Mountainboard vs Longboard: What’s The Difference?

The choice between riding a mountainboard or riding a longboard entirely depends on what terrain a rider will use and what they hope to achieve. If you are unsure about what you prefer, we’re going to run through some of the key differences of riding a mountainboard vs longboard. We have also included the pros and cons of each ride.

So, should you get a mountainboard or a longboard?

Well, let’s start with the short answer!

If you want to cruise down grass hills or mountain bike trails, the mountainboard is the best choice. The mountainboard is designed to conquer all types of terrain. There is no limit when using the mountainboard.

Longboards are a perfect choice if you plan to cruise for long periods or over a long distance. Longboards provide a smooth riding experience and achieve high speeds while maintaining stability. Longboards are comfortable and can buffer cracks and pebbles on sidewalks.

Now let’s take a closer look…

Key Differences: Mountainboard vs Longboard

Mountainboard vs Longboard
Creative Commons courtesy of Rodolfo Barros on Flickr

Wheel size

The main difference between mountainboards and longboards is the wheels. Mountain board tires are similar to miniature mountain bike tires and measure between 8.5 to 10.5 inches in diameter. They are made of knobby rubber and filled with air. The tires have variable thickness, usually between 2 or 4 plies, and are designed for maximum grip with split center beads.

Longboard wheels measure between 64 to 80 mm in diameter and have soft wheels. The small wheels are set up for speed acceleration and make them suitable for going over pebbles and uneven surfaces. Longboard wheels are made out of polyurethane materials.

Size

As the name suggests, longboards are longer in size and usually measure 35 to 65 inches. The long length is to ensure the rider maintains balance, especially for beginners. Mountainboards measure between 35 to 43 inches and can be made from various materials and construction methods.

Decks

Longboard decks vary in shape and style, with each shape designed for its specific purpose. Some of the shapes include pintail, fishtail, blunt, cruiser, or drop-down shape, which is excellent for beginners as it offers more stability.

Mountainboard decks are generally made from laminated wood pressed into shape with larger dimensions than a longboard. Mountain board decks vary in weight, flex, shape, weight, and length.

Bindings

Bindings are adjustable straps that hold the rider on the board while giving him room to move his feet. Mountainboards are equipped with bindings ranging from typical stiff bindings to simple loops on the board that you can easily stick your fit in. If you are riding fast down a mountain and you go over a stump, you will basically be thrown off the board without those bindings. You expect a reasonably flat surface to ride on with longboards and do not require bindings.

Trucks

Unlike longboards, mountainboards have two types of trucks: channel and skate. These trucks are longer and more robust because they handle more pressure and have to hold large tires. Longboards commonly use the longboard truck, which is designed to allow responsive turning while maintaining stability at high speeds. The trucks have a wider wheelbase, making it easier for the rider to balance.

Hand brakes

Hand brakes come in handy when using a mountain board. The hand brake is similar to a mountain bike, except it’s not attached to the handlebar. The mountain rider holds it and squeezes it to slow down. They are essentially helpful when riding on single-track trails where it’s too tight to turn.

Longboards do not come with brakes and use alternative methods to control speed. To make a longboard stop, jump off the board and run it out or roll onto a rough surface such as grass. You can also break speed with the sole of your foot.

Speed

Longboards can reach higher speeds compared to mountain boards. You can quickly achieve the desired speed by pumping the board back and forth without having to take your feet off the ground.

When Should I Use a Longboard?

The smaller wheels of an APOLLO longboard
The smaller wheels of an APOLLO longboard

Longboards are spectacular for cruising around town and over long distances. They require minimal effort to achieve high speeds with excellent stability. A longboard will offer you more stability, shock absorption, and control, making it convenient to use on various types of surfaces.

Longboards are built for fast and stable rides. Whether you are planning for downhill racing or just getting to and from work, the longboards are customized to serve the rider purposely.

Pros of longboards

Longboards are super easy to balance on, which makes them beginner-friendly. Small rocks, debris, or cracks will not stop a longboard. You can also enjoy the thrill of cruising at high speeds with minimal effort. You don’t have to keep pushing off a longboard to move.

Longboards have long decks where riders stand, giving them more stability.

Cons of longboards

If you plan to try out some new cruising tricks, longboards are bulky and quite limited by tricks. They lack curved edges and aren’t great for trying in the air. If you love grinding, this cannot be easy with longboards. They are not something you would do in Skate Park. They are also much more expensive compared to regular skateboards.

When Should I Use a Mountainboard?

Mountainboard all terrain

Mountainboards are great boards that can ride on concrete, grass, or any other terrain you can imagine. These boards come with tire wheels and bindings on the deck. Mountain riders can take various landscapes from skate parks, hillsides to urban roads.

If you are fascinated by hardcore sport, the mountain board should be your first choice and hit the trail in no time. With these boards, you can perform incredible tricks and path impediments accurately.

The best moments of using a mountain board are making gigantic jumps, carving rails, or aerial pivots in unpaved countryside paths. You, however, need excellent braking skills to handle the acceleration on a hill. The idea here is not who achieves the highest speed down the mountain.

Pros of mountainboards

Mountainboards are rugged and can maneuver over any terrain. Riders can take huge jumps, pull mind-blowing maneuvers and carve rails in terrain parks and skate parks. Mountainboards are more flexible and springy and have smoother steering control.

When a rider performs tricks on a mountain board, it seems to defy physics. The mountainboard has a unique design and has a gravity engine that rolls the wheels.

Cons of mountainboards

Mountainboards are heavy and will not maintain high speeds on flat ground. The mountain board’s discs are vulnerable and likely to build up heat over time. They are also not friendly to new beginners.

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