Sliding is one of the most fun parts of longboarding. It takes some time to learn but it’s well worth the initial attempts and crashes. Picking the best longboard for sliding comes down to a large number of factors. You wouldn’t buy a Jeep for street racing, so why would you buy a board that wasn’t built for sliding?
What makes a longboard good for sliding? Here’s what you need to pay attention to while you look:
Longboard Wheels for Sliding
The first detail that anyone will mention is wheels. Although this is probably the most important detail, there’s a lot that goes into a great board for sliding. Some skaters even prefer wheels that are not considered good for sliding because they prefer that extra bit of “bite”.
The core guys will also “kindly” remind you that you can slide on any board and wheel style… Set this aside as you consider what will be easiest to master.
The ideal wheels are typically somewhat smaller than a downhill or cruiser wheel. They have a narrower contact patch to make it easier to lose friction, and rounded lips (edges) to help as well. Most are stone-ground straight from the box to make them easy to slide from day one.
Urethane compounds for sliding wheels are harder. This is what the “82A” or similar rating means. The higher the number, the harder the wheel.
The core also affects sliding and off-set cores make for a better slide wheel.
For everything you need to know about wheels, check out this article.
Freeride and Freestyle
These are the types of longboarding that are built around sliding. Look for boards that are made for this style if you’re trying to find a more advanced setup. Our dropthroughs perform great for sliding and are built to be easier to learn with for beginner to intermediate skaters and skaters that are new to slide.
There are two main board styles, pintails and dropthroughs. Dropthroughs sit closer to the ground creating more stability with a bit less traction. Pintails ride higher and because your weight is more over the trucks, are generally more carvy with better traction. This is why they are not a great choice for sliding and learning to slide.
Having the board closer to the ground keeps your center of gravity lower and changes the height of the pivot for more stability. Because your feet don’t sit directly over the wheels, the traction is easier to disengage as well making it slide like a dream!
The best longboards for sliding have a nice concave shape. This means the deck curves upwards towards each side. There’s a lot of boards out there that have little to no concave and they are much tougher to learn with.
A concave shape lets you push pressure into the sides of the board and lean back or over more as you slide. This way your feet don’t slip off leaving you dropped on the ground…
Trucks for Sliding
The key with trucks is to get a set that first fits your board, but even more importantly has a lower angle to keep you lower to the ground and help with the pivot motion as you slide.
We sell boards with Caliber II trucks and offer both 50 and 44 degree trucks. The 44 degree is ideal for sliding and is built for the abuse sliding puts on a board.
What’s the best longboard for sliding?
With so many boards on the market it can be tough to narrow this down. Our dropthroughs do a great job for beginner to intermediate sliding.