As a beginner in longboarding or someone delving deeper into this discipline, you will likely choose between the top mount and drop-through truck styles. Top-mount longboards have their trucks secured beneath the deck, while drop-through boards have the trucks mounted through the deck, with cutout holes to accommodate them.
To an inexperienced eye, this detail about Drop through VS Top mount appears trivial and only affects the board’s appearance. However, there are many differences and diversities between drop-through and top support regarding stability, comfort, riding style, pushing, response, and many more aspects.
So the choice of the truck mount can significantly impact the way a longboard performs and the kind of riding style that suits it and the rider.
So guys, let’s look at the differences between drop-through and top-mount longboards, their pros and cons, and how to select the right one for you.
Comparison of Drop Through and Top Mount Longboard
|Top Mount Longboard
|Deck Mounting Style
|More effort is required for pushing and foot braking
|Trucks are mounted through the deck
|Higher ride height
|Lower ride height
|The deck is mounted on top of the trucks
|Less stable due to a higher center of gravity
|Better maneuverability and responsiveness
|Slightly reduced maneuverability
|Easier to initiate and control slides
|Slightly less control during slides
|Pushing and Footbraking
|Wide variety of deck shapes and styles are available
|More effort is required for pushing and footbraking
|Potential for higher speed due to increased leverage
|Slightly reduced top speed
|More responsive carving
|Slightly reduced carving performance
|Less suitable for high-speed downhill riding
|More suitable for high-speed downhill riding
|More prone to wheelbite
|More stable due to a lower center of gravity
|Less effort is required for pushing and foot braking
|A wide variety of deck shapes and styles are available
|Suitable Riding Style
|Freeriding, freestyle, and street skating
|Cruising, commuting, and downhill racing
|Recommended Skill Level
|Intermediate to advanced riders
|All skill levels, including beginners
Deck Mounting Style
Top Mount Longboard: The deck is mounted on top of the trucks, with the trucks attached directly to the underside of the deck.
Drop-Through Longboard: The trucks are mounted through the deck, with the deck having cutouts where the trucks pass through.
Top Mount Longboard: It has a higher ride height since the deck sits directly on top of the trucks.
Drop-Through Longboard: It has a lower ride height due to the trucks being mounted through the deck, resulting in the deck being closer to the ground.
Top Mount Longboard: It offers less stability due to the higher center of gravity resulting from the higher ride height.
Drop-Through Longboard: It provides more stability because the lower ride height lowers the center of gravity, offering a more balanced and stable ride.
Top Mount Longboard: It is generally easier to initiate and control slides on a top mount longboard due to the higher ride height and more responsive turning.
Drop-Through Longboard: While still capable of sliding, drop-through longboards may offer slightly less control during slides compared to top-mount boards.
Pushing and Footbraking
Top Mount Longboard: It requires more effort for pushing and foot braking since the higher ride height adds more resistance to pushing motions.
Drop-Through Longboard: It requires less effort for pushing and foot braking due to the lower ride height, which reduces the distance your foot needs to travel.
Drop-through longboards are designed with the trucks mounted through the deck, meaning that the baseplate is attached to the top of the car, and the hanger extends through the deck.
This design lowers the center of gravity of the longboard, making it more stable and easier to push. Drop-through longboards have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their stability and ease of pushing, making them ideal for cruising, commuting, and downhill riding.
Pros of Drop-Through Longboards
- Stability: Drop-through longboards are more stable due to their lower center of gravity than top-mount longboards. This stability is particularly beneficial for downhill riding, where riders must maintain control at high speeds.
- Easier Pushing: Drop-through longboards are more accessible to push than top-mount longboards due to the lower deck height. This makes them ideal for commuting and cruising, as riders can cover longer distances with less effort.
- Comfort: Drop-through longboards have a more comfortable ride than top-mount longboards due to their lower center of gravity. The rider’s weight is distributed uniformly on the board, which mitigates the impact on the legs and feet.
- Maneuverability: Drop-through longboards are highly maneuverable, ideal for carving and cruising in tight spaces.
Cons of Drop-Through Longboards
- Reduced Responsiveness: Drop-through longboards are less responsive than top-mount longboards due to their lower center of gravity. This can pose a more significant challenge for making swift turns or executing maneuvers.
- Limited Clearance: Drop-through longboards have little clearance, making them unsuitable for riding on rough terrain or over obstacles.
- Reduced Foot Platform: Drop-through longboards have a reduced foot platform due to the trucks being mounted through the deck. This can be uncomfortable for riders with larger feet or prefer a wider stance.
Top Mount Longboards
Top-mount longboards have the trucks mounted on the underside of the deck, raising the center of gravity and providing greater control and maneuverability.
Top mount are the traditional type of longboard.
Pros of Top Mount Longboards
- Greater Responsiveness: Top-mount longboards are more responsive than drop-through longboards due to their higher center of gravity. This makes them ideal for performing tricks, making quick turns, and navigating tight spaces.
- Versatility: Top mount longboards are versatile and can be used for various types of riding, including cruising, carving, freeriding, and downhill riding.
- Clearance: Top mount longboards have greater clearance than drop-through longboards, making them suitable for riding on rough terrain and over obstacles.
- Foot Platform: Top mount longboards have a larger foot platform, providing more comfort and stability for riders with larger feet or those who prefer a wider stance.
Cons of Top Mount Longboards
- Less Stability: Top-mount longboards have a higher center of gravity than drop-through longboards, making them less stable. This can render them more difficult to manage when traveling at high speeds.
- More Effort Required for Pushing: Top-mount longboards require more effort to push than drop-through longboards due to their higher deck height. This can make them less suitable for commuting or covering longer distances.
- Less Comfort: Top-mount longboards are less comfortable than drop-through longboards due to their higher center of gravity. The rider’s weight is not distributed evenly across the board, increasing the impact on the legs and feet.
Which one to choose, Drop Through OR Top Mount?
When choosing between drop-through and top-mount longboards, it is essential to consider your riding style, skill level, and personal preference. Below are some considerations to keep in mind while selecting the appropriate longboard for your needs. Let’s have a look at them.
- Riding Style: Consider the riding you intend to do. Drop-through longboards are better suited for cruising, commuting, and downhill riding, while top-mount longboards are versatile and can be used for various types of riding.
- Skill Level: Drop-through longboards’ lower center of gravity makes them less challenging to ride than top-mount longboards. Hence, a drop-through longboard may be more appropriate for you if you are a beginner or an intermediate rider. However, a top-mount longboard may be a better option if you are an experienced rider and enjoy performing tricks.
- Deck Length: Consider the length of the deck when choosing a longboard. More extended decks provide excellent stability and are better suited for downhill riding, while shorter decks are more maneuverable and are better suited for cruising and carving.
- Deck Shape: The shape of the deck can affect the riding experience. Drop-through longboards typically have a symmetrical shape, while top-mount longboards can have various shapes, including directional, symmetrical, and asymmetrical. Consider which shape will best suit your riding style and preferences.
- Wheel Size: Wheel size can affect the longboard’s speed, acceleration, and maneuverability. Larger wheels provide more incredible speed and acceleration but are less maneuverable, while smaller wheels provide more excellent maneuverability but are slower. Consider the riding you intend to do and choose the appropriate wheel size.
Can I perform tricks on a drop-through longboard?
While drop-through longboards are not designed for performing tricks, they can still be used for basic tricks such as ollies, kick turns, and manuals. Nonetheless, a top-mount longboard might be superior if your main focus is executing maneuvers.
What is the difference in deck height between a drop-through and top-mount longboard?
Drop-through longboards usually have a lower deck height as the trucks are mounted through the deck instead of on top of it, as in top-mount longboards. This lower deck height provides drop-through longboards with a more stable attribute and ease of pushing.
What is the difference in ride comfort between a drop-through and top-mount longboard?
Due to their lower center of gravity, drop-through longboards offer a more comfortable riding experience than top-mount longboards. The rider’s weight is distributed uniformly across the board, reducing the impact on the legs and feet. Top-mount longboards have a higher center of gravity, which can make the ride less comfortable.
In summary, drop-through and top-mount longboards have advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between the two mainly depends on the rider’s preference and the riding they intend to do.
The stability and ease of pushing drop-through longboards make them suitable for cruising, commuting, and downhill riding.
When choosing a longboard, consider your riding style, skill level, deck length and shape, and wheel size to ensure you choose the right longboard.