Penny Board vs Longboard vs Skateboard –  Which is for What?

For many nonskaters, the differences between the three seems nonexistent. But each of them suits its own purpose.  You NEED to understand them so you don’t get the wrong one. I’ve seen this happening… 
By the end of this guide, you’ll know the exact difference between penny skateboards, longboards and regular skateboards. I’ll also be sharing my experience with each one, so you get a better sense to what you’re getting yourself into.

Penny boards – best for smaller distances & kids


The Penny board is a famous lightweight plastic skateboard with a lot of history. It is basically the most compact cruiser you can get. The setup basically consists of a flexible plastic deck (waterproof) with cruiser wheels and trucks.

They come in a few sizes with the popular one at 22in length, 6in in width and 1.9kg in weight. They have been super popular with students because of how easy they are to carry around and store.

They typically use bigger wheels that can roll over cracks, which means smooth riding. When you buy a penny, you don’t just buy a board, you get a lifestyle.

Key Facts:

  • Won’t be that comfortable for someone with bigger feet
  • Great for children and teenagers, perfect size.
  • Very easy to take anywhere
  • Board will last a liftime and it’s waterproof

If you wanna get a board now, the Penny Australia Classic or more affordable Rimable Complete are great boards to get. Both boards are great for beginners and have many graphic options. If you want more info on Penny’s, check out our article on Penny’s.

Penny Classic Rimable board

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Not matter which board type you like, you got to check out these guys shredding on their boards. I’m sure you’ll love it.


Longboards – best for everyday cruising


Longboards are the big brother of Skateboards and Pennys. They come in bigger shapes, have bigger wheels and bigger trucks. This also includes cruiser boards.

There are different longboards for different riding styles. Its important to know what you want out of it and we have written relevant guides to that.

Longboards are typically heavier and larger, however they are more comfortable and can be used for skating longer distances. I personally love longboards for cruising/commuting. They are roomy and with the right shape, easy to carry around. On days I just want to cruise forever, they are the best option.

With longboards there are more options (different types of wheels, decks, trucks etc.), so check out our other articles for guidance on getting the right one.

Key Facts:

  • Most comfortable of the 3
  • Mos stable of the 3
  • Very Smooth riding from bigger wheels, great for long distances
  • Little learning curve
  • Not so suitable for tricks
  • Heaviest of the 3

Many beginners would find longboards great. For example, the Sector 9 lookout and Quest cruiser are both great beginner boards. The Sector 9 is flexible and drop through making it great for commuting, pushing and is stable. It also has BIG, BEAUTIFUL soft wheels for comfort when riding over rough terrain.

The Quest cruiser is a great topmount for cruising, its maneuverable, stylish and flexible for shock absorption.

Sector 9 Lookout Quest super cruiser
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Check out this video from Sector 9, you’ll get a good sense of what cruisers are capable of.


Street Skateboards – best for Tricks


This is the board you always see in skateparks. Its undeniably the most popular board in the sport. You typically get a board with two kick tails (called a popsicle shape), traditional kingpin trucks and 60mm 97a (really hard) wheels.

If you find yourself with the urge to pop tricks, grind rails and do some bowl skating, this is for you.

However you can still do tricks with the right longboard. Unfortunately they aren’t that great for getting around. They wheels perform fine in the skatepark but will suffer on normal pavement (and against pebbles). They don’t have the great maneuverability and turning of longboards.

Key Facts:

  • Only meant for tricks
  • Not that pleasant cruising on rougher surfaces
  • Uncomfortable if you have to ride longer distances
  • Doesn’t weight much, nor takes a lot of space

Within the skatepark, skateboards are king, outside of it, longboards are supreme.
If you want to get a board, check out the Element Section and Enjoi Whitey Panda. These are skateboards from two well known companies that produce reliable gear. They are great boards for beginners. You can’t go wrong with them.

Enjoi White Panda Complete Element Section Complete
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Check out one of my favourite Youtubers popping tricks and flowing:

Buyers Guide

There are somethings you need to pay attention to when picking your board. Its key to understand them so you can pick the right board and get what you want out of it.

There are some questions you need to ask, do you plan on riding everyday? Are you skating in a park? Do you plan to do tricks? Etc.

Know your riding style!

If you plan on getting a board to do tricks on and skate in the park. Go for the skateboard.
However, if you want to a board to use when getting to work/school. It becomes a penny vs longboard scenario. You will need to decide which you like best.

Penny board vs Longboard for cruising…

If you are going to be skating longer than 20min everyday. Go for the longboard.
They are more comfortable and would make cruising more enjoyable. I personally used my cruiser to get to school/work everyday. It was around 9.5in wide and a bit flexy. It went over pebbles like nothing and skated like a cloud.

Penny or Longboard for College?

If you live 10min away from campus, the penny is the right choice. You can carry them around all day and not feel tired. You can easily store them under the desk during classes and at the library.

They are also low maintenance which makes them perfect for college students!
With longboards you get a community. Almost every college has a longboard society so its a great way to meet people in the end.

Your Turn!

In the battle of skateboard vs penny board vs cruisers, its easy to get caught up. Here are my recommendations.

If you are starting out and want to cruise, for sure get a longboard. It will make the overall experience of learning a whole lot better and easier.
If you got a bit of riding experience and want something nimble, get the penny. For tricks, go for the skateboard.

If you can afford it, get one of each! Nothing prevents you from doing that. Its definitely nice to have a variety and its achievable over time. As you get your first board, check out our article on shoes. Its underestimated how the right shoes impact your skating.