Your riding style is determined by how you ride your longboard.
when you know your style you can start to pick a shape. Luckily there are many shapes for every style.
Last time we wrote about the styles in “What’s Your Longboard Riding Style? – Tricks Get Applause, Style Gets Respect” so this time we look at the board shapes.
Boards are available in hundreds if not thousands of shapes, and every month it seems new ones are added. Shaping a boards is something many people enjoy and for one-offs pretty easy to do. Weird and crazy shapes are available like boards in the shape of one of the 50 US states, as a rockets or thunderbolt, from triangles and rectangles to batman logos and so on (some example on our Pinterest board: different shaped longboards. You can probably find several shapes you really like.
Let’s stick to the basics and look at the main shapes and how to roughly map them to your riding style.
Although things change from time to time – and boards get a slightly rounder or edgier shape – there are a couple of basic shapes you can map them to.
Some basic shapes are
- drop down
- drop through
- top mount
- speed board ( A form)
Most skateboards are symmetrical (front is the same a back) where as with longboards there is a mixture of a-symmetrical (a.k.a. directional – they have a clear front and back) and symmetrical. For freeride and freestyle most are symmetrical so you can do 180° slides. For cruising and downhill the majority of the boards are directional.
No Right or Wrong
Personal preference is a large factor when you choose a shape, as many shapes are right and can be used for different activities. If you look at which shape is used the most for which riding style you will see some preference so that’s what we used for this mapping.
Here the most common shapes per riding style:
This doesn’t mean that these are the only shapes per style, NO mostly everything works. Its just an indication what is used the most. For example for downhill some drop downs are being, however you will find more top-mounts.
Many shapes are derived from these basic forms, some are more (or less) narrow in the center, have a rounder (or squarer front) and so on, but all come back to the basic.
Experience becomes a factor for picking a shape. Less experience riders might prefer a more drop down longboards as they are more stable due to the lower point of gravity, for seasoned riders this might not apply.
As you can see many shapes are good for every riding style. Its not the shape that determines which board you should pick its more the total setup of the board.
Next time we are going to look at flex and profile of a board, which will get you a step closer in finding the perfect longboard for you!
Go shred and have fun.