Concrete Wave Magazine is supported by its audience. When you buy via links on this site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Longboard vs Skateboard vs Penny Board – Comparison

Fact checked by Michael Derosier

longboard vs skateboard vs penny board

It’s easy to distinguish wooden or plastic boards in a skate shop, even for someone who’s not into the sport yet. But if you decide to learn more about them, you will realize that even minor details like the shape can alter the function of the board.

Suppose you entered a skateboard store and saw three different boards. Longboard VS skateboard VS penny board, what are the differences? Which one is easier to ride?

In this article, we will learn about these board types. Here is a summary of their differences.

Parameter of Comparison Skateboard Longboard Penny Board
Length Sits in the middle of the range at 28″ to 33″ Collectively, longboards have a length of 32″ to 42″. Penny boards are the shortest with a length not more than 27″.
Width Reasonably spacious with a range of 7.5″ to 8.0″ Wide enough at 9″ to 10″ The narrowest board at 6″ maximum
Composition Wood, normally maple Maple or bamboo and other wood types Plastic
Weight 7 to 11 lbs Heaviest of the three at 8 to 12 lbs Somewhere around 4 lbs
Wheels 50mm to 85mm rollers at 88a for streets to 101a for pro setups Large 60mm wheels or bigger at 78a to 87a hardness Penny boards have the smallest wheels (up to 69mm)
Suited style Street and park skating Long travels and downhill skating Used by experienced skaters for tricks

Longboards, Skateboards, and Penny Boards: Defined

Comparing two of these three boards will be a no-brainer because of salient differences. But adding one more variable will complicate matters slightly. Let’s define penny board VS skateboard VS longboard.

1. Skateboards


In a skateboard VS longboard VS cruiser comparison, skateboards are the most traditional.

These boards are the ones that often come in a popsicle shape, sized 7.5″ to 8.0″, and with hard wheels. Most skaters who use this type enjoy park and street skating.

In other words, skateboards are your best choice for technical rides.

2. Longboards


Are you going fast and downhill? You can’t go wrong with longboards.

Characterized by long decks, large wheels, and wide-span trucks, longboards make you feel like you’re surfing on the ground.

Besides acing tarmac roads, longboards may also work in parks.

3. Penny boards


When comparing a penny board VS cruiser and other types, penny boards might not have the same level of popularity its counterparts have, but that doesn’t discredit their functionality.

These boards catch the eyes of young skaters, given their light plastic bodies and wider color variations. What’s surprising about penny boards is they have wheels the same size as longboards. However, their decks are only half the latter’s length.

Is there a weight limit on penny longboard? People on Reddit say it’s 220 lbs, but that’s only a general estimate.

Differences Among the Three Boards


Now that we know the basics of these boards, it’s time to distinguish them.

1. Size

We’ll rank longboards as being the lengthiest, followed by skateboards and penny boards.

Longboard sizes vary based on the rider’s skating style or setup. But the shortest longboard you can get today is one for cruising at 32″ to 40″. If you want to go downhill, you have 35″ to 42″ boards. And for freestyling, you can pick anywhere between 38″ to 42″.

In width, longboards range from 9″ to 10″.

As mentioned, skateboards have 7.5″ to 8.0″ as the most common sizes. But often, these numbers are for skaters aged 13 and up. The younger ones can play with sizes below 7.5″. The length does not matter as much as the width, often ranging from 28″ to 33″.

Ultimately, penny boards have the shortest and narrowest profile of the three. They only have a length not exceeding 27″ and a width of around 6″.

2. Materials

This aspect is where skateboards and longboards are closely identical. Both these boards use wood, with maple being a top choice. If not maple, a skateboard or longboard deck may also have bamboo or birch.

If there’s one way to distinguish penny boards, it’s their composition. As mentioned, penny board manufacturers use plastic. Why? To make them light to ride.

3. Weight

Speaking of light, do these three boards differ in weight? Absolutely!

In this aspect, we can say that the boards’ sizes are relative to their heft. Particularly, longboards weigh around 8-12 pounds. Skateboards are one pound shy of this range. And penny boards are lightly over the 4-pound mark.

4. Wheels

Most board wheels today are polyurethane. The only relevant factors that distinguish them are their size and hardness level.

Skateboards have the widest diameter range (50 to 85 mm), while penny boards are the smallest (59 or 69 mm), and longboards fall in the middle (64 to 80 mm).

Check the applicable riding styles before choosing your wheels. Refer to the size chart below.

  1. 50mm to 53mm – Tricks, parks, and street skating
  2. 54mm to 59mm – Beginner wheels for vert and bowls
  3. 60mm and up – For rough surfaces and high speeds

For the hardness, refer to this scale.

  1. 78a to 87a – For longboarding, cruising, and skating on rough surfaces
  2. 88a to 95a – Street skating
  3. 96a to 99a – Beginner all-around wheels
  4. 101a – Pro wheels and are the fastest

5. Suitability

How do you know the board fits your age, skill level, and other aspects? Is there a perfect board for college? Let’s see where these boards work best.

Longboards are the top choice when you want to go fast, downhill, or travel far. Cruising and sliding are also doable on these decks.

We already know how versatile skateboards are, with the hundreds of tricks they can do. But if we align the design and function of this board type, we’ll have street and park skating as its most favorable setups.

What is a penny board used for? Just because penny boards are small does not necessarily mean they’re for kids. Often, users of this board are into tricks. And that leads us to the truth that the penny board’s size requires skaters to be experienced and stable.

6. Pros and Cons

One board can gain an advantage in certain settings yet disappoint in others. Let’s see what these boards boast and lack.

  Skateboards Longboards Penny boards
Pros Easy to balance

The best urban and park board

Made from natural materials like skateboards

Perfect for long-distance skating


The cheapest of the three boards

Cons Skateboards could be a bit expensive. Challenging to carry

Doesn’t provide the best learning curve for tricks

Only limited to intermediate and professional skaters.

Penny boards could be less durable than wooden boards.

7. Costs of longboards, skateboards, and penny boards

Are you now planning to buy any of these boards? Here are their current prices.


  1. Tony Hawk 34″ Longboard – $49.99
  2. Minority Downhill Longboard – $55.89
  3. Apollo Cruiser Longboard – $99.04


  1. Andrimax Complete Skateboard – $37.99
  2. Element Complete Skateboard – $79.95
  3. Santa Cruz Flier Hand – $119.95

Penny boards

  1. Cal 7 Complete Mini Cruiser – $33.99
  2. Skatro Mini Skateboard – $54.99
  3. Swell Skateboards Mini Cruiser – $59.97

Frequently Asked Questions


Is it easier to ride longboard or penny board?

Are longboards easy to ride? None of these boards are impossible to learn. But if we assess which between a penny board VS longboard takes less time to learn, it’s the latter.

Why? Longboards have the widest wheelbase span among the three types. That means skaters, especially beginners, stabilize on them better.

Which is better, a penny board or skateboard?

The primary difference between penny board and skateboard can help you determine which is better.

For ease of carrying and a low price point, it’s ideal to choose penny boards. However, skaters who want more stability when doing tricks or riding the parks should use skateboards.

Should a beginner start skateboarding or longboarding?

We’ve mentioned how beginners can benefit from a longboard and a skateboard. But are these beginners taking the same path? Not always.

For beginners who want to invest time towards doing the basics, it’s better to start with longboards. On the other hand, riders who plan to advance to doing tricks and technical skating should begin with skateboards.


Our gear affects how we’ll skate. Whether longboards, skateboards, or penny boards, it won’t make sense if we use them for the wrong purpose. Similarly, we are bound to yield nothing if we don’t understand our deck’s characteristics.

So, longboard VS Skateboard VS penny board. Each of these has unique advantages and benefits. The attributes of these boards are already in front of you. It’s up to you to decide.

5/5 - (2 votes)