Longboard skateboards are traditionally constructed from maple; however, longboard manufacturers of late have been using all sorts of alternative materials to the classic maple and you can now find longboards in everything from bamboo to fiberglass to carbon fiber to even some plastics. Bamboo longboards have emerged on the scene as more flexible alternative to the classic maple – with the added benefit of being a renewable resource. But which material is better? They both have their benefits, so let’s look at some key differences to help you decide which board you should choose…
Environmental impact: Bamboo is a fast-growing plant, with a full stock taking only 5 years to grow. When bamboo is cut, as long as the shoot remains, it can regrow quickly. This makes it a much more environmentally friendly option than Maple, which can take 30-40 years for a single tree to mature.
Skateboarding is one of the biggest drivers of deforestation due to the demand for Maple; however some longboard companies are taking measures to source Maple from responsibly managed reserves and forests.
Flexibility & strength: Bamboo has more give than Maple which is much stiffer, and is incredibly strong. Maple in general will be more durable but bamboo is much lighter weight and can build a flexible yet strong board.
Cost: Bamboo will normally cost slightly more than Maple, though there are certainly some affordable options out there – one of which is the revolutionary option to lease-to-own your top of the line bamboo board.
Longevity: Bamboo will lose its flexibility as it ages and may not ride or perform as well as it once did. Maple will have more durability and can last longer, but cheaper Maple boards will be more likely to crack.
Ride: Bamboo’s flexibility will give it a smoother ride; however the stiffness of Maple will allow you to get more feedback from the road and feel more in control.
So which should you choose? Ultimately it comes down to preference. The benefit to a lease option with 3 Rad Kids is your ability to try out different boards and find the perfect fit for you – and then update your equipment at an affordable cost.
Check out some of our longboard options.