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Encyclopedia > Longboard (skateboard)

A longboard is a skateboard with a longer and sometimes wider shape used for longboarding. Longboards are most commonly used for either downhill racing, slalom, or transportation. The longboard shape provides added stability, safety, and comfort. Their greater weight and bulkiness makes them less suitable for many skateboarding tricks, but contributes to a fluid motion by providing more momentum. Thus, a longboard will roll farther with a single push of the foot. Longboarding is often compared to surfing on concrete, and the design allows big turns or quick short carves similar to a surfboard. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... A standard skateboard An old-school skateboard A skateboard is a four wheeled platform used for the activity of skateboarding. ... This page is about surfing Longboards, see Longboard_(skateboard) for information about Longboards of the skateboard variety. ... To slalom is to zigzag between obstacles. ... An inward heelflip A skateboarding trick, or simply a trick is a maneuver performed on a skateboard while skateboarding. ... This article is about momentum in physics. ... For other uses, see Surfing (disambiguation). ... This article is about the construction material. ...

Longboarding became popular alongside emerging surfing culture through the mid 1950s. Longboarding originated in California where the streets gave ground to many longboarders due to the rolling hills.[citation needed]



Longboard equipment is very similar to skateboard equipment. It is most common for longboarders to wear gloves and a helmet. Even though longboarding involves great risk to one's head most longboarders do not wear helmets, despite every manufacturer and professional organization urging use of helmets. Wrist, elbow and knee protection are also recommended. For an introduction to skateboard equipment in general, see Skateboard. A standard skateboard An old-school skateboard A skateboard is a four wheeled platform used for the activity of skateboarding. ...

Most longboards measure between 90 and 150 cm (35.4-59 inches). Shorter boards may still be referred to as longboards when their main purpose is inline with that of longboarding (i.e. downhill & cruising). Longer boards are rare because the longer board requires more room to maneuver. There are several different shapes of longboards including: pintails, flat nose riders, and boards shaped like a longer shortboard. Pintails permit looser trucks and larger diameter wheels better suited for carving or a "surfy" feel. Mid-length boards, 94-127 cm (37-50 inches) are the most versatile.


Longboard decks are made of shaped wood or composite materials, designed to balance properties of weight, stiffness, flex, and twist, while offering a secure stance, and accommodating the height and weight of the rider. The simplest decks are made from 7 to 10 plys of 1/16" thick birch or maple. These woods are GLUED together, and pressed into the desired shape with a vacuum, hydraulic, or manual press. More complex decks include the use of fiberglass and carbon fiber for decreased weight and increased stiffness, solid hardwoods for stiffness and aesthetics, foam cores for rigidity and light weight, and even exotic woods, like bamboo, for lesser weight and increased flex. A ply is a strand or layer of material, such as yarn, rope, plastic, wood, or paper. ... Species Many species; see text and classification Birch is the name of any tree of the genus Betula, in the family Betulaceae, closely related to the beech/oak family, Fagaceae. ... For other uses, see Maple (disambiguation). ... Bundle of fiberglass Fiberglass (also called fibreglass and glass fibre) is material made from extremely fine fibers of glass. ... Carbon fiber composite is a strong, light and very expensive material. ... For other uses, see Bamboo (disambiguation). ...

Decks are often given curvature that enhances their use. A board that is bent up in the center (when viewed from the side), is said to have camber, while a board that bends down in the center is said to have rocker. Camber allows a board to be 'bouncier' which is a good quality for some styles. Rocker allows a lower center of gravity, and a sensation of being 'cradled' by the deck during riding similar to the rocker in a surfboard. Decks may also be curved up at the edges (when viewed down the long axis), which is called concave. Concave bends add stiffness, leverage, and allow the rider to feel the edge of the deck without looking. Other bends, such as a bend up at the tail or nose (kicktails) are common on more specialized decks.

Many people have explored outside the realm of brand name equipment and find making their own decks as highly beneficial. A great variation that some riders enjoy is in the covering over the top of the deck. Some decks will have grip tape, basically a sheet of sandpaper covering the deck itself. Some decks are covered with sand and a liquid fiberglass that makes the deck extremely rough and easy to grip. Many riders enjoy adding their personal touch to their boards, often painting or carving in their own artwork straight on the deck. Others also make their own decks for the benefit of having the exact flex and shape from their board that would cost much more money if made custom. They have also come up with alternative, cheaper and easier ways to create various types of boards. For instance, many racing-style speedboards feature a deck that drops down to cradle the rider and to give more stability. In order to lower a rider's center of gravity, a home-made speedboard will usually have its trucks mounted to the top of the deck, with the axle and bushing pushed through a hole drilled in the deck. Although it doesn't look as "cool" as a drop deck, it offers the same feel. Drop-through trucks are also good for cruisers when the board isn't so long that it will bottom out when it turns. The lowered board makes it more comfortable for a rider to push around town.

Building Decks

Many Longboarders like to build their own decks as a way to get exactly what they want out of the board or just to "get closer" to them. There are many very complicated methods to do this, using presses, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and even foam cores, and they can all be found on Toothless, along with basic board building instructions. The basic method includes making a template to get the shape you want, using two sheets of Baltic Birch or Maple plywood, gluing them together, and adding weights to the board while the glue dries in order to create the right flex and camber. Toothless also shows the proper ways to round edges, paint and sand your new longboard. Bundle of fiberglass Fiberglass (also called fibreglass and glass fibre) is material made from extremely fine fibers of glass. ... Carbon fiber composite is a strong, light and very expensive material. ...

Wheel types

Longboards are usually fitted with polyurethane wheels between 60mm and 100mm, that are available in various durometers. A larger wheel provides a higher top speed compared to a smaller wheel, while the latter accelerates more quickly. A larger wheel will also be able to ride better on rougher surfaces. The durometer is typically in the 75a to 95a range. Typical shortboard wheels are much harder, about 98a. Some softer wheels will have inserts called "cores," made of a harder material to retain the bearings' position relative to the wheel and axle. However, cores are usually made of hard plastic, and because of this they are prone to cracking. Soft wheels are more likely to have a good grip with the ground, whereas hard wheels will slide easier. It is important to note that the use of soft wheels on hills may lead to your wheels chunking and cracking. A polyurethane is any polymer consisting of a chain of organic units joined by urethane links. ... A durometer is a tool used to measure hardness. ...

Longboard wheels also come in many different shapes to suit the different disciplines. Wheel size may be a concern due to the type of deck and hardware installed on the longboard. As the longboard is turned, the deck may touch the wheels if the trucks are not far enough from the deck. This is known as wheelbite and can stop the longboard quickly, causing the rider to be thrown off the board. This problem usually occurs with larger wheels, as they are more likely to hit the deck. There are several ways of solving this problem, wheel-wells can be belt-sanded into the bottom of the board where the wheels would normally contact, giving the wheels around a centimeter of extra clearance. In more needy cases wheel cut-outs are used, this simply removes sections of the deck so they are no longer there to hit the wheels. Increasing the distance from the trucks to the deck using riser pads can also stop this problem, as the deck no longer gets low enough to touch the wheels.

Most companies manufacture their own wheels, and they generally are standard in their shape, size, and quality. Such wheels are usually very reasonably priced ($20-$50). But the company that is most recognized for specializing in wheel design is Abec 11. Abec 11 wheels are generally pricier than most wheels ($25-$90).


There are many different choices of bearings for a longboard. The bearings sit inside of the wheel, and spin on the truck axles. Most bearings are made of steel, although those of the highest quality are made of ceramic. Steel ball bearings are mainstream bearings that are in widespread use, and readily available in skateshops and online distributors. Steel ball bearings are meant for the average skateboarder. Ceramic bearings are meant for the riders who have more stringent demands. They cost much more than steel ball bearings, but have less friction. The advantages for ceramic ball bearings include a smoother roll (if kept clean), longer life, rust resistance and a lighter weight as compared to steel. Their thermal resistance makes them ideal for high speed downhill runs. Two of the main materials used in manufacturing of the ceramic balls is ceramic Cerbec® silicon nitride, and ceramic Zirconium Oxide.


The trucks are the mounts for attaching the wheels to the board and provide the steering mechanism for the board by turning in the direction of the rider's lean. A set of trucks is made up of a baseplate which screws to the deck, a hanger which holds the axle—which in turn holds the wheels. They are connected by a kingpin with flexible polyurethane bushings to control flex and turning. A polyurethane is any polymer consisting of a chain of organic units joined by urethane links. ...

There are several different types of longboard trucks, differing from 'shortboard' trucks in many ways. The primary difference is that the hangers are often wider to accommodate the different sized decks, with 150mm and 180mm being two of the most common widths. There are also different longboard trucks for different disciplines, as well as multi-purpose trucks. Many trucks are equipped with special features, such as inverted kingpins, as well as spring-loaded trucks, and variable tilt designs. Trucks designed for maneuverability will have a softer polyurethane bushing or spring, which allow the truck to turn with ease. A downhill-type truck will usually have a harder bushing or spring to stabilize the board at high speeds. Urethane bushings are also rated on the durometer scale; the harder the bushing, the harder it is to turn the truck. Bushings can be replaced and changed, and are generally very cheap ($2-$10). A polyurethane is any polymer consisting of a chain of organic units joined by urethane links. ... Durometer is one of several ways to indicate the hardness of a material, defined as the materials resistance to permanent indentation. ...

All trucks have different turning angles. This is known as the truck's geometry. The geometry of the trucks affects how much the board will turn. The geometry can be adjusted through the use of angled risers or "wedges," which are mounted between the deck and the truck's baseplate. The turning angle will increase if the trucks are angled toward the outside of the deck. If the trucks are angled to the inside of the deck, turning angle will decrease, which can improve stability. Randal R-II trucks come stock at 50 degrees on the hangers. This is a typical angle for general purpose trucks as it allows the board to turn well at a variety of speeds. Randal R-I Downhill style trucks are more stable, and have a turning angle of 35 degrees which is better suited to high speed skating. Slalom boards will use a quick turning truck in the front paired with a stable truck in the rear, to allow for better traction.

Another type of truck, unique to longboards, is the torsion truck. Torsion trucks operate differently from standard trucks in that they twist a urethane bushing or metal spring rather than using two compression bushings to return the truck to a straight position. Revenge torsion trucks have a locking mechanism that prevents wheel bite when the truck hangers turn too far. The Original S-Series torsion truck does not have a stop but functions instead on the belief that the deck should be designed around the trucks (to avoid wheel bite). The lack of a stop allows Original trucks to lean over further and turn tighter, although compatible deck selection is limited. Riders who have experience on conventional, non-torsion truck, designs may have stability issues when bombing on torsion based trucks, however with practice torsion truck based setups can easily handle bombing runs of 30-35 mph (fast enough for all but the most advanced riders).

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Original Skateboards (466 words)
Original Skateboards; manufacturer of longboards and longboard trucks, was founded by two brothers in the spring of 2002.
Skateboards loaded with Original longboard trucks are the closest thing to surfing the streets.
Original longboard skateboards are made of the best materials right here at home, on the east coast of united states.
eBay Guides - Longboard Terminology Defined - Longboard Definitions (1669 words)
Longboards have definitely come a long way as now there are boards that cater to every style of riding whether you are into sliding, downhilling on drop-thrus or just cruising with a camber.
Dropthru: A style of longboard where there are truck cutouts in the deck and the board itself is dropped through so the trucks become reverse mounted with the base of the truck mounted on the longboard deck as oppose to under it.
Longboards setup for sliding often have harder wheels higher in durometer so they glide easily as oppose to gripping to the road.
  More results at FactBites »



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