One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever make as a new skateboarder is choosing the right type of skateboard deck. Finding the right type of skateboard that fits what you hope to achieve can be very hard and also extremely tricky, you have to make a lot of research and probably read a lot of articles (which why you’re here) to find the best fit for your skateboarding needs.
If there’s one thing the skateboarding world is notorious for, it is having a very high number of shapes to choose from that it leaves new skateboarders confused. For skateboarders with their minds set on a longboard, the confusion always lies around getting the most convenient longboard. For years there’s been an ongoing debate – this debate centers on this particular dilemma “what’s the best longboard for a beginner, or the best longboard for a skateboarder of any skill level”?
There are two particular longboard that spark up these debates and it’s between the drop through deck longboard and the drop down deck longboard, and that’s what this article is centered on. These comparisons and debates certainly looks crazy when you finally realize these two longboard look exactly alike, which makes it difficult to choose which one you want. But once you understand the purpose behind these two longboard and know they’re fundamentally different it will help narrow your search.
In this article we will look into what differentiates these two longboard, their similarities, pros and cons and also guide you on the best way to choose when you’re getting a new skateboard, after reading this article, you’ll be more equipped to make an informed decision and get you a longboard that fits perfectly into what you really want from skateboard!
What is a drop through deck?
There was a time when holding the drop through longboard will invite confused stares towards you, but now the board is a bona fide member of the skateboarding community and even enjoys a large fanbase. With a massive amount of longboards out there it isn’t surprising that only a few of those boards can actually be compared to the drop through deck.
It has become one of the famous skateboards in history or modern history (we don’t want to get too emotional right now), and this is because no other boards before it could provide a skateboard with an exceptionally low center of gravity, maneuverability and speed.
A drop through deck is good for maneuvering and has a low center of gravity which is convenient for new riders. This lower platform or center of gravity is achieved by placing the baseplate of the truck above the deck.
There’s a kind of cut through where the baseplate just passes through and the longboard deck just hangs underneath it with the help of bolts and screws. Drop through deck longboard just stands shoulders tall above other skateboards in the market because it has a unique design and topnotch flexibility and also very lightweight
The drop through skateboard also gives riders a larger surface area to stand on which makes a rider more comfortable on the board.
Drop through decks are versatile with shapes, they have a good traction when you’re approaching a corner at high speed. Another good thing about this longboard is that you don’t need special trucks for it, what’s special about it is the deck.
The drop through also features bug cutouts for the wheels to help riders avoid wheel bites that often lead to deadly injuries, the drop through is a good choice for any beginner.
Advantages of a drop through deck
Drop through deck are more suited for cruiser style riding because they’re flexier in terms of structure than a drop down deck. They are also very easy to manipulate and maneuver. They have a low center of gravity which makes it ideal for new riders. Their low center of gravity also provides great stability at a high speed, but not as stable as the drop down during high speed.
The lower deck also makes pushing easier and foot breaking during freeriding is also easier to accomplish. The lower center of gravity on the drop through also makes sliding easier.
Disadvantages of drop through decks
One of the major disadvantages of the drop through is that it possesses less grip when cornering especially at too speed. The weight distribution on the bolts and nuts on the board reduces the strength and structural integrity of the board, but the flex makes up for it. In terms of strength the drop down is a stronger deck. In terms technical maneuvering drop through decks are not the best idea
What is a drop-down deck?
Do you prefer technicality over speed and maneuverability, then this skateboard is for you! A drop down deck is basically a top mount deck with a deep drop in the middle which makes you stand lower than your truck on the board.
Drop down decks are great skateboard for any type of riding, some skateboarders have talked about how great it is for freeriding because they have more grip than let’s say a drop through deck, but lesser grip than a top mount which makes sliding during freeriding easier. No wonder more people are drawn by the day to this wonderful longboard.
The drop down deck utilizes the concave cut to become a very stable skateboard, more stable than the top mount which is perceived to be extremely stable. This feat is achieved because of its very low center of gravity, lower than that of a drop through.
The lower drop of this board gives the rider more ease to slide and push even if you lose some grip and response, which is still good. Like we highlighted earlier, thus skateboard is great for a more technical skating, the downward curve if the platform also gives the deck extra stiffness.
The build if the drop down is just convenient enough to achieve stability as the deck which rests on top the baseplate evenly spreads the skateboarder’s weight over the truck. This longboard is highly recommended for ridings like pumping, freeriding and long distance pushing.
Advantages of drop down decks
The drop down deck is a great board for technical and other styles of riding, this is because your weight is distributed evenly on the trucks, and it gives a lower center of gravity that makes the deck a more stable option than the drop through.
When it comes to sliding the drop down is a deck made in heaven as the lower center of gravity gives you a better coefficient to traction. So when you slide it becomes easier for you to control. Having a drop down is also great for pushing and commuting, this is because you don’t have to stress much to reach down and push, low board and you get fatigued lesser.
Disadvantages of a drop down deck
There are people who will rather keep off the drop down deck and stick with the drop through, this is because of its disadvantages. The lower decks although a good feature is also a disadvantage for some riding style. Let’s say you’re a downhill rider, a drop down wouldn’t be the best choice when taking those sharp lines and expecting much grip as possible.
Going into a corner with a drop down isn’t the best idea as you won’t take the best possible line. With a drop down when kicking out a slide turning your board wouldn’t be as sharp as the drop through and you’ll slide much more than you wanted to, all these is a result of the deck lower than the truck.
The similarities between drop down decks and drop through decks
Drop down decks and drop through decks have one popular feature that makes them similar, they’re a good fit for new skateboarders. Asides that there are other similarities between these two longboards, these similarities make them unique in their own special way.
Both drop down and drop through deck have a very low center of gravity, they both have lowered platform. This puts them closer to the spinning wheel and makes it easier for a new rider to manipulate and maneuver the skateboard. There’s also this feature unique to both the drop down and the drop through, the ability to avoid the dreaded wheel bite which has ended the career of several skateboarders.
When skating and you want to make a turn, it is very dangerous to rub on the board, it is just like slamming hard in your car brakes – dangerous. This is called a wheel bite and it’s very dangerous. Drop through and drop down decks avoid this from happening by having very large cutaways above the truck. With this a rider can lean on the truck how much they like without fearing a wheel bite.
The trucks employed by both the drop down and drop through decks are relatively similar which is the reverse kingpin trucks that comes with a wide hanger. This makes them super stable at high speed, reason why they’re recommended for beginners. The more stable the less maneuverability and that applies to both of them as they’re not the most agile decks in the market.
Differences between drop down deck and drop through decks
Drop through decks and drop down decks may have low center of gravity but they achieve that low platform in very different ways they possess different types of riding experience. Although new riders may not notice the difference when they test these decks out but with more experience, they’ll start to notice the difference between them.
Another difference between these two decks is the shape. For the drop through the truck sits on top the deck through a little cut on the deck but for the drop down the truck is under the deck with the concave drop down just under it to provide stability.
In terms of speed the drop through is very fast but not as stable as the drop down during top speed. The drop through has more maneuverability than the drop down during top speed and can be used for more freeriding than the drop down.
In terms of responsiveness the drop through is more responsive than the drop down, a little effort from you and the drop through responds faster than the drop down where you need to apply more effort to get what you want.
The drop through has a wider surface area for riders to place their legs, but the drop down has a reduced surface area because of the concave cut on the deck. The larger surface area on the drop through gives it the ability to be more maneuverable and responsive, while the concave drop on the drop down gives it the ability to be more stable even at a high speed.
How to choose a suitable deck for you
Choosing a suitable deck depends on your riding style or what you want to achieve as a rider. If you’re a new rider and you want to get a board it’s best you ask more experienced riders for their opinion, know what you want then try these two boards to make a more informed decision.
We all know choosing a suitable deck is tricky as a newbie but once you understand what makes a good deck you’ll make a better decision and start hitting the skatepark as soon as possible.
To choose a suitable skateboard deck between these two, you have to decide if you prefer freeriding or you like to be technical, do you prefer speed and maneuverability over stability and power. Do you like to take those sharp bends or you just like to push and commute with your skateboard.
If you prefer to push and commute then the drop down is the best deck for you. If you prefer speed and maneuverability then you should go for the drop through. If you prefer technicality then the drop down is your best bet, but if you prefer freeriding then go for the drop through.
Skateboarding is an art and only those who understands what it takes to be a great artist can become great skateboarders. Understanding why you should use one deck over the other helps you define what you really want from skateboarding. Drop down and drop through are both good decks but they serve different purposes. Know what you want and go for it, you’ll surely enjoy your skateboarding experience riding any of these legendary decks.