SKATEBOARD VS LONGBOARD: WHICH ONE IS FOR YOU

skateboard vs longboard cover image

Inexperienced riders may mistake skateboarding and longboarding for one another, but closer inspection reveals that they are essentially very different sports. There are a lot of concerns about which is superior and which is more enjoyable of the two. We also felt compelled to get into this skateboard vs longboard debate and attempt to put an end to it. If you are at an impasse about which one to go for, we will make sure you get your answer at the end of this post.

Even if you are already inclined towards one of them, there are still a lot of differences when you look at their various parts and types. To make the best final decision there is so much to understand about them and we will make sure to cover all these aspects for you.

So let’s get started!

How are they different?

Longboards are larger than skateboards, easier to ride, and are meant to be used for cruising and as a means of transport. They have more flexibility, large soft wheels, and are good to be used for beginners.

Skateboards are smaller in size and have hard small wheels. They have tilted noses and tails and are generally used for performing tricks.

Following are the detailed differences in the key features of both

Deck

On comparing both by putting them side by side, we noticed that nose and tail of a longboard are way more flat than a skateboard. A skateboard’s nose and tail are made upturned to ease tricks and flips.

skateboard vs longboard deck shape differences

As we mentioned, typical longboards are longer and wider than skateboards. In general, they are 33-60 inches long and 9-10 inches wide while skateboards are 28-32 inches long and 7-10 inches wide. However, the size may vary depending on the category and brand so we can expect longboards in smaller sizes but they are always flatter while skateboards are more curved.

shape of longboard deck

The bigger size of longboard decks increases their stability making them steady and balanced, appropriate for beginners. While on the other hand, the thin lip of skateboard decks makes it simpler to flip and flick your foot to perform various tricks.

Skateboards have a good deal of flex. This gives a springy feel to help you land jumps more easily. While longboards don’t have much flexibility which makes them ideal for mellow cruising.

Trucks

Trucks at the bottom of longboards and skateboards form the base that attaches the wheels to boards. The trucks of a skateboard are rigid, thinner, and lighter, easing your sliding and landing tricks.

The more flexible and heavier trucks of a longboard give smoother rides to the riders fond of downhilling or traveling far distances.

The width of the trucks should be the same as the width of the widest point on the board.

diff between skateboard longboard trucks

Wheels

Longboards have larger and softer wheels which makes them suitable for all types of surfaces. Additionally, being more grippy, they cushion the obstacles on the way making long rides considerably comfortable. They are easy to manoeuvre and can maintain fast speed for longer.

On the contrary, skateboards have smaller harder wheels which makes them perfect for doing tricks. Harder wheels slide more smoothly giving grinds a broader margin of error. However, they can’t hold up road obstructions and become completely destabilized.

Which one is beginner friendly

If you intend to perform new tricks but have never skateboarded before, start with a longboard. Stating my personal experience, I also tried longboarding first, trained for a long time, gained confidence, and today all types of skateboard tricks are a cinch to me. Being larger and stable, they offer the perfect balance.

Which one’s better for performing tricks

If you are looking for something designed for stunts, tricks, leaps, and flips then you should surely go for a skateboard. They are lightweight and make sharp turns easy which helps you ride in innovative ways. However, these characteristics also make them imbalanced so you should get used to falling and embracing the struggle.

Which one’s better for casual cruising

The design, the wider trucks, and the softer wheels of longboards are best for carving and street riding.  Even on an uneven surface, they are comfortable and simple to manoeuvre. They are also great for extended journeys. For instance, you may take one and have fun while commuting to work.

Which one’s faster

Stating impartially, longboards are faster than skateboards. Thanks to the larger and softer wheels which spin over surfaces more easily and allow the board to go farther with each push. They are primarily designed for fast cruising and downhill use.

Contrarily, skateboards having smaller, harder wheels, become unstable at higher speeds. They cannot overcome the bumps and so much energy is lost with every push that slows them down. Hence more energy is needed to maintain the velocity of a skateboard.

Which one has better performance in the rain

Despite the fact that longboards work better in wet environments, we never suggest using your skateboard or longboard in rain. It may damage your wooden deck, bearings, and grip tape. A skateboard’s small and hard wheels increase the likelihood of slipping while a longboard’s large and soft wheels distribute your weight evenly providing more balance.

Which is safer

After using and thoroughly inspecting both longboards and skateboards, we can say with certainty that longboards are much more safe to use than skateboards. They allow you to go fast while maintaining the perfect balance and stability. However, raising speed beyond limits may lead to injuries.

Skateboards are quite safe when used for just simple tricks, ollies, and kickflips. But complex tricks and ramps may break your bones so better wear a helmet!

Which is more durable

Having them both used for years and years, we would say based on our experience, that longboards last much longer as compared to skateboards. So if you are looking for durability, you will probably find it in longboards. Regular use of longboards doesn’t put much strain and wear on its parts. Normally they are used for casual cruising and carving so their components can last for ages.

The parts which are most damaged are the bushings and bearings which are relatively reasonably priced. However, wheels can also be worn out pretty fast if they are used excessively for downhill sliding.

Conversely, typical skateboard riders frequently require a new deck every few months, or even just a few weeks. Impacts from grinds, tricks and crashes cause the deck to deteriorate, developing razor tails and broken noses.

Longboard

Pros

  • They are excellent for cruising with little effort
  • They maintain stability even on rough roads
  • Longboarding is a perfect pick for novices
  • They are more durable

Cons

  • Longboards of good quality are a bit pricey
  • Being hefty, they are inconvenient to carry around
  • They are somewhat restricted in performing complex tricks

Skateboard

Pros

  • They are portable
  • Performing new tricks, and landings are too easy
  • They are less expensive than longboards although they are more popular

Cons

  • Skateboarding calls for a lot of effort and dedication. You may hurt yourself if you skip the fundamentals
  • Decks, wheels, and shoes need to be updated frequently
  • They are not compatible to be taken for long rides
  • Maintaining velocity on bumpy roads requires a lot of effort

Longboard vs Skateboard vs Cruiser: Comparison

Making the final decision

If you want to ride farther and don’t like performing tricks, choose a longboard. To cruise and race with friends, bombing downhills, and commute to long destinations, don’t give it a second thought and grab a longboard now. But if you are into ramping, tricks, and stunts then a skateboard is the way to go. They are more agile with curved noses and tails that help conquer kickflips and ollies easily.

So what’s the plan? A longboard or a skateboard?