:
The Longboard Deck
It is usually long. It can be between 70cm and up to 2m in length. The shape and width also vary, usually between 20 and 40 cm in width. Choosing the longboard trucks is not a problem anymore.
The material and manufacturing technology may be the classic of skateboards, i.e. seven (or nine) maple sheets, but it is also common to find bamboo boards, which is more flexible. Some are reinforced with layers of fiberglass, to hold more weight and protect it from impact.
Another fundamental difference of the Long boards is given by the way the Trucks are assembled; there are three types of boards. If the Trucks go below, it is called “top mount”. If they go through the board, “drop though deck” and if they go under but the board is concave to get a lower height,and then it’s called the “lower deck”. The idea is for the board to stay as close to the ground as possible for stability and speed, although tricks would be easier if it were higher.
The Longoboard Trucks
2 trucks are used. There is a choice between different sizes, heights, shapes and angles of inclination.The material may vary. Even if in longboard the weight is perhaps not very important compared to the skateboard, however you can also find Trucks in titanium, aluminum, steel.They usually have a standard thickness, although in some specific descents the thickness is increased to make them more resistant.As for the size, as usual, it depends on the size of the Board, so they are available in various sizes.
In recent times, a lot of work has been done on a new type of longboard trucks with springs, and great progress has been made. These are longboards specialized in emulating the movements of the surfboard in the water. These trucks are inclined, and have a “joint” to be able to move with respect to their base and allow a greater range of maneuver.