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If you are unfamiliar with longboarding as both a sport and an industry, chances are that you may be overwhelmed by how many different companies there are and how many choices you’ll have to make before purchasing a board. There are a seemingly infinite number of longboarding companies that sell boards, equipment, and apparel. If you don’t know which companies have a reputation for supplying skaters with top-quality equipment, you run the risk of purchasing something that is not only subpar but potentially dangerous. That’s why we’re here to tell you about one of the titans of the industry, Gravity Longboards.
It’s not that Gravity Board Co. is the only good longboarding company out there: there are admittedly quite a few who sell products of an (at least nearly) equal caliber. However, very few companies have the long and successful history that Gravity Longboards do. In this article, we’ll not only give you a brief overview of what Gravity Longboards are all about, but we’ll also compare them to some of the other top longboarding companies. After all, if you’re going to be purchasing a longboard, you deserve to make an informed decision.
What Are Gravity Longboards?
Since 1994, Gravity Longboards have been some of the best in the industry. The company was initially founded by Michael Bream, a surfer from northern San Diego who had recently earned a degree in Engineering. He wanted a skateboarding experience that felt more like surfing, and so he innovated and created the first Gravity longboard. Soon after, he realized that the demand for such a smooth riding board was real and he started selling them out of the back of his car. Now, over twenty years later, Gravity Longboards are still known for being some of the best and smoothest riding boards in the sport.
Not only does Gravity Board Co. produce some of the best longboards in the market, but they also sponsor a full professional skate team. Currently, their lineup includes the likes of Nate Shellhorn, Daniel Engel, Brad Edwards, and Cylus Monday, all of whom are known for being some of the best in their sport. These endorsements show that riders of all skill levels, and especially professionals, can rely on Gravity Longboards to provide the safest, smoothest, and most fun longboarding experience.
Although Gravity is primarily known for making classic longboards, they do make them in a variety of sizes. On their website, they sell their flagship 27″ “Ripper,” 30″ “Stinger,” and 40″ “Kicker” board models, as well as a few other, less popular variations. They also sell Triumph longboarding trucks on their website and on fully assembled boards. These are lightweight and made of Grade 8 steel, making them extremely durable.
Gravity Longboards themselves are constructed with top-quality materials. The wood used to construct each deck is thick and durable. However, each board has just enough give to help it accelerate the longer it is in motion. This makes for an exhilarating and, depending on the rider, professional experience. Although other longboarding companies might make equally durable decks, they don’t make boards that are as fast and smooth to ride.
Gravity also hires on some top local artists to design the graphics for their decks. If you happen to not like any of their basic designs, you can pay a little bit more to have one customized.
Although Gravity Longboards might be known for being a bit more expensive, due to the professional quality of their products, the price difference isn’t that big, especially when compared to some boards at the other end of the spectrum. For instance, even a low-end longboard that is stiff and not even half as durable is likely to cost at least $100. Thus, with a price range of about $120-$200, depending on the size of the board you purchase, they aren’t unreasonable, especially when the quality of construction is considered.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.
Landyachtz LongboardsRayne LongboardsLoaded Longboards
Ease of Use
Gravity Longboards are intended to be used by professionals. Therefore, they might be too fast or too smooth, in some cases, for beginners to feel comfortable on them. With that said, however, anyone who has even a little bit of experience with any boarding sport should find them to handle naturally.
Gravity is one of the few longboarding companies that was actually founded and established by someone who surfs and skates. Their boards are not designed by some engineer who understand physics but couldn’t ride a skateboard if their life depended on it: they are designed by longboarders, for longboarders. The innovative design of Gravity decks allows for a faster and smoother ride than most other longboarding companies can offer.
The only observable issue with Gravity Longboards is that, due to the nature of the sport, their bushings tend to wear down after time. However, they can easily be replaced and they are much more affordable than purchasing a new complete setup. Their wheels are also slightly smaller than standard longboarding wheels, but this only enhances the Gravity experience.
• Smooth and fast boards • Professional quality• You can customize your own Gravity Longboard
• Slightly more expensive than other longboards
Since their beginning in 2007, Landyachtz has quickly become one of the most recognizable names in longboarding. Not only have they consistently produced some of the most top-quality products over the past decade, but they’ve also shown time and time again that they aren’t afraid of innovation. They have everything from cruisers and minicruisers to hybrid boards and classic longboards, so you’re sure to find something you like, no matter your style.
For the most part, Landyachtz Longboards fall in the same price range as Gravity Longboards. Like most other boarding companies, the long the board, the more expensive it is. Therefore, their minicruisers are a great place to start for many newcomers to the sport, not only because they are easy to ride and handle, but also because they are some of the most affordable board Landyachtz has to offer.
Ease of Use
Landyachtz offers a wide variety of boards so ideally, riders of any skill level can find something that suits them. Their minicruisers are known for their smooth and easy handling, while the “Wrecktangle” has a reputation for being one of the most fun cruiser boards of our time.
Landyachtz is one of Gravity Board Co.’s only rivals when it comes to innovation. They’ve put a ton of different models on the market in their relatively short lifespan and most of them have been incredible. However, they simply can’t replicate or compete with the feel of a Gravity longboard.
The most immediate thing that most people notice about Landyachtz boards are their super cool graphics. They have such a large selection of awesome designs that it can be difficult to narrow it down.
• Wide selection of products and designs• Well-constructed decks
• Equal to and sometimes more expensive than Gravity Longboards
One of the most innovative and unique companies in the longboarding industry is Rayne Longboards. Over the years, they’ve made a name for themselves by selling boards made primarily out of bamboo and fiberglass. Their main focus is downhill riding, but they do have something for every kind of rider.The only potential downside is that, due to the high quality of materials used, their boards are often quite expensive. However, the fact that many professional longboarders choose to use Rayne Longboards shows that they are of a high caliber. They even have their own skate team consisting of such pros as Clayton Arthurs, Deen Mondt, Brian Choi, and Reese Boyko.
On their website, Rayne sells their longboards for anywhere from $125 to $250. This is definitely on the expensive side of the spectrum but, considering that their boards are extremely light and durable, it’s worth the extra money, especially if you’re a downhill boarder.
Ease of Use 4 Stars
Rayne Longboards are mostly constructed with professional longboarders in mind. However, they do sporadically release some pro signature boards, cruisers, and other miscellaneous products. Therefore, if you are a beginner, you do have a chance of finding something that suits you from them.
Innovation 5 Stars
Not many companies are using bamboo and/or fiberglass to build their boards, and those who are probably aren’t doing it right. That’s why Rayne has a reputation for their ingenuity. No other longboard feels or rides like a Rayne.
Design Quality 5 Stars
In addition to their innovative designs, Rayne also features some of the coolest graphics on their decks. If you’re riding a Rayne, chances are, most people will notice: their boards are notorious for looking sleek.
• Innovative designs• Cool graphics
• Expensive• Mostly geared towards professional riders
Loaded is a little bit different from most other longboard companies in that they are more focused on freestyle longboarding and tricks. They were founded in the mid-90’s by a group of professional longboarders who wanted to build the kind of boards they wanted to ride. They also contribute to a long list of philanthropic causes.
Loaded Longboards are also a bit more expensive than most generic longboards. This is because their complete set ups come with Paris and Orangatang parts, ensuring a top-notch ride. Many of their decks and setups run at about $300, and a full downhill setup can run up to about $570.
Ease of Use 4 Stars
If you’ve never ridden a longboard before, you might want to think twice before jumping on a Loaded. For starters, their prices are so high that it’d be a real shame if you ended up not liking your setup or even the sport. They do have cruisers for sale, which are more geared towards beginners, but their real focus is on tricks and freestyle boards.
Innovation 4.5 Stars
As stated above, Loaded Longboards are built by skaters, for skaters. Therefore, whether it’s a bamboo board or a board with double upturned tails for easier tricks and switch riding, Loaded Longboards has thought of it all.
Design Quality 5 Stars
From unique graphics, to innovative and unique physical board designs, Loaded longboards are always recognizable. They are also often made of different materials, ranging from classic 7ply wood to various plastics, and even bamboo.
• Great for tricks and freestyle skating• They have a wide selection of styles, designs, and board graphics to choose from• Their boards are extremely durable
• Some of the most expensive longboards on the market• Designed primarily for tricks and freestyle riding
These are just a few of the leading companies in the longboarding industry. Can you imagine how many subpar longboard manufacturers there are? What’s worse is that many of them sell their products at similar prices. That’s why we’ve provided you this brief overview of some of the biggest and best longboard manufacturers there are: we want you to find the right board and setup for you.
Although some of these other large companies are comparable to Gravity Board Co., it’s a longstanding fact that nothing compares to the feel of a Gravity Longboard. They are designed with the most natural, fluid boarding motion possible in mind, which makes for a riding experience unlike anything else. Therefore, regardless of your skill level, you can’t go wrong with a Gravity.