Once upon a time, if you wanted a longboard, your only choice was a pintail.
Things have changed considerably these days, but the pintail is still a great choice for a cruiser or all-round longboard. With sexy curves, sleek lines and a long wheelbase, they give a mellow ride that carves great and looks good doing it.
We have quite a few pintails amongst all the other longboards in our shop, and with prices ranging from £50 up to nearly £500, it's easy to get lost. So we thought we'd put together this little rundown of everything we have to give you an idea of what to choose, and help you decide which pintail fits your needs the best.
The Cheapest Pintails - Sub £100
Starting at the cheap end, there are a few boards out there for under £100. They are ok to get you rolling, but suffer from two major problems: They are too short, and they have sub-standard trucks.
The major drawback of a pintail shape is that while it looks lively, the narrow nose and tail seriously reduces the available space for your feet. You can get away with this on a longer pintail, where the length gives a bigger standing platform, but a lot of the shorter pintails out there are getting so narrow under your feet that they start to get a bit tricky to stand on.
The trucks is the other issue with a lot of cheaper pintails out there. A pintail is built to carve - the longer wheelbase that a pintail offers gives a super-nice mellow turn - but only with decent trucks. Many cheaper pintails come set up with "Street" trucks instead of "Longboard" (Reverse KingPin) trucks. Street trucks are fine when the wheelbase is under 20" - but even a shorter pintail is long enough to warrant a proper longboard truck on there.
At under £50, the Atlantic Atlas Pintail is very, very cheap - in fact it's the cheapest longboard in our shop right now! However, those low-end street trucks are not turny enough and with a deck length of 40", the standing platform is too small. If you're going to get one of these - perhaps you're a smaller, lighter rider - we'd strongly recommend at least upgrading the bushings to some Bones Hardcores, which solves the truck issue. This board can work well for kids with the bushing upgrade.
At £90, the D-Street Mayan the only pintail in this price bracket that comes with RKP trucks. So it turns very well indeed - even though they are not a legitimate aftermarket truck, they certainly do the job for cruising about. However, at 36"x875", the deck is extremely short and narrow, so standing space is very limited indeed. This would also be a good option for kids and skaters with smaller feet - although if you're really light, then give us a call to switch the bushings out to something softer to get maximum turn.
For £100, you're just about getting into the cheapest of the Lush boards that we sell - the Mako on a "Standard" undercarriage kit. The deck offers way more space than any of the other cheaper pintails out there - not only is it 44" long, but Lush have also shaped the deck to offer as much width as possible over the trucks. At £100, you get Sabre street trucks - yes they are street trucks, but with premium formula longboard-sized softer bushings in there. They might not turn as well as a Sabre or Paris Longboard Truck, but they're a lot better than the cheaper street trucks you usually find at this price point.
In the middle: £100-£200
Mid-range pintails are really the best value for money. You're getting a decent, full-sized deck, solid aftermarket trucks, and usually a decent wheel for good roll speed - all the ingredients for an awesome ride are there. If you're after a decent longboard pintail, this is the place to be.
We have two options in this price bracket right now - the Arbor Timeless 42" and the Lush Mako 44" built up with the "Pro" undercarriage.
At £155, the Mako Pro is a seriously good deal. You're getting a full-shaped pintail, with loads of standing space, aftermarket Sabre trucks and Cult Emperor 71mm wheels. This setup really ticks all the boxes for us and we think you need a pretty good reason to spend more!
At £199, the Arbor Timeless Pintail also comes with decent wheels and trucks - in this case Arbor's own wheels and Paris Trucks. This is deinfitely fast and carvy enough for 90% of skaters looking to cruise on their longboard. The deck is pressed with a nice Palisander topsheet and has a spray-on grip finish - so it does look nice, which is of course most of the reason for buying a pintail in the first place. The two small niggles we have are 1) no wheel wells, so an increased possibility of wheelbite and 2) the spray on grip finish wears out quite fast and is exremely difficult to re-grip should you ever want to. If you're using your pintail to get to work or college then you'll be putting some miles on your board, quite probably in some adverse weather conditions from time to time - and you'll find that grip wears suprisingly quickly.
The best of the best - £200+
Now you're talking serious setups! As you get more expensive, you'll start to see features like handmade decks, precision trucks and top-end wheels appearing on pintails. Do you really need these things for cruising? Quite probably not, but there's a difference between "need"... and "want!"
£230 gets you a Lush Mako "Elite" setup - the same deck as the other Makos we mentioned earlier, but with Sabre Forged Freeride Trucks. These trucks add a a degree of turning precision and carving flow that regular cast trucks just can't get near - if you like to carve on you pintail, this is deinfitely worth a look.
From £225 you can score yourself a piece of handmade German awesomeness - each Hackbrett Balance Deck is built by skaters in the Black Forest from sustainable materials. We can build these up with whatever setup you want -spend more for precision trucks and top-end urethanes. It's also worth checking out the Hackbrett Wasser - whilst it's not strictly speaking a true "pintail," it's a hell of a good looking board and if you want to make a statement then this is a pretty cool way to do it!
At the top end we have the enormous Lush Kisiwa. Hand laminated, shaped and finished from hardwood by skaters in Bristol, this giant "Mal" shape is an awesome pintail surf cruiser. We can build them up with a range of undercarriage options to suit your budget. If you really want to cruise in style - this is the place to be!