Just like skateboarding, longboarding comes with its own set of tricks to master. These are split into two different styles known as ‘freestyling’ and ‘dancing’.
Freestyling is a highly technical, acrobatic style of riding that consists of a variety of board flipping and spinning. Dancing is more of a fluid style, and involves cross-style and balancing tricks whilst carving the board.
Whether you are looking to master one or both of these styles, you’re going to need a good longboard to learn on. But with so many options available, how do you find the right one for your needs?
To help you make your decision, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorites, along with a helpful guide on what to look out for when shopping around.
If you’re in a hurry and want to find an epic longboard that you can master some tricks on, take a look at our top pick below.
In a hurry? This is our winner!
Best Longboards for Tricks – Comparison Table
Best Longboards for Tricks – Reviews
Best Longboards for Tricks – Buyers Guide
When you’re on the hunt for a sick longboard that will help you master some awesome tricks, there are a few things to consider.
So whether you want to learn how to do a 360 slide, a tiger claw or the more advanced double rainbow, take a look below at our buying guide and bear these points in mind before making your final decision.
Your longboard is going to take a bit of a beating when you’re using it to carry out moves on, so you’re going to want to make sure that it’s sturdy and durable enough to handle whatever you can throw at it. With this in mind, look for a longboard that has a deck constructed from hardwood maple as this will give you maximum durability.
Tricks also require that your board has a good amount of flexibility to it, so any deck that is made from bamboo (ideally sustainably sourced) will give you the performance you’re after.
Some boards also offer you the best of both worlds with a deck constructed of a hybrid maplewood and bamboo cross – these are definitely best for tricks as they’ll be sturdy enough to handle the landing, and flexible enough to carve on.
Tricks require that your longboard is wide enough to give you a stable surface to land on, so the first thing you’ll need to consider is the width of your board. Basically, the wider the board, the greater the surface area you’ll have to land on.
Some boards are also designed in a concave shape, which allows for a better grip on the board as well as greater stability when you’re carving or turning corners. Depending on what tricks you’d like to try out on your board, a concave design could be a good option for you.
Your wheels should be lightweight and smooth enough to handle multiple surface textures, and large enough to support the weight and impact of being landed on with force.
When executing tricks, you generally need to have built up a good amount of speed before you can flip into it, so the wheels on your longboard should be able to withstand high speeds without resulting in any wheel bite.
You can check out our reviews of the best skateboard wheels HERE.
Given that your board is really going to be put through its paces when you’re carrying out tricks on it, the trucks are going to have to be sturdy enough to stand the impact of landings.
Aluminium trucks are best for this, as they are lightweight enough so as to not slow you down when you’re reaching high speeds, but are durable enough to withstand pressure without snapping or breaking.
Give some thought to the angle and placement of the trucks as well. Trucks that have been placed at a higher angle, raising the deck a good few inches off the ground, are better for quick turns and sharper angles.
Trucks that have been angled to keep the board closer to the ground offer greater stability when riding, and are better for beginners to longboarding.
You can check out our reviews of the best skateboard trucks HERE.
Generally speaking, longboards with a bearing rating of ABEC-7 and higher are going to be best for tricks. This is because they will power the wheels enough to get to the high speeds required. For your reference, the different ABEC ratings are explained in more detail below:
ABEC 1 – The least precise, but the longest lasting and the cheapest
ABEC 3 – Great for low-level skateboarding, but will roll quite slowly and won’t be very smooth
ABEC 5 – These are the most common bearings found in skateboards and provide a good amount of speed
ABEC 7 – Fast and smooth, however they can be damaged if you treat your board aggressively
ABEC 9 – Solely designed for boards that are intended for high speeds
Put simply, wheel bite occurs when the wheels touch the underside of your board and cause it to slow down and, in some cases, suddenly stop. Wheel bite isn’t only annoying, it’s potentially dangerous, so it’s definitely something you want to try and eliminate.
Look for a longboard that has wheel bite measures in place. Whether it’s high angled trucks or specific anti-bite technology, such as milled wheel wells, eliminating wheel bite will keep your board moving, keep you safe, and let you hit the high speeds you need for those killer tricks.
Everybody is different, and your longboard should be a representation of your personality as well as being able to help you carry out amazing moves.
Luckily, many boards are available in a variety of designs and graphics so you can choose one that you really love the look of, and will keep you looking awesome in the streets!
Once you’ve landed on which longboard you want to buy, you’ll be eager to get out and start practicing your tricks on it. So the last thing you’re going to want to do is try and put it together!
Getting a longboard that is already fully assembled will not only allow you to get on it and start skating straight out of the box, but will take the stress out of having to build it yourself. It will also remove any doubts you might have about how securely you’ve built it, so you know you’ll be skating safely.
Frequently Asked Questions
What size longboard should I get for tricks?
The size of longboard you should get depends on what style of tricks you’ll be using it for. Boards that are shorter are better for anything that requires short, quick turns. Longer boards are better for carving at high speeds. So think about what you’re trying to achieve, and go for a board that will help you get there.
What is the difference between a longboard and a skateboard?
Skateboards are typically lighter and shorter than longboards, and tend to have harder wheels and tighter trucks for more stability. Longboards generally have softer wheels and looser trucks to allow for easier turning. Longboards also tend to have decks made of wood to keep them strong and stable, whereas skateboards often have plastic decks.
Are longboards waterproof?
Longboards tend to have a wooden deck, so you’ll need to be wary of it coming into contact with water. Some longboards come with a water-resistant coating, however the best way to ensure that your longboard is kept protected from any water damage is to clean and dry it thoroughly after contact with any water or mud.
Can I replace the trucks on my longboard?
Almost all longboards will allow you to replace the trucks, so if you feel like you need to do this (whether through personal preference or necessity) you just need to find the right trucks for your needs, along with the correct fittings.
What is an ABEC rating?
When shopping around for your longboard, you’ll come across the acronym ABEC. This stands for American Bearing Manufacturers Association, and the different numbered ratings next to each one correspond to the precision of the bearings within the wheels.
Take a look at our buying guide above for a full breakdown of what each rating means.
What sort of maintenance will my longboard require?
As is the case with most things, longboards will require some occasional upkeep. However, this is usually no more than a quick tightening of the trucks, replacing worn down wheels and generally keeping your board clean.
How can I practice longboard tricks safely?
Practicing longboard tricks can be dangerous, so it’s important to keep safe when you’re learning. Look for a style that will keep you stable on the board, and is durable enough to withstand high pressure landings. And, as always, make sure that you are wearing protective skating gear such as a helmet and knee protectors.
What do you think? Please leave a comment below or send us a message. We’d love to hear from you!