Every sport requires some vital equipment. You can’t be considered an athlete without the appropriate sporting gear.
Discussions among teens have often sparked up debates on longboarding. A few have gone on to ask: ‘what is a longboard?’
Well, a longboard represents the centerpiece of longboarding as a sport. It has a close resemblance to a skateboard but it’s usually a bit longer.
History of Longboarding
Many regard longboarding as a sport created out of boredom. And this might be a worthwhile argument considering the history of the sport.
Well, the oceans are not always turbulent and surfers dread such a period. According to Wikipedia, the origin of longboarding can be traced to the 1950s when surfers in the beautiful state of Hawaii wanted to continue to enjoy their hobby outside the sea.
Until the 90s, it wasn’t all rosy for the sport. A few companies went into the production of longboards and while this helped the sport, its popularity remained quite low.
Things changed with the digital age – a period when information dissemination became faster than it had ever been. Participants grew their fan base, more people were interested in longboarding, and the sport discovered its spark.
Structure of a Longboard
This sports equipment is built on the same principle as a skateboard. Below are the different parts which make up the longboard:
- Nuts and bolts
- Grip tape
This part of the longboard is like the driver’s seat in a car. It provides you with comfort while helping you control the longboard.
With a myriad of shapes to choose from, this is the part of a longboard with the highest number of possible optimization options. You can also improve your longboard by making changes to the configuration between the deck and the truck.
Whatever material used in making the deck could decide how long it lasts and the level of support it can provide you with.
You should go for decks made using materials with a decent track record.
Bamboo decks, for instance, are better shock absorbers. They might not have the strength of birch and maple, but they can keep you from gritting your teeth from the effects of the bumps on the road.
This is the largest part of a longboard. It has a shape similar to the letter ‘T’. You would find two trucks affixed to the undersurface of a deck.
While its primary function is to anchor the wheels on the side of the deck, it has other secondary functions. One of such is its effect on the turning radius of a longboard.
A truck has several parts:
– The Axle is the part of a truck which makes contact with the wheel. It has the appearance of a pin, but a much more elongated one.
To work effectively, this segment of the truck is held in place by the hanger (another part of the truck).
– Much of the size of the truck of a longboard is contributed by the Hanger. Shaped like an inverted triangle, this metallic piece supports the axle of the truck.
– The Bushings are rubber rings made from polyurethane which ensures the kingpin doesn’t come off its position.
– The Kingpins are the bolts of the truck. They ensure all the component parts of the truck are held firmly in place.
The arrangement between the deck and truck is only feasible due to the two available kingpin orientations.
A standard kingpin once secured in place faces the other on the undersurface of the deck.
The reversed kingpin sees the mounted large bolts in a different orientation.
Both configurations of the kingpin will keep the axle in position to make contact with the wheels. But longboards with reverse kingpin orientation are known to turn better than their standard counterpart.
– While the kingpin holds all the parts of the truck together, smaller bolts ensure they are affixed to the undersurface of the deck.
Your mobility on a longboard is impossible without wheels. They are just as important as tires are to a car.
Typically, the wheels of a longboard are made of polyurethane fiber. Besides motion, they could affect the turning of the longboard.
The hardness of the wheels measured by its durometer is pivotal to the role played by this part of the longboard in turning.
Differences between the Longboarding and a Skateboarding
The similarities on both sets of sports gears are outstanding. From the deck to the wheels, both have just about the same type of components.
Regardless of the similarities, both sports have differences.
Many have asked this one question: what are longboards used for? This might sound awkward to a pro, but the answer to this question provides some insight into the differences that exist between longboarding and skateboarding.
Longboards can be used on sloppy flat surfaces. The structure of this sporting gear is one which makes it incompatible with ramps and pipes – the area used for most extreme sports activities like skateboarding and snowboarding.
Skateboarding is all about tricks. Everyone wants to impress through the skills they have up their sleeves.
Ever felt goosebumps when doing something you love? That’s the buzz most participants of skateboarding yearn for.
This isn’t so different for longboarding.
You are thrilled when gliding down a hilly surface on a longboard. Having the air touch your face while laughing and screaming is enough reward for the risk involved.
This is another area where the difference between these two sporting events –longboarding and skateboarding can be observed.
Longboards are usually quite long. According to Wikipedia, the length of a typical longboard ranges from 33 inches – 59 inches. This is much bigger than any skateboard.
You might be wondering ‘why are they so big?’ Remember that longboarding was created to serve the interest of surfers.
This led to the longboard having dimensions similar to that of a surfboard. Your movements on land are similar to that of a surfer riding a wave on the sea.