At the beginning of skating, most skaters wonder which kind of deck they should start with. And the two most common type of skateboard for this confusion are skateboard and longboard. To solve this mystery, first, you need to know what a longboard and skateboard are and their differences. Go through this article to unbox the mystery of longboard vs. skateboard.
Longboard Vs. Skateboard: Differences
A skateboard is a sports equipment made of plywood deck attached by trucks and wheels. Longboards are similar to but not the same as skateboards. Longboards have various shapes and are faster for wheel size, construction materials, and more precise hardware. But actually, the differences are more than just the size of the deck and wheels. The key differences are:
Skateboards mostly have a concave shape of the deck, also known as a popsicle, but longboards offer many more options for decks like pintail, fishtail, cruiser, etc. The concave shape means it has a curved shape on both sides. But longboards have different shapes illustrated in the image.
When you compare a longboard with a skateboard side by side, you’ll note that the nose and tail of the longboard are much flatter than those of the skateboard. You’ll notice that the nose and tail of a skateboard have more of a curve to them, which makes it simpler to land tricks like flips.
It really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that longboards are, well, longer. Instead of being 36 inches long, like most skateboards, these may be as long as 59 inches. Longboards can be as short as 28 inches long, which is where the confusion starts.
If the difference in length concerns you, just keep in mind that skateboards have a curved deck, whereas longboards are flat. If you notice a board that is flatter and shorter than usual, it is most likely a longboard that has been shortened.
Wheels on longboards and skateboards are distinct in more ways than size, hardness, and color. I’ll highlight only the most important distinctions to keep things simple and concise.
A longboard’s wheels often have a bigger contact patch than those of a skateboard, making them more grippy. Even though they move slower than small, hard wheels, they have better balance and speed stability.
Skateboard wheels need to be more compact and durable. But stronger and softer wheels are preferable for tricks since they reduce bounce. Wheel sizes range from 52mm to 58mm, so pick one that fits your personal taste. Skaters who prefer to move from the street to the park need bigger wheels.
Optimal hardness is between 85A and 84B (104A). Long-distance rides on hard wheels aren’t particularly comfortable, but that’s not why you’d use them.
For a longboard, you’d want huge, squishy wheels; a good size is anywhere from 63mm to 80mm, but it all comes down to personal preference. Beginners should start with wheels with a softness between 75A and 85A, although this range is subject to change based on the skater’s inclination and skating environment.
Trucks for longboards are typically larger than those for skateboards. The board’s steadiness and maneuverability are affected by the trucks’ size. Skateboard trucks are made to be more nimble, whereas longboard trucks are made to be more stable at high speeds.
Trucks for longboards tend to be squarer in shape than those for skateboards. The greater pivot area provided by longboard trucks’ square design makes for a more stable ride. Skateboards are able to do tighter turns and more nimble maneuvers thanks to the trucks’ narrower pivot points.
The kingpin on longboard trucks is positioned at a more horizontal position in comparison to the baseplate. This improves the board’s stability at high speeds at the expense of its ability to turn. Skateboards are designed with trucks that are tilted at a greater degree to provide more turning and maneuverability.
Skateboard decks cannot be used with longboard trucks, and vice versa. Skateboard trucks cannot be put on longboard decks and vice versa due to the varying sizes of the mounting holes on the trucks.
The flexibility of skateboard and longboard decks is another distinction between the two types of boards. Longboard decks are often more flexible than skateboard decks, which helps to absorb shocks and vibrations from uneven terrain and makes for a smoother ride overall. On the other hand, the decks of skateboards tend to be more rigid, resulting in increased pop and stability when completing tricks.
A skateboard and a longboard can perform tricks, though the longboard has a more limited repertoire of tricks. Skateboards are fantastic for performing technical maneuvers such as grinds, flips, jumps, and various other maneuvers. Longboards aren’t just great for getting around town; they also let you learn the basics of skateboarding, such as powering, carving, and pumping.
However, to simplify things, we have compiled a list of comparisons and laid them down in a table.
|Not even the sky is the limit
|Effort to ride
|Bulky and heavy
|Lightweight and portable
|Big soft wheels between 60 and 70mm
|Small hard wheels between 52 and 58mm
|Wide and more stable
|Shorter and more agile
|Cruising, Dancing, freeriding, downhill
|Street, vert, mini ramp, bowl
|It is less popular but is growing
|50% of the market, steady
Longboard Vs Skateboard: Which One You Should Have?
For the benefit of any novice skateboarder, the deck serves as the foundation of your board if you want to improve your skateboarding skills and learn new tricks.
The length and width of a longboard’s deck represent the board’s normal dimensions, which are longer and wider than a skateboard’s. More rounded and spacious decks on longboards make it easier to maintain balance and stability during carving and cruising.
Nonetheless, skateboard decks are smaller and flatter, granting riders greater control and agility when performing tricks. The goal of construction for many longboards is to achieve maximum speed when racing downhill. Longboards’ thicker and less pliable decks help riders maintain their equilibrium as they cruise down the board.
Is a skateboard or longboard easier to ride?
Compared to skateboarding, longboarding is a breeze. Because of its wider deck, longer length, and softer wheels, a longboard is much easier to stay stable on. Skateboards are more challenging to ride because of their compact size and more rigid wheels.
Should a beginner start skateboard or longboard?
When you’re just starting out, a longboard is an excellent choice. While learning to skate, a longboard is by far the best option due to its larger deck, more stable stance, broader wheels, and longer wheelbase. Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, you may easily transition from longboarding to skateboarding.
Let’s look at the summary of the differences based on FAQs.
|Which is more expensive?
|Which is easier to learn?
|Which lasts the longest?
|Which is safer?
|Which came first?
|Which is more popular?
|Which is better in rain?
|Which is better for beginners?
|Which is better for tips and tricks?
In conclusion, although longboards and skateboards share a number of similarities in terms of the designs of their decks and the reasons for their creation, these two types of boards also have a number of key distinctions that make them more suited to distinct riding styles.
The decision between a longboard and a skateboard should be made based on the rider’s preferences and intended uses. Both longboards and skateboards are fascinating ways to travel on wheels, whether you’re seeking to cruise around town, carve down slopes, or show off your tricks at the skatepark.
As a result, longboard and skateboard can be used by people ranging from college students, beginners, older riders, urban commuters, youth and athletes who are street skaters, freestyle skaters, and many more.
We hope you found this article helpful in deciding between longboarding and skateboarding.