From street skating to tricks, bowl riding to longboard dancing, freestyle longboarding lives up to its name in that this riding style encompasses a range of different styles, techniques, and tricks - ranging from basic pivoting to super complex kick-flip combinations. The beauty of this is that it makes it a diverse, free-flowing discipline that anyone can get involved in, but the difficult part can be knowing where to start.
Longboarding is great for commuting to and from campus or work, for cruising down the sidewalk, or for spending your weekends at the skatepark. Longboards can be more stable to ride thanks to their long and often broader deck, however, that doesn’t mean they’re any less interesting than a street skateboard.
Whether you’re using the street as your concrete playground, or plan on shredding bowls, a good start for any rider is having the right kind of board for the type of freestyling you plan on doing. Freeride or freestyle longboards are usually symmetrical, and may sometimes be called a twin-tip. This means that you can skate in both directions without any problems. Freestyle longboards vary from your classic oversized street skateboard style to bigger drop-through styles, to hybrid designs that combine the best elements of street decks and longboards, so you can get the best of both worlds.
There’s an overwhelming range of longboards out there, but purchasing a board online can be a great way to save money and time, so you can get riding as soon as possible. To help you out we’ve put together our top 5 longboards for freestyle riding, complete with a buyer’s guide and the most frequently asked questions, to help you find your perfect longboard for freestyle riding.
In a hurry? Here's what you need to know before you buy
- Longboards are used mainly for cruising and downhill riding but are also great for freestyling and dancing, where you can combine carving and cruising with a range of tricks, too.
- Freestyle longboards usually have symmetrical twin-tips and a drop-through deck to help maintain stability.
- There are two main types of longboard: Hybrid and Regular. Hybrids bridge the gap between skateboards and longboards, so these are great if you're transitioning from a skateboard or want something more versatile.
- For tricks, look for a board with a symmetrical twin-tip, drop-through deck that is on the stiffer side. A more flexible deck is best for cruising.
- Decks in the length range of 38-42" will be ideal for freestyling.
- Pay attention to the bearings, wheels, and trucks on your longboard - the quality of these are paramount for freestyle riding, which is why longboards are often a bit pricier than your average skateboard.
- Traditional kingpin (TKP) trucks are good for technical tricks, while Reverse Kingpin trucks (RKP) are good for maintaining stability when traveling at high speeds.
Best Longboard for Freestyle
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
This is our number one longboard for freestyling, not only because of the ten intricate, artisan designs you can choose from, but because the 42-inch camber deck offers super flexibility and shock absorption and is the perfect balance between a spacious deck to keep you stable, and a compact board for easy carrying and maneuverability.
Durable 70x51mm 78A PU wheels work in tandem with the ABEC-9 precision bearings, allowing you to cruise smoothly even on rougher surfaces. Plus the symmetrical twin-tip shape avoids wheel bite from any angle, providing excellent maneuverability so that you can turn quickly and effortlessly.
Despite its pretty appearance, this board can take a knock. Built with genuine aluminum alloy trucks, carbon steel bolts, chrome steel bearings, and high rebound PU wheels, you don’t need to worry about crashes and falls, because even if you take a hit - it’s unlikely the board will!
Without a doubt, the choice of design for this board sets it apart from others on the market. While appearance isn’t everything, it is nice to have something that looks as good as it rides!
- Twin-tip style, great maneuverability for street riding
- Flexible, shock-absorbent deck
- PU wheels for smooth cruising
- tackles a range of surfaces and cuts corners with ease
- A range of artisan designs to choose from
- While most people highly praise this board, one or two mentioned that the materials seem cheap.
If you’re just starting out and you're looking for a board to experiment on, the Playshion drop-through longboard is perfect for you. The ever-so-slight concave deck improves stability and facilitates easier turning, while the smooth, ABEC-9 bearings allow you to gently build speed and tackle corners while you’re still building up your confidence.
Made of bamboo wood, this board is incredibly sturdy and will hold up to 250lbs, making it great for adults and teens alike. Plus it features the classic kick-tail design for jumping on and off curbs and lifting the board.
The soft, 70x51mm PU wheels are perfect for rougher surfaces, and solid 7-inch aluminum trucks equipped with soft bushings make for a diverse board that cruises smoothly but can also be used for tricks and turns.
The drop-through mounting keeps you only 4 inches from the ground, offering more stability for new longboarders or beginners.
- Slight concave for extra stability
- Soft, large wheels for smooth riding even over rougher surfaces
- Abec-9 bearings allow you to gently build speed
- This board is strong - can handle up to 250lbs in weight making it ideal for larger adult riders.
- Greet drop-through board for beginners
- Not the fastest board - so only good for beginners, or for people who simply want to use it to get from A to B.
The Slendor longboard skateboard is the perfect choice for anyone wanting all the benefits of a standard drop through but with a tighter turning radius.
Achieve Cadillac-smooth riding with 70mm PU wheels and ABEC-9 high-speed chrome steel bearings, which allow you to maneuver the board swiftly over sidewalks and tackle corners effortlessly while trusting that your board will remain stable and sturdy.
The drop-through deck with camber concave is built to provide stability when traveling downhill, but has enough flex to absorb shock, and has added shock-absorbant rings in the wheels for extra comfort when riding on rougher surfaces, making it great for riders of all ages, especially those who are less confident and need something to practice on, that can withstand being knocked about.
- Drop-through deck with camber concave is perfect for freestyling
- Shock-absorbant ring in wheels for added comfort
- 70mm PU wheels for smooth riding
- You may need to tighten the trucks yourself as some buyers found them slightly too loose at first, though looser trucks are easier to ride for beginners.
If you’re looking for a longboard to dance on, this one from Magneto is ideal, thanks to its high-quality bamboo 46" x 9" deck, which has been specially designed for cruising and dancing. Thanks to the deck being high off the ground, this board can cut and carve effortlessly. The deck feels firm, with just the right degree of flex, to ensure comfort and stability while cruising at high speeds.
This board also looks great. The natural bamboo finish gives it an authentic, classic look and the sanded, clear-top finish means there’s no need for grip tape, which often looks shoddy when it starts peeling off,
plus it won’t rub against your clothes as you’re carrying it.
Don’t be concerned about this board being slippery to ride, though -
it still gives the same amount of grip as regular tape but means you get to show off the shiny, bamboo finish. An added bonus is that the logo reads the same right-side-up and upside-down.
- Great for dancing
- High deck for cutting and carving
- Clear grip tape with attractive bamboo deck
- The logo remains the same regardless of which side your board is facing!
- You may prefer a board with a longer kicktail for tighter or slower turns and jumping on and off curbs
If it’s speed that you’re after, this board could be the answer. The ABEC 9 bearings and wheels with 83A hardness allow fast and silent riding, even on rough surfaces.
While speed-wobble is a frequent issue many riders encounter when traveling at high speeds - when the rear of the board begins turning before the front of the board resulting in instability - the WiiSHAM remains sturdy even while bombing down hills, thanks to its resilient aluminum alloy trucks, steel truck bolts and elastic PU support pad.
Considering the price point, this is a lot of bang for your buck, combining good quality materials with a sleek, compact design. This board also comes with a handy tool to make any small adjustments you require to get the right degree of looseness and flex for your liking.
- Great for speed thanks to the hard wheels and ABEC-9 bearings - minimum speed wobble
- Aluminum alloy stent for extra stability
- The deck is made of 9 piles of Canadian maple
- The adjustment tool is included
- Grip tape is on the cheaper side, so you may find it peels easily.
Best Longboard for Freestyle Buying Guide
Longboard Anatomy 101
Knowing your longboard anatomy is essential so that you understand how the different parts influence your riding style, technique, and ability to take your ride to the next level. We’ve broken down the basics for you below:
- Kicktails: these are an obvious requirement for any freestyle riding, and are the tail of the board that is kicked up like a regular skateboard. Hybrid decks have large, symmetrical kicks, which give you the ability to maneuver the board easily, jump on and off curbs, and perform tricks such as the frontside or backside pivot. Bigger cutouts usually result in much narrower kicks, which overall make it harder to ride with your foot on the kick due to their being a smaller surface area.
- Wheels: the type of wheels your longboard determines the surfaces you can ride on. A good rule of thumb when it comes to wheel size is to keep within 56-63mm and ensure they’re soft enough for cruising but hard enough to maintain stability while you’re riding - particularly if you’re new to longboarding. Generally, the rougher the surface you’re riding on, the softer your wheels should be. If you plan on doing a lot of bowl riding, lightweight wheels with a round lip work well.
- Trucks: these are the metal component fixing your wheels to your deck. Traditional kingpin (TKP) trucks are good for technical tricks, while Independent, Tensor, or Gunmetal trucks are best for sliding or street tricks. If you want to build up a lot of speed on a larger board, Reverse Kingpin trucks (RKP) are good for maintaining stability, but not so much for flips and tricks due to the height.
- Deck: the main platform of the board that you stand on, usually made of plywood, such as bamboo, maple, birch, koa, or oak wood. They can range from two to eleven layers and are usually 2 millimeters (0.079 in) in thickness.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, here’s what to look out for when you’re shopping for the perfect freestyle longboard:
There are two main types of longboard: Hybrid and Regular. Hybrid models typically have larger kicks and a shorter wheelbase, offering more stability due to their size. They usually have larger wheels which makes them ideal for smooth cruising and carving around corners. Typical, “regular” longboards have smaller kicks, and a relatively long wheelbase (distance from one axle to the other), which allows them to be a bit more stable and ideal as a beginner longboard. If you don’t think you’ll ever be turning as much or doing tricks with the help of a kicktail, then opt for no kicktail.
Drop-platform decks seem to be the best choice for beginners starting out in freestyling, while Drop-through decks take things to the next level. Drop-through decks are usually lighter and slimmer, making them ideal for flip tricks. It’s best to go for one with less flex though, as a stiffer design is better for more technical tricks and flips.
Wider trucks offer more stability and are also geared towards higher speeds, while a narrower truck (narrow being in the 150mm region) is a lot more agile and maneuverable for tackling corners, as opposed to a wider truck (higher than 180mm).
Decks in the length range of 38-42" will be ideal for freestyling. Any shorter and they won't feel very stable, and any longer may feel too bulky to easily maneuver. The width is less important but the 8.5-10.5" range is most common for drop-platform and drop-through decks; anything in this width range is suited to freestyle riding.
While it’s generally true that the best boards are more expensive, there’s still an array of options out there if you’re on a budget, or you’re just starting out and not ready to invest just yet. We recommend spending around $90-$150 for your first longboard, as this should get you something of good quality without breaking the bank. When you’re ready to take things to the next level, and want something to perform technical tricks on, you’ll probably be looking to spend anything between $150-$400.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are Longboards so Expensive?
It may seem like a lot to spend for a plank of wood on wheels, but the main reason longboards are so expensive is because the quality of the elements of the board such as the bearings, wheels, and trucks are crucial to longboard riding and how far you can push yourself on the board. To ensure these are of good quality, you need to spend a little bit more than the price of your average skateboard.
What Type of Longboard is Best for Tricks?
Symmetrical, twin-tip drop-through boards are well-suited for freestyle tricks. A drop-through mount style allows you to ride lower to the ground, giving you the confidence to try bolder freestyle maneuvers. You'll want a stiffer deck for rigidity when doing tricks, while a more flexible deck is best for carving and cutting around corners.
What is the Best Longboard for Beginners?
The Playshion Drop Through is great for beginners. The ever-so-slight concave deck improves stability and facilitates easier turning, plus the drop-through mounting keeps you only 4 inches from the ground, offering more stability for new longboarders or beginners - and less height to fall from! It also offers an affordable price point so you don't have to break the bank for your first longboard. Don’t forget, you can always upgrade your board with new wheels or trucks, or replace it entirely after a year or so if you find yourself outgrowing your board.