What is a Complete Longboard?
A Complete is a fully assembled longboard skateboard that is ready to ride the second you take it out of the box. Ok, maybe it will take more than a second if you unpack the box inside the house and need to take the board outside to ride it. But you get our drift.
Daddies sells both Complete longboards as well longboard decks (the board itself) that do not come assembled. If you want to buy a fully assembled longboard, make sure you are purchasing a Complete. If you just want the deck, select Deck Only.
Do I need to customize the board?
No. Daddies offers loads of customization options but if you simply want to purchase the Complete with the standard components shown, just click the "Add to Cart" button and then move to check out. Plain and simple. No fuss.
What are the default components on the Completes?
Every Complete longboard requires three and only three components - the wheels, trucks, and bearings. Our Completes come standard with the following components:
Dano's Wheels: Made in the USA, Dano's wheels are highly versatile, dependable, and are priced right. Dano's can be used to cruise around town, slide, or pick up some downhill speed. They come in multiple colors.
Paris, Bear, or Randal Trucks: A truck has two main pieces - a hanger that houses the axle and a baseplate which is mounted to the deck itself. Our default truck options include Bear, Paris and Randal trucks - all premium trucks. The trucks we select as default options in a Complete work beautifully with those particular decks.
Bearings: A wheel is mounted on a truck via a bearing, a circular piece that fits snugly inside the wheel's core. Completes come standard with the Daddies Board Shop Abec 7 V2 bearings. These bearings are high quality and high value. We do offer a number of bearing upgrade options but if you are new to longboarding, want a durable bearing that will generate good speed, and want to keep your costs down, stick with the Daddies Board Shop Abec 7 V2s.
How important are the Options offered when purchasing Completes?
First, you don't need to select any of these options. If you don't change a thing, your board will come to you ready to ride.
Here are the options we do offer:
Assemble My Ride: by default, we assemble the longboard free of charge. However, those customers that wish to assemble the boards themselves can choose the "I'll Do it Myself" option. If you choose to assemble the board yourself, we will provide all the hardware necessary to assemble the board.
Grip My Board: Grip tape is a thin, coarse tape applied to the top of the board where the rider stands, allowing the rider to maintain a firm footing. By default, all boards come with grip tape applied at no additional change. While many manufacturers send us boards pre-gripped, other boards come to us without grip tape. In those cases, we grip the board with premium black grip tape. However, you have the option to select either a more specialized grip tape which we can apply or, alternatively, we can send you the grip tape unapplied.
Add Bearing Spacers: Bearing spacers are small pieces of steel that sit between the bearings inside the wheel. If you are new to longboarding and just plan to cruise around town, you don't need bearing spacers. If you plan to undertake more advanced riding, spacers are an inexpensive way to improve your ride and protect your bearings. The spacers act to decrease the amount of force on your bearings by providing support from inside the wheel. If you want to learn more about spacers, head on over here.
Add Risers or Shock Pads: Risers are a great way to ensure that you won't get wheelbite by providing greater clearance between the deck and the wheels. Shock pads do the same thing but they are also constructed out of a softer rubber which (i) absorbs shock thereby smoothing the ride and (ii) disperses the pressure placed on the deck by the trucks reduces the likelihood that the board will develop pressure cracks. Shock pads are especially helpful with drop-through longboards. While shock pads are never a bad idea, they are not necessary for first time riders who are just getting into the longboarding groove.
Add a Skate Tool: A skate tool is not needed, but it is a relatively inexpensive and extremely convenient tool to help you maintain your board or even build it, if you're up for it. Parents tend to dig skate tools because it keeps the youngins' out of the family tool box.
Add Bearing Lube or Cleaning Kit: Bearing lube is used to keep bearings, and hence wheels, turning more smoothly and quickly. Cleaning kits are for - can you guess? - cleaning the bearings! Keeping your bearings clean and lubricated will add significant life to them. However, if you are new to skating, take a pass on the bearing lube and cleaning kit for now, learn to love your new ride, and then come on back to Daddies to gear up when you are ready to take your riding to the next level!
What are the Riding Styles about? Tell me about Crusing/Carving, Downhill, Freeride and Freestyle.
For details, head on over to our Super Simple Recommendations page.
The most common thing we hear from new longboarders is, "I don't know where to start!" The second most common thing we hear is, "Fine mom, I will mow the back yard." But I digress...
Our website is full of information to guide you on your journey to longboarding peace and tranquility. However, for those of you who aren't inclined to earn a PhD in longboarding and just want to get riding, we're here to help.
Here are our super simple recommendations to get you on a board quickly:
For a fun form of transportation and for taking wide turns down the street to create a surfing feel on concrete waves, Cruising/Carving longboards are excellent for all-around riding.
Our Top Picks:
For scratching that speed itch. Enough said.
Our Top Picks:
For undertaking maneuvers such as sliding in quick succession down hills, freeriding is becoming the most progressive form of longboarding.
Our Top Picks:
For undertaking street skate tricks while providing the versatility and stability of downhill and freeride boards.
Our Top Picks:
Sick•tion•ary [sik-shuh-ner-ee] noun, a longboarding lexicon
Carving Longboards: Used for skating in a way that heavily mimics the large or tight turns done on a surfboard.
Cruising Longboards: Used for general all-purpose skating as a form of transportation and fun.
Downhill Longbards: Used for high-speed and very advanced longboarding generally performed on designed racetracks, areas, or hills.
Drifting: Sliding in a controlled manner in order to scrub off speed in order to safely hold a line around a corner.
Freeride Longboards: Used for technical tricks that are performed in quick succession with one another. Tricks often consist of a series of slides at various speeds.
Freestyle Longboards: Used for technical tricks that are based off traditional skateboarding tricks. These tricks commonly consist of popping the board off the ground and making the board do a series of flips and spins.
Goofy Footed: Skating with your right foot forward as your dominant stance.
Long Distance Push: A style of riding where board setups are finely tuned for maximum comfort and performance when pushing very long distances. Ideally, LDP boards will sit very low to the ground to decrease the amount of height a rider needs to dip down in order to kick or push off the ground.
Manual: Using a kicktail on a board to gain leverage over your front or back wheels to perform a "wheelie." In the world of skateboarding a wheelie is called a "manual." When performing the trick on the front your board it is referred to as a "nose-manual."
Pack-skating: Skating in a tight group of riders, generally at high speeds. Having trust in the skaters around you is a key-factor in pack-skating.
Pumping: Gyrating your board by a series of controlled turns in order to generate speed without pushing.
Pushing: Kicking along the ground as a form of self-propulsion.
Regular Footed: Skating with your left foot forward as your dominant stance.
Slalom: A style of racing on shorter board setups where the rider weaves in and out of multiple cones at relatively high speeds.
Sliding: Turning you and your board sideways while skating at a high enough speed to make your wheels lose traction and break into a slide. This is the basis of freeriding.
Switch: Skating opposite of your dominant stance.
Foot-stops: A piece that can be attached on the top of your deck to keep your front or back foot in place. High speed riders often use these.
Griptape: The sandpaper like material that is applied to the top of your deck in order to keep you from sliding around when riding.
Hardware: The bolts and nuts that fasten your trucks to your deck.
Nose/Tail Guards: A protective bumper that can be attached to the nose or tail of your board that will protect it from smashing up against hard objects.
Risers: These pieces of hard plastic can be used in between your trucks and your deck in order to increase a board's ride height. They are designed to help avoid wheel-bite when riding larger wheels or looser trucks.
Shock Pads: Basically the soft version of a riser that helps raise your board up while reducing shock and vibration from the street at the same time.
Abec Rating: Abec stands for Annular Bearing Engineering Committee. This group of engineers developed a rating system for a bearing's precision that is accepted worldwide. However, not all bearing companies choose to have their products rated by ABEC. A primary example is the company Bones who makes some of the best competition bearings in the world.
Balls: Bearings actually have a series of balls inside of them that sit securely inside of a casing unit. They make the wheel go around!
Built-In: Built-in bearings are bearings with spacers and speed rings built into their design.
Casing: The casing holds the ball bearings in place.
Ceramics: Ceramic is easier to form than steel and therefore much more precise. Ceramic bearings do not heat up like steel bearings do and are ideal for high speed, long distance, downhill riding.
Inner Race: This is the small ring on the inside of the bearing that goes directly around the axle of your truck.
Outer Race: This is the outermost ring of your bearing that helps keep everything in place.
Shield: Shields are the colored round protectors on the outside of the bearing that usually has something written on it. They aren't just for decoration though! They keep the insides of the bearing protected from gunk and grime that somehow always finds its way into bearings. Shields are key to having your bearings last a long time. Some bearings will have a shield on both sides of bearing. The term for these bearings is "double shielded."
Spacers: Spacers were originally designed to keep wheels from wobbling on axles in the original days of skateboarding. They fit inside of the wheel's core between your bearings and allow you to tighten your axle nuts down further for a smoother ride, smoother slide, and more security over all.
Steel: Most bearings will be made of steel. They roll great, are relatively inexpensive, and are very durable.
Swiss: Swiss-made bearings are known for their incredible precision. More precision means fewer flaws in construction and less chance for unnecessary friction!
Barrels: Barrel shaped bushings are great for downhill and high speed riding because their shape creates more material in a truck's bushing seat slightly restricting the maneuverability.
Cones: Cone shaped bushings that do not restrict the maneuverability of your trucks. They are great for carving and cruising setups.
Conventional: This setup is used in street style trucks. It consists of a short cone bushing that sits on the topside of a truck's hanger and a tall cone bushing that sits on the bottom side of a truck's hanger.
Cupped Washers: Washers that turn on the sides in order to slightly restrict how much a bushing can warp and shift. They will help in reducing your turning radius adding to overall stability.
Durometer: This is the unit of measurement for the hardness of a bushing.
Flat-Washers: Washers that will not restrict the movement of a bushing.
Rebound: This is the term used to describe a bushing's return to center; the center point being the truck's original positioning.
Stepped-Barrel: These are great for downhill and high speed riding. They are very stable and eliminate a large amount of slop. Their appearance is very distinct. They notch out and upwards into a thicker area and sometimes back into a smaller area again.
Stepped-Cone: A stepped cone sinks into a truck's bushing seat reducing slop while providing plenty of lean at the same time. These are great for high-speed freeriding.
Urethane: The chemical substance that 99% of bushings are made out of today.
3D Concave: A form of concave that is generally found above a board's wheel-wells. It creates bubble-like formations that you can push your feet up against for more leverage when freeriding or downhilling.
Asymmetrical: A board with a directional shape that is not intended to be ridden backwards. These are often used for high speed riding and racing.
Camber: This is usually only found in longboards with a good amount of flex. It is a slight bow that bends upwards from nose to tail and it counteracts a board's flex in order to prevent flexible boards from bottoming out.
Concave: A cup-like formation that almost every deck's standing platform will have. It spans from side to side rather than from nose to tail. Concave helps keep your board under your feet and creates a feeling of being "locked in" without actually locking you in!
Cutouts: An area of the deck where materials have been cut out to provide the wheels more clearance when turning. Cutouts help avoid "wheel-bite," where the wheels hit the bottom of your deck causing you to stop abruptly and send you flying forward.
Double-Drop Longboards: A board that combines both the drop platform with the drop-thru truck mounting system. Double-Drop boards sit very low to the ground and are often used in Long Distance Push or very technical downhill riding.
Drop Down Platform Longboards: A topmount board where the standing platform sits lower than where the trucks are mounted. This lowers your center of gravity and provides for more stability and easier sliding.
Drop-Thru Longboards: A type of deck where a cutout is made where the trucks mount. Trucks have to be pulled apart and mounted together after the baseplate has been attached on the topside of the deck: This lowers your center of gravity and provides for more stability and easier sliding.
Flex: Flex can be your friend or your foe! It is great for carving and initiating slides at lower speeds. It also helps dampen your ride so that you feel less of the terrain beneath you. However, flex reduces rigidity and stability and is not recommended for high speed riding.
Gas-Pedals: Areas cut out of the side of your deck at an angle where your toes and feet will generally be positioned. They help you gain leverage on the sides of your longboard when pushing it out to initiate a slide or drift.
Kicktail: An upturned nose or tail on a board that allows a rider to pop the board off the ground to perform aerial maneuvers. They are also used to perform manuals and a series of freestyle tricks.
Lamination: This is the glue that holds the board's veneers together.
Ply/Plies: The amount of wood, bamboo, or fiberglass veneers (sheets) that are put into a board's construction.
Rocker: A feature in a board that creates a very subtle U-shape from nose to tail. It provides for a more ergonomically correct ride because it is easier on your knees. It also gives you a sense of direction regardless of which way you are riding your board. Great for freeriding!
Standing Platform: The effective area of a deck where your feet can be placed when riding.
Symmetrical: A board that is shaped exactly the same on either side that allows you to ride it either direction without altering the way it feels. Great for riding switch!
Topmount Longboards: Like a traditional skateboard, this is a type of deck where the hardware drops in from the top of the board, mounting the trucks on the bottom side of the board. Topmount longboards offer the most amount of traction and are commonly used in downhill riding.
W-Concave: This is a secondary ridge that forms in the middle of your board and runs nose to tail. It creates a pocket for your feet and/or toes that can be used in downhill or freeriding to help you gain leverage over your board, lock you in, and give you a sense of where your feet are without looking down at them.
Wheel-wells: Shaved or grooved out areas of a deck above the wheels that will provide for more clearance when turning. Wheel-wells help avoid "wheel-bite," where the wheels hit the bottom of your deck causing you to stop abruptly and send you flying forward.
Full-Face Helmet: A style of helmet that is built for higher impacts and protects your entire head. Used primarily in downhill racing.
Helmet: The most important thing you can get when purchasing a longboard! Protect that noggin!
Leathers: Leather suits that are designed for serious downhill racers. Most sanctioned races require riders to use protective racing leathers.
Pads: There is a type of protective padding for pretty much anything out there and they are all good ideas! Some of the more common ones are for your knees, elbows, and wrists.
Pucks: Hard pieces of plastic that are attached to slide gloves.
Slide Gloves: Protective gloves that allow you to place your hands on the ground when riding at high speeds. They let you perform a series of tricks and maneuvers more safely.
Axle: The axle runs through the truck's hanger and is what the wheels are mounted on.
Baseplate: The part of the truck with the holes in it for your mounting hardware. It is the piece that comes in direct contact with your deck.
Bushing Seat: This is the area in the truck's hanger where the bushings will sit in place. Each truck company has its own unique bushing seat design.
Cast: The majority of trucks on the market are "cast." Cast trucks are made by pouring a hot, liquefied metal composite into a truck-shaped cast. They are great all-around trucks for cruising, carving, freeriding, and downhill longboarding.
Conventional: Standard street and pool style skateboard trucks. Lately people have been using larger conventional trucks for freeriding and downhill setups.
Degrees: The degree of your truck's kingpin can make a huge difference. The higher the degree, the greater the truck's turning radius. The lower the degree, the more ideal the truck is for higher speed riding.
Hanger: The hanger houses the truck's axle and mounts into the truck's baseplate.
Kingpin: This protrudes from the baseplate and goes through the hanger. It gives your trucks a central point on which their turning is based.
Loose Trucks: "Loose" is the term used to describe trucks that are set up to have maximum turning.
Pivot Cup: This small cup fits into your truck's baseplate and allows the hanger to turn smoothly but remain stable and snug.
Precision: CNC cut trucks from aluminum that are so precise that absolutely NO SLOP or flaws are left in the truck's construction. Serious downhill riders frequently use these modern marvels!
Pushing: Kicking along the ground as a form of self-propulsion.
Rake: This is used to describe how much the feel of a truck will change if you flip your truck's hanger over.
Reverse Kingpin: This type of truck is the standard in longboarding trucks. The kingpin nut sits on the outside of the hanger and is more stable but still offers a larger turning radius.
Speed Rings: These small washers are placed on both sides of your wheel when they are attached to your trucks. They allow you to tighten your axle nuts down further without damaging your bearings.
Spring: Spring trucks do not use a traditional bushing combination as their form of tension. They use springs and are considered to be "self-centering." They are great for slalom riding but are not as stable at high speeds.
Tight Trucks: "Tight" is the term used to describe trucks that are set up to have limited turning.
Bevel: A large majority of wheels will have a small bevel on their inside lip. If you aren't familiar with the word "bevel," it is a shaven down or angular notch on the lip of an object, in this case a wheel. It allows a brand new wheel to retain its original amount of grip while still being able to transition into slides or drifts with ease.
Center-Set: A center-set core is placed directly in the center of a wheel leaving an equal amount of urethane on both sides. It offers the most amount of grip because it maximizes the amount of urethane being used on either side of the core.
Coning: This can occur to wheels that are constantly being slid upon. If your wheels aren't rotated from time to time, coning is more prone to occur. Your wheels will wear away at an angle which will heavily reduce their grip and predictability.
Contact Patch: This is the area that runs the width of the wheel and is the portion that is constantly in contact with the asphalt.
Core/Hub: This is the area of the wheel that houses the bearings.
Durometer: This is the unit of measurement for the hardness of a wheel. There are three scales that are primarily used; A, B, and D. The B and D scales are generally used in very hard skateboarding wheels. Almost every longboard wheel will be rated in the A scale and the most common durometers range from 78a to 84a. For more information on durometer, visit our "Geek Out" section.
Flat-spot: Flat-spots occur on your wheels when you slide at a 90 degree angle or higher. When you pass 90 degrees your wheel actually stops spinning and will only wear down in one spot which creates a flattened area. No one likes flat-spots!
Hard Lip: This is when the "lip" or edge of a wheel comes to a sharp point which will maximize grip. A hard lip is ideal for downhill or high speed riding.
Off-Set: An off-set core sits slightly off-center in a wheel and has the perfect amount of grip and slip. It has more grip than a fully side-set wheel because it utilizes more urethane (urethane in contact with the ground when turning, cornering, or sliding) but it doesn't utilize as much urethane as a center-set wheel, which provide the maximum amount of grip. Off-set wheels can be used for almost anything.
Predictability: This is a term used to describe how easy it is to control a wheel in regards to sliding and drifting.
Round-Lip: This is when the "lip" or edge of a wheel is rounded up in order to provide an easier transition into a slide. These are ideal for freeriding and sliding.
Side-Set: The core of a side-set wheel will be set completely to the side of a wheel making it very easy to kick out into a slide. With these wheels not much urethane is actively touching the ground during slides and cornering.
Stone-Ground: Wheels that have had their contact patch stone ground and basically pre-worn-in. They are great for sliding and freeriding.
Urethane: The chemical substance that 99% of wheels are made out of today.
Burning Thane: Sliding in such a gnarly manner that urethane literally melts off your wheels.
Buttery: A term used for wheels that slide so smooth you feel like you are spreading butter!
Getting Pitted: A term taken from surfing and is sometimes also referred to as "getting barreled." It is used when surfers are deep in the barrel of the wave, in a pit, and doesn't exactly apply to longboarding but people use it anyways. Just use it and if you don't think about it...it makes sense!
Icy: Wheels that shoot out from under you like ice when you are sliding. No one likes an icy wheel!
Mongo: Pretty much the biggest "no-no" in skateboarding history. It is pushing with your front foot as opposed to your back foot. It is a very unstable form of pushing and should be corrected or avoided at all cost.
Shredding the Gnar: Locating some gnar and skating on it in a very intense and aggressive manner.
Sketchy: Something that just doesn't look good. It can be a spot, a hill, a corner, a skating style, a trick... it is a pretty versatile term!
Steez: Style with ease! If you can ride with steez then you can go far!
Thane Lines: Streaks left behind on the asphalt from your wheel's urethane that A.) look cool and B.) can be used as bragging rights for longest slide at a session!
Touchin' Puck: Getting steezy and throwing down a hand in order to catch your balance or to perform a hands down slide.
If you want to get a PhD in longboarding, Geek Out isn't a bad place to start. However, if you just want to grab a board and go, check out our Super Simple Recommendations.
Can I mount my trucks on a drop-through board?
Most longboard manufacturers make sure that their boards are compatible with every truck on the market with the exception of specialty trucks with springs or pistons, e.g. Original, Revenge, and Seismic trucks. Trucks that are assembled with a kingpin and hanger (Paris, Randall, Bear, Caliber...) will most likely fit any drop-through board. Mounting the trucks requires disassembling the base plate and hanger by loosening the kingpin nut all the way. If you are unsure how to do this, follow this link to our instructional video on mounting a drop-through.
Does wheel base length matter?
The answer is simply, yes. The way in which the wheel base measurement affects the riding characteristics of a longboard is by determining the distance between the trucks. A longer wheelbase is going to increase the turning radius of the board and also offer more stability at downhill speeds. Having a shorter wheel base will give the board a more responsive feel and offer a smaller and tighter turning radius.
How do you stop on a longboard?
There are two main ways to slow down. The most common way to stop is by what is called foot braking. This is when you literally take your back foot off your board and drag it on the ground while your lead foot stays firmly planted on the board. This may seem like a death wish at first, but once you are comfortable with it you will feel much more in control of your board. The other way to stop is by sliding sideways. This isn't for the novice rider but it can be learned fairly quickly if sliding is something your into. Sliding is the preferred way amongst most longboarders and it is actually safer and more effective at high speeds. Learning to stop by sliding also teaches you the basics of "speed-checks" (scrubbing off speed) at higher speeds which is essential for anyone interested in racing. However, if sliding doesn't interest you then it's probably best to stick with foot braking.
How long do wheels last?
Wheel life all depends on how often you ride and what kind of riding you do. If you are sliding a lot, you will burn through wheels much faster than someone who is just cruising around. If you take good care of your board, rotate your wheels, and don't slide, your wheels may last twenty years. On the flip side, some people can burn through a set of wheels in a day if they are having an intense session. Other things that can ruin a set of wheels are flat-spotting, ovalling, and coning. See the descriptions below.
Flat-spotting: Flat-spotting occurs when you slide and kick your board passed a 90-degree angle. When you do this you actually completely stop the wheel from spinning throughout the duration of the slide. This wears down a single part of the wheel rather than creating an even wear when the wheel is able to rotate throughout the slide.
Ovalling: Ovalling is really more annoying than anything else. Your wheels can become an oblong shape due to sliding more in one direction than another. When your wheels become ovalled you will feel a constant bumping feeling as your wheels rotate. It is very difficult to even out wheels that have ovalled.
Coning: Coning naturally happens to wheels as you slide them down, which it is why it is important to rotate your wheels around your board as much as you can if you are heavy into sliding. Riding on center-set wheels is a great way to fight coning. You can flip your wheels over once they start to cone and wear them back down in the opposite direction.
How often should I clean my bearings?
You should always visually inspect your longboard or skateboard before you go shred. If you see that there is a lot of dirt and grime surrounding your bearings and you're not travelling as far or long as you had before, you may want to think about cleaning them. Another sign that it is time to clean your bearings is if they make an unusually loud noise when they spin. Bearings always make noise, but if you notice it more and more then chances are it's time to clean. If you spend money on a nice set of bearings, you should always consider cleaning them before you drop a boat load of cash on a new set. Many bearings will last years and years with the proper care. Unfortunately, there is no set schedule for bearing cleaning, but generally, if you use your longboard for transportation purposes or multiple times a week, you should probably clean your bearings at least once every two months.
Stiff vs. Flexy
Longboards come with different levels of flex, both my manufacture design and by the weight of the rider. Flex is both a personal preference and also dependent on what style of riding you want to do. Generally downhill or race-oriented boards are going to be stiff with no flex for greater stability at high speed. Many freestyle and cruising type boards will have some flex to emulate the comfort and feeling of surfing or snowboarding. Flexible boards are great for initiating slides and turns at lower speeds while stiffer boards will be better at doing the same things at higher speeds.
Top Mount vs. Drop-Through
Top mount and drop-through longboards both have their strengths and weaknesses. Drop-through boards have taken the longboarding world by storm in the last ten years. Many riders like them because they feel very stable due to their lower center of gravity. However, some people find that drop-throughs can't offer enough stiffness, response, or grip for their taste due to the hole that must be cut into the board to allow it to be mounted underneath the truck. Top mount boards are great for downhill and freeriding because they are very responsive and controllable when sliding and riding at high speed. With top mount boards you will sit a bit higher up giving you a little more room to lean down on either side before putting enough tension on your board for you wheels to slide out. Drop-through boards sit much lower to the ground and will slide out sooner than a top mount. Again, both styles have their benefits and can be used to your advantage depending on your riding style and terrain. For example, a top mount would be a great downhill racing board on a high-speed course with big sweeping corners where you want to keep the maximum amount of speed without breaking your tuck. A drop-through would be a great racing board on a course where the riders have to slide and drift in order to properly and safely continue through multiple technical corners and turns. Drop-through boards have a very low ride height that makes pushing less strenuous because the rider is closer to the ground they are pushing on. Also, freestyle riders who are into doing technical tricks often prefer a drop-through that has flex and kicks on the nose and tail. Of course, personal preference plays a huge role in choosing a drop-through or top mount. If you snowboard or surf and want to emulate that feeling on your longboard then look at a drop-through first. If maximum downhill speed is what you are after then you may lean more towards a top mount.
What does "durometer" mean?
The durometer (or "duro") is the hardness of the urethane in a bushing or wheel. It is that number and letter that follows the size, like 81a. The higher the number, the harder the urethane. There are other durometer rating scales (B and D) that are used but they are generally only seen in skateboarding where the wheels are too hard to be properly rated on the A scale.
Here are a few examples of different durometers of wheels that are common in longboarding:
A 78a - 80a wheel is going to be smooth and grippy. If you are using it for sliding you will have to slide going much faster than normal but your slide will be very controllable. 78-80a wheels are extremely versatile and are considered to be excellent for all-around riding.
An 81a - 83a wheel will be faster with slight resistance but will wear down much less than a softer wheel. These wheels are particularly good for riders of intermediate skill who want to learn more advanced sliding.
An 84a - 86a wheel will be hard with minimal grip. Harder wheels generally have a higher roll speed and slide much easier but aren't as smooth or controllable as softer wheels. Beginning sliders tend to favor wheels in this durometer range.
An 87a and up wheel will be very hard with little to no grip. They are ideal for technical sliding set-ups, pool and park riding, or traditional street skate boarding.
Bushings, just like wheels, come in an assortment of duros, usually ranging from mid 70's to upper 90's. Softer bushings are easier to turn on and more responsive. Harder bushings are more stable and can handle higher speeds. There isn't any "rule" on what duro is best for what. It depends on the rider's size and preference of riding style. Don't be afraid to try multiple durometers.
What is a more expensive bearing going to do for me?
The material that is used for the actual balls of the bearing and the precision at which those bearings are manufactured affects the performance, and therefore the price, of the bearing. A more precise bearing will provide a faster ride for a longer period of time by creating less friction than a lower end bearing. Higher end bearings will come loaded with better lubricant that lasts longer and protects against abuse. Bearing materials come in two flavors: steel and ceramic. The vast majority of ball bearings are steel. Ceramic bearings are more expensive as they tolerate higher heat and are easier to shape than steel so they are more precise. In the end, a more expensive bearing is going to roll faster and last longer than their lower cost competition.
What is Concave?
Concave is the curve of the board from edge to edge. Its main job is to give a board a more responsive feel by raising the edges of the board tightly up against the rider's heel and toes. Boards that are designed for more downhill or freeriding often have very aggressive concave shapes because the riders need to know that their feet aren't going to slide off the board while more traditional shaped boards usually have a fairly mellow concave that is just enough to help the rider initiate turns quickly but doesn't feel uncomfortable over longer distances and while pushing.
What is the benefit of replacing my bushings?
In order to understand the benefits of different bushings, you should understand what role the bushing plays in the way your longboard turns. The bushings are what determine how easy or hard it is to turn your longboard. A softer bushing is going to enable more responsive turns, i.e. you will turn with great ease. However, softer bushings are more prone to speed wobbles at higher speeds. A harder bushing will be more stable at higher speeds but you sacrifice responsiveness. The shape of the bushing will provide different characteristics too by either having more material for stability (barrel, stepped barrel, etc...) or less material (cone) for agility. Aftermarket bushings tend to be made with higher quality urethane than stock bushings. This gives them the ability to respond quicker, get the truck back to center faster, and last longer. Upgrading the bushings in your trucks is like upgrading the suspension of a race car. Softer suspension for a road course and a stiffer suspension for the Super Speedway.
There are few right answers with bushing choice. It's a matter of personal preference and experimentation. We recommend that first time riders stick with the stock bushings on the trucks you buy, and then go nuts with bushing customization down the road.
What is the difference between 180mm trucks and 150mm trucks?
Longboarding trucks (also known as reverse kingpin trucks) come in two common sizes - 180mm and 150mm, although many truck companies offer slight variations relative to these sizes. Truck sizes accommodate different riding styles. One hundred and eighty millimeter trucks are much more common on most longboard set-ups. They are responsive and turn well, and their broader profile provides the stability that most longboarders prefer. And if going fast ruffles your feathers, 180mm trucks are for you. One hundred and fifty millimeter trucks are more nimble and will be more responsive than 180mm trucks. They tend to be popular on cruiser boards because they are easier to rip turns on mellow terrain. However, the shorter axel means that the trucks won't be as stable at high speed.
What kind of wheels do I need?
In longboarding, there are a couple different types of wheel shapes. Some are very specific to a certain style of riding while others have a variety of uses like the Dano's Downhill wheels that come as the default option on our Completes. The specific types of wheels are sliding, downhill, and cruising wheels.
Before choosing a wheel, keep a few things in mind. First, remember that a bigger wheel will mean the possibility of wheel- bite, more weight, and more effort to start pushing. However, a bigger wheel will roll faster and more smoothly over rougher terrain and debris. Second, most people looking for a good all-around wheel find that a 78a-81a durometer is best for a smooth and stable ride. Lastly, if you want a board that will cruise with ease over a longer distance you should look for a large core or "hub". A larger, dense core creates an overall higher roll speed. Some wheel companies even offer a "dual-durometer" wheel with a harder urethane wrapping around the core that will create the same feeling as a larger core.
See the following for more detailed wheel descriptions.
SLIDING WHEELS: Sliding wheels or "freeriding wheels" are designed to provide a little grip while still being able to slide sideways on demand. Typically they are narrower and have a harder urethane than downhill wheels. Also, sliding wheels often have a rounded profile along the edges of the wheels. This will help the wheel initiate and stay in the slide by not catching any sharp corners or "lips" on the ground. Some slide wheels will come with a stone ground finish to the contact patch area. This is quite popular because when a wheel gets ground down it slides a little bit easier by not having a perfectly flat surface with sticky urethane. However, some riders still prefer non-stone ground wheels so that they can get used to how a wheel is going perform during the "breaking-in" process.
DOWNHILL WHEELS: Downhill wheels are designed for two things; speed and grip. The speed comes from the size of the wheel (the bigger, the faster) and the urethane compound that it's made of. Downhill wheels also feature a wider profile with sharp edges. The increased width will provide more grip at high speed by maximizing the amount of urethane that is in contact with the ground at all times. Having sharp edges ensures that the wheel will not slip out at high speeds when taking corners. A common term for describing a downhill wheel is “conical” due to the inside shape of the wheel that leads to the core.
CRUISING WHEELS: A cruising wheel can take many forms. Usually they resemble downhill wheels by having a conical shape. Typically, cruising wheels don't need the most advanced urethane compound to provide a quality ride which often makes them a less expensive wheel. Most people like a 60-70mm wheel for cruising because it will provide a smooth ride and won't require the board to be really high off the ground.
Why do my trucks make a squeaking noise when I turn?
Don't be alarmed if your trucks start to make a mild squeaking noise after you ride them for a while. The squeaking usually comes from two things. One, the dirt and dust that get into the pivot cup will cause the truck hanger to squeak a little. The most common cure for this is to remove the hanger and place a few shavings of bar soap into the pivot cup. The other cause of squeaky trucks is the friction between the hanger and bushing. When the urethane of the bushings gets old and dirty, it will start to make more noise than when it's new. Again, a little soap shavings will help but this noise is nearly impossible to get rid of without replacing the bushings. The biggest thing to know about squeaking is that it's mostly just annoying - squeaking trucks won't affect your ride.
Here's where we get specific. As you prepare to embark on your next boarding adventure, we thought it'd be helpful to compile our answers to some of the best product-specific questions our customers ask us. Got a more general question? check out our FAQs.