Ever since the dawn of skateboarding in the 1950s, racing has been a principal part of the skateboarding culture. Bragging rights and the hunger for a good adrenaline rush have pushed downhill extreme skateboarders to race one another down some of the most technical and fastest hills in the world. With the passage of time, great skateboard innovators have found out that longer decks, wide trucks and soft urethane wheels, are more suited to the handling of the ever-increasing speeds that downhill racers are able to achieve. In recent years, the longboard market has been filled with upcoming companies that produce components fit for downhill longboards. Let us delve deeper into the downhill longboards that make the extreme sport and fun of bombing hills a reality.
If a board has the dimensions of between 37 and 43 inches in length then it meets part of the criteria of a downhill longboard designed. It is important to note that experts recommend that you should not choose a board that has a very large length dimension since it would result in low levels of maneuverability.
Even though the length of the board is very important when selecting the best downhill longboards, experts suggest that 80% of your attention should be focused on the width of the board. anything that falls between 9 and 11 inches is fairly acceptable.
In today’s longboard market, there are an infinite number of wheels to choose from, it is therefore essential that you are able to identify the kind of wheels that are most suitable for cruising downhill. It is recommended that you be on the lookout for hard wheels that will provide less friction for your board; soft wheels are discouraged since they are bound to easily wear and tear when subjected to high-speed.
Benefits of downhill longboarding
A proper downhill longboard enables you to bomb hills as fast as you want. The innovations of modern day longboards enable you to cruise at high speeds while maintaining stability and maneuverability. You are able to get that adrenaline rush you crave while at the same time maintaining the essential amount of control required so as not to wipe out.
Modern day downhill longboards reduce your chances of wiping out and ending your skateboarding days. With increased traction, a hard deck, extra grip on the grip tape and large hard wheels, all you need is to let a rip and enjoy your cruise downhill while maintaining control of your board.
Most downhill longboards have a rigid deck to provide stability as you cruise down those hills. The tightly tuned trucks and large hard wheels also increase your stability and reduce wear and tear as you cruise downhill.
Another key feature for most downhill longboards is a locking concave primarily for traction and control. Downhill longboards also have ultra grippy grip tape so as to increase traction and control. The downhill boards have increased stability and maneuverability which enables you as the rider to enjoy your cruise downhill at top speeds while at the same time helping you maintain control.
No matter how much the longboard is tweaked and designed to increase the safety of cruising downhill, the ground on which you are riding on cannot be changed by the designers of the board. It is therefore essential for you to not only have the proper downhill longboard but the proper skill and protective gear when cruising downhill. The essential gear to ensure your safety include: longboard helmets, downhill sliding gloves, and knee and elbow pads.
It is also important to buy a board based on your downhill riding skills. If you are a beginner to downhill riding you could choose the Atom Drop Deck Longboard whereas if you are a pro you may choose Woodstock Chieftain. Failure to match your riding skills with your board may result in serious injuries.
Most Popular Downhill Deck designs
The most popular deck design for bombing hills is the “Drop Deck” which is a level down; they are sometimes referred to as “Speed boards”. Interestingly, these boards are actually steadier when you are cruising at elevated speeds; though if there is a sudden imperfection on the ground, you may wipe out. This kind of deck is recommended by experts in case you are new to the sport because of the grip and stability they give to the rider.
Even though certain people consider drop-through decks as exclusively for freeride downhill, some specialists claim this kind of deck design is able to work well when practicing classic downhill riding.
A drop-through deck basically has carved gaps in the tails located where the trucks go through the board. These boards are also relatively closer to the ground which means that you will have more stability when you are riding downhill.
Top-mount deck designs are for pro or intermediate riders who have the ability to control their speed and therefore are willing to try out more challenging moves. These kinds of boards have increased leverage in their trucks and provide less stability compared to drop deck longboards.
The best downhill longboards brands
Some of the best downhill longboard brands include:
Some claim that this the perfect downhill longboard on account of the fact that it has been voted the best downhill longboard for five years continuously. It has one of the most reliable and unique structures, an awesome design and a resilient plywood maple for the deck. With a unique degree cut-out, the board can enable you to lock in and ride your turns off on your front foot while still maintaining stability in the back. In addition, the 10 ply maple structure gives you the rigidity needed for stability when hitting high speeds.
The features of this board are that, it is drop deck-based, has a concave design for increased stability and it is 39 Inches long and 9.8 Inches wide.
This board was created for those pro riders who feel that they need something new. It is relatively expensive and is highly durable. It is the ideal board for riders who like to be extreme with their downhill longboards.
The features of this bad boy include: a 9 ply of sturdy Canadian maple, it is top mount-based and is 38 Inches long and 10 Inches wide.
If you are looking for performance when bombing hills, and the ability to make stunning skids easily, then look no further this is your downhill longboard. Its features include: top mount-based, it has a W concave structure for locking your feet down to achieve increased stability and is 39 Inches in length and 9.5 Inches width. This board is made of fiberglass and bamboo therefore it is lightweight and exceptionally strong. The ultra-gritty grip bestows upon your feet control, power and stability in slides and turns.
Atom Drop Deck Longboard
Are you a beginner and want to ride while maintaining safety and speed, then the Atom Drop Deck board is for you. It has a large design which enables you to have increased stability even at high speeds.
While this board lacks maneuverability, its drop deck structure helps to keep your feet inside the board in the sharp bends. Some of its essential features are; exceptional stability, a full maple laminated deck and its dimensions are 41 Inches length and 10 Inches width.
Never Summer Clutch
This board has one of the most unique designs with its concave structure providing you a blend of both speed and stability. It is drop through-based and 39 Inches in length and 10 Inches wide.
Downhill Longboarding is an evolution of skateboarding and makes use of longboards in a unique hair-raising way. If you are a hardcore adrenaline junky searching for a high performance downhill longboard which you will use to bomb the steepest hills, there is definitely a wide variety for you to choose from in the market provided you know what you are looking for. Remember however that safety comes first and make sure you wear the proper gear before bombing those hills.
With the increase in downhill racing and bombing hills becoming more prominent among skateboarders the longboard industry will no doubt have to continue evolving and adapting to the modern day skater’s needs.