There’s a sense of freedom and excitement that comes with owning a longboard. And that’s probably why more and more longboards are flooding the market right now.
This is good in that it makes entering the world of longboarding affordable for everyone. But it also brings with it quite a few black sheep that you would never want to set foot on. After all, longboards do get pretty fast.
So whether you’re looking for a longboard for yourself or as a gift: this article will save you the hassle of research. Our team has investigated dozens of models and selected the 7 best longboards of 2017 for you.
And if, after reading them, you still have a question: check out our Buyer’s Guide at the bottom.
Best Longboards 2017 – Our Product Investigation Overview
1. Rimable Drop-Through Longboard – Best Ride for Your Buck
Our “Best Ride for Your Buck” awards for longboards goes to the Rimable Drop-through, because:
This board will make your ride as stable as you can get on a longoard. This is because the Rimable Drop-through features drop-through trucks which decrease the distance between wheels and deck. Hence the amazing stability. (See our Buyer’s Guide below for more information on trucks.)
Plus the Rimable Drop-through felt like the fastest of all 8 models in this review. This is made possible by its quality wheels and smooth-running bearings. (Bearings are the small steel or ceramic balls inside the wheels that allow these to spin freely and without friction.)
Speaking of wheels: the ones of the Rimable Drop-through work great straight out of the box without any tinkering on your part. You can test this with a new board by rolling them on their own with a flick of your hand. The more distance they cover, the better they are. And the Rimable’s wheels went several meters. So this board will enable you to cover a fair distance with only one kick.
The deck itself is made of high quality maple and can last for years if taken care of.
But we wouldn’t be product investigators if we didn’t find a flaw as well: Some people have reported issues with the bearings being tightened too much and trucks bolting loose after some time. So make sure to loosen the bearings and to tighten the trucks before you use it.
We highly recommend this board right now as it is heavily discounted on Amazon. It’s your chance get a high-quality and long-lasting board for an amazing price.
- Most stable longboard in this review
- Fastest longboard in this review
- Covers a fair distance with only one kick
- High-quality parts (such as the maple deck) that last
- 69% (!) discount on the “SAT” color option right now
- Bearings too tight out of the box
- Some buyers reported that trucks loosened after some time
2. Volador 42 inch Freeride Longboard – Best of the Best
The Volador 42 inch Freeride longboard is the absolute best longboard we found in the course of our 40-hour product investigation. And here’s why:
Normally speed and flexibility don’t go together very well, but this longboard offers the best of both worlds. The Volador Freeride features a camber decke, which increases the boards ability to flex under pressure. This makes turning and carving very easy, so the Volador 42 inch is the perfect cruiser board. Yet, at the same time, it comes with quality bearings, very well-made aluminium trucks and fairly soft (78a) wheels. And because of these 3 elements, the Volador Freeride is not only flexible but can also go fast.
(Still it’s not quite a downhill board, but you could make it one by replacing the wheels and by putting Red bearings onto it.)
Also, the Volador Freeride doesn’t only have a design at the bottom of the board. Instead, it features a real design on the grip tape as well and in our view it’s the best-looking one on the market moreover. In any case, the 2 designs add a lot of style that other longboards are missing out on.
The downside: Although the Volador Freeride has a kick tail for tricks, its makers do not recommend excessive jumping. Too much of it can get the Volador Freeride damaged.
- Good for turning and carving through flexible camber deck
- Can also go fast through quality bearings and soft wheels
- Bottom and grip tape both designed (in our view the best-looking one on the market too)
- High maximum weight capacity of 250lbs
- Too much jumping can damage the board
3. Quest Super Cruiser – Our Best Longboard for Cruising
The Quest Super Cruiser is our best pick for those of you looking for a longboard for cruising!
This is because cruising is not just a particular way of using a longboard – it’s a lifestyle. And that lifestyle requires you to ride a darn nice-looking board. And we love the design of the Quest Super Cruiser!
But there are also some hard facts:
- The Super Cruiser’s deck is a bamboo-reinforced hardwood that can take a lot of punishment
- With its 44″ in length, this longboard is about the perfect length for cruising: not as long as a racing board and not short enough to slow you down
- It weighs only 10 pounds so you can stylishly pick it up and take it anywhere you’re headed
- The Quest Super Cruiser has a top mount setup which makes it carve better than most other boards
That being said, this deck is relatively stiff. We’d give it a 3 out of 10 for flexibility. This might be due to the shorter wheelbase of this longboard. A shorter wheelbase provides better turning response, but it also makes the center of the board a little stiffer.
The wheels on this board are mid-range as far as hardness goes.
The wheels on this board are good for casual cruising around town, because they have great traction due to the large contact patch. Yet, encounter a rock, stick or similar and the board will most certainly stop dead. So if you plan on skating in an area with lots of debris, I would recommend getting wheels that are beveled, such as the Sector 9 Butterballs.
All in all, this is a fantastic longboard for the price. It is easy to ride, super smooth, and good weight so you feel comfortable on it. So if you’re interested in getting a Longboard, and you don’t want to break the bank, this is a great way to test the waters.
- Superb finish on the deck
- Lightweight (10lbs) and easy to carry around
- Stylish and practical kick nose and tail
- The wheels can’t handle debris
4. Yocaher Professional Speed Longboard
The Yocaher Professional Speed Longboard is ideal for downhill speedriders.
The Yocaher Professional is unique in that the deck is lower at the center than where the trucks are mounted. So this board lowers your center of gravity and gives you more stability at greater speeds. That makes the Yocaher Professional great for speedboarding.
This longboard can handle very high speeds without wobbles. “Speed wobble” is an uncontrollable and very dangerous side effect of bombing down hills and banks. In fact, it is one of the most common cause of accidents that occur while riding on a longboard. So if you want to go high-speed, consider the Yocaher professional.
Moreover, this board features 22 (!) nice-looking color and design options. And with this board you won’t run into any problems in terms of rusting. (The Atom Pintail below has exactly such humidity issues.)
We were really impressed by how sturdy the Yocaher Speed board is. It can hold up to 275 lbs. with no issues. The trucks on this board should not be as loose as a trick board. You should use it for distance rather than maneuverability. The looser your trucks are, the less speed you will get. But it all boils down to personal preference, and if that’s the way you like it, then that is the right way to have it on your board.
The only problem you may encounter with the Yocaher Professional Speed is that you may need to replace the bearings on this board. The stock bearings do work okay, but in order to use the Yocaher professional for high-speed boarding, you’d need to change them. We recommend Reds by Bones Bearings as they are absolutely loved in the longboarding community.
- Dock lowers in the middle giving you stability for high speeds
- Heaps of appealing color options
- Won’t rust in rain and snow
- Carries up to 275 pounds
- Low quality stock bearings
5. Atom Drop-Through Longboard
We highly recommend the Atom Drop-Through for anyone starting out or starting over.
Overall, we really liked this Longboard for many reasons:
- all of the stock parts won’t need replacing right away
- the wheels are soft & grippy and wear slowly and evenly
- the design looks really cool and the board is very easy to maintain
But here’s a more detailled breakdown:
The wheels are wide, high-rebound wheels which lets them absorb most of the bumps on the terrain. It also enables you to roll over just about anything, including grass, and they will hold up great on concrete and asphalt. And the Atom Drop-Through’s wheels also provide good grip, especially when you’re turning at fast speeds. This is because the wheels have a relatively low “a”-size of 78. And the lower the “a”, the higher will be your grip.
This longboard is made out of bamboo. This means 2 things: the Arom Drop-Through has a high flexibility and is very light and durable at the same time. Plus: its weight makes it easy for you to carry this board around.
Another thing about Atom “Drop-Through” is that it isn’t an ordinary drop through. Rather, it has a slight bottleneck shape. This provides you with a great base and helps you feel where your foot is on the board. That comes in handy if you want to do various tricks in a row or are want to turn corners at very high speed.
Plus: This board is a good one to learn on because it is very stable and easy to ride. People report they could ride it fairly well after about an hour.
Even the bearings on this longboard seem to be of a high quality (as can be expected of ABEC 9s). The only thing we recommend you do right away is take the bearings apart, get the thick grease out of them, and put a drop or two of gun oil or machine oil in them. This will ensure that your Atom Drop-Through runs smoothly.
- High-grip and -rebound wheels ensure control even at high speeds
- Bottleneck shape helps you feel your positon on the board (so you can use your eyes for tricks or navigating at high speed)
- Made of bamboo and therefore very flexible
- Bearings need to be adjusted once after unboxing
- One of the more expensive lonboards on the market
6. SCSK8 Complete Longboard
The SCSK8 Longboard is made for skaters with an artistic side, but it seems that the manufacturer has sacrificed some more fundamental features at the same time.
But first for the positives:
The SCSK8 offers two different options in terms of board design: either “stained” which means that the bottom of the board is fully designed already. (In that case, you still have 5 design options to choose from.) But you can also grab this longboard in its “natural wood” option. Then the bottom side is blank in order for you to design it yourself. This helps to really create a connection between you and your board.
Another plus: this is a very sturdy board that will hold up to 270 pounds of weight.
As we said, though, there are a number of drawbacks to the SCSK8, the first of which is the grip tape. This comes off easily in which case further skating would become very difficult (for a beginner).
Also, this longboard is quite heavy and the tail is pointed, so it’s harder to flick than the other longboards reviewed here. So if you want a great board for tricks, get one with a kick tail for making it up cracks, curbs and around tight corners. The SCSK8 is more of a beginner board that you could primarily use for cruising.
So we’d only recommend this board if you’re just starting out & are on a very tight budget. After all, it is the cheapest longboard in this review.
- You can design this board yourself (natural wood option)
- Sturdy enough to support up to 270 pounds of weight
- Cheapest useful longboard on the market
- Grip tape can come off easily
- Heavy board that’s hard to carry around
- Some tricks not possible / much more difficult because of pointed tail
7. Atom PintailThe Atom Pintail longboard is great as a very first longboard for beginners!
We say that, because the Atom Pintail comes at a very competitive price and features a good deck, wheels and bearings. Only the trucks need to be loosened up quite a bit at first, but other than that this board is good to go out of the box.
So let’s look into some of the features in more detail:
- The Atom Pintail’s grip tape is nice and strong. Even after months of use it will retain its awesome shape. This gives you total control which comes in handy when starting to longboard.
- The wheels are soft and of good quality. They absorb most of the bumps on the road and will make any ride into a smooth one.
- The board is sturdy but lightweight enough to make carrying it with you easy.
- The Atom Pintail comes with risers which lift the board up. This helps with turns and avoids “wheel bite” which happens when the the wheels rub against the bottom of the deck and can cause the longboard to stop unexpectedly.
Another thing that comes “with” the Atom Pintail is MBS’ (the company’s) great customer service. If you ever needed help, you can count on a helpful and quick response to your inquiry.
The one weakness of this board is its sensitivity to rain or humid weather. Riding with it in the rain for short periods is okay, but we’d advise you not to store it outdoors. A night out in light rain could mean as much as a crack in the board.
- Good grip tape gives you considerable control
- Wheels absord lots of vibrations coming from the street
- Leightweight enough to easily carry it around
- Comes with risers (between wheels and board itself) which prevent friction
- Storing it in humid conditions or rain can cause cracks
8. Sector 9 Aperture Sidewinder
Despite the fact that the Sector 9 Aperture is an amazing board overall, we still put it last on our list because it is fairly expensive too.
The Aperture’s deck is made out of Maple wood and features a beautiful design with bright colors that look even better in person.
This board is very fast and at the same time very easy to control, which makes this Sector 9 longboard perfect for carving. The trucks are so flexible that you can almost touch the ground when turning. So this is one of the best turning boards we’ve tested. And if you tighten the trucks a little bit, you’ll be able to go at higher speeds and use this board to cruise through your college grounds or town.
The wheels are another strength of the Sector 9 Sidewinder. They provide a firm grip on the ground and are great for going over cobblestones. They don’t do so well in terms of sliding. So again: this is a carving-and-cruising board – not one for freestyle.
Something in between Pro and Con: the Sector 9 is 36 inches long and weighs 6.9 pounds. That makes it smaller and much lighter than the Atom Pintail and the Quest Super Cruiser. Some people might see this as a disadvantage out of fear that their board might break easily. We think it’s actually a pro as it’s very easy to carry this longboard around.
The only real downside to this board, compared to the Atom Pintail and Quest Super cruiser is the price, which is almost double, but it does more than make up for it in its versatility.
- Stylish design on maple wood
- Turns with ease and control
- Lots of flexibility
- Easy to carry around
- Fairly expensive compared to the other boards in this review
- Not as robust / heavy as other boards
Like all skateboards, longboards too are made from a sturdy wood, such as maple or birch.
Still, some of the longboard decks reviewed here are mae out of special materials and are therefore better for some purpose orother. Specifically…
- The Quest Super Cruiser and the Atom Longboard, are made of exotic woods, such as bamboo, for its aesthetic beauty and durability.
- The Longboards that feature Drop through mounting holes, are used to mount the truck baseplate on the top of the deck. This achieves the opposite of a riser pad by lowering the board’s center of gravity and ride height for increased stability.
- Some of the decks, such as the Atom Pintail Longboard, also come with risers or feature cut outs where sections of the deck are removed from above the wheels to avoid wheel bite.
As for the length of the deck you should consider this:
- The standard length of the decks is between 25 – 50 inches long and roughly 8 ½ – 10 inches wide.
- Still, some decks are much shorter than a typical skate deck (28” – 32”) and are typically used by younger and / or smaller riders. Taller riders can also make good use of these smaller boards.
- It makes sense to start with a shorter deck as a beginner and move up the length once you feel comfortable on a shorter one
For a more in depth guide on how to find the longboard deck that is best for your riding style, check out this video.
The most important thing to know about longboard trucks is that the placement of the kingpin is reversed in comparison to normal skateboard trucks. This is why they’ve earned their suggestive name “reverse kingpin”.
The trucks used for longboarding are usually wider than the ones on a skateboard providing riders with a more stable base for higher speeds and sharp turns. If you ever encounter an issue with your Longboard that involves the much dreaded squeaky noises, just take the trucks off and lubricate them, and it will be fine.
What to Look for in Longboard Wheels?
Having good wheels on your Longboard is very important when it comes to absorbing the bumps of a rough terrain, allowing for smoother ride, and having a better grip and a faster roll speed.
So you need to be on the lookout for bigger and wider wheels. These will provide you with a larger surface area to absorb vibrations, get firmer grip on the road and obtain better control if you lose traction by accident or on purpose.
An important part of any wheel’s description is its hardness, referred to as its durometer rating.
Typically, longboard wheels range from 75a to 85a (78a is most common), making them much softer than skateboard wheels (these are between 90a and 100a).
What About This ABEC Grade?
With all the ABEC 5, 6, 7 and higher ratings, things can get pretty confusing…
But what you (only) need to know is this: ABEC is actually just a guideline developed by engineers to grade bearings. And later it was turned into a marketing tool by board companies!
For example, “REDS” are super-fast bearings but not ABEC rated. So the bottom line is: you can have self-proclaimed ABEC 11 and they could be junk while well-made ABEC 5 bearings can run circles around it. So ultimately, you have to test – but really, most of the time you probably won’t notice the differences in ABEC grades.
And if you still need numbers: the universal industry standard is 8mm 608 size bearings. We’ve never been disappointed when going with those…
Find Your Preferred Riding Style
This is obviously hugely important, as different riding styles call for different features on your longboard:
Longboards are definitely less expensive to own and maintain than bicycles. And they can be similarly fast in taking you from A to B.
And the longboards created for this purpose, such as the Sector 9 Longboard, are typically in the range of 35-40″. Plus, they have a kick tail for making it up cracks, curbs, and around tight corners.
Some riders prefer flexible construction decks that bend slightly under your weight and provide dampening for rough pavement and vibrations, such as the Yocaher Longboard.
Finally, we recommend a short wheelbase and soft trucks for transportation longboards. These give you a more playful and responsive setup for maneuvering tight turns and avoiding obstacles.
The arguably most extreme and exciting discipline of longboarding is downhill. At speeds that cross 60 mph, riders use a racing style to negotiate hairpin turns and maximize their speed throughout the run.
Obviously, this can be very dangerous on public roads, and should be reserved for intermediate to expert riders only. But if you think you’re up for it (or will be in the near future), consider the following gear specs in order to have the best experience possible:
- Trucks – the ideal truck for handling high speeds is what many refer to as a “longboarding truck”. It is a reverse kingpin truck equipped with a truck suspension and turning system. Also, the width of the truck should be as close to the width of the deck as possible to ensure proper performance.
- Baseplate -The degree of your baseplate (situated inside the truck) will determine how strongly your board will turn with a specific amount of lean. High degree trucks (around 50°) will give you a quicker response while lower degree trucks (around 40°) will feel more stable at high speeds.
- Wheels – As a general rule, wheels in the 70-75mm diameter range will be the ideal size for a downhill rider. Smaller wheels run the risk of wearing out too quickly. Also, having sharp lips on a wheel will give you much more grip without sacrificing the wheel’s ability to slide.
Freeriders love to slash driveways, perform spins, switch slides, and drift corners without using their hands. This is a very fun riding style that is a great way for beginners to get comfortable on their boards and learn how to control their speed.
Freeride boards are usually in the length range of 35-45″. They are also much stiffer than a board used for casual riding, because the rigidity enhances stability and lends more control to the rider at high speeds.
They generally use small to mid- sized wheels (60-70mm) because it makes it easier for the rider to get traction and hold out long slides.
d. Cruising and Carving:
Some of our team did not not feel like aggressive downhill and freeride longboarders at all. They prefered to ride flat land or gentle inclines. And the good news is: any board can be used for cruising and carving so in this case it mostly comes down to personal preference.
Still, we prefer longer, more flexible boards with loose trucks. They make carving and generate speed after turns much easier. Plus: if you’re looking for a healthy way to exercise, longboard cruising and carving is a great alternative to jogging or biking.
e. Freestyle or “Dancing”:
This style is our personal favorite (and not to be confused with freeride above) because it provides an outlet for the rider’s creativity. Freestyle involves dancing maneuvers with technical flatground tricks and any other stylish elements you want to try.
Dancing involves changing positions on the deck of your board, performing sidestepping similar to board walking on longboard surfboards. “No comply 180”, “kickflips”, “cross steps”, and “tiger claws” are just some of the popular freestyle tricks. And here you can see 5 beginner tricks that you could start learning right after you got your longboard.
Got Something To Say (or Ask)?
Hopefully, we helped you on the way towards your buying decision.
And if you’ve got any question you’d like to have answered – do leave us a comment below.
We’ll answer it as soon as we’re back from product patrol (which is every evening)!
In the meantime, we wish you a smooth ride!