When you start longboarding, you’re most likely going to buy a longboard without having done too much research. Which is okay, your first longboard shouldn’t be an academic choice, but a choice of aesthetics and a matter of choosing something that will absolutely make you fall in love with the sport itself. In fact, for the first few weeks to a month or so of your learning curve, you won’t be able to tell the difference between good gear and mediocre gear in the first place. But here is a discussion on the mentality behind loading up on good gear and its part in the longboard life.
So, as it turns out and should be quite obvious, gear is a huge part of the longboard scene and it’s not as if you can get all your walmart longboards and gear under one roof! It’s far better the get quality Almost everyone has a different setup, different decks, different wheels and different trucks. You could almost say that more than your face, your setup and board gives you as a person more of a name in the community. More than being, “Ryan, that guy who does good slides”, you would be “Hey, the guy with the bamboo deck and red helmet that does massive slides”. So yes, it is true that good gear and flashy gear will most likely increase the amount of attention you get in the community.
It is important that you understand that a bad, cocky rider on a pristine setup is worse than a good, hard-working rider on a bad setup. Moreover, there’s the whole reputation side of it.
I remember about a month ago, I was at my local hill. While skating, we spot a guy who we’ve never seen before, he’s maybe 13 years old with this absolutely beautiful setup. Precision trucks, 300 dollar board, rain-grooved wheels, a setup better than most of ours there. So we think, hey, this guy might be from another city, here to skate for the first time, let’s watch him, curious as to how well that setup would perform.
The result? He didn’t. He ended up falling at the first turn, as he went full speed down the hill, thinking his gear would support him. Truth was, his parents were there, and he was a guy from a super-rich household, and his parents gave him a dream setup that they got off of a website. Just got the most expensive parts they could find.
In contrast, a few years back I saw a pro at a race do a course on an extremely flexy dancer deck, and while hilarious, it was quite eye-opening to see that you really don’t need an extremely good setup to get good at longboarding. Sure, it helps, but you don’t need much.
So the lesson is: stop ogling at beautiful parts and go skate!
WEAR A HELMET. Ryan L. Longboarder.