With all of the uses there are for longboards, from cruising to commuting, it can be hard to know which style and shape of longboard is best to freestyle with.
With that in mind, we’ve created this list where we’ve chosen five longboards that will give you the freestyling performance you need.
Each product’s pros and cons have been outlined so you can see their features at a glance, and there are also small write-ups about each one.
We’ve also included a buyers’ guide and an FAQ section so that you can see for yourself how different styles of longboard are more suited to freestyle longboarding.
That way you can make a better-informed decision when it comes time to make your purchase.
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If you can’t wait to get out there and try out your new longboard, whichever board that ends up being, then let us recommend our favorite freestyle longboard right here.
We chose the Atom Drop Through Longboard as it combined freestyle-friendly features, a decent price and a small selection of different colors and designs all in one product.
Here’s why we chose it in some more detail:
- Eight-ply maple drop through cut-out deck with CNC gives its Atom Area 51 traction wheels plenty of room to maneuver, avoiding wheel bites and allowing for tricks.
- Deck has silicon carbide powdering measured at 80-grit so that friction anchors your feet to the board when going at high speeds or performing stunts.
- 50-degree reverse kingpin aluminum trucks allow a wider turning radius whilst ABEC-9 bearings with rubber-shielding and speed lubricant help you go faster.
In a hurry? This is Our Winner!
Best Longboards For Freestyle – Comparison Table
Best Longboards For Freestyle – Reviews
Best Longboards For Freestyle – Buyers Guide
What makes the best longboard for freestyling
We wrote this buyers’ guide to go through the factors of a longboard and how they make it suitable to freestyle with.
We’ll go through relevant types of longboard and their components, which are deck material, bearings, stability, diameter, and durometer.
You can also check out our guide on how to choose a skateboard HERE.
Types of longboard
When searching for freestyle longboards you’ll mainly be wanting either drop through longboards, carving longboards or bamboo longboards. Drop through longboards are good for freeriding and have better stability, which is a benefit when learning some new tricks.
Carving longboards are better for, well, carving. This means they can turn very smoothly and immediately which may be a benefit for any tricks that you want to perform, especially ones at high speeds.
Bamboo longboards are the lightest and most flexible by virtue of being constructed by the durable south east Asian grass. This means they’re great in terms of portability, are usually completely organic, and have a healthy amount of flex in them for jumps and other tricks that involve the board leaving the ground.
If you’re a beginner, it may be worth starting out with the quintessential beginner style of longboard, which are cruisers. They have a lot of stability and are more designed towards commuting through the streets, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be a good starting point for a beginner learning freestyle since its their variety of use that gives them a reputation as starter boards.
Within these types there are also different shapes, and for the purpose of freestyling you’ll probably want either the drop-down/cut out or twin shapes. Cut-out boards are where the board itself is cut at the wheels so that the wheels don’t catch on it, making the board bi-directional and able to maneuver more freely.
The wheels also tend to be larger too, and better suited to taking deeper turns.
Cut-out boards are often drop down and vice versa, as all drop-down means is that the main body of the board and its nose are lower to the ground than the cutout points at either end.
This makes for a more stable ride since your center of gravity is closer to the floor, great for maintaining control over your board during any tricks you might want to pull.
As for twin boards, these look very similar to the other two shapes and are multidirectional. Their stability makes them a good choice for a new freestyle rider to learn board skills and their wheels are larger and softer.
When searching for boards that’ll give you both the stability and the freedom for freestyle longboarding, you’ll generally come across maple and bamboo as options. You can probably guess that maple is the hardier of the two, whilst bamboo is lightweight but still has an impressive durability to it.
Maple is the most common material used, mainly for its sturdiness, and so can be a great, reliable option whether you’re beginning or have been longboarding for a while. Bamboo, on the other hand, gives a nice compromise to both flexibility and strength, and are the eco-friendly option to boot.
This depends on what freestyling you’re planning to do, but generally you’ll be looking at boards 40-inches and over. If you want to perform a lot of the tricks that you can on a skateboard then you’ll need a longboard that does perform like an oversized skateboard, ones that have larger and softer wheels like twin-shaped longboards.
If you’re instead planning on some sliding and carving at higher speeds, you’ll want a drop-through longboard. Our drop-through boards in the list above range from 39 inches to 42 inches, and the same can be said about twin longboards you’ll find on the market too.
You can’t go wrong with trusty steel bearings, but if you’re planning skate-like tricks and want some extra cushioning then high-rebound bearings like the ABEC-9s that feature so prominently on our list should be what you’re looking for.
You can check out our reviews of the best skateboard bearings HERE.
Balance is important to pretty much all kinds of freestyling you’ll want to do, whether it’s skatepark-style tricks or more longboard-specific sliding and carving. For any of those you’ll want a stable board, especially if you’re a beginner where you should be buying for stability regardless.
As stated, part of what makes twin and drop through-style longboards the best for freestyle purposes is the fact that they offer stability whilst giving enough freedom to play around with them.
Longboard diameter often determines the size of your wheels in order to achieve board stability, so you’ll tend towards larger diameter boards in order to have the larger, softer wheels that are best for performing tricks.
Durometer is the measurement of your wheels’ toughness. The harder wheels can perform better in terms of speed and terrain riding, but if you want to perform tricks you should go for larger and softer wheels since they have more stability and ground-grip.
What else can be done on a longboard?
The three main methods of longboarding, ignoring freeriding/freestyling as that can be a mix of them all, are cruising, downhill, and dancing. Cruising is what you’ll usually see from longboards, that is long-distance riding of the board from A to B, either for leisure or even for the purposes of commuting.
Many consider this to be a default use for longboards, with the alternative activities being freeriding, downhill riding and dancing.
Downhill riding is where you purposely go high speeds down a sloped surface for leisure, requiring wide and stable longboards. Dancing is when you mix carving, the flowing turns often performed when cruising or downhill riding, with many tricks and other steps for an aesthetically pleasing, low-speed form of longboarding.
Is longboard freestyling a form of exercise?
Longboarding in general is considered a recreational activity that has positive physical benefits to your body. It can burn about five calories a minute depending on your fitness and the nature of your activity.
It’s mainly for strength and cardio purposes, however, and benefits the lower half of your body more than the top.
Is it easier to perform tricks on a skateboard or a longboard?
If you’re a beginner, skateboards can seem more difficult in general due to the smaller surface area. Skateboarding allows you to perform a greater variety of tricks than longboards do, if you’re thinking of tricks as meaning the flips and kicks you can do in a skatepark.
However, longboarding covers styles like cruising and downhill riding which require some skill in order to maintain flowing movement whilst making tight turns, all whilst keeping your balance. This means it depends on which kinds of tricks you’re after, as you won’t find yourself bombing down steep hills in most skateboards.
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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