Longboard Skateboard Buyers Guide
How to Buy a Longboard Skateboard
Warehouse Skateboards offers a large selection of longboard skateboard goods. That’s all well and good if you know what you want, but what if you’re new to longboarding or a traditionalist who’s been riding the same rig forever? You might need a little help! We’ll walk you through everything you need to know to make the right decisions, whether you’re buying a complete skateboard or just picking up some pieces to improve your current ride.
What Is a Longboard Skateboard?
Longboarding has recently exploded in popularity, with more and more people getting hooked every day. Longboarding appeals to so many people because regardless of your skating skills, you can pick up a longboard skateboard and learn to ride it in no time! Whether you are commuting to and from class or downhill racing, there is a longboard right for you.
Longboards are most commonly used for either downhill racing, slalom, or transportation. Constructed and shaped completely different than a standard street skateboard, longboard skateboards allow for a larger, more stable stance when cruising around town or riding down hills. The advantages to riding a longboard as opposed to a standard skateboard relate mainly to the size of the skateboard deck. The decks are ultimately something that you can maneuver well on, and that you can easily carry around and store. Check out our large selection of longboard skateboard completes.
Choosing a Pre-Assembled Longboard
If you’re a novice skater and you don't want to build a custom complete longboard, check out our selection of pre-assembled complete longboards. Warehouse Skateboards offers complete longboard skateboards that are built from the same quality parts offered separately on our site.
See our huge selection of complete longboard skateboards in stock.
Building Your Own Custom Longboard Skateboard
If you’re a seasoned skater, you probably know exactly what you want. If you need a push in the right direction, below is a list of components to set up your own custom skateboard.
Longboard Buyer's Guides
Start building your complete skateboard with our skateboard builder.
Check out our How to Assemble a Complete Longboard instruction video.
How to Choose a Longboard Construction Type
Maple is the most common skateboard material. Maple is very durable and reliable. The maple construction creates a very solid, thick set up that will last an extremely long time, even through the hardest of skateboarding.
Bamboo skateboards are becoming more and more popular. The bamboo material offers more flex than that of maple. This material is perfect for cruising and carving the streets because it lightweight and has lots of flex. Much thinner than a maple deck, a bamboo board is great for transportation.
View our collection of Bamboo Longboard Skateboards.
Carbon fiber is the most expensive material for a longboard skateboard. With a foam core to lighten the weight, carbon fiber boards are designed to help you push off the start line faster and move effortlessly around turns and slides. More often than not, you will see experienced riders using carbon fiber skateboards.
Types of Longboard Skateboards
The majority of people use a longboard as a means of transportation around town, making cruising and carving the streets the most popular form of longboarding today. Longboards tend to make carving streets much easier, because they provide a rider with greater weight distribution on the skateboard deck. This form of riding is focused more on getting from point A to point B, rather than speed.
View our collection of Cruiser Longboard Skateboards.
Downhill racing is not for beginners. You can reach extremely high speeds when boarding, and wipeouts are "the normal." Downhill skateboards tend to be flat and have long wheel bases to provide for greater stability. When selecting a downhill board, it is important to choose a deck that is stable at high speeds and doesn't offer a lot of flex. As a reminder, it is vital that you wear protective gear when doing downhill racing. Not just a skateboard helmet, but protective skateboard pads as well.
View our collection of Downhill Longboard Skateboards.
Boardwalking is a popular freestyle skating, where a rider can do tricks and maneuver well on the skateboard deck. These longboards are typically between 40" and 60" in length and have a concave center with a kick tail or nose.
How to Buy Longboard Trucks
Longboard trucks are the metal T-shaped pieces that mount onto the underside of the longboard deck. The longboard truck size can be measured by the width of the hanger or the width of the axle. Every longboard skateboard requires two trucks.
Longboard trucks are extremely different than standard skateboard trucks. The primary difference is that the trucks hangers are often wider. This is to accommodate for the the difference in the decks length. The two most common longboard truck sizes are 150mm and 180mm. Longboard trucks are sometimes equipped with inverted or reversed kingpins. A longboard truck is known as a "reverse kingpin" truck because the axle is on the other side of the kingpin compared to a standard truck. Longboard trucks are designed to allow for easy turning and maneuverability; therefore, they often have softer urethane bushings. A downhill truck tends to have a much harder bushing in order to stabilize the longboard at high speeds.
When purchasing, you will receive the two longboard trucks necessary to assemble your longboard skateboard. Longboard trucks come in various sizes and colors, and Warehouse Skateboards carries a huge selection of brands to fit your personal preference.
What Size Longboard Trucks Do You Need?
Longboard truck hanger width
The axle of the truck runs through the hanger. For longboards, the hanger width is meant to match the width of your board. For a 9" deck or wider you will require a minimum of 180mm hanger width. Cruisers and carving longboards that are a bit slimmer can usually get away with 150mm hanger width.
Longboard truck baseplate angle
The top part of the truck that is screwed to the deck and is called the baseplate. The baseplate angle ultimately affects how a longboard handles turns. It determines the amount of deck lean, as well as the overall turn ratio. Having a low baseplate angle will make the truck turn less, while a high baseplate angle will make the truck turn more. A standard baseplate for longboards is 50 degrees. Having a 50-degree angle allows you to carve and cruise, while providing stability for downhill riders as well. A 44-degree baseplate with a 180mm hanger is usually sufficient for an experienced downhill rider.
Check out our massive selection of longboard trucks.
If you still have questions about longboard trucks, please visit our Longboard Trucks Buying Guide.
How to Buy Longboard Wheels
Wheel size and hardness
It is extremely important to choose the correct wheels when assembling your board. Longboard wheels tend to be larger than standard skateboard wheels, and usually ride better on rougher surfaces. This allows riders to reach a higher top speed compared to riding smaller wheels. The durometer for longboard wheels usually range from 75a to 90a.
What size diameter longboard wheels do you need?
Longboard wheels vary in color, size, and durability. Longboard wheels are most commonly made of polyurethane. The diameter and durometer of the wheel affect the way the longboard rides. The diameter and durometer are a matter of personal preference and skating style.
Diameter is the size of the wheel when measured from top to bottom. All longboard wheels are measured in millimeters (mm). The smaller the number, the smaller the wheel. Smaller wheels are slower; bigger wheels are faster.
||Average wheel size for beginners and bigger riders skating street, skate parks, bowls, and vert ramps.
||Specialty riders skating longboards, old-school boards, downhill, and dirt boards; made for speed and rougher surfaces.
What durometer longboard wheels do I need?
Durometer measures the wheel’s hardness. Harder wheels are faster; softer wheels are slower but have better grip.
Longboard wheel durometer is usually measured on a Durometer A Scale which goes from 1-100 to measure hardness. Some companies use the B Scale which measures 20 points lower, allowing the scale to be extended by 20 points for harder wheels. For example, an 80b durometer is the same as 100a durometer. These skateboard wheels have a larger and more accurate range of hardness. The average wheel durometer is 99a.
||Soft wheel good for rough surfaces, longboards, or street boards that need lots of grip to easily roll over cracks and pebbles. Designed for smooth rides, cruising, longboards, hills, and rough surfaces.
||Slightly harder and faster with a little less grip, but the grip's still good. Good for street and rough surfaces.
||Nice speed and grip-- an all-around good wheel. Great for beginners skating street, skate parks, ramps, pools, and other smooth surfaces.
||Hardest and fastest wheel with the least grip. Ineffective on slick and rough surfaces. These are pro wheels.
||Wheels using the B scale are extremely hard, measuring 20 points lower than the the A Scale in order to allow the scale to extend another 20 points for harder wheels.
Longboard skateboard wheels also come in many different shapes to suit various riding styles. Wheels with rounded lips are better for cruising, freeriding, and sliding, rather than downhill racing. Having a rounded lip allows the wheel to enter into slides with ease. Having the rounded lip when racing may create issues, because the edges will not grip the street when turning. Wheels that have straight edges rather than a round edge are typically designed to give riders more grip and control. Straight-edged wheels work great for downhill racers that need to grip the street.
Wheel bite occurs when your deck and wheels rub together. It usually occurs when you are turning hard or when you land a trick, and you stop immediately upon impact. Wheel bite can leave an indent where the wheels and deck meet. To prevent this from happening you should look into assembling your board with riser pads or medium to high skateboard trucks.
Take a look at our insane amount of longboard wheels currently in stock.
If you still have questions about longboard wheel sizing, please visit our Longboard Wheels Buying Guide.
How to Buy Skateboard Bearings
What size skateboard bearings do I need for my skateboard wheels?
All skateboard bearings are the same size, so you don't need to worry about size when selecting bearings. However, the ABEC rating denotes the quality of materials and precision used in manufacturing the bearing. Higher rated bearings are higher quality.
Skateboard bearings are used to mount the skateboard wheels to the skateboard axle. Skateboard bearings are all the same size and will fit any skateboard wheel that Warehouse Skateboards sells.
While they do not vary in size, they do vary in quality. The rule of thumb tends to be that the more expensive the skateboard bearings, the higher the quality. Cheaper bearings are typically made of lower quality materials, which can get deformed or break completely under the pressure of skateboarding. Inexpensive bearings may also not be sealed as well, resulting in dirt and debris in your bearings that will slow your board down dramatically. The more expensive skateboard bearings are sealed, with higher precession machining, and higher-quality metals. They will remain fast and precise over time with proper maintenance.
Most bearings are measured by an ABEC rating. The higher the ABEC rating, the more accurate and precise the bearing will be. This rating system includes grades 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. The closer you get to an ABEC 9 rating, the faster you will go and the less friction you will have when skateboarding.
ABEC 1 skateboard bearings tend to be the least expensive, most crude, and least precise.
ABEC 3 skateboard bearings tend to be inexpensive and do not roll very smoothly or quickly.
ABEC 5 skateboard bearings are the norm in skateboarding. With this rating you get a good amount of speed at an average cost.
ABEC 7 skateboard bearings are very fast and smooth and tend to be slightly more expensive.
ABEC 9 and higher skateboard bearings are extremely fast and are used more for downhill skating and skaters that want to go insanely fast.
Many companies do not use the ABEC rating scale, such as Bones Bearings. Bones Bearings uses their own rating system known as Skate Rated. These bearings do not follow the ABEC ratings because they are superior in quality and the ABEC rating ignores many quality factors in which Bones Bearings prides itself.
Check out the wide variety of skateboard bearings in stock.
If you still have questions about skateboard bearings, please visit our Skateboard Bearings Buying Guide.
How to Buy Skateboard Hardware
Skateboard hardware sizing
Skateboard hardware, also known as mounting hardware, is used to connect the skateboard trucks to the skateboard deck. Skateboard hardware refers to the nuts, bolts, locknuts, and screws used when building a skateboard. The screws can have an Allen or Phillips head. Skateboard hardware comes in many different lengths, and often includes one different colored bolt so that the rider can mark the nose of the skateboard.
Each skateboard hardware set includes 8 bolts and 8 locknuts. The set will be used to attach the skateboard truck to the skateboard deck. If you are looking to buy bolts and locknuts individually, you can certainly purchase them that way as well by searching our skateboard hardware inventory from low to high price.
What size hardware do I need to put together my skateboard?
7/8" to 1" hardware - no riser
1" to 1 1/8" hardware - 1/8" riser
1 1/4" hardware - 1/4" riser
1 1/2" hardware - 1/2" riser
Check out the skateboard hardware we currently have in stock.
If you still have questions about skateboard hardware, please visit our Skateboard Hardware Buying Guide.
How to Buy Skateboard Grip Tape
Grip tape is sold in single sheets that are 9" X 33". The bottom of the sheet will peel off, revealing a very sticky underside that will stick to the top of the skateboard deck. Once applied to your skateboard, use a box cutter or razor blade to cut your grip tape to fit your skateboard deck exactly.
What is skateboard grip tape?
Grip tape is a gritty, sandpaper-like material that is applied with adhesive to the top of the skateboard deck to provide traction. Grip tape allows the rider's feet to grip the surface of the skateboard deck and helps the skater stay on the board while doing tricks. Warehouse Skateboards offers a variety of colors and patterns of grip tape. Grip tape can be used to brighten a board, add texture, and express your personal style. While grip tape is most often found in black, it is available in clear to allow you to show off a company logo, or die-cut to display a design and/or color of your skateboard deck.
Check out the wide variety of skateboard grip tape in stock.
If you still have questions about skateboard grip tape, please visit our Skateboard Grip Tape Buying and Installation Guide.
How to Buy Skateboard Riser Pads
What size hardware do I need if I use riser pads?
No riser - 7/8" to 1" hardware
1/8" riser - 1" to 1 1/8" hardware
1/4" Riser - 1 1/4" hardware
1/2" riser - 1 1/2" hardware
Check out the available skateboard riser pads currently in stock.
Do I need riser pads for my skateboard?
A riser is a flat plastic pad that can be mounted between the skateboard truck and the skateboard deck. Riser pads increase the space between the truck and deck, raising the board up so that you don't experience wheel bite. Wheel bite occurs when the wheel touches the skateboard deck during a sharp turn and stops the wheel from rotating. Riser pads come in a variety of colors and thickness levels. Depending on your skateboarding style, riser pads can prolong the life of your skateboard deck by reducing the risk for stress cracks where the deck and the trucks meet.
Skateboard decks that use wheels smaller than 55mm do not typically require risers; however, 1/8” risers can help keep the hardware from vibrating loose.
As the wheels get larger, there's a greater chance for wheel bite, which may cause a nasty wipeout. In general, the longer the board and the larger the wheel, the more height is needed in a riser pad.
If you still have questions about skateboard risers, please visit our Skateboard Risers Buying Guide.
Still have questions?
We are Warehouse Skateboards. Our goal is to provide you with great customer service and information to make an informed skate purchase.
Give our customer service team a call at 877-791-9795, or live chat Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm EST. They will help you find the right products to fit your skateboarding needs. Still have questions? Please fill out our simple contact form.