Many people are attracted to longboarding because it feels so great being able to surf on land.
Be it for commuting or for the more intense activities like carving and downhill riding, there’s plenty to love with this hobby.
However, as with most skateboarding or even surfing, it can be challenging to break into longboarding.
I remember my first experiences with longboarding were nothing but short of disappointments.
I was frustrated that I couldn’t keep balance on a seemingly simple deck and can’t even count the number of times I tumbled.
Of course, I had no one to guide me; I never knew where to start, how to choose a board, or even the skills for longboarding. So, I perfectly understand your difficulty now as a beginner.
Looking back, I made numerous mistakes, but one that derailed my progress, which also happens to be a bane for many beginners, is a longboard choice.
See, picking your first longboard is almost as overwhelming as learning how to longboard for the first time.
It’s easy to fall into the temptation of choosing a Landyachtz or Sector 9 longboard, but these models only but hamper your progress.
As a beginner, I recommend that you choose longboards meant for beginners.
These boards are simple, easy to use, and will help to shorten the longboarding learning curve. Additionally, they help you avoid picking up bad habits.
Using the best longboard for beginners makes it easy to master the longboarding skills and techniques quicker and become an expert in no time.
But with so many options available, choosing the best longboard for beginners is intimidating.
But you don’t need to worry about that because I’ve been there, and in the guide below, I’ll share the five options I think will help kickstart a successful longboarding hobby.
Table of Contents
The Best Longboards for Beginners For The Money
#1 Volador 42inch Freeride - EDITOR'S CHOICE
I wanted to start our list of the best longboards for beginners with a simple yet solid and performance-oriented board.
The Volador 24inch Freeride is one such option.
It’s a popular model from brand Volador, and right when you look at it, you’ll notice it’s a classy longboard.
While it doesn’t come with a host of impressive cutting-edge features, it does have a few that really helps it shine.
Features and Benefits
Before I get too deep into my review, I’m by no means an experienced longboarder, but I’m not one just to buy a board that looks good, assuming it would be good quality.
Of course, Volador’s design is one of my favorite features of the board. I love the vintage floral design since I love the floral print. I also think the design on the grip tape is pretty rad as well.
But as far as I can tell, Volador is an amazing board for the price-this is because I know what a good board probably feels like.
See, I tried learning to skate and made the mistake of getting a $15 board from Walmart, and it was a complete disaster. The wheels barely rolled, and the board was flimsy overall.
Not with Volador!
The quality of this board exceeds my expectations; it is stable and functions properly.
The board itself is sturdy and well made.
For instance, I’ve had numerous crashes and wipeouts, yet, Volador is only scathed and remains intact with minimal damage.
To summarize, Volador’s build quality and design are fantastic, and I would highly recommend the board to anyone looking for a durable board.
If you’ve done a bit of research on board designs, you know drop-throughs are the way to go for beginners.
I’m a fan of Volador’s drop-through design for several reasons;
First, the deck is great, and I don’t have to worry about the wheel bite. This saves me from unnecessary and potentially dangerous falls, especially when I’m on top speeds.
The second, which in my opinion is the greatest benefit, is the inherent stability of the drop-through design.
See, having not stepped on any board, I was worried I would fall and injure, but this wasn’t the case.
The board is super stable and feels great, especially when going downhills.
I’ve used Volador for almost two months, and it continues never to disappoint me.
One word of caution, though, is while the board is stable, it may instill a false sense of security, and you should always have your helmet when riding.
Stepping on the Volador for the first time is nerve-wracking.
See, I’m a big guy, and as someone right at the weight limit, I expected a board at this price to snap or have some problems.
But, Volador’s deck durability is so incredible.
I’m 220 pounds, and the board feels comfortable and supports my weight just fine.
The deck is springy but with a little flex. It doesn’t bend so much that you’ll be worried it’s going to break-unlike, the Walmart board.
The flex hardly becomes noticeable after some use, meaning you’ll feel the road for better and worse. It’s not the smoothest ride but feels more solid for being stiff.
Another observation I made with the deck is the sturdy grip tape.
While grip tapes are standard in most boards, Volador’s tape is grippy, so much that it abrades some of the soles on my rubber sneakers, leaving a mark. I really don’t consider it a bad thing. After all, I’d rather be solid on a board that slips off than crack my head open.
Volador is a great size, too, especially if you want more stability than a regular skateboard or penny board.
The 42-inch length and 9-inch width provide more than enough space for different types of riders.
More importantly, the dimension balance between ease of use and performance.
Trucks and Wheels
Volador turns easily.
For such a longboard, we didn’t expect Volador to have such an awesome turning radius.
It’s so fine at maneuvering that beginners can now hit the bendy sidewalks with sometimes 110-degrees angle turn, without the need of picking up the board and adjusting.
#2 Atom Drop-Deck Longboard - Best for Beginners and Pros
Atom had been dominating the longboard industry for years now.
And as an Atom enthusiast, I know their commitment to quality.
The brand knows what it takes to build durable and quality longboards for beginners and this 41″ longboard is not an exception.
However, don’t let the beginner tag fool you.
Atom 41″ is the one and the only board you’ll ever need, whether you’re a beginner or seasoned longboard rider.
Features and Benefits
There’s plenty to love with the Atom, but what I like most is how the board exceeds the competition at their price point in terms of craftsmanship and performance.
In fact, if I were to rank drop decks, the Atom would be alongside some of the slightly pricier brands like Globe and Sector 9.
Atom 41″, as with all of Atom’s longboards, features an attractive but simple design.
It’s clean and clutter-free, so it’s less likely to attract undue attention the casual longboard rider may not want.
Best for Beginners and Experienced Riders
If you spend enough time reading about longboards, you’ll notice a few recurring notions.
And one of them is Atom longboards are only great for beginners and only passable for more experienced skaters.
While the first point is true, the second is a fallacy.
See, I’ve seen comments from different riders, and they can all agree that an experienced skater will enjoy Atom just as much as newbies.
The Atom deck has the stability to inspire confidence in beginners, but it’s also fast and responsive enough for skilled skaters to use for carving and pushing.
Atom deck is a great learner board to start with.
First, it has a good grip and will keep your feet onto the board, regardless of the conditions.
Secondly, it’s a drop-down deck.
Drop-downs are not any different than the drop-throughs, especially regarding stability.
Both designs have a lowered center of gravity, and on the Atom, beginners, even with the most uncoordinated skills, can pull off riding the board.
The board doesn’t feel wobbly, and beginners won’t have a hard time pushing the board for long distances.
Atom’s deck’s greatest benefit, though, is it has lovely pockets, where riders can place their feet when riding.
It’s a great feature to have as beginners are less likely to lose balance or fall, especially when carving or sliding at high speeds.
Moving on, the board’s quality is also good. The deck is sturdy and with good flex.
Atom’s flex is higher than Volador, and this is a good thing as it dampens the bumpiness of uneven sidewalks.
Criticism of Atom drop decks usually center on the trucks, and I feel the criticism is fair.
The trucks, for instance, are way too fragile and will require breaking in when you first get the ride.
They also need regular tightening, and their performance is average at best.
However, the truck’s quality won’t really affect the skater who is new to the sport or the casual riders who simply want a little low-effort fun.
The Atom may not be the right choice for those who need to bomb hills all weekend or commute 10 miles to work all-year-round.
#3 Playshion Drop Through Freestyle - Value Pick
Playshion is relatively new to the longboarding community, but this French company quickly made a name for itself.
The brand has numerous longboards at astonishingly reasonable prices.
And their Drop Through Longboard is a testimony; a board that walks the talk.
Features and Benefits
While Playshion comes with numerous exciting features, the design availability isn’t something to be overlooked.
I’m a big fan of the different color selections, and with the great features, you can also choose a longboard with an artwork of your choice to suit your style.
The other feature we loved with the board is bamboo and maple construction.
This pairing isn’t only eco-friendly but tough enough to take whatever punishment you hurl at it.
Playshion isn’t scathed by collision with obstacles, drop from dangerous heights, or even constant bumping if the reviews are to go by.
Playshion’s deck has some flex, but it will keep your confidence even at 200 pounds.
Of course, beginners will experience a few shaky attempts on their first try, but with time, they’ll drive the road straight and push their abilities to the limit.
The board itself looks and feels high quality, and I love that I can ride over manhole covers, bumps, and small sticks without any problems.
We can’t also forget that it’s a drop-through, so it does its job and more.
No more wheel bites and the lower center of gravity gives me more stability, even when riding downhill at high speeds.
Playshion is so stable that I’m already learning how to move my feet around to carve better turns and get more speed when pushing.
Overall, Playshion makes it easier for beginners to learn longboarding.
Playshion’s bearings are smooth, almost too smooth for a beginner.
The trucks have plenty of mobility for turning these stretched-out bad boys around corners or even evading obstacles.
On the other hand, the large wheels are nice and will go over dips and obstacles effortlessly.
As far as comfort goes, they don’t ride as smooth as Quest boards and make creaks when turning, but they’re more agile and snappy.
#4 MBS All-Terrain Longboard - Most Versatile Option
Our third pick on the list of the best longboards for beginners is among the market’s versatile options.
The MBS Longboard isn’t only suited for all ages, but as its name suggests it can handle a wide variety of terrain.
It’s a powerful option and a fantastic board for beginners looking to dip their feet into longboarding.
But is it the right pick for your riding needs?
Features and Benefits
The first thing you’ll notice with this board is it’s big and quite heavy.
This guy is bulky, and if you’re looking for a monster truck or longboarding, MBS is awesome.
However, the bulkiness may pose a challenge for the smaller guys.
It’s unlikely they’ll be able to step on the back and whip the front wheels around.
Stopping the board is also a challenge, and you’re not going to bring it to a halt by kicking back on the tail as with other boards.
But is the bulkiness a deal-breaker?
It’s but in my opinion, not enough to make you look for other options. This is just but a small glitch, and there’re plenty of features to love with this option.
MBS Longboard is a beast and all-terrain option.
It’s a handy pick for rolling on different environments, including grass, cruising on the sidewalk, pavements, and loose tracks.
While I usually don’t feel comfortable riding on dirt, I’m now more than eager to take this board on asphalt and terrain with rocks, sticks, and bumps.
Overall, MBS is the right pick for those who need a board that handles crazy-rough concrete or any other terrain that would make you discard your board.
MBS Longboard’s deck is a little bendy because it is so big but not very flexy.
It’s not ideal for competitions or dancing, but it’s solid for downhill and sliding, especially considering how low the deck sits comparative to the hinge point.
The deck flaunts a drop-down design, but it’s far from low. While it still makes maneuverability easier and adds stability, it’s not suitable for those looking for something lower to the ground.
Rolling Performance (Wheels)
MBS is electric!
It rolls so smooth, and it almost doesn’t stop.
See, I’ve tried other longboards, and this one is the smoothest, thanks to the large all-terrain wheels.
I really have crappy pavement in my neighborhood, but you wouldn’t even notice on this board.
But as with all soft wheels, the wheels chips around the edges.
It’s not a big problem since the treads level the ground, and I never have to worry about the uneven terrain when riding.
MBS Longboard turns like no other.
The 190mm navigator drone trucks make it easy to shift the board and your weight dramatically.
I love how the board is uncannily responsive and how easy it is to control the speed.
#5 The Quest Super Cruiser - Budget Pick
Our last pick is a great pick for those on a budget.
It’s an inexpensive model, but it doesn’t cut corners with its riding performance.
The Quest is also a great starter board and a nice board that is fun to ride.
While it lacks the frills and frays of some of the premium options, it takes you where you need to go, and it does it in a decent amount of time.
Features and Benefits
Quest is an absolutely beautiful deck, and the pictures don’t fully express the simple design accenting the natural grain of the bamboo.
That fact alone has made me in awe of the board’s price.
But Quest isn’t only about looks.
It’s practical as it can get, and let’s start with the cambered deck.
The board’s center curves up a bit about the nose and tail, which serves a few purposes.
First, it allows the board to hold more weight without sagging the middle and provides more room for flex on carves.
More importantly, it “locks” your feet on both ends, allowing you to do the crazy tricks without worrying about slipping.
With the drop through the deck, it’s not easy to turn sharply because of the ground clearance.
It’s a small glitch to bear with since the board is much stable while riding due to the lower center of gravity.
It has a much more gradual turning feeling similar to riding a bike, and beginners will savor every moment on the board.
The fact that Quest’s trucks are mounted like those on a normal trick skateboard makes the board’s deck higher off the ground than most drop-throughs.
While beginners might find the board too wobbly and want to tighten the trucks, the board allows for deeper turns and creates a completely different wheel movement.
It provides more of a surfy flow, feeling like riding on the water while offering a precise turning response that you get from having more ground clearance.
Wheels and Bearings
Quest’s wheels are mid-range as far as hardness goes.
They’re all-around options, perfect for casual riders.
On the other hand, the ABEC 7 bearings perform pretty well, and while they’re not the fastest, they perform pretty well.
Best Longboards for Beginners Buying Guide
Choosing your first longboard is daunting, especially if you’ve no experience in skateboarding or surfing.
But we’re here to help.
In the comprehensive guide below, we shall share the best practices of choosing a beginner longboard.
But first, let’s look at the different types of longboards available.
Types of Longboard
The first thing you need to know before leaping into the world of longboards is they’re primarily designed for speed and maneuverability.
As such, these boards loosely fall into the following categories:
Cruiser longboards are the all-purpose workhorse of the longboard scene, and are meant to carve, cruise, and ride the streets.
They’ll get you from point A to point B
The cruisers are durable and tough and will offer an extra burst of speed when you need them.
Freerider longboards, as their name suggests, are all about giving you freedom of whatever you want to do with your longboard.
Whether it’s racing downhill, cruising or carving the streets, or even learning, free-riders allow you to dip your toes into everything longboarding has to offer.
Generally, the freeriding boards are light and flexible, enough for pulling tricks. They’re stable and easy to maneuver downhill.
The downhill racers are the gnarliest longboards, specifically suited for the adrenaline junkies.
These longboards are super-fast and demanding and will take on the steepest roads and mountain tracks at death-defying speeds.
The boards aren’t for the faint of heart, and it’s not something we would recommend for beginners.
What Should I Look For in a Longboard for Beginners?
Now that we’ve learned the different types of longboards for beginners let’s look at the critical elements to consider when making a purchase.
Flex refers to the way a board springs up and down when weight is applied to it.
The heavier the rider is, the more the deck flexes.
The general rule when choosing any longboard is it should make you feel balanced even when it flexes.
However, it’s a personal choice because some riders don’t want flexy boards because they feel they’ll lose their balance.
A board with less flex is better for beginners because a sturdy board gives them a chance to practice their balance on their first few rides.
As you get more accustomed to riding, you can now move to the more flexible boards.
Get a board where your heels and toes are touching the sides of the board.
This allows you to steer the board effortlessly.
If the board is wider than your feet, you’re likely to end up in the middle of the road, and you’ll need to exert more effort to steer.
Concave longboards are slightly depressed in the middle and raised on the sides.
Some will have the dip, while others lack.
A board with concave helps you steer your board because your toes and heels have better leverage.
On the other hand, flat boards are harder to steer because they force the rider to shift their weight to one side to steer.
While concaves seem right for beginners, you have to be mindful because deep concaves may cause your feet to feel uneasy.
So, how deep is too deep for a concave?
If you stand on the board and your feet feel uncomfortable, or the angle seems wrong, it’s probably best if you look for an option with less concave.
Wheelbase affects the overall stability of a longboard.
Generally, longboards with a shorter wheelbase are less stable than longboards with a longer wheelbase.
Best Beginner Longboards Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What’s the difference between a skateboard and a longboard?
A: Skateboards are short and light, so it’s easier to perform tricks with them. Their harder wheels are fast on concrete, while tighter trucks promote greater stability.
On the other hand, longboards are typically longer than skateboards. These boards have softer wheels and loose trucks, and these features play a crucial role in adding comfort and maneuverability.
Q: Should beginners get skateboards or longboards first?
A: The answer depends on what you want to do with your board.
If you need a board for carving and cruising like a surfer on the street, go for a longboard.
On the other hand, if you need a board for riding in skate parks and learn to perform tricks, go for a skateboard.
The choice of either depends on the skater himself and what he’s comfortable with.
Q: Which type of longboard is best for beginners?
A: Again, this is a personal choice, and it depends on different factors such as your preferred riding style and what you want to do with the board.
Q: What size longboard should I get?
A: The preferred riding size depends on the type of riding you want to do.
Shorter boards will allow quicker, snappier turns, while longer boards enable carvings at high speeds.
Younger riders and short riders can do well with boards in the range of 28 to 32 inches.
However, the most popular longboards among new riders are boards in the 32” to 42” range.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Our winner for the best longboards for beginners is Volador 42inch Freeride.
We choose this board as our top pick for several reasons.
First, the board is from a reputable brand.
Secondly, it has all the features you would need to kick start longboarding.
It’s a reliable board with a solid maple deck that can take a beating and offer great performance even in the most challenging conditions.
Volador is tailored to sit low to the ground, and this is essential for beginners as it provides more stability and less knee fatigue when pushing.
While it’s by no means the most premium pick, it has the basics beginners need to get started in longboarding.