So, you’re a beginner who’s looking to get into skateboarding, or you’re a seasoned professional looking to upgrade your gear, and you want to know more about Z-Flex longboards? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the legendary skateboard brand Z-Flex, innovators, and industry-leader for over 40 years, and its extensive collection of longboards. Their boards are some of the more expensive on the market, so we want to provide you with all the information you need to decide if these are the boards for you.
Z-Flex offers you the opportunity to buy into the Venice Beach, skater lifestyle with a series of collections inspired by the area, and the people who live there. So if you spend your time daydreaming about summer afternoons spent carving down sloping hills, or sunset cruises on your board by the beach this could be the brand for you.
We’ll be looking at the history of Z-Flex and their approach to the longboard, and breaking down the specifications of the product, to see what unique elements the company brings to the table.
Z-Flex - is it all hype, or are their boards truly something special? Carry on reading to find out?
Who is Z-Flex?
Surfing and Skateboarding history enthusiasts will no doubt recognize the name, Zephyr Team (also known as the Z-Boys) who were pioneers in the ‘boarding’ world, in the mid 70s.
The group was famous for bringing a new level of gymnastics to the sport of Skateboarding. Z-flex boasts many early Z-boys members in their team of founders - most notably world-renowned skater Jay Adams.
The team at Z-flex has been an industry leader since its inception in 1976 and was responsible for the development and popularization of urethane wheels which introduced new standards of speed and reliability to the industry.
Purchasing from a brand with a legacy like Z-Flex guarantees you, as a consumer, levels of quality, and innovation you’d struggled to find anywhere else on the market. This, however, normally comes with a bigger price tag, and Z-Flex is no different.
What is a Z-Flex Longboard?
What is a longboard?
A longboard is a type of skateboard that usually ranges from 34 inches to up to 50+ inches. As opposed to a shortboard (what is typically referred to as a ‘skateboard’) whose size usually ranges from 28 to 33 inches.
What are the benefits of a longboard?
One of the main advantages of longboards is how beginner-friendly they are.
Longboards are wider, with softer wheels and handle rough roads better than a traditional shortboard. Their stability makes them a really attractive option for someone looking to learn.
Longboards are great cruising boards - perfect for getting from point A to point B quickly and comfortably with minimal effort. Again, this is great for beginners, particularly if you’re just looking to travel, rather than do tricks. Traveling on a longboard is also a great form of exercise.
It is possible to do tricks on a longboard, however, tricks are exactly what shortboards are designed to do, so you will find them a lot easier to learn tricks on the shorter board.
What are the longboard options offered by Z-flex?
Z-Flex offers a wide range of longboards inspired by different areas of their home in California. Their boards come in different woods, finishes, colors, and styles.
The main feature of Z-Flex boards is the many different shapes they are available in Cruiser, Suftskate Fish, Pin Tail, Roundtail, Train Drop Through types.
What board specifications does Z-Flex offer?
One of our favorite things about Z-Flex boards is the level of customization available, you can customize every aspect of your board. Also, if you really want to get stuck in you can use their parts to build your own board. But there is the option to buy fully assembled boards for those of you who want to start skating as soon as possible.
Z-Flex offers a few different types of wheels in a wide range of colors to suit any build you have in mind. This includes the Z-pros (small, hard, designed for speed); the Z-smooths (larger, designed for speed, fits all sizes of boards); and the Z-Flex Longboard Wheels (much larger, soft, slower but smoother ride).
A variety of trucks are also available, most of their longboard trucks are 180mm and come with 87A cushions to allow for smoother a ride. The trucks are fairly flexible, allowing the boards to be able to cope on pretty much any surface.
Some highlights of the premade boards include:
Aragon Cheetah Rountail - The Roundtail is built for easy cruising with its large, soft wheels and the extra cushioning built into its trucks. Z-Flex claims that the easy to ride shape of this board is perfect for users of all skill levels. It is an 8 layer board with a painted grip, and beautifully designed underside to the board, inspired by The Cheetah Club in Venice Beach.
Banana Train Drop Through - This board comes with rose-colored wood, blush spray grip, and Mystery Island Ride inspired tropical underside. This is a 41-inch board designed for speed. This longer board comes fitted with Z-Flex’s unique Black Diamond Train Drop Through system, which is perfect for more advanced users.
Bamboo Pintail - Our favorite from Z-Flex’s Bamboo range, inspired by the surf culture of Venice Beach, this range comes with a smooth bamboo veneer and minimalist stencil on the undercarriage. This board comes in the classic Pintail shape and if perfect for those of you that want to be able to smoothly carve their way down hills and slopes. Often compared to riding a snowboard, Pintail boards offer the rider a lot of control at higher speeds, whilst maintaining a smooth ride.
Z-Flex longboards - Pros & Cons
- Well Designed - these boards are designed by people who live and breathe skateboarding, and you can tell when you look at the details of these boards. Everything is designed to give the user the ride of their dreams
- Flexibility - Z-Flex offers you the opportunity to design your own board, to get exactly what you want out of your purchase
- Quality - Z-Flex boards come with a 1 year warranty, and the company has an international reputation for producing high quality boards
- Pricey - yes you are getting a well designed, high-quality board, but you are still paying a little bit extra for the brand name. For a beginner, this can be a really big investment
- The more interesting designs sell out QUICKLY - due to the demand for Z-Flex boards it can be really difficult to get hold of one of the more aesthetically pleasing designs before they sell out
- Short - the average Z-Flex longboard length is in the 32-39 inch range, other brands offer longer longboards (the Train Drop Through boards being the exception to this)
So, are Z-Flex boards worth it?
Over the last 40 years, Z-Flex has had such a huge impact on the industry that it is hard to look at their competitors without seeing elements of Z-Flex innovation.
If you’re a beginner trying out longboarding for the first time you might want to hold back from purchasing a Z-Flex board until you’re sure the activity is something you want to pursue, as they are more expensive than most ‘starter boards’.
That being said Z-Flex boards are designed with the rider in mind, so they will be well built and beginners will find the boards work well for them.
If you’re not a beginner we would highly recommend picking yourself up a Z-Flex longboard. With the quilty guarantee and the precision development of each individual part of the board, there really is nothing to lose for someone looking to upgrade their board or add a new one to their collection.
We’d also recommend Z-Flex boards and parts to those of you looking to build your own board. We’d recommend spending the time researching the parts you’ll need as Z-Flex really does give you a lot of choices.
They offer a huge range of wheels and trucks that will really help you to build the exact longboard you’re looking for. Being able to incorporate Z-Flex’s innovative parts into your own designs will help to improve the overall performance and quality of the final product.
Our one issue with Z-Flex boards is that there isn’t a huge variety of designs, so those of you want a little more glamour on your quality longboard may struggle to find a design that appeals to you. We really love the designs of the Banana range, however they are very difficult to get hold of as they are frequently sold out.
We give this brand a rating of 4 out of 5 for beginners, and a 5 out of 5 for intermediates and beyond.