lauantai 21. huhtikuuta 2012

How to buy your first longboard?

Stoked about longboarding? Maybe you saw amazing picture/video about longboarding or you saw a gorgeous dude/dudette longboarding in the city or maybe you tried your friends board and you fell in love with longboarding?

Next step is to get your first own longboard!

There are few things you should think about before you buy your first board. Don't choose it because of the colour or graphics like I did, it's wasted money.

First of all it is good to figure out what you want to do with it. Do you want to just cruise around and use it as a transport from places to another. Then more flexible deck is better and lighter to carry around. Especially if you want to cruise around in the city center it is more nicer and better to cruise around with a shorter and a lighter board. I have tried Plums custom boards which gives you a really sweet ride. They are handmade in Finland. Some people might even  like a little bit of tail in decks but I don't need it because I'm not good using it at all and generally thinking they are not that handy with longboards. For beginner it might be easier to use wider deck so it's more easier to keep balance while learning to push. In long distance pushing I prefer drop through deck with a little bit of flexi, so its closer to the ground, lighter, more steady and easier to push. I have used Lush longboards Generator last summer, which was good for everything exept high speeds. Now I'm really interested in Fibretec boards, its a small Swiss company and all boards are made of carbon fiber so they are really light but strong. Then there are dancing boards which are much fun to do dancing tricks like cross-stepping. It is good to pick light, flexible, wider and longer deck for cross-stepping and dancing tricks.

If you know that you are a speed maniac, wish to go as fast as you can and push your limits with a downhill deck you need a downhill deck. They are stiff, heavier, steadier bords and needs more gripping wheels. There are huge variety in downhill boards too. There are drop through decks (where trucks come through the deck) and top mount decks (trucks are under the deck) where drop through means stedier ride but its maybe harder to drift in the corners, top mount is easier in the corners and with slides but maybe in high speed you might get more speed whobbles. On my opinion Rayne longboards are mercedes of downhill boards, I have Rayne Isis, which is quite like Rayne babykillswitch. It's better to girls and smaller men.

There are huge variety of longboards and it is good to buy quality board first time than to spend money on rubbish. Good board you can always sell in case you are not that into it. Best way to find out what board feels good  is to try many of them.  You can try different boards in longboard shops, longboard makers or join a local session. One good way is to ask from a internet forum (, or from facebook, to try out different boards and people will help you for sure. Especially in Helsinki, Turku, Tampere and Kuopio has a bigger longboard scene in Finland. And I think Jyväskylä and Rovaniemi longboarding are getting bigger all the time.

Wheels are important for the first board and I recommend you give a thought to them too. I used last summer only Cult Deathrays. They were my only wheels and I used them in sliding, cruising and downhill. If you want to learn sliding, it's a bit harder with softer wheels (needs more speed) but I learned to do everything with them. I think I would have saved myself from a lots of burned skin if I had used harder wheels in the beginning. So there are few other wheels that we have experienced good to start with. Seismic landslides which Roosa made her first stand ups are good for sliding and also big and soft enough to pleasent cruising. Also Cult Classics and Metro motions are very popular wheels for the same reasons. They slide very well but there is also enough gripping to go faster. If you know that you just want to cruise around it's good to have softer and bigger wheels that give you a nice smooth ride. Finnish concrete and asfalt are pretty rough so softer is more pleasent for cruising and bigger wheels means less pushing. Then again, if you think you might want to even try sliding later it's better to buy freeride wheels that fits for everything, for example those I mentioned above. Wheels for downhill is good to be more gripping in high speed so you can stay in the road, I recommend Cult deathrays or Cult gamma rays. Abec 11 is very popular brand as they are mercedes for wheels and lots of people trust their wheels. I haven't tried them though, not yet. Good size for first wheels are 70mm they fit to most decks very well without any wheelbite.

There are lots of quality trucks. Good trucks to choose for your first board are Paris trucks, good quality and lots of satisfied users. They are good for sliding, cruising and downhill. I dont have much exeperience in different trucks but you can get started with these very well.

Best way to pick bearings is to take Biltin bearings. Then you dont need spacers or those small rings :D For your first board you can use any bearings, there are so many. Then it's goot to use spacers.

Bushings make a huge impact on how the board and trucks will work but I find them hard to pick. Good way is to try them or ask from someone who knows more about them. They are probably the cheapest part of a longboard. So they are easy to replace. Softer bushings you choose, easier the trucks will turn.

There are lots of different webshops you can find in the internet, probably in every country. Or you can go to a local longboardshop for example Boardsport in Helsinki or Offshore in Tampere and they will help you to choose your first complete board. I have noticed that these guys in these shops are supernice and will help you with everything what will come to your set up afterwards. In Boardsport you can get a good quality set up that lasts for long starting from the 200€.

If you want a longboard that is made in Finland there are plenty to choose from. Then you can have a board you want.  Plum Longboards makes custom longboards from all your wishes with exepertise and especially when you are lighter or heavier person its good to have a custom board so you get just the right flexi and qualities you wish to have. Complete Plum longboard starts from: 299€ with abec11 wheels.  Lonkenstein makes their boards in Lahti,  Reindeer longboards are in Lieto and Republic longboards close to Helsinki.
These were all my own opinions and I hope they will help you to buy your first longboard. Trust your feeling about the board. Can't wait to skate with you!

Have fun at longboardshopping!

2 kommenttia: