Choosing your first longboard

A complete longboard (fully set up, including deck, trucks, wheels and bearings) typically costs around $450 in Singapore. That's a huge investment, and potentially a pricey mistake if you make the wrong choice! We don't want you to make the same mistakes we did when we started longboarding. If you're planning on getting a longboard, your wallets will thank you for reading this.

This guide will cover the key points to consider when getting your first longboard (non-exhaustive):

  • What board shape should you get?
  • What size should your deck be?
  • What kind of trucks suit you?
  • Is flex good in your longboard?
  • What price should I be paying?

These questions mostly depend on what longboarding style you're going for. The styles can be summarized into three kinds (non-exhaustive):

  1. Freestyling/dancing: Lots of board flipping and literally dancing on your board. Check out our video tutorials!
  2. Cruising/carving: Cruising simply means getting about on your longboard, carving provides a more surfy feel.
  3. Downhill/freeriding: Going down steep hills at high speeds, and sliding to give yourself more control or to check your speed.

Since we're more experienced with freestyling/dancing and given that it's one of the more common style for beginners, this guide will be focusing on it. Here are the guides for downhill and freeriding boards. 

What shape should you get?

Freestyling involves popping- this means you need kicktails. Kicktails are the extended ends of the board over your trucks and wheels which give you the ability to pop your board.

Ollie GIF on GIFER - by Voodoohn

Ideally, you'll want two kicktails (one at each end) and a symmetrical deck so you don't have to worry which direction your board is facing. 

Concave is also important, but not exactly essential. Concave is the curvature along the width of your deck,  which helps you in locking your feet on the board if you're gonna be doing EXTREMELY sharp turns.

 

What size should your deck be?

Size Sizematters GIFs | Tenor

Let's face it, size matters! Longboard lengths can fall anywhere between 32" to 59". That's a pretty wide range, meaning there's a high chance you could be getting the wrong size if you don't do your research.

Shorter boards are lighter and require less rotation to do tricks, making it ideal if you're planning to go crazy on your kickflips, no complies etc. On the other hand, longer boards will definitely be heavier, but give you more room to dance and a more surfy feel.

We personally recommend around 41" to get started. 41 inches give you enough foot space for your dancing without getting too heavy/difficult to do freestyle tricks.

 

What kind of trucks suit you?

There are two main types of truck placements - top-mount and drop-through.

Top-mount vs drop-through decks

Top-mount boards have decks mounted on top of the trucks. These boards suit freestyling and dancing more, as it gives you more leverage in turning sharper angles. And since your deck is higher from the ground, you can pop it more easily. 

Drop-through boards have trucks which go through and above the deck, bringing it lower. It will provide a lower center of gravity - making it better for downhills and freeriding. But since you're closer to the ground, you won't be achieving the sharpest turns to do certain tricks! 

 

Is flex good in your longboard?

Flex? What's that? No, it isn't showing off your longboard to others... Although you'd probably do so if you got one of our Nahoa decks

Weird Flex GIFs | Tenor

Flex (flexibility) is how soft or hard your longboard deck is. This is definitely something to consider as a board that flexes can be a great help for longer rides and sessions. Most freestyle, dancing or cruising longboards come with a degree of flex which provides shock absorption, and this relieves some of the impact on your joints.

We definitely recommending getting a longboard with soft/medium deck for your first longboard. You don't want to get injured too quickly when you just got started!

 

What price should you be paying?

Not surprisingly, this is one of the most frequently asked question. It's because a longboard can cost up to $700 in Singapore. That's pretty high price to start a hobby!

Thus, if you're looking to just ease yourself into this hobby, there's no need to bomb your budget on a pricey board. Longboards wear down over time - it's gonna hurt your wallet (and your heart) to see your new, expensive deck get damaged. 

We know you want to have the best set up so you can do the best tricks, but price doesn't necessarily translate to you learning faster. You're better off limiting your budget on your very first board, and spending your money on better experiences (like going to Bali)! 

 

Let's recap on how you can pick the perfect longboard

Think of all the points we've mentioned as layers... layers of a piping hot, delicious lasagna. You have to put each piece together to get the best lasagna longboard for yourself. 

Hungry Cat GIF by Garfield - Find & Share on GIPHY

Again, these layers consist of the following:

  1. Shape
  2. Size
  3. Truck type
  4. Flex
  5. Price

Keep these in mind when you're picking your first longboard, and you'll be fine! 

The Nahoa Longboard might be the perfect lasagna for you

Bamboo longboard Longboard dance trick

 

The Nahoa Longboard was designed to help anyone get started with longboarding. This 41 inch beauty is a mix of bamboo and maple, giving you both sturdiness and sufficient flex for a comfortable, buttery smooth ride as you get started. And when you're ready to learn some tricks, we got you covered as well. We've added two kicktails to this symmetrical board, with a slight concave to give you more pop-ability.

Price was also a factor we deeply considered. We don't want you burning holes in your pockets for a starting longboard. That's why the Nahoa Longboard is competitively priced at $157 compared to the average price of $450.

To date, we have helped hundreds of satisfied customers get started with the Nahoa Longboard. But don't just take our word for it - check out our reviews and Instagram page.