The Best Downhill Longboards (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
These longboards are the perfect picks for downhill riding and high speeds
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BY Heather Fishel / LAST UPDATED ON January 27, 2021
Longboarding is different than traditional skateboarding. With a longer deck and different trucks and wheels, longboarding is more about carving and cruising than mastering tricks. But some longboarders are seriously into speed — and if you’re a downhill longboarder, you need a board that can handle high speeds and more intense skating. To become a skilled downhill skater, you need a board that can survive downhill’s wear and tear and deliver when it comes to speed and performance. Available in different sizes and styles, downhill longboards are typically 37 inches long or longer with a wheelbase that offers agility and smooth, responsive turning. With less technical focus and more emphasis on hitting high speeds with control, a quality downhill longboard can be tricky to find. Check out our choices for the best downhill longboards.
A board that’s tough enough for high speeds and slick enough for smooth performance.
- Rides and turns very smoothly
- Offers great stability
- Strong and durable
- More of a starter board than one for experienced skaters
An incredibly smooth-riding pintail longboard that’s affordably priced.
- Solid, well-made parts
- Delivers a smooth ride
- Great speed
- Some boards may arrive damaged
An all-terrain longboard that’s highly versatile and great for all experience levels.
- Limited flex is great for high speeds
- Wheels can roll over anything
- Nicely stable
- Board is heavy
- All-terrain wheels may slow you down
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 Downhill Longboard
- High-speed performance. Downhill longboards are specifically built for speed, with everything from the shape of the deck to the angle of trucks created to help you reach faster speeds as you skate. There’s no better choice for flying fast than a downhill longboard.
- Versatility. Built for speed as well as increased stability to keep you firmly in place while skating fast, a downhill longboard can also help you try other types of skating. These boards can ride fast, but they’re also very agile at carving and making tight turns — which means they cruise nicely too.
- Customization. Just like a traditional skateboard, you can customize and change the different components on these longboards. No matter how you skate, you can add your favorite wheels, trucks, and more to bring your longboard to new heights.
- Good exercise. Racing downhill at high speeds works just about every muscle in your body. From your abs (which you need to balance) to your lungs and heart (which offer a cardio workout), downhill longboarding is a great workout for the entire body.
- Better stability. Downhill longboards typically offer increased stability with lower centers of gravity. This offers you easier, better balance, and secure footing no matter how fast you’re traveling on your board. They’re a great choice even for newer skaters because of this.
Types of Downhill Longboards
Drop Through Longboards
Drop through longboards are one of the most popular types of longboards for downhill skating. These uniquely shaped boards sit lower to the ground, which lowers skaters’ center of gravity and provides better stability at high speeds. These boards feature slim ends and wheels you can see from the top down, and they’re a great option for downhill longboarding beginners.
Top Mount Longboards
Top mount longboards include any longboard with a deck that features trucks mounted directly to the bottom of the deck. These longboards can provide more grip than a drop-through longboard, which is important when you’re racing — especially when you’re turning and riding around bends. A top mount longboard stays stable even when you’re skating very fast, and it also offers better technical performance, particularly when it comes to sliding and tight corners.
First founded in 2005, Atom has been building skateboards — specifically, longboards — for every style of skating for over 15 years. Using quality materials and offering a wide selection of specialized choices, you can find excellent options for downhill longboarding like the Atom All-Terrain Longboard and the Atom Drop Deck Longboard.
Based in San Diego, Calif., Magneto designs skateboards and longboards that offer great performance and look cool while you ride. With a combination of skateboarding knowledge and innovative design features, Magneto offers standout longboard options like the Magneto Bamboo Longboard that provide a seriously smooth ride.
If you’re looking for a longboard that’ll stand out as much for its downhill performance as its awesome design and graphics, then you’ll love Minority’s boards. With both skateboards and longboards — including longboards designed just for downhill speed — you have plenty of quality choices with deck designs that seriously pop. The Minority Downhill 40-Inch Drop Deck Longboard is just one example.
Downhill Longboard Pricing
- Under $75: In this range, you’ll find basic downhill longboards that are simple and straightforward. They include basic components and are often boards best suited for beginners.
- $75 to $125: Most quality downhill longboards fall into this category. These boards can include great parts and pieces and deliver slick performance at high speeds.
- $125 and up: The most premium and top-tier longboards cost $125 and up. They tend to offer something different or more specialized than your average downhill longboard.
Ground Clearance or Board Height
How high the longboard sits off the ground might seem like a small detail, but it’s a pretty important feature. It determines whether or not you’ll experience wheelbite, but it also affects your center of gravity. A lower board with less ground clearance offers a lower center of gravity, which keeps you stable more easily. Higher boards can be trickier to balance and offer less stability.
Reverse Kingpin Trucks
Most longboards are equipped with reverse kingpin trucks, a type of truck that’s better for carving and cruising. However, you’ll want to make sure you have not only reverse kingpin trucks on your downhill longboard, but also adjustable trucks. Being able to adjust your trucks from say, 45 to 50 degrees, can help you fine-tune your downhill performance and speed.
Large, Soft Wheels
The best downhill longboards tend to come equipped with larger, softer wheels than your average skateboard or longboard. Larger and softer wheels give you more contact with the ground beneath your board, providing important traction when you're flying fast. The softness also tends to increase your exit speeds so you’re always moving quickly.
- Consider Offset Core Wheels for Stability. Staying stable on your board is key for downhill longboarding, which is why you may want to add wheels with offset cores to your board. The offset core can make your ride more stable, particularly when you need more traction and are moving fast.
- Drop-Through Longboards Can Handle Sliding. While top mount longboards can be a great choice for downhill skating, a drop-through deck is good for both downhill and sliding. This type of deck may give you more versatility and help you stop more easily when you’re traveling at high downhill speeds.
- Get a Stiff Deck for Downhill Skating. While flex is usually important to skaters, downhill longboarders will want to opt for a deck that doesn’t offer much flex. You don’t need the same give as skaters who are tackling tricks. Instead, look for a stiffer deck for better stability and high-speed performance.
Best Downhill Longboards Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- While a longboard’s deck is important, it’s also critical that you consider the parts that come with the board. Even small parts, like bushings and bearings, can affect how a downhill longboard rides.
- Don’t forget to customize any longboard to make it even better. If you love the deck and trucks, you can always change the wheels. You can also upgrade bearings or swap the trucks for better performance.
- Most downhill longboards take some adjustments and tweaks before they’re perfect. Small actions like changing the truck angle or tightening parts can make a noticeable difference.
Q: How do I choose a downhill longboard?
You’ll want to look for a longboard that can handle traveling at high speeds. In addition to looking at the shape and material of the deck, you’ll also want high-speed wheels, high-quality bearings and bushings, and trucks that can deliver.
Q: Is downhill longboarding dangerous?
Downhill longboarding can be a bit more dangerous than cruising simply because you’re heading downhill at high speeds — which can result in more frequent injuries. Make sure you wear your protective gear, like a helmet, to stay safe.
Q: How do you stop going downhill on a longboard?
To stop or slow down your speed while on a downhill longboard, you can slide. Pushing your back wheels out so your board is perpendicular to the road ahead of you will slide you to a quick stop.
The Junli 41-Inch Freeride Longboard is our pick for the best downhill longboard with the quality and performance needed at high speeds. The Seething 42-Inch Complete Cruiser Pintail Longboard is another great board, and it offers great value for its price. Let us know which longboard you’re choosing for downhill skating below.