What Essential Gear Do You Need as Longboard Beginner?

As a beginner in longboarding, having the right gear is essential for your safety and enjoyment. Longboarding can be a fun and exhilarating activity, but it’s important to prioritize safety and be prepared before you hit the streets or hills. Here’s a detailed overview of the essential gear you’ll need as a beginner longboarded:

What Essential Gear Do You Need as Longboard Beginner?

  1. Longboard Deck
  2. Longboard Trucks
  3. Longboard Wheels
  4. Longboard Bearings
  5. Longboard Grip Tape
  6. Protective Gear For Longboarding 
  7. Appropriate Footwear
  8. Comfortable Clothing
  9. Safety Gear
  10. Learning Resources

Longboard Deck:

The longboard deck is the main platform of your longboard, onto which all the other components are attached. It plays a crucial role in determining the type of riding experience you’ll have, including stability, maneuverability, and comfort. As a beginner, choosing the right longboard deck is essential for building a solid foundation for your longboarding skills. Here’s what you need to know about longboard decks:

Deck Types:

  1. Pintail Deck: Pintail decks are classic longboard shapes that are narrower at the trucks and wider at the nose and tail. They are great for cruising and carving but might not be ideal for more advanced tricks.
  2. Drop-Through Deck: Drop-through decks have cutout holes where the trucks are mounted, allowing the baseplate to sit lower to the ground. This design provides a lower center of gravity, making it more stable and suitable for beginners.
  3. Drop-Down Deck: Drop-down decks have a dropped platform between the trucks, which also lowers the rider’s center of gravity. This design offers enhanced stability and control, making it a popular choice for beginners.
  4. Cruiser Deck: Cruiser decks are often shorter than traditional longboards and are designed for easy transportation and casual riding. They are great for beginners who want a compact and maneuverable option.
  5. Freeride Deck: Freeride decks are versatile and designed for sliding, carving, and moderate downhill riding. They offer a balance of stability and maneuverability, making them suitable for progressing beyond the basics.

Deck Length and Width:

  • Length: Longer decks provide more stability and room for your feet. As a beginner, a longer deck can help you feel more balanced and comfortable. However, extremely long decks might be less maneuverable.
  • Width: Wider decks offer more surface area for your feet, making them more stable and suitable for beginners. A wider deck also provides more space for foot placement, helping you find your comfortable stance.


  • Flex Deck: Some longboard decks have flex, which means they can bend slightly under your weight. Flex decks can absorb vibrations and provide a smoother ride, but they might be less stable at higher speeds.
  • Stiff Deck: Stiff decks are more stable and better for downhill riding or higher speeds. They offer more precise control and are often preferred by riders who prioritize stability.

Deck Materials:

  • Maple Wood: Most longboard decks are made from layers of maple wood. The number of layers (ply) affects the stiffness and durability of the deck. More layers generally result in a stiffer and more robust deck.
  • Bamboo: Bamboo decks are lightweight, flexible, and environmentally friendly. They offer a unique feel and might be suitable for riders who prefer a more responsive deck.

Graphic and Aesthetics:

Longboard decks come in various graphic designs and colors. While aesthetics don’t affect performance, choosing a design you like can add to the enjoyment of your riding experience.

Remember that your choice of longboard deck should align with your riding style and preferences. As a beginner, prioritize stability and comfort, and consider consulting with experienced riders or visiting a local skate shop to get personalized recommendations based on your body type, riding goals, and local terrain.


Longboard trucks are essential components that attach to the underside of the deck and hold the wheels in place. They play a significant role in determining how your longboard turns, maneuvers, and responds to your movements. As a beginner, understanding the basics of longboard trucks will help you choose the right ones for your riding style and preferences. Here’s what you need to know about longboard trucks:

Key Components of Longboard Trucks:

  1. Hanger: The hanger is the T-shaped part of the truck that holds the axle and attaches to the deck. It’s responsible for the turning ability of the trucks.
  2. Baseplate: The baseplate is the flat part that mounts onto the deck. It determines the angle at which the hanger sits in relation to the deck and affects the overall stability and responsiveness of the trucks.
  3. Kingpin: The kingpin is the large bolt that holds the trucks together and allows for adjustments to the tightness of the trucks. Looser trucks provide more maneuverability, while tighter trucks offer more stability.
  4. Bushings: Bushings are the rubber or urethane components that sit inside the hanger and baseplate. They are crucial for controlling the turning and responsiveness of the trucks. Softer bushings allow for easier turning, while harder bushings provide more stability.

Factors to Consider:

  1. Truck Width: Choose trucks that match the width of your longboard deck. Properly sized trucks ensure that the wheels align with the edges of the deck, optimizing stability and control.
  2. Turning Radius: Trucks with a higher degree of turn (measured by the kingpin angle) provide sharper turns, making them ideal for carving and maneuverability. Trucks with a lower degree of turn offer more stability, which can be beneficial for downhill riding.
  3. Bushings: As a beginner, you might prefer softer bushings that allow for easier turning. Experimenting with different bushing durometers (hardness levels) will help you find the right balance between stability and maneuverability.
  4. Riding Style: Consider your intended riding style. If you’re more interested in cruising and carving, choose trucks with a higher turning radius. If you’re interested in downhill or higher speeds, opt for trucks with a lower turning radius and a more stable setup.
  5. Truck Height: The height of the trucks affects your center of gravity. Lower trucks offer more stability and are suitable for beginners. However, keep in mind that extremely low trucks might lead to wheel bite (wheels touching the deck), especially when using larger wheels.
  6. Brand and Quality: Choosing reputable brands and high-quality trucks ensures durability and performance. Cheap trucks might not provide the same level of precision and responsiveness.

Adjustment and Customization:

Truck tightness and bushing setup can be adjusted to suit your preferences. As a beginner, it’s a good idea to start with slightly looser trucks and softer bushings, allowing for easier turning and responsiveness. As you gain experience, you can fine-tune your setup based on your evolving riding style.

Overall, selecting the right longboard trucks involves finding a balance between stability and maneuverability that suits your skill level and riding goals. Don’t hesitate to seek advice from experienced riders or visit a local skate shop for personalized recommendations based on your preferences and the type of riding you want to pursue.

  1. Wheels: Longboard wheels come in various sizes and durometers (hardness). Larger wheels offer a smoother ride over rough terrain, while smaller wheels provide more agility. For beginners, larger and softer wheels (around 70-75mm and a durometer of 78A-85A) are recommended as they offer a more forgiving ride and better grip.
  2. Bearings: Bearings are small components that fit inside the wheels and allow them to spin smoothly. Look for quality bearings that are rated ABEC-5 or higher. Upgrading to better bearings can improve the overall performance of your longboard.
  3. Grip Tape: Grip tape is applied to the top surface of the deck to provide traction for your feet. Make sure your grip tape is applied evenly to prevent air bubbles and ensure a solid grip. You can also choose from various designs and patterns to personalize your board.
  4. Protective Gear: Safety should be your top priority when longboarding. Essential protective gear includes:
    • Helmet: A certified skateboard or bicycle helmet is a must to protect your head in case of falls or collisions.
    • Knee and Elbow Pads: These pads provide cushioning and protection for your joints during falls.
    • Wrist Guards: Wrist guards can help prevent wrist injuries in case you lose your balance and fall.
  5. Appropriate Footwear: Wear sturdy, flat-soled shoes with good grip to ensure your feet stay securely on the board. Avoid open-toed shoes or sandals that can compromise your stability.
  6. Clothing: Wear comfortable clothing that allows freedom of movement. Avoid loose clothing that might get caught in the wheels or trucks.
  7. Safety and Maintenance Tools: Carry a multi-tool specifically designed for skateboards or longboards. This tool can help you make on-the-go adjustments to your trucks and wheels.
  8. Water and Sun Protection: Depending on your location and climate, bring water to stay hydrated and use sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun.

Remember that practice and patience are key to becoming proficient in longboarding. Start by practicing in a safe and open area, and gradually progress to more challenging terrain as you gain confidence and skills. Always prioritize your safety and the safety of others while you enjoy this exciting activity.

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