Volador Longboard Brand Review
July 3, 2019
Volador are an eye-catching budget longboard brand. And it is easy to see why. Their line up is full of longboards that have timeless graphics – with the theme being clean lines and exposed maple. A refreshing take that makes them stand out in the market.
However, are their longboards actually any good? Or are they just eye candy? In my review below, I break down their boards and find out if they are worth buying. I also talk a bit about the background of this mysterious brand …
Volador Longboards Review
Volador Longboard dancer
Coming in at a length of 46in and width of 10in, this board is both long and wide. This simply means it will be stable, comfortable and easy to skate.
This board has been primarily designed for dancing, but it will be able to cruise and carve well too. However, it falls short when it comes to maneuverability. This is simply because the width and long wheelbase of the board make it slow to turn. Which is bad if you want something nimble, but great if you are looking for something really stable.
The deck comes with 70mm tall wheels which will be good for cruising. However, because they are 70mm tall, they are a bit on the heavier side for dancing, which won’t matter so much when you are doing peter pans, but may affect its performance when you are picking the board up to do tiger claws and other spins.
But that said, experienced people do dance with 70mm wheels. So whilst not ideal (especially for a beginner), it is possible to dance with these wheels.
Finally, I think the main weak point of this board is the trucks. Given its cheap price point, Volador had to cut corners somewhere. They will turn smooth and all, but won’t give you as good control as other trucks do. Think about replacing them down the line if you get this board.
Take a good look at this board here on Amazon.com.
Volador 40-inch Maple Cruiser
Coming in at 40inches in size, the Maple cruiser has been designed with well .. cruising in mind, and it’s been made with features to facilitate that.
The first is the ‘drop-through’ mounting. This is when the truck’s baseplate are mounted on top of the longboard (see picture for details) and this does two things. It lowers the center of gravity of the board and the turning center of the trucks, and by doing this, it makes the skateboard more stable and a tiny bit less responsive to rider input.
My favorite features on this board are the wheels. They come in at 70mm in height and a hardness of 80a. They also have a large core that helps keep them lightweight for fast acceleration and nimble turning.
The main weak points of this board are the trucks and bearings. If possible I recommend you replace the bearings with high-quality aftermarket options and upgrade with trucks with high-quality accessories too. Kind of annoying to have to do this, but given the decks cheap price point, it makes sense.
Find the longboard here on Amazon.com, to learn more about it or check out the video below for a more visual review.
Volador Freeride Complete
Coming in with a classic pintail shape, the Volador Freeride cruiser is 42inches in length and features a deck that flexes when you stand on it.
Unlike the other boards above, it has a shorter wheelbase and features kicktails. The kicktails allow you to do kick turns and the short wheelbase makes it easier for you to get around tighter curves.
And because is a top mount (trucks mounted underneath), you will have the maximum maneuverability and get the best turning out the trucks. But to note, this makes it a bit unstable an inappropriate for beginners. If you’ve skated before, you can handle this board, but beginners should tighten the trucks for a bit more stability.
Like the other Volador boards on here, the main weakpoint of this deck is the trucks and bearings. I really recommend you replace them or upgrade their components (like pivots and bushings) for a smoother ride.
Find out more about this board here on Amazon.com.
The Volador brand, what’s their story?
It’s kind of hard to find information about this brand online. Who are they? Why are they so mysterious? But fortunately for you guys, I am a sleek detective.
After some digging, I found out that they are a brand owned by Orca Steel Enterprise– a company based in Hong Kong that is responsible for manufacturing outdoor sports products, a ton of skateboarding gear and other bits and bobs. They pride themselves on producing high-quality products that match their customer’s specifications.
So whilst not longboarders per se, these guys do make decent boards. They have a served a ton of (now) satisfied riders all over the world, so I’m confident in the products they produce.
However, experienced riders should look to higher quality brands if they want new longboards. Whilst Volador are good for beginners, the quality simply isn’t good enough for experienced riders. They simply can’t beat the quality and attention to detail dedicated longboard brands can provide.
Do they use cheap parts?
Given they are a ‘budget longboard brand’ and produce ‘budget longboards’, you have to expect that they sacrifice quality on one aspect of their longboards. This is most apparent in their trucks and bearings.
Their trucks are of decent quality but the bushings and pivots aren’t really the best – they use cheap Chinese made polyurethane which generally has poor elastic properties. It won’t be so noticeable for beginners but it is a good idea to replace them with a higher quality aftermarket option further down the line for a better ride feel.
Their bearings are ok, but should be replaced as soon as possible. They use cheap Chinese bearings that may not have the best bearing shields or retainers, so some of them may be kind of slow.
Otherwise, the wheels and the deck are fairly decent. You may get stress fractures on your deck, but more often than not those are negligible – they can also occur on higher quality decks too.
Stress fractures don’t really affect performance, so they aren’t really worth … stressing about … hehe. But in all seriousness, you can skate with them and not really feel a difference in how the longboard will perform.
Their decks are of decent quality
Depending on the deck you choose, you’ll get a deck made with 8-ply’s of cold pressed hard maple.
Maple, in general, is a great material for skateboard decks. It is strong, flexible and isn’t too heavy. It also has pretty good elastic deformation so it can take impacts and hold weights without suddenly breaking.
However, given they are a mass producer of longboards, chances are they are producing these boards in bulk – instead of placing one deck on the longboard press at a time, mass producers often place a handful (like 5 or so). This simply leads to a small percentage of decks delaminating (the glue that holds them failing) over time because there wasn’t enough pressure in the mold to make them stick.
But in general, this process isn’t too bad and works okay for most longboards.
So in summary, when you buy a Volador longboard you are getting a decent deck. In fact, I think when you pay for their completes, most of the cost comes from the deck alone.
They have the best graphics
Out of all the cheap longboard brands on the market, these guys have some of the best graphics hand down.
Even if you won’t be skating all the time, you can simply hang the longboard up in your home and enjoy it as an art piece.
I think this is an important aspect to consider because when you buy a longboard, you don’t just want one that performs well, you want something that looks good too. Something you can skate with and show off and feel proud for owning. Volador did their work and deserve kudos for this.
Are Volador a brand beginners can trust?
In a nutshell yes, beginners can buy their products and be satisfied with the quality. However, given their price point, you can expect them to cut corners on some aspects of their longboards – so some upgrades may be needed to make them absolutely perfect. But in general, they do make good longboards that will satisfy the majority of customers.