Best Longboard for Dancing: A beginner guide to buying your first longboard

What is the best longboard for dancing? A question I have heard asked many times in my short time as a longboard dancer.

I’ve met so many other dancers, that basically did the same thing I did when first selecting their initial longboard dancing setup, the sequence typically goes something like this:

  1. We become absolutely captivated by some display of longboard dancing that we see on YouTube or Instagram. For me, it was a video of Hans, Doyoung, and Moon effortlessly gliding around in Belgium (Endless Dancing). Who was it for you? Was also Doyoung? Maybe Hyo Joo? Maybe you saw someone land a sick tiger claw?
  2. We decide, that’s what we wanna do! So we set out to spend countless hours online to figure out how we can start dancing on a longboard! Hazahhhh!
  3. We’re still a little insecure with ourselves, so in order to ”try it out and see if we like it” with minimal risk, we order what we think is an ok longboard from Amazon or something similar, normally based on an equation of how fast we can get it, cost, and average customer review score.
  4. Board comes, and yeah it’s ok for cruising, but as we rapidly dive more and more into dancing, we find out yeah ok maybe this isn’t the greatest setup for this sport…
  5. Ditch first online board, go into a real skate / longboard shop, and buy a real setup meant for dancing.
my first longboard dancing setup
Me happy as can be with my first real longboard dancing setup, somewhere in the mountains of Fuerteventura

And yeah this works…well kinda…I mean you’ll get started and at the end of the day, getting started is the MAIN thing.

But you’re definitely not being as efficient as you can be with your money and time. When I got to step five in the process, I was still pretty clueless on what all the parts and stuff did, and what I should be looking out for.

I knew I wanted to learn how to dance on a longboard, and for that I knew I needed a bigger board, but beyond that, I was still fairly clueless…


The shop here in Leipzig is awesome, it’s a great place to chill, they make fantastic decks, and they’re very knowledgeable. But you need to know what works for you and your riding style! (Or at least your potential riding style).

So now we’re going to dive in detail into what can help you determine setup for your specific needs.

Here’s our 7 tips for picking out the best longboard for dancing, both from a technical and theoretical standpoint

1. Truly have an idea of what style you want to get into

Being that this is a site dedicated to the style of longboard dancing, we won’t go too in depth into other longboarding styles, but since dancing and freestyle generally go pretty hand in hand with each other, we’ll cover the basics of each again here. In my own definitions:

  • Dancing is “stepping” on the board in set sequences to get the board to carve while you do different turns, poses, holds, twists, pirouettes, and so forth.
  • Freestyle is doing things that involve the wheels of the board leaving the ground. Ollies, Shuvits, No Complies, etc are all elements of freestyle.

It is advantageous to have an idea of what you want to do, because that can influence your board setup, we’ll get more into this later as the article goes on.

2. Get into a real skate/longboard shop

I cannot stress this enough, the difference between a real skate shop and a non-real skate shop will greatly effect how you progress.

If you have no idea what this means, read the questions below, if the answer to any of the questions below for you are YES, then you are not in a real skate shop.

  1. Does the store sell mainstream designer clothes as well?
  2. Does the store sell other sporting good equipment, such as bicycles, football equipment, etc?
  3. Does the store have an elevator in it?
  4. Does the store sell any completely assembled “high quality” skate/longboards for less than 100€?
  5. Do the employees in the store wear matching vests?
  6. Does the store’s decor change based on upcoming holidays?

Ok ok, I think you get the point haha. But yeah, you should definitely get into a real skate shop because the gear will be much higher quality and can properly take the abuse that comes with skating.

Other than that, you’ll have staff there that is knowledgeable on the equipment, and most importantly you should be able to try out various setups before buying anything!

That last part is crucial, a proper skate shop should have a variety of different setups that give customers a range of ideas of how their purchased setup will feel.

There’s a couple brands out there for longboard dancing gear that are standard throughout the scene, to name a few: Paris Truck Co., Bastlboards, Loaded Boards, Timber Boards, Caliber Trucks, Orangatang Wheels, Bloodorange Wheels – if the shop you’re in carries any or all of these, you’re in a good spot.

A side note on online shopping

To be honest, for longboard gear I’ll only turn to the internet if I need something super specific, or if I need something fast.

There are online retailers out there that sell quality equipment, but I rarely see any differences in price, and plus I like supporting the local skate shop scene.

Besides, most of the online shops that sell quality longboard dancing stuff are all owned by a brick and mortar store anyways, so if you can get to their physical shop, definitely do so! 🙂

3. What size / kind of deck is ideal for a longboard dancing setup?

This is a common question and to answer it very plainly from the start, the deck should be at least 110cm long.

To again refer to really having an idea of what style interests you most, this will make a difference in the size you pick.

  • A longer deck will give you more room for stepping. Ultimately your longboard will be acting as a dance floor, so if you need the space, the bigger the better.
  • A shorter deck will weigh less and require energy to do flips if you’re more into freestyle.

To tack on some real world experience and learnings here: My first real setup was on the Bastl Bolero, which measures 108cm long. At the time of purchasing it, I already thought the thing was massive, and would completely adequate for my needs.

I always knew I’d tend towards dancing over freestyle, even from the very beginning (because I’m easily terrified on my board and am certain too much freestyle will lead to my untimely demise hah).

my current longboard dancing setup
My 2nd longboard dancing setup on the Bastlboards Walzer (She was named her Purple Rain) Ain’t she beautifulllllll?

It wasn’t until I started learning more advanced dance sequences that I realized the Bolero was actually too small for me. I wear a size 44 (US 10.5) shoe, and when doing certain variations of the cross step I would end up tripping all over myself, and this was very frustrating.

I then moved on to my second setup, the Bastlboards Walzer, which comes in at 124cm and that extra 16 centimeters made a world of difference.

I couldn’t be happier. I am gonna keep the Bolero still because it is beautiful, and mostly out of sentimental value, but it’s really hard to imagine ever going back to it, especially after getting the extra space on the Walzer.

A side note on grip tape

If you come from a street skateboarding background, you’re probably used to having a fully gripped deck. My recommendation for a dancer / freestyle setup would be to first only grip the nose and tails, and leave the center un-gripped.

This allows you to have more slippiness where you are stepping in dance sequences, but still provides grip on the nose and tail for doing freestyle tricks. (Don’t worry, the center will still be grippy enough to ride safely, just don’t ride in the rain lol).

This is a good place to start and as you develop your own style, you might want to add more grip tape later.

Amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been putting in a decent amount of work into improve the site, and one of those things is improving old articles. I’ve acquired my third setup! (Pictured Below)

This is the Timber Boards Kiwi, which measures in at 119cm, so it is between length of my Bastl Boards Bolero and the Walzer. Both of those boards are still in my possession, but this setup here with has really stolen my heart. It’s really my dream setup!

I attended my second longboard dancing camp in July of this year (the COVID edition haha) and there I was able to try the Loaded Bhangra V2. I very quickly fell in love with the board, and naturally had to try one out as the Kiwi was starting to get trashed as well. Below is my 4th and current setup.

What about flex in a deck?

Another topic that comes up often, and again will go back to your preferred style of riding, more dancing or more freestyle?

Generally, most brands go with a flex system of 1-3, but please, and I cannot stress this enough, DOUBLE CHECK THE FLEX RATINGS WITH THE BRAND YOU’RE INTERESTED IN WITH THE SHOP!

There are some brands that do this differently, so we wanna make sure you’re getting the flex you expect. But the breakdown usually goes something like this:

  • Flex 1 / Hardest (basically no flex at all) / for riders over 78kg.
  • Flex 2 / Middle (some nice bounce on jumps) / for riders 58-78kg.
  • Flex 3 / Softest (basically a trampoline on wheels / for riders up to 58kg.

Again, these are general guidelines, and it will shift from brand to brand. Another great reason to visit a real shop, so you can stand on the boards and get an idea of how bouncy it will be.

Harder Flex in addition to being geared towards heavier riders, favors freestyle riding. Most freestylers don’t like the extra bounce when they land a huge flip or something, because the energy the board sends back after they land can send them flying right back off the board.

Softer Flex favors dancers, because we typically do smaller “hops” on the board, and the flex can help us carve bigger and more slowly, which gives the effect of these nice big graceful turns as we go through our lines.

In the end this isn’t the end all be all to this topic and it just comes down to preference. You’ll meet dancers that ride with no flex and you’ll meet freestylers that ride with a flex 3.

But you should have an idea of what this all means and how it pertains to longboard dancing. I weigh roughly 62kg, favor dancing over freestyle, and with Bastlboards the flex 2 rating for me is absolutely perfect for my longboard dancing setup.

4. What trucks should I get for my longboard dancing setup?

There’s really a lot of science behind trucks and how they’re produced, and there’s no shortage of high-quality brands out there, but generally for dancing you want to pay attention to the following specifications:

  1. The width of the truck should measure 180mm. Nice long trucks are going to help you get those nice, big, smooth carves.
  2. The angle of the truck should be 50 degrees. This is optimal for speed and turning, and will help you avoid wheel bite. (This is when you turn really hard, your board makes contact with the wheel, stops said wheel immediately, and sends you flying off the board).

Beyond that, pick a high-quality brand in your local skate shop in a color/design you like and that you can afford.

5. What about wheels, what’s to know here?

If you’re local skate shop is big, you’ll probably be very easily intimated and overwhelmed by the amount of different wheels they stock. So like with trucks, we’re not going to get into specific brands, but rather the specifications you wanna look out for:

  1. Size should be between 60-70mm. Riding style here matters again, smaller wheels will gain speed quicker and are best suited for freestyle, bigger wheels will roll longer without needing to push so often and are best suited for dancing. A good medium to go with in most cases is 65mm.
  2. Durometer (Wheel Hardness) should be rated between 80-86A. Harder wheels, just like smaller sizes, will gain speed faster and favor freestyle. Softer wheels will roll longer and favor dancing. With my build and riding style, I ride a 82A, and I find it ideal.
  3. Pay attention to the lip (or edge) of the wheel. Some wheels have a rounded lip, some of them a straight edge. Rounded lips are a bit more fun, as you can experiment with some sliding tactics, this is much harder to do with a straight edged wheel as the wheels will just bite into the ground if you try to slide on them.
good wheels are important when you're putting togethter the best longboard for dancing
Current wheels on my Walzer, Bloodorange Morgens, 65MM, 82A

What about bearings and stuff?

To be honest, it seems bearings over all other parts of the longboard seem to have the most conflicting opinions from experienced riders I have met.

My advice, just grab a good set the shop recommends and spend no more than 25€ on a full set. These things take a beating quickly, and you’ll be replacing them every few months anyways (if you ride daily) so don’t spend too much thought or money here.

A note on hardware

There is some strategy involved with hardware as well. For the absolute beginner, hardware refers to the nuts and bolts that hold the trucks to your board. Here’s some things to be aware of:

  1. Get bolts with a dome top. These bolts have a flat part under them, so they sit flush against the deck. Most flat top bolts have a taper effect under them, which over time, will widen the holes in your deck which we want to avoid.
  2. Get bolts with a Phillips screw. You’ll typically have two options here, Phillips and a hex key (allan key for the US folks). All skate tools will have a Phillips screwdriver with them, but not all skate tools will have a hex key that fits your bolts.
  3. 1.25″ is probably the ideal length for the bolts. I ride a V2 Loaded Bhangra which is quite thick, and Paris V3’s and this length is ideal for me. You want to keep the bolts as short as possible while insuring that the nuts have enough space to really tighten adequately. Don’t go too long though, too much excess bolt under the trucks can rip up your hands if you get into hand tricks.
  4. USE RISER PADS. 1/8″ is a good size! This is just enough to give a bit of protection between the trucks and the board, to eat up some of that vibration when the board slams against the ground.

Don’t ignore these small parts in the setup, our gear is expensive and these small things can make a big difference in preserving your stuff as much as possible.

6. Should I be concerned with Bushings?

Mmmmmmm, yes and no. For those unfamiliar, the bushings are the rubbery-looking things that are jammed in your trucks that control how the board turns. For most stock setups, they are black in color.

This is a complicated because, if you’re reading this guide you’re interested in getting your first longboard dancing setup. And for someone doing that, the bushings aren’t really going to matter at this point / skill level…

Case in point, there’s going to be a learning / fear curve you’re going to have to work over, and when you are doing that you’ll likely be starting with your trucks super tight anyways to feel more stable and safe on the board.

Under these circumstances, even the most professional bushings in the world aren’t going to make a difference, and the bushings that come with your trucks will be adequate for the start. So I would save the money, and no worry about bushings at this point.

The good news is, when you are ready to step up your bushing game, they are not that expensive!

If you are a more advanced rider, check out our guide on longboard dancing bushings. We break down the topic in depth there.

7. Accept from the start that you’re going to get addicted to this, and you’ll be spending lots of hard earned money on it

Ok maybe that sounds dramatic, but to an extent it is true. A proper longboard dancing setup can cost quite a bit of money.

You’re going to improve, learn new things, and you’re going to want to experiment with equipment as you go on. The gear certainly makes a difference with this sport, there’s tricks and moves I can now land with certain setups, that I cannot with a different setup.

The stuff in this article is all guidelines, but in reality as you progress, you’ll discover the certain specifications and brands that work for you specifically, and once you unlock that you’ll be set on it for life. (Unless you completely change riding styles lol).

So, when are you gonna get your first official longboard dancing setup?

It’s a beautiful feeling, walking into a shop, spending some time in there going over options, finally picking out your setup, and seeing the shop assemble your first masterpiece.

And it hurts oh so bad when your brand new setup takes its first crash against the ground to take its first scratch, but it is all part of the experience!

We hope this guide has helped you out, if you’ve got any questions on anything, or have any ideas for making this article more comprehensive or better in any way, please let us know in the comments.

We’d love to make this the ultimate buyer’s guide for first time longboard dancers.

About Shawn Segundo
Shawn is the founder of Longboard Dancing World and is also an avid longboard dancer. When he's not boarding or building this community, he can be found doing other marketing stuff professionally, or trying to find the best vegan cakes in Leipzig.


  1. Wow, this article really helped me! I’ve just started riding my husband’s Longboard and really loved it. He has a cruiser but I’m really interested in longboard dancing. Thank you for all the tips!

    • Hey Beatriz, glad the article helped you out! If you need any tips on building your first dancer setup, let us know here or hit us up on our Instagram!

  2. This really helped! I do have a question though. I have already purchased a longboard and I don’t think I will be able to return it. When I was originally buying it the person told me that it was a good dancing longboard to also do tricks on (it’s a 35 inch board with raised edges and a kick tail). I was a little skeptical because I already had done some research and it didn’t seem to be the ideal board type for what I wanted to do but I was convinced because he was a professional. Anyway I guess my question is given how small my board is and it’s shape could I still longboard dance on it? Im pretty short with size 6 feet so I probably wouldn’t need to big of a board anyway. Sorry this is so long haha

    • Hey Nara! Ultimately the stuff I mention in the guide are all guidelines, but not strict rules. I mean Ana down in Brazil can jam on a Penny Board haha, so anything is possible. The guidelines in the article are idea. but 35 inches is also a decent size and if you have smaller feet, may even work more in your favor if you decide to get more into freestyle. The raised edges and kicktails are definitely also a good thing, remember, the main thing is to get out there and start 🙂

  3. This article really helped my narrow down my choice for buying my first longbaord set-up! One question, I am trying to choose between a 44 inch and a 46 inch longboard but I can’t decide with is better. For context, I am pretty short (5’4″) and I plan on mostly dancing, but I still want to try some freestyle. Thank you!

    • Hey May!

      Glad you liked the article and it was helpful 🙂 So at those lengths, I’d say get whatever is more affordable and/or which design you like better haha. In both cases, you’ll get used to it and they’ll both be good for freestyle and dancing. If you want to post the specific boards here, I can give you some feedback on the models themselves, or possibly recommend something better for a similar price point.

      • Thank you for your reply, the two boards I am trying to decide between are the Zenit Judo and the Zenit Jig 2.0.

  4. I’m curious about the chubby unicorn if you have any opinions

    • I’d be careful here, the rockers could be good for freestyle, in my opinion they are terrible for dancing and stepping on the board. On the loaded website itself, the list nothing on the chubby unicorn description for dancing. If you like loaded, bhangra or tarab is the way to go.

  5. Hey so I’m extremely new at boarding, I’ve always ridden my brothers long boards but Im terrible at it. I’m trying to choose a good shape, mines currently a cruiser but i wanna get one more dancing oriented i might try some freestyle but not much for now and maybe later get a board more freestyle oriented. I just was curious what your top boards would be, Im fairly small(5’4 and 115lbs ish) I know id probably want a flex 2 with rounded wheels but again idk really what shape. I was thinking maybe a double kick tail but i just like the look.

    • Hey Nyah, sorry for the late response, but I’ve been on vacation for a bit haha. Where are you based? That will help me give you some recommendations, because not all board makers ship internationally. It would also help me if I knew what kind of budget you have.

      • No worries! totally understandable lol. Im here in southern nevada, but as far as budget goes ideally around 130 ish but I figured id be a little flexible on it cause sometimes something might cost more idk.

  6. Hey, Shawn! Suuuper helpful info here as far as dancing-specific longboard setup… Thank you! I’m building my own setup rather than buying a complete, and have questions about shockpads/risers–any recommendations on a particular one, ideal thickness/size, and what size hardware would be best when including a shockpad in the setup? I’d appreciate it 🙂

    • Hey Jae,

      For riser pads, I would go as thing as possible which I believe is 1/8 of an inch. For this discipline of skating, the riser pads are more there to absorb vibration between the truck and the board, vs actually changing / effecting the ride as they do in some other disciplines. We don’t want to get too much extra height, as that can effect how you carve when doing dancing steps. For hardware, most decks will do just fine with a 1.25″ length bolt, and I’d recommend getting bolts that have the dome head, as these won’t dig into your board over time. Don’t go too long on the bolts either, as when you do hand tricks, sometimes we grab the trucks and if the bolts are too long, you can take a bolt into your hand which is never fun haha.

  7. hi Sean! thanks for this article. it is super helpful. what do you think about grip tape on a longboard for dancing? i bought a land yahtz with no grip on the middle of the board, only on the tails. will that be helpful for dancing as i progress to pirouettes and stuff? or should i grip it up. thanks

    • Hey Emily,

      Great question! I’m actually going to update the article to include this, but the answer is — it depends lol. So to make this easy, for 90% of setups you’re going to want normal grip tape on the nose and tails only, and you’ll leave the center of the deck ungripped. This allows more slide on the part of the deck you’ll be stepping on, and more grip for the tails which is needed for tricks. As you develop your style, you might want more grip tape, or even less, but this is a good starting point and what 90% of all dancer / freestylers ride. 🙂

  8. Hey Shawn, I love the web page and the great articles. Really helpful for someone who just started this summer! Everything happened pretty much like you said haha I bought my first dropthrough on ebay to give the sport a go and now I‘m hooked on dancing! I‘d love to pick your brain on something if that‘s ok hehe: I found a deal for a Simple Boards Platypus with Paris v2s for around 140 euros. Bearings and wheels that come with it are nothing special. The board looks beat up and the owner covered the edges with Epoxidharz. So I have 2 questions: 1) Is it standard practice to do this with the Epoxidharz? 2) Sounds to me like a pretty sweet deal. Though the board isn‘t perfect it‘s still looks solid and it should be great to learn dance moves on. What do you think? Thanks so much!

    I appreciate the work you‘re doing. Keep it up! Oh and if you happen to know any cool longboarders near Tübingen would love to reach out, since you‘re also rooted in Germany. Cheers man!

    • Hey Hernán,

      Glad to hear you are liking the website! Sounds like a pretty sweet deal you’ve found! The Platypus is a great board for dancing 🙂 So let’s get to your questions, the boards are designed to be as durable as possible, but that being said, they are still all primarily made of wood so there are some things we need to keep in mind.

      Regarding Epoxihardz or anything similar, yes, this is standard practice. A lot of riders maximize the life of their boards by using some kind of epoxy to smoothen out the edges as they wear. There are two things you need to look out here for, the first being is if the board is actually starting to “split.” This happens when the board takes a severe impact on a very concentrated point, think of the board hitting like the corner of a metal dumpster really hard or something. This can cause splitting of the layers of the board, which no amount of epoxy can fix. I’d ask the seller for really detailed pictures of the nose and tail. Secondly, you need to have an idea of how worn the noise and tail actually are. At some point, a board is going to lose all of its pop. Meaning the nose and tail are so worn down, that the angle they used to have to be able to pop them in the air is no longer there. This is important if you want to learn freestyle. Unfortunately, this is hard to gauge from photos, the best/only way os to have the seller take a picture of the board lying flat on something like a table. This way you can see the angle of the nose and tail compared to the 0 degree flat surface, and compare it with the pictures of the current platy on the simple site. Good luck, and I’ll let you know if I find anyone near Tübingen!

  9. This article was really helpful! However, I do have one question. The board I purchased isn’t symmetrical like the ones I’ve seen experienced dancers used. It’s about a 110 cm board that I’m going to learn on and try simple moves. My plan was that if I change my mind and just want to cruise instead, I’ll just keep using my board. But if I want to keep dancing, should I invest in a new board that’s symmetrical?

    • Hi Melody,

      I wouldn’t invest in a new board just yet. Main thing is to get a solid foundation down in the start so you can start to really get a feel for which disciplines you want to develop once you start getting more comfortable with the basics, and basics steps can be done on any longboard! 🙂

      I currently ride the loaded Bhangra, which is also not symmetrical and it is a blast to ride.

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