3 Best Volador Longboards [2020 Brand Reviews]

Volador is arguably the most popular imported longboard brand in the United States. On Amazon it is consistently ranked in the Top 5 for longboards/skateboards – no simple feat against the likes of Lanyachtz, Sector 9, DB Longboards, and several other top-shelf brands with a presence in that marketplace.

While it might be fair to say that the rank was earned largely through smart marketing, the consistently positive feedback tends to speak for itself. Besides, the volume and diversity of their product line makes it difficult to believe that they gave longboards specifically any extra attention over their other offerings.

LongboardShopRating
Volador 42″ FreerideCheck Price4.6/5
Volador 40″ CruiserCheck Price4.6/5
Volador 19″ Mini-CruiserCheck Price4.2/5

We are here to talk about their longboard lineup, and that breaks down to three principal models:

The 42” Volador Freeride

Available in 10 unique art/color schemes

The 40” Volador Cruiser

Available in 9 unique art/color schemes

The 19” Mini-Cruiser

Available in 4 unique art/color schemes

Three models doesn’t sound like much, at least not until you consider that with all available deck options considered, you have 23 longboards to choose from

The key strategy Volador has employed here is to commission custom art from Europe, Russia, and Asia to provide an eclectic blend of beautiful styles to choose from. The only downside is avoided easily enough, so long as you know what your intentions are and why you are buying a Volador longboard.

Before we get too deep into Pros & Cons though, let’s take a closer look at each longboard model Volador offers, without even considering all the gorgeous art for a moment.

Top 3 Volador Longboards

VOLADOR 42” Freeride Longboard

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Length: 42″ (106.68cm) 

Width: 9″ (22.86cm) 

Wheelbase: 12″ (30.48cm) 

Trucks: Aluminum 7” (17.78cm)

Wheels: 70mm 78A (Softer) 

Bearings: ABEC-9

– Drop-through mounting translates into greater stability and improved push efficiency

– Aluminum 7” reverse kingpin trucks are adjustable to either 50° for carving/freeriding or 45° for cruising/commuting

– Softer 70x51mm 78A PU wheels fitted with ABEC-9 precision bearings provide greater traction, push efficiency, and vibration dampening

– 8-Ply hardrock maple deck is durable and offers a generous platform at 42” x 9” (107cm x 23cm)


VOLADOR 40” Cruiser Longboard

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Length: 40″ (101.6cm) 

Width: 9″ (22.86cm) 

Wheelbase: 12″ (30.48cm) 

Trucks: Aluminum 7” (17.78cm)

Wheels: 70mm 78A (Softer) 

Bearings: ABEC-9

– Drop-through mounting translates into greater stability and improved push efficiency

– Aluminum 7” reverse kingpin trucks are adjustable to either 50° for carving/freeriding or 45° for cruising/commuting

– Slightly harder 70x51mm 80A PU wheels fitted with ABEC-7 precision bearings provide more freedom to explore carving and sliding without compromising cruising performance

– 8-Ply hardrock maple deck is durable and offers comfort and control at 40” x 9” (107cm x 23cm)


VOLADOR 19” Mini-Longboard Cruiser

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Length: 19″ (48.26cm)
Width: 9″ (22.86cm)
Wheelbase: 12″ (30.48cm)
Trucks: Aluminum 7” (17.78cm)
Wheels: 70mm 78A (Softer)
Bearings: ABEC-9

– 3-Ply vertically laminated Bamboo provides an eco-friendly, strong, and durable deck with no flex, due to the sturdy 19” x 9” deck dimensions (48cm x 23cm)

– The softer 70mm 78A PU wheels fitted with ABEC-9 precision bearings bring shock-absorption, kick efficiency, and maximum traction, making this board ideal for commuting situations

– The A-356 aluminium alloy trucks are machined to the industry-standard 7” (17.78cm), providing optimal turning and a full aftermarket hardware selection respective to the size

– Top-mounting allows for comfortable control throughout the entire deck space

– Compact stature makes for easy transit carry-on; an ideal option for commuters and travelers

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best volador longboard
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Is Volador a Good Longboard Brand?

Volador is a good option for beginners uncertain about their commitment to longboarding. While affordable, the overall quality, comfort, and durability often fail to meet the standards of more experienced longboarders.

Prominent brands cost more, but the material quality and attention to detail will more often result in a longer-lasting and more enjoyable longboarding experience. Check out our best longboarding brands post for more info on additional options.

That being said – Volador longboards are very well-received by their consumers, at least according to the overwhelming number of positive reviews. The following quotes are all verbatim remarks from verified purchasers of Volador longboards:


“A beauty of a board for a great price.”

“This board got me into longboards…and I hope that other people will find that same experience.”

“…it’s held up well to his neglect and… recklessness.”

“Beautiful board that rides great.”

And the list goes on. And on. Currently there are thousands of reviews for the Volador 42” Freeride model alone, and a resounding majority of those are positive (4+ stars). The most common negative reviews stem from vendor/customer service issues or quality control. None of the above quotes came from a five-star review, BTW.

By vendor or customer service issue, we mean that there was some alleged dispute between the vendor and the customer. The freedom of expression that the review process incorporates can often lead to negative criticisms that lack sufficient information for readers to make an objective decision. Some people don’t think objectively anyway, and just tick off a mental mark in the “BAD” column.

Consider, however, that the price of one longboard and a subsequent (anonymous) negative review is a very cheap way for a competitor to steer a consumer away from a popular product, and possibly towards considering alternatives. Cheap in more ways than one.

We aren’t saying that’s what negative reviews are, necessarily, but we are instead suggesting what they could be. A lack of detail in any review, negative or positive, makes it one we suggest be taken with a grain of salt.

Quality Control is used in regards to things like the wrong product arriving, or a product arriving damaged as an obvious result of improper storage or poor packaging. These can be some of the most important reviews to consider before making a purchase, as they can reveal issues with specific model options. Just double-check that the date of the review is within 30 days or so before being concerned, as older issues have likely already been addressed.

All of this provides strong evidence in favor of Volador being a good buy. The people who have purchased a Volador longboard and feel strongly enough to leave a review often end up saying many of the same things. 

Simplified, consumers are saying that Volador makes a good longboard for the beginner, due to its affordable price mainly. However, the matter of quality almost always comes up, meaning this brand is best avoided by more experienced riders.

To better understand why this is the case, let’s consider some of the most important factors to the viability of any longboard brand:

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Materials used in manufacturing

The majority of longboard decks in circulation are made of wood. That being said, there is still room for disparity between the species of plant used as the source. Maple is a common material found in low-cost imported longboards. Despite an abundance of rhetoric, there is little difference between Canadian maple and Chinese maple – at least as far as longboards are concerned.

Bamboo is another popular wood used in making longboard decks. It is sustainable, lightweight, and can be quite strong when the grain is run vertically. Triaxial fiberglass is another material that is most often found alongside bamboo, to provide extra structural integrity without compromising weight. Finally, carbon fiber is being increasingly seen in high-end decks, most often in demanding styles like competitive downhill longboarding. Carbon fiber is often made to proprietary formulas, and may be marketed as other names, like Carbon X.

Longboarding Trucks are generally made from aluminum, cast alloy, or even plastic. Stay away from the last two – you won’t find them listed here without flashing lights and sirens warning you! Aluminum comes in many different grades and can be machined through various processes as well, though milling and lathing are most common.

Volador relies on hardrock maple for its two main longboard decks, which is partially what makes it so affordable. These decks are durable, but also brittle. Impacts with curbing or walls can result in chipping and delamination, and some decks have cracked by the drop-through slotting simply due to the wood’s grain. Maple, and particularly imported maple, is considered to be the lowest grade of deck material currently in use.

The other reason for the Volador’s affordability is the pre-fitted hardware. While the hardware that comes installed on a Volador could, in fact, be much worse, like any imported longboard complete it benefits heavily from hardware upgrades. The A356 aluminum alloy used in their trucks deserves more credit – it is a high-grade alloy used in the aerospace industry for high-strength applications like rocket engines and missiles. 

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Process used in manufacturing

All commercially-manufactured longboard decks are made through a laminate process. Several layers, or plies, are stacked on top of each other and placed into a mold. Between each layer is  a special epoxy that absorbs into the wood during compression. The loaded mold is then placed into a press that compresses the mold for a duration of time that depends on the density of the wood being used. Once the epoxy resin has cured throughout the newly formed plank, the pressure is relieved and the plank is removed from the mold..

The plies or layers that make up the laminated plank can vary in composition, but wood is the most popular medium. As longboarding has grown in popularity, the market has become more profitable for manufacturers. This has translated into companies exploring the use of other material components like fiberglass or carbon fiber. When more than one type of material is used in a deck plank, it is called a composite construction.

All longboard manufacturers use a similar process, although the quality of production equipment can make huge differences. Outside of the difference between a homemade DIY press and hydraulic pressing, however, the differences become most apparent in production volume capabilities and not quality. The epoxy formula is important, but not publicly available and epoxies are generally reliable across the board.

Using 8 plies for the deck’s laminate is more than adequate, relative to the maple decks of competitors. The aluminum-alloy trucks are CNC machined from high-strength metal, so structurally they should be incredibly reliable. 

Considering the majority of reviews we have read, the part to order along with the longboard is a set of replacement bushings. This affordable upgrade would transform nearly every 4-Star review into a 5-Star one, as most beginners don’t know how to properly adjust their trucks before riding. Variation in bushing response is causing some people to say “too loose” while others experience “too tight”. 

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Volador’s Brand Longevity

When considering the value of any brand, longevity plays an important role. Companies often make a big show at launch, but it’s backing up those claims over time that determines their viability. The longer a brand has been around, the more legitimacy they have in the market. That’s one of the reasons that having a high review count is so valuable for a product; it illustrates that it’s been around for a while.

We discussed Volador’s strong reputation more thoroughly up above, so here we want to take the opportunity to look at that reputation as an indicator of value. In other words, whether or not the reputation is worth buying. Given the overwhelming majority of positive reviews, the consistency in the quality level, and the years-long duration of the brand in any combination along with the affordable pricing, for us the value to beginners is clear.

To sum all this up, we find ourselves repeating what we said in the very beginning; that the Volador longboard is ideal for the beginner uncertain of their commitment level to longboarding. More experienced longboarders would find themselves needing to replace too much of the Volador to make it a worthwhile purchase. Beginners, however, can affordably replace the bushings and bearings to provide an experience comparatively close to what more expensive brands offer, still at a much lower buy-in cost.

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Should You Pick a Volador Longboard?

All the time we deal with questions like this, and they’re never easy. That’s because that’s like saying should you date this person, or should you prefer Coke or Pepsi? Put another way, the question is inherently subjective.

However, there are some important “universal factors” that we can consider out loud to help you decide the answer for yourself. These factors are:

  • Budget
  • Commitment 
  • Goals (cruising, commuting, freestyling, downhill, etc.)

Regarding budget, the best answer that can be given is to buy the best longboard you can afford. If you can afford a top-shelf model, you will likely have a superior riding experience no matter your skill level. Still, the buy-in price of a premium longboard from a prestigious brand can easily cost 3-4x as much up front. If you’re new to the sport and reluctant to drop that kind of cash in any way, there is no shame in scooping something like a Volador to test the water.

This ties in with your level of commitment, obviously. Many people have felt like they were committed to 10 years of longboarding in their future when they chose a board, and then flaked out before a month was up. Again, there is no shame in learning that it isn’t your thing, but being honest with yourself up front can save you money in the long run.

And finally, being honest with yourself ties in with identifying your longboarding goals. Usually, this means thinking about the style of longboarding you’re most interested in. This is important because longboards are designed with specific styles in mind, and so will include certain features to accommodate such. Kicktails, top-mounting, and longboard wheel cutouts are ready examples of features that can be necessary to styles like freestyle, dancing, or carving, respectively.

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In conclusion, we hope you can all see why Volador stands out as a brand. It is an import brand, and with that comes many of the things we’ve come to associate with imported longboards, such as the maple deck and inferior bushings. On the other hand, rising to be a consistent Top 5 longboard brand in a global market is foolish to ignore. Plenty of people have taken the gamble on Volador, and have come back to report happy news.

The focus on art and providing so many aesthetic options to the consumer translates into a company that is intent on proving an affordable longboard can look just as sharp as an expensive one. Yes, you will hear about the quality, but if you’re new to longboarding it’s nowhere near as apocalyptic as some places will make it sound. 

We hope you found what you were looking for here, and make sure to browse through our other articles too. Good luck with your new longboard, whatever you go with, and safe riding!