Penny Board vs. Skateboard: Figuring Out Which One is Better

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First of all, let’s make it completely clear. We don’t think that there are any particular boards that are better than other types. They’re just more suitable for certain purposes. And that mostly depends on the skaters, not the boards.

However, for most beginners, the whole concepts of different boards for different skating styles can be quite intimidating. And even when you’re already a fairly experienced skateboarder, there is nothing to be sure that you can get everything figured it out on your own.

In this post, you’ll learn about penny boards and their differences compared to regular skateboards. And just to clarify, penny board is just another type of skateboards and the “skateboard” that we’ll be talking about will mostly be street skateboards. Hopefully, at the end of it, you can figure out which one is more suitable for you.

Penny board explained

the type of skateboard
the type of skateboard

Penny boards are a type of skateboard that is introduced by an Australian company name Penny (surprise, surprise). They’re produced to maximize the lightweight as well as compactness so the users can take advantage of that in whatever they’re into.

These boards have become popular over the years, not just on the skating aspect, but because they also make a great fashion accessory. However, this also makes many pro skateboarders disliking the penny board as they usually consider them unfit to skate.

However, I’ve been in the skateboarding industry for years. And I personally find the penny board quite useful and interesting. You can learn more about my perspectives in the following articles.

Advantages

Exceptionally small and light – it’s probably the number one reason why many prefer the penny board other the standard skateboards. If you get the smallest version, the 22” board, you can easily fit it on your backpack and knapsack without having any trouble. In additions, since penny boards are usually made from polyurethane materials, it remains relatively durable while having a lightweight. Perfect for carrying around and skating at any time.

Great for casual cruising – For the same reason, many people love cruising around their campus, local districts, or on the way to work, using a penny board. They’re technically the most compact cruiser board that you could ever get. Moreover, these boards also have good speed as well as acceleration thanks to their high-quality wheels.

High-quality boards – You won’t likely to go wrong when picking these board, especially in terms of quality. Most penny boards are quite sturdy and durable, even when compared to a skateboard which is usually made from hard maple woods. The deck is constructed to withstand a significant amount of weight on it. So you can feel free to perform tricks on it, just make sure that you’re capable of doing them.

Stylish looking – Another reason why penny board has become so popular is because of their usually stylish looks. The colorful design combines with the shiny and interestingly small deck make the board stand out among the others. It’s something that is both classy and elegant. Quite different when compared to the street styles that have become so common among skateboarders.

No wear and tear for your shoes – Another big plus for penny boards are their non-griptape design. Sure, this will make your board harder to control, but it allows for you to put on your most stylish shoes without afraid to damage them. On top that, penny board still have a rough surface to maintain a certain amount of grip when you standing on it. So it’s not like you don’t have any level of control over the board.

Good for children and small people – That being said, although there are many tall people using the board, penny board is undoubtedly a good choice for relatively small people. Their sizes and quality also make them great for children to practice casual skating.

Disadvantages

The larger versions aren’t worth your money
The larger versions aren’t worth your money

The larger versions aren’t worth your money – If you’re looking for larger versions of the penny board, usually the 27” and 36” boards, we highly recommend you switch to the regular skateboard or longboard. For most of your skating purposes including cruising and doing tricks, these two will be a better choice.

No grip – As mentioned above, due to their non-griptape design, you’ll not have the same amount of grip as on your regular street skateboard. This makes it harder to familiarize with the board, especially for the beginners. Not to mention, the smoother surface also makes it difficult to perform tricks on the board.

Hard to control – Aside from having no grip tape, penny boards also feature a relatively narrower deck. This makes most users find it harder to have a comfortable stand on their board. If you’re a person with relatively large feet, then you’ll have some problem with the board.

Can get quite expensive – Another thing with penny board is that they tend to get quite expensive. So make sure you consider your budget before making the final decision. And another thing, don’t look for alternative products that are made from cheap plastic. They may be a lot cheaper and look just the same, but their quality is nowhere near the original penny boards.

Skateboard explained

The traditional skateboards
The traditional skateboards

The traditional skateboards, also known as today street skateboard comes with a different design compared to penny boards. Here you’ll learn about its advantages and disadvantages for better comparisons with the penny board.

Advantages

Sturdy and durable – Most of today skateboards are made from maple wood plies, so they’re quite more sturdy compared to the penny board. This makes the board more suitable for doing all kind of tricks.

Various prices – You’ll have a broader range of different options with prices that are more suitable for your budget. Most of them are quite reasonable.

Excels in doing tricks – As mentioned before, having a layer of grip tape on its surface makes skateboard much more suitable for doing tricks. The significant amount of control that it offers allow users to perform tricks with great confidence. You’ll not likely to fall off your board even when you lose your balance.

Good for beginners – For most beginners, having a standard skateboard should always your first choice when getting into the skating world. From my experiences, it is still the best board for newbies to familiarize with and improve their skills. While you can still perform certain tricks on the penny board, you’ll need to do it fluently on the skateboard before switching to another platform.

Extremely versatile – While you can only use your penny board for comfortable cruising around, the skateboard is much more versatile when it comes to uses. You can use your skateboard for both doing tricks and casual cruising with little problems.

Disadvantages

Shoe destroyers – As mentioned above, the layer of grip tape while giving your board a significant more amount of control also contributing a lot on ravaging your shoes. After extended use, you won’t likely to have a pair of shoes that are still intact considering the intensive skating you’ve been doing. You can choose shoes that are specialized for skating, but that won’t make sure that your shoes are protected from wear and tear. You’ll just have to accept it as a part of street skating.

Portability – Their relatively larger sizes make them less suitable for carrying around. You’ll not able to fit your skateboard on your knapsack like a penny board. Instead, you’ll have to carry them on your hands. And considering their heavier weight, it’s also not very fun.

Not the best choice for cruising – For cruising, both in short distances and long distances, a penny board, longboard, or cruiser board will be a much better choice compared to a skateboard. You can still use your street skateboard for cruising, it’ll just be less satisfying.

Final thoughts

Santa Cruz’s longboards
Santa Cruz’s longboards

I can see why many people hate the penny board. As they’re designed solely for casual transportation and fashion, some experienced street skateboarders might find them offended. However, there is no denying their impressive quality and functionality. You’ll probably never going to find a skateboard that is as compact and lightweight as the penny boards. And although street skateboards can be good in doing tricks, penny boards make great vehicles for light and comfortable cruising.

In the end, it just comes down to the matter of preferences. If you love cruising around your campus or neighborhood in a relaxing and stylish fashion, the penny board is a great choice. Plus, it’ll save you tons of money buying shoes.

However, most beginners should start by getting familiar with the skateboard before jumping to the penny board right away. Once you’ve mastered the street skateboard, you can do anything with your penny board.

That’s our opinions about penny board and skateboard. As always, the decision is yours to make. Thanks for reading and we’ll see you in our future posts.