The say that simplicity is the mother of intention. Or something like that. Skateboards are fine for the fancier souls who live to spin, twist and grab, and don’t get us wrong, they’re a lot of fun.
But at the dawn of the era of the skateboard, there were some who stood on steeper hills than others. They loved the board that rolled on four wheels, but they knew it was not enough. They were a noble folk who just wanted to go out for a rip. And so, they threw away their short planks and made new boards, longer boards.
Whether you’re cruising or carving, there’s no better vessel to roll over pavement than the longboard. With all the flow of snow and surf, the longboard merely requires pavement for righteous rippage.
Comparison Table of 10 Best Longboards of 2018
|Sector 9 Fractal||9.0" x 36.0"||7 pounds||Abec 5|
|Atom Drop-Through||36" - 41"||-||Abec 5|
|Sector 9 Aperture 36"||9.0" x 36.0"||6.9 pounds||Abec 5|
|Quest Super Cruiser||44"||10 pounds||ABEC 7|
|Sector 9 Green Wave|
|9.6" x 42"||8 pounds||Abec 5|
|Atom Pin-Tail||9.4" x 39.0"||8 pounds||Abec 5|
|Sector 9 Blue Wave Lookout|
|9.6" x 42.0"||7 pounds||Abec 5|
|Atom Drop-Through 40"||10" x 40"||7.9 pounds||ABEC 9|
|Rimable Drop Through 41"||9.5" x 41.5"||-||ABEC-11|
|Yocaher Professional Speed|
|9" x 41.25"||9 pounds||Abec 7 Chrome|
Deck: the wooden part that sits on top of the trucks.
Trucks: the metal hardware that holds the wheels and attaches on top to the deck.
Bearings: Usually ball bearings, they rest inside of the wheel house and help it spin right.
CNC – The board is cut by a computer controlled router.
Top Mounting: The skateboard deck is attached to the top of the trucks with four screws.
Drop Down Mounting: The deck is mounted on top of the trucks, but its shape then ‘drops down’ and brings you as low as drop through options, or even lower.
Wheelbase: the distance between your trucks. With drop through mounting, you can change the wheelbase.
Camber: Lengthwise cambers might be flat, dropdown, meaning the board sits lower than the top of the trucks, or convex relative to the pavement.
Length: When it comes to the best longboards, length is much more variable than skateboards. That average skateboard runs between 28″ and 32″ long, while long boards usually go anywhere between 36″ and 59.”
Maple vs. Bamboo decks
The two primary types of wood used for the best longboards are maple and bamboo. Maple has the benefits of being stiffer and has a little more pop to its bounce. Bamboo is much more flexible, doesn’t break as easily under strain, and gives the ride a softer, surfier feel.
For fancier longboard decks, you will find other composite materials included in the wood, usually fiberglass. This keeps the board stronger, and gives it more flex and spring when bent.
The trucks are the most solid aspect of your board and they will likely last the longest. You will generally want to select them for durability. The best longboards ride on top of the best trucks.
There are several parts involved in the trucks, and they go as follows:
The baseplate is a flat, metal plate at the top of the truck that connects directly to the bottom of the deck. Four holes are drilled through this plate, and you attach it to the deck with bolts and nuts.
The king pin is the main adjustment of the truck. It controls how stiff or flexible the give to the wheels are. If you tighten it up, the board will be more stable. If you let it loose, you’ll be able to cut tighter turns.
The hanger is the t-shaped item that holds both wheels and connects to the baseplate. The width of this part is a big deal. A wider hanger will give you more freedom when it comes to carving, and a thinner hanger will make your ride more stable.
Top 10 Best Longboard Reviews of 2018
1. Sector 9 Fractal Complete Skateboard
If you’re heading out to find some gentle hills, this Sector 9 model is a great choice, and you’ll be able to tighten it up for city cruising as well. At 36 inches, it’s almost on the short side for the best longboards. Two-thirds carver, one-third cruiser, with the drop through mounting, you’ll be able to adjust the board depending on how you want to ride it. Throw that wheelbase out wide and tighten up the trucks if your just out for a casual cruise, or bring them closer and loosen things up for some tight carving.
The deck has more of a carvey feel. With a slight convex camber lengthwise and even slighter convex horizontal camber, this board has some flex and is fun to ride. The deck is 8-ply maple, so it’s on the stiffer side, but because the board is only 36″ at the most, you shouldn’t worry too much about digging to hard into tight turns. We say this with some caution: some riders have reported this board to snap.
If you’re an honored member of the experienced downhill gang, you’ll find it difficult to get going fast on this board and maintain control, there are better options out there.
The main thing that riders complain about with the Fractal are loose or noisy bearings. Factory bearings are generally notorious for sub-par quality (although many companies prove the exception to the rule). Many are also surprised to find how unstable the sidewinder trucks are.
2.Atom Drop-Through Longboard
Another great board for beginner to intermediate riders, the Atom model is another drop through board with a non symmetrical carving shape. It is 41″ long, making it a good standard option for hills of slighter grade. Tighten up the trucks and you’ll be fine cruising around, although this board is better when it comes to carving.
The deck has a very slight camber and horizontally, it’s completely flat. The wood is laminate Canadian maple, allowing it some give, but it’s generally on the stiffer side.
With the drop-through feature, it sits just below the top plane of the mounts, just like the Sector 9. Unlike the Sector 9, it has an asymmetric shape. When it comes to symmetry in a board shape, the choice is yours. The best longboard riders don’t really care, but for the few of us out there who like some old school shove its or hand flips, you’ll want to find something that’s the same in front as it is in the back.
For the price, this is a good option. It’s on the cheaper end of things and as Uncle Ben Parker said, with cheap prices comes cheap quality. The trucks are probably the worst feature of this board. They’re made out of aluminum, making them lightweight and prone to snapping.
3.Sector 9 Aperture Complete Longboard 36”
It stretches 26 and ½” from truck to truck and is made out of Canadian maple. Like the Fractal, this deck is good for hills, but if you push it super hard, you might have a cracked board on your hands.
Like the Fractal, some riders complain that this board comes with differently colored wheels and graphics compared to the image online. Buyer beware!
4.Quest Super Cruiser Longboard Skateboard
As the name suggests, this longboard is a bonafide cruiser, and it’s pretty super too. The 44″ board has a classic skateboard cut with a kick tail. You’ll want to pick this board if all you’re looking for is some alternative transportation from point A to point B with some style in between.
The deck has a miniscule camber lengthwise with just a little horizontal camber so you can feel the edges of the board a little easier. For the wood, Quest uses a combination of maple and bamboo laminate.
In terms of aesthetics, they leave some of this wood bare, making it a great looking board. It’s a top mount, meaning that the board rests on top of the truck mounts instead of dropping below.
The trucks are seven-inch single king pins made out of aluminum. The come with 70 mm polyurethane wheels and Abec bearings inside. This set up will give you the stability you’re looking for on a cruiser board. You will not be able to cut very tight turns unless you get those trucks much looser.
5.Sector 9 Green Wave Lookout II Longboard skateboard -9.6”x42″
We don’t know what a green wave is, but we know that the Sector 9 Green Wave Lookout is super fun to ride. With a very similar, barely asymmetric shape to the Fractal and the Aperture, it’s a little longer and a little wider: 42″ x 9.6″ at its widest. The wheelbase is 31.5,” making it a great, versatile board. If you’re looking for the best longboard to do a little bit of everything, this is a great choice, and what’s more, it’s the same price as the other Sector 9 boards mentioned so far.
Unlike the Quest’s pretend bamboo deck, the Green Wave Lookout uses genuine vertically laminated Taco Molded 5 ply bamboo. This board is light and it is springy, perfect for a great surfey feel when carving. It weighs eight pounds and has drop through mounts to keep you close to the pavement.
For cruising, you will be able to get the trucks much more stable than the Sidewinders, and the flexibility of the board will allow you to turn quick enough. Loosen them up, and you’re all set up for carving. The Green Wave Lookout holds up much better in high speeds than any other board mentioned so far, and speed wobbles shouldn’t be an issue once you dial the hardware.
6.Atom Pin-Tail Longboard
The pin-tail shape is one of the most iconic skateboard designs. It harkens back to the early days when skateboards were nothing but smaller surfboards on wheels. The Pin-Tail is best used for cruising around town. With a few adjustments, you might be able to get it into good carving shape, but the deck cut outs on the nose and tail only allow for so much angling before the deck hits the wheels.
The Pin-Tail deck is 39″ long, 9.4″ at its widest, and made of maple laminate. It has a very slight camber that gives it some solid bounce. Horizontally, the board is just about flat. It mounts on top of trucks so you’ll be riding a little higher over the pavement than drop through mounts.
The trucks are single king pins set up regularly and made out of aluminum and stretch 8.5″ wide. 65 mm wheels of 78a polyurethane sit at either end of those trucks. In the skateboarding world, that is not exactly ideal.
If you haven’t ridden a long board before and don’t envision getting too aggressive in the near future, this is a great choice. The Pin-Tail shape is super fun to ride and gives you a great classic look.
7.Sector 9 Blue Wave Lookout Drop Through Complete Longboard
As far as we can tell, the Sector 9 Blue Wave Lookout is identical to the Green Wave Lockout II, except the Blue Wave appears to be one pound lighter. This is very puzzling, nearly as dubious as the Quest’s Super Cruiser deck. It may be the fault of inept humans. Or aliens. Oh, the Green Wave has a green design and the Blue Wave has a blue design.
To repeat ourselves, the Blue Wave Lookout has that classic, barely asymmetric Sector 9 shape, and it’s a little longer and a little wider than the Aperture and Fractal: 42″ x 9.6″ at its widest. With a 31.5″ wheelbase, this is possibly the best longboard and it will serve you well no matter where your wheels lead you. Tighten it up for cruising, or let loose for the serpentine maneuver.
This bamboo is no joke. We’re talking vertical Taco Molded bamboo here. That light spring gives this board a true soft and surfish feel.
Once again, this board is a great value for the price. It is perfect for intermediate and even advanced riders. If you love the Sector 9 dropdown style, don’t waste your time with the Fractal or the Aperture, go for the Green, no Blue Wave (unless you favor a stiffer board).
When that gravitational spirit takes you, the Blue Wave Lookout holds up much better in high speeds than any other board mentioned so far, besides its doppelganger. This board should keep the speed wobbles at bay.
8.Atom Drop-Through Longboard – 40 inch
While Sector 9 likes to make the same board and give it different names, Atom likes to make different board and give each the same name. Not really, but on Amazon, yes really.
This 40″ longboard has that carving shape with no wood over the wheels to allow for some serious deck inversion relative to the trucks. The slight convex lateral camber makes it nice and springy. Like the Quest Super Cruiser, these guys used a combination of bamboo and maple for the wood.
The drop through mounting is a definite plus, but the Navigator Drone trucks that come with the board bring this Atom back down. These trucks are single king pin’s with a pivot point. They’re generally taller than most trucks, making them great for drop through boards. The only problem with these is their drill points are notoriously misaligned. This doesn’t matter so much with drop through boards when it comes to front and back alignment, but they are also off center. With these trucks, you’ll find turning one way is easy, turning the other way is hard. They’re not worth it, if you love this board, then get different trucks.
The wheels are Atom Area 51 70 mm in diameter, 51 mm in width, with a durometer rating of 78a. Inside, you’ll find Abec 9 bearings—what else?
9.Rimable Drop Through Longboard (41-inch)
This Rimable model is a lot like several other longboards reviewed in this article. The freerider shape makes it a solid choice for cruising and carving. A few features hold it back from serious downhill riding, and if that’s what you’re after, you should keep looking.
With a slightly asymmetric shape, the deck is 41″ long and 9.5″ at it’s widest underfoot. It’s made out of nine layers of maple veneer, making it thicker than all the other longboards mentioned, and of course, on the stiffer side. It has a slight convex camber and turns up along the edges for good gripability. With drop through mounts, this board rides nice and low and stable.
If you drop around extra 10$, you can get LED light up wheels which are always a big hit with the ladies and will keep you styled out at night.
10.Yocaher Professional Speed Drop Down Stained Complete Longboard
The Yocaher model uses the freerider shape that we have grown to love. This board is great for all the above, although it’s more on the carving and downhill side of things. Tighten up the trucks and you’ll do just fine cruising around.
The deck is made of 9-ply maple laminate, giving it some give, but not too much. It’s 41.25″ long and 9″ wide. The unique thing about the Yocaher is it is neither top mounted, nor a drop through. This board is a drop down. The first of its kind in this article, drop down boards mount on top of the trucks, but then angle down to get you closer to the pavement like a drop through mount.
The Yocaher comes in a ton of different designs for the aesthetically minded, and it weighs around 8.5 lbs. With a wheelbase of 33,” this board is better for the taller longboard riders.