Life in college is all about having new experiences and making the most of new opportunities. On your first day on campus you may have seen people cruising on longboards and wanted to try it out. If you’re already a skateboarder, longboarding is going to be an easy transition, but even if you’re a novice longboarding is relatively easy to learn and you can soon be cruising along with the rest of the student body.
The primary difference between skateboards and longboards is that longboards are larger, faster and more stable than skateboards and, therefore, are an excellent means of transport around campus.
Longboards come in all shapes and sizes, and it is vital to buy a board on which you feel relaxed and comfortable. We recommend the Quest Super Cruiser Artisan Bamboo Longboard, which is sold by Amazon and arrives as a complete set. This longboard is not only inexpensive but is also very sturdy and durable, hence perfect for longboarding beginners. A longboard is made of 3 parts: the deck, the trucks, and the wheels. Here’s what you need to know about each:
Another example of a longboard deck perfect for college cruising is made by Loaded Longboards. While Loaded longboards are available as complete sets, intermediate and expert longboarders often prefer building their own longboards piece by piece. The best part is Loaded Longboards have simply beautiful decks with creative and unique patterns. Along with Loaded, companies such as Rayne, Gravity, Original, Landyatchz, Comet and Quest (as mentioned above) also create decks that are loved by new and experienced longboarders alike.
Longboard wheels are usually bigger and more pliable than regular skateboard wheels. These flexible and big wheels allow the skater to roll faster, longer, and with less effort than standard skateboards. Though some people prefer huge wheels, for skating around a college town, bigger is not always better. Longboards for easy gliding on campus have wheels that are usually between 65mm to 75mm. Wheels within these dimensions make it easier to gain forward momentum and turn in style.
The chief element for a complete longboard is a set of premium quality trucks. Trucks make the longboard bend and glide. Trucks are grouped according to their width. There are scores of trucks and the best way to see which one is perfect for you is to try out each type. Retail stores have trucks set on various boards and they often let people test them for free before buying a set. However, if you are buying from an online skateboarding shop, make sure you buy wide trucks for your skateboard. While trucks can always be replaced later, it is preferable to have trucks between 150mm to 180mm for longboards. 150mm truck provides a sharper turn, while 180mm trucks create a steady ride but are slightly less maneuverable.
The sport of skateboarding is risky, and unfortunately, many college students ignore critical safety gear. Helmets, elbow pads, wrist guards and knee pads are all crucial, especially at higher speeds. Longboarders generally upgrade as they go, since as they become more experienced they usually become more daring and reach higher speeds. While longboards are the perfect means of transport around college campuses and crowded areas, they can also be quite dangerous. Hence, it is very crucial always to wear the right safety gear.
A few years back, it wasn’t considered cool to wear safety equipment, however now you can sport it stylishly without feeling geeky or an outcast. Helmets have become hip, lightweight and comfortable. Skateboarding helmets now have patterns and design that make the boarder look fresh and trendy rather than a geek or nerd (luckily, though, being geeky and nerdy is also in right now).
Every young adult should try longboarding on a college campus at least once. By the time you’re a senior, you’ll be leaving the freshman in your dust! From picking a patterned deck that fits your personality to a great set of wheels and trucks that suit your preferences, there is an art in building your longboard from scratch. Many well-known longboarders often upload their tricks and tips to longboard on YouTube, where you can learn and discover new ways of longboarding with style. Enjoy the ride on your longboard, cherish every curve, and don’t forget always to skate with a smile (and a helmet)!
About the Author: John Dev is a professional blogger who loves to write about his passion for skateboarding and longboarding. A big fan of the sport, he is also an in-house blogger for SkatesUSA. In his free time, he longboards on his Loaded Complete Tan Tien 2012 longboard. This is his first guest post for the Board Blazers blog.