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The Longboard Shape Comparison Guide

Picking the right longboard shape can make your break your ride. The board itself — also called the deck — plays a key role in riding style. But what are all the available board shapes? Let’s review each one to help you decide on the right longboard design.

Longboard Shapes Compared

Note that these board shapes often come in different lengths and widths. We’ll cover some of the most popular shape and size combos, too, so you can narrow down what configuration you might want when you buy your first board (or let us build you one to your exact specs!).


The Surfer is all about maneuverability and easy carry. It’s small, lightweight, and nimble, with its short wheelbase providing lots of leverage for making tight turns and carving quickly.

Some Surfers are also called Kicktails — but this only holds true if the tail itself is curved upward. The upward swoop of the tail allows a rider to kick and pop the board up for an easy grab, similar to old-school cruiser skate decks.


The Platypus is a modern favorite. It’s considered a bi-directional deck, meaning trick riders that like to spin their board 180 degrees don’t need to stop and correct the board’s orientation — it can roll with either end facing forward.

The wide, rectangular center section of the board provides high stability and good leverage for pushing and pulling into turns, while the tucked tip and tail eliminate any risk of wheel bite.


On a drop-through board, the deck is cut to allow the base plates of the trucks to be mounted to the top of the board, instead of on the bottom (like typical longboards and skateboards).

This configuration lowers the overall height of the board above the ground, resulting in a lower center of gravity. This benefits the rider by providing more stability.

NOTE: Drop-through boards reduce the distance between the underside of the deck and the top of the board’s wheels. This reduced wheel clearance can cause wheel bite: When turning, the wheels risk digging into the underside of the board, locking them up — potentially throwing you to the pavement.

For this reason, drop-through trucks must be paired with wheel cut-outs, like those found on the Platypus and Wheel-Cut (more on that shape below).


The Dancer gets its name from those who ride it. With a long, wide, swooping deck, these boards provide ample space for footwork while riding. Dancer riders twirl, walk, cross heels, and perform other above-the-truck foot tricks on these boards.


The Pintail is sometimes called the Classic because it is the classic longboard (literally). This surfboard deck shape is inspired by the first longboards made back in the ’50s, when surfers would cut down surfboards and attach skate trucks and wheels to them.

These boards provide arguably the most straight-line stability thanks to their long wheelbase. They’re ideal for casual, long-distance cruising and big and tall riders.


The Wheel-Cut deck could be considered a hybrid design. It combines elements of a Platypus and a Pintail, and its name comes from the concave cut-outs above each wheel.

The Wheel-Cut is ideal for those who want a board that’s light and maneuverable, while retaining some of that classic surf shape. It’s a great choice for tight carving with drop-through and double kingpin trucks.

(How About a Custom?)

Standard board shapes work great for everyday riding. But a one-off, custom board shape can work just as well — and it’s a great way to stand out with something truly unique.

We’ll cut whatever board shape you can dream up! We’ve created animal decks (like the “Shark” Board, above), UFOs, pizza slices, guitars, and much more.

Popular Size & Shape Combos

The three size and shape combos we cover below are the most popular longboard setups, especially for new riders.

36″ Surfer

The 36″ Surfer is a popular choice for riders who like to cruise around beach towns, boardwalks, and crowded urban areas. It’s small and maneuverable, with its short wheelbase providing a casual surf/carving riding style. These boards are great for on-and-off riding, too — they’re easy to simply pick up and carry when foot traffic gets too heavy.

Surfer longboards also draw plenty of design inspiration from the first ever longboards built by Preston Nichols and SoCal surfers back in the ’50s. In other words, if you want a vintage vibe with modern trucks and wheels, the 36″ Surfer’s a top choice.

40″ Platypus / Drop-Through

This is the all-rounder of longboards. Simply put, the 40″ Platypus (with or without drop-through trucks) does everything well: Bomb hills, cruise the streets, carve through corners, or use it as your daily driver to and from your favorite coffee shop.

Cut to a 40″ deck, the Platypus balances weight, size, and wheelbase to provide good speed, tight turning, and high stability. Although a bit longer and wider than a 36″ Surfer, the 40″ Platy is still easy to pick up and carry, making it ideal for longer rides.

Want even more performance for high-speed riding and inclines? Or just a bit more confidence when pushing as a new rider? Grab the 40″ Platypus with a drop-through deck — lowering the deck height further improves this board’s performance.

The Skeleton Rose Board is a favorite in this category.

40″ Wheel-Cut

Maybe the 36″ Surfer’s a bit too small — and maybe you find the 40″ Platypus a tad cumbersome. Striking the Goldilocks zone is the 40″ Wheel-Cut: It’s essentially a hybrid Platypus and Surfer, combining design elements of both boards. Our clear Jellyfish Board is a crowd favorite for this size and shape.

Know which board shape you want?

Now it’s time to pick the rest of your board’s setup. Read our guide to longboard parts here!