“Longboard vs Skateboard” is a topic that has been discussed for a long time, especially among newbies.
The answer to the difference between a longboard and a skateboard lies in the rider’s intent.
Skateboards are recommended if you want to practice some traditional tricks and perform them in the streets.
On the other hand, you should find a longboard if you plan to cruise or cover long distances.
The design and build of parts of longboard and skateboard make them different to achieve relative goals.
Skateboard or longboard is not a new topic for experts. However, newbies want to clarify the confusion of “should I get a skateboard or longboard”?
We are a squad of professional skaters, and with our vast experience, we aim to illustrate every resemblance and dissimilarity between longboard and skateboard.
Features Difference – Skateboard vs. Longboard
Not one or two, there are multiple factors that can help you differentiate longboards and skateboards.
In this discussion, we will be highlighting some of the essential features that will define if you are holding a skateboard or longboard.
For the novices, the deck of a board is where you stand to ride. The deck’s thickness usually defines whether it is a longboard or a skateboard.
Our discussion on “What are longboards made of” will help you understand a longboard’s sturdiness.
The thin deck provides more flex which is extremely helpful in executing tricks, a specialty of skateboarding.
Board’s flex is the stiffness and an important thing that should not be too soft.
In case, you love to do pops and tricks, you need flexibility at its average so that you can do jumps comfortably.
The thicker the deck, the more flex softness decreases, giving you steadiness in your ride. This feature is common in every longboard you will see.
As the acceleration of your ride increases, you need a firm grip on the deck, and thick decks of longboards provide this feature.
Deck Shape & Size
Show yourself a longboard and a skateboard; the difference in shape is clear from the front end and the tail.
A skateboard’s nose and back end are curvier than a longboard, making it easier for you to do pops and flips.
Most importantly, the shape is one of the best ways to differentiate a longboard and a skateboard.
The next feature that differs between longboards and skateboard is their length.
Longboards usually have a 40-50 inches deck, while skateboard has a smaller deck length of around 28-34 inches.
The confusion is still there because of the size, as some longboards have a deck with the same length as a skateboard.
The difference that makes them unique is that skateboards are curvy at the nose and the tails, while longboards are flat.
Due to the increased deck length, longboard producers got to produce varying designs and shapes.
Each of these designs aims for a specific purpose. Here are the most common shapes that you will come across.
The wider nose and tail of a longboard make them blunt. It has a comparatively increased space for standing which is an exciting feature.
Moreover, this shape helps beginners adapt quickly. Increased space for standing brings stability to the rides, but we do not recommend this type of longboard for carving purposes.
If you try carving, the wheels will get scratched and bitten.
This skateboard’s central part has more space than the edges, especially the tail.
The tail is split into a heart shape. The wheels stay away from the deck, and you can easily opt for carving style.
The chances of wheel bites decrease, and you can also go for traditional surf-style longboarding.
Undoubtedly, the pintail is one of the most used shapes in manufacturing longboards.
A sharper front and back end with wider space in the center defines the Pintail style of the longboard.
In addition, these types are always directional, i.e., you can only move forward. Due to this feature, we recommend this longboard for cruising only.
Cruisers are comparatively shorter than traditional longboards, and due to their small size, they become more responsive.
Only professionals choose this shape to perform their tricks and turn better.
We do not recommend this longboard for beginners because the smaller size of it doesn’t promise stability, and it may get out of control at a higher speed.
In short, this shape requires more stability which newbies are not used to.
Drop Down Design
Among the different types of longboards, a drop-down is the design where the longboard and the deck trucks are exactly at the same level.
Due to this technique, the deck stays nearer to the skating surface, decreasing the center of gravity and increasing stability.
Newbies can easily learn basic longboarding skills with Drop-Down longboards as stability is promised.
Stability & Balance
For beginner longboard riders, stability and balance matter a lot whether they want to ride a longboard or skateboard.
In this case, the extended deck of a longboard provides more stability. If you are a newbie, go for the longboard first, get your feet on it to have some confidence.
Longboards are more balancing than skateboards. When you have experience handling yourself on a longboard, you can do simple tricks and flips on a small, flexible skateboard.
Here’s the complete guide on longboarding for beginners.
If there is still confusion about which to buy, these points will ease the understanding.
Longboards are perfect for riders who
Skateboards are preferable if you
The difference in Trucks
Trucks in both types of boards play a major role while you ride. Trucks are attached to the deck, and they must hold the wheels.
But the functionality of the trucks for each type of board differs. For example, the trucks on a skateboard are inflexible, rugged, and narrow.
This build allows riders to do flips and pops flawlessly. Moreover, the grinding becomes way more straightforward as compared to the boards with flexible trucks.
Flexible trucks are essential for a smooth and stable ride to compete in a race down the hill or cruise for long distances.
That is why longboards have more comprehensive and flexible trucks. In addition, we can easily differentiate Trucks of longboards according to the mounting type.
This is a special design where trucks get attached to the deck of a longboard.
You enjoy more on these trucks as compared to drop-through trucks, but top-mount provides more enjoyment than Drop-Mount.
Also, the longboard manufacturers look interested in using these trucks under the longboards.
During our experimentation on longboard vs skateboard, we learned that the most common truck shape in longboarding is top-mount.
Here, the deck stays above the trucks allowing newbies to ride comfortably without shocks.
Our experienced riders (Andrew Norris and Matt Harper) have deeply analyzed these types of trucks.
As described in the shapes, trucks and the deck are at the same level, increasing stability. As stability is inevitable, we recommend these longboards for new entrants.
This is a unique design in the longboarding field, having trucks higher than the longboard deck.
As the deck almost touches the ground, it increases its stability, but there are many chances of the deck getting in touch with road bumps.
Longboard vs Skateboard Wheels
Speed, riding style, braking, and other essential things matter to the quality of your longboard wheels.
As the wheels’ size and softness increase, the surety of a stable ride also increases.
Keeping this fact in view, manufacturers of the longboards provide extra-wide wheels with Polyurethane material to maintain softness.
Contrary to that, skateboards have hard wheels with minor diameters, making them suitable for shredding rails, gaps, and ledges.
Harder wheels of skateboards allow skaters to perform tricks because the wheels are not bouncy at all, and it becomes easier to showcase some traditional skateboarding skills.
The size of skateboard wheels is also smaller than wheels on longboards. Most skateboard wheels lie in the range of 52-58 mm.
Similarly, the hardness on the durometer should be at least 80A. Anything less than that defined limit may increase the chances of injury.
The size of longboard wheels should be large, and their hardness should be between 63A – 80A.
As we all know, most novices start their skating journey with longboards; larger wheels help them learn the basics.
In addition, wheels of size 70mm ensure stability, and their softness ignores rough patches on the street.
The tip for both longboard and skateboard riders is that keeping them clean will let you ride smoothly.
Purpose of a Skateboard
If you are an experienced skater, you must have noticed that skateboards have front and back curves upwards while the central part stays concave.
Everyone suggests skateboarding for professionals only because they are used for tricks.
The unique shape helps experts perform basic to pro-level flips.
If you are a beginner and insist on riding a skateboard, you must make sure that the skateboard under your feet has harder wheels of smaller size.
You can simply cruise around but can not perform expert-level skills while being a starter.
Here are the common riding styles riders aim for with the help of a skateboard;
Advantages of Skateboard
The biggest advantage of skateboards is that they are portable. You can carry them anywhere you want.
Even some American airlines allow you to travel with your favorite riding tool.
Moreover, skateboards are preferable for tricks and pops.
Their smaller size increases the board’s responsiveness, allowing you to perform dancing and freestyle skills anywhere.
Disadvantages of Skateboard
If you want to be an expert skater, you need to dedicate more time to learning the basics. If you skip any basic instruction, the injury becomes inevitable.
Skateboards are comparatively cheaper than longboards, but maintenance costs increase when you use them regularly.
Purpose of a Longboard
After a thorough discussion, you must know that longboards have larger decks than traditional skateboards.
The most useful purpose of longboarding is to bring starters into skateboarding. Longboards provide the opportunity of learning the basics of advanced-level skating.
You can make yourself an expert in balancing the longboard in multiple situations.
There are some freestyle and dancing longboards available in the market. If you are interested in fancy skating, these longboards will help you learn everything about the aimed technique.
Here are the riding styles you can enjoy on longboards;
What are Longboards Good for
More space on the longboard brings utmost stability to your rides, and it becomes easier for novices to balance the board at any speed.
The softer and wider wheels under longboards almost neglect the shocks created by rough tracks.
Moreover, the maintenance cost of longboards is way less than skateboards.
Drawbacks of Longboards
At first, when you buy a longboard, it is expensive compared to buying a skateboard. As their size is bigger, it can be difficult to carry them from one place to another.
Furthermore, choosing the right one with the availability of dozens of brands and several shapes and designs can be complex.
Longboard vs. Skateboard – Similarities
Creativity is the common cause of both these riding tools. Most people try it out in groups even when riding alone on a longboard.
Some enjoy downhill riding, and others take part in freestyle competitions. The longboards and skateboards have a deck, two trucks, four wheels, and eight bearings.
After putting on riser pads, you can use skateboard wheels on a longboard for better cruising.
Easy to Learn?
Longboards are definitely easy to adapt to the situation. They provide more space than skateboards, and this vertical space brings in the stability every newbie is looking for.
Unfortunately, due to the smaller size of skateboard wheels, they usually get stuck in rails and need repairing over time.
Which one is more Costly?
If you search for a skateboard and a longboard in an online market, you’ll see that longboards are a little more expensive than skateboards.
But, after you ride it for a month, you’ll see that the longboard you bought doesn’t need or hardly needs any repair charges.
While the skateboard will ask you to replace either the wheels or the bearings inside them.
Which One Last Longer? Longboard or Skateboard
As the longboards need minimum repair, they surely have a longer life than skateboards. But it always depends on the brand you bought.
If you have spent a decent amount in the start and kept skateboards up-to-date, they also stay productive for longer.
How long is a longboard?
The length of longboards varies between 28-59 inches. Longer longboards are usually built for heavy-weight people to stand firm on the deck for a smooth ride.
Is longboarding easier than skateboarding?
If I have to answer it with one word, it is yes. Longboards have more comprehensive and extended decks as compared to skateboards.
The longer decks provide a stable stance and firm grip on the longboard, making it comfortable for a smooth ride.
Contrary to that, skateboards have shorter decks with more flexibility, making it difficult for novices to cruise and commute.
For the same reason, the answer to “are longboards good for beginners” is also yes.
All in all, if you are a newbie and want to learn basic skills, you should always go for a longboard.
Oppositely, if you are an expert and want to perform the skills you already know, like freestyles and tricks, skateboards are the best option for you.
Go for the best brand and invest in a decent product so you don’t have to spend much on maintenance later.