The longboard bug bit me. Years ago, I bought a skateboard thinking I could go cruising around the neighbourhood like I did when I was younger. Turns out it wasn’t that easy. I would push off and the skateboard would move like a meter. So much work to get going. I remember one time I took it out on the sidewalk and my wheels got caught in a crack. I fell over and I scraped my hands. That was the last time I went skateboarding again. Yes, I’m no Tony Hawk or even the 12 year old kid I use to be. I basically was dreaming when I *thought* I could just jump on a board and float around effortlessly.
However, recently I see more and more people around town with these longer skateboards. It seemed effortless for them to push off and glide. I had to investigate this “longer” skateboard contraption. After some googling, I concluded that what I was missing in my life was a longboard. So what do I think a LB is? It’s basically a longer skateboard with big wheels.
This 4-wheeled plank could very well be the death of me. Nonetheless, I had to get one along with a helmet. The seed was planted for me to buy a longboard but I hadn’t done any research on what to buy. So unfortunately, I saw a longboard at a department store and bought one impulsively. It was way better than any skateboard I’ve tried. I was able to turn and push off much easier. One major problem I had with this department brand longboard was “wheelbite.” Because of the shape, the board would scrape the wheels everytime I leaned into my turn. The cruiser style was like a typical skateboard but longer. It also had smaller wheels. I swapped out the smaller wheels with 76mm ones. This board wet my appetite for a better board so I thank it for that.
I did some reading on what board to buy. All I’m looking for is boarding around the parking lot so my requirements are rather minimal. There’s a company called Landyachtz that makes some really nice LB’s in Canada. Surprisingly, Landyachtz is like right in my backyard. Almost literally. They’re just a few blocks away from my parents’ place. I was deciding between a few models they made. It was quite a tough choice but I knew I wanted cutouts to avoid wheelbite. As you can tell from the title of this post, I chose the Switch. They had a smaller one called the Switch 37, which was 37″ instead of the regular 41.25″ version. I got a “blem” Switch deck and “blem” wheels because they were cheaper. Blems items that are blemished. Cosmetic blemishes like paint chips or mislabeled. Slight imperfections but it’s okay because I’m gonna add blemishes to them anyways by scraping the hell out of it. So if you wanna save a few bucks ask them for blems.
Zombie Hawgs 76mm “Blems”
The Switch has a dropped platform so it sits lower to the ground. There are cutouts for the wheels in the front and back so there isn’t any wheelbite. It’s got some graphics on the bottom over a white painted plank. It’s a 12 layer maple board. It’s also symetrical so there is no front or back. There isn’t a lot of flex and it feels very solid. I wish I could say more but I’m a rookie.
Safety is a huge concern for me. As I get older, I want to live longer. A helmet is a must have item. I also got myself some slide gloves. Slide gloves have pieces of hard plastic stuck to it so you can use them to help you stop when going down a hill. You can actually buy them but they cost about $50. They look very similar to gardening/work gloves with velcro stuck on the palm. A pair of gloves from your local hardware store will probably cost anywhere from $2-$10. You’ll need industrial strength velcro and some Gorilla glue. I like building crap so I always have that handy. For the hard plastic, some people use a chopping board and cut it into smaller pieces. I was lazy so I just bought replacement slide pucks and used them on my own gloves. The pucks are just pieces of hard plastic with velcro on one side to attach to the glove. They’re about 3.5″ x 0.5″ in size. They can be circular or whatever shape you find comfortable.
Glue the velcro to the palm of the gloves and use a heavy book to compress it. I made a couple of pairs using mechanic gloves ($10) and soccer goalie gloves ($20). Soccer gloves are great because they have more padding and come in a lot of different colours. Even if you don’t do any sliding, getting some gloves or wrist guards wouldn’t be a bad idea for general protection.
When I first stepped on the board, I noticed how much more stable it felt. My first push and I glided for quite a distance. It was a really nice and smooth ride. I took it out in the alley were it was extremely bump and filled with huge cracks in the road. I flew over them as if they weren’t there. The huge wheels probably helped with that. You can forget about going over them in my skateboard, I’d probably catch a wheel and do a face plow. Overall I’m quite happy with the LY Switch. The Switch can also be used for sliding with the proper wheels so it can grow with you as you get better from what I’ve been told.
Longboarding is pretty awesome. You can get into many different areas of the sport. Whether it’s scooting around town, doing tricks, sliding, or racing downhill. I just cruise, it’s as close to getting Marty McFly’s hoverboard as I can get.
Buy the Switch Longboard at Landyachtz