8 of the best longboard brands & companies and what to avoid
Many people, especially those who only start to look into longboarding, feel overwhelmed. Because there are hundreds of different longboard companies and brands in the market. And there is a lot of junk out there. We have prepared this guide for you to show which are the best longboard brands out there. so you know what is worth your attention, can save time and start longboarding asap!
If you want a quick answer, then these are the best longboard brands which are premium and really worth your attention: Landyachtz, Sector 9, Rayne, Loaded, Arbor Collective, Madrid, Bustin & Riviera longboards. There are some other brands which are a bit more affordable but still produce quality longboards: Atom and SCSK8. If you are going for a longboard which is not made by one of the brands above, please be a bit more cautious, especially if it is a really cheap board – cheap boards from unknown brands are usually built in a low quality.
A quick note – in this post we will not be reviewing longboards, we will only be talking about companies and brands which produce high quality longboards. If you want to jump straight to longboard reviews and recommendations, check these articles out:
For those who are interested in best longboard brands and companies – read on.
Longboard companies: Premium, entry level brands and brands not worth your attention
I guess you have noticed, there are literally hundreds of different longboards in the market. If you opened Amazon now and checked the longboard category, there are 25 different longboard brands only starting with letter ‘A’. And there are quite a few letters in the alphabet remaining after ‘A’. The issue is that most of these companies do not produce high quality longboards which you would enjoy to ride. So we have prepared our own brand recommendations and overview based on what we have tried out ourselves. Also we have taken in to account feedback from fellow longboarders.
We have grouped longboard brands in to three different categories:
Not worth your attention
Premium – these companies produce the highest quality longboards in the market. Most of these longboards are ridden by pro’s they are safe and enjoyable to ride. The pricing of such longboards might be on a higher side but Premium brands is our choice when picking up a longboard.
Entry level – these companies also produce high quality boards but they are a bit cheaper than the premium brands. These brands are respected but are not considered as ‘top notch’ in the longboarding community.
Not worth your attention – we will also write a bit about what you should generally try to avoid when you are considering of buying a longboard.
Premium – best longboard brands
I bet you have heard of Landyachtz before, right? This is a legendary Canadian brand in the longboarding community. They have been in the market for more than 20 years, Landyachtz has been started in 1997 in Vancouver. During the years they have produced some iconic longboards, check them out in their website here – 20 years of Landyacthz catalog.
Landyachtz states that they produce the highest quality longboards and the longboarding community agrees. Most of the boards that the company produces gets highest ratings and the best reviews by the riders. No wonder though because the company itself was established by skateboarders so they know what riders need.
Landyachtz produces a wide range of boards – cruisers, mini cruisers, freerides, downhills, etc. From boards for the very beginner to the pro. Not only this company produces boards but they do also have their own trucks, wheels and bearings. Their trucks are Bear Grizzlies, wheels – Hawgs and bearings – Spaceballs. These are also high quality products so they would be a good choice if you are looking to upgrade your board. They are also the manufacturer of the famous Landyachtz Dinghy, you can check out my review of the board here.
This company believes that skateboarding is good for the environment and is also a great form of transportation. Living up to their belief in longboarding, they also believe in sustainability and back it up with actions. Landyachtz plants one maple tree for every longboard sold. They estimate that it is possible to produce 60 longboards from one maple tree and they promise to plant 60 more trees once the longboards are sold. You can also see that Landyachtz really tries to give back to the community – this company sponsors many events and has a team of pro riders who promote longboarding to the world.
To sum up, Landyachtz would be a solid choice for your board despite your skillset – if you are totally new or an advanced rider already. The only downside with this brand is that the boards might be a little expensive. But keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity in the long term.
2. Sector 9
Another solid brand on our list, this time from California, is Sector 9. Sector 9 has been started even earlier than Landyachtz but in a similar way – skateboarders have started to produce boards in their own backyard. And in time the company grew and expanded up to where it is now.
In the longboarding community Sector 9 is known as a great brand for beginners. Some would even say that it is the best choice for riders who are just starting out. Sector 9 produces a variety of boards – cruisers, bamboo boards, downhill boards and many other. Alongside the boards they also produce trucks, wheels and some high quality accessories. I will mention a few key Sector 9 products which are worth attention. For trucks – it is the Gullwing Sidewinder, one of the better trucks in the market. They also produce Nineballs wheels which are one of the top wheels for cruising (see our complete longboard wheel guide for more details) and some good slide gloves.
Sector 9 has quite a huge rider team, as well as a team of surfers and skateboarders. They also actively promote longboarding, surfing & skateboarding by having a so called ‘Youth’ team where they teach and support young children interested in board sports.
This company has a funny story how they came up with their name. In 1993 a group of friends were living in a house with a halfpipe for skateboarding, pool table and a ping pong table. And the guests who hung out in a house of skateboarders were called ‘nineballs’ because of the pool table. Once, one of the skateboarders called the house, no one picked up, so he left a message in the answering machine ‘What’s going on over there at Sector9?’. And that’s how it all began.
Next up in our list is Rayne. It is the second company which is based in Canada. Rayne is a younger company compared to Landyachtz and Sector9. It has been established in 2004. But it can also be easily named as one of the Premium brands in the market.
Rayne is known in the longboarding community as an innovator. The founder of Rayne, Graham Buksa, lead the company to pioneer many leading designs and technological advantages in longboarding. Rayne produces most of their boards from bamboo and laminate constructions, therefore in the end you get a high quality and waterproof longboard.
As with many other brands, Rayne does produce a variety of longboard types – mini cruisers, cruisers, freeride, downhill and boards for dancing. Although they do produce all of those, they are a bit more focused on downhill boards, at least their highest quality products are usually in that category. Rayne boards are used by many downhill pro’s around the world for quite some time now. And it is of a no surprise – quality of these boards is great.
Usually Rayne is selected by more advanced riders because people who are new to longboarding usually hear 2-3 brands – Landyachtz, Loaded and Sector9. But it does not mean that Rayne is worse, it just doesn’t promote itself that much for the new audiences compared to others.
Another brand in our Premium longboarding brands category is Loaded. You most likely have seen a viral video from these guys or someone pushing a Loaded board in the street. This is one of the most popular and well-known brands in the longboarding industry.
The company was started in September, 2000 in California. But it did not take off in the beginning. In 2002 Loaded has launched their very first board ‘The Vanguard’ but at that time it did not go popular or attract too much attention. Actually, from 2002 till 2009 Loaded was very close to closing their shop and their business. But in 2009 they managed to establish them a bit more firmly in the market and the longboarding community started to notice them.
Since then Loaded has been a key brand in the longboarding market. The company produces different kinds of longboards – freestyle, dancing, freeride and downhill. If you have seen their longboards you usually immediately recognize them because of the interesting design which is not produced by other companies. Also Loaded has a very dedicated fan base which supports the company and promotes their brand despite the fact that Loaded is considerably more expensive even compared to most of the other Premium brands.
Loaded does not only produce longboards but also snowboards, sliding gloves, protective gear and wheels. Their Orangatang wheels are also one of the best in the market, getting highest ratings and best reviews. You can usually notice if someone has mounted Orangatang wheels on – they are all from bright colors, the main one being bright orange.
Arbor Collective is one of those older brands who have been making their name in the market for quite some time. This is yet another longboarding company in California. Arbor launched in 1995 but it has not been producing skateboards in the very beginning. Actually, they have launched their company as a snowboard company and for the first few years focused on producing snowboards.
Only in 1999 they have launched their first skateboard and only in 2010 they have launched their downhill division. But although Arbor could be considered quite young in some areas compared to other brands, they have produced very high quality boards and have established themselves in the market as premium brand.
Arbor produces mid and mini cruisers, longboards for carving, commuting, freestyle and downhill. If you have seen an Arbor longboard or when you do see one, you will notice that they also look different compared to other longboards. Arbor uses lucid grip tape – that means that you see the beautiful wooden surface of the deck once you ride it.
As a few other of our mentioned brands, Arbor too made a promise for sustainability – a donation is made to groups that protect and restore forests after each sale of an Arbor longboard. It is called the ‘Returning Roots’ program.
Madrid is one of the brands which have been around for the longest time. Before we go in to the story, do you want to guess where was the brand launched? Madrid, Spain you say? Nope, the company is based in California.
Everything started in 1960 when the founder, Jerry Madrid began to produce skateboards in his parents’ garage. Ever since the company has produced high quality skateboards and longboards. Their current lineup includes cruisers, pool/retro boards, downhill and racing boards.
Madrid is also one of those brands about which new to longboarding people do not talk too much but is worth your attention. Fun fact: Madrid skateboards have been featured TV – one famous movie and one quite new TV show. You want to guess which? Back to the future and Stranger Things 2. Yes, Madrid boards have been ridden by Marty McFly and by MadMax from Stranger Things 2.
Bustin boards is quite a new company compared to some other on the list, especially Madrid. The company has been started in 2001 and it took the team quite some time to prototype & build their lineup before they have opened first shop in NYC in 2009. Since then Bustin has been getting more and more popular amongst the longboarding community.
Currently Bustin boards also offers quite a variety of boards to choose from – slide/freestyle boards, street commuting boards, downhill boards, cruise & dance boards. They are also known for allowing their customers to customize the boards they buy and to imprint phrases or names on the decks.
As with Sector 9, Bustin also has a funny story about their name. In 2001 the founder of Bustin, Ryan, has been making prototypes in his dad’s tiny woodshop when he received a call that his cousin Mike crashed with a skateboard and had been taken to the Emergency Room. When Ryan arrived to the ER and saw Mike, he said ‘Man your lip is bustin open, what should I do?’ and his cousin replied through his swollen mouth ‘Call the boards Bustin Boards’.
8. Riviera Longboards
The last on our Premium longboard brands list is another company based in California – Riviera longboards. Don’t get me wrong, it does not mean that Riviera produces worse longboards than any other company in my list – their longboards are also one of the highest quality in the market.
Riviera is one of the lesser known longboarding brands to the general public but they have been around for quite some time and is a liked brand between more advanced longboarders in the community.
This company believes that it does not matter what the shape, wheelbase, length, graphic or type of ride you seek, it’s all skateboarding. And there should not be any rules when you pick up a skateboard. Their lineup includes many different kinds of skateboards as longboards as other Premium companies do.
Quick word of advice – it seems that recently Riviera longboards has not been as active as before, therefore it might be that they are facing some financial/organizational issues. Despite that their boards are great so pick it up if you encounter one. I checked the current pricing and they are quite affordable compared to some higher priced brands like Loaded.
Entry level brands
Now that we have reviewed best premium longboard brands, let’s take a look at more affordable, beginner friendly entry level brands.
The first on our list and possibly the most well-known amongst the entry level brands is Atom. This company has been established in 2005 and since has been getting more and more popular in the market.
Atom aims to produce longboards at really affordable prices without sacrificing the quality. They try to minimize their business costs to keep the quality – they do not have a huge marketing budget or many sales representatives promoting the brand round the globe. And we can confirm that Atom does produce high quality longboards. It might not live up to the quality of the Premium brands but it is close. For beginner rider Atom is really more than enough to get in to longboarding. But you might want an upgrade if you fall in love with longboarding.
Atom produces really a high variety of boards – freeride, downhill, cruisers and mini cruisers. They also produce electric longboards which the Premium companies do not so you might be hearing their name a bit more often once the electric longboards become a worldwide trend.
The second and the last brand in our entry level list is SCSK8. This is most likely the most affordable entry level brand there is which still maintains some quality in their production. The SCSK8 company was started in 2010 and their aim is to produce cheap longboards and skateboards.
And cheap they are, most of the skateboards they sell are within the 35-70 dollar range. They achieve this by saving on some of the parts of the board, for example, most of their decks do not have any design at the bottom side of the deck. This helps to keep the cost low.
When you are looking for a new board, you will encounter many brands within a similar price range, SCSK8 is one of the few which I would spend my money on if I had a really tight budget.
It is fine to get such a board if you want to try longboarding and see if you like it but you shouldn’t expect too much from the board. Other board parts like wheels, trucks, bearings and bushings are usually low quality, you might also face some issues with the board wearing out quite quickly. But again, it depends on what you are looking for. I personally would save another 40-50 dollars and go for Atom instead of the cheapest boards around. But if you only have like 50-60 dollars in total, go for SCSK8.
What brands and longboards should be avoided
Ok, now we have covered the Premium and Entry level brands, time to talk about brands to be avoided. As you might actually have understood from the reviews above, I believe that quality comes first and I am in favor of Premium longboard brands. And there is a good reason for this – cheap brands usually save on the materials from which they are made and it results in less pleasant and less secure ride in general. You are most likely to crash riding low quality boards and you are less likely to fall in love with longboarding. And we don’t want that, do we?
You will encounter a number of low quality brands and we cannot really list them and know all of them but there are a few tips I would like to give you to avoid buying such longboards:
Longboards in grocery stores – do you know when you go shopping for food and you see those nice longboards next to onions or apples? Avoid these as a plague! 99% of these boards are crap and you will just throw your money away. A chance of buying a good board in a grocery store is one in a million but a chance to hurt yourself because of the low quality board is quite high
Cheap longboards on Amazon or other sites with high ratings. These might seem appealing because there are loads of very cheap longboards on Amazon that have a very high customer rating. But that is not necessarily a good option for you. There are a few reasons for this. First is that sellers sometimes give away boards for free to boost their user review rating. Second – most of the people that do buy such boards and leave a review, leave one because of the cheap price and they close to the fact that the longboard essentially sucks. They think something within lines of ‘Maybe board X is not the fastest and sounds like a garbage truck but hey, I have only paid 40$ for that’. And you don’t want to trust a review of customers like that and base your decision to buy or not to buy on such reviews
That was a long post. Congratulations on reading it through. Anyways, I really hope that now you have an understanding of what are the better brands in the market. Also what kind of boards you should avoid buying. If you have any questions or want to chat, leave a comment or hit us up via the contact form.
What's up everyone? Almost 6 years ago I have tried out my first board sport – longboarding. Ever since I have been hooked with it and other board sports. Everyday I try to share my knowledge about it with all of you. If you have any questions, comments or just want to chat, hit me up via the contact form.