Penny Boards vs Longboards: What’s The Big Difference?

Anyone who enjoys skating will eventually reach a point where they want to try something new and exciting.

That might mean trying completely different boards as opposed to the skateboard they’ve been using for years.

Penny boards vs longboards always brings up a good debate because they’re the most likely candidates to choose from right now.

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Penny Boards vs Longboards: Pros + Cons

If you asked a hundred people to pick a new board they wouldn’t all choose the same one. When it comes to penny boards vs longboards there are pros and cons for each. We’ll discuss some of the big differences in detail so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting:

Penny Boards


  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Cheaper

Lightweight – Short cruiser penny boards are made from plastic and come in a few different lengths. The original penny board is 22 inches long and penny nickel boards are 27 inches long. These days you can find even longer decks available although they’re less common.

Shorter penny boards only weigh a few kilos due to the materials they’re made from and longer ones are slightly heavier. It means you’ll never get tired carrying it around. The exact weight of your penny board will depend on the brand because they’re not identical.

Portable – You might need to carry your board more than you think. If it’s too busy or the ground isn’t smooth it’s not worth skating around. You’ll be able to transport a penny board easily. Even if you want to take it on public transportation you won’t run into any difficulties.

Short cruiser boards don’t even need to be carried under your arm. If you’re traveling long distances you’ll be able to squeeze it into your backpack. When commuting to work or school on the board it means you can pack it away until the end of the day.

Cheaper – Original penny boards and penny nickel boards cost around a hundred dollars, but it’s because they invented them. The brand name counts for something. Fortunately, it’s possible to pick up short cruiser boards from other brands for a more reasonable price.

Cheaper brands still offer penny boards with quality trucks, bearings, and wheels. Nobody will be able to tell the difference unless they look closely enough. Even if you do want an original penny board from the creators a hundred or so dollars is well worth the investment.


  • Small wheels
  • Fancy tricks

Small wheels – In most cases, penny board wheels are smaller than longboard wheels. They’re made from a lower quality of urethane too, plus the wheels are closer together. I suppose you need to make sacrifices somewhere when your penny board is pretty cheap.

It does mean you won’t be able to go as fast when you’re flying down the street, which is bad news for all you speed demons out there. You can still reach high speeds, especially on penny nickel boards. Pushing harder and more often can eventually drain the energy from you.

Fancy tricks – I seriously doubt you want a penny board because you plan on impressing the world with fancy tricks. Would you ever take a unicycle to a skatepark? You can still perform a few tricks on short cruiser skateboards but it’s better to stick with traditional boards.



  • Speed
  • Stability
  • Maneuverability

Speed – The wheels, trucks, and bearings on the best longboard are designed for speed. In fact, some boards are specially designed to be ridden downhill at breakneck speeds. You will never complain about going too slow on a longboard even if you’re riding on flat or uneven ground.

It will also take less pushes to reach certain speeds meaning you won’t get tired so fast. And once you’ve built up momentum you’ll be able to cruise around for longer before you start to slow down. Just be careful because if you come flying off the board you could really hurt yourself.

Stability – Once you reach a certain speed on short penny boards they become highly unstable. Longboards are designed with stability in mind so you’ll be able to balance like a jedi master. Due to the fact you don’t need to kick as often you’ll be able to concentrate on balance.

A longer board combined with much wider trucks increases stability tremendously. You won’t need to worry about standing in the wrong place. Don’t forget to learn how to dance on your longboard. It’s something you wouldn’t be able to do without a stable base.

Maneuverability – Longboards are hard to maneuver around on when you’re in a crowded street, but only because it’s so big. Everything else about maneuverability is excellent. Carving on a longboard reminds you of tackling massive waves in the ocean on your surfboard.

When you swing from side to side effortlessly it’s also a good way to maintain speed without taking your feet off the board. Sliding down hills and around corners takes maneuverability to the extreme. It’s also easy to maneuver your board into the ideal position to do tricks.


  • Size
  • Expensive

Size – The overall size of your longboard has a negative impact on your life in a few various ways. We’ve already talked about the fact you can’t really avoid people in tight spaces, so if you’re using the best longboard for heavy riders to commute to work in a busy city center you can run into problems.

Once you get into work it might be too long to squeeze under your desk. It’s definitely too long to hide in a backpack. Plus the added weight isn’t great when you need to carry your longboard around. In most cases, it’s only a small con you won’t really care about.

Expensive – You might care more about the money you’ll need to spend when buying a longboard. If the penny boards vs longboards debate was solely about money it would lose. That is because the best longboards are much more expensive than what you might think.

To be fair, unless you plan on becoming a professional longboarder I doubt you’ll need the most expensive one you can find. It’s not hard to find more affordable models that will satisfy your needs. Just don’t drop your standards too low or it won’t come with good parts and features.

Longboards vs Penny Boards: Which One Should You Choose?

Choosing between the best penny board vs longboard is only hard if you don’t know why you want one. After reading the pros and cons you should realise where one board would better suit your needs. Let’s look at each board with the main reason why it should be your top choice:

  • Penny boards
  • Longboards

Penny boards – Commuting is a big advantage when you’re on a penny board in the city. Even penny nickel boards are easy to use when whizzing in and out of traffic. And you can keep it inside your locker in school or throw it under your desk at the office until it’s time to go home.

Longboards – The right longboard is good when it comes to commuting. There are even all-terrain longboards for anyone who can’t access smooth city streets. But I think it’s fair to say their true potential is realized when you use them for any of the following:

  • Thundering down hills at breakneck speeds
  • Drifting around corners like floating over ice
  • Carving like you’re surfing monster waves
  • Dancing and performing multiple tricks

Reading through the aforementioned list it’s easy to see why longboarding is becoming more and more popular every year.

Finding The Right Penny Board Or Longboard For You

I hope you finally know which board you want to start using straight away. Now you just need to find the right one. It’s not too hard when you think about it. Anyone interested in commuting just needs to decide whether a 22 inch or 27 inch penny board is the better choice.

The average longboard will let you perform all the things we’ve talked about, but they usually come with specific features that suit one skating style in particular. Read the unbiased reviews on Amazon if you want advice from more than one person with experience of the boards.