Are you a beginner longboarder looking for the best board to get started with? It’s tough narrowing it down with all the options currently available!
The best longboard for beginners is almost always a cruiser longboard. You don’t want to start out with something too aggressive (and expensive) that isn’t going to be fun to learn to ride. Cruiser longboards are built to be stable and roll smoothly over cracks and bumps. They have lots of space so that you can find stability as you learn where to place your feet. Cruising is the most basic and common style in longboarding and is as simples as it sounds. These boards are great for learning to carve, pushing some distance, and life on a campus.
Here’s some information about all the different features that you’ll want to look for if you are a beginner longboarder.
Concave is the way the deck curves. By having the deck curve upwards towards the sides, sometimes called a “Taco” concave, your feet will stay on the board more easily. This stops your foot from sliding off either side while you push and carve. Because it slopes up it’s easier to carve by leaning in either direction. Most boards will have concave if they are professionally built, some DIYer’s will just cut a deck out of solid piece of wood and this will not have a concave. To create concave the wood is layered with glue as it’s being built, and pressed with extreme pressure in a mold built with the curve.
Having more space on the deck will let you move your feet around to figure out pushing and a good stance. It’s easier to balance with more room to stand, that’s why we recommend not starting out with a penny board. The small size is far less stable and it rides a bit wobbly.
This doesn't mean you want to go out and grab the biggest board you've ever seen. There's definitely a tipping point where boards become so big they are unwieldy. As the space between the trucks gets further apart, the board becomes more difficult to steer and carve. Typically somewhere around 35-42" length is ideal for almost all beginners.
Too short = Wobbly sketchiness.... Too long = Stable Unwieldiness and lack of turnability.... Just right = The perfect balance between the two leading to stability and turanability.
There are two main shapes that work great for beginners. The first is the most common shape in longboarding, the Pintail. Pintails are shaped just like a surfboard and are a traditional board style. The benefit to the pintail is that it sits on top of the trucks. This lets you carve easier and gives more space for your feet to stand over the trucks. This creates more traction.
The second shape is the drop-through. These decks sit under the trucks which keeps them low to the ground and extra stable. The closer to the ground you get the easier it is to push the board and the more stable it rides. This does however make for a much less aggressively carving board. Drop through boards have cutouts or the wheels so they don’t hit the deck. This makes it a bit riskier for a beginner because you can catch your foot on the wheel as you push.
This can be a tough decision and balance because beginners are better off being close to the ground, but need all the traction / friction they can get with wheels. If you are just commuting then a dropthrough is the clear choice. But if you want to carve and play around you'll want to consider the pintail cruiser style deck.
As a beginner you are not likely to use your longboard to slide yet. It takes lots of experience to get comfortable with sliding! The best wheels for you will typically be a softer durometer around 78a. This means that the wheel grips the ground better because it’s not made of a super hard material. You’ll also want a wheel that’s a bit bigger. This makes it roll a lot smoother over any bumps so you won’t get thrown from your board. Here's our wheel guide
for everything you'll ever need to know about longboard wheels.
ART / Board Graphic
You are unique, and your board should represent who you are. It’s definitely more fun skating a board that looks awesome. Not only will you be cruising, but you’ll be carrying it into places and showing your friends. So why settle for a graphic that you only somewhat like?
Concrete Coast was built around artist designed boards and we only have 100 of each design ever made. But if one of ours isn’t your style, then check out the other awesome brands out there! We want you to have the board of your dreams.
So which board should a beginner longboarder buy?
With so many great options it really is tough to decide. When we first started out we went to a local shop and felt the boards in person. Now however, we would have likely ordered direct off the internet. At Concrete Coast we offer a 3-day Skate and Love it guarantee
. If you don’t love your new board like we are sure you will, we will pay to ship it back, and cover the whole purchase. Look for guarantees when you are shopping around so that you can return the board if you don’t like it. Buying a longboard is an expensive decision, make the right one!
We offer both pintail and dropthrough cruiser boards. Both will work great for a beginner and have the right concave, deck space, shapes, and wheels. Just make sure to pick the shape that works best for you and let us know that you’d prefer the larger cruiser style wheels in your order notes. We will make sure it’s the perfect setup for you. If you plan to eventually get into sliding, grab a dropthrough board. The same is true if it’s mainly for commuting. But for having fun and cruising the pintail is the ideal setup.
Learning to ride your new longboard leads to the occasional crash. Always ride with a helmet first and foremost. But for the most protection be sure to put on knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards.
Falling is another important part of learning, don't fall with your hands out! This is how you can break fingers and your wrists.