Those who have ever looked into purchasing a board must have encountered one challenge so often. Skateboard or longboard – which one is best to choose?
Although both of these are wood planks on wheels for the inexperienced eye, however, they are totally distinct for the experienced surfer. The two kinds have different applications, different construction materials, and even unique shapes.
Well, this just makes it much more difficult for an individual to make a decision. The differences and similarities of these two are very contentious and a subject of fierce debate for sports enthusiasts. This article will provide you with factors and explanations that will give you a clear overview to make an informed decision that leaves you happy. Let’s begin!
Skateboard Vs Longboard: Everything you need to know
Originally, skateboards were designed to surf over the flat waves for thrill and excitement. The first skateboards have been much different from what they are nowadays, but they have been improved over the years into the designs we now see. Later on, the riders turned it into a longboard after installing heavy wheels and a more extended deck. Longboards then began to appear in various shapes and designs, and surfers began embracing it with confidence and ease.
If you feel unsure about the choice between longboard and skateboard, you should perhaps understand the key discrepancies between them. The following details will make the selection criteria for the board that better serve you simpler.
Size & Shape:
The first and most significant difference is in the shape and size of both longboard and skateboard. The most noticeable characteristic of the skateboards is its curved shape on both edges of the deck. These types of upward curves are better suited to users who enjoy kickflips. Moreover, skateboards are much smaller in size than longboards.
Longboards, on the other hand, are larger in size than traditional skateboards and up to 130-cm in length. They come in various shapes and sizes that offer a unique surfing experience. Longboards do not have curves at either end, but they have two thin strips at both edges. Most surfing enthusiasts choose skateboards over longboards, mainly due to their lighter weight and straightforward usage. However, many expert riders take longboards of various styles for adventure and fun. Well, depending upon your personal choice and structure, you can choose any of them.
Wheels & Trucks:
Skateboards come with small wheels and narrow trucks. Narrower trucks wobble a lot and turn side to side much faster. This might lead to a jittery ride that makes them seem uncontrollable and erratic. They are suitable for skating in the park but uncomfortable for cruising around the town. The tiny wheels are built to be lightweight, easy to push, and fast to roll on the smooth pavement of skateparks.
However, they get stuck in gaps, vibrate, and move very slowly on uneven pavement. Longboards have much larger wheels and broader trucks in comparison to skateboards.
The wheels’ overall size and soft durometer help it roll above anything and provides a smooth ride. Longboard wheels can ride on rocks, cracks, and uneven pavements comfortably. Besides, the softness of the wheels absorbs a great deal of road vibration to ensure a relaxed and steady ride. Moreover, wider trucks provide a smoother turn and are much more stable than skateboards.
That being said, longboards are harder to get going and don’t speed up as quickly as skateboard wheels.
Tricks & Riding Sites:
Besides the various shapes and styles of longboards and skateboards, users’ preferences are also shaped by various riding sites. The tricks they want to perform as well as the riding location and the surfaces they love, must complement their board choice.
Skateboard has a nose and tail slope upward, and the surface of the deck bends inward. The skateboard is made for tricks, and the design tends to make that possible. Skateboards are designed to execute technical maneuvers, such as kickflips, grinds, and ollie. If you want to do some tricks in a skatepark, skateboarding is a perfect board.
On the flip side, Longboards are suitable for cruising with minimal effort for long distances. Longboards are more comfortable to balance, and you’ll not be disturbed by rocks and other small things. This makes a longboard an excellent choice for newbies. There are so many distinct longboards available varying in width, length, shape, and purpose. Some are perfect for long-distance cruising, a few are great for dancing, many thrive at speed and downhill, and some are even good for technical tricks.
Here are some of the tricks and stunts that are executed on particular surfaces by longboards and skateboards:
Skateboards are generally designed for street cruising on flat and smooth surfaces. However, as stated earlier, skateboards are lightweight; they require additional adjustments to remain stable. Thus they are best suited for a quick ride around the town. Longboards, on the other side, are highly suitable for transportation and long trips. The long deck and intelligent designs guarantee a smooth ride over almost all kinds of surfaces for miles.
Balancing techniques and stunts are very famous among sports enthusiasts and boarding fans. Well, if you’re one of those folks who likes to perform balancing tricks, then you should understand the difference between longboard or skateboard for this specific stunt.
Traditional skateboards are smaller in length and require a great deal of practice prior to the show to get along with the balancing trick. Longboards, on the contrary, have a perfect length and stability level for balancing stunts that even a beginner can perform with ease. Since its width is ideal for larger feet, it offers the ability to place your feet on a broader length.
Therefore, if you’re gearing up to learn and entertain your mates with some balancing tricks, the longboard would not disappoint you.
Grinding stunts are often complex and risky; thus, they are very famous among teenagers who are adrenaline junkies and are often severely hurt in the process. For grinding trick, you should opt for skateboards. The relatively small size and low weight of skateboards allow riders to accomplish complex maneuvers with a great deal of confidence and ease. At the same time, Longboards would have been an incorrect choice for this riding style because of its longer size and shape.
Pumping is a riding strategy that is suitable for people who may not want to touch the ground with their feet so often. Skateboarding requires foot contact with the deck to move the rider, while longboard riding does not involve foot contact to travel. The longboard’s shape and design are appropriate for pumping as it boosts up the riding velocity without requiring the feet to hit the ground.
Skateboards have a smaller deck size. Thus, the rails of the deck come directly beneath your toe and heels, making them ideal for tricks. It is much easier to do flips, tricks, and control a board that is not too big. However, they’re not the easiest to balance and not comfortable to ride for a long time.
Longboards are wider and larger than skateboards. This wideness makes it much simpler to balance. With more space at his disposal, a rider can be more comfortable and completely stretch out his feet. That’s what makes longboarding easier than skateboarding. Furthermore, they are simple and easy to balance and more stable with the additional width and length. For beginner skaters, these kinds of boards are perfect.
6-Flexibility and Control:
Skateboard features a rigid deck consisting of 7 layers of maple to provide a stable and responsive ride. It grants the rider a strong control over their trucks, making it possible for them to do tricks comfortably. But skateboards do not offer a comfortable ride and experience a lot of road vibration.
On the other hand, longboards incorporate decks that have a lot of flexibility due to different deck constructions such as bamboo, vertical lamination, and fiberglass. When a rider stands on the board, the flex causes the board to bounce and move more smoothly on rough surfaces. It contributes to a pleasant ride where the flex helps smooth out road friction and any unevenness.
Skateboard or Longboard – Which is Best for Beginners?
There are a variety of beliefs on the type of board ideal for beginners and young skaters. Many riders would suggest that the right one, to begin with, is the one that is the most popular and familiar, that will be the regular skateboard. However, if you think you will not balance on a skateboard and prefer something that’s easier to operate, then longboard is probably the best choice for beginners.
Longboards are designed for fast, comfortable riding, and because of their wider and longer shape, they offer a lot of stability. Usually, they have more robust wheels and thus less risks of you flipping over.
Having said that, the longboard is bulkier, which could make it more challenging to handle for a young rider. Thus, if you are an adult beginner, you should opt for a longboard. And, for teenage beginners, we strongly suggest a standard skateboard for a safe and smooth ride.
Skateboard or Longboard – Which is Best for Skilled Riders?
Advanced skaters may want to select the board depending on the kind of riding they would like to do. You’ll need a longboard for sailing, downhill racing, carving around dramatic curves, or riding around on the sidewalks. Whereas, if you want to ride at the skatepark, do a bunch of tricks and move around narrow or crowded spaces, you should go for a standard skateboard.
There are many longboards designed explicitly for tricks and stunts, and they are ideally suited for experienced riders because of their weight and unique shape. Most seasoned riders usually own both types of boards for different occasions.
Comparing skateboards Vs longboards is just like comparing apples and oranges. Skateboards and longboards are very distinct as well as similar in many aspects; both have their own set of advantages and downsides. The decision will mainly come down to your level of expertise and the type of skating you want to do.
However, knowing the choices before you choose is always a smart option. Typically, longboards are larger, with unusual tail shapes that commonly sit flat, and for stability, they have sturdy wheels. On the contrary, Skateboards are much smaller with angled edges to help riders perform tricks, and normally have more maneuverability to assist in trick riding. Personal tastes and body shape also signify the distinguished distinction between the two boards. Both types can serve the newcomers; however, the smaller and lighter skateboard will be more convenient for youngsters. Intermediate and skilled riders would like to choose a board based on their riding style or on the skills they want to develop.
In the end, it’s down to the user to decide what they want. Both of these boards are designed to give you a great experience, as long as you are willing to learn and polish your skills. That being said, if you choose the incorrect board, you can’t showcase your real talent, so it’s better if you take professional support before purchasing the board.