If you’re new to freeriding, it’s easy to think any deck can be set up for freeride purposes.
In particular, many riders think that freeride boards are similar to downhill boards.
Of course, the skills and techniques used in both downhill and freeride are interchangeable, but subtle differences separate between these two riding styles.
Similar to downhill skating, freeriding is also about bombing the hills. However, freeriding is focused on executing the biggest slides and fluid carving at higher speeds.
In most cases, freeride longboarding entails downhill riding, but at low to moderate speeds, focusing on performing power slides.
This art isn’t about reaching maximum speeds, but it seeks to perform slides, spins, and other technical maneuvers.
Given the right skills, however, you can freeride almost any longboard.
Nevertheless, the freeride-optimized boards sport unique features that stabilize the riders at high speeds and make it easier to slide.
If you’re looking for such a board, we’re here to help.
In our review guide below, I’ll share with you 5 of my favorite freeride longboards.
Table of Contents
The Best Freeride Longboards For The Money
#1 Alameda Skateboard Complete - Best for Beginners
If you’re a beginner starting on freeriding, you most likely aren’t looking for anything fancy.
You probably also don’t want to spend too much on a board and end up not liking freeriding in the end.
Now, if you need such a longboard, you can’t go wrong with the Alameda Skateboard Complete.
Sure, it looks budget, which is okay when just learning; it doesn’t break the bank and would serve you well as you progress.
Features and Benefits
Alameda is a nice skateboard for the price, and there’s a lot to like about it.
For the price, you’d expect an average, cheap and brittle board with plastic bearings and grip tape that looks like it has sand hand-sprinkled on it.
But this is far from it.
The board looks well-crafted, with perfect weight, sturdy alloy trucks, perfect grip, and great bearings.
My favorite feature is the grippy surface, resembling sandpaper. I can imagine my kids craping the deck more than asphalt, but the grip is less likely to wreck. This is not to mention it’ll keep your feet rooted to the board.
With a length of 31 inches, Alameda is a lot shorter than most of the board out there.
It feels a bit small for the big guys, but it’s easier for kids and short riders to keep their balance.
When it comes to construction, the maple deck is rock solid. I’ve scraped it up and abused the deck, but the board takes the punishment like a champ.
The other thing you’ll love with the deck is the slightly cambered design.
Combined with the slightly raised nose and tail, this board is perfect for doing tricks, some of which I disapprove of.
Overall, the deck itself is high quality and feels like a pro deck under your feet.
Alameda’s performance is nothing short of fantastic.
First, it turns easily, and having run it around my garage and driveway; I can tell you it feels stable and pretty forgiving.
With a flexible attachment of the axle to the deck, the board allows you to “carve” easily, and this is necessary when freeriding downhill.
Wheels and Trucks
Alameda’s wheels are grooved, perfect if the surface you’re on is a bit damp. They hold direction wonderfully and will allow you to perform tricks effortlessly.
The only real downside with the wheels is they’re a bit on the small side, so you’re more than likely to feel the cracks on the sidewalk. I’m not sure I’d be comfortable taking the wheels out on the road with potholes, twigs, or pinecone as it might cause problems.
However, vibrations’ effects are less when rolling at a pretty good pace and on a smooth surface.
The alloy trucks are not heavy, while the bearings spin fast enough so you can build up speed. But not so fast that learners won’t be able to control it.
While the bearings and wheels aren’t the best, they are decent and fine for all-purpose use and street riding.
For example, a single push will give you anywhere from 15 to 20 feet, depending on your age and skills.
Overall, Alameda is relatively inexpensive, but it’s an ok starter longboard.
You might try and see whether you like the board’s freeriding performance- if you do, count on having to get a better model later.
Alternatively, you can choose to modify the board and get better trucks and wheels for improved performance.
#2 Volador 42inch Freeride Longboard - Best Cruiser for Freeride
I don’t know much about you, but personally, I love to stand out, and when freeriding, there’s no easier way than with the Volador.
The first thing you’ll notice with this board is the amazing artwork, unique among other boards on the street.
Volador is designed by talents across the Atlantic, with graphics ranging from strikingly vintage to avant-garde look.
But looks aren’t the only benefit this board has to offer.
Volador prioritizes the freeriding performance and will make it effortless to perform tricks with the board.
It’s a performance-oriented board, coming with everything you would need for a carving cruiser longboard.
Feature and Benefits
First things first, Volador will allure you with its artfulness.
I know looks don’t count much when determining the performance, but it feels nice to have a board that rides as well as it looks.
The board has various design themes ranging from cocktail, banana tree, forest, Fuji Sakura to solar. My personal favorite is floral.
And that’s not even the best part.
Right when you look at it, you’ll know that Volador is a classy longboard.
Sporting a naturalistic design and exquisite construction, this is board that will take smoothness when riding to another level.
From sustainable material selection to quality build, this board manages to provide superior results with freeride performance.
Volador’s deck doesn’t skimp either.
First, it has an impressive length of 42 inches. I know the length might be a challenge for small riders, but it is appropriate for downhill and uphill riding. The length and the 32 inches wheelbase are useful for providing stability, something you need when going on hilly roads.
On the other hand, the width deck is 9 inches, giving you more than enough room for foot placement.
My favorite feature is the slight curve deck, curving downwards in the middle and upward at the nose and tail.
I’m a big fan of this design as it allows riders to skate with minimal resistance. Plus, the almost pointy tail and nose help riders catch speed by cutting through the wind effortlessly.
And that’s not even the best part!
The drop-through lowers the center of gravity, giving novice riders even more confidence when attempting the risky tricks at high speeds.
Secondly, the design allows the riders to escape any wheel bite from any angle and take extreme turns without the risk of wiping out.
Finally, the design eliminates the distance between the deck and the ground. And less distance offers more control for you. With the board, you’ve added stability, and this is essential, especially when cruising down at high speeds on a steep road.
Volador’s maneuverability is good, allowing riders to carve around most turns without the need to over/under correct.
The board absorbs most of the vibrations on the road and will not subject you to grinding or hissing sounds.
My only concern is you need to kick a lot more frequently to stay in motion than other boards within its class.
Of course, you can loosen the wheel but, but still, the speed difference is noticeable.
Wheels and Bearings
The size and the hardness of the wheels dictate how good the wheels are.
And with the Volador, you get 70mm by 51 mm wheels, with a hardness of 78A.
They’re pretty big wheels and will treat you to an awesome ride, especially over the rocky terrain, without being disturbed.
I love how the high-rebound PU wheel helps you bounce off obstacles, and this is fantastic for people who ride in rocky terrain and for people looking to cruise.
My only problem was with the truck.
They turn pretty much, and this isn’t great when going super-fast. And regardless of how hard I try tightening the truck, it still has a good amount of give.
#3 MINORITY Downhill Maple Longboard - Best Drop-Down Freeride Board
I’m not a big fan of drop-downs because most of them don’t allow me to maximize the amount of grip on the wheels. They also limit the performance of the trucks.
While these are definitely a non-issue for beginners and intermediates, you’ll ultimately end up outgrowing these boards.
Minority Downhill is not any different, but you’ll definitely enjoy what the board has to offer while it lasts.
Experts might feel the board has a little less to offer for their skills, but beginners and intermediates will relish every single second on the Minority downhill.
The board will also appeal to the free riders who like to take their carving and trick performances downhill.
Features and Benefits
Minority Downhill appears exactly as it shows, with the proper graphics and design.
I like the board, especially the artwork on the board.
The price is also budget-friendly, and this is something beginners will like,
If you’re wondering whether this is a beginner board, then it’s a big YES.
Coming with a drop-down deck, the board sits closer to the floor, making it easier to maintain your balance.
Yet, it’s not too low that it scrapes the ground, but that is unless you go too hard on it.
It’s pretty tall, and with a width of 41 inches, it offers a generous platform where you stand anywhere without the worry of the board flipping.
The width is the most impressive element, and at 10 inches, it is bigger than most freeride longboards.
Typical boards have sizes 7 for men and size 9 for women and rarely cover the whole board. But with Minority’s width, you can effortlessly shift your weight and move more on the board with more confidence to do things like a turn.
My only worry with the board is the flex.
The deck itself is flexy, but the good thing is it doesn’t break down on weight, even for riders on the high end of the weight limit.
Minority is pretty sharp on its turns.
It offers a smooth ride, is maneuverable, and I actually love how it turns.
The drop deck is fine too, and all, but you really need to make wide turns when going for corners.
But it’s easy to overcome the challenge by using Paris trucks,
Wheels and Bearings
Minority’s wheels are fairly small for my liking, and if you’ll be carving in a city near sidewalks, you need to be on the watch out for the potholes and medium-sized rocks.
The bearings, however, hold up pretty well, while the trucks offer awesome maneuverability, fresh as I bought them.
Overall, the turning performance is great, and I would highly recommend the Minority for beginner riders. I would also push the board for the experienced riders who haven’t ridden a drop deck before.
#4 Hana Longboard Collection - Higher-Flex Longboard
Right out of the box, it’s easy to work with this board.
It has plenty of flex, but with a couple of adjustments, you can easily ride the board and even perform some complex tricks.
There’ a good grip to it, it feels stable, and the wheels are relatively large and nice for riding over uneven terrain.
Features and Benefits
Hana Longboard is a beauty to behold.
It looks even better in person than in the pictures, and I’ve to commend the manufacturer for doing such a great job.
So far, I can also say the board was built to be sturdy.
The provided kit is solid, with great wheel, decent-quality trucks, and well-tuned bushings.
Additionally, big guys, those weighing over 200 pounds, won’t feel like the board is about to crumble on their weight.
The board feels solid, though it may take some time to get used to it at first. But once you break into the board, you’ll love how it carves well and smoothly.
Hana is synonymous with flex.
The deck is responsive, too, but with a different feel. It has plenty of flex to make turning easier and more fun. But it’s not too flexible to where you feel unsafe. It’s perfect.
When you combine the increased flex with a greater wheelbase, you get a perfect board for energetic cruising and deep carving. It’s also perfect for some freestyle and dancing, provided you’ve a preference for high-flex freeride but not the hardcore kick tricks.
Another thing I love with the board is the large wheel cutouts that prevent wheel bite, even in tighter turns.
Finally, I love that the deck is wide and comfortable, and at 9.5”, it offers some foot lock-in, thanks to the slight W concave.
I’ve ridden more expensive boards, but few carve as nicely as the Hana.
First, the bamboo flexes well and makes you feel like you’re riding down a mountain or across the face of a wave.
The flex is necessary for carving and has a great response for carving.
Depending on your freeride needs, you may tighten the board a bit more for more stability.
It’s not built for bombing hills, though, but it’s not advertised to do so.
The wheels are smooth as butter too, and I feel you can’t buy a better complete freeride board for the money.
Wheels and Bearings
The trucks and wheels on the board are super nice, and the riding performance is incredibly smooth.
I love how the trucks turn nicely, but you may need to loosen the bearings a little bit, but after that, they work great.
Bearings are good, but they’re a little loud. It’s not a deal-breaker, though, since a little lubrication may do the trick.
Overall, I like the board, and when comparing it to other boards within its class, you’ll be happy you choose the Magneto.
#5 JUCKER HAWAII Original Longboard Skateboards - Best for Hawaiian Lifestyle
Our final pick, the Jucker Hawaii, is the perfect pick for riders who need a board that spreads out the Hawaiian lifestyle beneath the island’s waves and valleys.
It’s a “special” board and not just some production line from China.
Instead, it’s a product from Jucker, a small business on the island of Maui.
Features and Benefits
There’s a lot to love with Jucker’s design.
Right out of the box, it’s easy to feel the quality craftsmanship of the board.
The board feels premium, and the not-so-common bamboo construction feels simply amazing.
Additionally, it has a grippy custom tape surrounding the logo, which is not only chic but will keep your feet glued to the board.
Jucker’s has is relatively stiff but has not so much that it will make you feel unsteady or uncomfortable.
Beginners will immediately have good control over the board and will enjoy every moment riding Jucker.
Typical of maple decks, the Jucker is hard wearing and will stand up to the abuses and punishment of riding on uneven terrain.
Jucker’s performance is excellent.
See, I’ve had many boards in my lifetime, which is by far the smoothest option.
First, the wheels are a perfect size, and they glide on any road surface.
Secondly, the board is surprisingly quite stable on steep trails and has almost no limits.
Wheels and Trucks
While I’m not sold on the Jucker’s wheel, they’ll do for now.
The board cruises nicely, and you’re less likely to notice bumps or sticks on the road if you hit them.
On the other hand, the axles and bushings are well assembled, offering precise control.
Additionally, the roller and bearings’ quality can be set far beyond the usual standard for even better performance.
Overall, Jucker has a wonderful rolling performance and will appeal to the riders who need a good and steady board that doesn’t break the bank.
Best Freeride Longboards Buying Guide
If you’re still undecided on what longboard to choose, our buying guide will make your selection easier.
Here, we list everything you should know when making your next freeride longboard purchase.
But before then, let’s understand what a freeride longboard is.
What is a Freeride Longboard?
Freeride longboards are versatile boards, but they’re mostly used for cruising and carving.
Experienced skaters use the boards for downhill, pumping, racing, commuting, cruising, sliding, and dancing. Some even use the boards for freestyle tricking.
Difference Between Freeriding and Freestyling
Freeriding isn’t to be confused with freestyling. They’re two different things.
The main difference is freeriding is about going downhill, and the rider is more concerned about the speed.
Here, the rider performs more aggressive carving and sliding with the freeride board. In most cases, the rider performs this technique in a back-and-forth direction.
On the other hand, freestyling is about sliding and carving, but not always on the downhill. The techniques are mostly performed on the flatter ground.
Downhill vs. Freeride
Freeriding is often confused with downhill longboarding, and it’s understandable since both of these techniques have plenty of similarities.
But some differences set them apart.
As its name suggests, downhill longboarding is the act of riding your board down large hills at high speeds. It’s also known as bombing.
Of course, this technique is daunting for beginners, but adrenaline junkies see it as the ultimate thrill.
Generally, downhill riders utilize the premium boards, promoting stiffness and stability to reduce speed wobble and gain more control.
On the other hand, freeriding is similar to downhill skating, and it involves going downhill or skating on flat surfaces.
However, free-riders are focused on executing the bigger slides and fluid carving at higher speeds.
Unlike downhill riding, which is usually done on steep hills and mountainside roads, freeriding is performed on mild hills and through neighborhoods and cities.
The ideal freeriding boards tend to have a bit more flex than the downhill boards but still utilize stability components when performing the fast carves and slides.
Features to Look for When Selecting the Best Freeride Longboards
Generally, most freeride boards are symmetrical, which is ideal for doing large slides and spins.
If you are doing plenty of downhill riding, you also need a stiff board for stability. But it should offer a little bit more flex than a downhill board.
Most of the freeride boards feature a drop-down deck and deep concave for the ultimate fit for your feet and a low center of gravity for added stability.
Drop-throughs are popular as well, as they provide a bit lighter of a platform.
Most freeride boards have a length between 38″-42″ and a width between 8.5″-10.5″.
Freeride skating is focused on executing deep carves and big slides. So, you want a board with a pair of responsive and wide-enough trucks.
While the lower base-plates angle trucks (42°-48°) are suitable for promoting stability at higher speeds, trucks with a higher base-plate angle (48°-54°) are ideal for achieving the responsiveness needed for fast, carving feel.
Wheels and Bearings
Wheels and bearings are yet another differentiating element between the freeride and downhill longboards.
Freeride wheels need less traction than downhill and should allow you to execute predictable slides. To achieve this, you want to purchase a set of wheels with a 68-7mm diameter, round lip profile, and a center-set core placement.
On the other hand, the wheel durometer will depend on the size of the rider.
Generally, smaller riders should choose a wheel with a durometer of between 78-83A, while larger riders can pick wheels with a durometer of between 81-86A.
Best Freeride Longboards Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What is the best drop-down longboard for beginners?
A: It’s hard to point out the best longboard for beginners.
However, at the very least, your board should accommodate your style of riding and should feature a design befitting your personality.
Q: Is a freeride longboard ideal for beginners?
A: Yes, freeride longboards are perfect for beginners, especially those with decks for commuting and cruising styles.
Q: Can I dance on a freeride longboard?
A: Generally, dancing is challenging when performing it on a longboard.
However, it’s possible on a freeride longboard, depending on your skill.
But you must also look for certain factors that make it easier for you to dance on the freeride longboard,
For instance, the board should be wide and flat enough for you.
Beginner dancers should look for boards with a drop-through and slotted deck.
Q: What’s the difference between skateboards and longboards?
A: skateboards are usually small in size and length. They’re also lighter and easier to perform tricks with.
The skateboards have harder wheels and tighter trucks, which provide more stability.
In the case of a longboard, they’re longer than skateboards.
The longboards also have looser trucks and softer wheels. These features are useful, especially when doing tricks on the downhill.
Q: Should beginners go for a skateboard or longboard first?
A: It all depends on your riding style and what you want to achieve.
For instance, if you want to take your longboard on the street and want to carve and cruise, you should definitely go for a longboard.
However, if you want to ride in a skatepark and learn how to perform different tricks, you should choose a skateboard.
Ultimately, it depends on the skater himself and what he feels he’s most comfortable with.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Our winner for the best freeride longboards is the Alameda Skateboard Complete.
We recommend this pick because it comes with various features that will benefit the free-riders, especially beginners.
Sure, it lacks the frills and frays of some of the premium options, such as Volador, but its modesty is essential in promoting a board that excels in carving and downhill riding.