So you want to longboard dance? Longboard dancing is the one of the most popular styles of longboarding. It has been trending for the past few years and it is not stopping. Of course, as with other longboarding styles, there are boards specifically designed for dancing but there are also loads of choices when picking one. So how do you pick the right one? In this post I will provide you with all the information that you need to know so you can get the best longboard for dancing.
For those who do not want to dive in to details and are eager to get a board and ride, my three recommended picks for best longboard for dancing are below:
In general, my advice is to buy a complete longboard set. That means that you find a reputable brand and buy an already assembled longboard which includes all the parts. This will be the best choice for like 90% of longboarders, especially the beginners. When you build up your skills and understanding of each part of the board, then you could buy different parts as per your preference and assemble the longboard yourself. But when buying a complete longboard, you should also know what to look for a good dancing board.
What is important when picking a longboard for dancing?
Ok, now let‘s get down to the details. We will take a look at the four main parts of a longboard – deck, wheels, trucks and bearings. And we will go through the details about what to look for when picking a board for dancing. I‘ll also give you some recommendations when it comes to brands of the longboards. Ready? Let‘s go.
What kind of deck should you choose for a dancer?
Let‘s talk decks first. For longboard dancing this is the most important part. Want to guess why? You are right, because you will be dancing and doing tricks on it! When you are picking a dancing deck for yourself, you should consider and keep in mind the below criteria:
- Size of the deck
- Shape of the deck
- Material it is made of and flex
Size of the deck – bigger is better
When it comes to dancing on your longboard and picking a deck, the rule is quite simple – bigger is better. You will need quite some space to perform tricks and dance steps that‘s why you need a bigger deck. For a dancer longboard deck, you should aim the deck to be somewhere between 42 and 50 inches long and at least 9 inches wide. This will give you plenty of space to walk and dance on it.
Dancing decks are specifically designed in a way that there is plenty of space. Let me illustrate this with an example. Take a look at this image. You can see three boards. The one at the top is the Loaded Bhangra, longboard made for dancing. The other two boards are the Loaded Dervish and Landyachtz Switch which are great boards but not dancer boards really. Do you see how much space Bhangra has? That’s what you are looking for. And the two other decks are quite large, 42 inches for Dervish, 40 for Switch but they don’t even come close to Bhangra.
Shape of the deck
Ok, we have covered the size of the deck but what about its shape? The rule here is pretty simple, it should be shaped in a way that you have plenty of space and can do tricks. I’ll give you a few pointers. First, the shape of the deck between the trucks. It should be symmetrical or very close to it. You should avoid decks with cutouts or weird shapes if you want to dance on it. Secondly, make sure that the deck has double kick tails (kick tail on both ends of the board). You will need those for so you can pop the board and perform manuals.
Last but not least – get a top mount, not a drop through and not a drop down deck. You will have difficulties dancing on a dropped deck due to its height differences. It limits the space you have for the dance. Take a look at the images below, I have picked two boards for comparison. In the first image you can see dropped down deck with wheel cutouts and without kick tails. Although this is a good all terrain board, it is not created for dancing and you would have issues trying that.
In the second image you can see a dancer board – loads of space for dancing, double kick tails, top mount. This is the kind of deck you should aim for.
When it comes to the surface of the deck, you should aim for one with the mildest concave or no concave at all. This will enable you to perform cross steps and other dance moves without tripping over the concave. Take a look at the 4 most common concaves of the longboarding decks – flat, radial, elliptical and W (pardon for my lack of drawing skills). Guess which one is the easiest to dance on? You guessed it, the flat one. It is perfect for dancing. Other concaves serve other purposes and are designed for other longboarding styles, for example – radial for sliding, W for downhill, etc. So go for the flat one or a deck with a really mild concave.
Material it is made of and flex
As if there weren’t enough considerations when it comes to dancing decks already, here comes another one – material. When looking for a board, you will encounter decks which are made of maple, bamboo, fiberglass, carbon fiber and even plastic.
For dancing you don’t need a board which is too stiff or too flexy, you need something in the middle. I would suggest to go for Bamboo, Bamboo mixed with fiberglass or maple mixed with fiberglass. The reason why I prefer Bamboo for a dancer is simple – bamboo is lighter and it has a really good balance of flex and stability, especially when mixed with something like fiberglass.
Material which the deck is made of will make a difference. Remember, the board you are going for is at least 42 inches long, more like 45-48. Carrying a 48-inch bamboo deck vs carrying a 48-inch maple deck is a big difference. If you go for maple, that’s fine, just make sure that amount of ply’s is on the lower side, somewhere up to 7-8 and not 9-10.
When it comes to flex, you need a board which is not too stiff nor too flex. If you follow the recommendations of the manufacturer based on your weight, you will be fine. For example, there are two flex categories on the Loaded Bhangra. Depending on your weight, you go for one of them. Flex 1 for 150 – 170 lbs. riders, flex 2 for 90 – 190 lbs. riders. If you are a 260 lbs. guy and want to go for flex 2, well, do it at your own risk. The board will be too soft and might even break. As I mentioned, when it comes to flex, just follow the manufacturer guidelines, don’t overthink it and you’ll be just fine.
Wheels for longboard dancing
What about wheels? Well, let’s get one thing straight first. The wheels and all of the remaining parts of the board are not as important as the right deck for dancing. But it is still important enough to pay attention. And some of the wheels will be more suitable for dancing than others. Ok, so let’s think about what you will do with your longboard. You will be getting on it and off it, you will be performing a trick, stopping, popping the longboard and so on. Basically, you will not be riding at very high speeds, you will be stopping and accelerating a lot. So you need a set of wheels which would serve this purpose.
For dancing you need a smaller set of wheels. Somewhere within the 66-70 mm range. This will ensure that you will be able to accelerate faster with the wheel. Also, make sure that the lip of the wheel is round and not square. You will be performing tricks and maybe some freeride slides, you don’t need square edged wheels like you would for downhill. I wouldn’t pick too soft or too hard wheels for dancing. Somewhere within the 78-86a range would work the best.
Trucks for dancer longboard
Similar to wheels, when it comes to trucks, there aren’t too many specific criteria which you should be aware of. You should just follow the main principles – get a high quality 180mm trucks at 45-50° angle and they will be great for a dancer board. 180mm width will ensure that the trucks will be stable enough and 45-50° angle will add the needed responsiveness to your ride.
Of course, there are quite a few choices when it comes to trucks. But most of the trucks from reputable brands will be just fine, for example – Caliber Trucks, Bear Trucks or Paris. A lot of dancer boards use the Paris V2 50° trucks, they are a great choice as they are high quality but quite reasonably priced.
There are no specific considerations when it comes to bearings and dancing. Sure, you want to get a good set of bearings so your board rolls and you don’t have to push it every few seconds. But it does not really matter for dancing what kind of bearings you get as long as they are high quality.
Bearings is also the part of the longboard which you will want to upgrade the soonest despite from where do you pick the board. I don’t really know why but usually manufacturers do not add the highest quality bearings to their complete boards. Don’t get me wrong, bearings in the complete board sets are high quality but they could add better ones for additional 10$. Anyways, bearings are easily replaceable if needed.
If you are assembling a board by yourself or just want your board to roll longer and go faster when needed, you should definitely consider Zealous bearings or Bones Reds. Both of these cost around 20 dollars but are the best choice for longboard dancing. They usually last a lifetime and I have seen a considerable increase in speed and rolling time when I upgraded mine.
Ok, we have gone through almost all the details about picking a longboard for dancing, only one thing remains – brands. There are literally hundreds of different brands and I’d like to give you a few pointers here on what to look for and what to avoid. Some of the high quality brands on the market are Loaded, Landyachtz, Moonshine, Sector 9, Bustin Boards, Arbor, Rayne, Riviera, Madrid. Of course, there are many more but these are my preference.
You most likely would be ok picking a board from a less known brand if the quality is high and it matches the above criteria for dancer longboards. But try to avoid the following – recently longboarding market has been swamped with loads of very cheaply made boards, you can find some around 50$, sometimes even less. I know that it looks appealing to get a board like that but it’s both risky because of the low quality and you will want an upgrade after a week of riding a board like that.
My best longboard for dancing picks
Ok, I hope I have provided you with some insight in to what you should look for when buying a longboard for dancing. Now I will give a quick review of my top picks for dancer longboards. The three boards that I have picked are within different price ranges. In principle, dancer longboards can get pretty expensive. But all of the three picks are great in their price range.
Loaded Bhangra – The perfect choice but might be a bit expensive to some
Let’s begin with the Bhangra. You have most likely heard of this brand and this board and there is a good reason for it. It is one of the best longboards for dancing out there. It has been on the market for quite some time and it will be for many years to come. We know that it’s one of the best dancing boards out there but let’s see how it matches with our requirements.
Let’s start with the deck. So for a dancing deck we need it to be 42 – 50 inches long, at least 9 inches wide, it should have double kick tails and plenty space for dancing. Bhangra deck matches up quite nicely – the deck is 48.5 inches long, 9.5 inches wide. It does have double kick tails for tricks and the shape of the deck is perfect for dancing. The deck is also made of bamboo which I like because it will be lighter than a maple deck and it will have a good balance of flex and sturdiness.
Looking at the other components of the board – wheels, trucks and bearings, we can see that they are also great for dancing. This board is equipped with Orangatang Stimulus wheels which are 70mm in diameter and has a durometer of 80 or 83a. This is exactly what we are looking for. If you are going for more dancing setup and don’t plan to slide, pick the 80a wheels. If you plan to learn to slide and freeride a bit, it would be a bit easier to break down in to the slide with 83a wheels. Anyways, both options are great. In addition to this, Orangatang is one of the top wheels’ brands in the world.
When it comes to the trucks, it is equipped with the Paris 180mm 50° trucks. These are popular in the longboard dancing community and are what you would want on a dancer board. You will also get the JEHU v2 bearings. Honestly, I have not tried them out myself but I have heard very good opinions about these. They come with built in spacers and speed washers which should prolong the life of the bearings and keep the maintenance to a minimum.
Ok ok ok, you can already see that I really love this board but are there any negative sides? Well, there is one thing it might take some time to get used to – weight of the board. Although the deck is made out of bamboo it is still heavy and bulky but most of the dancer boards are due to their size. You will get used to that and you will fall in love with the board.
All in all, the Loaded Bhangra is one of the best choices in the world for a longboard for dancing. Check out more reviews and pricing here.
Bustin Daenseu – A bit cheaper but still an awesome longboard for dancing
Our second board is the Bustin Daenseu. Daenseu comes from a company which is relatively young. They opened their first store in NYC only in 2009 but since then the company is getting more and more attention and praise from the longboarding community. It is one of my favorite premium brands out there.
Ok, now let’s talk about the board. And see how it matches against our expectations. The deck is 44.5 inches long and 8.9 inches wide. It is a bit smaller compared to the Bhangra but you still will have plenty of space for the dance moves. The deck also has double kick tails and this is what we need in a dancer board. It is made of maple which would suggest that the board will be quite heavy but it’s actually not. Bustin has developed their own *E Core technology for creating decks which allows them to mix maple with other materials and that makes their boards sturdy but not too heavy.
This setup has 180mm Bear Grizzly trucks on them. As with Paris, they will be great for dancing and they are customizable. If you want to, you can change the angle of the trucks between 45° and 52°. The board is also equipped with Cloud Ride Cruiser wheels which are 69mm in diameter and has a durometer of 78a. As with the Bhangra, this is something in the middle and a kind of wheel we want for dancing. With these wheels you will be also able to do some slides if you want to.
When it comes to bearings, this is a potential area where the board might be lacking. It comes with Red Abec 7 Bearings which I haven’t really tried myself. I am always usually skeptical about bearings in complete setups in general. Usually the Abec rating does not ensure high quality of the bearing. Abec 7 from two different manufacturers can ride like two totally different set of bearings. One being awesome and other lacking in some areas. It’s nothing to be worried about because you can get a great set of bearings for like 20$ but you should be aware of that.
Despite the fact that the bearings might be something you will want to replace, this board is great choice for dancing and is a bit cheaper than the Bhangra. Click here for more info on it and pricing.
Magneto Bamboo Dancing Longboard – the best of the more reasonably priced longboards
Now let’s take a look at the leader of more reasonably priced longboards. It is ok and totally fair that you don’t want to spend 300 or 400 dollars on a dancer board just to understand you hate dancing. Then Magneto would be a great choice for you.
So let’s see what it’s got. The deck is 46 inches long and 9 inches wide. It does have double kick tails and really shallow concave which will be great for dancing. The deck is also made out of bamboo. Although the board is quite large, it is 3 pounds lighter than the Bhangra. It will help you when accelerating or just carrying the board around. The deck does not have black grip tape applied but it has a sanded top. You will be able The deck also has Paris trucks on it! Great news, this is exactly what you need.
What about wheels, bearings and bushings? Well, this is where the board might be lacking a bit. Although it comes with 70mm wheels which is something you would want on your board, the wheels are made by an unknown brand looks to be of a moderate quality. The same with the bearings and bushings. It seems that the bearings aren’t top notch and do not roll for too long. Bushings looks like low quality ones too, they often squeak and do not always respond to turns very well.
So is it a good choice? Trust me, even with the low quality wheels and bearings, it is an awesome choice for around 150$. It literally looks like the best deal for a dancer longboard in that price range. You will be able to easily replace the low quality parts if you encounter any issues and it will not cost you a fortune. This deck is an awesome choice for people under budget and for people wanting to learn to dance on a longboard. Check out more reviews here.
Wow, it has been a long post. I have put everything that I thought will be useful when buying a longboard for dancing. And I hope you it will help you when making a decision. As always, if you have any questions or comments, leave one below or reach out to me via the contact form.
Enjoy the dance!
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