When I talk about a long skateboard, I’m usually talking about something very different from what most people are talking about these days.
Let me first make a clarification. There is a longboard that is used in real skateboard racing, downhill and slalom. I’m not talking about competitive skateboards used in these specific racing events.
I’m talking about skateboards used in a casual or fun way. Kicking it down the street, transportation, or even cruising around a skatepark. These are the longboards that I’m talking about. Currently, I’m seeing an inordinate amount of gigantic novelty skateboards or useless pin-tail flex boards under the most inexperienced riders imaginable. Why do the least informed people ride the worst skateboards ever devised? It makes little sense. The board that you see in this post is as long as makes any sense for about 99% of the people on planet earth. Just keeping this board close to 33″ in length took some compromise but that is as long as you can really go in the real world.
The primary change here is that while a long ‘short’ board will have up to a 14.25″ wheelbase, this ‘long’ board has a huge 16.50″ wheelbase.
Here’s my longboard. It’s as long as I can stand. Any longer and it would be completely unmanageable. I use this board for when I’m cruising around the city and traveling. It’s comfortable and steers well in dense traffic. It works very well.
I cut this shape down out of a Conspiracy Skateboards Bryan Pennington deck. That deck was just massive and unmanageable. Cutting the deck down reduced a considerable amount of weight from the previous 8.5″ wide version.
This is a print of the exact shape of this board.
If I were to cut the deck again, this is what I would change. A little less off the nose and a little off the tail. This would just be sweet.
To get the board to steer properly, a 9.5 degree low profile wedge is used under the front truck. While it is 0.5″ tall at it’s highest, it effectively raises the truck similar to a 1/4″ riser. A 5 degree wedge could be used under each truck if desired for less ‘car’ steer.
The overall height of the board has to be kept low (non-drop through). 62mm ABEC 11 Pink Polka Dot 78a wheels and 1/4″ risers with Indy 129mm standard trucks. This results in better road feel as well as better ergonomics when kicking. 2.00″ + 0.25″ + 62mm/2 = 88.15mm. Taller than this and things get really goofy.
I keep my trucks steering smoothly and predictably using Bones Hardcore Bushings in medium (yellow). They are some of the best bushings you can get. Note that the kingpin nut should never be tightened past what is needed to take out play or lock the threads.
Of course, my boards always get a very special treatment to the bearings and axles that I will cover at another time.