So, you’ve decided to commute to work on a longboard. Maybe you have been doing it for a while and need an upgrade, or maybe the prospect of saving money on transport and car maintenance is an attractive one for you.
Whichever it is, there’s a lot more to consider when choosing longboards than many may think. They’re just boards of wood, so how much do you need to be aware of, right?
A lot, it turns out. We know because we’ve already done the legwork for you and have compiled a list of our favorite five longboards that should make your commute as smooth and relaxing as possible.
There’s also a buyers’ guide so you can read which factors went into our ranking decisions, and there’s an FAQ where common questions about longboarding have been answered by yours truly.
Want to get commuting in style ASAP? If you want your purchase to be a fast and simple one, we have the longboard that topped our ranking right here.
Our top board was the Loaded Boards Icarus Bamboo Longboard, a versatile and capable board that works very well in urban environments, and so should serve well in the most chaotic of commutes.
Here’s some other reasons you should check this board out below:
- Versatile performance product created for maneuverability and with snowboards in mind, combining fiberglass with bamboo and cork for a lightweight, durable and force-dampening longboard.
- Paris 180mm, 50-degrees trucks enable smooth turnings, and you can choose Kegel or Durian wheels for added speed or control respectively.
- Cambered profile and variable edge concave create a precise riding experience, and you can look good whilst riding thanks to the muted but colorful graffiti-style design on this board’s surface that fits well in urban areas.
In a hurry? This is our winner!
Best Longboards for Commuting – Comparison Table
Best Longboards for Commuting – Reviews
Best Longboards for Commuting – Buyers Guide
What makes the best commuter longboard
This buyers’ guide will go through the considerations you should have when looking for a longboard for commuting.
First, we’ll run through the two main types of longboard, and then we’ll be running through the deck material, size, bearings, stability, wheels, maneuverability, and push factor of longboards.
Types of longboard
The main two types of longboard you’ll encounter are downhill longboards and cruiser longboards. Downhill longboards aren’t for beginners and are instead for the special kind of person who wants to rush headlong down a steep surface, gaining incredible speeds.
They have harder edges, longer wheelbases and rough grip tape to better keep you on when going at high speeds. We’d imagine that’s not how your commute works, so these designed-for-speed longboards are of little use to us now.
The other type of longboard is the cruiser, which is a novice friendly type of board that has increased security and stability. As the name suggests, these are better suited to commuting through the streets and getting to where you need to go without pulling off anything too fancy.
That doesn’t mean it can’t be an enjoyable experience though, weaving through alleyways and the like, which is more interesting than everyone else’s commutes, at any rate. For that reason, this type of board is the kind you’ll want, but even without commuting in mind these kinds of boards are the quintessential beginner longboards.
What your longboard is made of is obviously a significant factor in how it performs and what it is best at. It’s also the source of most of your durability. For now, let’s tackle the main two, maple and bamboo.
Maple is the most common material used to make longboards and is very sturdy, so it gives you plenty of room to attempt, fail and later succeed at any tricks without having the deck break.
Maple decks are the default but reliable option that allows both beginner and master longboard riders to harness their potential.
Bamboo decks are on the up as of late, as more people are opting for them for a variety of reasons. They’re obviously more lightweight than maple, being made of a flexible grass rather than hardwood, but they have strength at the same time.
This means that they’re strong enough to flex the board during all sorts of activities from cruising to dancing and, yes, commuting. Bamboo is also an eco-friendly option if sustainable living weighs on your consciousness, and if you haven’t realised yet, is slightly more suitable for commuting than maple in our opinion.
Since you’ll be covering large distances, you should be preferring the longer, bigger longboards for your commuting needs. Longboards usually come in universal lengths, but you’re in luck as longer and wider boards are able to serve better with heavier loads.
You must also consider your feet as if they’re bigger then you’ll need to increase the board’s length so that your foot can sit comfortably on it.
We would recommend what most people you ask would recommend, trusty steel bearings. If your bearings are right then you should have a smooth ride, and stainless-steel bearings are good for this.
You can check out our reviews of the best skateboard bearings HERE.
How your longboard performs in the balance department determines how able your board is on rough and uneven surfaces. If you know what you’re doing on a longboard, then you should have no trouble with many boards but if you’re new to longboard commuting then you’ll want to buy for stability.
If you are insecure enough in your longboarding skill that stability is a factor in your purchase, then let us take this opportunity to remind you that you should be wearing protective headgear and pads on the primary joints on your limbs.
Wheels and Wheelbase
The larger and softer wheels of longboards are much more suitable to tackling a variety of surfaces than your average skateboards. Their bigger wheels manage to cover more distance in less time, meaning that the longboard is faster and gets to where it needs to be much quicker.
The wheelbase is more important for factors like load and curving, but like the length of longboards the wheelbase sizes tend to conform to a universal standard. If you can get your hands-on longer wheelbases then you can benefit from stability, something you’ll need if your commute is a particularly long one.
If that is the case for you, you should keep an eye out for boards with long wheelbases.
You can check out our reviews of the best skateboard wheels HERE.
Maneuverability and Push
When stability and maneuverability is needed, longboards with longer wheelbases are the best, especially if you’re really going the distance for your commute. The right longboard where push is concerned should give you longer riding time output for less pushing input than your average skateboard.
If you don’t end up having this then we hope you’ve never skipped leg day, as it’ll be a bigger strain on your leg if you need to kick your board forward more often.
Longboard diameter depends on your personal preferences and the way you want to ride your board. Diameter is often correlative to the size of your wheels to equalize the stability of your board.
Smaller wheels are better for beginners and may be good for you depending on how intense your commute to work is. If your commute is a rushed one, then you’ll want bigger wheels to achieve higher speeds and get there more quickly.
Durometer is just the measurement of the longboard’s wheel’s toughness. Harder wheels can achieve speed faster than softer wheels, though softer wheels have more grip, and so more stability, for weaving through the streets on your way to work. This means that the choice is down to you over whether you want more speed or a more stable and chilled commute.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the differences between skateboards and longboards?
The first thing that you’ll notice is different is the shape, since the overwhelming majority of skateboards curve upwards at both ends whilst longboards have more variety in their forms and don’t have any distinct curves.
If you were looking for some metrics, longboards range from being about 35 inches to 60 inches long and 10 inches wide. Skateboards are small in comparison, never breaching the lowest length that longboards come in, and longboards have larger wheels than their smaller skateboard cousins.
What are the benefits of commuting to work on a longboard?
Firstly, it’s free and will save you money rather than paying to maintain a car or commute on public transport, which should save you money in the long run. If you buy a longboard that has a bit of trick potential, then you can also find a new hobby in longboarding for leisure.
This way you can get both practical functionality and some hobbyist enjoyment out of your board and serve as a form of some exercise for you.
Can longboarding be good for exercise?
It can! Longboarding enthusiasts see longboarding as a recreational activity that can contribute to a workout routine since it has positive effects on the body. It burns about five calories a minute, give or take your longboard and your physical fitness. However, the main fitness benefits are for cardio and strength exercises, mainly in the legs.
If used in the right way longboarding can be a great aerobic activity, and if you’re new to skateboarding and similar activities then the process of training with a longboard will toughen up your legs after a few falls and scrapes.
What do you think? Please leave a comment below or send us a message. We’d love to hear from you!
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