Longboards Are Skateboards – Kind Of
The longboard, a variation of the skateboard, looks similar to a snowboard or a surfboard with wheels. The average longboard is anywhere from 33 to 59 centimeters long and about 25 centimeters wide. Skateboards vary in size, but all are considerably smaller than the longboard. Like the skateboard, the longboard has a deck, trucks, wheels, bushings, and bearings.
The deck on a longboard is longer and wider than that of a skateboard. You can apply grip tape to the deck of a longboard or skateboard for better grip when riding, but the big factor to consider is what type of deck you want to get. Different types of longboard decks are meant to give different rides. For instance, a rider that is just beginning may want to go with a pintail, which is a teardrop shaped board that leaves plenty of foot room.
The difference in trucks really separates the longboard from other boards. Trucks come in different sizes and connect the wheels to the deck. Trucks adjust the turning cycle: The wider the trucks, the wider the turning cycle. The two most common trucks used on a longboard are the virtual kingpin (traditional skateboard truck) or the reverse kingpin. The difference lies in where the axle is in relation to the kingpin-on the inside for reverse or the outside for traditional.
The bushings on a skateboard and a longboard are the easiest thing you can change if you want to tweak the way the board turns. Bushings are similar to wheels and come in different shapes and durometers, but the most popular shapes are barrels and cones. Other aspects that will influence the bushings’ effect on the turn of your board is the bushing seat on the truck, which is where the bushing makes contact with the hangar.
Some, but not all, longboards also have bearings. Longboard bearings are similar to skateboard bearings: They both enable the boards to ride smoothly by connecting the wheel to the truck. Bearings are made of various materials, including steel and ceramic. Bearings are rated commonly, though not always, on the ABEC scale, and are any odd number from 1-13. The higher the rating, the more durable the bearing is.
Though there are many finesse parts, both longboards and skateboards rely on wheels. It is rare to find a longboard wheel not made from urethane, and they typically range from 65 to 107 mm. If the wheel is thicker, it will have slow acceleration-but will roll fast once it gets going-and it can handle more bumps, making you less likely to fall. Aside from the different types of wheels, every wheel falls under one of two categories: soft or hard. Choose your wheels based on the surface that you will be riding on and the speed that you intend to go.
Though longboards and skateboards have many similarities, the differences in style, use, and parts can be significant.