10 Best Longboards Overall: A Guide to Longboarding

longboard and cruiser best longboards overall

The search for the best longboard overall for someone who is new to longboarding can be confusing. Here at Longboard Society, we have compiled a list of the best longboards, mini cruisers, and everything in between to help you get started on your longboard adventure.

This guide will not only help you decide the best longboard for you, but it will also give you the education to have you start riding today. 


History of Longboards

original longboards best longboards overall

Longboards originated in Hawaii in the 1950’s, where it was referred to as sidewalk surfing. They were intended to be ridden as if you were riding a wave, which is why the carving style is so popular and essential to so many other longboarding styles. 

Originally, longboards were made with basic plywood with barely any flex or pop. The trucks were mostly comparable to those of roller skates.

With the death of skateboarding as a whole that came in the 70’s the longboard went away with it. There were a few rises of skateboards throughout the 80’s and 90’s, but the full blown return we have seen in the mid 90’s has created a whole new market for both skateboarding and longboarding alike.

The consistent popularity has made it possible for the advances in board construction to create the rides we enjoy today. Longboard makers have achieved the level of board the original pioneers had strive for years ago. The sport is now accessible to more people now than ever before because of the ease of riding perfectly constructed longboards.


Longboards vs Skateboards

Size

At this stage, you might be wondering what exactly is a longboard, and how is it different from a skateboard? A longboard is similar in look to a skateboard but the ride and use is generally very different.

A skateboard is shorter, lighter, and has a smaller wheelbase. This is because skateboards are made to do both aerial and street tricks.

On the other hand, the average longboard is between 30 and 45 inches long, (excluding mini cruisers). So doing skateboard tricks on a longboard is close to impossible.

This extra length provides the more stable and smooth ride associated with the relaxing ride of a longboard. They will also have larger, softer wheels made for gripping the terrain for longer glides and less pushing. 

A skateboard, however, normally doesn’t get longer than 32 inches at the largest.

Shape

Skateboards are also a one shape fits all scenario. They have kicktails on both ends which makes them symmetrical and makes it possible to do ollies pretty easily.

Longboards, on the other hand, are not always symmetrical, and may or may not even have a kicktail. Longboards that are not symmetrical will usually taper off into a pintail or have one kicktail on the back end. In contrast, symmetrical longboards usually won’t have a kicktail on either end. 

The varying shapes and sizes don’t end there. Longboards also can be top-mounted, meaning the board is mounted on top of the trucks like a skateboard. The other style is called drop-through, meaning the trucks are mounted through the top of the deck.

A top mount longboard is going to be more responsive and allows for deeper carves. Drop-through longboards are going to provide a lower center of gravity and more stability.


Riding Styles

When it comes to deciding which board will be the best fit for you, first you need to decide what style most interests you.

Will you be buying a board for commuting to school or work? Are you looking for a fun way to cruise through the park? Or maybe you are looking for a new extreme sport to get into? Whatever the reason, here are some guides on how to ride different styles, and the types of boards that will get you to wherever you want to go.

Commuting

Using a longboard as a form of commuting can be a great experience. If you live in a city or on a college campus, commuting with your longboard is a great way to keep you active, and get you to your destination faster than walking.

Longboards for commuting are typically going to be short longboards that are lightweight and easily maneuverable, but still sturdy with soft wheels. You want to be comfortable on the board when riding through the tough terrain of city streets. However, you also want a board that is compact and light-weight enough to carry around. 

Carving

Carving is the technique most people envision when thinking about longboarding. The motion of doing deep turns from side to side in rhythm while generating momentum creates that classic wavelike movement.

When you add carving to your ride, you’re going to be turning the board from heelside to toeside while using your shoulders to help guide you in the direction you want to go, and using your knees to help generate a pump to keep you moving.

Pumping while carving is a great way to not rely on pushing to keep you moving, which will get you out of your carving rhythm. When you are ready to take carving to the next level, you can use your entire body to generate more intense pumps from side to side, creating a much more aggressive and fun ride.

Carving longboards don’t have a specific shape or size. However, there are some features that will make carving easier, smoother and more fun.

For a good carve you will want a longboard that has a concave deck. Concave decks provide an extra foothold so you can dig deep into your carves.

Camber is a feature you want to consider as well. Camber is a roundness to the overall shape of the board that helps generate stronger pumps.

Learn more about the world of Carving and Cruising and how to set up your board.

Downhill

The most extreme version of longboarding is downhill longboarding. Downhill is where the rider gathers a lot of speed traveling downhill. It is not uncommon for the most extreme downhill riders to reach speeds of 60mph+.

Knowing various forms of slowing your speed, or coming to a complete stop quickly is very important, so getting down your slides, air stops, and glove slides are imperative. Also, being comfortable with carving is a great way to slow yourself as well.

Downhill longboards need to be sturdy. You will want a board that is made of strong wood and sturdy trucks and bearing. Wobbling at the high speeds reached during downhill can end up being dangerous.

Having a low center of gravity is an important feature as well. Typically, the lower the board the more stability. So consider drop-through and drop-down decks.

Interested in learning more about downhill? check out our top picks of the Best Downhill and Freeride Longboards.

Longboard Dancing

Longboard Dancing is when you essentially use the board as a dance floor. Balance is key because you are spinning and stepping all around the board as you glide down the road.

Longboard dancing is very technical, but once you get it down it is an extremely fun and eye-catching way to ride. 

Generally speaking, dancing longboards are going to be the longest and widest boards. In order to dance and accomplish ground tricks, you will need a lot of room for your feet.

Although they will be the longest you also want o make sure the board is relatively light and flexible. A lightweight and flexible will be much more maneuverable for tricks and flips.


10 Best Longboards Overall

Commuter Longboards

Dusters California Lush

When it comes to style and performance, Dusters California is always a top contender on the list. The Lush, by Dusters California, scores high marks in both these categories and is one of our top picks for best commuting longboards.

The Lush is 33” long, and 8.5” wide with a 22.75” wheelbase making it a great size for commuting and storing.

One of the features that make this board so much fun is that it is top mounted with slant 150mm inverted trucks. These trucks are reversible with 50/54 degree hangers. Either degree is great for adding some good carves to your commute.

The 50 degree will be slightly lower to the ground, adding more stability. The 54 degree, however, will be slightly higher, making the board more nimble. Choosing the proper degree is just a matter of preference of riding style.

The smooth ride of the Lush also comes from the ABEC 7 Bearings which provide faster wheel rotation. This allows for longer rolls in between pushes.

Dusters tends to use their own wheels on their boards. Equipped on the Lush are 65mm 78a wheels that make riding on any rough surfaces a breeze.

Top mounted boards naturally are great for carving. Adding a mild concave to the 8-ply deck, like the Dusters Lush has, will make carving more comfortable and sturdy when you’re carving mellow hills.

The Lush by Dusters California is the perfect board for commuting around town. All skill types will love this board whether you want to add some carves to your ride, or just have a mellow cruise. The Lush does it all. Not to mention, Dusters’ artwork is always eye catching and will make everyone stop and stare.

Pros
  • Shorter board makes it easy to commute with
  • Fun and unique design
  • High quality trucks and wheels
  • Affordable
Cons
  • May be harder to ride for larger riders
  • No kick-tails to perform tricks
  • Not designed for more steep hills

Landyachtz Drop Hammer

white acorn best longboards overall

The Landyachtz Drop Hammer is a smooth, sturdy ride that is hard to compare with. Right out the box, this board is perfect for commuting, carving, and even bombing some smaller hills!

The Drop Hammer measures in at 36.5” long and 10” wide with a wheelbase of 27.25” So it’s not the smallest or most compact commuter board, but it is still very easy to carry around. 

This longboard has a low ride and surfy and responsive feel thanks to the drop through trucks. These features, coupled with the concave deck, make carving effortless on this longboard. The Drop Hammer is also symmetrical, making it a great introduction to freeriding.

Landyachtz is known for quality, and the Drop Hammer delivers in every way. Equipped with 6 Gen Bear trucks, Spaceball bearings, and 78a 70mm Hawgs wheels, this longboard is ready to shred as soon as you are.

Pros
  • Made of multiple plies of maple, fiberglass and bamboo, the board is light but durable for riders of all sizes
  • High quality Bear trucks and Hawgs wheels make it easy to ride and highly responsive
  • Unique graphics garner plenty of compliments
Cons
  • Pricey, but a great investment as you don’t need to replace any parts
  • No Kick-tails and weight make tricks more difficult

Carving Longboards

Arbor Fish Draplin

Sunset mountain board best longboards overall

If you’re looking for a quality carving longboard, with a classic look and feel, the Arbor Fish Draplin is the perfect fit.

The Fish Draplin has a classic pintail shape, making it a balanced and familiar ride for anyone who surfs. The 37” board is 8.25” wide and constructed of 7-ply maple allowing for great stability with enough flex to make quick and deep carves a breeze.

Complementing the quality deck is the beautiful, 70’s style mountain design done by Aaron Draplin, making this board as fun to look at as it is to ride.

Completing this board, The Fish Draplin is suited with a pair of 180mm Paris Reverse Kingpin Trucks with 1/8″ Paris riser pads, giving it a 23” wheel base, which makes carving an absolute blast and eliminates any wheel bite.

Accompanying the Paris trucks are Arbors own Sucrose Initiative 65mm, 78a durometer wheels with Abec 5 bearings, allowing for a smooth ride as you cruise through the city. Arbor tops its boards off with environmentally conscious black grip tape made from crushed recycled glass.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider looking to carve up some mild hills, the Arbor Fish Draplin is perfectly suited for all your needs!

Pros
  • Medium size pin-tail with just enough flex makes carving easy
  • High quality components for a reliable ride
  • Beautiful design
Cons
  • Top mount makes it slightly less stable than a drop-through
  • No kick-tails for tricks
  • The narrow design and thinner board may not be ideal for heavier rider

Sector 9 Lava Roundhouse Sidewinder

Orange and black best longboards overall

If you are ready to take your carving to the next level then the Sector 9 Sidewinder is the board you’ve been looking for. 

What makes this longboard stand out from the rest is its unique Gullwing Sidewinder trucks. These trucks have been created with an extra kingpin and pivot which provide the ultimate carving experience.

The sidewinder trucks allow the rider to get deep into the carves but the high-quality bearings and wheels really provide the utmost smoothness for every ride.

This Sector 9 longboard is great for cruising not only because of its trucks, but also because of its overall deck design. Made of 7 ply cold-pressed maple, this board is very durable and ready for many terrains.

This longboard is 34” long, 8.85” wide, with a 24.44” wheelbase. The length alone makes this comfortable at higher speeds. The deck is also concave and has a slight camber as well. The concave provides that extra comfort when digging into deeper carves. The camber, on the other hand, allows for pumping and really gathering speed.

Carving on a longboard is an exhilarating experience, that can be elevated by the smallest of tweaks to your board. The Sector 9 Sidewinder was built with everything you will need to take your cruising and carving to the next level. 

Pros
  • Unique, dual kingpin Gullwing sidewinder trucks provide a highly responsive carving experience
  • Light weight makes commuting easier
  • Board length and concave provide an easy riding experience
Cons
  • Trucks may need to be adjusted out the box
  • Lighter boards may be prone to breaking

Downhill Longboards

Mercer Phantom

Looking for a board that rides low, with maximum stability without breaking the bank? Then look no further than the Mercer Phantom!

The Mercer Phantom is constructed with a 40” long, 9.25” wide double drop design. Meaning the deck has a medium drop-down concave with drop-through mounted trucks, making it ready to grip the tightest hairpin turns at high speeds.

The 7-ply maple construction allows great stability alongside just enough flex to make slides even easier. The all black and gold design lends to the menacing name of the Phantom.

To truly make the Phantom a downhill machine, Mercer equipped the board with a pair of 180mm reverse kingpin Compound trucks giving you a 31” wheelbase that provides great stability while cornering.

Wearing a set of 70mm 80a Mercer wheels with Abec-5 bearings, the Phantom has enough grip for stability while maintaining ample speed.

While this board may sound like it was made to only bomb hills, don’t let the specs fool you! The Mercer Phantom is a great, budget friendly choice for an all around stable ride whether you’re going on a casual stroll or taking on the steepest hills.

Pros
  • Double drop design at an affordable price
  • Quality components right out the box
  • Stealthy design
Cons
  • Longer board makes commuting slightly more difficult
  • Drop down design isn’t made for tricks

Landyachtz Evo Spectrum

downhill best longboards overall

If you want to downhill like top tier longboards, then you want to ride on a Landyachtz Evo. The Evo has been a staple in the downhill community for years and it continues to set the standard for so many downhill boards. 

As previously mentioned, the number one feature a downhill board needs is stability; wobbling at high speeds can be dangerous.

This downhill longboard is made of 100% Canadian maple, giving it the sturdiness needed at high speeds. The Evo has a deep concave and a drop-down design that gives the rider amazing control at any speed.

This 36” board is also very low to the ground providing a low center of gravity, which is excellent for downhill riding stability.

The sturdiness of the Evo does not translate into stiffness. As always, the Landyachtz Evo is built with Bear trucks that give it amazing smoothness and responsiveness. The aforementioned concave is also a contributer to the responsiveness and comfort provided by the Evo.

Adding to the comfort and smoothness of the Evo are the 70MM 76A Biggie Hawgs wheels. These wheels are going to allow for a good amount of grip, but also let you transition into slides very easily. 

The Evo is a legend in the downhill scene and has accompanied many riders to championships. If you want the highest performance downhill longboard, the Lancyachtz Evo is what you need!

Pros
  • 100% canadian maple, drop through deck with a deep concave provides ultimate durability and stability
  • Bear trucks and Hawgs wheels designed to fit specifically for each deck to maximize control
  • Board of choice for a variety of downhill competition winners
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Learning curve may be difficult to ride for beginners

Dancing Longboards

Landyachtz Stratus

Rainbow deck best longboards overall

Are you ready to start your journey into the world of freestyle riding? The Stratus Faction 40 by Landyachtz has everything you need to dance, pop and glide into your next obsession.

The dancing longboard comes in a variety of different sizes and flexes. This means there is a Stratus for every size and riding style. Landyachtz has every rider in mind so finding what suits your style best will be a breeze.

What makes the Stratus a beautiful board to dance on is the fact that it is so lightweight and easily maneuverable. The 100% Canadian maple deck creates the perfect balance of springiness and durability.

This, along with the medium concave, gives your feet just enough stability to set up your next trick, but is even enough to land comfortably back on the board.

The symmetrical shape of the board coupled with kicktails on both ends makes doing continuous tricks effortless. And the Spaceball ABEC 7 bearings allow you to roll smoothly while setting up for tricks.

The 52° Bear 852 trucks that come standard are made for responsiveness and control. The 63mm 78a Hawg Fatty wheels provide a smooth glide over all terrain types.

Want a board that’s going to turn some heads? The Stratus comes in a variety of colors and designs, each as eye catching as the next. From watercolor designs to pre-cured fiberglass, there’s a deck for everyone.

The Stratus cuts no corners and has created a board that will have you gliding down the sidewalks in style.

Pros
  • Lightweight, makes flip tricks easier
  • Large surface area for dance moves
  • Variety of lengths and flexes
  • High quality trucks and wheels
Cons
  • Larger size makes it difficult to commute with
  • Not made for downhill

Loaded Bhangra

abstract deck best longboards overall

When it comes to longboard dancing decks, Loaded Boards’ Bhangra is the creme de la creme. While pricey, it’s the perfect investment for any serious longboard dancer.

The Bhangra separates itself from the pack by featuring a basalt and bio-epoxy construction for lighter weight, higher strength and a new damp flex, while also maintaining its eco-friendliness.

It offers two different flex profiles to suit a variety of riders. Flex 1 is built for riders between 150-270+ lbs, while Flex 2 is for riders between 90-190+ lbs.

Designed with a mild concave to ease maneuverability as you ride and two strong kicktails to allow you to perform a variety of tricks, the Bhangra is built with the extreme skaters in mind.

The board is is equipped with a pair of Paris 50° 180mm trucks that delivers a smooth and controlled turning response. Add on a set of Orangutan 70mm, 77a 4President wheels with Loaded Jehu V2 bearings and you create a smooth, yet grippy, ride for dancing and carving.

Pros
  • Multiple flex choices
  • Basalt & bio-epoxy construction for both lighter weight and high strength
  • CNC wheel wells to eliminate wheel bite
  • Mild grip-tape on deck to perform dance moves, aggressive grip-tape on nose and tail for flip tricks
  • Paris trucks & Orangutan wheels for ultimate stability
Cons
  • Expensive…but worth it!

Mini Cruisers

Penny 22″ Cruiser

mini blue and black best longboards overall

When it comes to mini cruisers, the infamous Penny board is the first board to come to mind. Founded by Ben Mackay in Australia, these plastic mini cruisers are fun little boards made for easy commuting or a casual skate down by the beach. 

Penny boards come in a variety of sizes, from 22” to 36” and are made up of high quality components for a reliable, exciting and sturdy ride. We’ll be focusing on the 22” board here, as it’s the standard for mini cruisers. 

The top of the Penny 22” cruiser skateboard is lined with a waffle non-slip deck and is equipped with 3″ A-grade 356 cast aluminium powder-coated trucks, for a smooth ride and great carving ability.

The softer 59mm 83A polyurethane wheels, with Premium Abec 7 stainless steel bearings & high tensile bolts provide a comfortable ride no matter the duration.

One of our favorite features of the Penny 22” Cruiser is the variety of colors and designs that are available. Whether you’re into a monochromatic design, metallic fades or fun graphics, there’s a Penny board suited for everyone!

Pros
  • Perfect to travel with
  • Secret plastic formula for strength and flexibility
  • High grip, 83a wheels for a smooth ride
Cons
  • Top of the board loses traction if it gets wet
  • Some customers complained of light defects in the graphics

Globe Bantam

Black and red globe best longboards overall

The standard mini cruiser is small, light, and portable. The Globe Bantam goes beyond the standard of mini cruisers, and has created a reliable and durable mini cruiser that is made for both commuting and tricks.

The Globe Bantam mini cruiser is slightly bigger than the original mini cruisers, like Penny. It is 23” long, 6” wide, and has a wheelbase of 11.5”. These specs don’t make a huge difference in portability or weight, but it’s the thickness of the board that changes the dynamics on the ride of the Bantam.

The Bantam is thicker than its predecessors making it a bit of a stiffer ride. This makes it feel more like a skateboard than a longboard, which is a plus for those who want to add some casual tricks to their ride. 

Additionally, the gradual kicktail and the slight concave of the deck make it optimal for executing tricks. The diamond-shaped top grip provides an excellent grip for your feet contributing to the stability of it’s ride.

The hardware on the Bantam is what really takes this mini cruiser to the next level. The standard Tensor Alloy trucks have a lifetime guarantee and create a stable ride, while the ABEC 7 bearings create a longer, smooth roll between pushes. 

The Bantam’s variety of styles may intrigue you as well. The Bantam ST can come equipped with LED light-up wheels. The Bantam EVO has a more classic vibe. It still compares in riding style to the ST, but the Resin 7 hard rock maple gives it a traditional longboard esthetic.

If you want a fun and durable ride, the Globe Bantam is our pick for one of the best mini cruisers on the market. If you want to upgrade your mini cruiser ride, the Bantam is worth every penny.

Pros
  • Nylon injection deck provides a flexible ride with great durability
  • Globe “slant” trucks for increased control
  • 78a wheels with Abec 7 bearings for a smooth ride
  • LED light up wheels, powered by sunset
Cons
  • Trucks & wheels may need adjusting out of box
  • Grip-tape loses traction if wet

Final Thoughts

When it comes to shopping for your next longboard, the choices available are endless! Hopefully this list helps you narrow down your search and leads you to finding the perfect board for your riding style. Stay tuned for more in- depth guides and reviews of our favorite longboards as they’re released.

Did we miss a board that deserves to be listed among the best of the best? Let us know in the comments below what’s your favorite board of choice when it comes to taking on the streets!

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