Written By Redis Caraj
Published Feb. 13, 2021

When it comes to longboarding, it’s not a one-size-fits-all activity. There are different longboards made with different purposes in mind, not to mention all the different styles, patterns, and designs that you can get to express your personality. While longboarding is a separate and distinct entity from skateboarding, it does share similar characteristics. Downhill longboarding is another branch of that same genre, but the boards are specifically designed for easy and smooth riding down hills. 

Longboards need to handle faster speeds and greater wear and tear on the bearings and wheels than regular longboards or skateboards. With that in mind, when you’re shopping for a downhill longboard, it can be difficult to differentiate that from a regular longboard. That’s why we’ve got you covered with our complete product review and buyer’s guide so that you’ll know what to look for to ensure you get the best downhill longboard.

When it comes to the best choice for value, quality, performance, and durability, we love the White Wave Bamboo Longboard. It’s constructed from high-quality, multiple layers of bamboo and Canadian Maple that are both durable and forgiving. Specially designed heat transferred graphics and clear grip tape are classic and will hold up against some serious wear and tear. At 39-inches long, this is a good mid-level downhill cruising board. Its 70 x 50 mm high-rebound urethane wheels and super smooth and quick ABEC-9 Hellion2 bearings and spacers will ensure a controlled, easy downhill ride while allowing you to push along straightaways and hillier areas with little effort compared to many other models. 

The seven-inch aluminum trucks and ultra-high rebound bushings aren’t the best in durability, but they’re still very substantial. Also, the wheels can be a little stiff and tough on the uphills.

Key Features
  • 39 x 9.5 inch drop down longboard
  • 70 x 50mm PU wheels
  • ABEC-9 Hellion2 bearings and spacers
  • Multi-layered bamboo and Canadian maple construction
Specification
  • Brand White Wave
  • Model Warrior
  • Weight 8.8 pounds
PROS

Good value

Wheels are stable and smooth rolling

Bearings are high-quality

CONS

Trucks could be more rugged and durable

Wheels can be a little stiff and tough on the uphills

Not a lot of design or color options

This rugged yet sleek longboard is constructed from super strong eight-ply cold-pressed hardrock maple and can easily support up to 220 pounds. It’s a great option for larger riders since it measures 40 inches in length and is 10-inches wide. It also boasts a stable 37-inch wheelbase. Offered in nine different color and pattern combinations, you’ve got options for choosing the board that best suits your style. It’s equipped with 70 x 51mm 78A PU wheels with ABEC-9 precision bearings for a smooth ride. Genuine aluminum seven-inch reverse kingpin trucks are nicely adjustable to 45 or 50 degrees for added maneuverability.

However, since this is a lower riding board, it may scrape the ground on sharper turns. Also, the board’s graphics and grip tape could be more durable.

Key Features
  • 8-ply hardrock maple board construction
  • 220 pound maximum weight capacity
  • 70 x 51mm 78A PU wheels with ABEC-9 bearings
  • 7-inch aluminum reverse kingpin trucks
Specification
  • Brand Minority
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 7.5 pounds
PROS

Super affordable

Very stable, great for newer riders

Plenty of fun color and pattern options

CONS

Trucks aren’t super high-quality

Board may scrape the ground on sharp turns

Graphics and grip tape could be more durable

This state-of-the-art downhill cruiser is constructed from a 3K carbon fiber weave, bamboo, Canadian maple, and fiberglass composite, giving it an extremely high strength-to-weight ratio, reduced road noise, and decreased vibration. The ultra-lightweight deck features a uniquely shaped W-concavity with two “channels” that run its entire length, which not only stiffens the deck to give you a more stable ride but also conforms to the arch of your foot, making your stance and footing more secure. With a top-mounted deck and flat recessed trucks, you can effectively lower your center of gravity while riding, making this longboard a great choice for beginners, as well as giving you stable high-speed turning capability.

Keep in mind that the board’s trucks aren’t of the highest quality. Also, this board is not the best option for larger riders.

Key Features
  • 3K carbon, bamboo, fiberglass, and maple composite construction
  • 73 x 53mm – 78A high-rebound PU wheels
  • 7-inch precion gravity-cast aluminum trucks
  • Deck is 37 inches long and 9 inches wide
Specification
  • Brand Magneto
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 7.7 pounds
PROS

Super lightweight

Great high-speed performance and turning capability

Excellent strength-to-weight ratio

CONS

A little pricey

Not the best choice for larger riders

Trucks aren’t the highest quality

The Atom Drop Deck Longboard gets a shout out for being a well-built board that offers a super stable downhill ride. Its unique perimeter shape and 9.6-inches of leverage eliminates wheel bite in sharper turns. This longboard features a sturdy deck constructed from durable yet flexible maple laminate. The deck is also covered in high-quality and long-lasting 80S grip tape, giving you a sure and secure footing on all types of terrain. The board also comes equipped with 7-inch aluminum reverse kingpin trucks with 245mm axles and forgiving wide-lip 70 x 51mm super high rebound urethane wheels. ABEC-9 bearings with high-speed lubrication round out the wheel set-up to give you a good overall ride.

At 10 pounds, the board is relatively heavier than other downhill longboards. Also, this board is not the best option for performing tricks.

Key Features
  • Multi-layered maple laminate deck construction
  • 80S grip tape
  • 220 pound maximum weight capacity
  • Wide-lip 70 x 51mm super high rebound urethane wheels
Specification
  • Brand Atom Longboards
  • Model 91048
  • Weight 10.1 pounds
PROS

High 9.6-inch profile eliminates wheel bite

Wide and long deck supports larger riders with ease

Stable, yet flexible ride is great for beginners

CONS

Heavier than some other models

Not a great option for tricks

Trucks are not super durable

The Hana Longboard Collection-Pintail is a classic and stylish cruiser that will give you great performance. With the wheels cut in the bottom of the beautifully stained bamboo and maple core deck, you won’t feel any grinding or wheel bite in tight curves. A super responsive 31-inch wheelbase gives you control and maneuverability at the same time. The deck is also 9.5 inches wide with a subtle W-concave contour, providing a stable and comfortable platform for larger riders. A traditional sand grit finish shows off the striped bamboo style and gives you a secure anchor for your feet to grip well on all terrains. The trucks also feature a 7-inch hanger and a kingpin angle of 50 degrees with SHR medium stiffness bushings, which are great for newer riders.

The only knock on this board is that its length, width, and weight make it not as portable as other options.

Key Features
  • 8-ply bamboo and maple 42-inch long deck
  • Top-mounted Paris style trucks with a 50-degree angle
  • Maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds
  • 70mm shore 78A PU wheels
Specification
  • Brand Magneto
  • Model Pintail
  • Weight 9 pounds
PROS

Classic design reminiscent of longboarding’s early days

Wide and stable base is great for beginners

Great for cruising, and freestyle riding

CONS

No other color or pattern options

A little on the heavy side for younger users

Length and width of board makes it less portable than some other models

The Fish Skateboards 41-Inch Downhill Longboard is a comprehensive and affordable downhill longboard suitable for skaters of all levels. With a 41 x 9-inch deck constructed from 8-ply Canadian maple, it’s a stable and forgiving board to learn on. It’s also great for practicing tricks. With a maximum weight capacity of 330 pounds, this is one of the toughest and most rugged downhill longboards on our list. It’s equipped with super smooth 70 x 51mm 82A anti-shock polyurethane wheels and ABEC-9 chrome steel bearings. Available in 10 fun and trendy color patterns and designs, there’s something to please every rider.

However, this board’s bearings and trucks may not be of the best quality, and there has been concern over the long term strength and durability of the board’s hardware.

Key Features
  • 41 x 9-inch 8-ply Canadian Maple deck construction
  • Maximum weight capacity of 330 pounds
  • 70 x 51mm 82A PU wheels with ABEC-9 chrome steel bearings
  • 7-inch aluminum alloy trucks with steel axles
Specification
  • Brand Fish Skateboards
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 7.05 pounds
PROS

Super affordable

Wide and long deck, great for beginners

Lots of fun color and pattern options to choose from

CONS

Bearings and trucks aren’t super high quality

May be too stable and slow for more accomplished riders

Some concern over long term strength and durability of hardware

Best Downhill Longboards Buying Guide & FAQ

Now that you’ve seen some of our top choices for awesome, fun, and reliable downhill longboards, let’s talk about what sets them apart from other available models on the market. There are plenty of options out there to choose from, whether you’re buying a beginner’s board or looking for something to suit a more seasoned veteran.

With so many features and factors to take into consideration, it can seem daunting trying to figure out if you’re getting a truly high-quality and reliable longboard or if you’re getting hoodwinked by smooth marketing and false advertising. Our informative guide will help you sift through the hype to ensure you’re getting the best downhill longboard to suit your needs.

Why Do You Need a Downhill Longboard?

Downhill longboards are a fun and efficient ways to get around town.

A downhill longboard allows you to go on longer, more comfortable cruises over hilly terrain while minimizing your risk of injury and keeping you stable at higher speeds.

Longboards are the better choice for mimicking the wave-like motion of ocean waves, making them a top pick of surfers who are looking to continue to hone their skills out of the water. They carve and move just like a surfboard and offer the same center of gravity, length, and width as most surfboards.

Downhill longboarding is also a fun and often relaxing pastime that is sure to teach you better balance, reactivity, and improve your overall physical strength. It also isn’t too harmful to your joints like hard impact workouts, such as running or jogging. 

  • Longboards provide an excellent full-body and cardio workout in a fun and low-impact way.
  • If you live in a hilly region, a downhill longboard can be a more stable, smoother, and safe alternative to commuting via a skateboard.
  • Longboarding is a great way to cross-train for surfing or stand-up paddleboarding in the off-season.

Different Kinds of Downhill Longboards

There are only a couple of different types of downhill longboards to choose from, so it’s relatively straightforward when making this choice, at least. 

Top Mount Longboards

This type of downhill longboard features a deck with the trucks mounted directly to the bottom of it. This is the most common type of downhill longboard set-up, as it provides ultra control and greater stability at high speeds, especially around curves. The wheels on a top-mounted longboard are also grippy and wide, giving you high technical performance.

Drop Through Longboards

This style of downhill longboard has a deck with ends that drop down so the trucks can be mounted to the bottom of the deck. This shape and set-up lowers your center of gravity and provides a lot of stability at high speeds. However, the lower wheel-to-deck ratio can lead to scraping or wheel bite in tighter turns. They’re a great option for beginner riders since this configuration tends to limit downhill speeds more than the top mount set-up.

What to Look for When Buying a Downhill Longboard

When choosing the best downhill longboard for yourself, it can be helpful to first consider your skillset. Are you just getting into longboarding, and more specifically, downhill longboarding? Or, have you been longboarding for a while and are confident in your ability to control the board and high speeds and on steep inclines or sharp curves? Do you want something that will slow you down and provide some stability, or are you looking to race down the hill at top speeds and get the biggest rush possible? This factor alone can greatly influence your appropriate choices.

Also, be sure to read online user reviews of any downhill longboard models you’re considering. Look for a company with users who are happy with either performance, durability, reliability, customer service, warranty coverage, or all of the above. Steer clear of lesser-known manufacturers with questionable customer service and reviews that aren’t super complimentary. 

The Most Important Features of Downhill Longboards

Downhill longboards can also improve your physical health.

Which features do you need to look for or boxes do you need to check to ensure you’re getting a high-quality downhill longboard that is safe and will perform at a top-level? The following features are definite must-haves in a great downhill longboard.

Lightweight

If you want the ability to maneuver and steer your downhill longboard with ease and accuracy on fast hills and tight corners, choosing one that is lightweight is going to be critical. Remember, the longer the board, the heavier it is, but with that in mind, try to keep your board under 10 pounds to keep your board portable.

Heavier longboards are harder to control, and when you’re flying around curves at top speeds, quicker reactions can mean the difference between safety and injury. Look for lightweight construction materials like bamboo, carbon, and fiberglass that can handle heavy riders but are super responsive and durable at the same time.

Stability

If you’re a newer or beginner downhill longboard rider, stability is going to be even more important than board weight. It takes practice to get a feel for your longboard and gain the skills to steer it and maneuver it at top speeds confidently. 

Choosing a board with a wide deck, between 9-10 inches, a wide wheelbase, and heavy-duty trucks will ensure the ultimate in stability so that you don’t go flying off on an aggressive downhill or sharp turn. Also, look for a board with a stiffer deck and offset core wheels for even greater stability.

If you’re a more seasoned rider, you may want something a little less stable, as stability correlates to speed directly. If you’re ready to go fast, you need a more responsive and looser board set-up.

Speed 

The weight and stability of your downhill longboard usually directly relates to how fast your board will go. If you’re an accomplished and practiced longboarder, you’ll likely want something that goes fast and will give you more of an adrenaline rush.

Looser axle nuts and trucks, wider and harder wheels, cleaned and lubricated bearings, or upgraded bearings are all things that will increase the speed of your downhill longboard.

If you’re a beginner or are looking for a starter longboard for your kid, you’re going to want a longboard that goes a little slower until you get the hang of it. Look for tighter trucks and axles and opt for softer wheels and slower bearings to promote safety and a lower top speed.

Care and Maintenance for Downhill Longboards

As with most things, proper care and maintenance of your downhill longboard will go a long way to ensuring its continued safety, reliability, functionality, and longevity. While these boards are built to withstand wear and tear, it’s crucial from a safety standpoint to perform regular check-ups, cleaning, maintenance, and replacement of worn parts. 

  • Every single time you take your longboard for a ride, be sure to give it a once over to check for cracks or damage in components, such as wheels, bearings, trucks, and the board itself.
  • Regularly clean dirt and debris out of the wheels, axles, bearings, and trucks to ensure smooth and reliable operation.
  • Replace wheels at the first sign of serious wear.
  • Regularly lubricate your wheels and bearings to help prevent corrosion and keep them turning smoothly.
  • Replace your longboard’s grip tape if you notice that your footing is becoming less grippy or secure.

Best Downhill Longboards FAQ:

If you’ve still got some questions surrounding the best downhill longboard for you, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with in-depth answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we found floating around the ethers of the internet.                                                                         

Q: How dangerous is downhill longboarding?

Like many sports involving hills, downhill longboarding can be super fast-paced and dangerous depending on your skill, the quality of your board, and the incline and length of the hills you ride on. This can be minimized by wearing safety equipment like a helmet and elbow, knee, and wrist guards. Also, start by practicing on hills with a gentler grade that won’t’ get you up to high speeds before reaching the bottom. Choose a stable board that isn’t set up to go super fast until you’re more comfortable and confident in your abilities.

Q: How fast do downhill longboarders go?

Competitive longboarders often record speeds between 50-65 mph, with record speeds of over 80 miles per hour being recorded by some downhillers.

Q: How do you longboard down a hill?

To longboard down a hill, it’s imperative that you first know how to stop effectively and quickly. Practicing this essential skill on small hills or low-level grades will help you get a feel for rolling down a hill without too much risk. As you get more comfortable, you can gradually increase the hill’s size or grade, improving your skills over time.

Our Top Pick

Now that you’re familiar with what makes a great downhill longboard, it’s probably pretty obvious why the White Wave Bamboo Longboard is our top pick. It’s constructed from high-quality, multiple layers of bamboo and Canadian Maple that are both durable and forgiving. At 39 inches long, this is a good mid-level downhill cruising board. Its 70 x 50 mm high-rebound urethane wheels and super smooth and quick ABEC-9 Hellion2 bearings and spacers will ensure a controlled, easy downhill ride.

Final Thoughts

If you’re in the market for a reliable and well-performing downhill longboard, you can’t go wrong with the White Wave Bamboo Longboard, the Minority Downhill Maple Longboard, or one of the other great options on our list.

Sources:

  1. Longboard – Wikipedia
  2. Longboarding – Wikipedia

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