The world of skating has introduced to the world many new ways of commuting and enjoyment, and one of them is skateboards or longboards. It is actually a sports equipment which is similar to a skateboard but is not exactly same. The size of a longboard is much bigger than a skateboard and comes in a variety of shapes, designs, and sizes. The agility of the equipment depends upon the material used to manufacture it, the materials of wheels installed and the precise hardware used with it. The equipment serves many purposes such as racing down the hill, and travelling. The new trends of longboard dancing and stunt performance are catching up fast with the younger generation, in which the person riding the longboard uses the skateboard like a steering wheel to manoeuvre and perform tricks that make him or her a master.
A Brief Insight into the Background of Longboards
The first longboard was designed in late 1940s as an alternative to surfing boards when the waves were low and people wanted to surf the sea. Later on, the modified versions of surfing longboards were used for skating by attaching wheels to them. The first models were very rough and did not provide a smooth ride for skaters. The material used to make longboards were steel and iron and later on wood planks were used. The wheels used were clay wheels that improved safety features for the riders in the first models. The technology used to manufacture longboards has evolved over the years and thus, the skateboard now available in markets is highly productive and easy to ride. The modern longboards are made of fibre glass, aluminium, plywood, and carbon fibre. The purposes for which these modern long skateboards are used include freeriding, skateboard dance, freestyle dance using skateboards, and stunts. There are championships that are conducted in these categories and the participants include males as well as females, young and adults alike.
The Components of Longboards
Long skateboards or longboards comprise of a modern and simple structure but, the components used are complex in their structure and usage. The components comprise of Decks, bushings, trucks, riser pads, wheel bearings, wheels, and gripping tape. Here is an insight into the components of long skateboards. These are as follows:
- Decks: the decks for skateboards or long skateboards are mainly made of plywood and consists of multiple layers of plywood plank ranging from three layers for thin ones to even thirteen layers for thicker models. The plywood is made using bamboo, birch, oak wood, maple oak and so on. Longboards are available in many shapes and sizes for commercial uses and each and every variety has its own advantages which are of importance when it comes to choosing the right skateboard for your activity and preferences. The decks serve the purpose of a platform and are used to stand and balance the rider when going downhill or stunting. The decks solely on the basis of downhill have their own variety such as mount top, deck drop, and drop through
- Bushings: this part is the easiest to replace in a truck depending on how the turns happen. They are made of polyurethane and are available in many sizes and shapes. The two most preferred bushings in longboards are barrel bushings and cone bushings. The difference between barrels and cones is that barrels are larger in shape and are known to have more stability and rebound tensile strength than cones
- Riser Pad: these components increase the distance between the wheels installed in a longboard and the deck thus, increasing the height in between the two making it easier for the wheels to roll on. The riser pads are also responsible for reducing the strain on decks caused by the rough road surface
- Bearings: the bearings serve the purpose of removing unnecessary friction and rigidity. They are installed in wheels to help them turn smoothly so that the rider has a great experience on The bearings are made of titanium, ceramics, merged in steel balls. The best and most preferred are ceramic bearings and are the costliest in the category. Ceramic bearings have long life and are designed to give a smooth functioning in all long skateboards
- Wheels: are the most important components in a long skateboard as they are responsible for turning and manoeuvring the skateboard. The performance of long skateboards are determined the characteristics of a wheel which are the height, shape, contact surface patch, setting of the hub, and durability. The acceleration of longboards depends on the above mentioned factors
An Insight into the Best Longboards Available In the Market
Some of the best longboards available in the market for long skateboarders are:
- The Quest Open Cruiser: it has been designed keeping the aerospace aspect in view. It costs somewhere between INR 8000 to INR 11000. The skateboard has a coating of polyurethane and comes in various sizes
- The sector 9 bamboo lookout: are longboards that are made using bamboo planks and are available in many designs, shapes and sizes. The long skateboard has ceramic bearings attached to the wheels. The deck is designed to serve both downhill and dig through rides. The best part about this skateboard is that it is light weight and durable at the same time. The flexibility of bamboo allows the skateboard to endure shocks and crashes even in extremely rough roads
- Atom Drop through longboard: these type of longboards are for pros and that is why they are designed in such a way that they are to be used in championships and tournaments. The acceleration in such longboards is very good due to the scientific design and several speed tests that are carried out on the skateboard
Longboards have been known to be the best companion of anyone who is interested in skating and surfing. There are several designs and categories that are available for skate boards or long skate boards, one should always choose the one that suits their level of performance best.