Are Retrospec longboards good for beginners?

Quick Longboards Basics

Longboard wheels vs skateboard wheels
Longboard wheels vs skateboard wheels

You can skip this section if you’ve already equipped yourself with all the necessary info about longboards. For complete beginners, stay here!

Longboards are the longest types of boards among various other kinds. Their length is usually over 36 inches. And they weigh well over 8 or 9 lbs.

Have you ever been to those California or Destin beaches and missed the surfing there? Many players sure have. That’s partly why longboards are created. They are surf inspired. They do look a lot like your typical surfboard.

Now, who is longboard for, you may ask? Longboards are awesome for long distance rides, carving, racing downhill, doing some tricks, and even freestyling.

They can be a bit awkward and heavy to carry around. We generally don’t recommend using longboards for daily commutes. However, you can if you want to, of course.

5 Types of Longboards You Need To Know

To choose the best longboards, not just the Retrospec longboards, you should at least know the 5 most common types of longboards there are right now.

Cruiser

These are surf-inspired. They are very beginner-friendly. In fact, they do look a lot like your surfboards. The decks are flat and there are no kicktails on the boards.

Usually, you’ll find high-degree trucks and soft wheels on cruising longboards. You can easily cruise on these for casual or long rides. They feel a whole lot cruisy as well.

Carving

These boards are specifically made with carving capability in mind. They usually have drop-through or cut-out decks. This is to avoid wheel bite or risky injuries when you’re taking sharp turns.

The flex on these is great. You can pump the boards to get up to speed. There are no kicks on these as well. You don’t want to do tricks on these. Also, the soft wheels will give you more grip on the ground.

Downhill

Downhill longboards are super stiff and thick. They usually have wide and low-degree trucks and soft wheels. All of these together give you the most stable and enjoyable ride downhill.

Freestyle

These boards look sick! They are great for doing tricks and getting surfy rides. They have drop-through decks for maximum agility. The little kicktails can help you kick the boards up easily.

Freeride

This is a combo of downhill and freestyle longboards. You can enjoy doing tricks and racing downhill on these. Their look is somewhat in between. You’ll find bullet shape and drop-through decks for these.

Retrospec Zed Bamboo Longboard Skateboard Complete Cruiser

Are RIMABLE longboards good for beginners
Are RIMABLE longboards good for beginners

If you’re a beginner, we’d totally recommend getting a cruiser longboard. One of the best we love and trust is Retrospec Zed Bamboo Cruiser.

Who’s Retrospec?

Retrospec is a well-known manufacturer in boarding and cycling. They make great bikes and boards. Thousands of customers have used and are very happy with their choices. What we love about them is their customer support. That’s a super important thing for beginners. There are no dumb or too basic questions that they don’t answer. Ask away!

The Good

Colors – This Retrospec Zed Bamboo is an excellent first step for beginners. The first thing of all, you’ll be amazed at the sheer number of colors available. From sunup to sundown, they have it all!

Price – Second, the price is great. For around $50 or so, we think this is a pretty good investment. For one thing, you won’t get crappy quality like those WalMart boards. For another, it’s reasonable for all the specs packed into this nice little thing.

Specs – Moving on to some specs, you’ll get a 44-inch deck handmade from beautiful bamboo and Canadian maple. That’s a pretty long longboard honestly. The shape will surely evoke some California nostalgia for riders.

Design – The nose and tail are well-designed. You won’t get wheel bites when taking long deep turns. The wheels are made from Polyurethane (PU) and are super grippy. Their ball bearings are fast and ABEC 7-rated. Together, these give you super stable and fast rides.

Weight –  The board is also lightweight. Petite sized girls around 5’2” can ride and carry it easily. However, 8 lbs may feel quite a lot for some riders.

Ride quality – The ride quality on this board is awesome. It rolls much better than we expected. The value that is packed into the board is exceptional. We don’t get any wheel bites at all. Certainly great for the price tag.

The Bad

What we wish Retrospec included is ABEC 9 or ABEC 11 bearings. Okay, we may be asking too much. But, if you check out other longboards out there like Volador, they have equipped ABEC 9 bearings on their boards.

The point of having fast bearings on longboards is that they will help your board move fast and get up to speed much quicker. Also, longboards tend to suck when you go very slow. For us, that’s the only complaint.

Other riders, however, find this board not as flexy as they wanted. They feel the deck is like hard rock. So, don’t expect a lot of flex out of this. It’s not recommended for doing powerful pumps either.

Also, some find the board snap under heavy weight. This is something you should check very carefully beforehand. The max weight limit of this Retrospec is around 200 lbs. Going any higher than that will certainly add high pressure on the deck. This is a bad thing for you.

The Bottom Line

Despite several drawbacks regarding bearings and weight capacity, we think this Retrospec Zed Bamboo board is totally worth it! It’s affordable for starters and very easy to get a hang of. You can try it out to see if the sport fits you. For us, we love it!

Some Last Pro Tips

the new longboard wheels called Shark Wheels
the new longboard wheels called Shark Wheels

If you’re a newbie looking for a great first longboard, remember these tips:

  • Cruiser longboards would be a perfect start
  • Softer wheels will give you much more grip
  • Flexy decks will allow you to do more powerful pumps & acceleration
  • Stiff and thick decks will be much more stable at high speeds
  • Drop-through decks will prevent any wheel bites from happening
  • Make sure there are no air bubbles on your grip tape surface
  • Feel free to dance on your board
  • Don’t use cruiser longboards for heavy tricks
  • Say “No” to WalMart boards

Conclusion

Thanks for making it this far! We really hope you’ve found that info helpful. Let us know if you were able to pick your first great masterpiece. If you’re still confused about the choices, look no further and read the full review on Retrospec Zed longboard above. It’s a go-to choice that we recommend to many beginners. You definitely won’t be disappointed. Catch you next time!