Skateboarding, a sport like no other born way back in the 1940s, has returned to the 21st century streets. Many of us are quite familiar with the four-wheeled skateboard, but with longboard evolutions and penny boards added to the lot, it can be tricky to determine the board of your choice.
Each type has its own distinctive features, form and functionality beyond what’s ordinary. Here’s everything you need to know about the longboard and penny board, from their advantages and disadvantages, to the more technical details, to ultimately finding out what’s best for your riding style.
What Are Longboards?
As the name suggests, you’d very well have an idea that longboards are of greater length than classic skateboards. A longboard appears to be its highly modified form – wider wheels, longer, faster, and more versatile. It features decks ranging from 30 inches up to a remarkable 44 inches, with the exception of the extremely long ones.
The material used for longboards are derived from nature’s elements such as bamboo, maple wood or sturdy oak. Maple is popularly utilized in the cheaper longboard equipment sold in the market. Bamboo is commonly used to craft smaller and more flexible longboards with spring-like characteristics that minimize breakage. The myriad of wooden deck materials are constructed into longboards of varying shapes and sizes.
There’s the directional board shape that’s only meant to go forward, and the two-directional twin or symmetrical board which feels the same wherever you’re facing. Longboards are great for cruising, dancing, sliding, long distance racing, slalom or downhill racing, and as means of transportation.
- Multi-purpose skate equipment
- More area for the rider’s feet
- High quality wood craftsmanship
- Bulk and added weight doesn’t make the board portable
- May come at a higher cost depending on the longboard type
What are Penny Boards?
Sprung from the likes of the 1970s boards is an entirely new category of skateboards coined as Penny Boards. Though created rather recently in the year 2010, the penny board has quickly gained popularity among the youth.
The smaller size, lighter weight, and portability offered by the newer board makes it the perfect choice for the adventurous rider. The company behind Penny Boards seem to have focused on bringing back the old style of skateboarding and has succeeded on this aspect. The novelty and standard build of the traditional board has been kept, yet modernized with the use of industrial strength plastic material.
Plastic composition renders the board merely 4.2 lbs yet exhibits durability and capability to withstand a tremendous amount of damage. If your longboard goes crashing into a curb, a chip will most likely fly off or you’ll end up with a few scratches on your board’s wooden surface at the very least. If you’re using a penny board and the same thing happens, it’s almost certain there’d be no damage to your board. High quality plastic decks paired with cruiser wheels and trucks makes the Penny board incredibly strong.
Once you’ve fallen for the looks of the classic waffled-deck of the Penny, the next thing to think about is the size to suit your style and the way you skate. Penny Skateboards manufacture three kinds of boards. Between the Penny Original and Penny Nickel, the main difference lies in the length. The Original arrives in 22-inch long sizes while the Nickel arrives in 27-inch sizes which are precisely 5 inches longer, giving you a bit more plastic underneath for better balance. Now, can you tell why it’s called “The Nickel?”
The latter is ideal for novice skateboarders for offering more space for feet, while the Penny Original is most suitable for people who carry their boards around a lot. The newest addition to the Penny skateboard family is the 36-inch longboard featuring larger wheels and reverse kingpin trucks that invite you to an easy ride.
Penny Boards come in a huge variety of designs to suite every skateboarder. There are over 20 vibrant creations to choose from, such as classic colours, retro-prints, sweet fades and inspiring works of art, for any given board. Note that penny boards have come to be widely generalized and would likewise pertain to all small plastic skateboards. If you know where to look, you can find even cheaper penny boards that does not necessarily sacrifice quality with its lower cost.
- Compact and lightweight quality makes it highly portable
- Classic to contemporary design choices
- Authentic boards are made from extremely durable secret-formula plastic
- Small area for the rider’s feet
- Tends to be unstable at higher speeds
Longboards VS Penny Boards
Penny Boards are great for the budget savvy who can acquire a nice, useful board for commuting. Weighing less and being smaller than most longboards, the penny board can easily fit into your backpacks or even leave it hanging without being too bulky.
Pro skaters who love to flip and do all the fancy and novel tricks will have tons of fun with a Penny Board. It’s exceptionally designed to accommodate your awesome, daunting moves that entail a zippy ride and highly sharp turning radiuses.
Novices, on the other hand, will find the Penny board a bit challenging to ride deck size is comparatively small in contrast to the much longer boards. So if you’re looking for a great commuter and are inclined to explore the world of skateboarding, a longboard would prove to be the best option.
For beginners, longer is definitely better, giving you much-needed support without compromising the fun of the sport. The learning curve will be easier while you’re simply, literally enjoying the ride. Longboards are quite handy for all sorts of riding! You gain better performance than the Penny beyond the purpose of commuting from place to place. More space for your feet, better traction and stability provided by the relatively larger wheel size helps ensure your safety.
In choosing the best board for you, it all comes down to what exactly you want to do with it. For the adventurer who’s still uncertain and yet to discover his or her capabilities with such equipment, it’s best to play it safe with a longboard.