Surfers skated longboards and regular skateboards during the late 50s when the surf wasn’t good in Southern California, although it’s still debatable as to where it all began, what is a fact is that attaching some metal wheels to a plank of wood to a whole life on its own. This was all for the enjoyable ride and thrills of skateboarding.
The Very Beginning
Fast-forward to the 60s and 70s where Stacy Peralta and Tony Alva appeared on the scene. It’s also where Powell, a surfer, and skateboarder along with Alva, took on skateboarding to a whole new level in downhill skating and vert skateboarding.
Fast-forward to the 80s, the Powell-Peralta team was a magnet for team sponsors and skateboarding in general. Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, and even Bob Burnquist, to name a few of the dozens of vert skaters in the scene, skated for fun, but also for contests. This was the ‘heyday’ of skateboarding.
They picked up their boards for compatibility of their style and techniques, their tricks and their loyalty to the sport. Their platform for skateboarding asked for “concave” boards with rails, short and wide decks and quality hardware. It continued as the years went by, but did have a sudden drop in popularity in the 90s. Although, the method to the madness had a new generation right behind them, which sparked more skateboard, tricks, boards and even skate parks. The construction of the board changed as well. Introducing the longboard versus the skateboard and a brief overview of their similarities as well as their differences.
Longboard and the Traditional Skateboard Overview
Besides adding to the ‘street skateboarding’ sport, the longboard has changed the sport by a long shot, (no pun intended). Getting from one destination to the next isn’t so difficult with best longboards either. Wherever your destination is, you probably can get there faster with the longboard.
The difference between the two is size, style of skating, and the style of the board, plus where the skater decides to skate. The similarities between the two are the equipment used: the helmet, the skateboard, the equipment (i.e. elbow pads, knee pads, gloves…).
For longboards, the decks come in all sizes, but the main element here is the length. They are usually between 42 inches and longer. The deck of a lonboards for beginners is comprised of a solid, long “plank of wood” and is much heavier. Some of the deck cuts are the style in various ways. Considering that they can be directional shaped, such as very pointy at the kick tail of the board or twin shaped. Think of a hammerhead shark and the shape of its head. Now, visualize it on both ends of the board. This is a good illustration of some of these boards which are extremely popular today.
Comparably, the shorter skateboards are lighter in weight, normally have the standard kicktail design and concaved. Their length size is measured at 28 inches to 32 inches. Their width is usually at 7″ to 10″. They are made of “layers of plywood.”
For longboards, the truck hardware is the same but seems to have way more sizes and lengths. To a skateboarder who uses the traditional board, they look like they put on backward. Manufacturers make them longer because of the weight of the longboard keeping them sturdier for downhill racing, for example. Also, because of the ease of maneuvering downhill, such as racing downhill, it helps to have wider trucks as well.
On the other hand, the traditional skateboard has shorter vehicles, or typically are the same ‘width’ of the skateboard. They are either screwed or bolted on tighter or looser; which is like the longboards. (Both boards require the wheels to be on the deck and consist of kingpins, bushings, the baseplates, the axles and the hangers as part of their hardware.)
The quality of the Bearings
The bearings on the longboards are similar to the bearings of a traditional skateboard. The ‘sounds’ you hear when you listen to a skateboarder ride by or skate by on the street or a ramp are the sounds of the bearings. The bearings help and allow the wheels to “spin around the axle.” The traditional skateboard and the longboards wheels hold the bearings in place. For performance and durability, the majority of them is ceramic or steel, for instance, and pre-lubricated for faster rides.
The standard sizes for skateboards have an 8mm core, 22mm outer diameter, and 7mm width. As opposed to the longboard, they could be a little bigger because of the wheel size.
Keeping them clean from dirt, grime, and water for both of the board’s bearings are important. Also, for both types of boards, the bearings come with braces for protection. The bearings are pre-lubricated for faster, smoother rides. This helps out when weighing too much on that “unnecessary friction.”
Overall Stability and Balance
Best Longboards are known to be more stable because of their weight and length. So, you won’t have the “wobbles” when you go downhill with a longboard, the quality of the longboards today are more advanced in construction.
Besides, depending on how you have your trucks, tight or loose, both boards are much easier to balance, especially if you’re used to having them one way as opposed to the other, such as tighter. Handling the boards, whether in a particular pool, riding, racing downhill, or skating on a vert ramp, it depends on the skater for the overall stability and his/her experience. Although longboards for beginners do have that added benefit of the stable boards, again, considering the size and weight of the boards, they’re much easier to balance and stand on.
Long distance riding
The Longboards seem to take the prize on this element of skateboards. They are meant for long distance travel. Short Skateboards are meant for aerial tricks on vert ramps, pools, Skate Park skating, and some street skating. As opposed to the long boards, racing long distance is the ultimate.
For traditional skateboards, eventually, the arch of you feet will finally get sore because the constant pushing on the street or foundation when skating for long distance rides.
Benefits of Longboard and Skateboard
Benefits of longboard are the ability to have transportation and being able to go at record speeds for racing whether riding downhill or on a regular road. Keeping a good balance simultaneously is another benefit. The other element is the longboards ability to turn better, including the vibration absorbance seems to be much better. The “cruiser boards” help with balancing and with the wider decks and trucks; it makes it easier for the beginners to enjoy.
For the skateboards, it’s all in the aerial tricks and street-style skateboarding that makes it beneficial. For instance, ollieing over obstacles is the benefit for the traditional skateboard. If you’re skating on a sidewalk, or street, and in the distance you see a construction sign, curbs, or huge gap. You can’t ollie over this with a longboard, but a traditional board you can and if you know how to Ollie.
Final verdict of both longboards versus skateboards
In conclusion, the final verdict lands on the decision of what you plan on using the board for. If you need transportation, both will suffice, but a skater will be more apt to get a longboard for transportation because of the stability and the speed. The ability to go downhill is a thrill ride for the sports enthusiast. You can cruise to destination points with ease, race downhill, such as carving curvy downhill roads, or freestyle on them while you ride. This is what makes them so great.
As for the traditional skateboard, it’s able to skate in various locations that’s the benefit, even tight spots. The skateboarder who uses the street course method will help because the many tricks and kickflips that can be used on various obstacles; usually around the city streets, buildings’ concrete structures.