10 Best Penny Boards in 2019 & Buying Guide

In the 1970s, the diminutive injection-molded plastic skateboard stormed the world like pet rocks. In driveways everywhere, kids spun, slid and rode these little plastic boards till the wheels fell off. The trend was instrumental in the beginning the careers of many of the originators of early professional skateboarding.

Nostalgia has brought the plastic skateboard full circle, and today the banana board is all the rage. These little boards make fine commuters and cruisers, as well as beginner’s boards for new riders. The Penny brand, formed in 2010, has come to dominate the market, but it is far from the only – or the first – maker.

Top 10 Penny Board Reviews

PENNY NICKEL

penny nickel complete slateboard

Red Penny Nickel Complete

 
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The Penny skateboard company also makes the original Nickel board, which is a larger version of the quintessential plastic cruiser. At 27 inches long and 7.5 inches wide, the Nickel board is closer in size to the modern trick skateboard than the banana boards of the 1970s.

The trucks are a little wider at 4 inches, but the 59mm, 83A Penny wheels remain. 87A bushings allow for a loose, steerable feel, making the Penny Nickel a great commuter skateboard as well as a carving cruiser.

Though the ABEC-7 bearings are fine, especially for the beginning skater, upgrades make the Penny Nickel shine. The wheels may be hard for some riders, but other prefer the longevity of harder wheels. The best nickel boards are the one that take the fun of their smaller siblings up a notch.

The Penny Nickel does just that. Never clumsy or awkward, they make great beginner’s boards. Under the feet of an experienced skater, though, these nickel boards are carving machines.

What We Like:

  • Proven quality
  • Bigger version of fun original
  • Great trucks carve smoothly

What We Don't Like:

  • Bearings could be smoother
  • May be too large for small kids

PENNY CLASSIC

penny classic complete skateboard

Penny Classic Skateboard

 
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When your brand is synonymous with the product type you sell, you’re doing something right. Penny boards may not have originated the retro plastic cruiser niche, but they got so popular that they came to dominate it. At 22 inches long and 6 inches wide, their size is now the industry standard. They come in plain colors, but more interesting Penny graphic complete skateboards are available. The 3-inch-wide Penny aluminum trucks are powder coated rather than painted, and color-coded truck bolts make for interesting color combinations.

The only real issue with the Penny Classic is that the bearings are not top of the line. This issue is easily fixed with a simple upgrade, though. Some riders looking for transportation find the 22-inch Penny too small, but larger riders have other options. As a fun and durable entry into skateboarding, though, it’s tough to beat the Penny board.

What We Like:

  • The original
  • Solid construction
  • Smooth, crisp operation

What We Don't Like:

  • Too small to be practical for large riders
  • Good bearings but not for long

STEREO VINYL CRUISER

Stereo Vinyl Cruiser Plastic Complete

Yellow Stereo Vinyl Cruiser

 
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Stereo is one of the most respected names in skateboarding, and its Vinyl Cruiser continues that tradition. At 22.5 inches long, it is a touch bigger than most other minis. Its 3.15-inch trucks are a bit wider than most, making turns less abrupt. The 90A bushings are adjustable, but are never stiff or loose. The smooth-rolling Tunnel wheels are 59mm and 78A, and the bearings are ABEC-7. Stereo includes a sticker pack and sunglasses with each Vinyl Cruiser, which is a cool touch.

The bearings on these boards are not the best in the business, but they will suffice for a while. An upgrade will eventually be necessary, but that’s always true of bearings. Having 90A bushings means the trucks will be tight at first, but they will loosen with use. All in all, the Stereo Vinyl Cruiser is one of the best penny boards for transportation or just chill cruising.

What's We Like:

  • Trusted manufacturer
  • Quality ingredients
  • Smooth, quiet wheels

What We Like:

  • Soft wheels can chip under hard use
  • 90A bushings aren’t for everyone

EIGHTBIT 22″ POISON/VIBE

Eightbit 22 inch complete

Green Eightbit 22 inch complete

 
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The Eightbit Poison/Vibe is 6 inches long and 22 inches wide. It has 3-inch aluminum trucks and 59mm wheels with an 82A durometer. The ABEC-7 bearings roll smoother and faster than some others with this rating. With less flex and a steeper kicktail than some of its competition, these Eightbits are some of the best penny boards available.

The only knock on these completes is that the wheels are some of the hardest on this list. How much of a detriment that is depends greatly on the rider, but they are more prone to wheel bite than softer wheels. A bearing upgrade will improve the Eightbit’s glide factor, but won’t be necessary for some time.

What's We Like:

  • Smooth riding wheels
  • Less flex than some others
  • Kicktail

What We Don't Like:

  • Hard wheels prone to wheel bite
  • Needs a bearing upgrade

 SKATRO MINI CRUISER

black skatro mini cruiser penny board

Black skatro mini cruiser

 
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Skatro’s Mini Cruiser is gaining wide-spread use, and is known as one of the best penny boards out there. Part of the reason is Skatro’s exhaustive manufacturing process, which ensures consistency across models. Its dimensions are the usual – 22 inches long, 6 inches wide, 59mm wheels and 3-inch aluminum trucks. The Skatro bearings are uncommonly smooth and fast, though.

The amount of flex in the Skatro is precisely engineered, but some riders may still find it too soft. And while the Skatro bearings are decent, an upgrade will provide more speed. That said, flex avoids breakage with heavier riders onboard, and the bearings will last a while before replacement is truly necessary.

What We Like:

  • True 220-pound weight limit
  • Smooth operation
  • Reliable quality control
  • Included skate tool

What We Don't Like:

  • Some may find it overly flexy
  • Good bearings, but could be better

THE BOSS BOARD

blue boss board complete skateboard

Blue boss board complete

 
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At 22 inches long and 6 inches wide, the Boss Board is a typical penny board in a lot of ways. What is atypical is how the company stands behind its admittedly budget-friendly product with a full warranty on all of its parts.(read on their website). The deck is solid, though more flexy than some others on this list. The 59mm wheels are soft and smooth, and the aluminum trucks have decent turn-in.

As is common with off-the-shelf skateboards, the Boss Board suffers from poor bearing performance. A bearing upgrade transforms it into one of the best penny boards on the market, though.

What We Like:

  • Full manufacturer’s warranty
  • Smooth riding wheels
  • Quality construction

What We Don't Like:

  • Slow bearings
  • Board may flex too much for some

RIDGE SKATEBOARDS RETRO CRUISER

black ridge skateboard

Black ridge penny board

 
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Ridge’s Retro Cruiser is a smooth riding, affordable transportation option, and it is quickly earning a reputation as one of the best penny boards for commuting. These boards are 22 inches long, and the aluminum Ridge trucks have 3-inch hangers. Its wheel are 59mm with a 79A durometer, which are little harder than most wheels in this class.

Ridge claims its bearings rate as ABEC-7, but their quality is lacking and an upgrade will be necessary. Also, finding a Goldilocks setting for the trucks will take some trial and error, as their hard bushings – 90A – tend toward being too tight or too loose. But, considering their cost can be a bit lower than others on this list, the Ridge penny board is a great option for those seeking fun, simple transportation.

What We Like:

  • Smooth riding wheels
  • Quality plastic with some flex
  • Many color options

What We Don't Like:

  • Trucks lack true adjustability
  • Poor quality bearings

SUN BOARDS MINI SKATEBOARD

 
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The budget entry-level skateboard market can be a tough nut to crack, but Sun Boards in making a case for itself with its Mini Board. These little cruisers come with 59mm, 78A wheels, aluminum trucks and ABEC-7 bearings. Sun Boards’ inclusion of a three-way hex tool is a nice touch. Priced lower than some other models on this list, these mini boards are great for young beginners.

As with other budget boards, bearing quality is lacking on the Sun Boards minis. This issue is easily fixed with a bearing upgrade, though, and new riders tend to flourish with slower bearings as they learn to ride. A lack of maneuverability is equally appreciated by new skaters, though harder to fix with upgrades unless whole new trucks are installed.

What We Like:

  • Great option for smaller beginners
  • Slower speed helps newer riders

What We Don't Like:

  • Poor bearing quality
  • Not the most maneuverable

RIMABLE 22″ PLASTIC CRUISER

rimable plastic penny board

 
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Rimable’s entry in the plastic skateboard fray comes in the form of this little 22-inch cruiser. It is 22 inches long and 6 inches wide, and it has heavy-duty, 3-inch-wide aluminum trucks. The urethane wheels are soft and smooth, and Rimable claims a working load limit of 198 pounds.

In reality, that weight limit is stretching things, and anyone near that weight will likely break the deck. That said, the Rimables provide a nice compromise between cost and quality for the budget-minded skater or parent. They make great first-boards, though non-standard trucks mean being stuck with the included bushings.

What We Like:

  • Good first board for beginners
  • Maneuverable and affordable

What We Don't Like:

  • Slow bearings
  • Non-standard components
  • Prone to breaking under heavy load

HIGH BOUNCE 22″ COMPLETE

blue high bounce penny board

High bounce penny board

 
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The High Bounce mini cruiser is 22 inches long and 6 inches wide, and it has aluminum trucks and soft urethane wheels. Its ABEC-7 bearings will get faster the more they roll, and after a few days the board will fly. The pace of break-in works well for a beginner, as the board will be slower and more under control as the new rider learns to keep balance.

However, the High Bounce is only appropriate for smaller skaters. Under heavier loads, the plastic may snap at the point of pressure. High Bounce rates the board for 187 pounds, but it might be better to restrict its users to half of that weight. Still, as a beginner’s skateboard for younger riders, the High Bounce is a fast, graphic complete skateboard and can be priced relatively low compared to some other boards on this list.

What We Like:

  • Good for lightweight beginners
  • Fast once bearings break in
  • Affordable entry to skateboarding

What We Don't Like:

  • Deck can break under heavy load
  • Painted graphics tend to flake off

Penny Board Buying Guide

penny boardAt first glance, nearly every board on this list looks identical. And, sure enough, the dimensions vary only a little from one brand to the next, if at all. Little things, though, go a long way to personalize your skating experience.

Little things, though, go a long way to personalize your skating experience. With a little due diligence, you can find one that suits your own unique needs.

Quality Plastic

This is the number-one foremost point of concern when purchasing a plastic mini cruiser. Given the popularity of the Penny brand, many fly-by-night companies are puking out junk versions of this board type. But just like with wooden boards, quality is important.

Manufacturers tend to specify a weight rating for their product. Seek out this information and get only a board that will support your weight. Cheap plastic cruisers will break if too much weight is applied, and sometimes this happens with loads that don’t exceed the rating. Sticking to boards from companies with a proven track record of quality is smart play.

Well-Suited Components

penny componentsJust like picking out a board that suits your weight, the other components of penny boards can differ in ways that affect how they ride. Harder wheels may not provide the softest ride, but they last longer and slide easier. Harder truck bushings don’t turn as easily as softer ones, but they provide a more stable platform for beginning skaters.

The one issue that is ubiquitous in off-the-shelf complete skateboards is lackluster bearings. Not even the best penny boards have bearings that compare to the best bearings on the market. Upgrading bearings can give an old board new life, though. The wheels, bearings and bushings can be swapped, but trucks are less universal among penny boards. So choose your deck and truck combination wisely.

Your Turn!

Buying a penny board doesn’t necessarily mean it should say Penny on it, but it would be foolish to ignore the best-selling brand. That said, the small variances between all of these boards can make a huge difference. Knowing what you will ask your board to do, and getting one that can do those things, is the real way to find the “best” penny board.