Longboard Trends 2015 - an interview
The love for longboarding has infected us all – one earlier, the other later, but in the end we have all become passionate „street surfers“ in the last few years, who can’t do without this small piece of freedom on four wheels anymore. To dive a bit deeper into the scene and the current trends, we grabbed two experts and asked them about the current shapes, materials, rivalries with skateboarders and their Tips for Longboard-beginners.
Here they are:
Sevi, Hard Goods Buyer at Blue Tomato
Sevi is Hard Good Buyers at Blue Tomato, which means that he is responsible for the purchase of most of the boards of which our world consists. Next to Snowboards & Longboards, as well as their big and small parts, he also makes sure that we always have the needed protection on stock – you should be able to enjoy your favourite sport for a long time.
Björn, owner of rolligebrettl.de
Björn comes originally also more from the skate- and snowboard scene, but in his chosen hometown Berlin he quickly developed a passion for longboarding that stuck with him from then on. To give his passion more attention he started in 2012 the online magazine Rolligebrettl.de.
Interview with Björn and Sevi
Blue Tomato: wat are the current trends in the longboard department?
Sevi: in my opinion boards with cut-outs, so typical Freeride-Boards, are, like before, a big trend. Cruisers are strong as well. On the wole I think that longboarders will start to specialise more after they have had their „first contact” with longboarding.
Björn: I agree with that – this goes especially for all the newcomers, who are quasi “branded” by all the longboard-footage. Most of them just stand on boards that they have seen in videos. Those are mostly boards with cut-outs and a bit of flex. When they are then later really infected with the “longboard-virus”, they will start to specialise, until they belong to the core scene and then know exactly what they want. I think that, among cruisers, drop-through boards with cut-outs will push on, because they are the best known and stand out from skateboards.
Boards with Cut Outs and Drop Through-construction are the current trend. Pic by: rolligebrettl
Blue Tomato: And which are the most popular materials?
Björn:For a long time Canadian maple is used readily, because it is very dependable. However, bamboo, as well, because it absorbs shocks better than other materials. Overall, it will definitely become more technical. Especially in the freeride/downhill area, carbon properties are added to make the boards stiffer and to decrease torsion. With freeride boards and dancers you will find more often biaxial fiberglass, to make sure that the board doesn’t lose its shape and starts to wobble. On the whole, there are more and more boards with a hollow core coming on the market.
Sevi: Exactly – I agree with you for 100%. In addition, I think that in the future electro-longboards will boom. The e-mobility on a longboard will be interesting for many, although very expensive – therefore probably not a very big trend.
Björn: What also is upcoming are the edges that we know from snowboarding.
Sevi: Exactly, ABS side-edges for example, but they are more to be found in specialised longboard areas.
Björn: They are often replaced by Ceran. Many brands now even launch snowboards, like, for example, the Algernon by Loaded Longboards.
The decision for the right board is often hard - uncountable shapes, construction variations and materials are available
Blue Tomato: Have special shapes prevailed lately? For example cruiser?
Sevi: The Vinyl-Cruiser is as before popular. Especially in cities you can spot more small vinyl or wooden- and shortboard cruiser than scooters. That is the most important thing, more Skateboard, less scooter (laughs).
Björn: I agree with you. Shortboards are simply more adapted to the market and are, overall, more skateboard-like to get skaters aboard as well. It is ideal for beginners, because it is easy to cruise through the city on the boards, because they are agile. Skaters will enjoy them also because they are a mix of skateboard and longboard, with which they can ride fast and quiet and with which they still can make tricks.
Sevi: The more skate-oriented riders often take a pool deck and built with wider trucks and wheels their own cruiser.
Cruiser, Longboard or Skatedeck with wider wheels? There are many options for every taste. Pic by: Globe
Blue Tomato: What would you advice a beginner, what is really important to pay attention to?
Sevi: That they buy enough Protection and especially a helmet.
Björn: In addition, a beginner should pay attention to the trucks, instead of the design of the board: There are huge differences among them.
Sevi: The same thing with wheels and bearings. If you take a standard bearing from a € 35 board from a department store and compare it to a bearing that is designed for high friction, then the cheap one will faster fail: the oil in the bearing heats up and binds with the dust until the bearing get stuck.
Björn: In department-store-boards a maximum of ABEC 5 bearings are used. Overall, it makes more sense to make once a sound investment instead of buying 2-3 cheap boards with which you will not be happy.
Whoever chooses the right trucks will have more fun cruising
Blue Tomato: In which direction, in your opinion, the future of longboarding will go?
Björn: I think that skate- and longboarding will merge more in the coming years. I personally would like that very much, because then the hostility will cease. There are nowadays much more workshops and contests. The Downhill-Longboard Liga in Germany is becoming more professional and there is nowadays even an association.
Blue Tomato: In conclusion, we would like to know what is for you so special about longboarding?
Sevi: I am a classical skateboarder, who goes a cruiser to the skate park, with a skateboard on my back. So someone who uses the board more as a means of transport, because it is often faster than public transportation.
Björn: Not only faster, but also more quiet (laughs). For me it is, as it were, a vanishing point, a sport for relaxation and a feeling of freedom. A bit philosophical, but it is true.
Longboarding means for many to enjoy the feeling of freedom. Pic by: Arbor / Matt Smith
Blue Tomato: Super – we thank both of you very much!
You can find more about longboarding in our buyer’s guide and also in our Longboard Testtour Recap!