Longboards vs Shortboards: What You Should Know 2021

Flo Farmer
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Longboards vs. Shortboards: The Ultimate Review

Longboard.

Thanks to their design, these boards are long, stable and easy to maneuver. They are long up to 40 inches and a bit higher.

Because of their length, they can carry 3 passengers without any difficulties. A bulk of longboard skateboarders prefer having 4-wheel trucks.

Despite being slow and not as fast and twitchy as a shortboard, longboards are suitable for skateboards on the go.

Shortboard.

The small board is like a gun for the board riders. Longboard skateboards can be considered as shotgun since they cover a wide area.

On the other hand, shortboards like the 2021 shortboard skateboards are comparatively shorter and can be compared to rifles.

This kind of board is ideal for the busy city life. Due to their size, they are easy to carry around. Another reason why they are so ideal for urban community is because they are fast and can cover a huge distance on the go.

Their stability is below average when compared to other boards. However, they are suitable for aggressive skateboarding since they can jump at a good height.

For the beginners, a longboard can be a good choice since they are easy to control. You might decide to get a shortboard when you master how to ride a skateboard and you start going uphill.

Shapes and Sizes

Longboard shapes and sizes are relatively more based on your own personal preference. There are three main types of longboards: drop-throughs, top mounts and traditional. Each of these types has either 60, 70, 75 or 80-millimeter trucks, with the most common being 70mm. The choice of the length and width of your board are important factors to consider if you are simply looking for a board to cruise you around the city.

But what really makes the difference between these are the setups of the bearings. If you are an advanced rider, you can tell the difference. If you are totally new to the sport, you will probably have no idea.

The difference between these three styles are basically in the placement of the trucks within the board.

A true shortboard is literally very short, usually not exceeding 36 inches. They typically have made performance your goal. If you are a shorter individual, you don’t have the same leverage advantages as a taller person. So to even out the playing field, shortboards are aimed to focus on being as low to the ground as they can be.

A longboard is generally going to range from around 40 inches to 60 inches. The shape of a longboard is truly unique. Instead of having the sole purpose of performing at top speeds, they are looking to be as stable and comfortable as possible.

Materials Used for Longboards and Shortboards

When it comes to the materials used for making longboards and shortboards, they vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. However, in general, manufacturers use maple and bamboo. Maple gives a firm and strong board. It, therefore, is the best material to use for longboards. Maple is also easy to shape and blend with other materials, making it the best choice for longboard production. On the other hand, bamboo is more flexible and softer to handle. It is, therefore, the best option for shortboards, but not for longboards.

But, there are some manufacturers who prefer to use other materials or blends of other different types of wood for making their boards. So, you should never fail to delve deeper into the matter before buying a longboard or a shortboard. You also shouldn't rule out other top-quality materials because the technology is ever advancing.

The important thing to note is that there are very few producers of longboards using materials other than maple, while in case of shortboards, there are few that use materials other than wood or bamboo or combinations of those.

Types of Waves for Longboards

As you might have already guessed, when it comes to longboards and shortboards, the different holds have different surfing styles.

Types of Waves for Shortboards

Each type of wave comes with a distinct set of conditions for the surfer to take advantage. For example:

Surfing on a longboard, it is possible to catch a small and deep wave, dig that rail into the water and accelerate out of control.

As opposed to using a shortboard, where the waves may be larger and less consistent. But due to the size of the wave, it will push the rider towards shore, making it easier to perform an air trick or two.

Longboards and shortboards are separated by the type of waves that best suit their use. But, this is only part of the characterization.

Paddling With Longboards vs. Shortboards

Which is Best for You?

Robert "Wingnut" Weaver stands out among the longboarding community for his ability to glide through sand with ease and steam along rocky shorelines for miles at a time. A former longboarding magazine editor, he is currently working on a blog and video series about his passion, long boarding. And to get some longboard inspiration, follow his adventures worldwide on his own Facebook and Twitter pages.

But no matter how fast or far he can go, he says there are two things that all longboarders should know: how to safely carry a longboard, and how to properly float in the water.

Safety

"A longboard is longer than a normal skateboard, a lot longer," he says. "You have to be cognizant of that while carrying it."

He urges longboarders to learn from his mistake.

"The first time I carried my longboard, I was like, "Oh, I'll throw it over my shoulder,'" he says. "And I did, and it was OK, and I carried it around for a little while, and I was like, "I'm OK. I'm just going to go walk the dog." And I was not OK. I slipped and fell."

The History of Longboards

There are many questions revolving around longboards and shortboards. All of the questions boil down to this, which one is better, longboards or shortboards?

The best answer is found in where each type originated. Longboards originated in the jungles of Hawaii, and shortboards originated in the U.S. mainland.

Longboards were developed in the early 60s. They were just like surfboards that were specifically designed for riding waves, except they were bigger and made out of wood. In theory, a bigger, heavier longboard is much more stable and much safer to ride for beginners.

However, the design of a longboard limited its speed and maneuverability. The extra length made it difficult for riders to make tight turns and drops.

As technology advanced, riders started to create shorter longboards, which were much easier to slide and perform tricks.

By the end of the 70s, the standard size for a longboard was 42 inches. Shorter designs became more popular, and the length of 40 inches or less became the standard.

Today, longboards are available in a wide range of lengths and types. The average longboard is 32 inches, but they can go down to 27 inches.

Shortboards were created during the 1960s in the U.S. Surfers started to combine the design of a skateboard and a surfboard.

The History of Shortboards

Ever since surfboards came about, they've evolved. They've changed dimensions, gotten shorter, and gotten longer. In order to fully understand the differences we have today in surfboards, it's important to understand how these surfboards were developed.

The material surfboards are made with started in the late 1950s, when fiberglass replaced wood as the material most modern surfboards are made with. The first polyurethane foam surfboards came about in the 1960s, shortly followed by the first epoxy surfboards. In the 1970s surfers started doing bigger maneuvers on waves, and began doing aerial maneuvers like flips and twists. The '70s were known as the Tofte and Peterson era, and they were known as the best surfers of the time due to their aerial ability. The first professional surfers, many of them Tony Alva, got sponsored by surfboard companies for free surfboards to get people in the surf industry interested in the sport.

These decks were made thinner, and the different cut outs and 3D contours become more prominent. By the 70s, surfers were finding ways to get air on waves of all sizes, so they needed a new way to surf bigger waves. This is when the shortboard was born. The first shortboard was invented by Jim Snyder in the late 70s.