Best Longboard for Kids – 2020 Guide

One thing almost all kids have in common – they go through a “skateboarding” phase. Sometimes it’s at 5 years old and sometimes it’s at 10 years old, but sooner or later almost every kid wants a skateboard.

If we’re being honest, though, when most people (including kids) think of “skateboarding”, they’re thinking of freestyle tricks. Right? And while we admit we might be just a touch biased in the matter, we consider longboarding to be a safer and more fun alternative to traditional skateboarding. 

Hear us out.

Longboarding is the ultimate compromise that can, first and foremost, be “skateboarding” without all of the dangerous tricks that scare parents into simply forbidding the activity altogether. What’s more is that parents that are on the more active side can grab a longboard of their own and use the activity as a means of spending more time with the family. 

Now, we’re not trying to make skateboarding out to be the villain; to the contrary, we think skateboarding is an amazing sport that has seen truly professional athletes among its ranks. However, when envisioning younger preteen kids, say ages 8-12, riding along a sidewalk on a longboard is less dangerous than trying to master the “drop-in” on a ramp. 

Longboarding is the absolute best way to warm-up to skating on any kind of board, and is an acceptable substitute for surfing, snowboarding, or skimboarding when conditions or resources don’t accommodate. 

ManufacturerDimensionsProsConsMore Info
[1] SHIJING Complete Longboard9.6” x 42”Light-up wheels; generous deck size; ABEC 11 (ABEC 9 ind. label) bearings; 9-ply maple is ultra-durableNew import distributor; could come to be seen as a generic brand despite being qualit-builtCheck Price
[2] Atom Drop Deck Longboard (41-Inch)9.6″ x 41″Mfg. by Industry leading brand MBS; drop-deck good for beginners; ABEC 9 bearings Price is higher than similar boards; trucks are nothing specialCheck Price
[3] SCSK8 Complete Longboard10” x 44”Natural blank deck is perfect for DIY designers; pintail design discourages trick attempts; ABEC 9 bearings; affordable priceComes with black grip tape that looks cheap, needs redecorating promptly; pintail design makes dimensions deceivingCheck Price
[4] Kryptonics Spongebob Longboard8.75” x 36”Features licensed Spongebob art – logo on top and graphic on bottom; affordable pricing; smaller deck is suited for younger ridersABEC 5 bearings; top logo grip tape will wear down over time; smaller deck size may not accommodate larger ridersCheck Price
[5] Playshion Drop Through Freestyle Longboard10″ x 48″Drop-through mounting well-suited for beginners; ABEC 9 bearings; Premium quality board at an amazing priceTrucks are industrial stock, nothing specialCheck Price

[1] – SHIJING Skateboards 42” x 9.6” Complete Longboard

Check Price

Features:

  • This longboard is fashioned from 9 laminated layers of Maple hardwood, making it incredibly sturdy and durable. With a maximum load of 200 kg (440lbs), it can also accommodate adult riders. 
  • Truly an adult board with a design better appreciated by pre-teens and teens – but a longboard with longevity that can be grown into.
  • No Assembly Required – the complete longboard comes pre-assembled from the factory.
  • Include a Risk-Free 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, full refund or replacement for free.

SHIJING has recently flooded the market with a wide variety of longboards of different style and design; they also sell under the brand “Xiaobalong” and possibly others as well. Honestly these boards are so new to market that there isn’t much information on them to be found. Based on that, the overnight explosion of product variety, and the rather generic cultural significance of the word “Shijing” to the Chinese language (it is the title of the nation’s 1st poetry anthology), these boards are likely a mass-produced product similar to what you might see in a Wal-Mart or Target. No doubt some savvy Chinese skateboard manufacturer has noticed the recent shortage in longboard availability and risen to the occasion.

Understand, this may not be a bad thing. One benefit to overseas production has always been lower costs and greater production output. If a company can generate the demand for their brand, it’s a great thing (for them). If they do so and produce a high-quality product, then it usually ends up being a great thing for us, too. The question becomes, “Are they building high-quality longboards”? We may not have much to go on, but let’s break it down feature by feature and see how it measures up.

These boards come with a 9-ply hardwood maple laminate; top longboard brands that feature all wooden laminates are all 8-ply or less. So, assuming the epoxy resin and the pressing process are similar, then the quality of the deck should be comparable. The deck shape is large enough and boasts a top-mounted twin tip design, which is well-suited for longboard dancing. The manufacturers likely realized this as well, as the words “No.1 Dance Longboard” are printed on the bottom. The print and graphics tie together quite nicely, and the overall “cosmos” inspired design works very well with the light-up wheels at night.

The bearings are top-shelf and hold up under scrutiny, being ABEC 9 as they are. The light-up wheels, while commonly available as an aftermarket accessory, do come pre-installed on this board. This makes it a pretty valuable feature for parents or grandparents that are less mechanically inclined, but want a unique longboard as a gift for a youth that is ready-to-ride out of the box.

Our overall assessment is that this board definitely has the potential to be a top-shelf contender in the longboard market. Good quality hardware and vivid graphics are a good start, and current pricing suggests that they are shooting for their brand becoming a middle-to-top grade choice. If you want this board specifically for its look and for light-up wheels out of the box, it will be a safe and durable choice. If you are looking for professional grade potential, this board may offer it, but you might want to hold out until we see what they can do. 


[2] – Atom Drop Deck Longboard (41-Inch)

Check Price

Features:

  • Drop-deck design ensures maximum stability, making it ideal for younger riders just learning how to carve.
  • ABEC-9 wheel bearings mean less pushing and more riding.
  • Unique deck perimeter and wheel cut-outs provide more leverage in deep turns and completely eliminates wheel-bite.
  • An 8-ply maple hardwood laminate deck, twin-tip, top-mount fitted with reverse KingPin (RKP) longboard trucks (245mm axles).
  • Includes a limited one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Atom Longboards is one of the most recognizable longboard brands in the United States. They have a reputation for quality, and this particular model is iconic of their product line.  It also happens to be one of the most widely and well-reviewed longboards on the market to date, and is widely touted as being a perfect board for beginners.

It is true that drop-deck longboards, in general, are more stable and easier to learn carving and turning on. The 8-ply hardwood deck will offer minimum flex to younger, lighter riders, which translates into a more crisp feeling of control over the board. The precision lubricated ABEC-9 bearings are frictionless, allowing lighter riders especially to need considerably less pushing to stay at cruising speeds. 

This is a board marketed as a beginner’s longboard, but is one that almost every pro is familiar with. It is highly likely that many pro longboarders have this same model leaning in a corner somewhere that they use as a daily rider (they don’t always take the $1,500 board out!). The point is that this is a board that any youth longboarder can grow into. If taken care of, the Atom Drop-Deck Longboard will provide many, many reliable years of fun.


[3] – SCSK8 Natural Blank & Stained Assembled Complete Longboard

Check Price

Features:

  • 7-Ply Maple Hardwood Construction
  • 70mm PU Wheels
  • Aluminum 7″ Trucks
  • SCSK8 Precision Abec 9 Red Bearings
  • SCSK8 Pro Black Grip Tape
  • A 7-ply maple hardwood laminate deck, twin-pintail-tipped, top-mount fitted with reverse KingPin (RKP) longboard trucks (245mm axles).

The SCSK8 is a longboard that is a decent enough board out of the box to satisfy any beginner rider. While it may not have the longevity of an Atom Drop-Deck, in terms of a youth growing into it, it does have a different feature that makes it stand out as a great gift idea. This longboard deck comes in natural maple, with the option of it coming stained or unstained. 

If the young longboard enthusiast in your life has a flair for art & design, consider this longboard for that feature alone. It is unique in coming so raw and ready to decorate. The only limits on this board’s beauty from that point are in the imagination alone!

Aside from it’s blank canvas appeal to the artistic, it is a “good-enough” longboard. It doesn’t have some of the frills of the higher priced decks, and the pintail design is an acquired taste that you either like or you don’t. That design provides the board’s greatest limiting factors, namely that the pintail shape is only adequate for casual cruising, or maybe some commuting as well. Any serious carving is going to be threatened by wheelbite and the lack of any kicktail inhibits freestyle tricking.

Perfectly suited for someone that is perhaps more interested in the idea of longboarding, or someone that enjoys customizing the board they ride, the SCSK8 makes a unique and thoughtful gift. If you are looking for yourself, this board is a good beginner board, particularly if you favor the pintail shaped deck. Just be ready to outgrow it at some point; but at least you can strip it and make it decor with a real story behind it.


[4] – Kryptonics Spongebob 36″ Longboard

Check Price

Features:

  • COMPLETE SKATEBOARD: Complete 36 in. Longboard skateboard with a thick, durable 8-ply maple wood deck and 8.75-in. super wide shape
  • DESIGN MINDED: Rounded pin tail longboard for smooth arcing turns and effortless ride.
  • SMOOTH RIDE: 65mm x 40mm poured polyurethane wheels and carbon steel ABEC-5 bearings deliver a smooth ride
  • DURABLE: 4” polished aluminum trucks, soft 88A urethane bushings, and 12mm angled riser pads support higher weight and faster speed
  • AGE AND WEIGHT: Recommended for ages 8 years and older, supports weight up to 220 lbs.

Graphic print boards are always fun, and this Kryptonics longboard features a good-quality print of Spongebob on the bottom and the logo on top. The Kryptonics company and brand has been around a long time (since the 1950s!), and is known mostly for their contributions to skating wheel technology. That isn’t to say they just recently decided to check out the skating scene – they’ve been sponsors and innovators to the industry since the 70s.

This board is a great first longboard for a younger rider, and would make for a unique and memorable gift to anyone interested in longboarding or skating. The 8-ply Maple hardwood deck is durable enough to take a considerable beating, and the rounded pin-tail discourages the more mature activities like carving and freestyle tricking. Additionally, the ABEC-5 bearings that would be considered sub-par to more mature riders will actually help limit the board’s speed and keep it under the control of younger, less experienced riders.

All-in-all, this board is a sound choice for the Spongebob fan that has shown an interest in skating. This is a board that they might actually get on and ride – and it’s not dependent on learning complicated tricks or zooming at breakneck speeds.


[5] – Playshion Drop Through Freestyle Longboard

Check Price

Features:

  • Come with Multi-function Skate Tool and Attractive Sticker
  • Strong but Flexible Eight Ply Maple Deck make longboard can Hold Up to 250 LBS weight
  • Big Soft 70x50mm PU Wheels combined with ABEC-9 Bearings for Smooth Ride
  • Solid 7 Inch Aluminum Trucks equipped with soft bushings for Comfortable Longboarding
  • Easy to Learn for Kids and Adults beginner due to low to ground feature come from Drop Through mounting technology

If you’re in the market for a board that is good for a younger kid that is enthusiastic about skateboarding to learn on and be able to grow into, this is the board.

Playshion is a top manufacturer of premium-quality longboards, and the drop-through freestyle design is perfect for those wanting to grow into learning to do freestyle tricks. Learning to do tricks like kickflips, ollies, and switch-riding on a longboard will make learning them on a skateboard much, much easier. Because of the longboard’s size and weight, there are limitations on the tricks that can be done however. Still, this only reinforces the logic of using this board as a stepping stone for learning freestyle. 

Long after the young would-be skater has learned to perform much more complex tricks on a skateboard designed for the job, they will always remember and appreciate how much more efficient their longboard is for transportation. In fact, many pro-level skateboarders wear their trick board on their back while they ride their longboard to the skate park.

All this talk of pro riders comes from the fact that this is really a professional quality board in sheep’s clothing. While the trucks could stand upgrading, what the company knows is that most pro riders will replace any trucks, even aftermarket ones, to get the feeling they want. The truth is, most longboarders are not anywhere near this level of familiarity with their board and its fine-tuning. If you are looking for a top-shelf product for a young rider to grow into and be able to ride with pride for years to come, look no further than the Playshion drop-through freestyle.


***Bonus Review***

***SWAGSKATE NG2 38” A.I. Powered Electric Longboard***

Check Price

Where Hoverboarding meets Skateboarding!

  • Hand-free operation — The Ng2 e-board is controlled much like a Hoverboard – simply shift your weight on the deck and the motor engages. No remote is required thanks to intelligent weight and balance sensors. 
  • One of the more powerful electric longboards on the market, the Ng2 cruises at up to 18 mph and can climb 15° INCLINES with a pair of powerful brushless 450-watt motors.
  • Full-featured remote control also included — despite being designed for hands-free operation, this model of longboard also comes with a remote that can control accelerating & switching speed modes while riding.
  • The NG2’s longboard deck is durable and resilient due to its 6-ply maple hardwood being sandwiched between 2 outer bamboo layters. 

If the young longboard enthusiast you have in mind already has the Hoverboard, why not try something they can actually get around on? 

The electric longboard is rapidly becoming a favorite among commuters and cruisers as technology has improved dramatically in recent years. Products like the Segway Scooter and the aforementioned Hoverboard have been busy pushing modern servos and batteries to their limits, and the results have been impressive.

If you are looking for an electric longboard that features the best of everything; an electric longboard that simply is the best, then have a look at the Swagskate NG2 Electric Longboard!

best longboard for kids

FAQ

We have tried to compile a list of the most common questions we see regarding kids’ longboards. While we aim to make the list exhaustive, we try not to be redundant. 

One area where we will risk it is Safety!

Protective gear should be worn at all times while on your longboard, even if you’re only cruising in the driveway.

back to menu ↑

Are longboards good for kids?

Longboards are great for kids

You’ll just want to be careful considering the type of longboard you select for them, as in the design of the deck and the kind of longboarding being engaged in. For example, drop-deck designs are very popular with beginners and pros alike, and they offer what is often considered the “quintessential longboarding experience”. 

Pintails are a popular choice for parents that want to let their kids enjoy skating, but might have a little apprehension about all of the freestyle tricks and downhill racing. These boards are a simple design that is really only good for cruising with minimal carving. 

Most adult longboard marketing materials will mention “flex” at some point. Flex is the amount of flexion in the longboard deck when someone stands on it, and this amount will vary between riders. Generally speaking, longboards will accommodate riders up to 200 lbs. without modification, ao all but the largest of children will be fine.

Most important is to consider the safety gear to go with the longboard. The complete set would include a helmet, elbow & knee pads, and gloves with a wrist skid protector. You need to make sure each of these fits properly and that the child knows how to properly don and use them.


back to menu ↑

How dangerous is longboarding?

Like we touched on above, longboarding is not inherently dangerous. It could, in fact, be considered less dangerous than traditional skateboarding. That isn’t to say that longboarding comes without any risks at all, but with the proper protective equipment and responsible riding practices the risks can be minimized.

Proper protective equipment includes, at a minimum, a quality helmet to protect the head. Even Navy Seals and Special Forces guys wear a helmet to protect from the accidental bump to the noggin; a good thing to point out if your little ones offer resistance. You can also include elbow pads and knee pads to the protective gear, and there are even special gloves available with plastic inserts to protect the wrists and palms. 

According to Active & Safe Central – California, there isn’t really enough data to go on to make accurate statements about longboarding injuries specifically. They do have data published, however, and point out that of the information they do have available, only 4-14% of riders with injuries were wearing a helmet. Even so, the most commonly reported injuries were broken arms, and superficial wounds to the arms, legs, and head.

In short, as long as you invest in some quality protective gear and ensure it gets used, your kids are already unlikely to get hurt. Throw in some safe riding habits or only riding in designated places like parks and skate parks, and you literally have nothing to worry about.


back to menu ↑

What should I look for in a kids’ longboard?

While we reviewed several top-notch selections that work well for kids, there’s no guarantee you found what you were looking for. As you go off into the wilds of the Amazon (see what I did there?) and hunt for your own longboard, how do you know it’s right for your young ones?

Let’s briefly touch on the key considerations you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • Deck Dimensions (length & width)
    • Wider is always more stable, and can provide more leverage when turning sharply.
    • Longer can be more awkward for younger riders, but does allow the board to be “grown-into”.
  • Wheels & Trucks
    • These matter less when shopping for kids. Unless you’re picky or certain the kids are going to stick with the sport, there’s no reason to spend extra money for premium hardware when the cheap stuff will hold their light weight just fine. Wheel choice usually only matters when carving and sliding, or possibly in terms of comfort when cruising. Most kids we know don’t notice comfort much.
  • Riding Style & Design
    • This is where it gets tricky. If the kids are thinking “skateboard” and the responsible parents are thinking “longboard”, then a twin-tip drop-through freestyle deck is going to be an easier sell. If the young rider has an artistic side that doodles or draws on everything and might ride around a bit on a longboard, consider a natural blank pintail like the SCSK8 above. These decorate well and make great wall art when they’ve been outgrown. This is the most subjective part of the choosing, and will depend most on your and your kids’ needs.
  • Cost & Affordability
    • This is another that can be a bit subjective, though not as much as style and design. Different people have different budgets, and adding in the costs of protective equipment may change the longboard they are able to purchase. Some consumers can readily see the connection between price and quality, while others take nothing for granted and demand value for every dollar they spend. Sticking with trusted brands that are well-reviewed is always a safe bet, though it might cost a touch more up front. 

back to menu ↑

What safety gear do kids need for longboarding?

We touched on this briefly up above, but in direct response to the question we can break it down a bit more specifically. Generally speaking, a complete set of protective gear will include:

With this armament, any longboarding youth or adult will be much safer from potential scrapes and falls. You should probably also pay attention to the condition of your child’s shoes as well, particularly if they begin longboarding on a regular basis. Skating in general can be tough on shoes, and shoes that are in poor condition are inherently more dangerous. The same goes for the longboard’s grip tape – after some usage you’ll want to inspect it and make sure there is no peeling or excessive wearing down of the gritty texture. 


back to menu ↑

How durable are longboards for kids?

Almost all longboards on the market today are manufactured from maple hardwood, bamboo, fiberglass, or a combination of any or all of these three. Deck designs vary from company to company, with some unique combinations becoming proprietary to the brand. There really aren’t many offerings marketed exclusively “for kids”, though some options do make a better choice in that regard.

Essentially, each of the three materials offers certain benefits while carrying certain disadvantages as well. Here are the general characteristics of each, as they relate to longboard deck-building:

  • Hardwood Maple
    • This is usually described by its “ply”, or the number of layers in its laminate. The laminate consists of thin layers of natural maple hardwood that are bonded together with an epoxy resin and then pressed in a hydraulic machine specially designed for the job. Maple is highly durable, more so than the other two materials, yet weighs more. It is also quite cheap, meaning that the vast majority of boards are made from this material. This can make it difficult to determine which deck is superior, when they are all made from “Genuine Hardwood Organic Natural Maple Laminate”. Just remember; you can go with the ply, with more ply meaning a stronger (yet heavier) longboard. Or you can go with fewer ply and get a board with more flex; a better choice for lighter and younger riders.
  • Bamboo
    • Bamboo is a beautiful wood, and it’s highly sustainable. This makes it an ideal choice for manufacturers that elect to include the natural beauty of the wood in the longboard’s design. This is generally accomplished by using a maple laminate “core” that is sandwiched between two layers of bamboo. This results in a board that is, internally, as enduring as the maple board but embodies the essence of nature in the use of bamboo in its design. Alternately, some manufacturers of racing decks will employ fiberglass/bamboo decks to capitalize on the ultra-light weight of the two materials. These decks are specialized, however, and generally aren’t durable enough for daily riding.
  • Fiberglass
    • Fiberglass has come quite a long way in terms of manufacturing and automated production. In longboard decks, it is most often reserved for higher-end models with very specific uses in mind, such as downhill vertical racing or freestyle dancing. The lightweight nature of an entirely freestyle board is unparalleled, but they can be very delicate in untrained hands (or feet!). More commonly fiberglass will be used similarly to bamboo; as a supplement to either laminated maple or bamboo. Fiberglass cores with bamboo wrappings have their corner of the market, and these boards may indeed be worth a look at for kids. They often deliver too much flex and risk cracking under the weight of the average adult male, however.

back to menu ↑

What is the safest kids longboard?

Well, like we said earlier, there isn’t necessarily a safer type of longboard. Certain model designs do encourage riding styles that might be considered safer, however, so we’ll go with that.

Following that thread of logic, longboard shapes like the pintail, the twin-pintail, and dance longboards could all be considered safer. The classic pintail deck shapes discourage any kind of freestyle tricking and really confine the rider to cruising and commuting. Even downhill vertical riding and anything involving carving are out, as wheel-bite and speed wobbles will end your session before it starts. If your kids need a longboard like some 16-year-olds need an old pickup truck to make them drive slow, consider a classic design.

Dance longboards are also a bit safer, but for different reasons entirely. While some tricks can be pulled off on these boards, it’s more common for the rider to do the tricks on the board, not with the board. These boards are wider than others, with ample top-mounted deck space to learn where your feet work best in different situations. That being said, even when these boards include ABEC-9 bearings they are built for long coasts with no pushing required, as opposed to being built for speed. Not that you want to put your kids on one of these at the top of a hill, but for flat boardwalk and sidewalk riding, dance boards can be hard to beat.

back to menu ↑

What is the best size longboard for kids?

There are a few things to consider when you’re thinking about the size of longboard to purchase for the children in your life:

  • Length
    • Length doesn’t matter too much, especially with older kids or teens. Younger kids may do better with a shorter board, as it will be easier to control and take less room to turn. Lengths up to 38” will be fine for younger children, but teens will be fine on an adult sized-board.
  • Width
    • Width comes down to giving the feet more room and having more leverage when carving or sliding the board, and matters more depending on the deck design and desired riding style. Dance boards should be ~10”, while most other longboards will be around 9”. Pintail dimensions are a tad deceiving, as they measure at the widest part of the board despite the shape being more slender than others.
  • Portability
    • Consider where the board will be stored and how it will be transported when not being ridden. If only used at skate parks, how will the longboard get there? If possible, discuss this with the young longboard rider to ensure they end up with a board they can (and will) carry as needed. If it is a gift or surprise, then try, as best you can, to consider the specifics of how the board will be stored, carried, and ridden. 

Beyond these factors, longboard size is largely a matter of the kids’ own size and whether or not you intend for them to grow into the board over time. 


To conclude, let’s briefly recap. 

Safety is paramount to all other things, of course, particularly when talking about our kids. Make no compromises when it comes to safety equipment or safe riding practices.

The kids longboards that we reviewed are listed here, for your convenience:

  • 1 – SHIJING Skateboards 42” x 9.6” Complete Longboard
  • 2 – Atom Drop Deck Longboard (41-Inch)
  • 3 – SCSK8 Natural Blank & Stained Assembled Complete Longboard
  • 4 – Kryptonics Spongebob 36″ Longboard
  • 5 – Playshion Drop Through Freestyle Longboard
  • Bonus – SWAGSKATE NG2 38” A.I. Powered Electric Longboard

We followed our product reviews up with an FAQ that hopefully addresses all of the potential questions that anyone looking at kids’ longboards might have.

As always, wear your safety gear, pay attention to your surroundings, stay safe, and have fun! 

Thanks for reading!