Longboarding is different from skateboarding in almost every way; there are generally no ollies, flip tricks, or ramps involved, and the boards themselves are entirely different. Downhill longboarding is another beast altogether. While longboards are, in general, typically used for cruising and transportation, many longboarders soon crave more speed, and steep, long hills inevitably become the main point of focus.
Of course, if you are cruising down steep hills at insane speeds, you’ll want to be 100% comfortable on the board beneath your feet. These boards need to not only be capable of high speed but should handle turns with ease and be able to withstand the punishment of downhill longboarding, from the wheels to the deck. If you are looking for a longboard to begin your new high-speed hobby, you’ve come to the right place!
There are tons of different longboards on the market and choosing the right one for your needs can become confusing. In this article, we’ve put together a list of in-depth reviews of the best downhill longboards we could find, so you can spend less time researching and more time skateboarding. Let’s get started!
Why buy a downhill longboard?
Speed: If you are looking to bomb hills at high speeds, a specially designed longboard is the safest option. These boards are made specially to handle high speeds, with the shape, wheels, and trucks all designed to go as fast as possible.
Stability: The lower center of gravity, flexible deck, large wheels, and reverse-kingpin trucks on longboards all offer far more stability than a cruiser or traditional skateboard. This of course makes them safer when flying downhills, but also makes them a great option to learn on.
Versatility: Longboards are not only great for downhill, but they make ideal cruisers and boards to learn on too. These boards are capable of making tight turns and carving, making them ideal for transportation and general cruising, as well as high-speed skating.
What to look for before buying a downhill longboard
When buying a longboard built for the speed, the main consideration is the deck, as this is what your feet are in contact with. The key is stiffness; a stiff deck means less movement which equates to more stability, whereas a flexible deck means more movement and makes for an unstable ride.
Decks usually vary widely in width but are typically 37-43 inches in length. In general, a shorter deck will give you higher speeds but less control, and a longer deck will have more control but slower speed capability. This is a generalization though, as the trucks, wheels, and bearings of your board also make a massive difference to your speed capabilities.
For downhill longboarding, stability is everything, and the trucks that offer unmatched stability are the reverse kingpin designs. These trucks are made to be stable at high speeds and are far more suited to carving and turning than standard truck design.
For downhill longboarding, we recommend going one step further and buying a set that is adjustable. This can help you fine-tune your longboard’s performance by adjusting the truck’s angle.
Again, in downhill longboarding stability is key, and the best wheels for both speed and stability are large and soft. Large wheels give you more contact with the ground and thus more stability and traction, and soft wheels increase your grip and speed when screaming downhills.
Best Downhill Longboards — Reviews 2021
1. Atom Drop Through Downhill – Best overall
With a 39-inch, 9-ply maple deck, this drop-through downhill longboard from Atom — a Colorado-based company established in 2005 — is our favorite pick overall. The drop-through design gives you ultimate stability, as with less force on the wheels due to your feet not being over the trucks, you can slide with ease.
The deck is covered with 80S silicon carbide grip tape for potent traction, plus the deck is lower to the ground will give you far more stability. The setup also features stable 35-degree base trucks, 62mm, 78a wheels, and comes in four different graphic options.
Our only complaint with this setup is the bushings — they are extremely soft and it’s difficult to get your trucks as tight as you’d like for high speeds.
- 9-ply drop through maple deck
- 35-degree aluminum trucks
- 62mm, 78a wheels
- 80S silicon carbide grip tape
- Four different graphic options
- The included bushings are disappointing
2. Yocaher Bird Series – Most Versatile
If you are looking for a longboard that is capable of high speeds but you’d still like the versatility of having a tail kick too, the Yocaher complete longboard is a great option. It features a 10-inch wide, 33-inch long deck made from 7-ply maple, with a medium concave and low-flex for added stability.
The deck comes equipped with black aluminum alloy trucks fitted with 90A bushings, ABEC-7 chrome bearings, and 62mm, 78a wheels. For a hybrid downhill ride, this is our favorite pick!
While this board is ideal for hybrid riders, but for true speed enthusiasts, both the shape and size may be a bit lacking, as it is not a true downhill longboard.
- 10-inch wide, 33-inch long deck
- 7-ply maple deck with mellow concave
- Black aluminum alloy trucks fitted with 90A bushings
- Abec-7 chrome bearings
- 62mm, 78a “Q-Ball” wheels
- Not a true downhill board
- Smaller-sized wheels are not ideal for high speeds
3. Santa Cruz Downhill – Best for Beginners
Santa Cruz has been making some of the best skateboard gear for decades, and this “screaming hand” graphic longboard is no different. The deck is 40-inches long with a drop-through design for added stability and is made from 7-ply maple.
It also features reverse kingpin black aluminum trucks which offer great stability at high speeds, 70mm “road rider” wheels, and the classic “screaming hand” logo that is a staple of the Santa Cruz brand. If you are looking for a high-quality and long-lasting board ideal for beginners, this full setup from Sant Cruz is a great option.
This board is difficult to fault, but the shape does have some sharp edges near the front which could potentially cause injury, and it is fairly expensive for a beginner board.
- 40-inch long, drop-through design deck
- Maple construction
- Reverse kingpin black aluminum trucks
- 70mm “road rider” wheels
- Classic “screaming hand” logo
- Sharp edges near the trucks
4. Seething Pintail Cruiser – Best Value
If you are looking at getting into downhill longboarding but are on a budget, the Seething Pintail Cruiser is a great point of entry. It features a 42-inch, 10-inch wide 9-ply Canadian maple deck with a classic pintail shape, equipped with 7-inch aluminum alloy reverse-kingpin trucks.
The wheels are 70mm, 80a high-rebound polyurethane equipped with high-speed ABEC-11 bearings. Plus, this longboard comes with a free skateboard tool for quick adjustments on the go!
Of course, with a low price comes low-quality components, and you may find yourself needing to replace the bearings and bushings fairly soon after purchasing.
- 42-inch, 10-inch wide deck
- Canadian maple construction pintail shape
- 7-inch aluminum alloy reverse-kingpin trucks
- 70mm, 80a high-rebound polyurethane wheels
- High-speed ABEC-11 bearings
- Free skateboard tool included
- Poor quality components
5. Minority Drop-Deck – Best for Beginners
Minority makes some great skateboards and longboards, and their full setups are arguably some of the best options for beginners. Their Downhill Drop-Deck longboard is no different and is our top recommendation for a beginner ride.
The deck is 40-inches long with a drop-down design that gives great stability for beginners to learn on and is made from high-quality, 8-ply hard rock maple. This is topped off by 7-inch reverse kingpin trucks that are fully adjustable between 50 and 45-degrees, and 70mm, 78a wheels fitted with ABEC-9 precision bearings.
The board also comes in a variety of different graphic designs, and for beginners, this is a setup that is sure to last you for years to come!
Some skaters report that the deck has a lot of flex, which could be unstable at high speeds.
- 40-inch, drop-down design deck
- 8-ply hard rock maple construction
- Fully adjustable, 7-inch reverse kingpin trucks
- 70mm, 78a wheels
- Abec-9 bearings
- Deck has a fair bit of flex
6. Magneto Bamboo Longboard – Most Durable
Bamboo is swiftly becoming a staple part of longboard construction due to its strength and flexibility. This Bamboo Longboard from Magneto continues the trend, with a tough, durable, all-bamboo constructed deck.
The drop-through design makes it super stable at high speeds and is fitted with 7-inch aluminum reverse-kingpin trucks with SHR medium stiffness bushings. The deck is 38-inches long and 9-inches wide and includes a fiberglass layer on top for even more durability.
The included wheels are 70mm and have a durometer of 78a but unfortunately are of poor quality with several users reporting them breaking up after a few rides.
- Bamboo and fiberglass deck construction
- Drop through design
- 7-inch aluminum reverse-kingpin trucks
- 38-inch long and 9-inch wide deck
- 70mm, 78a wheels
- Poor quality wheels
7. Landyachtz Evo – Best for Speed
If you are looking for a high-speed longboarding experience, look no further than the Landyachtz Evo Downhill Longboard. This high-speed machine features a 40-inch long, 10-inch wide drop-down deck, Bear Grizzly Black 180mm reverse kingpin trucks, and White Hawgs 76mm, 80a wheels fitted with Space Balls Abec-7 bearings.
The unique design of wedged tail and de-wedged nose gives this board superior stability at high speeds, making for a fast, yet highly stable ride. If you are looking for speed, this board will most certainly give it to you!
This board is made for professionals, and so is not ideal for beginners, plus the wedged design may take some getting used to. The board is also far more expensive than the others on this list.
- 40-inch long, 10-inch wide drop-down deck
- Bear Grizzly Black 180mm reverse kingpin trucks
- White Hawgs 76mm, 80a wheels
- Space Balls Abec-7 bearings
- Wedged tail and de-wedged nose
- Not ideal for beginners
8. Quest Spaced Longboard – Honorable Mention
We couldn’t review downhill longboards without mentioning the Spaced Longboard from Quest. Quest makes some great, budget-friendly longboards, and offers some of the best value-for-money products on the market.
The longboard features a 36-inch, 7-ply, super-flex hard rock maple deck with a pintail shape and design. It comes equipped with 7-inch aluminum reverse kingpin trucks that are outfitted with 70mm wheels and ABEC-7 bearings.
Our only complaint with this longboard is the slightly shorter length which may not be ideal for experienced users, and the low-quality wheels, bearings, and bushings that are difficult to tighten adequately.
- Great for beginners
- 7-ply, super-flex hard rock maple deck
- 36-inch pintail design
- 7-inch aluminum reverse kingpin trucks
- 70mm wheels and ABEC-7 bearings
- Not ideal for experienced riders
- Low-quality bushings, wheels, and bearings
Frequently asked questions
Answer: If you take all the necessary precautions, practice enough, and don’t bite off more than you can chew in terms of speed, downhill longboarding is not an inherently dangerous sport. In essence, this means that downhill longboarding is as dangerous as you make it. Speeding down hills without the proper experience, on a less than capable longboard in an area with loads of traffic is a risky undertaking. However, getting loads of practice on smaller hills and gradually moving toward steeper hills, wearing proper protective gear like pads and helmets, and using a stable, high-quality, purposely made longboard, makes for a much safer ride.
Answer: The answer to this question depends largely on your riding style, your longboard, your weight, and the slope you’re riding. Longboarders can easily reach speeds of 5-10 mph without breaking a sweat, as longboards are designed to move fast without much effort, unlike skateboards. That being said, downhill longboarders willing to push boundaries typically reach speeds of 50-60 mph, with record-holders reaching speeds upwards of 90 mph!
Answer: Once you are comfortable riding your board and you can stand, turn, get some speed, and push with relative ease, the most important first step is learning to stop correctly. The most common method is using your foot as a brake, but this will wear your shoes out in no time! Begin practicing foot and heel braking, but the best method is power sliding. This involves sharply turning your board so that your wheels slide along the ground and slow you down. It takes some practice at first can feel strange, but it is essential for learning to stop at high speeds.
When flying down hills at high speeds, you want to have full confidence in your longboard. From a comfortable, stable deck, to fast, smooth bearings, stable and adjustable trucks, and of course, large, fast wheels, all of these components work together to give you a safe and comfortable ride.
Our favorite downhill choice is the 39-inch, drop-through Atom longboard. The drop-through design gives you stability, the deck is covered with 80S silicon carbide grip tape for great traction, and the setup comes with 62mm, 78a wheels, all of which are of great quality. This is an ideal setup for both experienced and beginner riders alike.
For experienced riders looking for a bit more speed, the Landyachtz Evo is our top choice. With a 40-inch long, 10-inch wide drop-down deck, Bear Grizzly Black 180mm reverse kingpin trucks, and White Hawgs 76mm, 80a wheels fitted with Space Balls Abec-7 bearings, this longboard is built for speed!
With the sport of downhill longboarding rapidly growing, there are a ton of different longboards on the market today, with widely varying degrees of quality, and it can quickly become confusing. Hopefully, our in-depth reviews have helped you narrow down the options so you can find the best downhill longboard to suit your unique needs.