Best Drop Through Longboard in 2018 & Buying Guide
Looking for stability in your life? A drop through longboard might provide you that… These boards have been designed to have a low center of gravity. This feature makes them stable, easy to push and ride.
They are excellent boards for beginners and for certain riding styles. That said, for other riding styles they quite simply won’t be the best option.
You need to be careful in your board selection. In today’s article I will go over a handful of good boards, what features make up the best drop through longboard and the riding styles they excels at.
Atom Drop-Through Longboard
Atom’s a brand that’s very popular with beginners.The Atom drop-through line is pretty interesting, with a lot of choices to pick from. This board comes in at 41in long and 9in wide. It has a flexy maple laminate deck which helps dampen road vibrations, whilst keeping it responsive to rider input.
The deck also features generous cutouts to avoid wheelbite and is also suitable for heavier riders. The setup utilizes very wide reverse kingpin (rkp) trucks with their width at 254mm. This size makes them super stable but will reduce their maneuverability.
Paired with the trucks are 70mm tall and 46mm wide wheels. At this width and height, the wheels are the perfect size for cruising. Inside the wheels are Abec 5 bearings, which are decent for cruising.
Altogether, this is a very stable cruiser, ideal for beginners and those looking to for a comfortable cruise. However, at such a price point, you may need to replace a few parts as you go along.
Sector 9 Blue Wave Lookout
Sector 9 have outdone themselves on this setup. This Drop through longboard comes in at 42in and 9.6in wide.
This long deck conists of 5 plys of vertically laminated bamboo, a beautiful graphic underneath and clear sheet of grip on top. The deck features a bit of flex, to give you a nice middle ground of bounce and stiffness. The stiffness allows the board to remain responsive, but the flex (bounce) keeps it comfortable and acts as suspension.
The setup has 10in wide Gullwing charges for a good balance between stability and maneuverability. The wheels used are 74mm tall 78a Sector 9 top shelf wheels.
This setup is a bit pricey but you must consider that it is made up of premium parts. Individually, the parts would cost more than the setup.If possible, replace the bearings as they feel slow. With a bit of a break in period, the bearings should be ok. This is a great setup and would look as good skating as it would simply hanging on a wall.
Arbor Axis 40″ Cruiser
Another premium setup on our list. The Arbor axis comes in at 40in long and 8.80in wide.
This snowboard inspired drop through has been made with 7 plys of hard rock maple for maximum stiffness. It features clear Lucid grip tape on top to showcase the maple. This clear spray-on grip is made from recycled glass.
The trucks are 50 degree 180mm Paris Trucks, paired with Sucrose initiative 70mm tall, 78a wheels. These two parts on their own are great aftermarket products.
The Paris trucks have an unparalleled turn and produce a surfy, divey feel when turning. (Read more about longboard trucks here)
Arbor produces all their boards with sustainability in mind. All the pieces of the setup (even the glue and varnish) come from sustainable sources of supply or have been recycled. Given the quality of this board, it is well worth it. However if it is too long for you, check out the Landyachtz Drop Hammer.
One of the most wallet-friendly options on our list. This board from Volador comes purpose-built for cruising. The deck on this setup is unique as it features double kicktails. This increases its versatility and open it up to a lot more riding styles. “>
The deck is made from 8plys of hard rock maple and is bound by epoxy glue – an environmental friendly glue. It has been engineered with a bit of flex.
The trucks are 7in rkp trucks paired with 70mm tall 78a wheels. The trucks are going to be very maneuverable and when used with the kicktail, you will be able to take tighter corners than usual.
This setup can be used for cruising, dancing (cause of the kicktail) etc.
I would recommend you replace the bearings and some skate washers. This setup won’t last you forever, but its a steal for the price. If you are a beginner looking for an easy entry level board, this one is for you. Check out a similar board being thrashed by skater Steven Vera…
Santa Cruz Lion God Rasta
This 40in long and 10in wide board comes from Santa Cruz, an industry giant with over 40 years of experience.
The construction is stiff, as the board is made up of 9plys of maple. This sturdiness allows for very accurate board feedback and rider input. Unfortunately it won’t be as shock absorbing as the other options.
The wheels are taller than most at 75mm. They will be harder to get rolling but will have a high top speed and feel smoother when rolling. (For more information on longboard wheels, read our guide)
The setup utilises road rider trucks at 180mm (10in) in length. These trucks will be better than standard Aluminum trucks. They turn and cruise better.
This is clearly a super sturdy and stable board. If you want really good responsiveness, go for this, however if you need something that a bit more comfortable, go for the Sector 9 board.
The stiffness can make cruising uncomfortable, but it can be used. If you have a few hills on your pushing route, this is the right choice.
Landyachtz Drop Hammer
The drop hammer! The shortest board on our list, this offering comes from Canadian boardmakers Landyachtz. The board is 36.4in long and 10in wide. It is light and stiff, constructed from a mix of 4 plys of Bamboo and 2 plys of wet fiberglass. This gives it a bit of flex for shock absorption. Heavier riders can comfortable ride on this deck.
The board features aftermarket trucks and wheels. The trucks are Bear 852’s and are known for being strong and having good turn. The wheels are Hawgs 70mm Leejays Wheels, ideal for cruising and pushing around.
A setup like this is good to go without having to replace anything, and it can last you for years. Well worth the investment. This is my favourite board from the lineup. Its relatively compact and will be nice to get around. If it’s too costly the Volandor is an effective drop through longboard.
Drop Through Longboard Buying Guide
The main difference is how the drop through longboard trucks have been mounted. The decks have a cutout made in the middle of the mounting section. The truck is then mounted THROUGH the deck. This is done by connecting the baseplate first and then assembling the rest of the truck after. This results in a deck with a lower height, lowering the centre of gravity.
Any truck type can be used.
This is different from the normal and more common ‘Top mounting’, where the trucks are mounted directed under the mounting holes. You can also top mount a drop through.
It is also different from a drop down, which has the deck bent so the standing platform sits lower than where the trucks are mounted. Lowering c of g decreases maneuverability and board feedback. This makes it feel sluggish for some, but stable and controlled for others.
What happens is that the weight of the rider (that they use to turn and control) is inputed at the middle of the truck. So they have less leverage over the truck and will have to input MORE to turn the same as if it was top mounted.
Best uses of drop through boards – Why you should pick one:
If you want to make the most of the drop through longboard advantages, we suggest using them for these riding styles.
- Beginners in every aspect of the sport can benefit. The added stability makes it easier to learn and increases comfortability. You don’t get cramps in your feet from trying to balance.
- If you are thinking of doing long distance pushing, commuting or cruising.
The lower c of g makes them easier to push. You are able to put more power directly BEHIND the wheels as opposed to on top of them. You also have to bend less. This makes the drop through is EFFICIENT and EFFECTIVE for pushing.
- If you want to learn to slide or do downhill skating. The lower c of g increases stability and makes it easier to slide. You will learn much faster with a drop through and have more confidence.
Though, if you want a board that has all these features AMPLIFIED. Go for a drop down. Most of these boards sit lower to the ground than drop throughs. There are even double-drop boards (drop through + drop down) which practically scrape the ground. The true lowriders of the longboard world.
However, with a drop down you commit to one riding style. When looking through the Drop-through longboard pros and cons, you need to remember that you can always top mount them. With Drop-throughs you can have the best of both worlds and experiment to find what you like.
Don’t get a drop-through deck if you want to perform technical maneuvers in downhill racing. The setup won’t give you the most leverage over your wheels. This is what you would need for maximum grip through corners and sliding. If you want to do the tightest turns, this type of board might hold you back. Look towards top mounts for that.
In my opinion, drop-throughs are best for cruising and commuting. Ideally, you want one that is flexible, wide, with nice turny trucks and 70mm wheels. This combo will provide the best setup for being comfortable and pushing.
There are a lot of options out there and it can get confusing. If you are undecided, get a Volador or if you can afford it, the Landyachtz drop hammer. These boards are well built and will serve you for a good while (probably forever with the drop hammer).
Remember you can always topmount a drop-through and have all the advantages of a topmount.
I 100% recommend this to beginners or those wanting easy cruisers. These are really great options, you won’t regret if buy them for those purposes.