What is a (standard) skateboard?
Picture a skateboard in your mind. What does it look like? Small wheels, about a 30-inch long deck, probably some funky finishes? If so, you pictured it correctly. The standard “traditional” skateboard is exactly the ones that we see on skateparks on which people do all kinds of tricks.
Their shapes are pretty distinct, as in they are lozenge-shaped and have a concave surface. These are the ones you want to get if you’re thinking of learning or mastering tricks like the kickflip, good ol’ ollies, hardflips or a rock fakie.
- Great for doing tricks
- Nimble & agile
- Easy to carry around
- Long-distance commutes
- Momentum generation is difficult
What is a longboard?
Think of Longboards as the extended wheelbase versions of the standard skateboard. They are longer and wider, hence comes with added benefits, mainly stability and flexibility.
They are excellent in terms of cruising around because of the extra space for your feet to rest. Also, we should consider the bigger wheels that provide more speed and generally a better experience.
This makes them great for their two purposes: Cruising and transportation.
the longboard design makes it possible to ‘pump’ the board instead, by shifting your weight back and forth. This creates the thrust and force without your feet having to leave the board.
This allows longboard riders to cruise indefinitely on flat and downhill surfaces with both feet stationed on the board.
A variant of pumping is called gyrating, where you move by slightly turning the board left and right as you go forward.
- High speeds
- High stability
- Excellent for pumping & carving
- Great for Cruising
- Hard to do tricks on
- Less portable
Key Differences Between Skateboards and Longboards
We can differentiate between a longboard and a skateboard based on the following 4 factors.
Here’s a table to illustrate the key distinguishing factors between skateboards and longboards.
|Deck Size||These ones are 26-32 inches long and 7-10 inches wide. The narrower frame is crucial for its purpose.||Anything above 33 inches in length is considered a longboard. And they are usually on the wider side at 9-10 inches|
|Deck Shape||Double kick popsicle is the name I believe. Or they can be called lozenges. They are not flat like their longer counterparts, instead, they are concave, giving the skater more of an edge to do tricks.||We have various shapes like “Drop-through directional cutaway”, “Drop-through symmetrical cutaway” when it comes to longboards. Also, they tend to be perfectly flat to match the style it is built for.|
|Wheels||Smaller and harder wheels are seen here. Smaller for quick acceleration and harder for general skateboard stuff like sliding and speed.||Almost all the time they come fitted with larger and softer wheels. Larger to ride smoothly over uneven pavements and softer for more grip while cruising.|
|Trucks||Skateboard trucks are narrower and have a traditional kingpin (TKP). Same size as the max-width of your deck. They are constructed for strength, maneuverability and are shorter than longboard trucks.||Longboard trucks are wider, have a reverse Kingpin (RKP) and hangers are mostly 150mm or 180mm. They are constructed for Stability, Turn-ability and are longer than skateboard trucks. Flexible.|
Skateboards even though they are small, require more skills and balance. And that is exactly the reason, the smaller frames allow an expert to execute all kinds of flips and tricks but for a beginner – not so much. A smaller frame means less space to place your feet firmly on.
Longboards, on the other hand, are much more beginner-friendly and great to cruise on. The ample deck space and big wheels ensure a super stable & safe ride. Plus the learning curve is not as steep as the traditional skateboard primarily because of how the trucks, wheels, and board work harmoniously together.
Skateboards are generally cheaper than their longer brothers. As we have already talked about, they come with smaller deck and narrower trucks. The less the materials used, the less it will cost. Plus they do not require high-performance wheels and bearings like longboards because great speeds are not what they’re known for.
Longboards are costlier. The materials used are generally more expensive. To provide the level of flexibility and longevity, different layers of multiple kinds of woods should be used. A mixture of Maple and ply is pretty popular. The wheels and trucks are bigger here as well, adding to the overall cost.
Below are some of the best skateboards and longboards sorted by need.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is easier to skate on a longboard since the deck provides ample space for your feet to rest and the big wheels allow a very smooth ride on uneven pavement.
It depends on what you want to do with it. If you’re into doing tricks, pick a standard skateboard. If you’re into cruising and commuting, pick a longboard.
Longboards are built for cruising and can handle high speeds. They do accelerate slowly and have ample deck space making it safe for a beginner. But bear in mind, they are meant to go fast.
Longboards are a very good choice for a beginner who is looking for just casual cruising. Do note that some longboards come with premium wheels and bearings that make it go really fast.