Before I bought a longboard, I know I asked myself one big question: How much does a longboard cost? I am sure you are asking this, too.
The cost of a longboard ranges from $50 to a couple hundred dollars. The price ranges because it depends on whether you buy a complete setup or build it piece by piece. It also depends on the quality of equipment you buy.
Here’s an example. I spent less than $80 on a Quest board from Amazon. I use it for just rolling on the bike path and having fun.
I am a total newbie — never having rode a skateboard or longboard before. My intent was not to go crazy fast, carve the streets, or use the board at its limit. Intent is important — as is your skill level.
The harder you want to push the board and its parts the more money you will spend to get higher quality components. You may also be building it piece by piece rather than purchasing an already-built unit.
Need help picking a longboard?
When picking a longboard, you may want to consider the following factors:
- Styles of riding
- Level of ability
- Board shapes
- Deck styles
- Length and wheelbase
Styles of riding
Every longboarders has their own style. Some want a good all around longboard for college, some like to cruise, and others want to hit the steepest inclines. Boards are engineered for different situations, as well as surrounding terrain. Consider where you ride and how when choosing a board.
Level of ability
There are levels of skill which can be hindered or enhanced by choice of board. A board’s shape, mounting type, setups, flex and style can make or break your experiences.
As bearings control the function of the board’s wheels, you want to ensure bearings provide the optimum durability and performance. The higher the ABEC rating, the faster wheels spin. For general purposes:
- Cruising – 3 rating
- Freeriding – 5 rating
- Downhill and racing – over 5
Basic board shapes are directional and twin/symmetrical. Directionals are designed for going forward. The most common is the Pin Tail, but there are some cruisers, downhill and freestyle boards that are directional. Twin boards allow greater movement, such as 180 degree slides.
Deck styles are important to stability. Notice the height of boards as you shop. The higher the board, the higher your center of gravity will be. Deck styles include top mount, drop through, drop deck and double drop.
Common boards use various veneers of wood (maple, Baltic birch, bamboo) pressed into shapes. Construction can also be engineered from materials like carbon fiber. Use your budget and riding intent to decide which construction is best for you.
Longboards have shape characteristics that distinguish their use.
Kick tail: Good for trick riding like hopping curbs and sharp turns. Kick tails can be on one or both ends of a board.
Concave: These boards will have varying levels of concave along the rails or edges to manage foot grip on the board. Downhill and free ride boards will have deeper concaves.
W-Concave: A more intense foot grip found mostly on expensive boards.
Wheel wells and cut-outs: These features minimize getting thrown from the board after cornering too hard.
Board flex is critical to a board’s performance. Flex levels are soft, medium and stiff. Each has characteristics like specific shock absorption or speed control that manages everything from mellow cruising to bombing hills.
Boardlength and wheelbase
Longer boards and longer wheelbases allow greater speeds. Shorter boards and wheelbases allow faster and tighter turning.
Trucks provide turning and pivoting on the axle. Longboards have kingpins that are reversed or inverted, ensuring side-to-side movement, better control and stability. Carefully adjusted, better control turns. Tight trucks heighten high speed stability. Loose trucks make for better turns.
Wheels are probably the most important component in a board’s performance. Their road grip manages the entire riding experience.
Shape: The lips of the wheels come in two shapes, square and round.
A rounded wheel promises less traction in turns. Freeenders and freestylers prefer them as it gives them more power.
Square lipped wheels are not completely rounded, but squared at a 90 degree angle. There’s greater traction and sliding resistance. Power movers like to break them in for downhill and carving rides.
Other important components in the wheel construction are the durometer, core, width and height.
I hope this helped for buying a longboard and answered that question about how much does a longboard cost.