Skateboarding is an exhilarating sport and hobby that has exploded in popularity in recent years. Two of the most popular types of skateboards today are the penny board and the longboard. If you’re trying to decide between a penny board and a longboard, consider your needs and preferences.

The right board for you depends on factors like your skill level, budget, and how you plan to ride.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: the penny board is more portable and maneuverable, while the longboard offers a smoother ride over longer distances. Penny boards work well for cruising short distances, tricks, and commuting.

Longboards excel at covering longer distances comfortably thanks to their larger size and soft wheels.

What is a Penny Board?

A Penny Board is a type of skateboard that is smaller and more compact than a traditional skateboard. It is known for its unique design and vibrant colors, making it a popular choice among skateboard enthusiasts.

Origins and History

The Penny Board was originally created in Australia in the 1970s as a lightweight and portable alternative to traditional skateboards. It gained popularity among surfers who wanted a way to skate around when the waves were not ideal.

Since then, Penny Boards have become a global phenomenon, with riders of all ages enjoying their smooth and stylish rides.

Design and Size

Penny Boards are typically made of high-quality plastic or fiberglass, which provides durability and flexibility. They usually range in size from 22 to 27 inches in length, making them perfect for cruising and commuting.

The smaller size of Penny Boards allows for easy maneuverability and the ability to navigate through tight spaces.

Pros of Penny Boards

  • Penny Boards are lightweight and portable, making them easy to carry around.
  • The compact size of Penny Boards allows for effortless maneuverability.
  • They come in a wide variety of vibrant colors and designs, allowing riders to express their personal style.
  • Penny Boards are great for cruising and commuting, providing a smooth and enjoyable ride.
  • They are suitable for riders of all ages and skill levels.

Cons of Penny Boards

  • The small size of Penny Boards may not be suitable for riders who prefer a larger surface area for tricks and stunts.
  • Due to their compact design, Penny Boards may not provide as much stability as longer skateboards.
  • Some riders may find the plastic or fiberglass construction less forgiving on rough terrain compared to wooden skateboards.

What is a Longboard?

A longboard is a type of skateboard that is longer and wider than a traditional skateboard. It is designed for cruising and transportation, rather than tricks and stunts. Longboards are known for their stability and smooth ride, making them a popular choice for beginners and experienced riders alike.

Origins and History

The origins of longboarding can be traced back to the 1950s in Hawaii. Surfers wanted a way to replicate the feeling of riding waves on land, so they started attaching roller skate wheels to wooden planks. This eventually evolved into the longboards we know today.

Longboarding gained popularity in the 1990s and has continued to grow in popularity ever since. It has become a global phenomenon, with dedicated communities and competitions around the world.

Design and Size

Longboards come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they generally have a longer deck, ranging from 33 to 60 inches in length. The longer deck provides more stability and allows for better control at higher speeds.

The design of a longboard can vary depending on its intended use. Some longboards have a pintail shape, which is ideal for cruising and carving. Others have a drop-through design, which lowers the center of gravity for better stability and makes it easier to push.

Types of Longboards

There are several different types of longboards, each designed for a specific style of riding. Some common types include:

  • Cruiser: These longboards are ideal for commuting and cruising around town. They are often shorter and more maneuverable than other types.
  • Downhill: Built for speed, downhill longboards are designed for racing and reaching high velocities. They often have a drop-through design and larger wheels for stability.
  • Freestyle: Freestyle longboards are designed for tricks and stunts. They are typically shorter and have a symmetrical shape for easy riding in both directions.
  • Carving: Carving longboards are designed for smooth turns and effortless maneuverability. They often have a wider deck and softer wheels for better grip.

Pros of Longboards

There are several advantages to choosing a longboard:

  • Stability: The longer and wider deck of a longboard provides more stability, making it easier for beginners to learn and ride.
  • Smooth ride: Longboards are known for their smooth ride, thanks to their larger wheels and flexible decks.
  • Transportation: Longboards are a convenient and eco-friendly mode of transportation, allowing riders to travel short distances without relying on cars or public transportation.
  • Versatility: With different types of longboards available, riders can choose a board that suits their riding style and preferences.

Cons of Longboards

While longboards have many benefits, there are also some drawbacks to consider:

  • Size: The larger size of a longboard can make it more difficult to carry and store compared to a smaller skateboard.
  • Maneuverability: Longboards are not as maneuverable as smaller skateboards, making them less suitable for tricks and stunts.
  • Learning curve: While longboards are generally easier to ride than skateboards, there is still a learning curve, especially for beginners.

Ultimately, whether a longboard is the best choice for you depends on your personal preferences and intended use. Consider your riding style, terrain, and goals to determine if a longboard is the right fit.

Penny Board vs. Longboard: Key Differences

Size and Portability

One of the main differences between penny boards and longboards is their size and portability. Penny boards are typically smaller and more compact, making them easier to carry around and maneuver in crowded areas. They are great for short commutes or quick rides to the store.

On the other hand, longboards are longer and bulkier, providing a more stable and comfortable ride for longer distances. They are better suited for cruising or downhill riding.


When it comes to maneuverability, penny boards have the upper hand. Due to their smaller size and lighter weight, they are more agile and responsive, allowing riders to make quick turns and navigate through tight spaces with ease.

Longboards, on the other hand, have a larger turning radius and require more effort to make sharp turns. However, longboards offer better stability at higher speeds, which can be beneficial for downhill riding or carving.

Stability at High Speeds

If you’re looking for stability at high speeds, longboards are the way to go. Their longer wheelbase and wider decks provide a more stable ride, allowing riders to maintain control even at faster speeds.

Penny boards, on the other hand, are not designed for high speeds and may feel less stable when riding at faster velocities. It’s important to consider your riding style and preferences before deciding which board is best for you.

Ride Smoothness

When it comes to ride smoothness, longboards generally offer a smoother and more comfortable ride. Their larger wheels and softer bushings absorb more vibrations and bumps on the road, resulting in a smoother cruising experience.

Penny boards, on the other hand, have smaller and harder wheels, which can make the ride feel rougher on uneven surfaces. However, their compact size allows for greater maneuverability and the ability to navigate through obstacles more easily.


Cost is another factor to consider when choosing between a penny board and a longboard. Penny boards tend to be more affordable, making them a great option for beginners or budget-conscious riders. Longboards, on the other hand, can be more expensive due to their larger size and specialized features.

However, it’s important to note that there are variations in price within each category, depending on the brand, materials, and design.

Which is Better for Beginners?

When it comes to choosing between a penny board and a longboard, beginners often find themselves in a dilemma. Both options have their own unique features and benefits, but which one is better for beginners?

Penny Board: A penny board is a small, compact skateboard that is perfect for cruising and commuting. It is typically made of plastic, which makes it lightweight and easy to maneuver. The smaller size of a penny board also makes it easier for beginners to control and balance on.

Additionally, penny boards are known for their vibrant and eye-catching designs, adding a fun element to your rides.

Longboard: On the other hand, a longboard is a longer and wider skateboard designed specifically for cruising and downhill riding. Longboards provide a more stable and comfortable ride, making them a great option for beginners who are looking for a smoother experience.

The larger size of a longboard also allows for greater stability and control, making it easier for beginners to learn and progress.

Which one should beginners choose?

Ultimately, the choice between a penny board and a longboard depends on personal preference and the type of riding you are interested in. If you are looking for a compact and portable board for short commutes or just cruising around town, a penny board might be the ideal choice for you.

Its small size and lightweight construction make it easier to carry and maneuver.

On the other hand, if you are interested in long-distance cruising or downhill riding, a longboard would be a better option. The larger size and stability of a longboard provide a more comfortable and controlled ride, making it suitable for beginners who want to explore different terrains and ride for longer durations.

It’s important to note that both penny boards and longboards have a learning curve, especially for beginners who are new to skateboarding. Regular practice and gaining confidence on the board are key factors in becoming proficient in riding either option.

So, whether you choose a penny board or a longboard as a beginner, remember to prioritize safety, wear protective gear, and enjoy the ride! Happy skateboarding!

Which is Better for Commuting?

When it comes to commuting, both penny boards and longboards have their own advantages and disadvantages. It ultimately depends on your personal preferences, the distance you need to cover, and the terrain you will be riding on.

Penny Boards

Penny boards are smaller and more compact compared to longboards. They are lightweight and easy to carry around, making them a great option for short distance commuting. Whether you need to ride to work, school, or just around your neighborhood, a penny board can be a convenient mode of transportation.

Another advantage of penny boards is their maneuverability. Due to their smaller size and kicktail design, they are easier to navigate through crowded streets and busy sidewalks. They also provide a tighter turning radius, allowing you to make quick changes in direction.

However, penny boards may not be the ideal choice for longer commutes or rough terrains. Their smaller wheels and shorter decks can make them less stable and less comfortable for extended rides. If you have to travel long distances or encounter uneven surfaces, a penny board may not provide the smoothest and most enjoyable experience.


On the other hand, longboards are designed for cruising and long-distance riding. With their larger wheels and longer decks, they offer more stability and a smoother ride. If you have to cover a significant distance on a regular basis, a longboard might be your best bet.

Longboards also excel in handling different types of terrain. Whether you need to ride on rough pavements, hilly roads, or even off-road trails, a longboard can handle it all. The flexibility and versatility of longboards make them a popular choice among commuters who want to explore various routes.

Additionally, longboards often have larger decks, providing more foot space and a more comfortable ride. This can be beneficial if you are commuting for long periods of time or have larger feet.

Which is Better for Tricks?

When it comes to performing tricks, both the penny board and longboard have their own unique advantages. However, if you are specifically looking for a board that is better for tricks, the penny board takes the lead.

Penny Board

The penny board is known for its compact and lightweight design, making it highly maneuverable and perfect for performing tricks. Its smaller size allows riders to easily flick and rotate the board in mid-air, making it ideal for tricks like ollies, kickflips, and manuals.

Additionally, the small size of the penny board allows for quick and sharp turns, making it great for navigating tight spaces and performing technical tricks.

With a penny board, you can easily master a wide range of tricks and impress your friends with your skills. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, the penny board provides a fun and exciting platform for honing your trick abilities.


While the penny board is the go-to choice for tricks, that doesn’t mean the longboard is completely out of the picture. Longboards are more commonly used for cruising and long-distance riding, but they can still be used for some basic tricks.

Longboards have a larger surface area and more stability compared to penny boards, which can make it easier to balance and land tricks. However, due to their longer length and heavier weight, longboards are less responsive and slower to maneuver compared to penny boards.

This can make it more challenging to perform advanced tricks that require quick movements and precise control.


In the end, choosing between a penny board and a longboard comes down to weighing your priorities and needs. Penny boards excel at portability and maneuverability for short rides and tricks. Longboards offer more stability at speed and a smoother ride over long distances.

Consider how you plan to ride and your skill level to decide which type of skateboard is right for you.

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