Comparing Longboard Shapes: Drop-through vs Drop-down

There is a massive difference in the ride and style between different longboard shapes and drop-down longboards and drop-through longboards are no exception.

If you’re stuck deciding between the two then you’ve come to the right place. I’ll break down the differences in shape, style, and ride so you can make an informed decision.

Let’s get into it.

What is a Drop-down Longboard?

You can recognize a drop-down longboard by its distinctive shape.

A drop-down longboard is a longboard shape that has a lowered deck beneath the truck baseplates so that the rider is closer to the ground. Frequently, a drop-down longboard will have notches cut out above the wheels to avoid wheel bite while turning. A drop-down longboard provides great stability at high speeds and is great for downhill riding and cruising.

This deck is a bit more for technical riding and is not recommended for beginners who just want to carve and cruise around normal streets.

What is a Drop-through Longboard?

Drop decks are all about getting low.

A drop-through longboard looks similar to the drop-through besides that the deck is in line with the truck’s baseplates.

A drop-through longboard is a longboard shape that has a lowered deck so that the rider is closer to the ground. The deck is in line with the truck’s baseplates. Frequently, a drop-through longboard will have notches cut out above the wheels to avoid wheel bite while turning. A drop-through longboard provides great stability at high speeds and is great for downhill riding and cruising.

The drop-through longboard is a bit more versatile and beginner-friendly than the drop-down style deck.

If you wondering how hard longboarding is to pick up as a complete beginner, then check out my guide on how difficult learning to longboard really is.


Let’s look at the similarities.

  • Both boards have a lower center of gravity
  • Both board have reverse-kingpin trucks with wide hangers
  • Both boards are stable at high speeds
  • Both boards are easier to push being so close to the ground
  • Both boards are easier to slide with compared to pintail and other longboard shapes

Both of these longboard shapes share a lot of similarities. This is because they really belong to the same class of longboard shapes which are called drop decks.

However, there are some pretty big differences in how they perform in certain areas so don’t think they are basically the same. If you’re looking for speed then you can’t go wrong with either of these drop decks although the drop-through longboard is more beginner-friendly.


While there are many similarities between drop-down and drop-through longboards, there are some key differences. Let’s check out what the differences are.

Drop-through Longboards

  • More flexible board
  • Easier to turn and carve with
  • Harder to slide with
  • Better grip on corners
  • More versatile and better for beginners

Drop-down Longboards

  • Easier to slide with
  • Less grip on turns
  • Better for more technical riding
  • Extremely stiff board

The net result of these differences is that the drop-down longboard shape is more specialized and suitable for advanced riders who want to ride downhill while incorporating slides. The drop-through longboard is more versatile and suitable for beginners who might ride downhill or might just cruise to work on flatground.

For these reasons, if you are unsure about how you will be using your longboard, then it is recommended to go for the drop-through longboard. It is simply the safer bet for you.

Drop-through Longboard Pros and Cons

Are you a beginner? Or will you be using your board to commute and occasionally taking it out for high-speed runs on weekends?

Then a drop-through board might be right for you.


  • More versatile than drop-down longboards
  • Stable at high speeds
  • Easy to push as it is low to the ground
  • Flexible board
  • Easier to turn than drop-down longboards


  • Harder to slide with
  • More difficult to take sharp corners with than non drop decks
  • Hard to do tricks on

Is a Drop-through Longboard Good for Cruising?

Choosing a cruiser can be hard simply because there are so many shapes out there to choose from.

A drop-through longboard is a great choice for a cruiser board. The drop-through shape gives a stable ride at high speeds and is easy to push. This versatile board can be used not only to cruise or commute but also can handle high speeds extremely well as long as tight turns aren’t involved.

You can’t go wrong with the drop-through board shape and it is unlikely to limit anyone but specialist riders. So get yourself one and cruise away.

Drop-down Longboard Pros and Cons

Are you interested in sacrificing tight turns for speed? Do you want to learn to slide or already love incorporating slides into your runs?

Then the drop-down longboard might just be what you’re looking for. And let’s be realistic. If you are at this point in your longboarding journey, then you already have a board that’s suitable for cruising. It couldn’t hurt to add a specialty board to your collection.


  • Stable at high speeds
  • Easier to turn the board to slide
  • Stiff board
  • Easy to push as it is low to the ground


  • Difficult to turn at high speeds
  • Need to know how to slide
  • Less versatile
  • Hard to do tricks on

If you’re just getting started and want to learn the basics of pushing on your longboard, check out my visual guide to getting started right.

What’s the Best Longboard Shape for a Beginner?

Finally, the question inevitably comes up.

What is the best longboard shape for a beginner? Is the drop-down longboard or is it the drop-through longboard?

The best longboard shape for a beginner is a pintail longboard shape. A drop-down deck is not the best option for a beginner because although it does increase stability at high speeds you will sacrifice turn ability and the ability to carve. A beginner won’t likely be riding at high speeds and would be better served to be able to make a sharp turn without sliding their board.

I know this isn’t what you might expect to hear in an article specifically about drop decks and I understand that. Between the two drop decks, the drop-through deck is absolutely more beginner-friendly. However, I wouldn’t particularly suggest that longboard over pintail for a beginner.

I’ll try to write more about this in another more focused article.

If you want to nerd out and learn some obscure longboarding facts for trivia night, check out my list of 25 interesting longboarding facts and statistics here.


So that’s it.

I hope this guide helped you find what you are looking for and you can make the decision right for you. The differences are a bit subtle, but a longboard is a large purchase so I understand that you want to make sure you’re getting the best longboard shape for you.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and look out for more content from Board and Wheels.


Turns out there aren’t a ton of resources on this topic out there. Here are a few sources I used for this article and might be good for further reading for anyone interested.

Board and Wheels

I am a tech guy who skateboards and longboards for fun. I started skating in elementary school, quit in highschool, and started again in grad school.

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