Skateboards have long been the board of choice for recreation, sports, and other activities. That, of course, changed with the longboard and the penny board.
For many of those who do not skate, each board’s difference may not be as evident as they are to skaters. There are design differences between each of the boards, but there are also functional differences between all of them.
Those who are new to skateboarding may be intimidated by how many different options they can choose from regarding different types of boards. Maybe you have never seen a skateboard before, or perhaps it’s just been a long time, and you aren’t used to the new boards that have made their way onto the scene.
Whatever your situation, there is a board that is fit for your needs. Keep reading to learn more about longboards, skateboards, and penny boards and how they differ.
Keep reading to learn more about what type of board may be right for you: longboard vs. skateboard vs. penny board.
|Longboard Pros||Longboard Cons|
|Better Balance||Poor Flexibility|
|Great For Cruising||Not Bi-Directional|
|Big Wheels||They Are More Expensive|
|More Control||Not As Portable|
Longboards have been trendy for some time now. As you can guess, longboards are distinguished from skateboards and penny boards based on the deck’s length – usually about one meter in length.
While the boards’ shapes can change depending on their intended use, such as uphill riding, downhill riding, or cruising, they typically have an elongated teardrop shape. Compared to other boards, longboards have wider trucks and bigger wheels best suited for cruising and fast riding.
Longboards were created with surfing in mind! Essentially, the rider should have the experience of surfing along with the asphalt. The movements felt while using a surfboard are similar to those experienced while riding a longboard.
While longboards offer many great cruising options through different environments and on multiple terrains, they are not very well suited for tricks due to their size and bulkiness.
Most longboards are made from maple wood, bamboo, or carbon fibers. Because they are more frequently made from natural fibers, they are considered the most expensive out of longboards vs. skateboards vs. penny boards.
Because of their long shape and broader wheels, they are usually an excellent option for beginning riders who need a more extensive base of support.
If your goal is to learn how to ride, but you have never stepped foot on any kind of board, go for the longboard first. They’re larger, more comfortable to balance on, a much more stable than their skateboard and penny board counterparts.
Longboards make a great starter board, and as you become more confident with it, you can transition to a smaller board such as a skateboard or penny board.
Great For Cruising
While they may not be the best option for tricks, longboards provide one of the smoothest, most stable board rides there is to offer. Whether you are riding your board to the beach, trying to bomb a hill, or just cruising around town, this board is crafted for the rider who is just looking for a smooth and stable ride.
There are also awesome electric longboards that can get you anywhere you need to go.
The larger size of the wheels not only adds to the balance and stability of the board – they add to the speed. Compared to skateboards and penny boards, longboards can reach a higher maximum speed because of the bigger wheel size.
Not only are the wheels bigger, but they are also softer than those of a skateboard, making them easier and more comfortable to maneuver on a hard surface or terrain.
Every functional feature on the longboard adds to its stability and improved rider experience. The decks are lower to the ground, the wheels are more optimized for cruising, and the board offers a wider base of support, making longboards the boards that provide the skater the greatest amount of control over their board.
Board flexibility is an essential feature for those who are learning new tricks or want to be able to perform tricks on their board. Unfortunately, longboards don’t have as much flexibility because of their thicker and longer deck. Longboards are built to gain speed and keep the rider stable while cruising, resulting in a much stiffer deck. They do, however, have more flexible trucks to provide the skater with a smoother ride.
Like it has been mentioned before, these boards aren’t crafted to handle tricks and quick maneuvers. Because most longboard decks are symmetrical, you can ride them using both facing directions of the board. Most of these tear dropped-shaped decks have a pintail side, which can’t be used with the same functionality as the rounder side. Other longboards have a kicktail.
They Are More Expensive
Compared to skateboards and penny boards, longboards are usually the more expensive option. If you want a quality board and parts, you will likely pay the price for them. Because longboards offer some premium features that improve rideability, such as the larger decks and bigger wheels, they tend to cost more money than the simpler skateboards and penny boards.
Not As Portable
When it comes to longboards vs. skateboards vs. penny boards, longboards as the hardest the least portable. Due to their size, bulkiness, and heavier weight, they can be much more challenging to carry around and aren’t as easy to travel with on planes, buses, trains, and other mass transit forms.
Why Ride A Longboard
Like both skateboards and penny boards, longboards are fantastic for those in need of the features, benefits, and purposes that they provide. In almost every way, longboards are best suited for riders looking for a means of transport or a leisurely ride around town.
Their design and functionality are much more suited for speed and stability as the rider move through parks, cities, neighborhoods, and other easily traveled locations.
Those looking to improve their tricks or start learning different tricks on the boards may not find that the longboard is the most suitable for this purpose. Their size makes it hard for them to maneuver advanced tricks, and the inflexibility of the board is not conducive to flipping, jumping, and kicking motions quite like the skateboard. So, this probably isn’t the best board to bring to the skate park.
However, if you are looking for a big, comfy cruiser that can reach high speeds and take on a hill like no other than this is your board.
They are usually very high quality and incredibly stable, making them a fantastic choice for beginners trying to get their bearings on a board. They provide extra balance support, and the bigger wheels make it easier to navigate them when just getting started.
|Skateboard Pros||Skateboard Cons|
|Easy To Carry||Can Damage Shoes|
|Relatively Inexpensive||Heavier Than A Penny Board|
|Easy To Learn|
|Great For Tricks|
Skateboards are still among the most common and popular types of boards that skaters of all kinds choose. Skateboards are noted for their distinctive rectangular-shaped boards with curved edges, and about 7.5-8 inches wide.
Skateboards have distinctive, small wheels that are hard enough and durable enough to take on asphalt concrete and many other terrains. Skateboards are mainly found in skate parks, on the street, or U-ramps. Best for shorter urban or park rides, skateboards are the ultimate versatile board.
Skateboards are typically a good choice for beginners as they provide a great deal of stability and balance for the rider. The great thing about skateboards is that riders can smoothly go from tricks and stunts to riding around town.
Riders can choose from many different boards and even customized designs to show off their style. Skateboards are usually made with maple wood and polyurethane coating. Today’s shapes mostly come in the form of a concave shape with an upturned nose and tail.
Easy To Carry
Skateboards are small and easy to carry. Almost every skateboard is shorter than a longboard and a bit easier to carry around. Longboards, conversely, tend to be heavy and quite cumbersome. Many skateboards come in compact sizes that are even lighter and easier to move around with.
Skateboards are usually cheaper than penny boards and longboards. High levels of customization give riders the option to spend well within their budget, and they can choose whether they want to spend more money on the deck, wheels, or other components. While some decks and add-ons can range higher in price, there are plenty of affordable, high-quality options.
Easy To Learn
The size, versatility, and stability of a skateboard make it reasonably easy to learn how to ride. Longboards have a similarly strong sense of stability. The smaller wheels can require the rider to have more balance, but the board’s wider and responsive shape provides a strong base for any rider.
Great For Tricks
Because of their excellent steering ability and over stability, skateboards are a great way to learn tricks and are even best used for skate parks and U-ramps. Skateboards are a great option for riders looking to learn new tricks, grind rails, master kickflips, skate mini ramps, and nail their ollies.
Can Damage Shoes
If you’re a skater, then you are all too familiar with grip tape. It is necessary but can wreak havoc on your shoes.
For beginners, grip tape is the gritty friction tape on the top of the deck used to keep your feet planted to board as your ride and perform tricks – think, sandpaper. While it is an excellent way to provide stability and support, it can add a significant amount of wear and tear to your shoes.
Heavier Than A Penny Board
Heavier than a penny board but still lighter than a longboard, skateboards typically weigh about five to six pounds. Penny boards, in comparison, only weigh about four pounds.
This is not a significant difference, but if you plan on riding your board to the mall or anywhere else where you will be required to carry it around, it can make quite a bit of difference.
Why Ride A Skateboard
When it comes to longboards vs. skateboards vs. penny boards, it can be challenging to determine which is the best fit for yourself. Skateboards are a great option for those looking for a significant amount of versatility from their board or are just getting started with the sport.
Longboards and skateboards are better for beginners as they have a decent amount of added support – either in the wheels or the deck, depending on the board.
Unlike longboards and penny boards, skateboards are a fantastic option for those looking to use their board for tricks.
The concave shape, smaller wheels, and grip tape all add to the stability and support needed to help the rider stay on the board and nail their tricks. The skateboard size is also beneficial to trick riders as it isn’t too long or cumbersome, and it isn’t too small to grip.
Thinking of buying a skateboard from Zumiez? Want to know if Zumiez skateboards are good?
Penny Board Basics
|Penny Board Pros||Penny Board Cons|
|Convenient & Portable||Relatively More Expensive|
|Durability||Not Great For Beginners|
Until now, penny boards were only known among the most involved skating enthusiasts. That is quickly changing as more and more skaters are becoming aware and obsessed with these boards.
Penny boards, sometimes called short cruisers or a penny, are a type of skateboard made out of plastic materials. Penny boards are constructed with cruising trucks and wheels and a deck – all made of plastic. This is why the boards are known for being so light.
You can purchase penny boards either fully assembled or with separate parts. Riders can choose from many different designs and colors to customize their decks. Penny boards date back to the late 1970s. They are pretty distinguishable among skaters and are known for their plastic components, portability, and highly customizable decks.
Penny boards, which are shorter than skateboards, do not require any grip tape and are noted for their square back and rounded tip. Its wheels are large, just like the longboard, giving the penny board a stable ride that adheres well to the surface that it is riding on.
This board is excellent for riders living in the city. Its ability to cruise around town is perfect, and its low weight makes it super easy to bring in stores, travel on public transit, and check out any other sites.
Penny Board Pros
Convenient & Portable
One of the top reasons that skaters choose a penny board is because they are incredibly convenient. These plastic boards are small, light, and can even fit in a backpack for easy storage. Because of their smaller size, they are easy to bring everywhere. Penny boards are very suitable for city dwellers, students, and travelers.
The plastic used to make these boards highly durable and resistant to weather and other forms of damage. The plastic that the boards are constructed with lasts longer than the traditional wood used in skateboards and longboards.
If you are more of a clumsy skater and find yourself throwing your board into walls, penny boards may make a better option for you as they will likely hold up against the shock and impact.
Penny Board Cons
Relatively More Expensive
Though it may seem like penny boards are cheaper than their longboard or skateboard counterparts, they are more expensive when you consider that you are paying more for a smaller board. Fewer materials are used to make the smaller board, but those materials are more expensive.
Not Great For Beginners
Penny boards have a relatively high level of difficulty because of the board’s small surface area. Most rider’s feet barely fit the board’s width, making it difficult to maneuver at high speeds. Beginners may find it challenging to figure out their footing on this board.
The one standout downside to penny boards is that they have a limited function – they are only suitable for commuting or cruising. Because of its small size and restricted mobility, performing tricks or going to the skate park with this board isn’t a likely option.
Why Ride A Penny Board
Penny boards are best suited for advanced riders looking for a board that gets them from point A to point B or anywhere else around town. These boards may not be well suited for those looking to gain a lot of speed or try out a bunch of new tricks, but it is a reliable, long-lasting board specifically crafted to be used as a commuter board.
Those living in urban areas will find the penny board to be the most useful option. Unlike skateboards and longboards, the penny board is incredibly light and easy to pack away in a backpack or gym bag.
Carrying around this board is simple and convenient, making it an excellent option for those who are switching from foot travel to public transit.
Longboards Vs. Skateboards Vs. Penny Boards
So, who is the lucky winner of this competition? The honest answer is that no board is a better option than any other.
Simply put, each of these boards carries its own function and set of useful advantages depending on the skater’s goals and lifestyle. Advanced skaters may even have two or all three of these boards to satisfy all of their skating needs.
Choosing the right board comes down to understanding your skill as a rider and whether you are looking for a trick board, something crafter for speed and comfort, or a convenient board that is best for moving around the town.
Finally, another option we didn’t discuss in this article is an electric skateboard. Click here to learn more.
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