Longboarding can be an intimidating sport for beginners. It can be especially intimidating if you have never skateboarded or snowboarded before. Should you still learn how to longboard, even as a beginner? Absolutely! We put this Longboards for Beginners article together to make the choice of your first board a little less daunting.
Longboarding is both challenging and fun. The community is very welcoming and the longboard gear in 2020 is epic. There are plenty of options if you’re looking to buy the best longboard for beginners.
We’ve compiled a guide on how to find the best beginner longboard for you as well as a few decks that are a great fit for new riders.
Top 5 Longboards for Beginners
Picking your first longboard is almost as overwhelming as learning how to longboard for the first time. We picked some of the best beginner longboards out of 100’s that we’ve reviewed so that you have a good starting point for your search.
If you can, swing by a local skate store and try some boards. If you have any friends who are into longboarding, ask to give their board a quick spin. Asking everyone you meet why they picked their board and what they like about it will help you find the perfect first longboard.
Landyachtz 2019 Ripper
The 2019 Ripper is an excellent choice for a beginner longboard. Landyachtz works tirelessly to ensure that each individual component works well together and complements the whole.
Maple construction is one of the most durable options in a longboard deck.
A relatively flat standing platform, long wheelbase, wide trucks and a tail keep it stable and provide options for foot placement.
Most importantly though, as your skills grow this board will still be relevant!
Learn more about Landyachtz here.
Loaded Dervish Sama
The Dervish from Loaded Boards is one of the most prevalent longboards out there because it’s an ideal beginner board that can easily grow with your capabilities.
The drop-through truck mounts and long wheelbase make it low to the ground and stable. A drop-through longboard is a great option for a beginner. Multiple flex options ensure there is an option for each rider style.
Bamboo and fiberglass construction are incredibly durable and forgiving–great for someone new to skateboarding. This deck is sure to get you started and keep you going!
Rear more about Loaded Longboards here.
Rayne Longboards Demonseed
The Rayne Demonseed is a popular choice for downhill and long distance push riders but it’s double-dropped design make it a good choice for beginners also. A drop-through isn’t necessary for beginners but many new riders like the style and the feel.
At 39″, this model is in the middle of the Demonseed lineup in terms of length. The double-drop and stiff flex ensure excellent stability.
It’s also a board that will accomodate you as your skills develop. When it comes time to push the limits on speed, the Demonseed keeps up. If you find that the Demonseed is only a beginner board for you, you’ll find tons of more advanced longboards from Rayne so your experience will serve you well when you upgrade.
Read more about Rayne Longboards here.
DB Longboards Mamba 39
DB Longboards Mamba 39 is another great beginner board. At 39″ it’s got some length. The kicktail is a familiar option for those who have ridden a skateboard before. That familiarity may help you feel comfortable right away.
DB chose excellent components in the Arsenal trucks and Cloud Ride wheels. The subtle W-concave and large standing platform will offer lots of foot placement options and you’ll feel locked in all over.
Like the Landyachtz Ripper, the maple construction ensures the board will last a long time! This is another great choice that is sure to grow as you do.
Read more about DB Longboards here.
Beginner FAQ: What Do Beginner Longboarders Need to Know?
As a beginner longboarder, you need to know a few things to learn tricks faster, get better at pushing, and have a great time. This guide is designed to give you all the information you need to know as a beginner longboarder so that you can confidently skate at the local park in no time.
Wear protection! This applies to all riders but wearing protective gear is especially important for beginners. Helmets and elbow pads are a great place to start and knee pads are a great addition for young beginners.
We also suggest starting on a flat, paved area where pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles won’t be a concern. Driveways are great choices if you have one available. An empty section of a parking lot is also an alternative but bring someone with you and take turns keeping watch.
Some basic tips for pushing: Keep your weight biased towards the front truck, lean to turn and most importantly, have fun! You will get frustrated but you will also feel incredible as you feel longer and longer successful pushes.
What Type of Longboard is Best for New Riders?
At the entry level, it’s best to choose a stable, durable board with a light to medium stiffness. Stability helps new riders feel comfortable as they learn while durability ensures the integrity of the board after an occasional crash.
Stability is influenced by a number of factors, but in order to maximize it, choose a wide deck with a longer wheelbase, wide trucks and a light flex to absorb road vibration. Drop through trucks are an option as well since they lower the board and center of gravity.
With this in mind, cruiser styled longboards are an ideal choice. Many brands offer these types of boards and we’ll go over some of our favorites below.
How Do I Pick the Correct Size Longboard for Beginners?
Size matters! In general, you’ll find a longboard to be more stable than its shortboard counterpart thanks to a longer wheelbase.
Boards between 30″ to 46″ in length are an ideal choice. Smaller choices are available, but they sacrifice stability which make them less ideal for beginners.
Does that seem like a wide range for longboard size? Well, it is! The beauty of longboard builds is that they offer so much variety. Now that you are shopping for your first longboard, you have probably already noticed all of the options available when you see longboarders cruise by.
The important thing to know is that it is very unlikely that you will pick the wrong size. You will ride many shapes and sizes as you learn how to longboard. There are plenty of opportunities in your future for you to buy the perfect longboard.
Does Snowboarding or Surfing Experience Help Me as a Beginner?
Definitely! Board-sport skills translate well between disciplines and skateboarding is no exception. The differences usually lie in weight distribution and which foot does the turning.
Remember to keep your weight biased towards the front foot while you’re learning to longboard. Turning is done by applying pressure heel side or toe side with both feet but the forward weight bias will help maintain stability!
You’ll notice that some instruction sound similar. When you learn how to snowboard, instructors often tell you to act like your feet are pedals, moving your toes up and down to help you turn the board. That’s the same with skateboarding and longboarding, you’ll put pressure on your heel or toe and your front or back foot. It depends on what direction you want to turn!
You will feel many differences between them as your learn how to longboard but some board familiarity will certainly help you in your first few riding sessions. The good news is that snowboarding or surfing experience is not necessary to learn how to longboard.
Do I Need Special Wheels or Trucks on My Beginner Longboard?
Wheels, trucks, and bushings are a few pieces of gear that make a huge difference in your ride in addition to your deck.
If you already have a board then you probably know what you like or dislike. That’s a great time to consider making some changes to your trucks. We’ve got a great guide to choosing the best longboard trucks, you should read it!
If this is your very first longboard, keep it simple! Buying longboards is fun but you probably won’t see huge performance differences for many months. Find a brand and design that you like and use our beginner guidelines below to find the perfect beginner longboard.
We prefer wheels in the 70-75MM range with a 80 – 84a durometer.
Truck width is also important with 150-180MM being the ideal width. Make sure that the trucks are not wider than the deck though! This is especially important for beginners who are building their board from scratch for the very first time. Not every set of trucks will work perfectly with every deck.
Bushings are a really important part of tuning your ride as you progress but as you begin, the bushings supplied with your trucks will be generally sufficient. You will care more about performance as you gain more confidence and skill on your longboard. All of our suggested beginner longboards come with stock bushings that are more than enough for you.
Interested to learn about trucks in detail? Read our guide to the best longboard trucks and get detailed information on the different types of trucks and the top brands that sell them.
Remember to have fun first! Once you get the hang of it, revisit your gear to dial in your setup. You will always find something new you want to try but you’ll only want to do that if you’re having plenty of fun riding your new board.
Is a Longboard Easier to Ride than a Skateboard?
It’s a fair question to ask as a beginner: are longboards easier to ride? The short answer is, yes! Longboards, especially long, wide boards and decks that are considered drop-through.
The drop-through will lower your center of gravity. This will help you maintain your balance just a little bit better than a skateboard.
A wider or longer board does something similar. It is more forgiving if you lean back, forward, or to either side. As a beginner, you will probably find this to be easier than a small skateboard or penny board.
The drawbacks are really for more skilled riders: you will probably want a more sensitive board so you can make sharper turns and slide a little more freely. You can work on that after you’ve mastered the basic skills.
We do want to be clear: if you want to learn how to skateboard more than you want to learn how to longboard, then just start skateboarding! You don’t have to pick one. With some solid work on your skills, you’ll be riding both in no time.
Should I Wear Safety Gear as a Beginner?
As a beginner, don’t think that you are above wearing safety gear. You may be watching YouTube videos of pro’s doing downhill with minimal gear–that’s a decision that pro’s get to make after thousands of hours longboarding. You know what they did when they were beginners? They fell. All the time.
Let us be clear. If you are a beginner, you need to wear safety gear at all times. You will fall. A lot. It will hurt. A lot.
Why is it so important to stay injury free? Because the more time you spend on your board, the better you will get. You can’t get better if you’re stuck on at home on the couch nursing a wrist or ankle sprain.
Accidents will happen while you’re learning and it’s important to stay safe with basic safety equipment. Protective equipment includes helmets, knee pads, elbow pads and slide gloves. Do you need all of that? Not necessarily as a beginner.
The two most important pieces of gear for a beginner will be a solid, safe helmet and elbow pads. As you learn how to push and take on more tricks, you can expand into knee pads.
Lastly, when you start taking on small hills as you get excited about downhill longboarding, you can invest in some quality slide gloves to keep you hands in good shape.
Remember, everyone was a beginner at some point so there’s nothing wrong with spending a few days or weeks practicing on a flat area. Once you feel great on flat ground with plenty of space, you can try some slight downhill or push through a more crowded area. You will be carving before you know it!
What Essential Gear Do You Need as a Beginner?
Start with the helmet. You’ll see plenty of pro runs wearing a helmet for a reason, they’re incredibly important.
After that, slide gloves, knee pads. These protect you in case of a fall, and allow you to put a hand down without injury. The faster you ride, the more gear you will need at the beginning. We doubt you will be trying downhill longboarding in your first week. However, if you find yourself atop a small hill early on then we want you to be protected when you inevitably fall.
If you’ve got all the above, we can’t recommend highly enough a set of skate shoes. Skate shoes maximize the interface between your feet and the board. They’re grippy and they protect you in case of a fall. Shoes with a worn grip will be very hard to keep on your board.
Lastly, get a solid board that will last the whole learning period. If you need a solid recommendation for a beginner longboard, ask our team here at LongboardEnvy.com.
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