Longboards for Heavy Riders: Can They Handle the Extra Weight? (Find Out Now)

Are longboards suitable for heavier skaters? Get the lowdown on the best boards and setups.

Ever caught in the crossfire of a skateboard vs longboard debate? It’s a battleground where every rider fiercely defends their turf. But hey, getting the fundamentals right – like selecting the best skateboard decks for street skating or the snazziest sneakers to skate in – is pivotal.

Today, we’ll tackle the question: Are longboards good for heavy riders? Let’s break down what you need to know to ride with confidence.

Key takeaways

  • Hard maple decks with 8 plys or more are ideal for heavy riders.
  • Quality trucks and harder bushings are worth the investment.
  • Opt for wheels with a higher durometer for durability and control.
  • Enhance the board’s durability by using backing plates for extra support.

Can heavy riders find their match in longboards?

When it comes to choosing the right ride, heavyset skaters usually wonder if they can find solace in the realm of longboards. This list isn’t about shaming that extra stoke you’re carrying; it’s about embracing it and finding the perfect board to carve the streets. Whether you’re a chilled cruiser or an aspiring downhill demon, there’s a sturdy deck out there that won’t buckle under pressure.

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So, let’s dispense with the fluff and dive into the meaty part: a hefty list specially tailored for heavy riders looking for their longboard soulmate.

1. Deck construction matters

A deck that’s robust enough to handle more weight is essential for heavy riders. Staying clear of flimsy materials is crucial; you’ll want to gravitate towards hard maple over bamboo, given its superior strength. A high ply count is non-negotiable; think 8 plies or more for that sweet spot of durability without compromising too much on agility.

It ensures you get a board that can take a beating without taking a bow.

Deck flex is also important. Too stiff and you might as well be riding a plank, too much flex and you’re flirting with a snap. Aim for a slight flex for a forgiving yet responsive ride.

Standing in the sweet spot of your board and feeling how it bends under your weight is the best litmus test for this. A good deck helps your heavy rider’s quest, but don’t forget about the foundational pieces beneath. Check out our reviews of the best skateboard decks for street skating for more detailed insights.

2. Choose trucks built like tanks

Skaters with a bit more meat on their bones need trucks that don’t bend or break under pressure. You want something cast from the same stoic mold as Paris or Caliber trucks; brands revered for their durability. When you’re over the 230-pound mark, quality trucks will make sure you’re carving, not careening.

Supplemental image for a blog post called 'longboards for heavy riders: can they handle the extra weight? (find out now)'.
Supplemental image for a blog post called ‘longboards for heavy riders: can they handle the extra weight? (find out now)’.

Bushings make a considerable difference too. Forget the standard squish and opt for bushings on the harder side of the durometer scale, like 90A – 95A double barrels. This upgrade ensures your turns are smooth and the board’s responsiveness is just right.

Check out my top picks for the best beginner skateboard trucks to get started.

3. The right wheels roll the distance

You probably think more about where the rubber meets the road than the average shredder, and for good reason. Heavy riders should target high-quality urethane wheels with a harder durometer. The aim is a ride that’s both cushy and controlled.

Big-name brands like Sector 9 Butterball or Orangatang hit the mark with wheels designed for heft. They keep you rolling over rough patches without issue. And if your ride includes cruising and commuting, the sweet durometer spot is typically 80A for those under 250 lbs, and 90A if you’re tipping the scales a bit more.

Discover more about wheel selection in our section on the best skateboarding wheels.

Supplemental image for a blog post called 'longboards for heavy riders: can they handle the extra weight? (find out now)'.
Supplemental image for a blog post called ‘longboards for heavy riders: can they handle the extra weight? (find out now)’.

4. Don’t skip the backing plates

Backing plates are like the unsung heroes for the longboard underdog. Solid ones like RipTide back your board up with that much-needed support. They may seem small, but they play a big role by evenly dispersing the load across a wider area, saving your deck from pressure points that could lead to cracking.

For heavier skaters, focusing on detail like this can be the difference between a nice day out and a sidewalk catastrophe. It’s not about scaring you off; it’s about preaching the good word of maintenance and reinforcement. Throw in a quality skate tool from our guide, and you’re golden.

5. Boards that go the distance

“A good longboard deck helps your heavy rider’s quest, but don’t forget about the foundational pieces beneath. Opt for bushings on the harder side of the durometer scale, like 90A – 95A double barrels. This upgrade ensures your turns are smooth and the board’s responsiveness is just right.”

Speaking of endurance, heavyweight champs should set their sights on boards known for their incredible stamina – we’re talking about the likes of the Landyachtz Evo or Bustin Sportster. These boards offer the high ply count and solid construction that give you the longevity your skating sessions demand.

A sturdy board not only boosts your confidence but allows you to shred without the lingering fear of a mid-ride breakup. You’ll want a deck that’s praised in the streets, much like the Evo or Sportster, both notorious for being up to the task when it comes to supporting more substantial riders. For a comprehensive breakdown of boards that won’t let you down, peek at our collection of best cruiser skateboards.

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My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

Longboards for heavy riders: can they handle the extra weight? (find out now) | 61vn95mf7ql. Ac sl1184 | skateboard salad
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

I had my board stolen a few years ago and was forced to quickly replace it with a complete. I got one with an Enjoi deck and loved it so much that I still buy the Whitey Panda deck each time I need a new deck. This complete with budget-friendly, beginner-friendly parts, but I still swear by it.

More longboarding tips

Hitting the pavement on a longboard is not only about the setup; it’s also about how you ride. Heavy riders have to keep a unique set of considerations in mind. These tips aren’t just about getting you moving; they’re about keeping you cruising safely and effectively.

  • Start with mellow cruising and gradually work your way up to more advanced riding styles.
  • Stick to areas with smooth pavement to reduce strain on both you and your board.
  • Gradually build your confidence with small hills before attempting steeper grades.
  • Consistently practice proper foot positioning for better balance and control.
  • Always inspect your board before and after rides for any signs of stress or damage.

Longboarding is a thrill, but every great ride is backed by care and precaution. Here are some more dos and don’ts to skate by:

DoDon’t
Always wear protective gear, like helmets and pads.Ignore any discomfort or pain while riding.
Opt for quality skate shoes for better grip and board feel.Skimp on board maintenance or delay replacing worn out parts.
Use slide gloves for added safety if experimenting with downhill or freeride.Overload your board beyond its weight capacity.
Keep hydrated and take breaks during longer sessions.Rush the learning process — patience is key.
Learn proper falling techniques to minimize injury risk.Neglect local laws and regulations regarding skateboarding.

Essentials to reduce the chance of injury and enhance your longboarding experience.

Advantages and disadvantages of longboarding for heavy riders

Choosing a longboard as your go-to ride has perks, but it’s not without its trade-offs, especially for heavy riders. Let’s weigh the pros and cons to give you a clearer picture of what to expect when you step on that board.

Advantages

  • Improved stability and balance due to the longer deck and wider wheelbase.
  • Highly suited for commuting and cruising over long distances, saving on fuel costs and reducing your carbon footprint.
  • Low-impact exercise which can be beneficial for joints compared to high-impact activities.
  • Therapeutic – many find the rhythmic motion of pushing and carving to be mentally calming.
  • A supportive and friendly community that usually embraces riders of all shapes and sizes.

Disadvantages

  • Limited tricks when compared to traditional skateboards, due to size and weight.
  • Transport and storage issues because longboards are bulkier than skateboards.
  • Weight limits usually mean a narrower selection of suitable boards for heavy riders.
  • Learning curve can be steep if transitioning from skateboarding or starting fresh.
  • Higher upfront cost for quality longboards designed to hold more weight.

Opinion

As a street skater with only a toe dipped into the world of longboarding, I’ve seen how the right board can provide a stellar ride, no matter the rider’s size. It’s my opinion that while longboards might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially for those who favor the nimbleness of street boards, they certainly offer a welcoming deck for riders who are on the heavier side. With a sturdy, wide deck and the kind of wheels that laugh in the face of rough patches, longboarding opens a door to a world where the joy of skating isn’t just reserved for the featherweights.

If you’re in the market for some robust trucks to go with that new longboard, take a gander at our recommendations for the best skateboard bearings.

It’s just my take, but I believe there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ in skateboarding or longboarding. Every rider has a unique balance, style, and preference. That’s why I reckon taking the time to research and invest in a high-quality setup that aligns with your individual needs is not just smart; it’s essential for enjoying the ride to the fullest.

And hey, if you’re heavy and you love to ride, more power to you – the skate park is big enough for all.

If you are a visual learner, check out this video titled ‘Best Longboards for Heavy Riders: A Comprehensive Guide In 2023!’

A video titled “Best Longboards for Heavy Riders: A Comprehensive Guide In 2023!” from the “Longboard Reviewd” YouTube channel.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

How can heavy riders enhance board longevity?

Maintaining your longboard is paramount. Regularly check the deck for stress, replace bushings as they wear down, and keep bearings clean for a smooth ride. Reinforce your setup with sturdy trucks and durable wheels, and don’t forget to throw in backing plates for even load distribution.

What is the best longboard size for a heavy rider?

There’s no one-size-fits-all, but generally, a longer and wider board will provide better stability and support. Look for longboards around 38 to 42 inches in length with a width that comfortably fits your stance. Matching the size to your height and weight will create a more balanced and stable ride.

How important is wheel size and hardness for heavy riders?

Wheel size and hardness play a vital role in supporting extra weight. Larger wheels, about 65-75mm, help with stability and roll over obstacles easier. Harder wheels, around 80A to 90A durometer, sustain weight better and offer more durability.

Choose based on your riding style and weight for the best experience.

Final thoughts

After whittling down the vast world of longboards, it’s clear that there’s ample hope for the heavy riders itching to carve the concrete waves. Longboarding isn’t exclusive to any body type; it’s about finding that sweet ride that resonates with your rhythm. Remember, the right deck, trucks, and wheels are the trifecta of a heavyweight’s perfect board.

Get these dialed in, and you’re set for many smooth miles. The wind in your hair, a sturdy board underfoot—there’s nothing quite like the freedom of riding without borders or bias.

How has your longboarding journey been as a heavy rider? Did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section belowI read and reply to every comment. If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on choosing the right longboard. Thanks for reading and stay stoked on your skating journey!

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

Nick eggert.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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