9 Best & Durable Longboards for Heavy Riders in 2020
A longboard’s longevity depends on a mixture of how it is used and how it is made, but adding more rider weight can overtax it. As wood is a natural material, there will be minor imperfections that sometimes occur in the worst possible places. At other times, the culprit is just poor foot placement.
Either way, the resulting snap can end a day of longboarding and leave you walking — or worse. Luckily, there are now longboards for heavier riders that give them a chance to keep a setup around for a while.
Heavier longboarders must also make certain concessions to the added stresses they put on boards, trucks, bearings, and wheels. Longboard longevity is a recipe.
It begins with purchasing a deck that can withstand those added stresses and follows with developing skills that put less stress on the vulnerable parts of the longboard. The following complete longboards address the need for strength in their own ways.
5 Best Longboards for Heavy Riders
1.Landyachtz Time Machine – Though & Sturdy Freeride Complete (View on Amazon.com)
2. Santa Cruz Lion God – Strong 9 Ply Maple, Freeride Complete (View on Amazon.com)
3.Sector 9 Meridian – Large & Solid Cruiser for a Bigger Guy (View on Amazon.com)
4.Rayne Demonseed Gosha – Strong Complete for Downhill (View on Amazon.com)
5.Yocaher Punked Stained Pintail – Cheaper & Sturdy 9 Ply Pintail (View on Amazon.com)
- 1 5 Best Longboards for Heavy Riders
- 2 TOP Complete In Depth Reviews:
- 3 Longboard Buying Guide for Larger Riders
- 4 The Roll Away
TOP Complete In Depth Reviews:
9. Rayne Demonseed Gosha
Downhill speed boards and freestyle boards are usually built strong and stiff, and Rayne’s Demonseed Gosha fits that mold perfectly. It is a drop-through board with an added 1 inch of deck drop. Rayne laminates vertically oriented bamboo with a fiberglass core for unparalleled strength. The Demonseed Gosha is 44 inches long and 10 inches wide, with deep tub concave to keep the feet locked in and absorb added weight.
The complete setup comes with 180mm Atlas reverse-kingpin trucks, Rayne Stoopid Fast bearings and Rayne 70mm Envy wheels with an 80a durometer. The trucks are steady and solid, and the wheels are fast and smooth. They are also stone-ground for instant kick out on the first ride. The bearings are a weak link, however, and bigger riders should swap them for tougher ones.
What’s To Like?
- Out-of-the-box use of materials makes one of the strongest decks available
- A top-tier board with components almost its equal
- Graphics tattooed into the board to lessen the effects of scratches
What’s NOT to like?
- The bearings need immediate attention
- Costs more than many of its competitors
8. Sector 9 Meridian
For moderately heavy riders looking for a cruiser drop-through that can handle some hills and slides, Sector 9’s Meridian should stand out. It is 40 inches long and 9.75 inches wide with a 30.5-inch wheelbase. The eight plies of maple and taco-mold concave combine to give the Meridian a great combination of strength and flex. The Meridian has a neutral profile, though, and no drop means added pressures at the vulnerable truck cutouts.
Meridian completes come with Caliber trucks, which have 10-inch axles and 50-degree baseplates for stable and consistent carving. The 72mm Sector 9 race formula wheels are plenty fast, but with an 82a durometer are more suited for freeride than cruising. Sector 9 includes its ABEC-5 Greaseball bearings, which are a considerable improvement over the PDP bearings the company sometimes offers in its setups.
What’s To Like?
- Quality components require zero upgrading
- Superior wood compared to the majority of the completion
- Bearings are a pleasant surprise in off-the-shelf completes
What’s NOT to like?
- Drop-through vulnerable at the truck cutouts
- There are better choices of longboards for 300 pounds and over
7. Santa Cruz Lion God
Longtime skate company Santa Cruz’s Lion God drop-through uses added layers to solve the strength riddle. With nine plies of solid, North American maple and a mild taco-mold concave, the Lion God is strong by default. It is 40 inches long and 10 inches wide, and its 31-inch wheelbase allows for the needed flex to prevent stiffness from leading to a snapped deck.
The Lion God comes with workable Road Rider trucks, which have reverse kingpins and 180mm hangers. The included wheels are OJ III Thunder Juice downhill wheels, which are 75mm tall and 54mm wide with a 78a durometer. They utilize a grippy formula and ride like they’re on rails but do not slide easily. Santa Cruz’s ABEC-3 bearings are industrial, so an upgrade is inevitable.
What’s To like?
- Excellent lumber from one of the oldest and most respected skate companies
- Components are mostly top-notch — especially the urethane
- Trusted source of true North American, cold-weather maple
What’s NOT to Like?
- Bearings may seem fast at first, but it won’t last
- Stiffness can equal snapping; the heaviest riders should keep feet nearer the trucks
6. Landyatchz Drop Carve Wave
The Drop Carve Wave is an innovative and inherently strong flatland freeride deck from Landyachtz. It is made from sandwiched layers of bamboo and fiberglass, making it seemingly unbreakable. It is 40 inches long and 9.3 inches wide, and Landyachtz shortened the wheelbase to just 27.4 inches, leaving room for a slight kick on the tail and nose. This makes for a board capable of street-skating style moves like the ones in this video.
Bear Grizzly 5.0 reverse-kingpin trucks are stout and smooth, though not necessarily worthy of the deck. The same goes for the Bear Space Balls ABEC-7 bearings, which are fast for a while but can deteriorate quickly. The Hawgz Fatties wheels (70mm, 78a) are a nice addition, though, and suit the intended riding style perfectly. For the heavier rider, the Drop Carve ticks all the boxes.
What’s To Like?
- Combination of bamboo and fiberglass is close to indestructible
- Shorter wheelbase a boon for heavier riders
- One of the few drop-through decks capable of technical flip tricks
What’s NOT to like?
- Lacks the pop of maple on more technical maneuvers
- Trucks and bearings are above average but not spectacular
5. Yocaher Punked Pintail
Yocaher’s Punked Pintails are nine-ply maple decks with the classic pintail-surfboard shape. They make excellent cruisers, as they carve willingly. A lack of graphics keeps prices low, but the stained woodgrain aesthetic is still easy on the eyes. The Punked Pintails are 40 inches long and 9 inches wide, with a short 27-inch wheelbase. They have zero concave, but only a small amount of flex.
The nondescript trucks are at minimum solid aluminum with steel axles. The bushings are hard, though, so either a swap out or a truck upgrade will be necessary to make this a true carver. The Q-Ball wheels have a 78a hardness, and are 70mm tall and 51mm wide. They are serviceable, but lack toughness and ride harder than their durometer suggests. The ABEC-7 bearings are the same — fast at first, but lacking durability. The Yocaher makes a great beginner’s longboard for heavy riders, but experienced riders will not likely be impressed.
What’s To Like?
- Affordable cost means decks are more expendable
- 9-ply maple construction makes a strong, natural deck
- Slight flex keeps board snapping only a distant possibility
What’s NOT to Like?
- Weak bearings may not survive long under heavy loads
- As set up, this is a beginner’s set up; it’s a fine one though
4. Loaded Boards Vanguard
The Loaded Vanguard is one of the best longboards money can buy. It comes with high-quality parts and rides like a dream.
The Vanguard deck is quite flexible – which is a welcome surprise. Heavier riders usually don’t get to have flexy decks. Loaded got the formula right and heavier riders can get a flexible deck that supports their weight with no issue.
The deck is made from a mixture of bamboo and fiberglass – two durable and strong materials that can support a lot depending on how you mix them. Because of this, Loaded has been able to make 5 different variants of the Vanguard that support different weights. Heavier riders should look at flex 1 – it supports 175-230lbs and upwards. Personally, I think the flex 5 could handle A LOT more than 250lbs (think 300lbs+). It’s pushing the limit but it’s worth trying.
Finally, it comes with high-quality components. It uses Paris trucks and Orangatang wheels. The Paris trucks are good for heavy riders because of their beefy hangers and manufacturing process that leaves them strong. They don’t bend under a lot of weight. So whilst cheaper trucks will bend under even 170lbs, these will stay straight and true.
You can choose between Orangtang Durian and In Heat wheels. The Durians are good for a faster ride, whilst the In Heats are more comfortable over different roads.
Though it is quite pricey, this complete will last you a long time. It’s worth the cost. Check it out for yourself here on Amazon.com.
3. White Wave Bamboo Longboard – The Cobra
One of the more affordable options on my list, this one comes just under $100 and should fit most budgets.
It’s great for heavier riders because it uses 9plys of wood as opposed to the usual 8 or 7. The extra ply adds more rigidity and strength to the deck allowing it to hold more weight.
The deck also sits uniquely. It is a drop-down deck, so its standing platform is lower than where the trucks are mounted. This means you sit closer to the ground when you skate, making the ride more stable. This also means you don’t have to reach so far down to push or foot brake. This makes skating a whole lot easier. Though it won’t responsive to rider input, it is good for beginners and those wanting an easy ride.
Though the deck is strong, the trucks aren’t very high-quality. They are your basic cast aluminum trucks and will bend over time. I recommend you upgrade the trucks to high-quality aftermarket ones. Paris Trucks (like the one the Vanguard above uses) are a great aftermarket option. Their new V3 trucks are easily the strongest cast truck on the market right now.
At 70mm tall, the wheels are ok. They will roll smoothly over all different types of terrain without catching on rocks, pebbles or cracks.
All in all the White Wave Bamboo longboard is good, especially for the price. I recommend replacing the trucks in the future. Find the White Wave Cobra here on Amazon.com.
2. 121C Boards Orbiter Carbon Fiber Cruiser Skateboard
The smallest board on my list. This is a great option if you’re a heavier rider looking for a compact and lightweight skateboard. It uses carbon fiber, which keeps it lightweight but also allows it to hold incredible weights! If anything, the deck on the 121C is pretty much indestructible.
121C uses upcycled carbon fiber to make the deck. Carbon fiber is used in high-tech products (think hypercars, rockets, etc.) because of how lightweight and strong it is. And because of this, the total weight of 121C is minimal – only the wheels and trucks really contribute to the weight,
The downside is that this complete isn’t cheap. It costs a premium. However, the overall complete costs about the same as other premium boards on the market, so it isn’t so bad.
The deck itself comes in at 26inches in length, 7.5inches in width and has a small kicktail. In size, it’s comparable to a Penny. A bit small, but great if that’s exactly what you’re looking for.
Finally, it’s components are pretty high-quality too. It comes with Randal trucks and Fatty Hawgs wheels. Both bits of kit from other great companies.
All in all, this board is pretty great. The bad thing is its size, it will be small for a lot of riders – check out the Loaded above if you want a bigger board that’s more comfortable. If the 121C size is right for you, you should consider getting it. Check it out here on Amazon.com.
1. Landyachtz Evo
This is a solid longboard that comes with a super low platform. Other drop-down decks might be prone to stress fractures. Thanks to Landyachtz superior construction and use of mature Canadian hard rock maple trees, the Evo won’t break easily. One of the heaviest riders I know uses it regularly and says it’s solid! – check out this gnarly clip of Bricin Stikers riding the Evo.
Even though it’s been built to be a downhill deck, it will also work well as a cruiser and pusher. Because of the drop-down, it sits super low to the ground so it’s easy to push and comfortable to ride. It also makes it stable, so it feels solid at a faster speed and over different types of pavements.
Finally, the deck has wedging. The wedging makes the front truck turn more than the back. This makes the skateboard more stable and easier to balance on but still allows it to turn and feel nimble.
The deck itself is made from 9plys of maple. It comes in at 40inches in length and 9.8inches in width. The other components are high-quality too. The trucks are high-quality Bear 852 trucks and the wheels are fast-rolling Biggie Hawgs.
That said, it is a bit pricey. Whilst not as expensive as the Vanguard or 121C, it will dent your wallet a bit. The White wave longboard above will be a decent drop down longboard if that’s what you wanna get. Still, the Evo is worth the money. Backed by a high-quality, reputable brand, you can be sure it won’t let you down. Find it here on Amazon.com.
Longboard Buying Guide for Larger Riders
As was stated, how long a longboard will last depends greatly on how you intend to ride it. The more variables in a setup that work to a bigger longboarder’s advantage the better. Check for one of the following criteria at a minimum, but many decks will utilize more than one.
Pay Attention To Deck Materials!
The materials a manufacturer uses have an obvious effect on board strength. Maple decks should have a minimum of eight layers, but a nine-ply longboard is even better.
Another option is a deck with bamboo layers, as the material’s natural flex makes it hard to break. Some of the best available decks — as far as strength is concerned — use a sandwich of fiberglass and bamboo layers for the utmost in stiffness and strength.
Shorter Wheelbase is Better [Almost]
In general, the shorter the wheelbase the more difficult a board is to crack. Going this route to find strength can have diminishing returns, though. Very short boards can be difficult for bigger riders to control effectively, which takes a lot of the fun out of skating.
Longboards for heavy guys should have short enough wheelbases to allow them to stand over or near the trucks where the decks strength is greatest, but not so short that they become difficult to maneuver.
Go With Upward Curved Decks
Concave and profile shape each affect the strength of a deck. Deeper concave adds support to a deck, lending greater rigidity. Profile shape is a more complicated variable, though. When looked at from the side, longboards can curve upward or downward, or they can be relatively flat.
Downward curved boards, called cambered decks, are a no-go for heavier riders due to their overly flexy nature. Flat, or neutral, decks flex less and works better, but the upward curves of rocker decks flex the least and tend to work best for bigger longboarders.
Pick Completes With Solid Trucks
The complicated designs of trucks make dissecting them a daunting enough task to beginners, so just make sure the construction is solid. Aluminum baseplates and hangers should provide plenty of support, and steel kingpins and axles are a necessity.
Heavier riders should disregard completes with plastic or nylon baseplates, as plastic materials will likely crack in these load-bearing parts. Hollow kingpins and axles are fine, though.
Get Strong Aftermarket Bearings
This is one component where it pays a heavier rider not to skimp. The cheaper bearings on the market are often made of lower-grade metals, and unfortunately are usually the bearings manufacturers include in complete longboards.
However, expensive does not necessarily mean strong, either. For example, some ceramic bearings can cost double steel-bearing prices, but are structurally weaker. With bearings, strength equals longevity, so get the strongest ones available.
Don’t Worry About The Wheels!
Heavy riders can rest easy in knowing that there is at least one component that they needn’t worry about. When it comes to urethane, bigger longboarders can simply pick out what they want to ride and ride it.
In the early days of cored wheels, the durability of these options was dicey, but improvements in modern manufacturing have eliminated the weaknesses of even those complex designs.
The Roll Away
Longboards are not fragile, but not every board is made to withstand the forces heavier riders sometimes put upon them. Even riders just slightly above 200 pounds may have difficulties with failing components. However, there are heavy-duty options on the market in each component category that can help bigger riders build a complete that’s ready to go when they are.