How to Choose Your Longboard Parts
Longboarding is a thrilling and exhilarating activity that requires the right equipment to maximize your riding experience. Choosing the appropriate longboard parts is essential to ensure safety, performance, and enjoyment while cruising or performing tricks.
This article will guide you through the process of selecting the right longboard parts that suit your riding style and preferences.
What Are The Essential Longboard Parts?
Longboards consist of several key components that work together to create a smooth and controlled ride. These parts include the deck, trucks, wheels, and bearings.
The deck is the main platform of the longboard on which the rider stands. It plays a crucial role in determining the stability, maneuverability, and overall feel of the board. Deck materials, shapes, and flexibilities vary, catering to different riding styles and preferences.
Trucks are the metal T-shaped components mounted under the deck. They are responsible for connecting the wheels to the deck, allowing the board to turn and pivot smoothly. Truck width, height, and bushing hardness affect stability, responsiveness, and carving abilities.
Longboard wheels come in various sizes, shapes, and durometers (hardness). The wheel choice greatly influences the ride quality, speed, grip, and ability to handle different terrains. Softer wheels provide better grip, while harder wheels offer more speed.
Bearings are small metal components that fit inside the wheels’ core. They allow the wheels to rotate smoothly and effortlessly. Bearings are rated on the ABEC scale, indicating their precision and performance. Higher ABEC ratings generally result in smoother and faster rides.
When choosing longboard parts, it’s important to consider various factors to ensure the components are suitable for your riding style and preferences. The table below outlines the different longboard parts and provides guidance on how to choose them:
|Longboard Part||Considerations||Tips for Selection|
|Deck||Material, Shape, Size, Flex||– Material: Choose between wood, bamboo, fiberglass, or carbon fiber based on desired flexibility and durability.<br>- Shape: Determine if you prefer a pintail, drop-through, or symmetrical shape based on your riding style.<br>- Size: Consider the length and width of the deck based on your height and shoe size.<br>- Flex: Determine if you want a stiff or flexible deck based on your riding preferences.|
|Trucks||Width, Height, Kingpin, Bushings||– Width: Match the truck width to the deck width for stability and maneuverability.<br>- Height: Lower trucks offer more stability, while higher trucks provide more clearance.<br>- Kingpin: Choose between standard kingpin (SKP) or reverse kingpin (RKP) based on your turning preference.<br>- Bushings: Softer bushings allow for easier turning, while harder bushings provide more stability.|
|Wheels||Diameter, Durometer, Shape||– Diameter: Larger wheels offer a smoother ride and roll over obstacles more easily.<br>- Durometer: Softer wheels (78A-87A) provide better grip and a smoother ride on rough surfaces, while harder wheels (88A-101A) offer more speed and durability on smooth surfaces.<br>- Shape: Consider if you want square-edged or rounded wheels, which affects grip and slide performance.|
|Bearings||ABEC Rating, Material||– ABEC Rating: Higher ABEC ratings (7-9) indicate greater precision, but for longboarding, ABEC 5 or higher is sufficient.<br>- Material: Choose bearings made from steel, ceramic, or titanium, considering their durability and cost.|
|Grip Tape||Coarseness, Design||– Coarseness: Select a grip tape with a texture that suits your preference for grip and feel.<br>- Design: Choose a design that complements your style or opt for clear grip tape to showcase the deck’s artwork.|
What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing Longboard Parts
When choosing longboard parts, several factors should be considered to ensure a customized setup that matches your riding style and preferences.
Determining your riding style is crucial in selecting the right longboard parts. Are you a downhill speed demon, a freestyle trickster, or a casual cruiser? Your riding style will dictate the type of deck, trucks, wheels, and bearings that best suit your needs.
Deck shapes vary, offering different features such as concave, camber, or flat profiles. Concave decks provide more control during slides and maneuvers, while camber decks offer increased flex for a lively feel. Choose a deck shape that complements your riding style and comfort level.
The width of the trucks should match the width of your deck to ensure stability and proper turning capabilities. Wider trucks offer more stability, while narrower trucks provide quicker and more responsive turns.
Wheel diameter affects speed, acceleration, and maneuverability. Smaller wheels accelerate faster and are ideal for tricks, while larger wheels maintain speed better and are suitable for cruising and downhill riding.
Bearing ABEC Rating
Consider the ABEC rating of the bearings when choosing longboard parts. Higher ABEC-rated bearings offer smoother and faster rides, while lower-rated bearings are more budget-friendly and suitable for casual riders.
How to Select The Right Longboard Parts – Choosing
Now that you have a better understanding of longboard parts and the factors to consider, it’s time to select the right components for your ideal setup.
Determining Your Riding Style
Identify your riding style and the type of longboarding you enjoy the most. Are you seeking speed, technical tricks, or relaxed cruising? Understanding your preferences will guide you towards the appropriate choices for deck, trucks, wheels, and bearings.
Selecting the Deck
Choose a deck that matches your riding style and preferences. Consider the deck shape, material, length, width, and flex. Experiment with different options to find the perfect fit for your comfort and skill level.
Picking the Right Trucks
Select trucks that provide stability and maneuverability for your riding style. Consider the truck width, height, and bushing hardness. Adjusting the truck setup can fine-tune your turning radius and board responsiveness.
Choosing the Ideal Wheels
Choose wheels that match your desired riding experience. Consider the diameter, durometer, and shape. Softer wheels are ideal for cruising and carving, while harder wheels are suitable for sliding and downhill riding.
Selecting the Right Bearings
Opt for bearings that offer the desired level of performance. Consider the ABEC rating, lubrication, and durability. High-quality bearings ensure smooth rides and reduce friction, resulting in better overall performance.
How often should I replace my longboard bearings?
The frequency of replacing longboard bearings depends on factors such as usage, maintenance, and environmental conditions. It’s recommended to inspect and clean your bearings regularly and replace them when you notice a significant decrease in performance or if they become damaged.
Can I use skateboard trucks on a longboard?
While skateboard trucks may fit on a longboard deck, it’s generally recommended to use trucks specifically designed for longboarding. Longboard trucks are usually wider and offer better stability, making them more suitable for the larger decks and different riding styles of longboarding.
What is the ideal durometer for longboard wheels?
The ideal durometer for longboard wheels depends on your riding style and the terrain you intend to ride on. Softer wheels (78A-87A) provide better grip and shock absorption, making them suitable for cruising and rough surfaces. Harder wheels (88A-101A) offer more speed and are ideal for sliding, tricks, and smooth surfaces.
How does deck flex affect longboarding?
Deck flex affects the ride quality and feel of a longboard. Stiffer decks provide stability at high speeds and are favored by downhill riders. Flexier decks offer more energy return and are preferred by freestyle and carving enthusiasts. Choose the flex that suits your riding style and preferences.
Can I mix and match different brands for longboard parts?
Yes, you can mix and match different brands for longboard parts. In fact, it’s a common practice among riders to customize their setups based on personal preferences. Just ensure that the components you choose are compatible and work well together for optimal performance.
Choosing the right longboard parts is crucial to maximize your riding experience. By understanding the different components and considering factors such as riding style, deck shape, truck width, wheel diameter, and bearing ABEC rating, you can create a customized setup that suits your preferences and allows you to enjoy longboarding to the fullest.
Hey, I am Amir Khan, a longboarder and skateboarder. I’ve learned so much during this whole journey, and I share it all on longboardsgeek.com in detailed reviews and guidelines.