5 things they don’t tell you when you start longboarding!


One: Longboarding is a great way to get around!

Longboarding has always been seen as a sport or hobby- it’s a way for people to have fun and enjoy themselves, get an adrenaline rush or improve their skills in their free time. In that sense, it’s never really been seen as something that’s practical for general day to day living. Usually, when someone picks up a longboard, their entire purpose is to push themselves out of their comfort zone and start a new hobby while getting some exercise; for many, it’s the next step in introducing excitement and adrenaline to their potentially boring lives.

However, what many have come to discover is that longboarding is a prime way to commute around town in an efficient, comfortable way with the right setup. To start, longboarding is, with practice, surprisingly quick. As an efficient pusher, one can travel at running speeds, comfortably rivaling the cycles on the road and sharing cycle lanes. Longboards are also incredibly maneuverable, even more so than bikes and rollerblades- because they can be so small, they’re able to stop in breakneck times and accelerate back even faster. They can make tight corners, jump curbs, weave in and out of people and ride more uneven pavements and sidewalks than bikes can.

Personal anecdote- most of my longboard riding has been done while commuting. It’s a great routine to have on the daily; getting ready in the morning, hopping on my favorite commuter setup and beginning my morning with a ride down my local hill. The rest of the push is easy, energizing and motivating for my day. It’s a great way to get your daily exercise, and forcing yourself to ride and push in the morning wakes you up better than any cup of coffee.

Two: Longboarding exists beyond just cruising.

Like I said before, many people begin longboarding to give themselves a challenge. Most people get good at cruising around boardwalks and skating their city sidewalks and neighborhoods and stagnate their skills there- they don’t feel that there’s any further to progress, both skill-wise and setup wise. Most new longboarders also buy simple, untuned completes for their first setups, not knowing that in the future, there’s much playing around to be done with new parts, Longboard wheels, and whole new Longboard decks. Board setups may start at 200 dollars, but prices have no ceiling, and the more skilled you get, the more expensive and awesome your setup will be. Longboarding beyond cruising splits into two categories: freestyle/dancing, and downhill/freeride.

Freestyle and dancing involves longer, more nimble boards with kicktails. You use these kicktails to bust out flip tricks- tricks where you make the board fly into the air, do a variety of flips, and then land back on it in another variety of ways. As general as this sounds, people have made hundreds of longboard trick combinations that you can learn and chain together for impressive, flashy skill points.

Downhill and freeride are the gnarlier sides of longboarding- traveling at speeds higher than 60 kilometers an hour, speeding down a downhill track busting out sideways slides and drifting corners. This style of riding takes a massive amount of certainly draining practice, along with a large serving of guts and a hunger for adrenaline. It isn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely one of the most respectable things to do.


Three: Longboarding can be competitive!


Longboarding has been seen as a loved pastime for a very long time, but little did you know, there are large-scale competitions that happen in both freestyle/dancing and downhill/freeride! If you get really into either discipline of riding, there are both local and international events for you to go to and exhibit your developed skills. You might win anything from small to large prize pots to wheels and extra parts for your longboards. Events are usually sponsored by companies and attended by many of the bigger names in the community. Even if you can’t skate very well, it’s always a great experience to go, as you are able to do some networking, meet interesting people and see some awesome skateboarding!

In terms of freestyle and dancing, there are a few international competitions around the world, such as So You Think You Can Longboard Dance, and the Paris Annual Dock Session. In these events, you bust out cool lines and tricks, and judges from all different skate teams judge you based on style, consistency and creativity.

For downhill and freeride, there are a variety of races and slide events. The easiest to host and probably most common are slide jams, where many skaters gather with their slidey wheels and try to do the most stylish trick, or slide the longest. You should have a very large and versatile quiver of slides if you wish to do well in these events. Other events are races, where you race down fast hills to beat all the others in a heat system. These may take slides or not, but rider skill is definitely something to have. There are other things, like freerides and product demonstrations, which are run by companies to celebrate the launch of a new product.

Four: Longboarding is an enjoyable niche to earn money in.


Longboarding and skateboarding are some of the two most customer to business friendly niches there are. With every step of the way, both workers in the industry and riders socialize and are friendly in their exchanges. Because of this, finding a job in the industry, whether it be at a skate shop or at a board manufacturer, is one of the greatest decisions you could make in your young life (if you are a teenager). Starting a board company is also a viable option for older folks, as the longboarding scene is still fast growing and it is far from stalling.

At a job in the industry, you will find good wages and friendly interactions with customers. With your large base in knowledge, you will help someone who wants to get into the sport, daily. They may ask for help about a setup, and you will have an answer- and let me tell you, it’s an extremely satisfying feeling, and thus it’s something I urge all longboarders to look into.

Five: The Longboarding scene is one of the friendliest communities around.

It’s been a rumor that the skateboard community is a very unfriendly neighborhood to hang around- how everyone drinks a lot and every skateboarder you see is bound to be a degenerate. And you know what? That is all lies- and I will prove it with a personal anecdote.

When I first started skating, I started learning alone- on a local neighborhood street with a very slight incline, and I’ll be honest, it was a lonely but enjoyable time. However, I didn’t improve much, seeing that I can’t teach myself if I have virtually no knowledge on something- so I joined my city’s longboarding club group on social platforms, and I met some people who invited me to a night skate on a Saturday. I was intimidated; I thought I needed to have some kind of basic skill in order to impress those who had invited me- but they insisted that they don’t need to see anything, that they just want me to follow along and have some fun. That ended up being one of the greatest nights of my life- socializing and talking to fellow skaters who were in it with me to get me to be a better skateboarder.

And the truth is, the rest of the longboarding community is the same. If you skate alone, don’t. Find a community near you and it will become part of who you are.

Ryan, Magneto Longboards 

Longboard Wheels

Everything to know about Longboard wheels.

A longboard has tons of parts. 4 of them are longboard wheels. They let you roll, slide, commute and dance. They are the most basic building block of your traveling stick, and as expected, there’s a lot to know about them.

Being educated about your wheels is important, as there’s a purpose for every wheel, but there’s no wheel for every purpose. It’s an extremely diverse market, and in your journey to become a skilled longboarder, you will need comprehensive knowledge of:

  • The anatomy and physics of a wheel
  • Durometers and formulas
  • Wheels for every purpose.
    • Freeride wheels
    • Downhill wheels
    • Dancing wheels
    • Street/hard wheels
  • Troubleshooting

Longboard wheels

The Longboard Wheel: Anatomy and Physics

The wheel is one of the world’s most primitive designs, and they dictate several things about how your longboard performs on the road- such as speed, grip and the smoothness of your ride.

The anatomy of a longboard wheel is as such (from inside to out):

  • Core + Bearing Seat
  • Body
  • Lip
  • Skin

The Core

The core is arguably the most important part of a wheel. It supports the wheel from the inside, attaching it strongly to the bearing, which is attached to and rotates on the axle. Cores have a large part in dictating the grip, speed and durability of a wheel. There are 3 factors to a core:

  • Is it encapsulated or exposed?

Whether the core is showing or hidden is a big deal when it comes to the top speed and acceleration. If the core of a wheel (see figure above) is hidden, it amounts to faster acceleration but lower top speeds, generally. For example, if you had two 70mm wheels where one core was encapsulated and one was exposed, the encapsulated wheel would speed up faster, but the exposed wheel would reach top speed later than the other.

  • Is it small or big?

The size of a core dictates where the meat of the wheel is. A bigger core will displace more urethane to the outside of the wheel, resulting in a faster wheel that grips harder; a smaller core allows the wheel to have a lot of meat, so while the wheel may be slower, it’s better for sliding and lasts longer (there’s more polyurethane to slide away).

  • Is it wide?

This is mostly a concern for grippy downhill wheels that require support in the lip. A wide core is usually a big one, and you’ll see them in fast racing wheels. A more supported lip means a longer lasting edge to the lip, and thus creates a better, faster racing Longboard wheel.

The Body

The body of the wheel is where two major factors come in: Size and width. These are two incredibly important factors regarding the speed and grip of a wheel.

Generally, people say, the bigger the wheel, the faster it is; they are mostly correct. However, keep in mind that the bigger a wheel gets, the slower it accelerates. Most people find 75-ish mm to be a good downhill size.

Smaller sizes matter too. The smaller a wheel is, the faster the wheel is rotating. So smaller wheels are inherently easier to slide than larger wheels. You’ll find that many freeride wheels are based around 69-ish mm because that’s a size that just works really well.

The width of the wheel contributes the most out of any part to how hard the wheel grips the ground, and how defined the line is between grip and slip. A large contact patch will hold onto pavement harder. A smaller contact patch will release much quicker. You’ll find that downhill wheels have larger contact patches and downhill wheels have larger ones, which is only logical.

Again though, it’s very important that you find a good balance between width and size to fit your every need. More on that later.

The Lip

The lip is a key part in defining the grippiness of a wheel. The lip is the primary part of the wheel that deforms when put under pressure, flowing into and holding onto features on the asphalt.

Different lip shapes make a wheel grip and ungrip in different ways. There are 3 different types of lip profiles:

  • Round

This is mostly for freeride and sliding; the round lips allow pavement to glide under them without much resistance at all. The only thing providing grip for a round-lipped slide wheel is the contact patch. Some manufacturers make round lips that round over more gradually than others. This creates a wheel that stays less grippy for longer.

Magneto Slide wheels Below:

longboard wheels, slide wheels

Round lips create a slide See Magneto Slide wheels profile that can be described as an easy kick-out and an easy slide. Un-gripping the wheel normally doesn’t take more than a twist and a nudge, and holding out this slide is much easier than on a grippy square or sharp lip wheel.

Round lips are also beneficial for freestyle wheels as they don’t catch on the ground- because they are typically skinnier than square or sharp lipped downhill wheels, their low profile allows for a larger margin of error when it comes to flip tricks and grab tricks.

  • Square

This is a grippy lip that stays grippy for a long time, regardless of how much sliding it goes through. Because the lip is perpendicular to the ground through the first 5 or so millimeters of the wheel, a few drifts here and there won’t be enough to wear down a wheel enough that the lips fall off. Square lips are common on big race wheels with huge contact patches.

  • Sharp

Sharp lips are the grippiest of the lip profiles. The lips are like knives- they dig into the pavement when sideways force is applied, and it allows the whole wheel to stay secured in the pavement as long as it isn’t worn down. Sharp-lipped wheels are meant to stay unscrubbed and should usually not be slid unless absolutely necessary. If you have a lot of money or sponsors of course though, slide these wheels like you mean it. It’s a lot of fun. A guilty pleasure.

The Skin

The skin is a pretty important part in defining how much a wheel grips out of the package. The skin is a product of the wheel curing process, where after they are poured, wheels are stored outside of a mold in a warm, highly oxygenated room. The outside few millimeters of the wheel “cures” or “ripens” before being shipped out to stores or the consumer. Some companies over-ripen their wheels because it gives their wheels a unique slide characteristic. There are two types of skin profiles:

  • Stone-ground

Stone ground skins are usually present on an out-of-the-package slidable wheel. Stone grinding makes the skin rougher and thus exponentially reduces the size of the contact patch, as instead of a flat, smooth surface touching the ground, it’s just a really bumpy surface. You can expect slide profiles to stay more or less similar during the life of the wheel if you have this type of grinding on your skin.

  • Race-fresh

A race-fresh skin is the mirror-finish you see on more large, square/sharp lipped wheels. They are the grippiest skin and look the best. A race-fresh skin is usually the sign of a pretty fast wheel, with some exceptions. These skins should be kept pristine for a race, hence the name. Wasting them on your neighborhood streets is a no-go. Wheels with fresh skins are usually pretty expensive as well, so don’t go around flatspotting them either!

  • Scrubbed

These are “used” skins. Usually when race wheels come out of the race course after a day of riding, the first few layers of the wheels are gone, but the shape and lips are perfectly fine. These are called “scrubbies”. They’re great first race wheels as there are tons of “scrubbies” on buy/sell/trade communities on Facebook. Usually go for 15-20 dollars for a set of wheels. These won’t feel like stone-ground wheels, but rather super snappy freeride wheels.

Durometers and Formulas.

One of the hardest things about choosing your wheels is obscenely vast amount of durometers and formulas available to choose from. A wheel company might have anywhere from 3-12 wheels, and each of those wheels are a different formula from the next, and then there are 4 different durometers for each wheel. How does one choose?! Well, it’s not too hard, actually.

You want to decide on your formula. Now, each company has a different set of formulas under different names and brandings, but usually, a company will have a slide formula, a grip formula, and a midsy (low-price) formula. Popular companies have up to 7 or more formulas, but even those are just variations on this 3-item list. Some are just super-slidey wheels, some are less-slidey, some are drifty and downhill-ey, and some are just flat out the most grippy wheels you may ever roll on. Do your research through their homepage websites and online forums to see which formula you’d like to ride on the most. This is important. This decides how your wheel feels, not your durometer.

Durometers should be used to compare between variations of the exact same wheel. For example, Wheel A in 78a will be different to Wheel A in 80a. But in no way whatsoever is Wheel A in 78a remotely similar to Wheel B in 78a, and the difference between Wheel A in 78a and Wheel C in 90a could be negligible. Only use this to compare within a set of wheels.

Durometer is the measure of the hardness of the urethane which makes up a wheel. Most longboard wheels will range from 78a-86a, with the higher numbers being harder. Some wheel companies offer as low as 73a and most skateboard wheels are around 101a. As a general rule:

Lower durometers wear more quickly, leave thicker urethane lines, grip harder (to an extent) and dampen your ride more.

Harder durometers wear slowly, leave lesser lines, ice out easier, and let you feel the ground more.

  • If you have a slide wheel, adjusting durometer is a good way to change how slidey it is. If you really like the slide characteristics of a wheel, yet want it to slide less or more, changing the durometer is a great way to do that!
  • If you’re downhilling and want to drift and slide too, get a harder durometer of a downhill wheel. It’ll make sliding it easier, and still be just as fast!

Wheels for Every Purpose

As you can probably tell, there’s a wheel for every style of riding. And it’s important that you choose the right tool for the right job, so that you can do everything associated with that style. You don’t want to be stuck with sluggish street wheels when everybody is racing! Here’s what you should look for in a wheel for each style:


You should look for the following in a freeride wheel:

  • Round Lips
  • Smaller contact patch (35-50mm)
  • Smaller size (<69mm)
  • Encapsulated core
  • Stone grinding (or not)
  • Slide formula

In a freeride wheel, you want everything that allows you to glide over the pavement. The round lips will allow you to surf over cracks and obstacles while the smaller size will rotate faster than a larger wheel so that your wheels don’t gain traction for a long while. The smaller contact patch allows for less grip on the road, and the encapsulated core allows for quick acceleration. Stone grinding is optional; if you want to go through a lot of wheels in a day, definitely get stone-ground wheels. If not, breaking through the fresh skin won’t take very long. You’ll definitely want a slide formula as well. Most companies will make this obvious in their descriptions of the wheels.


You should look for the following in a downhill wheel:

  • Sharp/Square Lips
  • Larger contact patch (51-7x mm)
  • Larger size (70-82mm)
  • Encapsulated/Exposed Core
  • Fresh skin (always)

In a downhill wheel, you want characteristics that stick you to the pavement and not let go unless you’re really trying to make it ungrip. The sharper lip profiles allow your wheel to really dig into the ground when it comes to sideways force (and there’s a lot of that), and that really locks you into the road you’re skating. The larger contact patch also allows more of the road to grip your wheel. The larger wheel raises top speeds and allows for a faster ride. The choice of core exposure is up to the rider- do you want to accelerate quickly or do you want a higher top speed? For straight courses, an exposed core is good. For curvier courses where there’s drifting and lots of turning involved, an encapsulated core will suit you well. Also, make sure to choose a downhill formula or you may find yourself spinning out when you go to drift. Again, this will be made obvious by the seller.


Yes, we know, wheels don’t dance. Jokes aside, longboard dancing does indeed involve choosing the right wheels. You should look for the following in a dancing wheel:

  • Round lips
  • Narrow width
  • Medium size (~65-70mm)
  • Encapsulated core
  • Any skin

In a dancing wheel, you really want to have something that’s low profile and dynamic in shape. The round lips are less obtrusive when it comes to doing flip tricks, as they tend to hide under the deck because of their width. Also, sharp lips tend to bounce when they hit the ground- that could seriously ruin someone’s dancing line. Narrow width and size matters for low-profile purposes. The size is also important as it allows the dancer to run looser setups. The encapsulated core allows riders to accelerate quickly.


Hopefully this guide has helped you choose wheels. Always wear a helmet.


The Ultimate Downhill Longboarding Guide

You’ll learn about everything Downhill here from Downhill Longboards, technique to safety gear. 

Are you tired of cruising? Did you bomb that neighborhood hill and fall in love with speed? Many of us have, and that’s why we do downhill. Downhill longboarding is at the core of what makes the longboarding community exciting and adrenaline-pumping. It’s at the core of hardcore sports and definitely, absolutely makes you a much more exciting person than who you might have been before.

But sometimes, you need some help to get started. And this is what that’s for; to get you, the common, everyday cruiser, into going fast and mingling with the rest of the longboarding community. Here are 10 steps to becoming a downhill longboarder.


  • Have your safety gear.


I know, I know. Everyone keeps telling you to get a helmet but you don’t think you need one because you’ve never fallen. Bull! You absolutely need a helmet and some other very important accessories if you are going to learn and embrace downhill longboarding as a sport. You’ll need the following:

  • A helmet.

Make sure that your helmet is dual-certified, and from a trustworthy manufacturer. For now, you’ll need a half-shell. Skateboarding half-shells have padding all around your head, especially in the back and front, unlike bike helmets which protect the top more than anywhere else.

  • Slide gloves.

Slide gloves are available from most longboard manufacturers and skate shops. These are absolutely necessary for sliding and will protect your hands in case of a fall. To increase their durability, tape the fingertips with duct tape before skating. They will last 3 to 4 times as long.

  • Pads (Optional)

Strongly recommended. Get hard caps so you can fall onto them and slide to a stop if necessary. Knees are more important than elbows. Impact shorts are also nice if you’re planning to push yourself very hard.

Making slide gloves:

Some people would rather not shell out 30-50 bucks for quality slide gloves; not to worry, there is a solution! Slide pucks are right around 10-15 dollars, and all you need is some well-fitting, durable gloves, and some fuzzy-side velcro adhesive tape. Assemble according to a picture of slide gloves. Make sure it is high-quality velcro tape; if not, the slide pucks may get ripped off mid-slide, ending with a bad case of oh boy, where’s my puck?


  • Have the basics.


As with progressing in any sport, you must be able to walk before you run. Longboarding proficiently requires more skills than just the average cruiser might have. You should be able to push reliably (meaning that you don’t trip over your wheels or feet anymore), be able to stop on a dime (using foot braking or further means), and have supreme control over your board.

Keep in mind that stopping is the most important skill to know, whether you are doing downhill or not. It keeps you safe, it keeps others safe and most of all, it’s convenient. Some drills to help you out in case you don’t know how to practice quite yet:

  • For carving, take a straight road, push to a decent speed, and make long, spaghetti noodle turns from curb to curb. As you get better at this, make your carves sharper and narrower, until you find a good rhythm and width. This will become almost second-nature once you get good at it.
  • For stopping, decent a hill while foot braking. Do this once a day for a week, and you’ll have all the muscles you need to keep a footbrake out for a while. It’s important that you’re able to stick a footbrake out at will, as it may at some point be a life-saver.


  • Know the anatomy of your board.


Half of downhill longboarding is actually what you do outside of actually skateboarding with your feet on the board. In fact, a very large, major portion of downhill is tweaking your gear so that it’s the best it can be. And to do that, you need to have an extremely good grasp on the anatomy of your longboard, how the parts work, and where to source the parts you need to upgrade your board. You should know in-depth about the role of parts on your longboard including:

  • The deck
  • The trucks,
  • The wheels,
  • The bearings,
  • The bushings,
  • Footstops, grip tape, and other miscellaneous items.

Generally speaking, a cruising setup isn’t well-tuned. At walking or running speeds, there can be a large margin of error. However, at higher speeds, such as the speeds at which people usually downhill at, the tiniest inconsistencies in gear will affect the quality of your ride; as an extreme example, it may even end in injuries.


  • Know how to upgrade your Longboard 


As said in the step before, a cruising setup isn’t well-tuned. In order to make a competitive-enough setup out of a cruising setup, you must do a few crucial things:

  • Make sure your deck is speed-stiff,
  • Make sure your deck has downhill concave,
  • Make sure your trucks are from a trusted name-brand company,
  • Tune those trucks to your weight with bushings.

These four things are excruciatingly important because they are basically what allows you to do the maneuvers and shenanigans that downhill requires you to do, like sliding, going fast and staying stable.

The stiffness of your board is important because flex amplifies bumps and wobbles in your ride. This can be deadly, so we try to keep things as stiff and responsive as possible. A downhill concave is usually a steeper concave than a cruising board’s concave. It’s enough that it is efficient in helping you grip the board and also push against it in times of sliding. However, it should be comfortable. There are over 7 or 8 types of concave; your choice in concave is preferential and don’t let anyone tell you that one is better than another.

Trucks are incredibly important as well. Trucks are the steering hub of your setup, and thus you should upgrade and tune them to your weight and liking. Make sure that you know how bushings work, and match them to your weight either by using a chart or using an internet application like bushingpicker.com.


  • Know your Longboard.


Downhill is a very fast, intense sport in which you must make split-second decisions. These split-second decisions are what allow you to either make the corner and walk off feeling like the king of the world, or half stuck inside a guardrail, board nowhere to be seen as it just skipped off a cliff. To make these split-second decisions with a clear conscience, you need to absolutely know your board and your setup. You need to know:

  • How much it turns,
  • How it turns,
  • How it slides,
  • How stable it is,
  • When it gets wobbles,
  • How hard you can turn without sliding,
  • How big it is,
  • And tons more.

The bottom line is, you absolutely need to know everything there is to know about your board. This will require you to be on the same board sometimes for months in order to be familiar with it. Of course, when you get experienced with downhill longboarding, you will at some point be able to adapt your skills to other decks quite easily. However, for your first downhill experience, make sure you are comfortable and familiar with your board.


  • Learn to turn, lean, carve, and apex.


Downhill longboarding is a gravity sport. That means that if you lose speed, it’s all up to gravity to make that speed back up again. However, it is our responsibility as the rider to help gravity gain us our most valuable currency: velocity.

Unfortunately, the roads involved in downhill longboarding aren’t simple straight lines. They’re filled with curves, squigglies, and corners that you need to traverse carefully and expertly in order to keep all your speed. This art of turning, leaning, and carving with purpose and reason is a huge component of this sport and is thus extremely important to master.

The art of taking a good line through a course is a learned skill. The best way to learn the best way through a certain course is to skate with more advanced riders, or watch videos of people skating the course. However, if this isn’t a possibility for you, know this: The best line through a course is the straightest line. It is the line that puts the least amount of g-force into your board and body, and conserves the most momentum.

Learn to slide on your Longboard.

This is most likely, the hardest and most dragged out part of your career as a downhill longboarder. Not only will you need to learn the few preliminary slides, but throughout your journey as a downhill longboarder, learning slides will be one of your primary focuses. There is an end-game; once you have built up your huge arsenal of slides, you will be able to skate any and every road in the world, theoretically.

But first, you will need to learn how to stop. Sure, it sounds trivial. I mean, you know how to footbrake, you know how to carve down to a near-stop from 20 kilometers an hour, but with downhill, we’re talking about speeds in excess of 50 kilometers an hour. And keep in mind, downhill longboarding IS an extreme sport. You will come across instances in your journey (assuming you do push yourself and try new, adrenaline-pumping things), where you will be faced with either hitting a wall or a car, or stopping using a slide.

The most basic stopping slide is called a Coleman, or a shutdown slide. A Coleman is where you grab over your back leg, grab the board, lean back and bust into a low, compact slide to shave off speed. You can find a good tutorial here: 


It’s incredibly important that you not only can do this slide, but you can do it at any speed that you are downhilling at. That may be 40 kilometers an hour, or it may be 70 kilometers an hour. Also, always practice this slide. Keep it fresh in your brain so that you can use it whenever.

At this point, you are able to do grip runs, courses where sliding is optional and you can realistically “bomb” the hill all the way to the bottom. The reason why the Coleman came before doing grip runs is because, in the case of an oncoming car or collision, it’s important to be able to stop on a dime. To you know, save your life maybe.

There is a progression of slides, at least generally. It goes like this:

  1. Coleman Slide (Hands-down, grabbed, heelside slide)
    1. Coleman 180s (switch slide)
    2. Switch Coleman 180s (180 back from switch)
  2. Heelside Pendulum (Hands-down, grabbed/ungrabbed, undulating slide)
    1. Pendulum Shutdown (stopping slide)
    2. Pendulum Drift (speed-shaving slide)
  3. Toeside Slides (Hands-down, grabbed/ungrabbed)
    1. Toeside Pendulum Shutdown (undulating stopping slide)
  4. Both pre-drifts (Hands-down, grabbed/ungrabbed, speed-shaving slide)
    1. Drifts around corners (speed-shaving slide around a hairpin)
    2. Straight drifts (speed-shaving slide before a corner)
  5. Squat/Sit-down slides (No-hands, grabbed/ungrabbed slide)
    1. Squat drifts (squatted speed-shaving slide)
    2. Big Squats (long, fast, slide-jam style)
  1. Stand-up slides (no-hands, standing slide)
    1. 180s (switch slide)
    2. Stand-up drifts (speed-shaving slide)
    3. Big Standies (long, fast, slide-jam style)

Some tips for sliding:

  • If a slide isn’t working out for you, go faster. The faster you are traveling, the easier it will be to unhook all of your wheels. It will also give you a longer slide so you can feel it out and learn better.
  • When you are doing your first slides, exaggerate your movements, learn to unhook first. You can learn to get things under control later. Commit to your movements and smash those slides out.

Sliding will turn into an obsession for some; this means you are a freerider, rather than a downhiller. And it’s alright to like this; there are whole competitions designed for you!


  • First downhill Longboarding experience.


You’re here! You are fully equipped to take your first downhill runs. Now, there’s not much to cover here, except some recommendations for safety and some rules about respect for your local community and city.

When you skate your first hill, make sure that you take it slow; don’t push yourself too hard, and gradually ease yourself into the downhill mindset. Downhilling is an extreme sport; it takes comprehension that is usually beyond the parameters of a normal person, and you are stretching your capabilities so that you can do this sport safely. Take precautions.

For your first downhill experiences, it’s very important that you don’t do them alone. One, the roads you’ll be skating will be better known by your local scene; they’ve been riding and skating it for years, probably. They’ll tell you where the cars jump out, where you need to drift, where you need to slow down, or where you can let go and just go as fast as possible. Also, bump-draft buddies are always welcome.

Don’t know where to find skate buddies? Facebook is your buddy here. Search some common keywords like, “CITY longboarding” or “longboarding CITY”. Chances are, your city or town has a pretty good skate scene in it, and was probably the start of something great. Other great places to look are Instagram, Meetup, and Google. Connect with people, and don’t be shy. As long as you aren’t acting out of line, skaters in this community are usually incredibly friendly and getting buddy buddy with them will only end in your self-improvement.
Another incredibly important part to this sport is respecting your local community. Your local community is what really allows you to skate your favorite roads, and so it’s important that you do your part when using those facilities. You should always pick up your trash, don’t act rowdy, be friendly to people who are passing and when there is a confrontation with police or your angry neighbors, try to explain, not confront. It’s important not only for the image of your local skate scene, but also the longboarding scene in general.


  • The aftergame.


There isn’t much to guide you on after this; rather, you’ll have enough knowledge by now to guide yourself in your endeavor to become a better longboarder. Some tips to help you on your way though:

  • Start upgrading your gear.
    • Look into other decks; form an opinion about concaves and make it your goal to find what you like most in a deck.
    • Research your ideal truck; look at higher-tiered trucks higher up in the budget ranges. These trucks will last you a long time and help you progress further.
    • Look into buying a full-face helmet to really go fast.
  • Keep working on your slides, and build a large arsenal of them. These will allow you to skate any hill from top to bottom.
  • Race. Find races to compete in and get yourself some medals. It isn’t hard!
  • Host community events and get ingrained in your local community.

The Magneto downhill Longboard. AKA The Tesla 


But always, always wear a helmet.

Ps we spend a lot of time writing awesome posts, your shares and likes make us carry on! So go on, if you liked this post share it with a friend. 

Ryan, Magneto Longboards 

Beginner Longboarding: Getting started

Buying your first bits of gear can be scary. You haven’t done much research; you’re lost on what works for you and what will help you progress the fastest. People are telling you, buy this, buy that, I like this, I like that, but you don’t know why or if you can trust those people; after all, they’re not you.

This is a guide that aims to help you, the common beginner, to safely make good Longboard related purchases that will aid in your quick progression and reduce wasting money on things you really don’t need.

Deciding what you want:

The first step to buying your first package of gear is finding out what you’re really looking for from longboarding as a sport. Do you want to cruise around with friends? Do you want to go fast and be a daredevil? Or maybe you want to get into some sliding stuff and wow your friends here and there! Or maybe get into a really niche sector of skating and be the only guy in your whole city that does it and get famous for it. Regardless, there’s a set of gear that’s tuned just for you, and even more, since you’re just starting out.

Before we get into specifics, there are a few things that are mandatory for any and all skating that you ever do: A helmet. This is a disclaimer of sorts that warns you to absolutely buy a helmet when you start skating. There is a huge selection of helmet companies out there, but what you need in general is a dual-certified helmet. For most applications, a regular half shell will do. The easiest way to buy a helmet is to go to your local shop and try out helmets. All helmets have different shapes and therefore will fit a bit differently based on the brand, and it is extremely important that your helmet fits snug and slightly claustrophobically in order to protect your noggin! A brain-dead skater isn’t a skater at all. Also, most people won’t skate with you unless you have a helmet on anyway.

Skating can be split into a few general categories, namely cruising, downhilling, freeriding, and freestyle/dancing.

Section one: Cruising.

Arguably the one kind of skating that every skater in the history of longboarding has done. Most of the pros started out with it, and I can guarantee you that most of the longboarders you see around town are either cruisers or downhillers who are having fun just cruising around. I can also guarantee that you, as a first time skater, are most likely going to be a prospective cruiser before you actually get into any other more “hardcore” disciplines of skating like downhill or freeride.

The Longboard.

For a cruiser longboard setup, you have a huge selection of boards to choose from. Virtually any longboard will suit your needs as a cruiser, since you don’t really have any criteria to fill in terms of the speeds you’re reaching of the foot placement, as you’re going to be doing slow, chilled-out stuff for the majority of your time. However, there are a few standard practices out there when it comes to building a cruiser setup that revolve around comfort.

A cruiser longboard setup should be low to the ground, slightly flexible, and easily manageable in terms of weight and size. Being low to the ground means that you don’t have to reach down very far to push. Being slightly flexible lets the arches of your feet rest as the board will absorb a lot of the vibrations from the road. Being manageable lets you commute to places, easily maneuver around obstacles, and when time comes to duck into a café, you can just pick it up and bring it inside without being too cumbersome. A good example is a drop through longboard.

On a cruising setup, it is in the greatest interest of your time for you to just go with the complete setup. As you start cruising around and enjoying the sport, you will very quickly find out what you want in a board and start to upgrade by yourself.

Section two: Downhill longboard/Freeride

Downhill longboarding and Freeride comprise around half of the population of more “hardcore” skaters. It involves skating long, downhill roads, pulling slides and drifts to control speed and cornering, racing, and just all-around having some adrenaline-pumping fun. Freeride generally consists of pulling long, fancy slides and innovating to come up with new slides on a very steep, fast hill. Freeriders indulge in slide jams and are very good downhillers as well.

In terms of gear, you will need:

  • Slide Gloves
    Slide gloves allow you to place your hand on the road when you are riding, allowing for slides such as colemans and predrifts. Even if you don’t slide, these are awesome for saving the skin on your hands when you fall.
  • Pads
    Knee pads and elbow pads are recommended as they will protect your knees and elbows from getting road rash. Getting pads with hard caps is the best, since you can actually get on your knees when you fall and slide to a stop on them.

See the Tesla Downhill Longboard/Freeride Longboard 

Tesla downhill longboard

The Longboard.

You can use most downhill longboards for freeride, and most freeride boards for downhill. This is because the two styles of skating share the common factor of going fast, and also sliding. Companies like Rayne offer a huge downhill/freeride selection; there are boards of every concave and size.

Downhill longboards/freeride boards are for the major part, much stiffer and in some cases, shorter than cruising boards such as pintails and dancers. The stiffness is almost mandatory as in a downhill setting, you want an extremely direct and linear influence on the turn and lean of your board. Flex is slightly non-linear and thus makes wobbles and other implications of bad downhill easier to get. A shorter board is the product of weight reduction and generally taking out surface area that isn’t needed. Downhill boards are sometimes not the prettiest in terms of shape; this is because manufacturers try to take out as much meat as possible in order to conserve on weight and utility.

The most important thing for a downhill longboard/freeride setup is to make sure that the board you choose has a concave that is comfortable for you, but also locks you in so you don’t slip out mid-ride. There are a few unique styles of concave:

For your first longboard, your best bet is to go with a simpler concave, such as radial concave or progressive concave. This will allow you to not only be comfortable while riding around, but also be able to get some good, decent locked-in sensation when you’re doing mellow downhill and freeride. In the case that you want more support for your arch (three times the surface area support), then you can opt for some W concave. If you feel that you want some intense heel and toe support, but feel that your arches hurt from flexing upwards, you can get flatcave concave.

This, paired with the option of drops, microdrops, rocker and camber in boards gives you an incredibly huge selection of concave that you must experiment with as you carry on in your journey to become an outstanding downhiller/freerider! A good piece advice is to try out and stand on as many boards as you can at meets. This will allow you to not only see and touch but also feel how it is under your feet. You may think you don’t like one type of concave but find you are obsessed with it!

A few quirky tendencies of people do exist when they pick boards though. For instance, some people like kicktails on their downhill/freeride boards just because they can fool around at the top of the hill doing flip tricks with them. Some people like “quiver-killers” which are boards that are jacks-of-all-trades. They are good for flip tricks, good for freeride, and good for downhill.

Another important part of your freeride/downhill setup is the truck. You will need, in general, a low-angle truck with a low-angle baseplate such as 45 degrees for a downhill setup, and a higher-angle, 50 degree truck for freeride. As you ride, you will find your favorite truck and start to tweak it to your liking with aftermarket bushings. It is a good idea to buy a complete for your first downhill setup and go from there.

Section 3: Freestyle Longboarding

Freestyle is the fancy board-walking stuff that you see on the internet sometimes, where people twirl on top of their boards and somehow flip their board up into the air, catch it, twirl it again, throw it down and somehow step on it and keep riding. This is an increasingly popular niche of the sport, and recently, there have been whole competitions dedicated to dancing and freestyle in Europe.

For freestyle, you definitely will want pads, as it requires a lot of falling to learn flip tricks!

The Longboard.

The Longboard requirements for a freestyle board are just slight, welcoming flex, a 40+ inch length, and double kicktails.

The welcoming flex will allow you to land on a board without splintering into pieces, and it will protect you from destroying your feet when you land. The length allows you to make some nice steps up and down the board without feeling too cramped, and the double kicktails will allow you to do some stylish pivots and flip tricks!

Make sure you get high-angle trucks to get a really nice, carvy, surfy feeling to your setup, as carving is what really drives the tricks behind freestyle and carving.

Remember to ALWAYS wear a helmet. Ryan of Magneto Longboards.

Carbon Fiber Longboard by Magneto


The Magneto Carbon Fiber Longboard

Longboarding: 3 Reasons that make Carbon Fiber Longboards great! 

Get The Magneto Carbon 

Carbon fiber has, for many reasons, been one of the most luxurious materials out on the market, and for good reason. Not only does it look cool, it actually has a bunch of really good uses for construction too! That’s why they use it for applications like sports cars, military helicopter propellers, and even things like thousand-dollar wristwatches and pens.

Learn more about Carbon fiber

What you may not have known though, is that carbon fiber has been a big thing in the longboarding industry for a while too. You can find them in big longboard stores. What nobody knows is; who does it best? This is a hard question to answer. But a good question that can be answered pretty easily is:

“What are the things that make carbon fiber so good for longboards?”.

Reason 1: Strength.

Carbon fiber longboards are made of pure carbon and some epoxy. This makes for an extremely strong material, since both of these materials are revered to be some of the most expensive, and strong materials available to the common consumer.

Elemental carbon is extremely strong in terms of tensile strength. That means that if you took a hair-shaped piece of carbon fiber and tugged on it, it would be able to carry a lot of weight! In fact, a laboratory-manufactured carbon nanotube can actually carry more weight than ten times its amount in steel, which is pretty incredible. As we speak, scientists in labs are scurrying to find good ways to apply them into space travel, which is pretty amazing.

Because elemental carbon strands are already so strong, weaving them into a fabric makes them exponentially stronger on top of that. Think of a cloth. If you took a thread, you can just pull hard enough, and it will snap. Not very strong, and if you suspended enough weight on the end of it, at some point, it will break and the weight will fall. However, if you took many of those strands and wove them together into a tight mesh and hung the weight by the corners of the fabric, the weight most likely wouldn’t fall down. Stretch, yes, but it wouldn’t fall down. The reason that it stretches is because the strands are able to shift against each other since they’re not really held together by a solid medium. Which brings us to the epoxy. Epoxy is a sticky substance that when cured, creates a very hard, almost glassy plastic-like material. Sometimes it’s called cement, because it is so strong. Epoxy is both lightweight and usually transparent, so it’s very good to be using for carbon fiber applications. As said before, regular fabrics don’t really hold solidly; rather, they shift around because they lack a solid bond to each to stop them from shifting in position. This is what the epoxy does to the carbon fiber.

After the flexible sheets of carbon fiber are laid down in the correct configuration, engineers usually brush and saturate the fibers with a thick layer of epoxy. Not only does this keep the fibers on the surface, it also solidifies the fibers into their desired shape.

Together, carbon fiber is one of the strongest materials on the market.

carbon fiber longboard

Reason 2: Weight

Carbon fiber, for its weight, is an extremely strong material. A few layers of carbon fiber that is about as thick as a coin for example, is enough to make a flexible longboard deck completely solid. No more flex.

For this reason, longboard manufacturers use it to make incredibly stiff speed decks while keeping it extremely light.

A very popular combination in terms of building materials is bamboo and carbon fiber, or sometimes even balsa wood and honeycomb structures in extreme cases, but these extreme cases cost well over six hundred dollars. The more affordable and practical bamboo carbon fiber hybrid is extremely versatile because of how much it capitalizes on reducing weight with very affordable and accessible materials.

Bamboo by itself is a very versatile material. When it is laid down as a veneer from side to side, it’s a decently flexible material and it’s used for very uniform-feeling flex decks that people use for dancing and such. Add some carbon fibre to this, and not only is it extremely light, but it is also stiff. Sometimes, there will be a welcoming dampening flex to some of these boards, and trust me; they’re wonderful.

Sometimes, manufacturers will vertically laminate the bamboo so that the grain is going upwards and downwards. This creates a truly rock-hard board that’s good for literally everything fast and slidey.

Reason 3: Toughness.

Carbon fiber is so gosh-darn resilient that logically it barely even makes sense! Online, you see those carbon fiber street skateboards, and after doing grids and board slides, they sometimes come out and they’re barely scratched, and even less structurally damaged. This is a problem with longboards sometimes; the rocks and stones that you run over while you’re speeding down a hill sometimes ding up the bottom of your deck, and it’s true, it’s annoying sometimes. I know I had a deck at one point that I took down a run when it was brand new, and when I got to the bottom, the graphic had a huge chunk taken out of it, replaced by a streak of white stone residue.

Carbon fiber however, doesn’t really do this, since the epoxy is really the only thing getting damaged. All you need is a brush and some more epoxy, and you’ve got a brand new board. Pretty nifty.

Carbon fiber Longboards will always be up there as a superior technology longboard and a superior material. It’s even better when you can ride it.

Get the Carbon: The Magneto Carbon 

Always wear a helmet! Ryan from Magneto Longboards.

Longboarding: Hosting Events 101


A community is not without events, and events don’t host themselves! Events far and wide, no matter whether they’re free or paid, large or small, are really the driving forces behind the communities that they take place in. Without events, any community would eventually dissolve and it would go from being a gathering of people to becoming a spread out population of people that more or less doesn’t care about each other.


Events bring people together. It not only lets people come together and compete, build rivalries and friendships, but it’s also an amazing reminder to how friendly the atmosphere is and the level of welcoming and inclusiveness you can find in most skate communities around the globe. For instance, there are many incredibly advanced events in the scene, like Maryhill or Giants Head Freeride, which a large majority of people cannot skate because they are simply above their level. However, attendance from these skaters is huge because many people come to just hang out! And that’s why events are so important.


That being said, there are times when there may be a lack of events, or a lack of events that you personally don’t enjoy. I know that for a while in my scene, we didn’t have any parkade events, and that really turned me off. There were so many races at the same hills and paths all the time, but nobody seemed to want a parkade race. Or, in the winter, people may not be hosting events at all because of the weather, when people in reality are hungering for an event all the time. These are the cases when you as a skater and valuable part of your local community, must take it upon yourself to make these events happen. And this is written in the hope that it can help those people in the community step up and make events happen, because it’s incredibly easy when it comes down to it; however, it can be condensed down to several steps. I personally took these steps when I was hosting my first event, and it went splendidly.



Step One: Come up with a novel idea.


The first thing you have to do is come up with something that is relatively unique. By this, I don’t mean host an event that is radically different from every event that has ever happened in the world, I mean that you should come up with an idea that isn’t monotonous when put against most events that have happened in your scene in the last few months. For example, if there were 2 parkade races in the past 3 months, don’t host another parkade race; nobody will come, since people will get bored and tired of those races. Instead, if there were 2 parkade races, then host a path race, or even host something like a skate community barbeque! Whatever floats the boat or rolls your skateboard, just don’t make it boring.


There are exceptions to this rule though. If for some weird reason, there were several races of the same theme that happened in the past how many months and it’s all your community has to skate, then it is your job to make that event even better. Take a plain cake that everyone used to love and throw some sprinkles on top, make people love it even more. For example, I took a regular parkade event and added the novel idea of challenges, a system vastly different from the greyscale races that just went from top to bottom in race heats and made a simple podium. No, I made them do 13 different races (things such as, tying your hands behind your back, standing like a pencil, buttboarding, etc.).


This created an extremely fun and entertaining race, while building upon events that had already happened in the past. Step one finished. Not so hard, is it?


Step Two: Have a general idea of how the event will run.


Is it a race? If so, then how will you organize the racers? Will you have a registration? How many people per heat? If you have multiple races, will you have multiple podiums?


These are some of the questions that you must have answered going into an event. Even if a race does sound like the simplest thing to organize, it really isn’t. You can’t just put everyone on the starting line and make everyone go; that’s ridiculous and hilariously dangerous (although it’s called Chinese Downhill). You have to make competition trees and brackets, and to do this, you need to have a registration of all your racers! It’s not the simplest thing, and you should have a strong, concrete idea of how you will go about organizing your successful race.


You should also have a very good idea of how to amplify your unique ideas into your race. A straight race is never fun, you should always have plans to make your event fun and wonky compared to the stuff that people usually do in their free time. Events are where many people come together, take advantage of this and the large number of people to create fun, unique, challenging quirks that will spice up your event! For example, when I was organizing my parkade event, I made sure that we had a backup plan in case we had extra time left. I got together some loaves of bread, and started sending people down in heats where they had to eat as many pieces of bread as possible before reaching the bottom. It was a little quirky addition to an already great event, and it’s something that people will talk about for a long time to come; allowing you to have another repetition of your event in your future.


Step Three: Have a driving factor that will push people to come to your event.


In the case that you haven’t had the chance to build up a reputation for your event over several years, you’ll need some materialistic things to get people to come to the event. These materialistic things could be things like prizes, or free food, things like that. Once you have these measures in place, it shouldn’t be too hard getting people to come.


In terms of prizes, contact your local longboard store for sponsorship opportunities. If your local store is active in the community in supporting events and riders, it won’t be a far stretch to say that they will contribute prizes and items to your event. Some good prizes are wheels, t-shirts, stickers, and sometimes decks, even. I’ve seen big events give away whole setups.


Alternatively, you can pool prize money. So, you charge a few dollars per person as admission fee, and then while the event is running, you send someone to get a set of wheels and a few t-shirts. These are your prizes and it will work the exact same way. Sometimes when you do this though, you’ll end up with not enough money for first, second and third prizes. You might have to add some prizes from your own personal stash in these cases. Personally, I keep a big boxes of freebies that I get at events in order to give away as prizes at events.


Step Four: Market consistently.


As the date of your event approaches, you’ll need to consistently market your event so that more and more people RSVP. I find that making a facebook event page or something similar always helps, and usually telling friends to invite friends of friends is a good enough number to start you off to stardom.


After about two or three weeks of consistent marketing, you should hold your event so that the event date doesn’t go stale in people’s minds. You must keep it freshly hyped and excitable.


Step Five: Event day!


Event day is here, and you should be on your toes! Make sure everything happens smoothly; don’t forget anything at home, put it all into a bag and bring it to the venue, especially prizes and registration booklets! Be there, be on your best game, and make it happen. Your community will thank you.


Always wear a helmet. Ryan Lee from Magneto Longboards.

Magneto Bamboo Drop Through Longboard – A closer look


I had the opportunity to test out the new bamboo drop-through a couple of weeks ago, since I’m a rider and writer. I have a lot of thoughts on it, many positive and I am still wondering if there are any negatives to the Long board itself. It is one of the most comfortable cruisers I’ve ever ridden, and even though I am not a fan of drop-through boards, I thoroughly enjoyed the many rides that I have been on with this board. I am absolutely positive that many beginners and experts alike will enjoy the board for everything that it is: A cruising, carving beast of a machine.

It’s a minimalistic Bamboo Longboard.

I’m not a particularly fashionable or a trendy guy, so I don’t usually buy longboards because of their graphic and color, but I can relate with many when they complement this longboard. It’s natural-looking. It’s just a simple wood veneer on the top and bottom and in my simple eyes, it could go well with anything and make a very good first impression to wherever you decide to bring it.

It’s also nice because it was easy to buy. I didn’t really have to contemplate the graphic, unlike what I do with a few different longboards here and there. All you have to do is concentrate on the shape of the longboard and the concave, which are the two actual features of a board that matters. The designers of the longboard really tried hard to open the board up to the eyes of a beginner.

The concave is pretty minimalistic as well. This lets any cruiser avoid having bad foot pain on long pushes! It’s just a simple progressive concave and some camber, so really all it does is support the arch of your foot and make it easy to turn. Minimalistic concave such as this are found on many downhill boards as well, so if you ever decide to switch to a downhill board, the concave will be more or less familiar.

The grip tape is painless.

What I mean about this grip tape is that it’s very mild. It’s sandblasted into the wood, so you get that beautiful veneer on the top of the board showing through, so you can constantly be reminded that yes, you have a high-quality Magneto board under your feet. No joke. Just kidding, it’s just pretty.

The advantages of having really mild grip tape are many. For one, it won’t destroy your shoes. I can personally attest to having my shoes eaten up by coarse grip tape that comes with many downhill longboards, and I can also say that it’s a huge burden to my budget. 60 dollars every 3 months is extremely expensive. I can’t personally see my shoes being eaten up by the Magneto board since the grip is so mild. However, that isn’t to say that it is strong enough to hold my feet in place during some extremely powerful carving. I didn’t slip at all. Just keep your feet flat and you’ll be good.

I like this grip for dancing as well. Since it’s so mild, it is good for doing pirouettes and crossstepping everywhere since you can move your feet freely. You can slide your feet places with lots of control. Most dancer decks come without any griptape in the middle, but with your Magneto drop through, you won’t need to remove grip tape at all.

It’s also very easy to tweak! When your grip does get dull (it happens with every grip tape ever), all you need to do is sand it down, and place a sheet of grip tape over it. Super easy and convenient.

It has flex.

I’ll be honest, I don’t like rock-hard decks. Even my downhill setup is slightly, slightly flexible. It’s made of 8 plies as opposed to the normal 9 or 10, so it’s still very dampening and welcoming to stand on. Some boards are made of 10 plies and it’s like standing on a rock for 3 hours. The Magneto drop-through is made of 7 plies. 5 of maple, 2 fiberglass. This makes it extremely comfortable to stand on. As a test, I went on a ride on some of the roughest roads that I could find, and I was extremely delighted to find out that it was healthier on my feet than my regular downhill board is.

The thing is, I don’t even push a long distance and my feet usually hurt by the 500 meter mark. That’s on my downhill board. I pushed a kilometer and a half on the Magneto Drop-through and I didn’t feel any noticeable pain in my feet nor in my calves. That’s pretty surprising too; I have flat feet and longboarding itself is painful.

The moderate flex also makes the board a natural shock-absorber. If you look at the deck, you can see that the necks where the standing platform tapers off into the mounting holes is quite long. I believe it was designed this way in order to have a lot of torsional flex, which would absorb a substantial amount of the vibrations that would travel up through the trucks into the board. This is probably why I couldn’t really feel the bumps in the road. After the enough time, the dampening effect should increase even further.

If you ever wanted to start doing flip tricks to add to the “wow” factor of your dancing, this board may be the one. Because of the moderate flex, it makes landing flip tricks deceptively easy when you are learning the tricks because the flex makes the board feel like a pillow; it catches you and makes sure that you don’t just bounce off of the board as soon as you land. I’ve tried flip tricks with my board, and this has happened before. It isn’t pretty.

It’s compact.

The board, even though it is quite long, is very slim and compact in every other feature. It’s quite skinny for a cruising board, since cruising boards are usually a bit wider. This allows your toe to slightly hang off the board, resulting in an incredible increase in the control you have over your board. You can also get a lot of leverage in case you ever want to start doing slides and all of that.

The skinniness of the board was something that I particularily enjoyed when I was riding it along the riverwalk. Now, in my city, the riverwalk is usually very packed with people. People going left, people going behind you, cyclists, all of that. The compactness of the board improved my maneuverability between all of these people. I found myself effortlessly weaving in and out of the crowds of people, since where other boards would snag and smash into people’s shins and ankles, this board seemed to be immune to those kinds of accidents.

The trucks also seem to run a lot lower than most trucks on the market. This means that you can get even closer to the ground than a drop through usually amounts to. This means easy pushing and commuting. Trust me, reaching down from a topmount every single time to push hard isn’t the friendliest thing on your core and calves.

The board’s compactness also came to my aid whenever I was carrying it around. Since it is so thin and skinny, I could carry it around the halls of my school with very minimal drawbacks. I didn’t really bump into anyone, who I would have bumped into with my curvy downhill longboard.

long board

The Longboard wheels.

I saved the best for last. The wheels are a very soft, cruiser-type wheel which accelerated quickly and stopped quickly when I needed them to. I could push them and make them travel for a long time, and yet when I needed to stop quickly at an intersection, they slowed down to a stop almost instantly. This made for some extremely efficient commuting times. I could speed the block, and then slow down at the intersection, speed the block and just keep going. The versatility of the wheel in terms of speed made it extremely easy to make split-second decisions and still be safe.

I did try out downhill on them, and they have a curious use that I haven’t had the chance to explore anywhere else. They are training wheels. By this I mean that the wheels accelerate quickly, and then plateau out into this really friendly kind of speed that doesn’t scare you. From this point, you slowly accelerate upwards into the speedier speeds, but it still does give you time to think whether you want to footbrake or not.

They do wear very evenly, which I enjoyed quite a bit.

And this is 5 things I loved about the Magneto Bamboo Drop-Through.



10 things Longboarders hate!

  1. Rough Roads

Oh man, these are the absolute worst. Sure, people say that having big, soft Longboard wheels will solve your problem of feeling the jitters in the road, but there are those roads that no matter what you do to try and prevent yourself from being thrown off your board, it happens anyway! There are these ugly, nasty roads out there with these big cracks in the ground and years of tar snakes that have absolutely just conspired against you to try and remove any kind of pleasure that you could possibly get from your short ride to the store 3 blocks from your house.

And the worst thing is, you know these aren’t going to be fixed any time soon, because you probably live in a residential neighbourhood and it seems that city governments just forget about residential roads about 4 months after they’re built.

It’s a pandemic. Bring up a petition with your neighbours to get your neighbourhood roads repaved! Fresh, grippy and smooth asphalt is the biggest turn-on for the esteemed downhill skateboarder.

best longboard brands

I have a story about this. Back in March, a group of friends and I decided to go skate and exploring. This means that you take a car, drive out to a neighbourhood that you’ve never been to before, and skate little hills and pathways that you may find.

We came up on this big, big hill. I mean like, a path down from the top that takes at least 70 seconds to get down. So we decide pretty unanimously to skate it, but it turns out that there’s a very bad patch of road at the bottom. We’re all running through this going 55 km/h, and we all get mad wobbles, because the badly cracked pavement was tossing our wheels from side to side. It wasn’t a fun time. Always scout out your lines before you skate them! You never know what kind of madness you will run into.

There’s another road that we do every week on our weekly night-ride circuit. There’s this giant pothole in the middle of the ground that every single time no matter how many times we remind each other, someone runs into and wipes out.

  1. People who don’t walk in a straight line. Only if I could by something from the Longboard store to fix this!

If you already longboard, you probably know how big of a pain it is to have people in front of you. But you can dodge them, since you’re skilled enough to after a week or two of straight riding. But you know what’s not easy to dodge? People who don’t walk in a straight line. These people absolutely push me to the end of the cliff. Why can’t you just walk in a straight line so I can pass you? Must you absolutely assert your dominance over the sidewalk so that no person, on wheels or not, can pass you and maybe get to where they want to go on time?

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I don’t know. It just doesn’t make sense to some people just refuse to stand and walk in a straight line. I don’t want to mention stereotypes but you can honestly confine them to a few different types of people, namely very old people.

  1. Longboard wheels that don’t roll fast enough.

See, we’re longboarders. We like going fast, or at least we like rolling for an extended period of time. So wheels that don’t roll fast enough are a nuisance to us since that slows us down and impedes our ability to get from point A to point B.

So, when we buy longboard wheels from the longboard store that don’t roll fast enough, we get angry. I remember a few months ago I splurged 60 dollars on a set of slide wheels, but when I tried to get to school with them, I found myself pushing 3 times as much. I wish I hadn’t. They’re horrible wheels too. I regret everything. I wish I was smarter.

But yeah, this why we run super big wheels, because aside from commuting, we also like to go fast, and big wheels let us do that. So that is why we don’t just longboard on regular skateboard wheels.

It’s a pretty bad feeling when you are trying to ride side by side with a friend, but you can’t keep up because you have bad wheels on. You just slowly fall behind in speed until they’re 50 meters ahead of you and you’re inching down the hill. It’s pretty frustrating. Make sure you have quality wheels on before you race with somebody!

  1. Rude Cyclists.

Cyclists are so gosh-darn entitled! They want the road to themselves and it doesn’t seem like they are ready to share it in any way. I’ve had many run-ins with cyclists before, and every single one of them has been them being ignorant and extremely rude to skaters.

On one occasion, a man in his late 40s came up to us and called us scum. Told us how expensive his bike was and how the carriage he was carrying had his dog inside. He proceeded to follow us for about a kilometer, shouting obscenities and trying to scare us. We caught up with some friends and he left.

It’s just that, we like the road. The road is where our sport happens and it doesn’t make us particularly happy when someone hogs it all to themselves. We’re all about right of way, sharing the road, and passing each other when it happens! But cyclists seem to think that the road was built for them.

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We love good cyclists though!

  1. Guardrails.

Okay. This is pretty specific to people who do downhill and freeride, but guardrails are the bane of strong, healthy, intact, non-paralyzed backbones.

Guardrails massively screw you up. You slip out in the middle of an extremely fast slide and you just casually glide into a guardrail, there, you get a broken something. You’re doing 180s and you somehow high side head first into a guardrail? That screws you up. In the head, and that’s not good.

I have a friend who just got out of the hospital because he hit a guardrail and started convulsing on the ground. He has major nerve damage, among other things. Lesson of the day, whenever someone says, hey, let’s go out to this new hill I’ve been checking out, ask if it has guardrails in any fast corners. You may risk becoming injured for the rest of your life.

There is this really nice hill in the middle of my city beside the longboard shop. It has paths going down it, and it could totally be a great freeride path, but nobody really uses it aside from the expert here and there because it has these super long guardrails going by it. It isn’t particularly the definition of a safe learning hill. The guardrails have dents in them from people’s helmets.

  1. Damaged Longboard Wheels.

There’s a pretty good definition of a healthy wheel and a wheel that won’t serve your needs for much longer. Good, healthy wheels are usually round, and all 4 wheels are usually the same size due to the rider rotating them every session of every few slides. Rotating runs off of a few different chains of logic. Firstly, not every wheel can wear the same way, realistically. At the best, wheels will wear so that the tread is still flat, but each wheel will still wear at a different pace. Usually, in order of most worn the least worn, the back heelside wheel, the front heelside wheel, the back toeside wheel, and then the front toeside wheel will wear. So what people have come up with is a rotation system based on the rotation of car wheels. Pretty much, the wheels rotate counter-clockwise at every major step in the wear cycle, for example after a few slides in a slide jam, after a long and fast downhill run, or just during routine maintenance. Personally, I number my wheels on the inside to keep track. I’ve kept wheels in good condition for months after they should have expired by other people’s standards.

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But really, unhealthy wheels are a drag. When you’re parkading or skating a long, flat path, you’ll feel those little bumps in those wheels. And in case of a flat spot, I’ve seen wheels that sound like a helicopter and make a very loud “BRRRRRRRRRRRRRR” sound. That isn’t pretty. In this case, you wear out those flat spots! Do some slides (a lot of slides) and really focus on keeping it at a 90-degree angle. It’s just not a pleasant feeling.

  1. Bad Longboarders who ride the best longboards

We’re all longboarders. But we all accept each other because we respect each other and make sure that we accept and care and teach each other all the time. This is what makes the community go around. However, there are some bad longboarders out there who don’t really focus a lot on those values that we all try to share. Even more often than not they have the best gear! See my rant about Jon – Poser’s riding the best longboard brands with no idea!

They’re are people who threaten others over races, spew obscenities, make a lot of noise and just do things that don’t really benefit the scene of longboarding very much. Sometimes, the things that they do affect us in a negative way and we don’t really appreciate that.

There are some longboard brands out there, one in particular (I’m not mentioning their name), that promotes a bad lifestyle. I’m talking drugs, hooliganism, breaking property, skating in places where you shouldn’t be skating and just generally fooling around in ways that severely depreciate the value of the community every day that they are out there. They skate the inside of museums, for goodness’ sake.

If you want to become part of the community, and blend in like everyone, either pro or not had to at one point in their careers, also adhere to the values that we represent. Or you will become like that company, ostracized from the rest of the community because nobody wants to be around bad influences.

  1. Walking up.

When you go down, it’s pretty imperative that you go back up. By this, I mean that once you ride down your favorite hill, you’re going to be climbing back up. This part of a ride isn’t really fun, but I’ll be honest with you, it’s the only exercise we really get in this sport. Come to think about it, the whole sport is literally just standing on a board for 30 seconds at a time. But it’s fun. What gives?

Climbing back up to the top is tedious, no matter if it’s a shallow hill, or a short, steep one. It still tires you out. After your first run, your legs and ankles get so tired from climbing up the hill that your performance actually starts to go down. One of the most notorious hikes is the Maryhill Loops Road. It’s a 3-minute long descent, and then you hike to the top over a course of about 40 minutes. 40 minutes of climbing up a 6% grade hill will probably kill you on the inside. My local hill (We call is Scarbs) is a mellow 8% hill, and by the time we’re done our first run and we’re done walking back up, our legs are so tired that everyone is visibly slower the next time down!

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We’ve made some solutions, the most obvious of which is just getting someone to bring their car and drive us up and down the run each time. What a lot of people do is, everyone pitches in maybe 3 dollars each for gas, and then we just go ride hard. Skitching is another solution, where the car’s windows are all rolled down, and we grab the car’s window frames and we get pulled up. Skitching is a shortened form of “Sketchy Hitch-hiking”. Pretty neat, and it’s a ton of fun as well.

  1. Unfriendly Police Officers.

We’re longboarders, but in a broad sense of the sport, we’re honestly just skateboarders on oversized skateboards. And yes, we’re quite different. We don’t really cause damage to stuff, we can’t really skate everywhere and anywhere, but not many people notice this fully. Many people still group us in with that mindset from the late 70s where “Skateboarders are bad! They make noise and they’re bad for the community!” was the general opinion and this led to a lot of places being closed to skateboarders.

These days, that kind of opinion still lingers around. It happens quite a bit that cyclists and roller bladers are totally welcome to hang out in a city plaza, but as soon as a longboarder comes by and plops down, we’re told, “Shoo! We don’t want your kind here!”

This stuff happens quite often, but honestly, we’ve mostly learned to accept it as it is. However, something that we really can’t get over is bad police officers who follow us on our runs and do things that make us crash, and then give us tickets for enjoying ourselves. Mind you, most of these tickets get waived as soon as we appeal them in court, but they’re given out to us in the first place anyway.

If you really think about it, skateboarding isn’t a crime. Roads are usually open to vehicular use, powered or unpowered, and there’s no reason why longboards can’t fit into that category. When we bring this up to police officers, they usually then give us tickets for disruptive behavior, which also doesn’t make sense.

10. Rusted Bearings.

Lastly, rusted bearings. Rusted bearings are the worst. They make ungodly sounds, make your wheels roll slower, smell like rotten steel, they’re the color of spaghetti sauce that has been left out for too long.

The worst is when you’re at the top of a hill before a run and you just randomly discover that your bearings are rusted. No more longboarding for you.

WEAR A HELMET. –Ryan L, Longboarder.

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Longboarding: Role Models and how to drive the community.


Longboarding: Role Models.

I didn’t get into longboarding by myself. Sure, I got that first little cruiser board by myself (It was the best impulse buy that I have ever acted on), but everything after that was chosen by other people. What I mean by this that I didn’t really motivate myself. I was motivated by many different people in the community, both big-time and small-time, and all that and their words are really what got me to where I am now. So I want to tribute them and talk about them a little bit.

My biggest inspiration from the get-go was Zak Maytum. No, I haven’t met him, nor does he really know that I exist, but there are many things that he did that really pushed me to get better and get more and more involved in the community. First of all, he’s a great rider who makes awesome media for the community. He strives to show how good he is in a way that encourages others to follow closely suit. He posts raw runs of roads no one’s ever seen before, along with runs that people may never skate again. He employs some questionable tactics (footbraking at 60 miles an hour, what a legend), and that’s subsequently made those tactics and techniques pretty acceptable in the community.


As you can see, he’s extremely, extremely fast. I would say there was an average speed of around 50 miles an hour on that run. I find it pretty impressive how he does this in a plaid shirt and jeans. A fall would’ve meant some pretty serious injuries.

However, his riding isn’t the only thing that really got me going in the community. It’s what he does and contributes to the sport that really inspires me as both a rider, a writer, and a summer employee at my local shop.

Zak is the big boss-man of Venom Bushings, a pretty powerful company that really has a part in determining the feeling of a lot of longboard setups. However, it’s the fact that Zak sponsors events and riders that really makes a lot of the community roll around. With his help, many events are able to gather a large riderbase, which results in those events succeeding in terms of profit and sustainability, which is awesome.

It’s a rider like this that I try to base myself around. I ride hard, but I also dedicate a lot of my time to making sure that my local community runs just as well as I would like myself to run. In my spare time, I invite new riders to my house to come look through my box of parts to see if they have anything that they want. I help them dial their setups in, from cruiser setups to downhill or freeride setups so that they can enter the community and feel right at home, just like my local community did for me when I first started out.

It’s important to be like this. In such a tight-knit community like the longboarding community, it’s important that you as an individual rider help the community in a big of a way as you can. It’s pretty understandable that no, not all of us can start companies like Zak did and sponsor events, but we can totally improve the riders around us by being informed and helping each other create the perfect setup or offer advice about how to take the next hill or maybe teach a slide.

I remember back when I first started, I met my good friend John. John is one of our scene’s top riders, he takes the steepest hills, takes the sharpest corners and he does the longest slides. I’d say that he’s probably the next to be sponsored by a large company.

John was the guy that encouraged me to fully enter the community. I’d been wanting to for a while, but I was never sure, expecting to fall behind because everyone had already been skating for a while. John came along and told me I was wrong. He came halfway across the city to come skate with me, a grom who back then had a cruiser board with some wonky gear. But he didn’t comment on that. He taught me form, he gave me some tips about how to set up my gear, told me to get more comfortable with my board. He told me I was tense and that I should relax more, that things are actually a lot easier than they seem. And he was right. He kept inviting me to events and introducing me to friends that I now skate with almost twice a week. He didn’t just kind of leave me on the side of the circle, he brought me right into the bustling center of it.

I remember how at my first night ride, he took me and just announced to everybody that there was a new rider. He didn’t call me a beginner, he called me a “rider”. One of them. That made me feel extremely encapsulated in the community that would pretty soon become one of the central pivots of both my physical and social lives.

If you’re experienced and have been longboarding for a while, be like John. Be the start of a new community, be the person who will bring people in and make them feel welcome. You may be one person in a sea of many, but you can be the one person who does the work of 10. It’s people like this that make the community go around.

If you’re a beginner, be assured that there are many Johns around. As long as you look and ask for help, a John will come by and show you the ropes. It’s an extremely friendly community to get into as long as you look!

And as always, wear a helmet. Ryan L, Longboarder.


Electric Longboard | Electric Skateboard


So, I come from a background of pushing on a Longboard… But lets discuss the new innovation of the electric skateboard

I never put any motors on my longboards, I prefer the style of longboarding of where yes, you have to push the ground from underneath you.

But that isn’t to say that electric longboards are really, really stupid fun.

I have gotten tired of pushing before. Sometimes it really gets to be a drag when you have to push for 18 miles. Your legs hurt, you’re winded, but of course you just can’t stop because one, you have a destination and two, all you want is the wind in your face. Wouldn’t it be just awesome if you could say, push a button and travel 18 miles without touching the ground once? I’ve thought about this before, and that’s how I stumbled upon electric longboarding.

It’s where you take a powerful, compact electric motor and attach it and the batteries to the bottom of the board. It ends up being an extremely fast way to get around with minimal effort, and I would be lying if I said it was bad. It’s great. You can go up hills, down hills, carve endlessly, and I have had friends who told me that they have drifted them before. You initiate a slide and just keep pressing the button that makes you go.

So, some practical reasons as to why electric longboarding can be extremely useful. It doesn’t make you sweat. I’ve found over the years that I haven’t been able to skate over to a job interview or to a formal thing because of the fact that yes, pushing a longboard for a few miles does make you sweat. And it isn’t just armpit smell, it’s whole-body sweating athlete smell. And that isn’t great for impressing people. Because all you have to really do is just press a button and cruise for a few minutes, it’s awesome for commuting, especially in the hot hot summer.

Just continuing on from this, you can longboard wearing anything on an electric longboard. Since the platform is usually pretty flat, you can carry anything, even wear a full suit without worrying about ripping your groin fabric (this has happened to me before, I would not recommend skating in expensive pants.).

Also, some people just don’t have the balance and energy to push around a longboard. Then electric longboarding is great, since all you have to do is stand. We’ve been standing our whole lives. Imagine standing and longboarding at the same time! It’s a revolution!

In terms of being environmentally friendly as well, electric longboards are extremely crucial in the development of healthy, powered vehicles and modes of transportations. A few years ago, there was the phase of small powered vehicles that was the gasoline-powered piston bike. It’s extremely gas-guzzling and loud, it smells like gasoline, and definitely not the most stylish thing ever. I’m pretty sure it’s illegal on most boardwalks as well. An electric longboard on the otherhand has no emissions and all it requires is some charging at home and work.

This is going out on a stretch a bit, but I would also say that electric longboarding is quite alright for how efficiently cities run. Since electric longboards are so fast many times, they are well-equipped to use the road bike lanes that many cities have in downtown. This removes clutter from the sidewalks and I would argue that it ends in a less-cluttered, faster-moving city grid. Speaking of grid, it removes cars from the road as well! People used to take their cars even out to the post-office, but nowadays people are starting to realize that with all the clutter of gridlock and traffic jams in the morning, in many cases it is actually much faster to bike or longboard to your destination. I personally longboard to school every morning because it’s much faster than taking the bus that is packed with more than 30 kids at a time, anyway. It’s a pretty sustainable, healthy mode of transportation, which I am proud to say I indulge in every single morning.

Another pretty large opinion I have is the riders. Yes, we at my city’s local longboarding scene have seen electric longboarders in our midst at times, and we don’t mind them at all! They just want to cruise and get around to where we get around, watch us skate and have some pretty down-to-earth conversations with us.

There was this thing one time that an electric longboarder decided to pull us up some hills after our runs and it was one of the friendliest gestures we’ve ever seen from another skater; and that’s exactly what electric longboarders are, just skaters with really cool longboards!

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So, in the end, electric longboarding can be super cool, as long as you are. Pick up an electric longboard today at Magneto and start riding around!

The Magneto Electric Skateboard has a strong motor 1200W in fact that will carry you up hills and all the way to work. Because of the quick charging, it’ll be more than convenient to charge up while you are at places, and as always longboards are great to carry around and bring into buildings, so the electric longboard makes, in my opinion, one of the most versatile land vehicles ever. Powered land vehicles.

I’ll leave you with a video made by the Magneto team 

SKATE OR PIE? Ryan L, Longboarder.