Freeride Longboards: Slide round the bends
Freeride longboard decks
Drop Through decks are some of the best for freeride longboarding. They give you a lower centre of gravity that gives you plenty of much needed stability. These days, more and more freeriders are also using Drop Platform decks – a fairly recent development in the longboard market place.
Drop Platform Construction decreases the distance between your deck and the floor. This makes your longboard even more stable and gives you all the manoeuvrability you need for enormous slides. Even beginners will get a kick out of it.
Thanks to their thin construction, drop through longboard decks weigh a lot less than others. This construction method also results in a stiffer longboard, making it more stable at high speeds - ideal for advanced riders.
Whichever type of longboard you decide on, we recommend a length of between 38” and 42”. These will be nice, stable freeride decks.
Freeride longboard trucks
Reverse kingpin trucks are well established as the ideal trucks for freeriding. Although you can’t go wrong with them, freeriders might occasionally opt for a lower or higher baseplate angle -
- A lower angle will give you more control over your board at high speeds
- A greater angle will make it easier to initiate slides
Just like with skateboards, the width of your trucks should correspond to the width of your longboard deck. But a few millimetres difference isn’t going to ruin anyone’s day. Look for trucks that are at least 180 millimetres wide.
Freeride longboard wheels
To avoid wheel bite and to help your wheels last longer, we recommend longboard wheels with a diameter of 68 to 72 mm. Smaller longboard wheels are more likely to leave skid marks on the street, wearing them out faster and leading to flat spots. That is: your wheels won’t be totally round anymore and therefore won’t ride as well.
The lip profile of your wheels plays a big part in freeride longboarding. Bevelled outer edges make it easier to initiate and control slides. This simple concept will really help you optimise your freeride setup, so, if you’re looking for a good time, pay attention to your lip profile.
When it comes to wheel hardness, you’re bound to have friends tell you that hard wheels are where it’s at. Sure, they are easier to slide, but they’re also much harder to control.
Our rule of thumb goes like this:
|Less than 75 kg||78 to 83a|
|75 to 90 kg||81 to 84a|
|More than 90 kg||82 to 86a|
But that’s just a suggestion - in the end the hardness of your wheels is entirely down to personal preference.
Because wider wheels make it harder to initiate slides we would recommend a narrower set for beginners. The width of your wheels won’t make as much of a difference to the feel of your setup as other factors though, so don’t worry too much.
Freeride longboard bearings
The choice of bearings is less important in freeride than other longboarding disciplines. The longboard deck, wheels and trucks are far more important. You can invest more money into your bearings if you want a longer lasting, more durable set, but you don’t have to. While we’re on the subject of long-lasting bearings, make sure you pay attention to your spacers. These little metal rings sit between your bearings to protect them from the lateral forces generated by sliding.