Picking the right size longboard is one of the most essential elements of longboarding. The size of your board plays a crucial role in every aspect of longboarding, so you’re going to want to select the best one, for whatever type of longboarding you plan on doing. Depending on your preferences, certain sizes will be better or worse. Your primary skating environment and experience level also play a huge role in determining what type of longboard you should get. As well as your budget.
In this post, and with touching on those important details related to longboarding, I will explain just what size longboard you should get.
How do you know what size longboard to get?
That depends on four main things: Your preferred style of riding, the main places you will be riding your board, and your experience level, and your budget.
First, let’s talk about the 4 main styles of longboarding.
Choose your longboarding style: The 4 main options
In order to properly select your longboard, you have to ask yourself, “Just what am I going to use this for?”
In terms of the different types of longboards, there are 4 main styles: Downhill, Freestyle, Freeride, & Cruising. Each style comes with its own set of challenges and satisfactions; for which, having the best-suited board for that style, means being more prepared to shred and enjoy.
For Downhill longboarding, you’re going to want to go with a longer board, somewhere around the 37- 43” range. Longer boards provide more room for your feet and often suit beginners more due to the extra room. That’s not to say, however, that downhill longboarding is for beginners. Downhill longboarding requires a great amount of skill; as, you’ll be moving at incredibly high speeds. This type of riding is best left to experienced longboarders.
If you are one of these experienced riders, or someone who’s planning on learning how to downhill ride, then what you’re looking for is a longboard that’s stiff, super grippy, and one that has wide trucks. These features ultimately influence and facilitate a rider’s balance.
Freestyle riding encompasses several substyles of longboard riding. This includes dancing, performing tricks and flips, sliding, and more. In terms of what is the best length for your freestyle riding, that depends on what the majority of things you’d like to do on it are.
While most boards labeled as “freestyle longboards” will be between the 38 and 42” range, there are, of course, tons of tricks and maneuvers one can perform on smaller and larger decks, in the name of freestyle riding. Take note though that most of these boards have symmetrical twin kicktails which allow riders to perform tricks much easier.
Freeride longboarding is very similar to downhill longboarding; in that you’ll often be moving at high speeds for a long time. For those who want to rip hills and slide often, a freeride board is just what you need. These boards are primarily symmetrical, a great feature; as, if you’re going to be sliding and switching which foot you lead with often, then you’re going to want a board that feels as if either side could work for you.
Like Freestyle boards, Freeride boards lay in the 38-42” range. Generally, you’re going to want a stiff board for freeriding. A stiff board provides more support. Also, know that these boards often have pockets for your feet which help stabilize riders.
As cruising longboarding often means you’ll be simply riding to ride, these boards vary in appropriate size, depending on whatever the primary reason they’ll be used for is. Generally, however, they are the smaller of the bunch, falling between 28-35”. If you’re planning on riding your board primarily around town or in more cramped areas, smaller cruisers will serve you better; as, their smaller design allows for more maneuverability.
If you plan on carving often, or desire more foot room while riding, a larger board might be better for you; though, smaller decks allow you to carve as well. Larger boards are said to help with learning to balance on the board much easier and offer more utility to those who think they may do downhill or freeride riding in the future.
For those who are just learning how to longboard, the larger the better. The larger surface area for your feet will allow you to learn how to keep your balance on a moving object, at a much more forgiving rate than smaller decks.
When learning different styles, it’s important to first learn the basics of riding a skateboard, perhaps on a large longboard, then apply these tactics to the different specialized forms of riding one prefers.
As one could assume, most cheap longboards are smaller than pricier boards. This is not always true, but if your goal is to spend as little money as possible on your purchase, the size of your board will often increase or decrease, respectfully, with the amount of money you’re willing to pay.
So, What Size Longboard Should I Get?
That depends on your primary use for the longboard, the primary environment you’ll be skating on, how much money you want to spend in purchasing your board, and your overall experience level with riding longboards.
If you plan on doing a lot of downhill riding and sliding, a larger board will serve you well. If you plan on using your board just to get from point A to B, inside the city or in areas of high people-traffic, a smaller board might be better for you.
If you are a beginner, typically a larger longboard will help you learn how to ride more quickly. Once you know what size to get, we can show you where to buy a longboard.
Hopefully, this information was helpful for you in selecting your next longboard. Have fun out there, and safe travels to you!
What is a good size longboard for beginners?
Somewhere between 34 and 42”
Is a 40-inch longboard too long?
No. A 40-inch longboard is perfect for most styles of riding, experience levels, and standard price ranges for longboards.
What size longboard should I get for downhill riding?
A large longboard, somewhere around the 35” and up range.
Are mini cruisers a good size longboard?
Mini cruisers are great for beginners. They offer more stability than regular skateboards, and often have large wheels and stiffer boards, which allow riders to glide over small debris much easier. If you’re interested in smaller options, check out mini longboards and penny boards.
Longboarding is a blast and we hope that we’ve helped you to get started on the right foot by identifying your ideal longboard size.