A longboard generally can be as short or as long as the rider desires; the most popular range is about 36 to 60 inches. As well as being usually longer than a standard skateboard, longboards may also be equipped with larger, softer wheels which afford a smoother ride. However, there are many different uses for longboards, as shown below. Since longboards use softer bushings than a typical tech skateboard, carving is generally easier. Some trucks use springs instead of bushings, such as Seismic trucks or Original trucks. Original trucks also feature a wave-cam mechanism to control the lean and turn of the truck. The truck can usually be slightly wider than the board but this is not always the case. Transportation
The most basic use of a longboard is travel. Commuter designs take many different shapes, including long, wide cruisers as well as shorter hybrid type boards. Their trucks are designed to be loose to allow for sharper turns. It is useful to have a kicktail on a commuting longboard in order to corner on sidewalks and to lift the front of the board when riding off curbs. Also, one may prefer a shorter board, around 24"-35" for commuting, as well as medium sized wheels (65mm-75mm) which help commuters maneuver bumps, cracks and other minor surface obstacles.
Example of longboarding
Slaloming is the act of weaving in and out of a line of obstacles. Riders often compete for the best time but pedestrian slalom (usually referred to as civilian slalom because of the alliteration) is a non-competitive form of this discipline in which riders simply swerve around whatever obstacles they find in their path while navigating from point A to B. Slalomers usually have very soft and grippy wheels in the back to grip through the turns, and slightly harder wheels in the front to reduce rolling resistance and reach higher speeds. Slalom riders propel themselves by carving and gyrating their bodies, a technique known as pumping. Freeride Decks
Freeride decks are used in the style of free-riding in which the rider practices sliding on softer durometer wheels (usually 78a-90a) and other tricks such as early grabs (where one grips the side of the board while on the ground and thrusts upward to become airborne) at medium to high speeds. These decks are typically in between 37-44 inches long and in between 8.5-10.5 inches wide. Most freeride decks utilize similar constructions to downhill boards. Refer to speedboarding to see such construction techniques. Speedboards
Downhill longboards, or speedboards, are used for riding down hills as fast as possible, and keeping the board under control. These boards are usually 95–110 cm (35 – 44 inches) long featuring wheel bases from 28-35 inches and very stiff to improve stability. It is also very common to use these boards for free-riding. The trucks are often at the far ends of the board to maximize the wheelbase, but sometimes closer together to allow for easier maneuvering on more technical roads. A longer distance between the front and rear wheels, known as the wheelbase, will increase stability, while a shorter wheelbase will decrease the board's turning radius. In order to lower the center of gravity, downhill longboards sometimes feature a lowered platform. The deck may be mounted below the baseplate of the trucks (drop-through configuration), by the shape of the deck itself (dropped-deck) or both (double-drop). These styles of boards were first produced commercially by Jody Willcock...