In today’s skateboarding world you have a few options to pick from: your classic skateboard, the longboard, and the penny board. If you’ve never stepped on a penny board or longboard before, chances are you don’t know which one to go with. Choosing the right one comes down to your size and what you plan to use it for. Keep reading to find out the advantages and disadvantages of both so that you can decide which is more suited for you.
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The longboards have been around for as long as skateboards have, although their popularity skyrocketed in the last couple of decades. Compared to skateboards, longboards are much longer, from 33 all the way up to 59 inches (compared to only 28” – 33”), and about an inch wider. The shape of the deck, which is usually made out of maple wood, is also different, depending on what you plan on using the longboard for: cruising, carving, commuting, or downhill. Longboards also have wider trucks and bigger wheels, which help you have a much smoother ride and achieve higher speeds.
Because of the size, longboards are much more suited for beginners, especially if you have at least an average size (let’s say at least 5ft 5”). The deck is wide and long enough for you to keep your balance without much effort. More room also means more comfort while riding.
The bigger wheels help with stability as well, especially when you are riding on the road. With the longboard, you can easily pass over small rocks and cracks.
The downside of the longboard is that it’s expensive. Good boards can easily go as high as a couple of hundred dollars. The longboard is also heavy, so not that portable, compared to the penny board.
Arbor Sizzler Longboard Complete
If you are looking for a longboard that is not too long, the Arbor Sizzler Longboard Complete might possibly be the best choice for a beginner. This is a 32” longboard designed mostly for cruising, with a durable deck and quality trucks and wheels that will offer you a comfortable ride no matter the roughness of the asphalt.
The deck is made out of 7 plies of maple wood with a bamboo finish that looks both classic and stylish. It also includes Arbor SI Bogart 61mm 82a Wheels, ABEC 5 Bearings, and Gullwing Shadow DLX 9.0″ Trucks. The Arbor Sizzler Longboard Complete costs less than most quality longboards, which makes it a great purchase for both beginners and experienced skaters.
This longboard can be used not only by beginners but experienced skaters as well. It’s a great investment, given its price and the quality of the materials, and the perfect choice if you want to have some fun while commuting.
Penny boards have only been around for the past decade or so but were quickly embraced by young people. A penny board is basically a small skateboard that was designed to be mobile. It has a very small deck, usually up to 22 inches in length and 7.5 in width, but some boards are 27 inches long, and are called nickel boards (because they are 5” longer).
The penny board deck is usually made out of plastic, but you can also buy bamboo ones, which, of course, are much more expensive. The wheels are made out of plastic as well, meaning that a penny board is also very light. You’ll have no problem carrying a penny board around with you.
Because of its size, the penny board is harder to use, especially if you are a tall person. You can forget about doing tricks and you have to be extra careful when riding on the street because the tiny wheels can easily get stuck even in the tiniest asphalt cracks.
Penny boards are cheap, not counting the bamboo ones, light but also durable. They are a great choice for commuting since you can easily fit one into your backpack. The downside is that they are not very comfortable to ride and get unstable at high speeds.
Magneto Bamboo Mini Cruiser
If you’ve decided you want to try a penny board, you should definitely buy the Magneto Bamboo Mini Cruiser. This is actually a nickel board because the deck is 27” long, so it’s a better choice because it gives you more room to plant your feet.
The board has a 27” x 7.5” deck, made out of 7-ply maple wood, which makes it small and light enough to carry around everywhere you go, but at the same time it’s big enough to learn some tricks too. Still, if you are a tall person you might have problems finding your balance, especially if you are a beginner.
Besides the deck, the other components are only of decent quality, but you notice this only if you are an experienced skater. The trucks have some visible imperfections and the bushings feel soft. The wheels could be better as well, but for this price, you can’t expect to get top-quality components.
All in all, the Magneto Bamboo Mini Cruiser is a pretty good board for beginners that are not very tall. If you’re in this category, you’ll definitely have a lot of fun with this board.
So, if you have to choose between a penny board vs longboard for beginners, it all comes down to 2 simple factors: your size and what you plan on using it for. If you’re a tall person you should avoid using penny boards because you’ll have a hard time keeping your balance.
A nickel board, like the Magneto Bamboo Mini Cruiser, is a better choice if you are looking for a small board. If you want to go for a longboard you should know that they are pretty hard to carry around with you, unless you go for a smaller one, like the 32” Arbor Sizzler Longboard Complete. Both of these boards are lots of fun and perfectly suited for beginners.