The Differences between Drop Through & Pintail Longboards

The world of longboard skateboards has come a long way from its birth in the 1950’s when a few surfers decided to try to come back to dry land. Since that time technology has progressed and longboards have branched out into many various shapes and sizes. For today’s rider the question of “drop through or pintail” is still a relevant one, especially for the new rider. In short the drop through comes by its name because the trucks (the assembly that holds the wheels) come up through a slot that is put into the board by the manufacturer and sit slightly above the deck of the board. The pintail gets its name from its distinct shape. Both are longboards and both are great for cruising around, but that is where the similarities end.

The pintail board is what most people are familiar with when think about longboard skateboards. The shape is reminiscent of the original surfboards. The pintail has the higher center of gravity of the two boards in question. This is due to the fact that the trucks are mounted underneath the board giving it more height. The height of the pintail makes it a great carving board. One of the downsides of the pintail is that the deck of the board sets over the wheels. If the rider is not careful during a sharp turn the board could jam up the wheels. Some manufacturers have alleviated this problem by carving out space on the underside of the board to give the wheels more room on tight turns.

Pintail Longboard

Pintail Longboard

The advantages of the pintail are:

Cost – The pintail is very common and is cost effective for the manufactures to produce. Because of this you can pick up a pintail board relatively inexpensively. This makes it an easy entry level board style.

Stability – The pintail has a long wheelbase making it a more stable platform than its shorter counterparts. That stability comes in very handy while cruising down a hill or carving at high speeds.

Great Learning Board – Because the pintail is a common design it has become the standard cruising board for the beginner.

Great Commuter Board – The combination of reliability, stability, and ease of use makes the pintail a great board for the person who only wants to get from place to place.

Drop Through Longboard

Drop Through Longboard

The drop through board differs from the pintail primarily in two areas:

The trucks “drop through” the board. This means that the deck of the longboard is somewhat sandwiched by the trucks giving it a much lower stance and center of gravity than the pintail that has the trucks attached to the bottom of the deck.

The drop through board has a deck that is cut out for the wheels giving it a board shape that somewhat resembles a baker’s rolling pin. The wheel cut outs offset the board’s low stance and give it the ability to take tight corners and carve without the deck jamming up on the wheels.

Although it is not as cheap or as widely used as the pintail the drop through has some real advantages when it comes to cruising.

  • Of the two boards it is certainly the more versatile.
  • Its lower center of gravity gives it more stability a higher speeds.
  • Because it is closer to the ground it is easier to push.
  • Compared to the pintail it will drift much more easily.

The downside of the drop through design is that because the deck is held up onto the underside of the trucks by means of eight bolts all of your weight is hanging on those eight bolts. In this regard the pintail is the stronger design of the two because your weight is directly on top of the trucks. In addition there is not as much leverage for corners or technical maneuvers as you have if you are riding a pintail.

In the end, if carving and more technically advanced cruising is what you want to do than the good money is on the pintail. It offers the widest variety of choices to its rider. The flip side of the coin is that if you are looking for a point A to point B cruiser that is stable, drifts more easily, and pushes with less effort than the drop through is the board for you.


  1. GoldCoast Longboard Skateboards


Beginners Guide to Longboard Skateboarding

What is the difference between longboard skateboard and regular skateboard?

Skateboards are mainly seen in the streets, ramps and pool. They are concave shaped hence allow riders to do kickflip tricks by kicking on a distinct edge, and the skateboard flips over. Flat longboards are not designed for kickflips due to their flat shape. Longboard Skateboards are used to move around due to the stability they offer and the control a user has over them. Some tricks can also be done on longboards as well such as the shanker and cross-step-ping.

Now, when you buy a longboard as a beginner, you should ask yourself the tricks you want to perform, or if you want just to move around. As a beginner, you need to feel stable and safe to have the morale of doing more and more longboarding. The deck you select for your longboard plays a significant role in your first longboarding experience.

Longboard Skateboard

The Length of a Longboard

Longboards stretch from 28 inches to over 60 inches, and the length determines a lot. The short longboards are mainly considered ideal for riders who are shorter. They are also vital when you want to do many skateboard tricks. The medium longboards can be used as cruiser boards and carve boards. The long longboards that are over 42 inches are the best for cruising in flat areas as well as dancing. The length of a longboard skateboard affects stability. Most riders prefer longer boards as they feel more stable. Another important factor for a beginner to consider in a longboard skateboard is the weight of the deck. Very long longboard skateboards are inevitably heavier compared to short ones. If you plan to cruise to school or town, you will have more work cruising heavy longboard skateboards.

Width and Shape

The width of your longboard does not have much significance, but can affect your ride’s overall feel. Wider decks can make you feel more secure by allowing your entire foot to be on the surface of the board. Even though we had earlier on stated that the difference between skateboards and longboards is the concave shaping, longboards can also be concave shaped. The deck is made with a concaved middle to make turning possible and easy. Longboards that are more flat are good for beginners who do not want to start with turning. It cruises over a flat area with ease. The camber shaped decks are made in such a way that it allows for more bouncing. It bends up at the center region.

Longboard skateboards can be drop-through longboard or pintail longboard. It can have or not have kicktails. Drop-through longboards decks offer a lower center of gravity hence high flex. The pintail on the other side has sharper neck that does affect longboarding. The pintail decks have its truck mounted on the lower part of the board. This allows for different tricks and maneuvering. For beginners, it is good to know that choosing a board according to shape is to facilitate riding as well as taste and preference.

The Wheelbase

This is a specification every manufacturer need to place on their skateboard longboards. It’s the measurement from the front to the back wheel. The wheelbase affects the sharpness of turns made. Skateboard Longboards that have longer wheelbase turns over a wider area compared to short to ones with a shorter wheelbase. For beginners, it is advisable to use long wheel-based boards since short ones are made for people turning at high speeds.

Longboard Deck Material

The deck is made of composite or wood material mainly. Different wood materials have different tolerance to hitting. Decks made of composite material have a reputation of enduring abuse more than wood. For a beginner, this can be important when it comes to beginners; they are likely to make several hits compared to the experienced longboard riders. Do your homework and find out if the board you are buying has been reviewed. If it is not good quality, you will not fail to get negative reviews. If you are too afraid of the board splitting when it hits a hard surface, you can purchase nose guards. They may come with the skateboard longboards or purchased separately.