LAST UPDATED: January 7, 2021
The Best Carving Longboards (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Enjoy cruising down hills with ease with a carving longboard
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PUBLISHED 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
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we 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
Made from eight layers of bamboo and hard maple, this 42-inch board is strong yet flexible and versatile enough for cruising, freestyling, and carving. This model is great for beginners as well as more advanced riders. The seven-inch, drop-through Paris-style trucks and a 9.5-inch wide cutout deck design make this board stable and responsive to your feet while virtually eliminating wheel bite. The wheels are soft 70mm Shore 78As that allows for a super smooth ride across many different surfaces.
Each board is finished in clear laminate and sand grit instead of grip tape to showcase the simple, tasteful graphics and the beautiful stained and striped bamboo. Some users complain that the board is too flexible for their taste, but others prefer a little bounce, so be aware of your preferences while shopping.
This longboard is highly maneuverable and versatile and built to cruise, carve, and ride hills. Its strong yet lightweight 41-inch deck is made from cold-pressed 8-ply natural maple and topped with a waterproof grip surface. Also, it comes with 7-inch aluminum alloy trucks and 70mm polyurethane wheels containing high-speed bearings, so you can get some real momentum going when you’re ready.
Some users complain that the grip surface peels off rather quickly, so consider picking up some extra grip tape for maintenance. Affordable and fun, consider this board as the perfect beginner gift for your loved one or yourself.
The White Wave Bandit 36-inch longboard is high quality and a fresh approach to a modern classic. This model is made of sturdy multi-layered bamboo and Canadian maple wood and is topped with clear grip tape to show off the cool, simple graphics while keeping your feet from slipping. The aluminum drop-through-style trucks are 7-inches long and cushioned with ultra-high rebound bushings. Once you add in the 70mm high rebound urethane wheels and ABEC-9 bearings, this all adds up to a cruising and carving dream.
Some users claim that their board didn’t last as long as they hoped, so regular upkeep and maintenance is recommended. White Wave has plenty more designs, shapes, and sizes available, so take a look at them all before purchasing.
For those just getting started on their longboarding journey who want a smaller sized longboard but also want to work their way up to cruising and carving, the Whome Pro Small is a great way to go for riders of any age. This 31-inch 8-ply alpine hard maple deck is topped with premium grip tape and mounted on aluminum alloy trucks reinforced with a carbon steel shaft, making this board stable and secure. The all-in-one T-tool lets you tighten up those nuts and bolts before hitting the road. Plus, Whome’s top-notch customer service and 12-month warranty guarantees your satisfaction.
While some might find this board doesn’t suit their needs because of its size, those who do are sure to love it. With a variety of cool designs available, everyone can find the right board for themselves.
Affordability and design make this drop-through style board worth checking out. The 41 x 10-inch deck is super strong, made of durable 8-ply maple, and is available in various graphics designs. This board comes with lightweight but strong aluminum trucks and super smooth-riding polyurethane wheels that house ABEC-11 high-speed bearings. Shock absorbing rings around the trucks further ease the strain on the rider’s knees and ankles.
Some users have expressed their dissatisfaction with the bearings, so you may wish to switch them out if you don’t like them, which is a very simple process. B Baijiawei makes its products with the environment in mind, so you can feel socially responsible with your purchase.
With a smart, customized design and nine plies of beautifully-finished Brazilian Rosewood and Canadian Maple to back it up, the Black Longboards Phoenix model is a real piece of craftwork for riders of all levels. This board comes complete with durable but lightweight 7-inch black aluminum trucks, smooth 70mm Hooligan wheels, and fast ABEC-9 bearings for some real speed when riding. The drop-down drop-through design lowers the board for increased comfort and rideability while also eliminating wheel bite during those sharp curves at high speeds.
The creators of this longboard wanted to curate a very specific experience for their customers, and the amount of care and expertise they put into this is impressive.
The Fish Downhill longboard comes in a wide variety of neat graphics designs that are perfect for kids and adults. This 41-inch drop-through board is made of high-density 8-ply grade-A Canadian Maple wood and is topped with emery non-slip grip, so you can feel secure when giving this a ride. The high-quality thick aluminum alloy trucks measure 7 inches across and contain supportive steel axles. The super-smooth anti-shock 70mm polyurethane wheels and ABEC-9 bearings create a smooth, fast, and exciting riding experience.
If you need to do some upkeep or repairs, this board is supposed to come with an all-in-one T-tool, but some customers complained that theirs wasn’t included. However, since this is an easy tool to buy, this shouldn't be a big issue.
- 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.