Longboard vs. Penny Board is one of the most heated debates among the beginner members of longboarding communities. One of the significant differences between penny and longboard is clear from their names. A penny board is comparatively way smaller than a longboard which has an expansive extended deck. However, the deck length is not the concluding difference between both boards. Instead, there are several factors to address before we conclude something.
As mentioned above, the penny boards have shorter length which make them weigh less than a complete longboard. Most importantly, the purposes of both of the boards types are different. A longboard will let you skate for long-distance tricks, dance, and freestyles, whereas the penny ones are appreciated for covering shorter distances. In 2023, people look interested in using penny boards in colleges as well.
Longboards Vs. Penny Boards | What’s the Difference
Length and width aside, multiple factors differentiate a longboard and penny board, such as design, material, size, etc. Let’s briefly explain each element that matters in longboarding to understand which board is more beneficial and in which case.
What is a Penny Board?
A typical skateboard with a plastic build having cruiser wheels and trucks is a “short or mini” cruiser penny board. Professionals prefer these boards for commuting smaller distances or covering crowded streets. With time, the pro riders are discovering more suitable riding styles for those who have penny boards. So, if you need to stop and pick up the board, you can handle it quickly due to its less weight.
How do we define a Longboard?
Whether it is length or width, a longboard is completely different from a penny board. So, the combination of wide extended board, broad trucks’ axles, flat deck, and outspread wheels make a high-quality longboard. As we all know, longboarding is a broader topic, and there are several longboard types for multiple purposes, some help cruise, while others help you carve, commute, and dance over a longboard.
Longboard vs. Penny Board | Shape & Design Comparison
In the vast lineup of longboards, you will find multiple types regarding design, longleaf or long oval shape, drop-down or top-mount, speed-board, or pintail shape. Moreover, the major longboard brands look more confident to discover some other shapes as well. Longboards specified for cruising usually have a long oval shape, while the boards used for downhill riding come with a blunt design.
On the other hand, drop-down longboards provide a lower centre of gravity where the deck sits lower than the level of trucks providing agility at ease. Another common shape in longboard is pintail which has a leaf-like shape with a flat concave. Last but not least, kicktail is also a decent shape of a longboard similar to Pintail but with some extra utility features.
Shape of a Penny Board
After an extensive research of years on Longboard vs. Penny Board, we concluded that penny boards can not compete with longboards in the versatility of shapes. The major reason is that penny boards usually come with one shape, which is round at both ends.
Construction & Material of a Longboard & Penny Board
The most notable difference between a longboard and a penny board is the use of the material in the decks’ construction. Penny boards are often decorated with plastic decks. On the other hand, longboards’ decks include hardwood, maple, bamboo, high-quality Canadian wood, and some other robust materials. Most of the low-budget longboards have maple wood in their decks, while bamboo has taken the lead in generating flexible decks.
The use of material depends on manufacturing companies. Companies that manufacture penny boards always use comprehensively denser plastic to avail base sturdiness in the board. Because of the use of plastic in penny boards, there comes no headache of decks getting broken at all. As I have been inspecting longboards and penny boards quite deeply, so I observed that the plastic deck of a short board won’t let a fat guy ride smoothly.
Length, Size & Weight Comparison
As the name of both boards suggests, penny boards are small and you want to know how small, right? Initially, penny boards used to be only 22 inches, but with the enhancement of technology, skaters suggest a little bigger penny boards up to 27inches. Due to their small size, portability comes first, and riding in crowded streets comes second. But, beginners can’t get a better experience of cruising on penny boards because of their hesitation of getting injured.
Measure your penny board like this;
If we talk about the length, width, size, and weight of longboards, they have long decks ranging from 28 inches to 59 inches. Small-sized longboards might look like a penny board, but their construction and material make them different from cruisers. In addition, the longer deck allows stability for everyone, and that is why professionals suggest beginners go for a longboard rather than a penny or skateboard.
Longboard’s length and width;
The weight of penny boards is less because of their small size and plastic structure. On the other hand, longboards come with hard maple or bamboo, which automatically increases the product’s weight.
Longboard vs Penny Board Resulting Features
As we discussed it above, due to the plastic structure of penny boards, it is easier to clean and take care of them than the longboards, which may cause rust issues sometimes. It depends on what brand of longboard you prefer. Please read our article for Best Longboard Brands to know which of them last longer than penny boards.
The thing that I experienced recently while comparing penny boards with longboards is that Skating is a slightly risky sport. The possible reason can be a chance of getting hit by something at high speed. In this case, plastic can bear shocks better than wood boards. Moreover, penny boards hardly get scratches, and if the longboards are not of good quality, usual scratches are obvious while taking turns. To keep yourself safe from any unwanted injuries, you need to have the best safety gear before you start riding any board.
As a busy skater, I observed that high-speed riding has become more popular than even in 2023. When commuting or racing down the hill, longboards are always preferred because their extended deck provides flexibility and stability to the board and the rider. Some longboards are specifically designed for downhill riding and commuting purposes. Electric longboards are the best examples of stable longboards during high-speed rides.
Contrary to that, experts do not recommend penny boards if you want to enjoy speedy rides. If you try to achieve acceleration with a penny board, the board will start wobbling as the speed increases. Therefore, it is always better to use plastic boards for slow and steady rides.
Quality & Affordability:
The price of a longboard or a penny board is something that everyone prefers no matter if they are buying a low-quality product. If you too want to save money, penny boards are the most affordable boards than any other board in the market. This feature is because of the material used in their construction. Though the plastic is of premium quality, the price of a penny board still doesn’t exceed $50, which is accessible by almost everyone.
Longboards are also available in different prices. Also, the price of a longboard varies brand to brand and type to type. For example, electric longboards have high fees, while downhill, cruising, commuting, and carving longboards have a price range of $60-$250. Of course, the price depends on the quality as always.
We had to update this part of the discussion because the pro skaters keep evolving new riding styles for both longboard and penny boards. Interestingly, both of these boards have a variety of cruising boards, but the difference comes in the ease of use. If you plan to take a ride of over 10 minutes, penny board is not for you as it requires more human effort. Cruising longboards often come with a drop-through deck or drop-down trucks, which generate a lower center of gravity, and the rider gets maximum distance per push. Due to the drop-through board, the wood gets closer to the ground, making it easier for riders to push.
Professional skaters recommend penny board to showcase some freestyle skills because they weigh less and can be flipped over easily. However, longboards are generally not suitable for tricks and pops; instead, the focus of longboarding companies is on easy cruising, speed improvement, and balancing at high speed.
Grip tape is a great innovation to keep the feet still at the board during rides. Most of the time, board manufacturing companies ensure that the deck is not slippery and maintains stability with the help of specific grip tape. However, if your longboard doesn’t have a grip tape, you can easily buy one and put it on yourself to keep your rides safer.
In the case of penny boards, they don’t have any tape with them because the deck already has a unique design of helping the riders standstill. Even if you want to use grip tape on the plastic board, it will not last long because the cross or zig-zag structure of the deck will tear the tape slowly, and you will have to use a new one again.
Frequently Asked Questions
9.5 x 32 inches size
70mm Shore wheels
Bamboo and Maple deck
78A hardness on the durometer
Different lengths available with Hana Twin, Cruiser, Pintail
Magneto was founded by the local skaters of California, the birthplace of longboarding. Since then, it has mass-produced masterpieces in the longboards category, and the Hana longboard is one of the best. As the complete manufacturing at Magneto comes after thorough research and testing by the pros themselves, Hana meets all the expectations required by experienced and novice riders alike. Additionally, there are four Hana options to choose from, e.g., Twin, Pintail, Short Pintail, and Cruiser.
The width of the deck is kept standard, and the length is minimized to around 32 inches to promote a more portable and lightweight build. There is no possibility of wheels getting scratches and bites thanks to the unique cutout structure at the front and rear. Moreover, its deck is polished with pro-grade sandy grit, which creates the necessary strength to hold the rider’s feet. An eight-layered laminated maple core supports maximum weight and is flexible at the same time.
Hana longboard installs fast rolling and softer wheels to entertain different surfaces and rides. The rollers are made of Shore brand, to be more specific, which are typical for cruising, dancing, and carving adventures. Furthermore, they anchor to the ground with a brutal force and result in an anti-slip mechanism for most of your requirements. Once these wheels break into the system of your longboard, you will experience unmatched improvement in your trips.
A large pool of skillful skaters considers Hana one of the most versatile and genuine fits for various ridings. You can utilize the board for effortless cruising as well as dance-off and tricks. It can also be used for longer rides if learned how to operate effectively. Other versions of achievable tasks on Hana are commuting, walking in the park, carving, and bomb hell riding. We believe this board will be a perfect fit in your skating arsenal once you get familiar with its working mechanism.
Flexible and strong deck
Faster and softer rollers
Four different Hana boards to choose from
Magneto Twin has a smaller deck in length
Best Penny Board
6*22 inches length and width
3.25 inches Aluminum Trucks
78A, 60mm PU wheels
It weighs around 3.8 pounds
We concluded above that Penny boards are smaller and lightweight than traditional cruisers and longboards. Meketec manufactures such builds and decks for riders who like to cruise through the crowded places on their boards. The brand has its formula to make responsive and heavy-duty trucks less thick in shape but perform 100 percent according to the requirements. You will be able to turn distinctively at sharper angles with Meketec’s truck technology.
Though Meketec is smaller, it still works like a charm in extreme conditions. Not only does the deck hold weights around 200lbs, but it grants an excessive grip to the rider thanks to its hundreds of tread patterns.
As a result, the rider can move for smaller distances with extreme accuracy and carry the board once the track ends. Such boards are very portable and can be lifted in hands or packed in a bag. This very economical penny board outperforms leading brands and even expensive skateboards in various situations.
Meketec has a very compliant pair of rollers for its penny board that helps reach faster speeds yet infinite grip to the ground. However, Meketec has branded ABEC-7 bearings in order to eliminate any speed accuracy.
Additionally, the penny board is considered safe and secure thanks to the CE certifications provided by the authorities. We present this mini cruiser as a decent pick for seasonal riders, newcomers, and professionals.
Strong and anti-slip deck
The perfect combo of wheels and bearings
It can hold around 200lbs
Suitable for cruising and dancing
Not fit for longer rides
After a thorough discussion of everything in this longboard vs. penny board debate, the conclusion is quite clear. The answer to “Which board should I get” is the purpose you want the board for yourself. If you want to cruise for a few minutes everyday, or go to tuck shop, college, or service station nearby, penny board is for you.
And a longboard is useful when you want to race downhill, commute for hours, cruise in the skateparks, so far and so on. The uses of longboarding are countless. These stable boards also help beginners to jump into skating world by getting experience and moving onto skateboards. Most importantly, we keep adding the essential points as soon we notice while riding a longboard or a penny board.