Carving is one of the popular longboarding disciplines and probably among the top skills longboarders should learn after foot pushing.
While carving as a technique is used in different longboarding styles, it’s also a riding style of its own, drawing inspiration for other board sports like surfing and snowboarding.
However, many riders choose this riding style because it’s both technical and artistic, bringing a great feeling of pleasure, motion, and freedom.
Additionally, the style provides a fantastic way to keep your speed in check. Just like on the snow, once you get carving dialled, you can tackle surprisingly steep-paved slopes with a little width.
In fact, learning to carve eventually opens the door to the world of standup sliding, so if that’s something you want to get into, you can start by carving.
But getting into carving isn’t easy as you think.
Of course, expert riders can carve with almost any longboard, but if you’re starting or need to hone your carving skills, you need the best carving longboard.
So, what makes a good longboard for serious, soulful carving?
When choosing the best carving longboard, my rule of thumb is it should be able to provide quick turns and maintain speed through pumping, .i.e, rail-to-rail transitions and allow you to keep a low center of gravity
The board should also flex for optimal response and energy in turns and have turny, flowy trucks.
Now, here at The Hobbykraze, we’ve reviewed different types of longboards in different posts, but in this review article, I share five of my favourite longboards.
Table of Contents
The Best Longboards for Carving For The Money
#1 Loaded Icarus - EDITOR'S CHOICE
Our top pick, Loaded Icarus, is dubbed as the ultimate carving board, reimagined by Loaded.
This longboard endeavours to give riders a taste of snowboarding and surfing while also holding on to the traditional aspects of the action sport.
While all that sounds amazing, we couldn’t help but notice the longboard’s price is a tad higher and we weren’t sure whether it would be a suitable recommendation for the typical riders.
But here’s the thing: Icarus isn’t your run-of-the-mill drop-through longboard.
It’s a pick for the serious longboarding experts who need a longboard with some serious flex, primarily for commuting and carving. Yet, it’s also versatile enough to allow riders to perform some freestyle riding, sliding, and even dancing.
Features and Benefits
The folks at Loaded have gone to great lengths to create a work of art, admirable for its looks and performance.
The stock photos don’t do justice to the longboard, and they don’t depict how beautiful it is.
It’s a masterpiece for what it was created for, and the Icarus is simply incredible.
Aesthetics aside, another thing I loved about this longboard’s design is how deceptively light it is. In fact, it’s lighter than most skateboards I know and won’t tire you when carrying it around or jogging some stairs.
Icarus isn’t only about looks.
It’s a solid longboard, too, and will fascinate you with its build and design.
My first observation was how sturdy the deck feels, resulting from a new manufacturing process; Loaded describes as “Icarus Composite Construction.”
Simply put, the deck combines laminates from different high-quality materials that make up a nearly indestructible longboard.
The longboard can take a beating like a champ and isn’t the type that breaks down from hitting curbs and other obstacles.
Now, for such sturdiness, it’s easy to think Icarus is a stiff longboard.
To our surprise, the longboard has a decent amount of flex coming from the strong cambered shape.
It’s an essential feature, especially for carvers, as it offers a lot of energy return when pumping. I find the board’s flex suitable for carving at slow-ish speeds, giving me the bounce and energy return needed for leaning harder into the carves with a nice surfy feel.
Some riders, however, feel the longboard is too flexy, and when active on the longboard, they can bottom it out.
It’s a common case with riders in the upper weight ranges, but it can be avoided by ordering a longboard with a suitable flex.
See, Icarus, like all other longboards on Loaded lineup, come with two flex options (Stiffer & Flexer). Your choice will depend on your preferences, weight, speed riding styles.
So be sure to pick the longboard that aligns with your riding tastes.
Moving on, Icarus features a drop-through deck design, making commuting fun.
Unfortunately, it sits slightly higher than a typical drop-through but not a deal-breaker as the longboard’s flex allows you to dig in when pushing.
Pushing the longboard feels like digging your foot into deep, loose soil, while the flex lets you slalom into pumping momentum.
Of course, drop-throughs aren’t my number one choice for carving (I prefer top mounts), but if you need a versatile longboard that hits the sweet spot for different riding styles, you can’t go wrong with the Icarus.
While Icarus is a great commuting longboard, it similarly excels in carving.
The longboard’s flex is unbelievable, and it feels like riding a fly-fishing rod.
It’s by far the most responsive longboard I’ve ridden, and I love how it pops in and out like a fighter jet.
Even better, as with most drop-throughs, it has a low centre of gravity, so it lets you carve with confidence even down the hills.
When it comes to the pumping action, it’s not as pumpable as a surf skate, but with full-body action, it’ll drive the longboard forward at pace.
Wheel & Trucks
Icarus drivetrain is worth every penny. The trucks turn on a dime and deliver smooth and controlled
turning responses perfect for hard carving and all-around riding.
On the other hand, the Orangatang wheels offer unmatched rolling resistance, grip, and smoothness. While I don’t think I would be comfortable taking the longboard on the extremely rough terrains, it can confidently handle the small rocks, pebbles, sticks, and twigs on the road.
My only concern was with the bearings-you need to replace them immediately. They’re unacceptable for this longboard’s quality and don’t roll for blocks of asphalt as easy as I would have wished.
#2 Atom Drop Through – 41 Inch - Best for Beginners
Few brands are as prestigious as Atom in the longboarding world, and today, we’ll look at an option qualifying as the perfect carving longboard for beginners.
Many riders starting will find the longboard as one of the best options because it’s pretty straightforward, easy to use, and, more importantly, affordable.
But is it the right pick for you?
Features and Benefits
I’m not very fond of the artwork on the deck, and I find it a little suppressing, especially when compared with what Loaded Icarus offers.
However, it’s not something I mind, considering the hardware, wheels, grip tape, and other components reek of quality craftsmanship.
See, I’m brutal with my decks; I love pushing myself a lot when riding and bail often.
While it’s true, I don’t take care of my decks, I was surprised how much the Atom Drop holds out.
It’s reliable, and mis-rides such as hitting the curbs or accidental collisions do little to harm the deck apart from a few dings here and there.
I’m a big guy, weighing over 250 pounds, and you’ll be surprised how Atom Drop holds me like your best pair of Tighty Whiteys.
But in all seriousness, though, this board has a fair amount of flex and feels great when going downhill or carving.
More importantly, it doesn’t bottom out even when I’m active on the board.
However, my favourite design part is the drop-through deck.
While this is a common style with cruiser boards, many longboarders find it useful for carving. The deck is much lower to the ground, and if we haven’t emphasized it enough, it has excellent stability.
Stability is useful for carving for several reasons.
First, it minimizes the chance of you stumbling over small rocks and falling over. Beginners can confidently carve downhill without losing control or wiping out despite the growing acceleration.
Secondly, the board’s stability is useful in urban settings or when you aim to attain insane yet safe downhill riding speeds.
Performance is yet another department where Atom excels.
First, the board is fun to ride, and it makes easy turns, so you’re less likely to lose your balance.
If you have a strong background in snowboarding, you’ll find it easy to pick up the carving skills on this board pretty quickly.
You’ll love how it handles speed well when going downhill and carves so well that you can even weave between people on your way to class or a busy street.
Wheels & Trucks
I’ve had experience with some inexpensive boards in the past, and they don’t compare to what Atom Drop offers.
The first thing I loved about this board is the big, nice grippy wheels that hug the road when turning fast.
They also roll just about anything, and I’ve used the wheels on some pretty darn conditions without an issue.
Another good thing about Atom’s wheels is their rounded lip profile.
I’m a big fan of this design as they let me roll smoothly without sticking. The rounded edge keeps the wheel from grabbing the pavement, yet the grippy enough to feel comfortable taking sharp corners.
I can’t brag anything about the bearings, but they get the job done and roll fairly well.
The only issues I had with Atom’s drivetrain are the trucks, which feel soft, almost soft enough to scratch them with my fingers.
#3 Sector 9 Aperture Sidewinder - Best for Intermediate Riders
Third, on our list of the best longboard for carving is an option best suited for intermediates.
Sector 9’s setup is perfect for intermediate users, though, with a few adjustments such as bigger wheels and better bearings, it could work well for the professionals.
We’ve included the board on this list because it has a good feel to it, smooth ride, and offers fantastic durability.
Features and Benefits
Sector 9 board is beautiful, but its selling point is it’s unbelievably handy for carving.
While it’s mostly used for hard carving, tightening the trucks a bit qualifies the board for bombing hills and cruising through your college with friends or town as it has awesome navigation abilities.
We also liked the board because it’s ultra-light, so it’s pretty easy to carry it when you don’t feel like riding anymore.
The deck and hardware componentry of a longboard are essential.
With our option, you get a 7-ply maple wood. In my opinion, the 7-ply offers sufficient layers for a person from150 to 200 pounds, so it will support most users.
Plus, the maple wood deck is robust and will take on abuses like a champ.
My favourite feature is how well the board flexes, which is nice when going over bumps and making the hard turns.
The board’s springiness soaks up the bumps on the road, and you’ll not feel exhausted from riding on the uneven terrain.
Another thing we’ve come across in our previously reviewed longboard is a drop-through design.
I like the setup with side cuts that prevent wheel bite when riding at speeds.
But the biggest benefit of the cutouts on the wheel wells is they provide Sector 9’s wheels with sufficient space for tight turning. This is critical for longboard carving because this skill involves a lot of hard turning that can result in wheelbase problems.
Sector 9 is an awesome longboard that turns likes a beast.
I’ve carved with this board at extreme 90-degree angles, and yet, it doesn’t feel like it’s going to wipe me off.
It’s easy to balance on and a wonderful choice for cruising along or performing the curvy bike trails.
While it’s incredible for taking sharp turns, it’s terrible at high speed because of the double kingpin.
Nevertheless, it still handles a decent amount of speed.
I’ve bombed don hill, and it has been fine. It tends to drift slightly, which is kinda cool but dangerous when going too fast.
Wheels & Trucks
Sector 9 has several details promoting great controllability and manoeuvring around people.
First, let’s start with the Gullwing Sidewinder trucks, which in my opinion, takes this board from a beginner board to an intermediate board.
The trucks allow great carving action and let users achieve a full u-turn in an extremely short arc.
They’re not for beginners, though, because their greater turning radius sets them up for a higher speed wobble chance.
Other details we love are the wheels (69mm, 78A), which will roll just about over anything. I love how the wheels absorb the road’s vibrations, yet they can gather speed even in the not-so-good conditions.
#4 Junli 41 Inch Freeride Skateboard Longboard - Best for Heavy Guys
The rule of life is bigger is always better. It’s ingrained in us, and there’s a little we can do to change our preferences for bigger things.
Paradoxically, when it comes to longboarding, the “liner” relationship between bigger is better ceases.
See, big guys always have a hard time finding a longboard that suits their needs.
Most of the boards available are small and can’t support the big guys.
But there’s a reprieve with the Junli.
This skate is specifically designed with the big guys in mind. While it’s not the largest we’ve seen, it has a generous capacity of up to 350 pounds.
Features and Benefits
Junli might be a beast, but the humble type.
It’s so easy to get used to, and if you’re looking for a forgiving board, you can’t go wrong with this pick.
Junli is also very stable, and you could even learn all the basics of carving in just one day with the board.
While Junli’s quality and ride performance are fantastic, I suggest you go for some more versatile bearings; the stocked ones don’t keep the wheels spinning for long.
But overall, the Junli longboard is definitely a must, especially if you don’t intend to spend an arm and leg for a longboard.
I’m not going to lie, but the first glance at the Junli, and I thought it wouldn’t support me.
To my surprise, the board is legit, and if you’re worried about it holding your weight, it can hold up to 350 pounds.
I would highly recommend the board for the big guys to support their weight without bottoming down or even breaking.
It also qualifies as a fantastic purchase for beginners and teens because it’s so big that it’s not easy to fall. I find it easy to ride, but remember, it’s not meant for tricks.
You would think Junli scrimps on the carving longboard performance for its weight.
But that’s not the case.
This longboard rides well and will even impress you with how it carves.
In fact, most riders find the board better than a regular skateboard because it’s longer, so you’ve sufficient room, and it turns way better.
Wheels & Trucks
Junli rides better, and the turning ride performance is nothing short of fantastic.
The abec11 bearings help users maintain a smooth riding experience while the large wheels roll over just about anything.
Overall, you love the Junli’s rolling performance and its great controllability.
#5 Rayne Longboards Demonseed - All-around Longboard
Our final pick of the best carving longboard list is Rayne
Demonseed, a great all-around option offering a comfortable longboarding speed.
It’s a versatile, general-purpose board that can accommodate the needs of most carving longboarders and other disciplines as well.
But is it the right longboarding option for you?
Features and Benefits
The artwork on Demonseed is unimpressive and undesirable.
It might just be me, but I only wished they would have left the board blank or been more minimalist with their choice.
I feel the grey camo idea is unenlightening and doesn’t look good.
But longboarding isn’t a beauty pageant, either!
When it comes to the meat and potatoes of longboarding, this board doesn’t fail.
For instance, the grip tape has lots of grips, similar to a regular skateboard.
At first, you might not like the grip tape, but with time, you’ll appreciate how well it keeps both your feet on to the board when sliding or carving.
Overall, Demonseed is an excellent board, feels stable, and works well for anyone needing a reliable all-around board.
As with most boards on our list, Demonseed comes with a drop-down deck.
I’m a big fan of these longboard setups as they lower the centre of gravity, inspiring more confidence to beginners as they carve downhill at speeds.
Additionally, the deck has cut out, necessary for eliminating wheel bite, so users can carve confidently without worry of getting thrown off the board.
Another thing I loved about the board is the rocker and deep concave. Both of these are necessary for keeping your feet locked onto the longboard while freeriding fast downhill riding or pushing long-distance.
Finally, the longboard is super thick than other boards in its class. It looks like it’ll last for a long time and will take on the abuses and punishment like a champ.
Demonseed’s shape not only promotes comfort but qualifies the board for carving.
I love how well the board makes the short, snappy lateral turns without wiping you out.
Carving on this board is a delight, and you’ll love every second on the board.
Plus, it has a relatively wide deck, so users will find a generous platform to keep their legs and won’t risk falling.
Wheels & Trucks
Demonseed’s riding performance is exceptional, and I love how the ABEC-5 bearings and trucks allow for greater controllability and easy turning.
On the other hand, the Orangatang In Heat 75mm 83A will effortlessly roll over most of the debris and absorbs shock well for a bumpy-free ride.
Best Longboards for Carving Buying Guide
There’re several factors to consider when choosing the best carving longboard for the best longboard for the carving experience.
And in the text below, I’ll share with you some of the important factors to keep in mind in your next longboard purchase spree.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Longboard for Carving
When choosing a carving deck, the general rule of thumb is it needs to provide a good response of your moves in turns and a decent return from the energy.
That is, as you anchor your body weight into a rail and get low to initiate the tight turns, your deck should correspond by amplifying the impulse from your motion.
Let’s dig deeper and see how the choice of deck corresponds to your carving experience:
Deck Size and Mount
Generally, the mid-sized carving decks in the 32-42″ range work best for effective carving.
Having a too small deck may limit your impulses’ momentum, while the large decks are slower and “draggier” to push into turns.
When it comes to the choice of deck style, there’re several things to consider.
The top mount deck provides the greatest leverage over the truck, consequentially making the board more responsive to turns.
On the other hand, Drop-through boards offer more stability at speeds but no as turny or responsive as the top mount carving decks.
Nevertheless, there’re awesome top mounts, specifically designed for carving and can even handle faster carving than most drop-throughs.
Deck Flex and Camber
The best carving longboards have some flex to offer a lively and energetic response to your carving impulses and weight shits.
However, the amount of flex on your board depends on how fast you need to go.
For instance, higher speeds require more stability, and hence, less flex. Additionally, some riders prefer a less flexy board for a more direct response, especially when shifting and leaning.
On the other hand, some level of flex is necessary for low-speed carving. The medium-flex boards, in particular, help you drive carve and generate speed through carves.
Speed aside, your weight also determines the amount of flex on your board.
Lighter riders are more likely to feel the flex and responsiveness that the heavier persons would do on the same board.
And since flex is such a necessary component for carving longboards, most of the longboards come with different flex levels to suit your needs.
Additionally, the deep carving longboards are designed using hybrid materials such as a bamboo deck mix, which offers superior flex characteristics. Fibreglass is also common, thanks to its resistance and stiffness.
Another critical component greatly influencing a board’s responsiveness is a cambered platform.
Decks with cambered profiles are slightly raised in the middle, offering a springier feel. This adds to the flex for a greater rebound on your impulses in turns, for better acceleration when turning.
The best carving boards are all about carving and turnability.
These boards come with an array of parts promoting these skills, and one such feature is the wheel cutout on the wheel wells.
Boards with wheel cutouts provide the board’s wheel with sufficient space for tight turning since the deck doesn’t cover the wheels.
It’s a critical element for carving because the skill involves hard turning, which can easily result in wheel bite problems.
Foot Lock-in and Sidecuts
It’s not uncommon for some premium longboard for carving to feature a narrowed-down shape in the middle, also known as sidecuts.
The sidecuts play a crucial role in minimizing the torsional stiffness between the rider’s feet, granting the rider more control over the board’s turning radius.
Generally, carving boards with a wide centre section are usually harder to control, especially when turning.
Another desirable feature for the best boards for carving is a slight concave for foot lick-in.
It’s a necessary feature, especially when performing the continuous fast edge-to-edge transitions and fast turns.
The concave provides your legs with something to push on while keeping them “locked”.
Kick tails aren’t essential for carving unless you plan to perform some tricks.
The kicks will let you do the quick turns and small jumps, but their presence results in a shorter wheelbase, which in turn reduces a board’s carving ability and stability.
However, some riders enjoy leveraging the kicks when carving, so, yes, it all depends on personal preferences.
There’re many longboard trucks out there, but the most common carving option is the reverse kingpin (RKP) trucks.
If used with the right board design, they provide tight turning and are easy to pump, especially when set loose.
Most of the carving trucks can also be adjusted, and the 50º baseplate angle is the most common type, as it offers the sweet spot for lean vs. turn.
Best Carving Longboard Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What type of longboard is best for carving?
A: The best carving boards are the commuter-style top mounts. These longboards offer plenty of leverage over the wheels as the trucks are mounted at the very end of the deck for optimal carving performance.
Q: What is the difference between cruising and carving on a longboard?
A: As its name suggests, carving entails “carving” lines and curves on whatever surface you’re riding on.
Cruising, on the other hand, and simply involves moving around pushing your longboard. Cruising longboards are mostly used for commuting, and offer a great cruising experience.
Q: Are drop-through longboards good for carving?
A: While top mounts are the most popular carving options, drop-through longboards are common with this riding style.
The drop-throughs are particularly ideal for carving downhills at speeds as they’re stable. They’re also suitable for some cruising and carving.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Our winner for the best carving longboards is the Loaded Icarus.
It hands down is amongst the best longboards in the market.
The board seems to tick on all the boxes for the best carving board and is easy to use.
It’s expensive, but the price is worth it considering this is the kind of longboard that’ll help you manage your carves. More importantly, it’s versatile and can be used for other styles such as cruising and freeriding.