9 Best & Durable Longboards for Heavy Riders in 2021

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. The following rides are good examples of such longboards.

Is there a weight limit on longboards?

Yes and no. In some ways, the longboard industry is like the Old West. There are few rules and few enforcers of what rules there are. So weight limits should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

A stout longboard with 8-plus layers and a length of approximately 40 inches should handle at least 300 pounds. A cheap board with those same dimensions likely won’t, though.

Some more exotic materials such as carbon fiber or fiberglass can add extra strength when needed. Still, even these boards may expire after dealing with heavier loads for very long.

If you are a heavier person and considering getting into skating, just do it. Understand you may go through boards more quickly than skinny people at first, but keep at it. You’ll be losing weight in no time.

9 Best Longboards for Heavy Riders


1. Landyachtz – Switchblade

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Landyachtz is a brand that has earned the respect it gets. The wood in these decks is hand-selected for quality, and is always Canadian maple. With Landyachtz, you know you’re getting quality.

The Switchblade is one of the more popular Landyachtz boards. It has seen several incarnations. This one is 38 inches, which is a bit shorter than some of the others. The shorter wheelbase will reduce flex and add strength in the middle.

There a 8 plies of maple in the Switchblade, making it a quality candidate for anyone around 250 pounds or so. With drop-through truck mounting and double-drop-down concave, it puts the rider as close to the ground as possible.

The symmetrical shape and W-style concave are perfect for freeride and downhill. This board is just as suitable for commuting of cruising, though. 

The Bear Gen 6 trucks have reverse kingpins and 90a-durometer bushings. They’re stable at speed but allow for tight carving when adjusted. The Hawgs Mini Zombie wheels are 70mm with an 80a durometer. They’re smooth sliders but are equally good for commuting.

What’s to Like?

  • Adept at lots of different riding styles
  • Shorter wheelbase than its siblings makes it stronger
  • Eight plies of hand-selected Canadian maple
  • Low ride height easier to push 

What’s NOT To Like?

  • More expensive than some others
  • Graphics sometimes not up to snuff

2. DB Longboards – Urban Native

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Short for “Dashboards”, DB Longboards is based in Dash Point, Washington. Their decks are all still made by hand in their factory near Seattle. The company uses all its scrap for other purposes. There is no waste in the process, so you can feel good about your purchase.

The Urban Native deck is 8 plies of maple. It is 9 inches wide and 40 inches long. The upward camber from the concave adds a little extra weight-holding capability. Users above 200 pounds report reliable use from this deck.

Like all DB Longboards, this complete comes with Atlas trucks and Cloud Ride wheels. The trucks are reverse-kingpin style, and when coupled with a cambered deck, you can expect tight carving ability.

The Cloud Ride wheels are 69mm and a 78a durometer. Coupled with the ABEC-7 bearings, this is a setup that is ready for freeride or simple cruising in urban areas where maneuverability is a plus.

What’s to Like?

  • From a brand that focuses on hand-built quality
  • Cambered profile helps support a load
  • Great for carving and commuting alike
  • A different brand that stands out from the crowd

What’s NOT to Like?

  • Added flex from cambered decks can be strange for beginners
  • Not the best choice for the heaviest of riders

3. Arbor – Dropcruiser Flagship

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Arbor is one of the most environmentally conscious brands in longboarding. It reclaims all wood byproducts from its deck production for other purposes. Natural sources are a priority in materials.

The Arbor Dropcruiser Flagship is undeniably beautiful, but it’s also quite strong. It is made from 9 layers of wood. The core layers are 7 plies of Canadian maple. The top and bottom are palisander layers of rosewood. 

The construction is a double-drop, but those drops are minimal. They create small pockets for the rider’s feet, but they don’t drop the platform too close to the ground. The concave is mild but noticeable.

At 38 inches long, this deck is shorter than some similar boards. The added strength from the shorter wheelbase should benefit heavier riders.

This complete comes with 180mm Paris trucks with reverse-kingpin construction. The Outlook wheels are 69mm and a soft 70a durometer, and the bearings are ABEC-7 rated. You can also find it on Tactics.com here.

What’s to Like?

  • Environmentally friendly construction
  • Nine plies, though the outer two are thinner and more decorative
  • Very easy to look at
  • Usable for freeride as your skills improve

What’s NOT to Like?

  • Spray-on grip cannot be changed
  • Wheels are stunning, but lack the durability of the other components

4. Sector 9 – Fault Line Perch

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Sector 9 is often known for its flexy bamboo decks, but this board proves the company can do other things. The Fault Line Perch uses 9 plies of Canadian maple, plus a decorative veneer of tightly grained teak wood.

At 40 inches long and 9.75 inches wide, it is a bit larger than some others we’re featuring. But the strength from the extra layers means it should flex about the same as a shorter 8-ply deck.

The sharp upper rails help keep the rider’s feet locked in, but the concave is otherwise minimal. This is a top-mount deck, so it should support a bit more weight than a drop-through design.

The tradeoff there is that the ride will be a bit higher than some others on this list. There is also only minimal drop-down, so you’ll get a bit more exercise when pushing.

Gullwing reverse-kingpin trucks are light and tight-steering, but not unstable like the Sidewinders can be. The 9 Balls wheels are smallish at 70mm, with a smooth 78a hardness.

What’s to Like?

  • Stout deck with nine multi-colored layers of maple
  • Top-mount deck should hold more weight than drop-through
  • Adjustable wheelbase can be made shorter for added strength
  • Less wonky concave allows for more movement

What’s NOT to Like?

  • Taller ride height less stable at higher speeds
  • ABEC-5 built-in bearings require an upgrade

5. Globe – Blazer XL

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Globe has a long history in skateboarding, and it shows in the quality of its decks. The Blazer XL is more of a cruiser than a prototypical longboard. This style can be perfect for larger riders, though.

The Blazer XL is constructed from 8 plies of hard rock maple. The shape is the usual standard skateboard shape, but its 36.25-inch length is quite a bit longer than a popsicle skate deck.

At 9.75 inches wide, this board is more akin to an old school deck, albeit with a more muted kicktail. Top-mount trucks will help support added loads, as will the tighter, 21.5-inch wheelbase.

The Slant trucks have conventional kingpins, so expect a stable, less twitchy ride than reverse-kingpin trucks give. The 62mm Globe wheels are smaller than others on the list, but the 78a durometer is comparable.

The ABEC-7 bearings are also plenty fast after a bit of breaking in. And don’t forget that the deck has a mounted bottle opener on it, just in case you find yourself in need of one.

What’s to Like?

  • More conventional skateboard shape for cruising
  • Top-mount trucks and tighter wheelbase add strength
  • 8-ply construction better for heavier riders
  • Feet can remain over the trucks, eliminating flex altogether

What’s NOT to Like?

  • Cruiser shape not great for freeride and downhill riding
  • Taller ride height means farther reach to push

6. Santa Cruz – Contra Eclipse

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Straight from one of the first names in skateboarding comes one of the most stout longboards available. Suitable for even the heaviest of aspirational riders, the Contra Eclipse is one tough deck.

This deck is constructed out of nine full plies of maple. At 37.52 inches long, this is one of the shorter drop-down boards you can get. That shorter wheelbase adds to the strength, however.

Being lower to the ground adds to the stability and shortens the reach when pushing. The top-mounted trucks also help to disperse the rider’s weight. Deck cutouts prevent wheel bite.

The 160mm Bullet trucks are guaranteed against breakage. They are reverse-kingpin designs, so expect tight carving ability. 

The wheels and bearings are a drawback here, though. Unusually for this company, the wheels are simply branded Santa Cruz, with no listing for durometer. They appear to be about 70mm.

Still, the deck and trucks are worth the price of admission. Heavier skaters will have a hard time finding a tougher combination. You can also find this board on Tactics.com here.

What’s to Like?

  • Nine full layers of maple for extra toughness
  • Drop-down isn’t overly low
  • Deck will suit multiple riding styles
  • Top-mount trucks hold more weight than drop-through

What’s NOT to Like?

  • Non-description on wheels are a letdown for this brand
  • No mention of maple source leads to suspicions

7. Dusters – Golden State

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Dusters is a California brand under the Dwindle Distribution umbrella. That links it with seminal skateboarding brands like Enjoi and Almost, giving it instant street cred.

Like a lot of Dusters’ offerings the Golden State complete brings a little flash to the game. This drop-down deck is 38 inches long and rides super low for stability. It’s great for transportation or for going fast downhill, your call.

It has drop-through truck mounting, so your weight will be riding on the 3/8-inch mounting nuts. This isn’t as stable a design as top-mounted trucks, but should be fine for riders 250 pounds or less. 

The eight plies of maple with W-style concave should ensure that riders of that size can ride with confidence. 

The Dusters wheels are 71mm and have a 78a durometer, pretty standard fare. The Slant inverted trucks are also decent spec. Their hangers are reversible, changing the pivot angle from 50 degrees to 54. You can find this board on Tactics.com here.

What’s to Like?

  • Ensured quality from a well-supported brand
  • Stands out from the crowd
  • As suitable for cruising as for hauling a@#
  • W-shaped concave locks the feet in, but comfortably

What’s NOT to Like?

  • Wheels and bearings need upgrade for real downhill use
  • Gold trucks are a love-it/hate-it proposition

8. Santa Cruz Lion God

santa cruz rasta complete

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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

9. Yocaher Punked Pintail 

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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

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.

What size longboard should you get for your height and weight?

Longboarding is one of the few areas in life where smaller, lighter people have a distinct advantage. But that doesn’t mean that everyone can’t play. Even if you’re taller or heavier, you can ride too.

For taller riders, longer decks and corresponding longer wheelbases tend to work best. They provide a more stable platform, though they do sacrifice a bit of agility for it. 

Heavier riders should look for a shorter wheelbase when possible for the added strength. I would suggest keeping overall length under 40 inches, and keeping wheelbase below 30 inches. 

Most of the boards on this list have a slightly longer option, which would be better suited for a taller-but-lighter skater. 

How to pick the right and most durable longboard parts?

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]

santa cruz wheelbaseIn 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.

Should you update your bushings?

While many of the components on a modern longboard will easily accommodate a heavier rider, the bushings in the trucks are one place for concern. Don’t worry, though. These are normally an easy component to modify.

For anyone who doesn’t know, the bushings are the small urethane cylinders on the trucks. They are the little donuts through which the kingpin passes. 

The first cause for concern is their hardness. Manufacturers normally shoot for a middle ground when it comes to bushings. They are usually about 90a in hardness.

If you find yourself struggling for a solid feel and if carving feels out of control, your bushings are the likely culprit. To slow the rate of turn, try swapping for a harder durometer than stock.

Bushing shape is another area of possible customization. The normal setup on trucks is to have one barrel-shaped bushing coupled with a cone-shaped one. The bushing with the cone shape is what gives that snappy carving feeling.

That sensation can quickly become instability, though. To get a more stable ride, some people opt for a double-barrel setup. Swapping your cone-shaped bushing for a barrel will add instant stability, but you will sacrifice carving ability to get it.


Do longboards break easily?

It is actually very unusual for a longboard to snap. It happens quite a bit in skateboarding, but it usually results from big jumps. It is the sudden jolt of energy focused in the wrong place on the deck that does it.

In longboarding, those types of sudden hits are uncommon. Most of the action in longboarding occurs in a line. There is a flow to it. It’s a very horizontal motion, not as up-and-down as street skating.

This being the case, it is rare to see a board break. They’re actually designed so that they will flex rather than snap. That said, it is possible to overload a deck a snap it. Most people just ensure it won’t happen by choosing a board that suits their body type. 

What size longboard should I get for my height and weight?

This is a difficult question to answer with a blanket statement. It can be counterintuitive, but bigger really isn’t always better. The longest boards usually have the most flex, which leads to control issues.

Obviously, small mini-cruisers and the like will be difficult to ride for larger people to ride. I mean, they’re notoriously tricky even for smaller people. Don’t bother with them.

The main issue for heavier people is a deck having too much flex or even cracking. The best way to prevent this is to use boards with extra layers (eight or nine), special materials (bamboo, fiberglass, etc.), or certain concaves. 

Can you longboard if you’re overweight?

Yes. There are no rules in skating. There are no forms to fill out and you don’t need anyone’s permission. And besides, taking up an activity such as longboarding is a great way to lose those extra pounds.

Of course, being overweight will cause there to be some limitations in how you can ride. Certain gear may be too flimsy for your weight. Some styles of riding may be a bit difficult as well. 

But you shouldn’t let any initial issues or difficulties stand in your way. The most important thing to understand is just how accepting and including the riding community can be. 

Can longboards snap?

Longboards are made of thin strips of wood that crisscross and are laminated together. They can and do snap, though not usually ending up in two separate pieces. Some of the layers are bound to hold together.

The thing to remember is that longboards rarely snap from being overload. The more likely problem would be over flexing causing the board to ride strangely. Snapping is usually the result of a sudden over loading.

So never jump on the middle of a skateboard. Spread your feet out when you ride to disperse the load. The closer your feet are to the trucks, the more support there will be. 

How much weight can a maple longboard hold?

The weight limit of maple decks really depends on a couple of factors. The first and most important factor is the number of layers. A 9-layer deck will hold more weight than a 7-layer deck will hold.

A 9-layer maple deck will generally tolerate around 300 pounds of weight. An 8-layer deck may be fine under a 250-pound load. But other factors come into play. The quality of the wood, type of glue, and manufacturing process all matter. 

Those quality materials are expensive, which is why quality decks are so costly. But cheap boards die young. This is one of those times in life where you know where you money went.

Can you lose weight skateboarding?

Losing weight is a result of burning more calories than you ingest. Longboarding is a labor-intensive activity. It is a great, healthy way to burn calories and get your weight where you’d like it to be.

Whether pushing on flat ground or cruising downhill, riding a longboard is constant exercise. The best part is that you’ll spend much of the time simple cruising and enjoying the ride.

The pushes you make are the biggest use of energy, but they aren’t the only ones. As you lean to steer and begin carving, you’ll find yourself burning more and more calories and getting ever more fit. 

Will longboarding give you abs?

The short answer to this question is no. Longboarding won’t give you abs. Only directly working your core muscles will actually give you abs. Sit-ups, especially weighted sit-ups, are generally the preferred method of building abdominal muscles.

But what good are having those abs if no one can see them. The truth is most of us have pretty strong abdominal muscles. You just can’t see them because of a layer of belly fat.

Longboarding won’t help you build those muscles, but it will help you burn enough calories to melt away that layer of belly fat. Exercise doesn’t build abs, it reveals them.

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.

William Thaddeus Baker

My name is William and I’m boardsports enthusiast. I’ve been skateboarding streets since I was about 9. Also I’ve experimented with longboarding & downhill. As to this site my goal is to help beginner riders to find the right equipment. Everything that I write here is my own opinion…