Longboard – Surf the Streets
The founding idea behind the first longboard was to bring the feeling of surfing to the streets. The features of regular skateboards were tweaked to achieve a smoother ride. In the past few years, more and more people have discovered longboarding for themselves and the trend has spread to streets across the world.
At Blue Tomato, you’ll find all the single components you need to build the longboard of your dreams or you can choose from a huge selection of great complete decks.
It’s all about the shape...
The deck of your longboard will determine its riding characteristics, depending on the construction and shape. Most decks are made of seven to eight layers of maple wood. There are also hybrid constructions made with different layers oflighter wood (like bamboo) and fibreglass layers. This improves flex and makes the deck lighter – an absolute win-win situation.
Freeriding is all about sick slides and crazy tricks. Your centre of balance is quite low on these boards thanks to the drop-through truck mounts. Freeride boards are often available as twins for super fun 180s!
You’ve probably seen many videos featuring ‘newschool’ flips and classic surf tricks. This is all made possible by the nose and tail kicks featured on boardwalking and dance boards. They allow you to incorporate and perfect your own style while skating.
Cruisers are basically hybrids between longboards and skateboards. They combine the best of both shapes to give you an ideal form of transport on smooth streets and in the city.
Carving boards are less about speed and more aboutthe unique feeling of carving. This shape will give you a great riding performance that you can enjoy to the fullest while executing long, deep turns.The pintail gives you extra control for narrower carving passages. Of course, the shape is also reminiscent of longboarding’s surf roots.
Their unusual shape says it all: these boards were made for speed! Most downhill boards have wheels that are positioned away from the deck in order to minimise the danger of wheelbites. The drop-through montage allows you to lower your point of balance for more stability at higher speeds.
Your Longboard Setup
Although longboard trucks look a lot like skateboard trucks at first glance, they are very different when it comes to riding performance. They are wider than standard trucks, giving you a smoother ride at high speeds. Trucks can be mounted by drop-through or top mount. This depends on the shape of your deck.
Drop-through mounts lessen the distance between your deck and the ground to give you more stability. A low centre of gravity is particularly useful when you’re bombing downhill or doing long slides. Drop-through trucks are mounted from above through an opening at the nose and tail. The classic choice is still the top mount, where the trucks are attached to the bottom of the longboard deck. You’ll find top mounts on almost every carving and cruiser board, giving you an amazing carving experience when doing tight turns on dark asphalt!
The laws of physics have an influence on the performance of your wheels. The larger the diameter of your wheels, the more speed you can build up. The harder your wheels, the easier it is to slide. Softer wheels give you more comfort and grip on the other hand. These kinds of wheels can absorb bumps and uneven surfaces to give you the most relaxed ride of your life.
Longboard Accessories – Small Stuff With a Big Impact!
Size doesn’t matter when itcomes to bearings: everything is standardised! All bearings fit on all wheels and therefore also on all trucks. Bearings differ in their ABEC value, which can go up to nine, but merely states the quality of fabrication. In some cases, ABEC 5 bearings may be a better choice than ABEC 7 bearings.
To make sure you have a strong stance on your deck, you’ll need grip tape. It’s really not much more than adhesive tape that feels like sandpaper and gives you great grip on your board. You can also go for transparent grip varnish. Globe is a fan of this method as it lets cool graphics shine through on the top of the board.
If you are skating on larger wheels, you’ll also need some riser pads. They increase the distance between your trucks and board to avoid nasty wheelbites which can brake your ride and even throw you off the board, especially during deep turns.
One of the many reasons why longboarding is so popular is because it is super easy to learn! Anyone can try it out without putting themselves in too much danger. Still, you should always wear appropriate protection: a helmet, slide-gloves, knee and elbow pads are the minimum. Safety first!
Once you’ve started cruising, nothing will be able to stop you! Your old bike will be replaced by a longboard and no matter where you need to go, it will be much more fun on your longboard! Your local hills won’t know what hit them!
Want to try out longboarding and see for yourself? We have the perfect setup for you!