Longboard dancing is a visual, flowy and skillful discipline that involves fluid cross-stepping and balancing tricks while carving on the board. These stepping tricks are often called “flatland” tricks, different from more “jumpy” freestyle tricks such as ollies, kickflips, shuvits, and slides.
When you dance, you move your weight around on your longboard in such a way to perform “dance” moves while at the same time keeping your board rolling under you through a carving and pumping motion blended into the dance.
What makes a good longboard dancing setup? You can pretty much dance on any kind of board, but dedicated dancer boards will give you the room and freedom you need to perform your stepping tricks, while the right setup will keep you carving in a fluid way.
The following are 8 of the best dancing longboards on the market :
|Top dancing longboards||Size||Price|
|1. Loaded Bhangra||48.5″ x 9.5″ (WB 32.75″)||$398|
|2. Loaded Mata Hari||44.5″ x 9.25″ (WB 29.25″)||$339|
|3. Loaded Tarab II||47″ x 9.5″ (WB 32.25″)||$426|
|4. Landyachtz Stratus||45.5″ x 9.25″ (WB 29.5″)||$230|
|5. Rayne Whip||47″ x 9.5″ (WB 31.5″)||$260|
|6. Magneto Bamboo Dancer||46″ x 9.5″ (WB 31″)||Amazon|
|7. Loaded Dervish Sama||42.8″ x 9″ (WB 31″)||$330|
|8. Bustin Daenseu||44.9″ x 8.9″ (WB 31.7″)||NA|
In this post, I take a close-up look at each of these boards and explain why they’re among the best options for dancing, and I discuss the most important things to look for in a great dancing longboard.
Best dancing longboard #1: the Loaded Bhangra
The Bhangra remains the undisputed all-time favorite among the dancing longboarding community and has for years (since 2010). It’s priced at around $360 which is a pretty good value for such a quality and durable dancer board. [UPDATE: pricing has changed for the Bhangra V2, it now starts at $400… ]
See the Bhangra v2’s price and rider feedback on Loaded’s website.
The 48.5″ x 9.5″ (32.75″ wheelbase) deck is huge and designed specifically for dancing. At 6.3 lb for the complete, the Bhangra is great for dancing but can be a bit more challenging for freestyle jump tricks for a beginner.
The board’s mellow concave gives you edge control for fluid carving, without getting in your way for walking. The rockered profile – meaning the deck is curved lengthwise and lower in the middle than at the ends – provides a feeling of comfort and safety when moving around on the board.
The bamboo construction gives the Bhangra what you may consider just the right amount of flex. The board actually comes in two flex options, a stiffer “Flex1” for heavier riders and freestylers, and a flexier “Flex2” for more responsiveness in carving.
The large kicktail and nose with strong grip tape on them make it easy to manual and pivot. The grip tape becomes less aggressive between the trucks, letting you move freely as you press on rails for carving or pirouette around on the deck.
Beefy size wheel cutouts reduce the risk of wheelbite when carving hard. Loaded’s suggested configuration with Paris v2 180mm trucks and 70mm Orangatang Stimulus wheels (83A duro) works well for boardwalking.
For more freestyle trickery and sliding, the harder and smaller 66mm Keanus (86A duro) is a good choice.
Overall, the Bhangra has proven to be one of the best dancing longboards out there.
Update: check out my new complete in-depth review of the Loaded Bhangra v2
Best dancing longboard #2: Loaded Mata Hari
The new Mata Hari is Loaded’s latest dancer evolution. Significantly more compact and lightweight than its older siblings the Bhangra, at 44.5″ x 9.25″, with aggressive kicks and a very poppy flex, it’s an amazing freestyle dancing machine.
Besides its freestyle capabilities, the Mata Hari has a true dancer shape with wide (albeit steep) kicks extending the foot platform for easy cross-stepping, pirouettes, and spin tricks.
Thanks of its compact lightweight shape, street-style kicks, concave and small foot pockets, the Mata Hari is now without a doubt the most versatile of dancers out there.
This board is awesome whether you like to cruise, carve, push, pump, pop and flip, walk and spin, or even freeride! More in my in-depth review of the Loaded Mata Hari here.
Check out the Mata Hari on Loaded’s website
Best dancing longboard #3: the Loaded Tarab II
The Tarab is Loaded’s high-tech evolution of the Bhangra, a gorgeous, pure dancing board built using the most high-end material and technology. Although pricey at $440 for the complete, the Tarab is widely considered the Rolls Royce of dancing longboards.
See the Loaded Tarab II on Loaded’s website
The Tarab is built using leading-edge technology with a bamboo core sandwiched between two layers of basalt (lava material) making it lighter than the Bhangra. The deck is 47″ x 9.5″, slightly shorter than the Bhangra.
The adjustable wheelbase goes from 31.25″ to 32.25″, the longer setting being best suited for board walking vs the shorter one for freestyle tricks.
The Tarab is more of a pure dancer than the Bhangra, with milder concave and rocker and flatter kicks for stepping freedom. That said, the fully symmetrical shape works great for flips and shuvits, and the recommended Fat Free wheels do hint at some nice tech trickery.
Also, the board’s nose, tail, and rails are reinforced with an extra basalt layer urethane, making the board incredibly resistant to impact and abrasion – freestyle tricks typically takes a big toll on decks.
The Tarab II has a cork layer on the bottom, not only making the board stunning looking with the beautiful graphics on cork, but also work to dampen the vibrations from the ground.
This board has two flex options – flex 1, stiffer and best suited for freestyle and/or heavier riders, and Flex 2 which is great for dancing.
Best dancing longboard #4: the Landyatchz Stratus
The Landyachtz Stratus is slightly smaller than Loaded’s dancer boards, at 45.5″ x 9.25″ with a 29.5″ max wheelbase.
Its main strength is its really lightweight, around 4 lbs, making it easy to carry around.
The relatively light weight of the Stratus results from Landyachtz’s own “Hollowtech” construction which uses hybrid fiberglass and wood material around the deck, allowing it to appear hollow in its core – you can see through the deck in the sun.
The Stratus has a really big and flat standing platform (EFP) for performing dancing tricks. Like the Tarab it’s fully symmetrical – most modern dancers now are – with very slight concave. The tails are pretty big though, and made of wood for strength, enabling some pop tricks.
The deck has no grip between the trucks as grip interferes with boardwalking and spinner tricks by making your feet stick. The tails, on the other hand, have strong grip on them.
Like Loaded boards, the Landyachtz Stratus comes in two flex options, “Standard” and “Super Flex”. The latter is best suited for lightweight riders – heavier dancers may easily bottom out when jumping.
While riders like the looks and weight of the Stratus, some complain about deck resistance – it doesn’t withstand impact well over time and sometimes breaks.
A possible reason, however, is that some riders may perform hard freestyle tricks on it, perhaps even on the Super Flex version. The Stratus, meanwhile, is more of a pure dancing deck.
See the Stratus on Landyachtz’s site
UPDATE: I now have a complete review of the Stratus
Best dancing longboard #5: the Rayne Whip
The Rayne Whip 47 is 47″ long by 9.5″ wide, with a 31″ wheelbase. It’s specifically designed for dancing and boardwalking and focused on riding with “style and flow”. It boasts a very large 31″ EFP.
This is another hybrid deck, but this one allies vertically bamboo, stronger than steel yet lighter and flexible than most wood, and triaxial fiberglass making the board super light, durable and responsive.
The Whip is quite flexy, such that Rayne recommends the Whip for riders no heavier than 190lbs. Heavier riders might make the deck touching the ground when landing on it. The flex holds up over time thanks to the bamboo/fiberglass mix.
The Whip is fully symmetrical and has rounded edges that help reduce the damage from impacts – a main visual differentiating aspect.
Like many other dancers, the Whip’s deck has a subtle rocker. It also has a micro drop which helps dancers know where their feet are positioned without interfering with their footwork.
The Whip boasts a tub-like concave – flat in the center, then rising towards the edges. Some hardcore dancers criticize it as they feel it gets in the way of their
Wheel wells are another specific aspect of the Whip. The wells are milled multidimensionally for wheel clearance, and at the same time engineered to reinforce the board’s durability.
Riders like the Whip for its quality build, rebound when jumping, and great pop for ollies – it’s a good board for some freestyle tricks as well as pure dancing.
Check out the Rayne Whip’s price and reviews on Amazon.
Best dancing longboard #6 (most affordable): Magneto Bamboo Dancer
I’ve added the Magneto Dancer to my list because this board really offers good value for the money. It’s super affordable at around $140. Like some of the pricier premium boards mentioned earlier, this huge 46″ by 9.5″ deck is made from 3 plies of bamboo combined with fiberglass layers.
The construction gives the deck just enough stiffness for stability when dancing but enough flex to offer a smooth ride. It also makes for a strong and durable deck.
The Magneto Dancer has large symmetrical kicks for doing manuals, flip tricks, and shove-its. It offers a super shallow concave which does not get in the way of stepping, pirouetting, and continuous edge carving.
The topmount flat top offers an ample and comfortable platform for boardwalking. The cambered profile (subtle upward arch) results in a very lively and responsive feel (slightly springy) when stepping and carving.
The Dancer comes with 7″ gravity cast aluminum trucks and large soft 70mm 78A Magneto wheels. Riders who buy the Magneto Dancer love its pop and flex. Everyone agrees it’s a great board for a beginner who wants to starts dancing or freestyle.
Buyers of the Magneto dancing longboard frequently recommend upgrading the bearings, e.g. to Bones Reds. Some riders even choose to swap the stock trucks and wheels with Caliber trucks and Orangatang or Blood Orange wheels – The overall cost of the complete and still offers very good value even after doing that.
Check out the Magneto Bamboo Dancer price and reviews on Amazon.
Best dancing longboard #7 (most versatile): Loaded Dervish Sama
I believe the Loaded Dervish Sama, although not a 100% dedicated dancer board, has its place in this list. I’d say it’s the most versatile option of all as it’s also an amazing board for commuting, distance pushing, pumping and carving, and even some freeride.
With its 42.8″ x 9″ deck, the Dervish is the smallest in the list but still gives you plenty of foot space for walking and spinning. It’s also the lightest board in the list, making it great for a more trick-oriented style.
Through the large wheel well cutouts are not specially designed for dancing, they contribute to making this board super versatility through the huge wheel clearance it offers.
So if you’re looking for a dancer that can also do a lot more, the Sama may just be your guy. Its amazing flex makes it super responsive in hard carves and pumps, and the short but nice kicks make it possible to pop the board for flip tricks.
Unlike all the other boards in this list, the Dervish Sama is a drop-through, which means it’s lower riding, easier to push, and more stable at speed including for sliding.
Best dancing longboard #8: the Bustin Daensu
The Bustin Daensu isn’t commonly found in skate shops any more, however it’s a great board that I own so I thought I’d include it in this top dancer list anyway – second-hand Daensus are still trading around the market, so who knows, you may get lucky.
The Daensu is a shorter dancer (44.9″ x 8.9″) that was completely re-designed in it’s latest version to make it lighter, thinner, more attractive, and more freestyle friendly.
Despite its relatively short length, the Daensu has a very long wheelbase of 31.7″ (adjustable down), providing plenty of room for old-school dancing tricks.
The board now has a new construction that combines hard Canadian maple wood, proprietary epoxy, and fiberglass, resulting in a more lightweight and durable board than previously.
The Daensu has a micro drop that makes it extremely push efficient. It also boasts a 0.4″ (micro-dropped) rockered profile (vs camber in previous versions) that gives it a low and comfortable feel when cross-stepping and peter panning at higher speed.
The deck is relatively stiff due to maple wood, making the Daensu very adequate for freestyle tricks.
Another feature that makes the Daensu a good freestyle board is the angled and stiff kicks which provide an incredible amount of pop.
So throwing no-complies, bigspins, and aeroflips on the new Daensu is a reality despite the large wheelbase.
Overall, the Daensu can be a great choice if you like decks on the stiffer side for dancing and if you’re an ollie and kickflip kind of rider.
The Bustin Daensu complete comes with 180mm, 50º Caliber or Paris trucks, and wheels 64 to 73mm. Some other configs include Bear Grizzly trucks, Cloud Rider Cruiser 69mm wheels (78A
Special mention: Ghost Longboards Dancer
Special mention for the Ghost Longboards 48″ Dancer, a very stylish – albeit not highly technical – dancer out there, great for fun mellow dancing. Full review here
Features of a good dancing longboard
When dancing, you walk, cross step and spin on your board, and you carve turns by shifting your bodyweight around. Check out this post on longboard dancing to learn about the main longboard dancing tricks.
Therefore, you need a dancing board with lots of room and one that’s
1. Dancing board deck shape and size
Dancer boards are typically very long (43″+) and wide (9″+) giving you ample walking space with little risk of shoe bite. The EFP – Effective Foot Platform, the actual surface you can stand on, is the best metric to look at for a dancer, and should be as large as possible.
While a long wheelbase is sometimes mentioned as a key feature for dancing, wheelbase is actually not that relevant because on such longer decks, the wheelbase will typically be long enough (30″+) to make your board flowy and slower turning.
Note that some longboarders prefer slightly smaller platforms for dancing as they find it easier to know where they are on the deck, resulting in smoother dancing. However, this comes at the cost of more restricted walking space.
Most dancer longboards nowadays are topmount, which allows for a fast and responsive feel when carving while walking up and down the deck and doing spin moves. There are also drop-through dancing longboards, however – like the Dervish Sama in this list.
Drop-through decks typically offer good stability for dancing as they ride low to the ground. Double drop decks (drop-through mount + drop platform) are even more stable – though not as responsive and resistant to pressure as a topmount deck.
A dancer longboard may have a slight kick tail and/or nose for manuals or even shuvits – some longboarders like to mix some freestyle tricks with their dancing.
Dancer decks are typically heavier than average: due to length and wheelbase, they’re made with more plies of wood to keep them from being too flexy, leading to bulkier decks.
For dancing, weight is actually an advantage, helping your board roll longer and smoother on uneven terrain. Your trucks and wheels can also be as heavy as possible.
2. Dancing board concave and flex
Dancer longboards are often on the flat side or with subtle concave to help you carve by standing on the edges while you’re step-walking. A bit of concave can also help you locate yourself on the board when spinning and moving.
Too much concave can make the board steer too hard when you step near the rails of the board, which can get in the way of fluid and harmonious flatland carving.
Some dancing longboards have more flex than others – some models actually offer several flex options to choose from. Flex can help you make longer carves and smoothen out your ride, as it reduces torsional stiffness thus making turning slower.
Too much flex, on the other hand, can get in the way of balancing when doing dance tricks.
Riders who like to combine freestyle tricks with dancing may choose a stiffer board for more pop (for ollies and kickflips). Others may prefer more flex for softer landings when jumping on the board. All in all, flex is really a matter of personal preference for dancing.
The boards with the most flex are typically bamboo decks, while full maple decks are stiffer (how stiff depends on the number of plies). A heavier rider may feel that a maple deck provides just enough flex for them.
3. Dancing board trucks
Trucks may not be as important for dancing as for other longboard riding styles. As you progress, however, you may start looking for faster, deeper carving trucks. Initially, you just want relatively loose trucks yet stable enough to give you some room for error while you step across your board.
You typically want some good RKP 180mm, 50º trucks, e.g. Paris or Randals. You may alternatively go with 150mm trucks with risers, provided they’re compatible with your deck.
One important thing is to choose soft bushings relative to your weight. Examples of good bushing brands include Riptide Cone, Barrel, and Venom.
4. Dancing board wheels
Bigger, heavier wheels such as the Orangatang 4President are great for performing flatland tricks, as they can roll for a very long time on a single push.
A wide contact patch also makes the wheels stable and grippy. You want your board to keep moving and carving while you perform your dancing tricks and manuals.
Your choice of durometer also depends on your personal mix of dancing, freestyle, and sliding maneuvers. If you mostly do flatland tricks, go for wheels on the softer side (e.g. 80A) for high grip and stability.
If on the other hand, you like to slide during your dancing sessions, you may pick wheels with a higher durometer, e.g. 86A, which will make it easier for you to break into slides on a really large dancing longboard.
Depending on your deck’s wheel clearance, smaller wheels may also be a better choice if you plan to perform really deep carves while dancing, in order to avoid wheelbite.
An example of wheels that are efficient for dancing – and reasonably priced – are the Abec 11 Flashbacks. Another good choice is the inexpensive Sector 9 Butterballs. If you’re more into freestyle tricks, however, consider some lighter wheels such as the Volante Checkers.