Longboard. Longboards are often described in technical terms that can be incomprehensible to beginners. Here are some explanations.

Longboard the shape

Most of the words used in skateboard and longboarding come from English, and are often untranslated.

These include camber, tail, wheelbase, etc. In this article, we try to explain the various terms that are useful for understanding most types of shape.

First of all, what is shape?

shape is the shape of the board. The way it's cut, whether the board is flat, whether the ends are raised...

All these features have names, and that's what we're going to explore today.

Anatomy of a longboard

A longboard (like a skateboard or surfskate board) is always designed in the same way, with the same parts: nose, tail, deck or rails.

Longboard shapes

The tail is the back of the board. On a symmetrical board, the tail and nose merge. On a non-symmetrical board, on the other hand, the tail is designed to be used with the back foot. It can be shorter and at a different angle to the nose, even if this is difficult to discern by eye.

The nose is the front of the board. Having this part raised at the front can serve different purposes. In longboarding, a pronounced nose can be found on the decks of dancing/freestyle, for popping tricks or nose wheeling.

The deck is the wide central part of the deck. It's often the most elaborate part of the deck, with different types of concave, for example.

The wheelbaseis the distance between the two trucks. The wheelbase indicated on longboard data sheets is the distance between the nearest holes (as shown in the diagram above). The "real" wheelbase is the distance between the axes of the trucks. Since all trucks boards are different, board manufacturers use the distance between holes. But it's the distance between the axes that determines the board's behavior.

The rails are the edges of the board. They can be rounded or straight. Rounded rails are more resistant to impact (for tricks), while sharp rails rise higher and lock the feet in place for slides. Sometimes the rails are reinforced, notably on freestyle longboards.

The different types of concave

The concave is the shape of the deck in the width direction, when you look at a longboard from the front. There are many different types of concave, but here we'll concentrate on the most common. The choice of concave is highly dependent on the board's program and therefore on its intended use. It's also a matter of taste, and everyone has their own opinion on which concave is the most comfortable or the most efficient.

Longboard concave

A Flat platter is a totally flat platter. In reality, this type of deck hardly exists. In fact, the concave serves a number of purposes, not least of which is to reinforce the deck's solidity. A deck without a concave is much less solid than one with one. So we never make a completely flat deck. When we talk about a Flat deck, we're talking about a longboard deck with a very, very slight concave.

Radial concave is the most common form of concave. Generally, when we say a deck is concave, it actually has a Radial deck. This type of concave, which is fairly easy to build, helps to lock the feet better on the board, very useful for slides, for example.

The Convex concave is the opposite of the radial. A convex board has its center closer to the ground than its rails. Convex platters are very rare, and have no major advantages.

The W-shaped concave, often found on high-end Downhill and Freeride boards, has the advantage of holding the feet and offering maximum control in slides. The W-shape is generally limited to just one part of the deck.

The concave Tub has sloping sides and a flat center. It's a variant of the Radial concave, but with a flat foot space.

Camber or Rocker?

The Camber or Rocker, unlike the concave which is the shape of the board in its width, is the shape of the longboard in its length.

Longboard camber

Camber. As you can see from the diagram above, the Camber is a shape in which the board is curved, with the center higher than the ends.

This kind of shape transforms the board into a kind of spring, storing energy for redistribution. So you can use your longboard to pump through turns to generate speed. This discipline even has a name: Pumping.

The Camber is generally combined with fairly flexy decks and can also absorb road imperfections, creating a board that's fun to use because it's full of bounce.

For speeding, however, Camber decks are not recommended, as they offer little stability, not least because rider 's center of gravity is higher.

Rocker. The Rocker is the opposite of the Camber, with a deck whose center tends towards the ground.

The Rocker allows you to lower your center of gravity and create a more stable deck for speed. The shape of a deck with Rocker allows longboarders to be better braced for rolling and offers more control for slides.

Rocker also makes pushing easier. It requires less effort because the foot is closer to the ground, and it reduces speed loss.


As we've seen, longboard decks come in many different shapes, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

We've already covered some of the shapes available, but there are many more that we won't mention here.

In any case, if you're looking for a longboard or board for a particular discipline, you may be having trouble finding the shape that best suits your needs.

Not to worry! We've got you covered! Contact us to find out more about shapes and to help you choose your longboard.