If you’ve visited the University of Minnesota campus by any chance, I know you’ve probably been awed by its vastness.
I’ve been a student here and honestly, it’s hard to miss the campus; because of its sheer size, it’s pretty spread out, with dorms on either side of the campus being over a mile apart.
Of course, not all colleges are this big, but most of them look like small cities at the very least.
Back to the University of Minnesota, it takes me, an able-bodied person, about 25 minutes to saunter from one end of the campus to the other. This includes crossing the Washington Bridge from the East Bank to West Bank.
So to speak, you need to plan your commutes from one class to another.
Some students opt for buses crisscrossing the campus; others decide to take the light rail train across the bridge.
Personally, I prefer a longboard to commute to different locations around the campus.
Of course, if you desire a Personal Mobility Vehicle (PMD), there has always been a great debate whether to go for a bike/scooter or a longboard.
While a scooter or bike may fit your style, I feel these options are pricey, bulky, and don’t present the benefit a longboard has.
See, during college, themes of convenience, affordability, and fun are all prominent in a student’s life. College students are constantly looking for cheap yet pragmatic hacks and thrilling distractions from the stress of academia.
When it comes to commuting, no other choice fits the bill as the best longboard for college.
Longboards are a fantastic way to travel from one lecture hall to another in college. They make daily travels effortless and allow students to focus their energy on more important things such as studies and sports.
Apart from easing travel, you can’t complain about how cool longboards make you look. On top of it, they’re surprisingly affordable as well.
There’s absolutely no reason not to buy one, and here is a review of the best longboards that are well suited for college.
Table of Contents
The Best Longboards for College For The Money
#1 Atom Drop Through Longboard - EDITOR'S CHOICE
Whenever I look for a longboard, I always take my time to ensure I get the best longboard there is without breaking the bank.
First, I need a durable longboard, so I won’t need to purchase a new one after just a few months.
My board should also look good. It’s not in vain, but I’d rather have an aesthetic board if it’s on offer.
Unfortunately, most of the boards that look are good and are of high quality come with a hefty price tag.
But not all of them.
Today, we shall be looking at one such exception- the Atom Drop Through Longboard.
It’s a fantastic board, suitable for all the riding needs of both beginners and professionals.
The board’s riding performance is also superb, and we shall tell you more about why we think it’s a great board for cruising around the college.
Features and Benefits
The Atom Drop Through Longboard’s design is nearly perfect in every way.
First, it’s a beautiful board. The pictures don’t do it justice, but in real life, you’ll love the great sheen and color.
The overall craftsmanship is simply out-of-this-world, and if you like me who likes getting attention and compliments for my board, the Atom is just the right pick.
The other reason I recommend this board is because of its durability.
After repeatedly getting run over by two-wheel vehicles and dropping from unimaginable heights, Atom survived, and trucks didn’t get bent.
The board is a beast, and it’s unlikely it will break down even under severe campus abuses and punishment.
Of course, you can expect some minor chipping and scratch here and there, but it still retains its shape and integrity.
Atom’s deck is on the stiff side, but this is a good thing for beginners who hold stability over most things.
Additionally, it’s a wonderful pick for big guys like me. Being on the higher side of the weight limit (230 pounds), I thought this board wouldn’t support my weight.
To my surprise, it lets me stand in the center on one foot and doesn’t bow an inch unless I’m jumping.
While many riders feel it’s suited for more downhill tricks, I honestly feel this board can be used for pretty much anything. I live in a college town and see students riding the Atom everywhere. I ride it on highways, busy campus streets, back roads, and literally anywhere I can think of.
The board’s riding style is pretty versatile, and the board is controllable and easy to ride.
One more thing- the grip tape is glorious.
But be warned, the tape is so solid that it might pull some of the rubber of your shoe sole. I don’t mind that provided the board gives me a steady footing, regardless of the conditions.
As its name implies, this board has a drop deck design.
So why should the deck’s design matter?
The shape of a decks determines the bord’ overall stability and performance.
For our case, Atom’s deck is incredibly stable for starters, and beginners won’t have to worry about getting wiped out even at speeds.
Secondly, the lowered middle section results in a cradling effect, protecting the riders from speed wobble as they go for those high-speed downhills.
Finally, the lowered deck makes the board easy to push. Your legs and calf won’t have to travel long distances to give you a push, so you’re less likely to tire.
Now, while the deck is lowered, it’s not so low that it will scrape on the speed bumps and stuff.
I’ve used this board on some of the rugged campus terrains and can tell you won’t encounter any obstacles hampering your ride on the road.
The biggest thing you’ll notice with the board is how well it holds its speed.
On downhills, this board is a speed monster and will have your adrenaline pumping.
The speed performance is also a nice perk when going uphill because you won’t need to expend more energy.
Wheels and Trucks
The 70mm wheel handle cracks well, provided you’re fast.
I’ve gotten the board stuck on a rock or two and was ejected, but these instances are rare and most common at low speeds when I wasn’t paying much attention.
The trucks tend to get a little loose, but this is nothing a screwdriver can’t fix.
The bearings are also very fluid, allowing a lot of free-wheeling, but if you need them even more fluid, you can always soak them and replace the grease with some bearing oil instead.
#2 Sector 9 Aperture Sidewinder Longboard - Best for Carving
Our second pick, Sector 9, is an intriguing option for looking for a snappy board that will allow easy swerving through campus or weaving the heavy traffic downstreet.
But is it the right pick for you?
Features and Benefits
Sector 9’s design is fascinating, and I appreciate how the manufacturer takes into account of modern choice and aura to compete with other models.
The board is something you’ll fall in love with at first glance and a board that you’d love to take with you anywhere and show off proudly among friends.
But beyond aesthetics, this board is also impressive with regards to the deck and hardware.
The deck on Sector 9 is a 7-ply maple longboard, and if you know anything about materials, you know plywood is durable as it gets.
It easily survives the constant abuses, including collisions, drops, and even getting run over.
Overall, this board outlasts many boards of its class and will serve you for a long time coming.
The first observation I made with Sidewinder’s deck is the short length.
It stands at 36” inches, which is not the longest deck Sector 9 offers.
While it may not be an ideal choice for beginners, the board is still long enough to keep you stable when going downhill at high speeds.
And contrary to what you may think, it has some flex to it. It’s not the springiest board out there, but I love that it can soak the bumps on the road.
For instance, my neighborhood roads are chip-sealed (tar and gravel), and yet, I can ride comfortably and quite fast in these conditions.
However, for some high-speed descents, expect some speed wobbles
Sidewinder is an awesome longboard that turns like a beast.
The board is mostly for hard carving, though it can be tightened for bombing hills and cruising downtown.
I find the board perfect for nice smooth and buttery turns.
However, I wouldn’t say the board is meant for breakneck speeds as it has a double kingpin. Still, it handles a decent amount of speed, and I’ve bombed downhills in this and been fine.
It tends to drift a bit, though, which is kinda cool, but if you’re going too fast, it’s a bit dangerous.
Where the board excels in maneuvering through traffic and sidewalk, something every college student wishes to have on their board to help avoid collisions and weave the crazy traffic.
Wheels and Trucks
Sidewinder’s biggest selling point has to be the Gullwing Sidewinder trucks.
Only available for the appropriately-shaped Sector 9 boards, the Sidewinder trucks feature a double pivot that allows for the snappier and faster turns than standard trucks.
Riders will find it easy to generate a lot of speed with these using only their turning momentum.
Additionally, the trucks remain incredibly stable, even at high speed, and it’s pretty amazing what difference these trucks can make.
#3 Stereo Vinyl Cruiser - Best for Style
If you need a board with a cool retro vibe, nothing comes close to that other than the Stereo Vinyl Cruiser.
This groovy skateboard has a vintage appeal of vinyl records, and as far as quality goes, the Penny might have Stereo by hair.
But the whole point of Stereo Vinyl Cruiser is to bring riders all the goodness of the original throwbacks for a little less.
Features and Benefits
Stereo Vinyl is the perfect board for traveling and bringing to class.
College students love how easily it straps onto a backpack without adding too much weight or size to your pack and has no grip tape to shred your backpack.
And that’s not all!
This board is lighter than normal skateboards and much faster-thanks than the large longboard wheel. Just the right longboard to take you from one class to the other as fast as possible.
Stereo Vinyl’s shape is also amazing, with a great shape, great design, with a groovy vibe coming from the record pattern.
As far as durability goes, riders are concerned more with how the plastic composite deck holds up.
I’m happy to report that it holds its shape quite well. Depending on your weight, it might end up sagging in the middle a bit until you get the feel of positioning your forward foot over the truck better.
Of course, the deck is plastic, and regardless of how hard it is, you can expect some chipping and scratch here and there.
However, if you don’t do tricks like me, the board will hold up for a long time. And even if you do, these boards are so cheap compared to many other cruisers that they’d be quick to replace.
Stereo Vinyl is a tiny skateboard, and I thought it would be difficult to get used to.
To the rider’s surprise, it feels pretty comfortable.
Of course, as expected, it’s a little tricky to dial in at first.
Finding a lot of leverage is also challenging since it’s only 6-inches wide.
Also, it is not proficient with the awkward little tail, but you can kick out this thing with some little effort.
Sure, the board has its challenges, but it’s still comfortable and easy to ride.
Despite the size and construction, the deck is also flexy, and it absorbs most cracks, making way for a more comfortable ride than if it were made of wood.
And while flexy longboards are challenging to control, Stereo Vinyl, with its 12″ wheelbase, doesn’t have the same problem.
The board has a decent performance, though the kicktail is a little high, so learning to ollies and kickflip is challenging for me.
While it doesn’t make a good board for performing tricks, it’s ideal for cruising around campus, workplace, or local park.
It’s also fun to cruise around on, easy to store, and surprisingly sturdy.
Wheels and Trucks
Stereo Vinyl’s wheels are nice and haven’t chipped or anything.
They ride well and will take you over the uneven terrain and gravel without sacrificing your comfort.
You’ll have to loosen the trucks up just a bit, though, and I love how the board maneuvers with agility.
Overall, Stereo Vinyl has a nice ride, and while I wouldn’t say I’m quick, it gets some nice speed on it.
#4 Landyachtz Dinghy 28" - Best Campus Cruiser
Landyachtz Dinghy is a compact longboard, perfect for cruising and moving around.
The brand has been around for more than two decades, and up to now, it remains uber-popular, year after year.
Because of its looks, quality build, high-performance shape, and so much more.
The Landyachtz Dinghy, in particular, is a great pick for short-distance rides. I find the board responsive, compact, and suited for a pleasant journey.
Features and Benefits
The first observation to make with Landyachtz Dinghy’s design is the mellow radial concave design.
I understand the concave isn’t for everyone as it takes away the stability you get from a flat board, but the Landyachtz Dinghy is designed for playful rides.
The side is slightly elevated, giving you more of the board feel when performing tricks, and allows the board to respond faster.
On top of that, the concave design qualifies the board as the perfect option for performing sliding movements with a bit more ease.
Landyachtz Dinghy is relatively stiff.
While it’s not the best pick for riding on uneven surfaces, it’s solid and suitable for popping and sliding the board.
The sturdy board lacks flex and is something you might need to get used to if you also ride a flexy longboard.
Remember, it was designed for fun, and the sturdiness will let you perform the ollies, though you can feel it wasn’t made for that purpose.
Nevertheless, the concave design promotes comfortable foot placement, an essential feature when sliding or carving downhill.
On the other hand, the durable clear grip offers superior foot traction, but not so much that you can’t turn your feet.
Dinghy’s shape is directional and features an elevated nose and tail, just like a popsicle.
So, how’s this design beneficial to your performance?
First, the tail allows you to ollie or hop curbs or dig in a little when you come across a patch of grass. It helps you remain balanced while you lean back.
Another benefit with the tail is you can perform a few kick turns in parks or diagonal street objects if you’re up for it.
But since the board is stiff and with a short wheelbase, you may experience speed wobble when you’re moving fast.
Wheels and Trucks
Dinghy’s 105mm traditional kingpin trucks promote more turnability, while the 63mm wheels offer great roll for their size.
Their 78 A hardness level makes them feel squishy yet firm. They strike that sweet spot between smooth rolling on different terrains and easy breaking into slides.
#5 Magneto Bamboo - High-end Option
Magneto Bamboo is one of the best longboards on the popular wish list nowadays.
This board is capable of raising your interest in longboarding to a different level.
As with all Magneto boards, Magneto Bamboo is popular for its high-quality construction, competitive pricing, and excellent money value.
But is it the right board for your college riding needs?
Features and Benefits
The first thing we love about this board is it’s aesthetically pleasing.
I know looks don’t count that much when selecting a longboard, but the polished bamboo deck is simply amazing. It’s the type of deck that will have you enjoy lots of compliments from others.
Looks aside, Magneto Bamboo is a dream to ride.
The board has unmatched stability, and its ride is smooth as butter.
I love how it rolls graciously and levels the uneven terrain, so you won’t feel uncomfortable even on the road’s rocky patches.
The other thing we love with this longboarding is the drop-through shape.
Why does shape matter?
Well, for starters, it lowers the center of gravity and hence lets you ride smoothly.
It’s a particularly useful feature for beginners as it inspires more confidence even when they’re riding fast as they don’t risk wiping out.
Secondly, your feet won’t have to travel for long distances to give you a push.
So, it’s unlikely your calves or knees will even tire when riding for long distances.
Magneto’s performance is exciting, and the board is designed to take you to places other boards can’t
The first thing the longboarding community loves with this board is how well it lets riders breeze through the street’s instability.
Now, if you’ve ridden as a stable board before, you already know that carving and turning become even easier.
For college students, it’ll be easier for them to weave through the crazy human traffic on the busy college streets.
They can also easily avoid collisions and evade obstacles with ease.
Additionally, the bamboo deck, measuring 38.5 inches, qualifies the board as the perfect option for carving out all those turns.
Wheels and Trucks
Riding Magneto is a delight, thanks to the responsive turning, agility, and maneuverability.
I’m a big fan of the ABEC trucks, which turn with the least effort, and give the rider greater controllability of the board.
On the other hand, the 53mm wheels with a hardness of 78A provide a smooth rolling performance, even on rough tracks.
They’re fast too, and while not the swiftest, they’ll allow you to bomb downhill with unimaginable speeds.
Best Longboard for College Buying Guide
College life requires a lot of commuting, from one class to the other and your dorm or home.
You should also expect a lot of traffic, both human and car around cars around campus.
So, it’s a good idea to consider a range of actors before buying a longboard for cruising in college.
Here’s a short overview of what to consider when selecting a longboard for college:
What to Consider When Selecting Longboards for College
Generally, most college students are dead broke, and choosing an expensive longboard might not be on their list of options.
But it doesn’t mean they need to go for the cheap options either.
The trick here is to get a longboard offering the best bang for the buck.
Choose a longboard within your budget, and more importantly, one that satisfies your longboarding needs.
While looks aren’t necessary for a longboard, the board’s appearance is important for college.
I mean, everyone wants to look cool in college, and they should get an option that won’t embarrass them.
Whether classy, simple, and dashing, a longboard for college should portray your personality and nature.
Safety is paramount when choosing any longboard.
The right option should have stability and with good grip to ensure the rider doesn’t fall off.
It’s also a good idea to have additional protective gear such as helmets and knee pads.
Size and Weight
This is an important feature to consider.
You want to choose a lightweight, the portable board you can easily stash in your backpack or even sneak it into the classroom without drawing too much attention.
A longboard’s deck size comes in different sizes and shapes.
Now, if you’re planning to travel to school, chances are you’ll need to weave in and out of some pedestrian traffic.
As such, you’ll need a smaller longboard to make riding through the crowd easier.
At the same time, however, it should be large enough to accommodate both of your feet and give you a decent resting platform.
When shopping for a new board, it’s a good idea to consider the wheel’s size.
Generally, longboards are made for higher speeds, so you should find a board with big wheels to achieve stability while riding.
If you choose a board with small wheels, ensure the board comes with cutouts for wheels so you can upgrade them according to your requirements.
When selecting a deck for college, choose an option with a robust and reliable deck.
Failure to that, simple accidents might cause the board to get ruined.
Usually, the boards with the best quality use strong, durable wood such as maple or bamboo, but there’re other options as well.
A longboard’s mount type affects the overall usability and performance of a longboard.
Here’re a few of the main types of mount types:
- Top Mount
Top mount longboards have their trucks inserted directly underneath the deck.
This construction makes the board more maneuverable and adaptive to the input as you ride.
Drop-through has a cut-out inside in which the base plate lies on top of the board and the trucks directly underneath.
This longboard style lowers the center of gravity and makes the board more balanced and more comfortable to push.
- Drop Down
Dropdowns are top mounts, but with a drop-in concave.
It allows the board to move super close to the ground, which makes it quite stable.
The dropdowns are easy to ride and generally popular among college students.
These are like lea-like boards with a flat or no-concave.
They’re the most popular traditional boards and ideal for large-size campus cruisers.
The cruiser, also known as a campus cruiser, is a sweet and compact ride.
Cruiser’s compact size helps in extreme carving and gives riders complete control when used for sharp and fast turns.
Best Longboard for College Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Are longboards good for college students?
A: Yes, college students can use longboards to get around the college to save time and energy. They make you a lot more mobile around college without spending a lot of money.
Q: D I need to wear a helmet for longboarding?
A: Yes, wearing a helmet reduces the risk of injury in the event of an injury.
Q: Is longboarding easier than skateboarding?
A: Yes, longboarding is just a little easier than skateboarding. This is because longboards are wider and have soft wheels, making them much more convenient to keep balance.
On the other hand, skateboards feature harder wheels and less room for your legs and will take longer to learn.
Q: Are penny boards better than longboards?
A: While penny boards are great, they’re not quite as versatile as a longboard. Penny boards are suitable for riding in crowded places and are compact enough to carry in your backpack.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Choosing our winner for the best longboard for college was challenging, but in the end, all things pointed to the Atom Drop-through.
And for a good reason.
This board seems to tick on all the boxes for a board for college.
First, it’s an expensive option most college students can manage.
Despite the budget tag, it has the performance of some of the premium models.
I’m particularly a big fan of the drop-through design that promotes greater stability while allowing even more speed.
The board is also reliable, with the maple construction offering a solid build that doesn’t break easily.
Overall, we feel this is the best longboard for college students, whether beginners, intermediate, or professionals.