The Best Carving Longboards (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Enjoy cruising down hills with ease with a carving longboard
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BY Shane Tully / LAST UPDATED ON January 7, 2021
Longboarding is an exhilarating experience that doesn't require expertise to enjoy: a little balance, space, and practice can take you far. You've probably even given your friend's board a try, and now you want your own. Once that's been established, entering the world of longboarding can be overwhelming for a newcomer, with the vast amount of products and strong opinions.
But, every rider has their own goals. If you're simply looking to leisurely glide around town, you'll want a carving longboard. In the longboard world, carving is a surf-like riding style that allows you to turn back and forth in an S-like shape trajectory. It's a relatively easy way to ride a longboard, but you'll need a carving longboard to do it. We've gathered the best carving longboards on the market today to help you in your search.
This classic-looking longboard is beautifully crafted from bamboo and has a hard maple core. It is sturdy, smooth, and flexible.
- Beautiful bamboo design. Sturdy maple core
- Flexible deck. Clear, sand grit-finished grip tape
- Smooth wheels and a smooth ride
- Moderate to heavy use requires regular maintenance
- Deck too bouncy for some riders
- No washers or shock absorbers included
This is an affordable option that gives the rider stability and control. The longboard features lots of cool deck designs to choose from.
- Durable wheels that allow for wide movements and control
- Stable deck and trucks
- Good for kids and beginners
- Lots of design options
- Grip tape wears out and peels off quickly
- Too slow and bulky for more advanced riders
This is a high-performance longboard that’s easy on the eyes. It features a sturdy bamboo deck, wide trucks, and smooth wheels to maximize the rider’s experience.
- Layers of bamboo and maple wood for strength
- Drop-through trucks. Clear grip tape for traction
- Strong aluminum trucks
- Hardware needs to be tightened upon arrival
- Board is fragile and may develop small cracks over time
- Bearings not long-lasting
Why Trust Us
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Carving Longboards
- Control. A carving longboard allows the rider to zig-zag smoothly across the hill or slope as they ride down, thus controlling their speed and direction. Other types of longboards don’t allow for this nearly as well.
- Excitement. Who wants to roll along the same flat driveway time and again? As with any sport, extreme or otherwise, longboarders want to challenge themselves as they get more comfortable. A carving longboard allows riders to maximize the thrill of longboarding in the most practical way possible.
- Options. Some longboarders like bouncy, flexible decks for maximum versatility, movement, and fun atop the board. Others prefer a stiffer board that doesn’t bend under their weight. Some like loose trucks, while others prefer tight. Whether it’s your wheels, bearings, trucks, or deck, riders have many options to customize their longboard.
Types of Carving Longboards
Versatile and agile, the top mount is the most traditional skateboard design, in which the deck (the flat board you stand on when riding) is attached entirely above the trucks at both ends of the board. This design gives the board a higher center of gravity. While the rider must expend more energy balancing and pushing forward, they can also make sharper turns and avoid unwanted impediments more easily.
With this design, the tops of the trucks (the metal T-shaped pieces that mount onto the underside of the longboard) are mounted "through" the board, placing them at the same height as the deck itself. This lowers the board by a half-inch or so (equal to the deck's thickness) and gives the rider a lower center of gravity. The drop-through design increases balance and lowers the amount of power required to push the board. These models are quite useful for cruising, carving, and downhill riding.
A drop deck longboard has trucks mounted on top of the board and is shaped so that the riding platform sits even lower to the ground than the drop through board does. As expected, this lowers the center of gravity even further and is excellent for cruising, pushing, or braking with minimal effort. However, speed and maneuverability may be offset by these changes.
Magneto is a brand borne out of the legendary skate and surf culture of Carlsbad, Calif. It boasts a wide variety of high-quality skateboards, longboards, and skating accessories for any user, with both form and function in mind.
White Wave Longboards have some of the coolest, most durable products on the market. With a diverse catalog of skating merchandise and hardware, this company comes from humble beginnings and understands the perfect blend of quality and value.
A small company based out of Arizona, Black Longboards strives to serve the customer by providing an unparalleled longboarding experience without high costs. Its longboards are known for their high performance and craftsmanship.
Carving Longboard Pricing
- $25-$75: In this price range, you are less likely to find good quality longboards, and instead, only parts, accessories, and cumbersome, dense beginner boards.
- $75-$175: With a wide variety of excellent products and packages available in this price range, this is the real meat of the market.
- $175 or higher: Recommended for avid longboarders who know exactly what they want. Advanced customization, specialty, and super high-quality materials available at this price point.
When we refer to a longboard, we typically mean the entire package, wheels and all, ready to ride. However, the board itself, often called the deck, is the platform on which riders stand and ride. The best decks are multi-ply, and the number of plys appropriate differs for each rider and what their needs are. Good quality decks are often made of maple, bamboo, and/or rosewood.
The trucks are the metal “legs” bolted to the bottom of the deck. These are the vessels that connect the board to the wheels, and as such, their strength and durability are paramount — although they should also be lightweight enough to keep the rider cruising. Aluminum is the go-to material, but quality varies greatly. Good trucks are worth researching and paying a few extra bucks for.
Wheels are perhaps the most complicated aspect when customizing your own board. Do you want wide wheels? Narrow? Hard? Soft? Smooth? Rough? The best place to start is by asking yourself what your priorities are. If you’re a casual rider who just wants some decent quality wheels to get you from point A to point B, there aren’t too many wrong answers. However, other types of riders might want to do some wheel research.
- Kicktail Longboards. Kicktails are the upward-sloping front and back ends you typically see on regular skateboards, but some longboards come with them as well (usually only on the rear). Kicktails allow the rider to turn on a pivot, lift the front end while riding, and/or ollie, depending on the board's size and weight. They are great for tricks, fast riding, and quick turns.
- Wheel Wells/Cut-Outs. Wheel wells and cut-outs allow for extra space between the deck and the wheel so that the wheel doesn't lock up suddenly. "Wheel bite" can send the rider flying off their board, especially if they're making a high-speed turn with loose trucks. While the overall aesthetic differs significantly from a kicktail, many riders prefer this style for its functionality and fresh look.
- Concave vs. Flat Deck. A flat-top deck is exactly how it sounds, in that the riding surface is completely level. This is good for casual rides to and from the beach or across campus. More serious riders might prefer a concave deck, on which the riding surface is molded width-wise in a slight "U" shape, giving the rider more surface area and grip to keep their feet on the board when cruising and carving.
Best Carving Longboard Reviews & Recommendations 2020
- Always wear a helmet when riding your longboard.
- Your board should be stored in a dry and secure space, away from the elements.
- Check all hardware upon delivery, tightening loose parts as needed.
- Determine whether you are regular- or goofy-footed.
- If you are just starting, watch some lessons online to learn the basics of longboarding, such as pushing off, keeping your balance, controlling your speed, etc.
- Start on a flat, smooth surface, away from any traffic.
- Work your way up slowly; start with small slopes before looking for bigger hills and bigger thrills.
Q: What is the difference between cruising and carving on a longboard?
When the rider rolls along at a steady speed on a flat or slightly hilly surface, they are cruising. Carving is a different beast altogether, where the rider zig-zags across the street's width as they descend to control their speed and direction.
Q: Are drop through longboards suitable for carving?
Yes. Due to its lower center of gravity, the drop through design is great for cruising long or short distances and carving.
Q: How dangerous is longboarding?
With the potential for high speeds and the proximity to hard asphalt, longboarding does come with risks that every rider should be aware of before stepping on their boards. However, with proper protection and awareness, it is an enriching and fun experience.
The Magneto Hana Twin is one of the best carving longboards on the market, especially ideal for riders who want to step up their game and look great doing it. For a more affordable option, the Junli Free Ride is the way to go because you get the best bang for your buck.