An offshoot of skateboarding, this sport came into existence as 'sidewalk surfing' in the 1950s in Hawaii. In the later years, avid skateboard lovers developed longboarding in order to recreate a feel of surfing on the road.
To gain momentum while riding the longboard, downhill slopes are preferred. Although most of the boards measure around 100 to 150 cm, and are used for downhill cruising, professionals in this sport get their boards customized in accordance with their height, weight, and comfort of use.
The decks of longboards are very important when it comes to maneuvering it. The deck determines factors such as comfort, position, and balance of the rider. The 'pintail deck' is a tear-shaped flat surface that is suitable for beginners due to its simplistic design and easy maneuverability.
Another deck which is called the 'drop deck' design, consists of a curve in the middle of the deck, and provides great control while going downhill. One more shape that is gaining popularity is the downhill board, which is similar to the drop deck construction, that provides stability and facilitates an easier balance while riding.
Longboards consist of wheels which are broader and larger than the ones used on regular skateboards. Although the steel ball bearings are commercially popular, high quality ceramic bearings are also used by longboarding professionals.
Like in skateboarding, protective equipment used in longboarding is very important. Helmets need to be worn along with knee and elbow pads.
Although longboarding is a rage among downhill racers, it has become increasingly popular as a recreational sport for the pure thrill that the sport provides.