That's right ladies and gentlemen. Time for a new thread. Gimme your ideas to make first post the awesome post!
Deck: The deck is the main part of the board that you will stand on. They very in length, shape, and material depending on what you want your ride to be like. Most of the time they will be made out of bamboo to allow for flex and general carving. You can get them in plywood, carbon fiber, or a hybrid of all of them. Go to your local store to try a few out before you choose one at random.
Wheels: I don't need to explain what the wheels are but rather the significance of the wheels material. Now wheels come in all shapes (yes I do mean shapes), sizes, and stiffness (which is known as the DUROMETER.) You will see durometer is labeled as "a." Such as, "My bushings are 97a." If they have a higher number that means they will be tougher and not as "gummy." You want tougher wheels if you want to downhill because it will help you get more speed but be careful around turns because you are more prone to bottom out. If they have a lower number they are gummy and that is awesome for big carves because they grip the road much better. The wheels size is sectioned off in millimeters. You want bigger wheels for speed and carving and smaller wheels if you intend on being a slider. And as for shape... try some out and see what you like. I like ones that are wider and not as tall.
Trucks: Trucks might seem all the same but there are small differences that can change your entire riding style more than you'd care to know. Most trucks come in sizes ranging from 100mm to 250mm. The most common longboard truck is 180mm. Trucks also come with different angles. The more the angle the lower your board will be to the ground. Under sizing and over sizing trucks to your board are big no no's do to terrible stability at mid to high speeds. *Rule of thumb when sizing trucks: PUT WHEELS ON TRUCKS WHEN SIZING TO YOUR BOARD!* You never want your wheels to be completely under the board because it will be unstable and you will most likely get wheel bite which will throw you off the board. You want the wheels to almost completely out from under the deck. This will allow for stability and the ability to carve. To clarify, there are two parts to the truck itself. The faceplate and the hanger. The faceplate is the piece in which you will screw into the deck and the hanger is the part in which the wheels will go on.
Bushings: This is the main thing people skip without even knowing about it. The way your board handles under both speed and pressure depend mostly on your bushings. Bushings come in two shapes, CONE and BARREL. And they all come in many different types of DUROMETERs. Most decks will come stock with one cone and one barrel bushings. This allows you to remind stable but still have the ability to carve it out. If you are ALL about carving then get two cone bushings. This will have you flopping all over the place but if you know how to control it then you will be carving your brains out. How ever if you like to go fast or want a snappy response when dancing you will want to do the "Double Barrel Mod." The double barrel mod in a nut shell is, removing the "Hanger" bushing which with all stock trucks are "cone" shaped with a Barrel bushing topping it off with a flat washer rather than a stock curled washer. Depending on the style you ride, rather it be DH or carving and sliding your bushing set up will vary.
Bearings: The last part of the basics is the bearings. Your board will need a total of 8 bearings, 2 per wheel. The bearing is the small circular object inside the wheel itself. There are two types of bearings, stainless steel and ceramic. Most decks will come with stainless steel ABEC 5 bearings. They are good but nothing special. IF you really care about speed and are diligent about cleaning them you should get ceramic bearings. They are consistent, quiet, and will keep you going at sexy rates of speed. Stainless steel also work awesomely. I would suggest getting Bones Redz bearings. They are cheap and work very well. But no matter which you get, always clean them. Gunk and grease will build up and it will start dramatically slowing you down.
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Types of riding / deck styles.
Downhill: Downhill is just like it sounds. Get to the top of an awesome hill and bomb it and if it's technical throw in some slides to slow your self down. Unlike most other riding styles downhill you will need to work on a "speed stance" to get the most aerodynamic thus giving you more speed. It is really awkward at first but you get used to it and it because normal and you get going VERY fast if you can hold it, but that takes a lot of leg strength.
When it comes to the board itself they will usually be very stiff to prevent any unwanted speed ( or death) wobbles. Most of the time they will also have a good amount of meat on them so they can gain more momentum. You will want a wide truck so you will be stable and BIG ol' wheels to again keep you stable and get you going nice and fast. I ride a LANDYACHTZ EVO with Bear 852 trucks and Orangatang wheels. The bushings are all personal choice but I have 97a in the back and 95a in the front. I don't want to wobble at all but having bushings at that durometer and my trucks as tight as they are makes turing rather hard.
Average DH Setup*
Awesome DH video.
Sliding: Exactly what it sounds like. Sliding is when you are going down a hill and maneuver your board in such a way that you break the contact patch between the wheel and the ground and quite literally slide across the pavement. You can control these slides and turn them into tricks and when you are done bounce back up and keep riding. An absolutely necessity for sliding is sliding gloves. Sliding gloves are gloves with plastic pucks(cutting board, delrin, UHMWP) glued or velcroed to the glove itself, usually on the palm and tips of the fingers. This allows you to place your hands on the ground without harm, and more importantly, allow for hands down slides and shutdowns. Technical sliding puts more emphasis on hands down slides than standup slides, contrary to Freeriding. The boards used in this discipline are rather similar to your typical skateboard, but often wider.
Dancing: Any one can stand on a board and wiggle back and forth to carve. But can you carve while dancing on your board with fluidity and finesse? Dancing is simply a stylish way of cruising but with fancy footwork. If you can nail it you will be scoring with the ladies in no time.
Freeriding: Is related to downhill, but with less of an emphasis on pure speed, and more so on having fun. "Fun" includes sliding, drifting, carving, and whatever combinations you can think of. Think plenty of steezy standup slides, 180s, and so on. VERY FUN. The boards used for this are most often very flexible and symmetrical drop-through boards.
Slalom: Slalom is the act of weaving in between cones at high speed. It places a huge emphasis on timing and technique. To gain speed, riders use a technique called Pumping. Pumping is the act of carving back and forth quickly to gain speed. Using correct weight placement and movement, you can get up to a considerable speed and maintain it. Slalom boards are typically short with plenty of room near the nose of the board. Trucks are also very specific as well. The front truck is usually a quick turning truck (Bennett Vector, Tracker Rt-X) that is highly wedged. The back truck is a stable truck with plenty of lean (Tracker Rt-S).
LDP (Long Distance Pumping): LDP is a close cousin to Slalom. It is the practice of pumping for extended distances without pushing. The decks used are a lot longer than slalom decks, as longer boards go faster when pumping. The truck setup for the boards are almost identical, save wider hangers to compensate for the increased size of the board.
Cruising: If you would like to call it a discipline. It's composed of riding around, carving, pumping. It's rather chill, great for relaxing.
*Wedging: Wedging is using angled risers to increase or decrease the angle of the truck. It increases and decreases the turning radius of a board.*
Dervish Crew: The Imitator *ALWAYS WEAR PROTECTION*