Drop Through Longboards vs. Regular Longboards: Understanding the Difference
Aug 24, 2023
Skateboarding has evolved over the years, giving birth to various types, designs, and modifications. Among the most sought-after variants in the skateboarding world are the drop through longboard and regular longboard due to their stability through a longer wheelbase compared to the shorter wheelbase of a regular skateboard. With the interest in these boards, it's a good idea to understand the core differences between them.
Want to know the difference? We're going to delve into the primary distinctions between a drop through longboard and a regular longboard, talking about the unique features of the drop through longboard deck, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and the best scenarios to use them.
What is a Drop Deck?
The drop through longboard is a popular skateboard design, characterized primarily by its mounting technique. Here, the trucks are mounted through the board instead of beneath it. This results in a lower ride height, which can significantly impact the board's performance including creating greater stability for the rider.
The design of the drop through longboard deck not only offers the decks a distinctive appearance but also provides several functional advantages.
What is a Regular Longboard?
On the flip side, a regular longboard, also known as a top mount longboard, has the wheels of its trucks mounted directly beneath the board. This design provides a higher ride compared to its drop through counterpart.
Distinguishing Features Between a Dropped Platform and Regular Longboards
Height and Stability
The most noticeable difference between the two is the ride height. The drop through longboard sits at a lower center of gravity, offering a more stable ride, especially at high speeds. This lowered center of gravity provides enhanced balance for the rider. This design also decreases the chances of high speed wobbles. A regular longboard, due to its height, can be less stable at high speeds but offers more leverage over the trucks, making them more responsive to turns. Consequently, riders often choose based on their comfort level with the height and its influence on their riding style.
Turning and Carving
The top-mounted design of regular longboards translates to more aggressive carving and sharper turns. Their heightened deck gives a distinct leverage point advantage, allowing for dynamic movements compared to a drop deck platform. While a drop through skateboard provides smoother and more mellow turns, making them ideal for beginners or those seeking a relaxed ride. Their design is particularly tailored to ensure safety and ease for those who might not be used to intense carving.
Pushing and Braking
Since a drop deck longboard is closer to the ground, they require less effort to push and foot-brake. This proximity to the ground minimizes leg fatigue during extended rides. This feature makes them perfect for long-distance commuting, ensuring that riders' feet expend less energy over longer stretches.
Regular longboards might have a slight edge in terms of durability compared to a drop through longboard because there's no cutout in the deck as there is with drop through designs. This absence of a cutout provides an unbroken surface that can withstand stresses more uniformly. However, the strength of a board also largely depends on the materials used and its construction, meaning quality can vary greatly between brands and models.
While aesthetics might be subjective, many find the design of the drop through longboard more appealing because of its modern and unique look. This sleeker profile often catches the eye, making it a favorite among those who appreciate contemporary styles. Regular longboards, however, offer a classic skateboard appeal, evoking a sense of nostalgia and timeless charm.
Pros and Cons at a Glance
Drop Through Longboard:
Stable at high speeds due to its lower center of gravity, less effort to push and brake, contemporary design. Their lowered profile also often provides a unique visual appeal.
Less aggressive carving, potential for reduced durability due to deck cutouts. The cutouts, while aesthetically pleasing, might compromise the board's structural integrity.
More responsive turning, potentially more durable, classic design. Their traditional build often resonates with purists and longtime skateboard enthusiasts.
Requires more effort to push and brake, can be less stable at high speeds. Their height, while providing better leverage, might not be suitable for those prone to speed wobbles.
Which One is Right for You?
Your choice between a drop through longboard and a regular longboard largely depends on your intended use and personal preference.
If you're looking for greater stability, especially during downhill rides or while cruising at higher speeds, a drop through skateboard would be an ideal choice. Its design also makes it apt for long-distance commuting.
However, if you want more control during sharp turns and prefer aggressive carving, a regular longboard will serve you better.
While both drop throughs and regular longboards have their merits, understanding their differences will ensure you make an informed decision tailored to your skateboarding needs. Remember, no matter your choice, practice safe skateboarding, and always wear protective gear.