Are Penny Boards Better than Skateboards? Ultimate Guide


The choice between longboards and traditional skateboards can be a tough one. When it comes to skateboarding, having the right pads is crucial for safety.

Whether you’re cruising on smooth roads or tackling rough terrain, longboards provide a unique experience that sets them apart from penny boards.

As an avid skateboarder myself, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with both longboards and standard skateboards. Whether it’s cruising down the streets on a penny skateboard or performing tricks on a standard skateboard, I’ve enjoyed the versatility that skateboarding offers. Let me tell you, mastering this skill is not as simple as it seems for many people in this space.

Penny skateboards, also known as nickel skateboards, have gained popularity in recent years due to their compact size and vibrant designs. Skateboarders are drawn to these longboards for their unique style and maneuverability.

To ensure safety while riding, it is important to wear protective pads. These lightweight longboards are perfect for quick rides and maneuverability in crowded areas.

If you’re looking for a convenient mode of transportation that can easily fit into a backpack or locker, a standard skateboard, like a penny board, might be your best bet.

It’s perfect for navigating through tight spaces and is lightweight enough to carry around. However, if you’re seeking versatility and want to master complex tricks at the skate park, a traditional skateboard like the nickel board could be your go-to option.

Key Differences: Wheel Size and Control

One of the key differences between a cruiser board and a nickel board lies in the size of their wheels and the level of control they offer. The cruiser board and nickel board are distinct in terms of wheel size and control capabilities. Let’s dive into these factors that set them apart.

Wheels: Small Size vs. Standard Size

Penny boards are known for their small-sized wheels, typically measuring around 59mm in diameter. These compact wheels allow for a smooth ride on various surfaces, making them ideal for cruising along sidewalks or navigating through tight spaces. On the other hand, standard skateboards usually have larger wheels ranging from 52mm to 60mm, providing better stability and grip while performing tricks or riding on ramps.

Control: Back Truck vs. Front Truck

Another crucial difference between penny boards and skateboards is the placement of their trucks—the metal components that hold the wheels. Penny boards have their trucks located at the back end of the board, which affects how you maneuver and control your ride. With this setup, you have more control over steering with your back foot while relying on your front foot for balance.

In contrast, skateboards feature trucks mounted at both ends of the board, allowing riders to distribute their weight evenly between the front and back trucks. This design grants skateboarders greater control over their movements by leveraging both feet for steering and balance.

Length and Balance

The length of a skateboard deck is typically longer than that of a penny board. Skateboard decks range from 28 inches to over 32 inches in length, whereas penny boards usually measure around 22 inches or less. This variance in length affects not only how you ride but also your overall balance on the board.

Skateboards provide a longer platform for riders to distribute their weight evenly between both feet, contributing to enhanced stability during tricks or maneuvers requiring precise foot placement. In contrast, penny boards’ shorter length requires riders to find balance using a smaller surface area, demanding a different level of control and agility.

Colors and Style

Penny boards are renowned for their vibrant colors and retro-inspired designs. They offer a wide range of eye-catching options that allow riders to express their individuality and personal style. Skateboards, on the other hand, come in a variety of designs but often focus more on graphics and branding rather than the sheer spectrum of colors available with penny boards.

Debunking Myths: Penny Board Shapes Explained

In the world of skateboarding, there has always been a debate about whether penny boards are better than regular skateboards. One of the key factors that contribute to this ongoing discussion is the shape of the board itself. Let’s dive into the various shapes of penny boards and debunk some common myths surrounding them.


Penny boards come in different shapes, each designed to cater to specific riding styles and preferences. Here are some popular shapes you’ll come across:

  1. Classic Shape: The classic shape is what most people envision when they think of a penny board. It features a compact and narrow design, making it highly maneuverable and perfect for cruising around town or performing tricks in tight spaces.
  2. Longboard Shape: As the name suggests, this shape resembles that of a longboard. It offers a longer deck with more foot space, providing stability and comfort during longer rides. This shape is ideal for those who prioritize smooth rides and enjoy carving down hills.
  3. Fish Shape: The fish shape takes inspiration from surfboards with its wider nose and tail compared to other penny board shapes. This design enhances stability while still maintaining maneuverability, making it suitable for riders who want a balance between cruising and performing tricks.
  4. Mini Cruiser Shape: Mini cruisers have gained popularity due to their compact size and versatility. They typically have a wider deck than classic-shaped penny boards, allowing for better foot placement and control while cruising or commuting through busy streets.

Now that we’ve explored the different shapes of penny boards let’s address some common misconceptions about them:

  • Myth 1: “Penny boards are only good for cruising.” While it’s true that penny boards excel at cruising due to their small size and agile nature, they can also be used for performing tricks like ollies, kickflips, and slides.
  • Myth 2: “Regular skateboards are better for tricks.” Although regular skateboards offer a larger platform and more concave shape, penny boards can still be used to perform an array of tricks. Their compact size and lightweight construction make them great for practicing technical maneuvers.
  • Myth 3: “Penny boards are not suitable for beginners.” On the contrary, penny boards can be an excellent choice for beginners. Their smaller size and maneuverability make them easier to control and navigate, allowing new riders to build confidence and improve their skills.

Physical Variations: Understanding Penny Boards vs. Skateboards

Size and Shape: Finding the Right Fit

Penny boards and skateboards differ in their size and shape, which ultimately affects the riding experience. Penny boards are typically smaller, measuring around 22 to 27 inches in length, while skateboards are larger, ranging from 28 to 32 inches. The compact size of penny boards makes them more portable and maneuverable, making them ideal for cruising around town or navigating crowded spaces. On the other hand, skateboards offer a wider deck and longer wheelbase, providing more stability and control for tricks and jumps on ramps or at skate parks.

Deck Material: Flexibility vs. Sturdiness

Another key distinction between penny boards and skateboards lies in their deck material. Penny boards feature plastic decks that offer flexibility and a unique “surfing” sensation while riding. This flexibility allows riders to carve smoothly through turns and absorb vibrations from rough surfaces. In contrast, skateboards typically have wooden decks made from maple or bamboo, providing greater durability and stiffness for withstanding high-impact landings during tricks or jumps.

Wheel Size: Speed vs. Maneuverability

The size of the wheels on penny boards versus skateboards also contributes to their performance differences. Penny boards usually have smaller wheels with diameters ranging from 54mm to 59mm, offering a lower center of gravity that enhances stability at higher speeds. These smaller wheels excel in quick acceleration but may struggle with maintaining momentum over rough terrain or cracks in the pavement. Skateboards, however, often feature larger wheels with diameters between 52mm to 60mm or even larger for longboards. These larger wheels provide better traction, roll over obstacles more easily, and maintain speed effectively.

Trucks: Tight Turns vs. Stability

Trucks play a crucial role in how penny boards and skateboards handle turns and maintain stability. Penny boards typically have tight trucks, which are the metal components that attach the wheels to the deck. These tight trucks allow for sharper turns and quick maneuverability, making penny boards ideal for weaving through crowds or navigating narrow paths. Skateboards, on the other hand, often feature looser trucks that offer greater stability at higher speeds and during tricks. This stability allows skaters to maintain control while executing complex maneuvers or riding on ramps.

Pros and Cons

To summarize, here are some pros and cons of penny boards and skateboards:

Penny Boards:

  • Pros: Compact size for easy portability, smooth carving ability, lightweight for effortless transportation.
  • Cons: Limited versatility for tricks and jumps, less stability on rough terrain.


  • Pros: Versatile for various tricks and jumps, greater stability at higher speeds or on ramps.
  • Cons: Larger size may hinder portability, less maneuverable in crowded spaces.

Advantages of Penny Boards: Fun Rides and Urban Cruising

Penny boards are all the rage these days, especially among riders who crave a thrilling and effortless cruising experience. These compact and lightweight skateboards offer a unique set of advantages that make them stand out from traditional skateboards. Let’s dive into the reasons why penny boards are often considered better for fun rides and urban cruising.

Fun Rides: Embrace the Joy

Penny boards take the cake. Their small size and flexible plastic deck allow for quick turns, nimble maneuvers, and an overall playful experience. Whether you’re gliding through parks or zipping down busy streets, penny boards provide an exhilarating ride that is hard to match.

Here are some reasons why penny boards offer fun-filled rides:

  • Portability: Penny boards are compact and lightweight, making them easy to carry around wherever your adventures may take you. You can effortlessly toss one in your backpack or even carry it under your arm without breaking a sweat.
  • Agility: The smaller size of penny boards enables riders to navigate tight spaces with ease. You can swiftly weave through crowded areas or dodge obstacles on the fly, adding an element of excitement to your ride.
  • Smooth Cruising: Penny boards feature soft wheels that absorb bumps and cracks in the pavement, providing a smoother ride compared to regular skateboards. This means less jarring impacts on rough surfaces and more enjoyable cruising.

Urban Cruising: Conquer the Streets

Penny boards excel at urban cruising due to their maneuverability and versatility in navigating city environments. Whether you’re commuting to work or exploring new neighborhoods, these little cruisers prove to be reliable companions.

Here’s why penny boards are ideal for urban cruising:

  • Quick Transportation: Penny boards offer a convenient mode of transportation for short distances within cities. They allow you to zip through traffic, bypassing congested areas and reaching your destination faster.
  • Easy Handling: Penny boards feature responsive trucks and bushings that enhance control and maneuverability. This means you can easily navigate through tight corners, sharp turns, and crowded streets without breaking a sweat.
  • Stylish Design: Penny boards come in a wide range of vibrant colors and eye-catching designs. They not only provide a fun ride but also make a fashion statement as you cruise around town.

Advantages of Skateboards: Speed and Stability


Skateboards are renowned for their ability to reach impressive speeds. Whether you’re gliding down a smooth street or tearing through a skate park, the standard skateboard is designed to provide an exhilarating ride. With their smaller size and lighter weight compared to longboards, skateboards offer enhanced maneuverability and agility, allowing skaters to navigate tight turns and crowded spaces with ease.

  • Skateboard wheels are typically smaller in diameter, which allows for quicker acceleration and faster speeds.
  • The compact size of a skateboard also contributes to its speed potential by reducing wind resistance.
  • Skaters who enjoy the thrill of high-speed rides will find that skateboards are better suited for achieving those adrenaline-pumping moments.


While penny boards excel in providing a fun cruising experience, skateboards offer superior stability. The standard skateboard’s longer deck provides more foot space, allowing riders to maintain balance and control over various terrains. This increased stability is particularly advantageous when riding on ramps or attempting tricks that require precise foot placement.

  • The wider deck of a skateboard offers a solid platform for riders to land tricks confidently without losing balance.
  • Skateboarders can take advantage of the concave shape of the board, which helps lock their feet into position during complex maneuvers. -The stability provided by a skateboard gives skaters added confidence.


One significant advantage of skateboarding is its versatility. Skaters can choose from various styles and shapes of skateboards based on their preferences and desired riding style. From plastic decks designed for street skating to professional-grade wooden decks used in competitions, there’s a skateboard tailored for every type of rider.

  • Skateboarding encompasses different disciplines such as street skating, vert skating (ramps), downhill racing, freestyle tricks, and more.
  • Skate parks cater to skateboarders, providing ramps, rails, and other features that allow skaters to showcase their skills.
  • The versatility of skateboards extends beyond the sport itself, as riders can personalize their boards with custom grip tape designs and accessories.

Choosing the Right Fit: Factors to Consider

Choice and Preference

It ultimately boils down to personal preference. Some individuals may prefer the compact size and lightweight nature of a penny board, while others may lean towards the versatility and performance of a traditional skateboard. It’s essential to consider your own preferences and what you’re looking for in a ride.

Size Matters

One crucial factor to consider is the size of the board. Penny boards are typically smaller than skateboards, making them ideal for navigating tight spaces or commuting in crowded areas. On the other hand, skateboards come in various sizes, allowing riders to choose one that suits their comfort level and riding style.

Safety Gear

Regardless of whether you choose a penny board or a skateboard, safety should always be a top priority. Make sure to invest in proper safety gear such as helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards. These protective measures can significantly reduce the risk of injuries while riding.

Weight and Materials

Penny boards are known for their lightweight construction, which makes them easy to carry around when not riding. Skateboards tend to be slightly heavier due to their sturdier build with multiple layers of wood or composite materials. The weight difference can impact how comfortable you feel carrying your board or performing tricks.

Components Matter

Both penny boards and skateboards consist of different components that contribute to their overall performance. Penny boards often feature plastic decks with small wheels designed for cruising rather than tricks. Skateboards have wooden decks with larger wheels suitable for various styles of riding like street skating or ramp tricks.

Design and Performance

Penny boards often feature vibrant colors and unique designs that appeal to riders who want to make a fashion statement while cruising around town. Skateboard designs also vary widely but tend to focus more on graphics related to art or popular culture. When it comes down to performance, skateboards offer more versatility for different riding styles and tricks.

Age and Skill Level

Consider your age and skill level when deciding between a penny board and a skateboard. Penny boards are often favored by beginners or riders who prefer a more relaxed cruising experience. Skateboards, on the other hand, offer more room for growth and progression as riders develop their skills and tackle more advanced tricks.

Selecting the Ideal Board for You

Now that we’ve explored the key differences between penny boards and skateboards, debunked some myths, and discussed their physical variations, it’s time to choose the ideal board for you. Penny boards are perfect if you’re seeking a fun and nimble ride for urban cruising. They offer a unique experience with their compact size and vibrant designs. On the other hand, if speed and stability are what you crave, skateboards are your best bet. They provide more control over tricks and maneuvers due to their larger wheels and wider decks.

Ultimately, the choice between penny boards and skateboards depends on your personal preferences and riding style. Consider factors such as where you’ll be riding, your skill level, and what kind of experience you want to have. If you’re still unsure which board is right for you, don’t hesitate to try them out or seek advice from experienced riders. Remember, finding the perfect board is all about discovering what brings you joy on those wheels.


Can I use a penny board for tricks?

Yes, while penny boards are primarily designed for cruising, they can also handle some basic tricks like ollies and kickflips. However, keep in mind that their smaller size may make certain tricks more challenging compared to skateboards.

Are penny boards suitable for beginners?

Absolutely! Penny boards can be an excellent choice for beginners due to their compact size and maneuverability. They offer a stable platform to learn the basics of riding before progressing onto more advanced techniques.

Do skateboard wheels fit on penny boards?

No, skateboard wheels do not fit on penny boards as they have different dimensions. Penny board wheels are specifically designed to fit their unique trucks.

Can I ride a skateboard like a penny board?

While it’s technically possible to ride a skateboard in a similar manner as a penny board by simply cruising around town, keep in mind that skateboards are generally built for more advanced tricks and maneuvers.

Are penny boards suitable for long distances?

Penny boards are not the most ideal option for long-distance rides. Their smaller wheels and compact size may result in a less comfortable experience compared to skateboards or longboards designed specifically for distance riding.


I am a fervent skateboard lover and dedicated researcher, I am he mastermind behind DriveFat. With years of experience In boards Topic , I turned My passion into a platform designed to educate and inspire. Whether you're a beginner just getting your wheels on the ground or a pro looking to up your game, My expert insights and rigorous reviews make DriveFat your ultimate skateboarding resource. Get ready to ride the wave of skateboarding knowledge with me—your go-to guide in the world of skateboards."