Why Cheap Longboards (and Amazon) Suck
We get customers coming in every day with cheap Amazon longboard decks and completes.
Do a search for longboards for sale on Amazon and you'll see complete longboards from anything from £40 up to £120.
If you've checked out our longboard complete or deck selection, you'll see that most of our boards are significantly more than this.
So what gives, we hear you ask? How come they're so cheap and you're so expensive? A longboard is just a toy and not worth spending any more money on that that, right?
Well, we'll tell you. This may be a bit of a revelation, so make sure you're sitting down, and you're braced for a shock. Maybe go away and make a nice cup of tea, and a biscuit to go with it.
In fact, make it two biscuits.
Are you sitting comfortably? Tea brewed and poured? Biscuit at the ready? Don't dunk it just yet - We're about to blow your mind.
Here's the answer to why Amazon boards are so cheap:
THEY'RE ALL ABOUT AS MUCH FUN TO SKATE AS YOUR IRONING BOARD.
Cheap longboards, almost without exception, skate horribly.
They're designed by people who don't skate, and therefore don't care about little things like bushing durometer, truck width, urethane formula, or deck flex.
They ALL have crappy, no-name trucks, with awful bushings made of rubbish materials, loads of slop, that bend from skating to the shops and back.
They're pressed from horrible Chinese maple which has been logged unsustainably, stored badly, and pressed in a moist environment - chances are your new board will warp as soon as you set foot on it.
They all have super-slow wheels poured from low-grade urethanes, that often slide badly and exactly when you don't want them to.
But, we hear you cry, it's got ABEC 12 bearings with high-speed lubricant!! My board will be amazingly fast!! Right?
Wrong... ABEC ratings are meaningless when it comes to skateboarding, and your wheel choice makes way more difference than your bearings.
But I read on a longboard review website that my board is amazing! Surely these guys (or these guys or these guys) are knowledgeable, unbiased experts?!?
Wrong again... they're all Amazon Affiliate Sites. Click on a link from them to Amazon, buy something, and they're paid a cut of the sale by Amazon. Websites like this are common in many markets from cameras to dishwashers, they're usually coded by programmers and bloggers who know nothing about longboarding beyond having read about it on Wikipedia.
However, there's more to it than that.
Amazon as a business doesn't give a monkey's about longboarding.
Amazon's shareholders couldn't care less if you buy a crappy board, skate it once, hate it, and then stick it behind the sofa forever.
They don't care about how the UK longboard scene is, they're not interested in helping skaters meet up with other skaters, and they certainly couldn't care less about helping you buy the right longboard setup for you.
They don't care because they've got your money already.
They are tempting YOU with prices that are too good to be true, for substandard product. Don't fall for it!
Not only that, but their customer service reflects their lack of product knowledge.
We recently had a customer come in to the shop with some unbranded Amazon 59mm wheels that were causing horrendous wheelbite.
After fretting about the increased ride height (and cost!) that more risers and longer bolts would bring, we asked to measure the offending wheels.
Turns out that they were 70mm.... not 59mm.
Not only had Amazon sent the wrong wheels, but as this was an unbranded product, there was no go-back for the customer, and no-one at Amazon who was able or willing to listen to, never mind fix, the problem.
Happily a trip to a real skate shop, staffed by skaters sorted the problem.
Set foot on a real longboard, and we guarantee that you'll immediately be able to tell the difference. The truth is, if you buy a decent setup, you'll have more fun on it, want to skate it more, and enjoy longboarding for what it really is. A board that's less then £100 is very likely to be bad to the point of unusable - trust us, it'll end up behind the sofa very shortly.
The final defence of super-cheap longboards is the weakest... "I only want to cruise around though... I don't need my longboard to be the product of nearly two decades of shaping, skating and refining, or handcrafted in Germany in a woodshop that runs on solar power or CNC precision cut from exotic materials in the birthplace of skateboarding."
Our answer to this is: There's not much point on buying a longboard to cruise around on if it skates so badly you'll never use it!
Even for the casual cruiser, you'll be amazed at the difference between these cheap longboards and a proper setup, put together by people who know what they're talking about, built right down to the bushing spec to fit your weight, height, and riding style.
Please don't misunderstand us - we're not here to steal everyone else's business. We'll leave that to the guys in the suits!
We're here to make sure that we don't loose another potential longboarder (that's you!) to a cheap complete that never gets skated because it has the turning circle of a cross-channel ferry.
We understand that everyone has a budget.
We take pride in making sure that all our customers, regardless of experience, age, sex or hair colour, get the right skateboard for them.
We are aiming to give you the maximum amount of fun for your money.
It's true - super cheap longboards from Amazon are cheap. But they're also a waste of your hard-earned cash. Do yourself a favour and buy a real longboard from skaters who actually care!!
We're here to help - check out our longboard buyer's guides below, check out our customer testimonials, visit our Bristol Skate Shop or get in touch via email, whatsapp, skype, live chat or phone!
PS - If you've already got a cheap longboard complete and you want to find the best value way of making it skate better, check out our "longboard upgrades" section. ;)