Long Rider mania!

longrider

Ah, the Long Rider! I first became aware of the Long Rider back in 2005, but only saw a couple small pictures. In 2009 I uncovered an ad for a Long Rider in the Montgomery Ward catalog from 1984. Since that time, I bought one from a reader named Dan Kite who saw it on the site and offered his up for a very reasonable price. I marveled over it, and then I tried riding it a few times but the bearings were sort of shot. Long Riders are sized for (ahem) much smaller riders, so it sat in my basement for a couple years. Recently I picked up one on eBay that Matthijs tipped me off to. It came in the original packaging and it was essentially brand new. Bonus! It was in a different color from the one I already had. So I jumped on it. We had a philosophical discussion about the purchase the other night before we went to the Briefs show. Both my wife and Grover were puzzled by why I spend any money on these things. The answer? I buy them because they are magical and weird!

Here’s the thing with the Long Rider, it’s obviously a gimmicky piece of junk, but you have to imagine that it could have taken off like gangbusters. It’s very strange that they were still using open bearings in 1983, even on a toy board. They’ve got some sort of enlarged shield over the top, so it’s maybe a slight improvement over the 70’s era loose bearings, or at least it would be if the components were any good. These things were manufactured in Taiwan for a company in a suburb of Chicago. There’s a Marchon Inc still doing business now, but their product line consists of eyeglasses and sunglasses, and they are based in New York. Long Rider’s experienced a certain amount of popularity in Australia, however. When the do turn up on Ebay, there’s a 50/50 chance it’ll be in Australia. There was allegedly a Long Rider TV commercial that aired in Australia, but I can’t find it online.

Here’s two views of the Long Rider in the packaging.

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Here are two different colors of Long Riders. Besides the red and black, I’ve also seen them in blue.

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Both boards are actually the same size.

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Details from the front of the packaging. This air on a Long Rider? Never going to happen.

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The Long Rider is obviously made for kids, and for an adult, it’s next to impossible to ride. I can barely fit one of my size 13 Vans on the riding platform. The handle is pretty short too, the Long Rider should have been a little, well… longer. Even the kids in the promo photos have to hunch over.

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Check out the pre-photoshop effects! Now that’s old school.

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The benefits of the handle, all of which are patently false except for the claim that you can use the hole to hang it on a wall.
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Easy to carry!!!!!
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Actual working advice for newbies on how and why to adjust your trucks.
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I’m not sure if the holes in the backside of the wheel were to preserve weight for shipping or if they were there for some illusion of high performance.

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7 Comments

  1. Great treasure!!

  2. Are the wheels urethane? They look like hard, slippery plastic…

    • They are the garden variety super cheap toy store, very hard urethane. Although my first skateboard was a plastic banana board from Sears in the 70’s, and the urethane was decent.

      • My Toys R Us Rolling Star from the mid 70’s had good urethane, but no lock nuts, thus the bearings were falling out all the time. My subsequent Grentec GT had good urethane too. But nowadays, the really cheap crap always has those super hard wheels that will probably crack in half with age!

  3. Should have named it The Dong Rider.

  4. The girl in the long rider ad in Australia on January 10, 2015 - Reply

    Awesome write up. I was in that advertisement in Australia and can’t find it either. Darnit!

  5. My first “board.” I bought it for, like, $1.99 on super clear-out. I took it home, took the trucks and wheels off and put them on my, one of many, custom cut, 3/4? plywood boards with a paint job like Eddie Van Halens guitar. My older sister sisters boyfriend saw me ripping around on it, and gave me some pizza tape that he had left over from the 70’s??? This was in the 80’s!!!

    Love this website!

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