10 Best Longboards Under $100 in 2020 – A Starters Guide
The best cheap longboards for most new skaters are the ones that allow for the most varied styles of riding. They may be drop downs, drop throughs or simple cruisers, but they must be useful. If not, they will sit in the corner of a room collecting dust until they are finally, mercifully, thrown out.
1.Quest Super Cruiser – Longer board. Better for cruising around, decent parts at the price point. (View on Amazon.com)
2. Atom Drop-through – Good entry level longboard complete. Will be stable and roll great. (View on Amazon.com)
3. SCSK8 blank pintail – Surf inspired pintail shape, due to no graphics, less expensive (View on Amazon.com)
4. Krown Rasta – Very versatile and maneuverable board. Good entry-level board for a kid. (View on Amazon.com)
5. Volador 42inch freeride – Stylish, cruising longboard. Will work great for a girl or if the only thing you want to do is ride around. (View on Amazon.com)
The longboards in this review may not be the best of their breed on the market, but they all have one redeeming quality: low cost. Some riders wouldn’t dream of touching these boards.
But, when reality sets in, and parents are no longer footing the bill, having a longboard (even a cheap one) beats not having a longboard — hands down. So, here is our list of the best longboards available for less than a Benjamin.
Top 10 Inexpensive Longboard Reviews
1. Quest Super Cruiser
Quest’s Super Cruiser is one of the most popular beginner’s longboards. New riders tend to gravitate to the Super Cruiser’s pintail shape, and its ease of use makes for positive reviews all across the web. Being a cruiser, its mission in life is shuttle its rider from place to place in leisure, with the ability to carve as an added benefit.
The Super Cruiser lives up to the leisurely part admirably. It is seven plies, mostly maple with a bamboo layer, but is flat and is by no means flexible. Its large size (44 inches) provides a stable platform that new riders appreciate. Its stiffness keeps it from digging into carves, though, and its long wheelbase makes the Super Cruiser reluctant to turn. Again, this is reassuring to some new riders, as quick-steering longboards require more skill to ride.
The Super Cruiser comes complete with Quest urethane wheels (70mm, 80A) and aluminum, reverse-kingpin trucks. The ABEC-7 bearings are a weak link — serviceable but never fast — and an upgrade is a given.
What’s NOT so Good?
When people who don’t skate think of longboards, they probably picture the Quest Super Cruiser. It is aptly named, long-lived and one of the better options in affordable, beginner-friendly longboards.
2. Yocaher Professional Speed Drop Down
With the Rasta drop down, Yocaher sets it sights squarely on the high-speed, downhill market. Typically dominated by experienced riders, downhill is a high-stakes game where speed is king. Drop downs use a downward curve in the board to set the riding surface closer to the ground and give the rider more stability. They are typically stiff, and have no need for tight turns.
The deck on the Yocaher Rasta is 9-ply maple and is 41.25 inches long and 9 inches wide with a 33-inch wheelbase. The Yocaher trucks are aluminum, have 9.5-inch hangers and have reversible kingpins. he wheels are Yocaher Q-Balls (70mm, 78A). The ABEC-7 bearings
What’s NOT so Good?
For its intended purpose, the Professional Speed’s deck is just right. Its stiff, with a fair amount of concave, and provides a steady surface. The trucks resist wobbling, thanks to the reverse kingpin, but the cheap bearings can’t handle the speeds that downhill riders will throw at them. Its wheels are a little better than okay, but for the price they are as good as can be expected. After a bearing upgrade, the Yocaher will fly. If you’re into speed, or think you may get there, the Professional Speed drop down deserves a look.
3. Atom Drop Through
This Atom longboard features the drop-through truck mounting system freeride skaters prefer. In freeride, downhill speed and self-expression converge. Riders go hands down on slides at speed and drift around curves, pushing their boards to the absolute limit.
Atom’s drop-through longboards vary from 36 to 41 inches (like this green one). The green, 41-inch Atom comes with reverse-kingpin aluminum trucks. Some variants include Navigator Drone trucks, which are a considerable improvement for the same price. The Atom trucks are very wide (245mm), and consequently don’t turn well. The Atom Area 51 (51mm contact patch) wheels are the right height (70mm) and a decent hardness (78A) for the Atom’s intended purpose. Like the trucks, the bearings vary from model to model, and can be ABEC-5, ABEC-7 or ABEC-9.
What’s NOT so Good?
Some of the common complaints about the Atom include substandard hardware (truck bolts) that won’t stay tight and bearings that are too slow. Both components are easy enough to upgrade, though, and once that’s done the Atom performs excellently. The 41-inch Atoms are great at freeride style, but may be a bit long for use as commuters. The smaller ones are better for getting around, but may lose some stability at higher speeds. Come prepared to compromise, though, and there’s an Atom to please most riders.
4. SCSK8 Professional Speed Drop Down
The SCSK8 Professional Speed Drop Down is made with one thing in mind: speed. It’s low profile gets you as close to the ground for as much stability as its competitors, but it is comparatively more affordable. Downhill speedsters prefer the drop-down design because it lowers the rider’s center of gravity. They provide better control at higher speeds and can be used for sliding.
This SCSK8 model is 7-ply maple and is 9 inches wide. There are three choices in deck length (36, 40 and 41.25 inches). It comes with 70mm wheels and 7-inch-wide aluminum trucks. The SCSK8 Red series bearings are rated ABEC-9.
What’s NOT so Good?
If the longer drop-down longboards have a downfall, it’s that they are good at what they do, but not much else. The resistance to turning that attracts the downhill, speed-demon crew is now well suited to commuting or cruising. For more around-town purposes, the 36-inch SCSK8 is the better option. With the proper upgrades, this board can be a decent freeride longboard, and it is more user-friendly as a cruiser or a commuter, especially in tighter spaces.
5. SCSK8 Natural Blank Pintail
The pintail is the original longboard shape, and is meant for chill, relaxed cruising, accented with occasional carving. Inspired by surfboards, the pintail is perfect for anyone looking for a board for just getting around. It is simplicity come to life, and that is why the SCSK8 blank pintail makes so much sense. Considering the compromises all cheap boards must make, the SCSK8 may be the best longboard under $100 on the market.
The folks at SCSK8 started things off right. This naked pintail is 7-ply maple, and uses a top-mount system. There are generous cutaways above the wheels to stop them from biting. The trucks are reverse kingpin, aluminum and have 7-inch hangers. The wheels are 70mm and 80A, and the SCSK8 Red series Abec-9 bearings are as fast as any on this list.
What’s NOT so Good?
Even the best cheap longboards are cheap for a reason, and it’s no different here. But, what you’re giving up in graphics (some even prefer the naked look) is made up for in savings. The SCSK8 pintail is all about utility. It eschews kitschy pictures and crazy shapes in favor of simplicity. This longboard is as basic as it comes. For someone looking for simple transportation, or an affordable entryway into the sport, this board should be attractive. It has everything a beginner needs, and nothing he doesn’t.
6. Rimable Drop Through
The drop-through longboard design is all about speed, though the freeride crowd can do some amazing things with these boards. Rimable’s drop through decks have a reputation for being solid, useable boards, though the rest of the setup is meant for the beginner.
The 9-ply maple Rimable drop through is 41 inches long and 9.5 inches wide, great dimensions for freeriding. The 7-inch, aluminum hanger trucks use reverse kingpins for greater stability. The urethane wheels are 70mm and 85A, while the bearings are a claimed ABEC-11.
What’s NOT so Good?
Rimable longboards are a gateway drug: Once you get hooked, you’ll be skating for life. You just may look to other boards as you progress. These longboards are perfect for beginners, who will likely learn much as they gradually upgrade the Rimable components. Start with the bearings, though. If the Annular Bearing Engineering Committee had intended for the scale to go up to 11, they would have made it that way. As it is, the scale ends at ABEC-9, which these aren’t either.
Still, there are some deals around, and even the top cheap longboards require component upgrades. The deck alone is worth the price to play. As a downhill package, this board won’t cut it. But, as a longboard that can be made downhill ready, it has real value.
7. Ten Toes Board Emporium Zed
LA-based Ten Toes Board Emporium makes paddle boards, and the Zed is its first foray into longboards. Judging by the instant success of this extra-long cruiser, which was released in 2016, it won’t be the last. The Zed is a beginner-friendly pintail cruiser that is just right on many levels.
The Ten Toes Board Emporium Zed deck is an 8-ply, 44-inch maple and bamboo laminate. It has generous concave for a firm footing, and a slight kick to its longish tail. The bamboo gives it ample longitudinal flex, which helps in carving. The reverse-kingpin trucks are aluminum, with 7-inch hangers and 90A black bushings. It comes with 70mm urethane wheels with an 85A durometer and ABEC-7 bearings.
What’s NOT so Good?
The Zed is Ten Toes Board Emporium’s flagship. It has many of the features a beginner should be looking for, but won’t likely do much for experienced skaters. The deck will likely stick around for a while for those who purchase it, though they will likely scrap the rock-hard wheels first, then the trucks. Including concave and a bit of kick in the tail was a nice touch, and the bamboo deck is quite attractive. The Zed can be a steal, and is a promising entrance into longboarding for both company and consumer. Time will tell if Ten Toes Board Emporium is in it for the long haul or not, but it’s already made its mark with this cool cruiser.
8. Krown Rasta Freestyle Elite
Freestyle is all about flow and expression. It exists in a bubble, floating between speed-demon disciplines and cruising styles. Freestylers may get off on flip tricks, or they be more into dance. The Krown Rasta Freestyle Elite targets these anything-goes riders with a shape that lends itself to both carving and stability.
The Krown Rasta Freestyle Elite is a 36-inch, 8-ply maple laminate. It has drop-through trucks with the usual cutaways above the wheels. These cutouts allow the rider to lean steeply without fear of wheel bite on the board. The Krown aluminum trucks have 7-inch hangers and reverse kingpins, and the urethane wheels (also Krown) are 71mm tall and 78A in durometer.
What’s NOT so Good?
The Krown Rasta Freestyle Elite is an excellent option for a beginning rider. If commuting is on the agenda, this board will do the job, and cruising and carving are possible as well. As a freestyle board, though, the Rasta is spot-on. Its shape and size are perfect for the snappy turns freestylers employ, and it can trick it up with the best of them. A bearing upgrade makes this longboard a whole new animal, and its other parts are either as good or better than many longboards costing much more.
9. Volador 42-inch Freeride
At first glance, the Volador 42 Inch Freeride appears to be the perfect board for its discipline. It’s long and low, but not overly so, and it has camber as well as generous concave. Freeriders demand much of their boards, and they need responsive equipment that meets, or exceeds those demands. Kicking it heelside at 40 miles per hour will tax any longboard.
The Volador Freeride deck is feature-packed. It is… 42 inches long with pronounced concave and serious camber. It also has some kick to the nose and tail (its bi-directional). With 7-inch hangers on its aluminum trucks, and some of the softest bushings in the class, this Volador is built to turn. The urethane, super-high-rebound wheels have a durometer of 78A and are 70mm tall, and the bearings are ABEC-9.
What’s NOT so Good?
The process in making a board like the Volador 42 inch Freeride the right way is slow, and boards of this type are usually much more expensive. The hot-pressing used to make cheaper boards is not conducive to deep concave and extreme camber. As long as the boards that don’t survive the process are weeded out, everything is fine. But if they sneak through, Volador will have some unhappy customers. Truthfully, this board cannot take the stresses of high-speed sliding. It is great for someone who is learning the sport and wants a responsive board for cruising that can also take on low-gradient hills, but a true freestyle board it’s not.
10. Atom Pintail
Atom’s Pintail is a laid-back cruiser, meant for the beginning longboarder or commuter who doesn’t have flat-out speed on the agenda. The pintail shape harkens back to the early days of longboarding, before separate disciplines evolved. As a cruiser, though, the pintail is ideal. This Atom isn’t going to rock anyone’s world, but it can certainly liven it up.
The Atom Pintail is 39 inches long and 9.4 inches wide, and is made with eight plies of Canadian maple. It has a touch of concave, but is still flat. The aluminum trucks have 8.5-inch hangers, but include rock-hard bushings that need upgrading if any carving is to be done. The 65mm wheels are on the small side, and they seem harder than their 78A durometer suggests. The bearings are ABEC-5s, and are also due for an upgrade upon purchase.
What’s NOT so Good?
Whether a longboard suits a rider or not is a matter of taste. The pintail shape attracts a certain rider, one that is not about to find the steepest hill to bomb. For its purpose, the Atom Pintail is a fine longboard. It is affordable, functional and upgradable. The downside is that the cost of upgrades may arrive at the cost of an artisan-quality board like the Arbor Fish AC pintail. Upgrade components can still be inexpensive, though, and once fully dressed the Atom Pintail has the makings of a beautiful custom longboard.
How much should a longboard cost?
Often most important consideration when it comes to getting a longboard is the cost. If a longboard doesn’t fit within a budget, no matter how much you like it, you simply can’t have it.
That being said, just because a longboard is expensive doesn’t mean it’s worth it and just because you have enough money to buy it, doesn’t mean you should. It’s a bit confusing but bear with me.
Cheap entry level longboards
Typically, a good beginner longboard costs around $50-$100. Within this price range, you will have longboards that are basically of the same quality. The only real difference between a longboard costing is $52 and one $75 is the price … and the graphics, deck shape etc. but I hope you get what I mean.
A good example of an affordable and decent quality longboard is the Rimable Bamboo complete. It fits well within our price range and features wheels and trucks made for cruising. You can find it on Amazon.com here.
Better premium quality longboards
High-quality boards usually start at around $120. This is because they are made up of high-quality trucks, decks, wheels, and bearings, and can only be sold at a premium price.
Decks at $100 are usually not high-quality because the high-quality equipment costs more and companies can’t make profit if they sell them that cheap.
High-quality longboards are usually sold by premium brands, a good example of this is the Sector 9 green wave. Check it out on Amazon.com to find out more about the board and why it fits within my premium category.
PRO level longboards
Finally, some longboards feature crazy technologies in them, so they often go for a higher price usually greater than $200. This can include skateboards with carbon or fiberglass. A good example of this is the “hollow tech” longboards by Landyachtz. Check out the Hollow tech Stratus by Lanyachtz on Amazon.com to see exactly what I mean.
Where to buy good longboards?
Quite simply, the best place to get deals, fast and affordable shipping, and easy returns is Amazon.com. You also have a large array of boards readily available to you, it makes things easy and simple.
You can also get fantastic deals on boards as you can come across crazy price reductions once in a while.
Another great place is your local skate shop. The local skate shop is great because you get to try a lot of boards out before you buy them. You also get expert first hand advice from the sellers and they might also have insider tips on where to the best spots are. They could also point you to a local community of longboarders.
For most beginners, the costs involved with high-end longboard components make little sense. They will change their minds, of course, as skills develop and the quest for speed ensues. In the meantime, they have no need to waste time and money on a board that they can’t use to its potential. The best cheap longboard is the one that gives the new rider a room to improve. Finding the right one is a lot like finding love: You’ll know it when you see it. In the end, upgrades will improve its performance, and board and rider will grow together. That said if you know your riding style, here’s a list of brands we recommend.