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Big guys (200+ lbs) will want to get a longboard that is built to handle the additional weight. While weight capacity is influenced by wood type, deck design, and overall length, most 8-ply boards with minimal “flex” will support riders up to 300 lbs.
“What? You want to get to class faster? Nah man, you’re too fat for longboards, bikes, and scooters. Guess you’ll just have to walk everywhere on your slow fat feet.”
Well thanks, man. Just because I’m a big guy doesn’t mean I don’t want to cruise around campus on a longboard or bomb down that nasty hill by my house. In fact, since I’m not super quick on my feet, getting a longboard would be the perfect solution for getting around quicker and easier.
Too bad that longboards for heavy riders are a rarity and longboards with a 300lb capacity just don’t exist. Oh, wait a second…
The Best Longboards Big Guys (Up to 300lbs)
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Choosing a Longboard for Big and Heavy Guys
Strongest Longboard Deck Material for Heavy Riders
The weight limit of the average longboard is between 200-250lbs. But it’s not because they can’t have a higher capacity, they’re just made to suit the majority of buyers and it doesn’t make sense to build a heavier and less-responsive board with a higher weight limit.
So when it comes to materials, you’ll want to get the strongest one available if you want it to hold 300 lbs.
There are really only 4 mainstream options for longboards: maple, bamboo, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. All have pros and cons, but unfortunately, no one can give you a blanket statement about which one is the strongest. The best boards are typically hybrids of two or more materials, and the cheapest boards are typically maple or bamboo/maple.
You can find boards of almost any material that will support big guys (up to the 250-pound range), so don’t get too caught up in it.
Length of Longboard for Big Guys
While people usually recommend that taller people go with longer boards (for smoothness and stability), I had to go with a shorter board simply so it wouldn’t flex so much. 42″ is the average all-around-longboard size, and most high-capacity boards tend to be a bit shorter than that.
What “Ply” is Best?
Like toilet paper, a “ply” is simply a layer, typically wood in this case. So a 9-ply maple deck will have 9 layers of wood laminated together. Speaking of 9-ply, that’s the lowest you should look at picking up if you’re a big and heavy guy. Most 9-ply boards will be good for 250+ pounds.
Strongest Longboard Trucks for Fat Guys
If you’re planning on some serious speed, tricks, or trying to slide your board, you’ll want to consider upgrading to 10mm axles/bearings over the 8mm ones typically included on boards. If you don’t want to do this yourself, most shops can set up your board this way when you buy it, or can add them later without too much expense.
Longboard Wheels for Heavy Riders
Heavy riders will want to choose a slightly harder wheel (around 87-88a) with a large contact surface (at least 45mm). A larger contact patch will distribute your weight over a larger area which reduces the compression of your wheels. Too much compression increases rolling resistance, which is just a drag (get it? haha).
Best Longboard Deck Style for Big Guys
There are many different deck styles when it comes to longboards, but heavy riders don’t get to be very adventurous.
A good part of a board’s style/shape is dictated by how the trucks are mounted to the board. A top-mounted board is the strongest set-up, as you have a solid board that literally just sits on top of the trucks. Avoid any sort of drop-deck or drop-thru set-up if you want your board to stay in one piece.
Beyond that, board shape is typically a personal preference as each style has advantages and disadvantages.
Loaded Boards: Best Option for 300lb Riders
Not only does Loaded Boards make some beautiful and high-quality boards, but they are also one of the few companies on the market to build boards with a 300-pound rating. While they typically don’t give hard-and-fast weight ratings, they offer all of their boards in 3 different “flexes” with the stiffest being suitable for riders over 270 lbs.
Of all their boards that I could recommend, I chose what I consider to be one of their more exciting and versatile boards, the Tan Tien.
This board is a bit chunkier than your average carving board which makes it perfect for my big feet! Since I wanted a slightly shorter-than-average board, I needed some extra space to feel stable, and this chunky 8.75″ wide deck provided it!
Besides the obvious sturdiness, there are a bunch of features that, overall, make this the best longboard for big guys:
- Remember when we talked about hybrid board materials? Well, Loaded is the king of the heap and uses two different materials in this board! The Tan Tien has a dual bamboo core with a layer of fiberglass on each side to boost stiffness while keeping weight down.
- The wide W-concave deck shape will keep your feet firmly planted no matter how aggressive you think you can get.
- If you buy this board on Amazon, you can message the seller directly and they’ll set up the board with the wheels you want on it to suit your weight and riding style!
The only con of this board is….the price. It’s significantly more than most beginners want to pay for a board, but from big guy to big guy, I would still recommend this board. It will feel more sturdy and be more enjoyable for longer than any other option. As an added bonus, Loaded sets this board up well enough before shipping that you don’t have to run out and buy new wheels and trucks!
So, if you really want the best of the best longboards for 300 lbs, this is it!
Magneto Carbon Fiber: Best Lightweight Option
If you don’t have the coin to drop on the Tan Tien (or are unsure if longboarding is for you), then you’ll want to check out this option! How Magneto manages to make one of the coolest and most technologically advanced boards on the market for this price, I’ll never know. But it’s a happy mystery!
The “Cutting Edge” board is made of carbon fiber, but it also has bamboo and fiberglass laminated into the deck. This material combo results in an extremely strong board that weighs about 7 pounds fully set-up, but can support 275 pounds.
While mainly designed for downhill speed, this board is a great fit for big guys who want to do anything from cruising on up. The only thing I wouldn’t recommend this board for is long-distance cruising. If you’re trying to skate 3 miles down the road to the store, you’ll want something a bit longer for a smoother, faster, and more stable ride. For anything else though, this is your board!
This board comes from Amazon with upgraded wheels and trucks as well as grip tape, so it’s fully ready to ride right out of the box! So, if you want a seriously great board for less than most people pay for one at Walmart, pick up the Cutting Edge!
Magneto Kicktail Cruise – Best On A Budget
If you want to get into the sport of longboarding for less than the price of a fancy date, Magneto has come through for us again! This board is flexier and less aggressive than the above two but is a good fit for big guys (not up to 300 lbs…) that want to cruise around, street luge, etc.
The board is made of bamboo with a maple core, which work together to bump the weight rating right up to around 275 pounds. While some heavier riders report that the board works well for them, I would probably stick to the weight recommendation and look for a different board if you’re in the 300-pound range.
However, for the majority of heavy riders, this is the best budget longboard you can get and will provide a smooth and comfortable ride on pretty much any surface!
Heavy Duty Longboard FAQs
What is the weight limit of a longboard?
The easy part of the question here is: what is the weight limit of a longboard?
Well, you can find the answer to that from the manufacturer. Nearly every board is produced with a weight limit.
But what does the weight limit mean? The weight at which it will ride well? The max weight before it will break? Well, it depends. It’s pretty common for people to ride a board that is not rated for their weight limit, and usually, they’re fine.
With that being said, a board rated for your weight will last longer, be faster, and cruise more smoothly.
What is the best length of longboard for heavy riders?
There isn’t really a magical length when it comes to longboards for big guys. While some styles of riding are easier on a longer/shorter board, you can do pretty much everything on any given board. Just not quite as well. So, to perform optimally, here are the lengths you’ll want to look for:
- Cruising: 28-46″ (longer is typically faster and smoother, especially for heavy riders)
- Downhill: 36-42″
- Freeride: 38-42″
As you can see, I picked boards right in the middle of those specs, which will work for just about anyone who wants to do just about anything on a longboard.
What if I need a longboard for more than 300 lbs?
If longboards for 300 lbs aren’t quite strong enough for you, you have a few options. Ride a board not rated for your weight (discussed above), or get a custom board made.
Are longboards a good option for commuting?
If you’ve seen someone cruising down the street on a longboard and admired how fast they’re going, just know they had to work hard for that speed. While a longboard is much faster than walking, if you’re looking at commuting more than a distance of a couple of miles, check out other options such as a heavy-duty kick scooter.
Are longboards good for picking up chicks?
If you mean picking them up for a date then no, just drive a car. If you mean meeting girls, then sure! Get one! Pro-tip, just don’t brag about it (or anything else, really) constantly.
In conclusion, the best longboard for a heavy rider is whatever longboard you’ll actually get that won’t break! If you can’t get one of the best, just getting going on anything will give you tons of fun and experience. So get a helmet, and start bombing some hills! Happy cruising!