Best Pintail Longboards [2020 Guide]

The pintail deck shape has become a timeless icon that resonates with both longboarders and surfers alike. 

This owes largely to longboarding’s historic roots in the surfer community, dating back to the 1950s and 1960s. “Sidewalk Surfers” were longboarding pioneers that fabricated the first decks by bolting wheels to a surfboard!

Over time, they started using their experience working with fiberglass to design decks that were better-suited to riding on land. They had a bit of tunnel-vision, however, and essentially scaled-down the shape of the surfboards they were already accustomed to. This was also part of a marketing strategy that sought to capitalize on the idea of “street surfing.”

Over the successive decades, longboarding has evolved quite a bit from its humble roots as street surfing. New longboarding subcultures have emerged, one after another, each respective to a particular style of riding in most cases. 

And throughout it all, the pintail design has survived. It remains as a nostalgic nod of respect to that same laid-back yet enterprising spirit that found the courage to turn an idea into a reality.

In terms of performance, there are some characteristics that will be common to the shape and design of pintail longboard decks. 

Namely, pintail decks are better-suited for casual cruising and commuting, though the design’s elimination of wheel bite can open the door to carving as well. You’ll just want to be sure that your setup is of sufficient quality to withstand aggressive riding, or you could damage your board.

Our team has carefully considered the various top-selling pintail longboards currently on offer and has narrowed it down for your convenience. 


Top 5 Pintail Longboards

ManufacturerModelShopLength
[1] Sector 9LookoutCheck Price40″
[2] AtomPintailCheck Price39″
[3] White WaveBambooCheck Price40″
[4] QuestTotemCheck Price36″
[5] YoacherBeach SeriesCheck Price40″

[1] Sector 9 Mini Lookout – Best Overall

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ProsCons
• Premium Quality• Premium hardware out-of-box raises the up-front costs
• No immediate need to upgrade hardware for advanced riding
• Comes fitted with risers to reduce wheel bite and increase leverage in carving

Features & Specs

Length: 40” (101.6 cm)

Width: 9.2” (23.37 cm)

Wheels: Nineball 65mm (78a) w/ Greaseball bearings

Trucks: Gullwing Chargers (9”) w/ ¼“ risers – High Rebound Bushings

Comes fitted w/ Black ERG Grip Tape 

Sector 9 is a respected and well-known name in longboarding, and their pintail offering is no exception to the quality they deliver on a regular basis.

This is a longboard that commuters and cruisers will love, due to the built-in agility and premium quality it has on offer.  The dimensions are similar to most other pintail decks, though the width is just a touch slimmer than most at 9.2 inches wide (most are ~9.5”).

This touch serves as an example of the numerous subtle details that come together like the strokes of a painter’s brush to make this selection stand out for reasons that might be difficult to actually point out. For example, the addition of ¼” plastic risers helps eliminate wheel bite (beyond the pintail shape) and provides a touch of extra leverage when leaning or carving the board.

The 65mm wheels are on the small side, as far as longboarding wheels usually go, but it works well if you have commuting in mind as it translates into quicker acceleration and less pushing needed to reach top speeds. This is just one more of those things that illustrates that Sector 9 knows what their customers want out of each board design, and they go as far as they can to make it great.

Overall, the craftsmanship of the deck, the trucks, the wheels – even the fit of the grip tape all show an attention to detail that we honestly wish we saw more often. This is all especially important with pintail designs, which are as much about looks as they are performance (if not more so). 

The Sector 9 Pintail won’t let you down on any front, as it is built to perform and looks great while doing so.

[2] Atom Pin-Tail Longboard – Best Value

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ProsCons
.• Affordable price makes it an ideal gift Hardware is industrial stock; will need replacing 
Low price also provides an easier point of entry into the sportMight be better suited for smaller adults and youth
Good-quality deck with good grip and natural design

Features & Specs

Length: 39” (99.06 cm)

Width: 9.4” (23.88 cm)

Atom Longboards has earned itself a solid reputation as being among the best imported entry-level boards you can buy. They have established a dominant foothold in the market by offering various styles of longboards at the lowest possible prices. 

This results in being able to find a good-looking longboard in the style you want, for a price that is a little easier to manage than some of the brand name longboards out there.

Here’s the rub. 

Atom Longboards saves money the same way all other manufacturers in their price tier save money – by using industrial stock hardware. Now, one of the biggest controversies over imported longboards surrounds the deck material. There is a lot of back and forth about the differences between Canadian Maple and Chinese Maple, and it can be quite the rabbit-hole to go down (trust us on this). 

The science of it all really points out that there are actually few differences between the two species, particularly as they relate to longboard deck suitability. You can read a pretty neutral discussion on it here, if you’re interested.

So, we’ve established that the deck is good to go, but what about those stock industrial parts

The quality differences between mass-produced components and aftermarket can be huge, and with trucks, bearings, wheels, and bushings, you will almost always get what you pay for. 


The Atom pintail is a great longboard for the casual rider that loves its look and its price. However, if you plan on riding this board aggressively, day after day, then you’re going to need some hardware upgrades to make it enjoyable. It presents reliable bang-for-the-buck on a level that earns it our pick for Best Value.

[3] White Wave Bamboo Longboard – Best Beginner Pintail Longboard

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ProsCons
• Deck is constructed from premium materials; Canadian Maple and Bamboo• Indust. stock hardware (however, there is notable effort to provide the best quality from this selection)
• Subtle deck concavity provides extra leverage
• Clear grip tape allows natural beauty to shine through

Features & Specs

Length: 40” (101.6 cm)

Width: 9.5” (24.13 cm)

Comes fitted w/ ABEC9 Hellion bearings (built-in spacers), polished aluminum trucks, and ultra-high rebound bushings

White Wave launched their first products in 2014, so as a company, they haven’t been around that long. They’ve got an inspirational backstory that we will let you hear in their words.

The first thing you notice when you look at any White Wave board is that it just looks clean

There’s a term we use quite a bit when talking about longboards – industrial stock hardware. This includes the trucks, kingpins, axles, bearings, screws, and pretty much every piece of metal in your setup. We use the term a lot because almost every longboard manufacturer uses this grade of materials in fabrication. 

This hardware is mass-produced and using it reduces book cost on each complete board significantly. 

The reason we bring it up yet again, here specifically, is that White Wave’s boards always demonstrate a high level of attention-to-detail that many of their competitors simply do not prioritize. Rest assured that every pre-drilled hole is properly aligned and that any graphics are centered. 

In fact, once we realized this about White Wave, the harder we looked for discrepancies to point out the more we came to realize they simply weren’t there. Baseplates are all perfectly aligned, bushings aren’t ever pinched, and even the spray-on texture is evenly applied by a master hand.

White Wave’s co-founder and visionary, Josh, talks in his About Us page about the passion that compelled him to keep working at the designs until he could find harmony between affordability and rideability. That is the mission and goal of their work, but if this company were to combine the quality of their craftsmanship with, say Paris trucks and Orangatang wheels as an example, they could certainly bring some competition to premium brand names like Sector 9 and Rayne. 

And who knows, as they continue to grow, they may do exactly that.

[4] Quest Totem 36” Natural Longboard

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ProsCons
• Beautiful Maple & Bamboo deck design• The deck seems to be the only thing worth keeping, due to the low quality of the stock hardware
• Very Affordable Price• Shorter deck may be better suited for riders under 175 lbs. 
• Rear kicktail adds to the longboard’s agility

Features & Specs

Length: 36” (91.44 cm)

Width: 9.5” (24.13 cm)

After seeing our comments in the Pros/Cons section and perhaps even reading some of the customer reviews yourself, you might wonder why we opted to include this longboard at all.

It’s simple, actually. This setup, despite the corners cut with the hardware, offers a Maple/Bamboo deck with a beautiful unique, Native American inspired graphic that altogether makes for a very specific “vibe”. If this resonates with you, don’t ignore it because of a nasty review or two from riders that barely know which side of their board goes against the pavement.

If you find yourself in love with this board but concerned about these issues, consider this:

You can upgrade bushings, bearings, wheels, and trucks – the entire aftermarket setup – for less than $100.

This means you could easily build-out a solid performing longboard with the look you want for a price that’s right in line with other longboards offering premium hardware. This is an aspect of longboarding that most beginners are unaware of; most experienced riders replace their hardware anyway.

While there are a variety of reasons for doing so, the real reason is that there are only a couple of longboarding manufacturers in a position to pre-fit their boards with premium hardware. Doing so raises prices significantly, and it also inhibits the rider’s freedom to customize the performance features of their longboard to their own personal style of riding.

In other words, the industry expects most people to toss the stock hardware in most cases, because they can’t predict the individual needs of every rider (and because keeping such a multitude of options on hand would wreck profitability). 

As such, it is our opinion that all of the factors come together well to make this a pretty incredible deal. 

[5] Yocaher Beach Series Longboard

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ProsCons
• Long-standing brand with a solid reputation• 9-ply Maple is on the heavier side
• Vivid hi-resolution deck graphics w/ beach theme• Assembled with Industrial Stock hardware 
• Premium brand 80A grip tape

Features & Specs

Length: 40” (101.6 cm)

Width: 9” ( 22.86 cm)

Wheelbase: 24.5”

The Beach Series by Yocaher is an eye-catching pintail longboard option that offers four different beach-inspired scenes as an available belly graphic. Each image is colorful and vivid, with a focus on realism.

This is a bit off the beaten path from what most longboard manufacturers aim for, which most often seems to be a form of tribal art or geometric patterns overlaid one another. The beach imagery jives well with the niche and has become a sort of signature with Yocaher’s product lineup. 

We found one complaint of this graphic “peeling off”; due to the rarity of this being an issue, we feel it was likely due to the way that particular longboard was stored or cared for. 

The Yocaher company itself is out of Chino, California and has been in business since 1997. All of the deck design work is done in-house, which includes the shape and the graphics. 

Yocaher boards, in general, have a reputation for being tough. With the Beach Series’ 9-ply Maple pintail deck, it’s easy to see why. This particular deck offers medium flex with no concavity – which exactly what you’d expect in a pintail. 

In the name of full disclosure, we have seen some reviews that cast either the deck or the longevity of its graphics in a negative light. However, these reviews consistently either fail to provide useful information or are so anomalous that it does little to damage this manufacturer’s anecdotal reputation, in our eyes.

Even the best manufacturers will have potential negatives to consider, and we can’t let yocaher be an exception. The strongest negative we see is that despite being a domestic operation it looks like the components are still imported industrial-stock quality. This is likely done to keep prices as close to where they are, but it is noticeable alongside so many domestic manufacturers that opt to put premium quality hardware in their designs.

Still, not everyone is in a position to invest top-dollar into their longboard just yet. 

The Yocaher pintail longboards are priced to get the attention of beginners and people new to the sport, and their tenure should go pretty far to address concerns over imported hardware. Any manufacturer that has been in the longboarding industry since 1997 is going to have developed solid relationships with suppliers that strike a balance between cost and benefit. 

If you’re looking at pintail longboards trying to find bang-for-the-buck, give the Yocaher Beach Series a chance and we think you will be pleasantly surprised.


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*Bonus Review*

Kahuna Creations Land Paddle Stick

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When we watch a proficient longboard rider in their zone, it’s easy to see why surfers looked at it as sidewalk surfing. This is well-illustrated in urban areas where riders weave through pedestrian traffic with ease, and in hilly countryside where top downhill speeds can reach 50 MPH (80.5 KPH) and turns require deep carving with aggressive body angling.

While the name might not have stuck, sidewalk surfing is, in many ways, exactly what longboarding is. 

Now, another more modern water sport that is gaining traction is paddlesurfing, otherwise known as stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). Like longboarding, SUP is another offshoot of traditional surfing that uses longboards (of the surfing variety) accompanied by specialized paddles to help propel and maneuver the board along a wave while standing.

While more aggressive longboarders are more likely to get the most out of this accessory, there are plenty of people who have enjoyed using a “land paddle” to maintain their speed while cruising. We’ve seen it being particularly popular in places where sand can cover the riding surface, like near beaches. 

It is also growing in popularity with the mountain longboarding crowd, where riders are finding it helpful in helping jump to clear obstructions like limbs and rocks. You can see a short and simple video demonstrating some basic pushes and jumps using the KC Land Paddle here

The Kahuna Creations Land Paddle is an expertly manufactured example of a land paddle. 

Many of the paddles in use have been either DIY projects or mass-produced alterations of walking poles or similarly fashioned products. The problem was that the solutions that were commercially available were too often low-quality imports that had no idea what SUP was about in the first place.

That is where Kahuna Creations stepped in and designed a product that they were comfortable using during their own longboarding sessions. Furthermore, they based it on years of their team’s local stand-up paddleboarding and longboarding experience (both wave and street). 

The result is an extendable stick with a solid bamboo shaft that offers a flex almost exactly like paddleboarding on a wave. It features Hawaiian Huna turtles and other Native-inspired art along its length, and its modular heads are replaceable as well as interchangeable with designs specific to terrain conditions (sand, snow, mud, gravel, etc). 

If you’re looking to broaden your longboarding experience and create opportunities for upper-body and core training while riding, consider a professional land paddle like this one before you hurt yourself trying to skate with a curtain rod or something.


best pintail longboards
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FAQ

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What is a pintail longboard good for?

Pintail longboards are generally used for casual cruising and sometimes commuting. The iconic pintail deck design is synonymous with longboarding’s vintage roots in the surfing community, and pintail longboards are purchased as much for their aesthetics as they are for any performance features.

Riding on a pintail longboard doesn’t inspire the same confidence as, say, a drop-deck might. They are inherently less stable, and the sudden taper on either end (i.e., the pintails) force the feet into a small area of the board. Some pintail longboards feature a kicktail on the rear end of the deck, which can provide slightly more control and the potential to explore a little freestyle trickery.

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How do you stop on a pintail longboard?

Stopping on a pintail is more or less like stopping on any longboard, though the pintail’s unique shape can make some of the traditional braking techniques more difficult.

The first method of stopping is known as foot braking, and it requires one foot to be mounted in a stable position on the board while the other foot is placed flat on the pavement with moderate downward pressure. This extra friction/drag will slow you down quickly in all but the most aggressive of situations. It is important to use your front foot as the “board foot” and your rear foot as your “brake foot”, as the opposite will be incredibly awkward and more difficult to balance out.

If you’re going to do any serious longboarding in an area that has any hills or slopes whatsoever, you’ll want to become familiar with the slide stops. These can take a little more practice to get sorted, but can be pretty beneficial. For one, they don’t require a foot to leave the board. Second, they can be injected mid-carve or turn, meaning they can be awesome tools for crash-avoidance. Third, becoming proficient at these techniques gives you the option of intentional wipeout without injury, if necessary. There are times when things happen, and going down is the safest option – at least, it is when you know how to go down without breaking your own neck.

One popular method of slide stopping is known as the Toeside Pendulum Slide. This technique has become incredibly popular with carvers, as it essentially exploits the loss of speed that occurs naturally when sliding. The pintail’s unique shape allows for deeper carves, which in turn allow aggressive riders the option of pumping to build speed and throwing in the “toeside pendie” at intervals to help regulate the accumulated speed.

A variation of this technique is the Heelside Pendulum Slide, which essentially has the rider leaning back instead of forward. This is where the toeside and heelside part come from; the pendulum refers to the board’s sudden perpendicular positioning that uses sideways movement to displace some of the energy that is generating speed.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and it would take a great many more to properly explain how to do these techniques. It might be easier on all of us if we just point you at this video that explains some of the braking methods discussed here.

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What’s the best pintail longboard for beginners?

Pintails have a unique shape that can provide a very different experience than that of riding on other deck styles. Pintails are almost always top-mounted and are fitted with risers to increase leverage, making them capable of carving more deeply than most other deck shapes. 

Carving so deeply can overwhelm beginning riders and inadvertently doing so at high speed can lead to disaster.

As such, if you are committed to the pintail design then we suggest going with something like the Sector 9 we reviewed above. This pretty much takes questions about the quality of the hardware off the table and will ensure the most pleasurable riding experience. Simply unbox, double-check the tightness of everything, and you’re ready-to-ride.

If you simply can’t do the Sector 9 price, consider mainly the deck from the cheaper options and look at ordering bushings at the same time. Due to the deep lean of pintail longboards, bushings are going to be an even more critical replacement part than they already are with decks that lean less.

We understand any apprehension, but it is really the best way to ensure an enjoyable experience. Replacing bushings, bearings, and trucks, in that order, will begin to factor out micalculations caused by improper equipment and allow you to see where to focus with your riding technique.

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Are pintail longboards good for downhill?

Pintail longboards are generally NOT what a savvy rider would choose to take downhill. 

The main reasons you don’t want to downhill on a pintail longboard are its top-mounting and tendency to lean deeply. While it does excel in carving and cruising, pintails tend to lose stability around 25 mph (40.2 km/h) and can begin wobbling dangerously. 

Everything you might do to correct this would essentially go against the grain of the pintail’s fundamental design characteristics. 

As such, you’re much better off selecting a drop-through mounted longboard with a hardware complement that is selected specifically for downhill riding.

For a better idea of what to take on a downhill session, check out our Complete 2020 Downhill Guide.


That brings us to the conclusion of our Best Pintail Longboards, each broken down and analyzed for your convenience. We hope you found what you were looking for, and that maybe you even learned something new along the way.

Stay riding and stay safe – and thanks for reading!