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Choosing The Best Double Drop Longboard: A Helpful Guide

Choosing The Best Double Drop Longboard: A Helpful Guide

There is a lot of confusion among newer longboarders with regards to so-called double drop longboards and what they’re good for. I also get asked quite often what are some of the best double drop longboards out there.

Double drop longboards are best suited for specific types of riders and specific riding styles. Namely, they are a great option for pushing, commuting, and cruising over longer distances. Double drops are also great for freeride and sliding for less experienced riders.

Here are two of the best, most popular double drop longboards on the market:

  1. The Landyachtz Switchblade (jump to section)
  2. The Arbor Dropcruiser (jump to section)

In this article, I discuss what exactly double drop longboards are, and why the above boards are the best.

Note: if you’re not sure whether a double drop is what you need for your riding style(s), check out How to Choose the Right Longboard for Me for an in-depth overview of what to look for based on riding style.

*This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Features of a good double drop longboard

A double drop longboard deck is a drop-through mounted deck which is also a drop deck. For the newbies out there, drop-through refers to the trucks being mounted across the deck through cutout holes, with the truck’s baseplate sitting on top of the deck and the rest of the truck beneath it.

Drop deck, on the other hand, means that the standing platform sits lower than the truck mounts, so there’s a drop in the deck’s shape near each mount point.

Why is this important? Having a drop-through truck lowers the deck closer to the ground and changes the way the board responds to movements. Having a drop in the deck lowers the deck even more and distributes your weight differently onto the trucks. When riding a double drop deck, your center of gravity is much lower than on a topmount longboard with no drop. Your feet are much closer to the ground, but further away from the trucks – since they sit below and in-between the trucks.

So what is a double drop longboard good for and why?

A double drop longboard is best for specific styles

A double drop longboard is often the best choice if you’re into the following riding styles.

Distance pushing and commuting on a double drop

When traveling distance on your longboard, having your center of gravity really low to the ground can be an asset as it makes your longboard really stable at higher speeds, allow you to go fast without wobbles.

Also, being so close to the pavement makes kick pushing noticeably easier and less straining on your knees and hips as your foot doesn’t need to travel as far to hit the ground pushing. When pushing for long durations over several miles, you can really feel a huge difference in the amount of effort required compared to a taller board (topmount and/or no drop).

Freeriding and sliding on a double drop

Double drop longboards can also work best for freeriding, namely at beginner or intermediate levels. Due to the lower center of gravity on these boards, you need to apply less force for the wheels to lose traction compared to a topmount – which will have a greater tendency to tip over when being pushed sideways.

Not only is the effort required to break into slides lesser on a drop-through longboard, it will also generally slide much longer. The flip side is that you don’t have as much control during the slide as on a higher up board. Drop-through and double drop boards are known to be quite drifty, making for easier slide initiation but lower technical control throughout the slide.

Freeriding on a double drop also gives you maximum stability at speed. Besides the low center of gravity, on a drop deck the standing platform is confined between the trucks as it sits below the truck mounts, resulting in more deck length between the trucks (the wheelbase). The longer and lower wheelbase results in increased stability compared to other decks shapes.

When is a double drop board NOT the best choice

There are other cases where a double drop longboard is typically not your best choice. Fast downhill longboarding is one of them. The main reason is that on a double drop longboard, you have much less response from the drop-through trucks than you do on a topmount.

Why is that? The reason is your feet sit relatively far apart and below the trucks – vs on top of the trucks on a topmount. Also, your weight is spread between the deck vs directly on top of them. The drop-through trucks are also mounted through the deck vs below it. All of this results in much less leverage on the trucks, namely the front one.

The lower responsiveness from a double drop makes it harder to hold a clean sharp speed line when bombing downhill, e.g. in hairpin corners. Sharp turns are much easier to do on topmounts and higher decks.

Double drop longboards are also not the best option for riding styles that put a lot of pressure on the trucks, such as downhill racing and freestyle tricks. The reason is that drop-through mounts are not structurally as strong as topmount, since all the impact goes into the mount points (vs vertically into the hanger).

As a result, drop-through boards are known to be more prone to breaking, particularly stiffer decks. That’s why double drop longboards are best used for commuting and carving, with some amount of flex in the deck for more shock absorption.

I mentioned double drops are a great choice for distance pushing and commuting. One caveat is when traveling on roads with lots of speed bumps or similar obstacles. Double drop boards are so low to the ground they sometimes catch bumps – or get scratched by them. If you plan to distance commute on very bumpy roads, first make sure your double drop deck is high enough – or else choose a higher board.

So now we know what a double drop longboard is and what’s it’s best suited for. Next, let’s take a look at three great examples of double drop longboards.

My two best double drop longboards

#1 top double drop board: the Landyachtz Switchblade

The Switchblade has earned its great reputation throughout the years as a super sturdy, super stable, and super comfortable board for pushing far, going fast on medium hills, and learning to slide while doing so.

It comes in 3 lengths, 36″, 38″ and 40″ (wheelbases 27″ to 31″) so you can pick the best length for your size, weight and style. If you’re not sure which length to choose, pick the 36″ if you’re 5″6 tall or smaller, the 38″ if you’re 5″5 to 5″10, and the 40″ if you’re taller than 5″10.

The Switchblade is quite responsive for a double drop, due to its slanted drop (vs vertical) and it’s highly responsive Grizzly Bear trucks. The fully symmetrical deck shape and the deep foot pockets created by the dropped platform and the W concave make it the perfect board for learning and practicing technical slides on a slope.

Meanwhile, it remains one of the best double drop longboards out there for distance pushing and commuting. The Hollowtech version also provides a lightweight option if you need to carry it around Check out my full review of the Switchblade here – or check its price on Amazon: Switchblade 40″, Switchblade 38″, Switchblade 36″.

#2 top double drop board: the Arbor Dropcruiser

The Arbor Dropcruiser is another highly-respected quality-made double drop longboard. With a length of 38″ and an adjustable wheelbase of 29+” to 32″, it has an ample and low-riding platform optimized for comfortable gliding and smooth distance pushing and commuting.

The Dropcruiser allows for some decently tight turns with no wheelbite thanks to its big wheel cutouts which give it good clearance for carving. It has a more subtle concave than the Switchblade, which cuddles your feet just enough to make pushing and carving pleasant and effective.

Being a double drop (though with a relatively small drop), you can also practice sliding and riding down mild slopes on the Dropcruiser. Carving and commuting, however, is probably where this board excels the most, thanks also to the turny and carvy Paris V2 RKP trucks and the big soft 70mm wheels.

The Arbor Dropcruiser is also a looker with some gorgeous design options. I’m personally a big fan of the Dropcruiser’s artsy looks – I prefer them to the mountain-inspired themes of the Switchblade. See my complete review of the Dropcruiser, or check it out here on Amazon.

Final words

Double drop longboards usually serve a clear purpose: getting you as low and stable as possible for optimal distance pushing and fast travel. They’re also great for throwing slides in a safe and smooth manner at decent freeriding speed. Their special construction design is simply the best for these types of riding.

Double drops, meanwhile, are not always the best option for achieving tight lines at high speed or doing super-sharp and nimble carving in tight and crowded urban spaces. Be sure to know exactly what you’re getting a double drop for.