If you are trying to find a board that will fit your needs, the market is offering lots of options. You will surely have a hard time choosing one and just looking at it will really confuse you. Let’s narrow down your option. Determine your prime usage of the board. If it is for cruising then this article will help you.
Penny Boards and Longboards
The boards that are popular for cruising are penny board and longboard. Longboards were the first one to be born after the surfers from Hawaii look for some recreational thing to do when the waves were low. It comes into the scenario of boards during the 1950’s but the production went high in the 90’s. The longboard is already in its limelight when the penny boards came into the scene.
Penny board came from a company’s name which is “Penny Skateboard” established by Ben Mackay in 2010. It was a trademark but later on, people just kept on using the term penny to mean a small board. So even it was not a product of the Penny Skateboard Company, people will still call a small board with the same shape a “penny board”. Considerably, the penny board is still too young in the market but it already builds up a lot of users because of its unique features.
Lots of people are always talking about this two boards because it has been the subject for cruising boards. Most people would argue that the penny board is better than the longboard but supporters of longboards defends their side. If you are a user of both boards, you can say that there is really a great difference between the two. Let’s look at some of it and try to determine which board for cruising is the best. If you are a beginner this post will help you to determine which board is for you to start your boarding life.
Length and Size
Generally, longboards are longer than the penny board as the name implies. And when you say penny, of course, it denotes a small size. The original penny board measures only 22 inches and its nickel version is 27 inches. Just about half a meter. The longboard measures 28 inches to 44 inches. They are usually one meter in length but there are small versions of longboards which are shorter and narrower to the original ones. Actually, sometimes it looks like a penny board. But there are exceptional sizes also which may range up to 59 inches.
Longboards usually have sharper than ends than the penny board while the penny board has round tip.
One of the noticeable difference is the material used on their decks. Longboards use wood. You can see longboards with maple, bamboo, or oak decks. Maple is usually used in cheaper longboards. Bamboo is very popular because of its springy characteristics. But bamboo decks are usually used in short versions of longboards. Usage of other wood varieties is also accepted.
It depends on the manufacturing company producing it. On the part of penny boards, it uses only plastic. A relatively dense plastic tested for strength with a rough base. Manufacturers assure the durability and strength of their board though they are just made from plastics.
Another difference is in their wheels. Penny boards use plastic wheels while longboards use rubber tires but nowadays a shift to polyurethane is popular.
Penny boards come in different designs with bright colors. They have printed boards with patterns and some arts, boards with classic color which are pastels and fades, and penny boards that are glow in the dark or with LED lights. Totally amazing, right?! Longboards seem to be continuously classic shape but nowadays there are already been new designs appearing in the market. Manufacturers choose not to alter the shape to maintain its identity.
Penny boards weight only 4 pounds. Well to be exact some have a standard of 4.2 pounds. Longboard ranges from 3 to 4 kilograms.
Advantages and Disadvantages
The popular usage of both penny boards and longboards is for cruising. But if you will be riding longer than 10 minutes, then the better choice is the longboard because it is more comfortable than the penny which you will need to balance at every moment. But if the ride is short, a penny board will definitely be good because it is very handy and you can take it anywhere. Penny boards are for tighter areas but not the longboards. It is hard to manipulate a longboard in narrow spaces.
If you are already an experienced boarder, you can play tricks with your penny board. Turning sharply in this board is great with your moves while the longboards are for beginners who are just learning to make their curves perfectly. Penny boards are for people who are looking for kind of adventures and some extremes except for cruising. Though longboards are very capable in cruising, carving, downhill, sliding, and slaloming, you cannot try doing the tricks here like heelflips and hard kickflips because they are too wide and lengthy.
Smaller Decks Vs. Wider Decks
If your board has a smaller deck, then it will be too easy to carry. The winner in this situation is the penny board. You can put it anywhere you want without causing any disturbance. You can just put it between your arms and body when riding a public transportation or you can attach it to your backpack or can even fit inside your bag. You also don’t have to find larger space to store this.
You can just put it under your chair at school without bothering your locker. You can even bring it during your vacation because it can fit on the luggage. But with longboards, you will need some space for it. You cannot just put it under the chair because the excess part will pop out into the aisle which can cause somebody to trip or fall over.
Though the longboard seems to have a nuisance on the storage area, it will probably justify itself for a wider and long deck. If you are a big person who is 6ft tall, then your feet would have a problem with this board for it will provide larger space. Therefore, you can control your balance well and you can move freely.
But with the penny boards, if you have a bigger size of feet, this will really be a big problem because the board will be too small for you. To maintain stability is not just the feet you will consider but the proportion between the distances of your legs. Longboards will provide you wider space for your legs to settle with enough space between them. Small areas won’t help if you are just a beginner because you will have a hard time balancing in the small space. Surely, there will be lots of falls and bruises.
The reason is small decks reduces stability. And if you cannot maintain a strong balance just with your body, what more if you are carrying a loaded backpack. The story will be very different though you are already an experienced rider of a penny board.
Since penny boards are made of plastics, it is not very prone to scratch unlike with the wooden longboard. Also, if you are riding with a penny and you hit something or hit a wall probably you will just be out of balance but will not have a great effect on the board but with longboard you might lose some chips of wood thereby creating a dent on the deck. Another case is if you are riding in the rain. You need to clean your longboard fast than with the penny board. But with penny boards, their plastic decks are for a lifetime.
The smaller the things, the lighter they are. It is very true with the penny board. Also, plastic is lighter than wood. Penny boards are easier to carry than with the longboards which are heavier. Penny is one of the very light boards. It will never tire you. So you can carry it even inside the building. But the longboard cannot be carried anywhere. Maybe you can pick it up and hold it for some moment but carrying it on long distances will tire you.
Riding at Speed
At high speed, the penny board may wobble easily or you may fall even at a moderate speed. The cause of this is the narrow trucks. It loses its stability at high speed. So for example on the spots that will make your speed very fast like downhill, you really need a good grip. Others just choose to walk down the hill instead of losing their balance which may cause them to fall. On the other side, longboards are stable even at a high speed. You can prove this when you are riding downhill. You don’t have to worry that you may lose your balance at a high speed because the longboard is very stable.
Price Range Vs. Quality
Penny boards are really of lower cost compared with the longboards. It is the material that dictates it. Though the penny board uses dense plastic, it is not as costly as the layers of wood. Penny can start at the range of $30 and longboards starts at $60. The higher the quality the higher the price will be and it goes the same with the penny boards and longboards.
The Grip Tape Issue
Most of the commercial boards are sold with grip tape. It is considered that grip tape helps you to have more stability between your feet and the board because your feet do not slide fast. Being out of balanced is reduced when you have a grip tape. Actually, grip tape or putting a grip tape is considered as a safety measure.
Longboards come always with grip tape. If none, then you can just easily buy a grip tape and put it on. It sticks easily with wooden decks. But penny boards are not sold with grip tape. Though the deck surface is already a bit rough designed with zigzag or criss-cross, it is not still that stable compared to a longboard.
If you opt to put grip tape on penny board, you might be surprised because just for a while it will serve its purpose but the rough surface with the zigzag or criss-cross design will tear the grip tape. But don’t worry you can just buy a grip tape again because that is not very expensive. Sacrifice some penny on a grip tape until you learn how to ride it without one. You’ll be an expert one day.
Which One Should You Choose?
There are few things to consider when choosing between a penny board and a longboard. Some of it was already discussed above. But let’s just clarify it again. How long will each of your ride take? If it is long, then longboard will be the best. But if is it just for a few minutes, the penny board is recommended. On which area or part of town will you be using the board? If you will be using it downtown with a lot of people, a penny board will be great because longboards are hard to maneuver in tight areas.
If you are a beginner, a wider board for learning is right for you. Buy first a longboard then in the future if you wanted a smaller one to do the tricks, you can now buy a penny board. At least you have already mastered how to balance and getting used to smaller board even you have learned from a wider and longer board will not be an issue. You will easily get used to it.
Another consideration is yourself. If you are a small boy, no question on that, choose a penny board. The size of your feet won’t have any problem with the penny board. But if you are already a big man, think twice on the penny board. Maybe the longboard is the one that is right for you. But if your grip and balance can handle this small board, then go with it. It is still the training and perseverance that works with this board.
Penny boards and longboards have its own advantages and disadvantages. You will be the one who will decide which board is the most suitable for your needs. We laid out something for you start on with your decision. Choose what is right for you.