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Penny Board vs Skateboard – Which One to Try?

Written by Brian G Smith

Despite offering a similar experience, the penny board differs from the traditional skateboard in many aspects.

Skateboards are mainly used for performing tricks while penny boards excel at cruising. Also, penny boards are usually smaller and made from lighter materials.

Let’s see how they differentiate and which of the two will suit you best!

The compact penny board

Also known as “mini-cruisers,” penny boards are one of the most popular types of riding boards.  Smaller than a regular skateboard, penny boards feature aerodynamic shapes, sturdy materials, and a compact design to make your cruising much more enjoyable.

The compact penny board

Penny boards are perfect for people who mainly want to cruise around comfortably. They are lightweight and range from 22-36 inches in length. Another noticeable feature is portability – the compact design makes it much easier to carry it around in a backpack.

About skateboards

Skateboards can be described as the large groups that contain some smaller subsets like penny boards, cruiser boards, longboards, and of course, traditional skateboards.

Traditional skateboards feature a solid deck, usually in a roughly rectangular shape. The edges of the board are round and have a kicktail.

About skateboards

The length of a skateboard ranges from 28 to 32 inches. Skateboard’s unique design and performance make it perfect for performing a wide array of tricks and stunts. They are usually a bit more expensive than penny boards.

Penny Board vs Skateboard: Head-To-Head Comparison

Price

Penny board

Penny board

Penny board is made from a plastic named “polyurethane”. This material allows the board to be sturdy and lightweight. The availability of the material has allowed penny boards to be cheaper than traditional skateboards. You can get yourself one at $20 – $100.

Skateboard

Skateboards feature a combination of rare and pricey materials. The longer shape, the rarity of the material, and the additional support for tricks have made skateboards pricier than penny boards.

For traditional skateboards, you may need to spend around  $30 – $200.

Usage

Usage

Penny board

Penny boards are beginner-friendly. Whether you’re a teenager interested in cruising around or just want to learn the basics, penny boards can be a good option. The compact design and shape will allow you more stability and speed. It can even perform some trick shots.

Skateboard

Traditional skateboards require a little more effort to learn than penny boards. They feature maneuverability and control. It’s much easier to perform tricks or take a sharp turn on a skateboard.

Performance

Performance

Penny board

Penny boards may be lighter, but they’re bad at supporting weight. The lighter material offers speed and comfort by sacrificing durability. It’s tougher to take sharp turns or perform tricks because the material isn’t durable and strong enough.

Skateboard

Skateboards come with metal parts and durable wood construction. That’s why they’re great at supporting weight and performing tricks. That can’t give you a fast riding experience, but you’ll have more control over your board.

Deck

Penny board

As I’ve mentioned earlier, penny boards are created from plastic-based materials. That’s why they can offer flexibility. Being lightweight provides the speed you crave and the comfort comes from the anti-slipping surface and the waffle top design.

Penny board Deck

Skateboard

Natural maple wood is crazy hard. They can handle a huge load and still perform elegantly. Other materials like bamboo or carbon fiber also provide durability. The kicktail produces a little amount of drag in the opposite direction of the user, which makes the boards a little slow.

Shape

Shape of penny & skateboard

Penny board

This is the most distinguishable feature of the two we’re talking about. Penny boards are smaller and have an arrow-like shape for better speed. Some of them also feature a kicktail for better control. The length starts from 22 inches.

Skateboard

Alongside the kicktail, the surface of a skateboard also features a mild concave curve.

The shape and design of skateboards are not as aerodynamic as penny boards. The shape of the skateboard compensates for its low speed with great maneuverability and control.

Wheels

Wheels of penny & skateboard

Penny board

Penny boards are used for cruising around the neighborhood. To provide a longer and smoother riding experience, penny boards feature long and soft wheels. They absorb the shock from the road to give you a comfortable and recharging experience.

Wheels sized 59mm in diameter, or 78a to 85a in durometer are perfect for this type of adventure.

Skateboard

Skateboards feature harder, smaller wheels that can support in your trickiest moments. The harder wheels provide a good response, and the control needed to perform tricks.

Skateboard wheels are around 55mm in diameter.

Trucks

Penny board

Due to their small size, penny boards require smaller trucks. Trucks can be adjusted to suit your personal preference. Usually, penny board trucks come in two different sizes: 3” for the 22” boards and 4” for the larger 27” boards.

Penny board truck

Skateboard

Skateboard trucks are made from steel, brass, or aluminum. They provide better control and stability. The trucks are also bigger in size. Skateboard trucks can be 6-9.35 inches depending on your height, weight, and riding style.

Penny Board vs Skateboard: Pros and Cons

Penny Board

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Higher portability
  • Suitable for beginners or children
  • Can manage cracks and curb better
  • Affordable
  • Wide design selection to choose from
  • Durable construction
  • Travel and commute-friendly
  • Provider greater stability and speed

Cons

  • Not suitable for tricks
  • Flexible components are prone to breaking
  • Can’t support bigger riders
  • Can’t perform well at higher speeds

Skateboard

Pros

  • Can support almost all types of rider
  • The kicktail helps to perform various tricks
  • Easy to control
  • Provides control and maneuverability
  • Highly customizable
  • Convenient to use
  • Perfect for learning and performing tricks
  • Affordable
  • Durable materials and construction

Cons

  • Not much portable
  • Features a large, heavy deck
  • Can damage your shoes
  • Require more maintenance
  • Low level of security
  • Can’t perform on uneven grounds

Penny board vs skateboard: Which one to choose

That totally depends on your personal preference. There are many people who can perform tricks with even a penny board or love to cruise around on their custom-built skateboard. You can use either one of those depending on what type of riding you are looking for.

If you love to cruise around your neighborhood, a lightweight and compact penny board will make you lightweight and provide the additional speed you crave.

Skateboards, on the other hand, are primarily used for performing various tricks and stunts. If skateparks are your thing, go for a long and sturdy skateboard.

FAQs

1. Are penny boards good for beginners?

Ans: Yes. Both skateboards and penny boards are good for beginners. Children usually prefer penny boards whereas the adult population mostly chooses skateboards.

2. Can you ollie on a penny board?

Ans: Technically, yes. However, the lighter and smaller penny board won’t reach much height like the skateboard. Pulling off tricks like ollie is particularly hard with a penny board.

3. How much weight can penny boards hold?

Ans: Usually, around 220 lbs, the average weight of an adult human. However, the weight capacity varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

4. How much should I spend on a skateboard for kids?

Ans: Kids tend to treat their belongings roughly and a flexible board won’t last long. A mid-range skateboard, costing around $50, will be perfect that will survive the rough treatment and prepare them for the next stages.

About the author

Brian G Smith

“Hey, are you out of your mind?” - this is what I often hear when people see me performing some really dangerous stunts. While most people use scooters to commute, I use mine to hone my stunting skills. Yes, that’s me, Brian Smith. I’ve a small group of like-minded people in my team that love to do all sorts of stunts with their kick scooters and skateboards. My fans also ask me to teach them a thing or two every now and then. This is why I am here. In my leisure time, I like to write about what I do with my scooters and what I am going to do next. One thing I want to say to all my fans - Don’t hit the streets without proper information and training..

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