What Is a Banana Board? A Ride Into Skateboarding’s Vintage Trend

Discover the retro charm of Banana Boards! Originating from the '70s, these compact, plastic skateboards are perfect for cruising. Get rolling today.

Remember those sleek, colorful boards from the ’70s that looked like they were plucked right out of a beachside sunset? That’s a banana board. Compact and vibrant, these boards are more than just a style statement; they’re a nod to our roots. And if you’ve never ridden a banana board, it may be time to check one out. So, what exactly is a banana board, and is it the same as a penny board?

What is a banana board? A Banana Board is a small, retro-styled skateboard, often made of plastic, originating in the 1970s. It’s lightweight, typically brightly colored, and designed mainly for cruising rather than tricks or professional skateboarding.

What sets banana boards apart?

Banana Boards are distinguished by their large, flexible pieces of wood designed in a concave model, with grooves chiseled in to make for a smoother ride. What’s crazier? To make it even sweeter, they’re budget-friendly.

Image of a banana board on a running field. Source: pexels
Image of a banana board on a running field. Source: pexels

As someone who’s recently started skating, I’m pretty much always excited to share insights from the perspective of a novice. Remember when we decided to discuss today’s trend, the rad Banana Boards? Well, it’s time to delve into the more fun details. Isn’t it insane how skateboarding can connect seemingly random elements?

My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

What is a banana board? A ride into skateboarding's vintage trend | 61vn95mf7ql. Ac sl1184 | skateboard salad
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

I had my board stolen a few years ago and was forced to quickly replace it with a complete. I got one with an Enjoi deck and loved it so much that I still buy the Whitey Panda deck each time I need a new deck. This complete with budget-friendly, beginner-friendly parts, but I still swear by it.

What are the unique features of a banana board?

Contrary to conventional wisdom, Banana Boards are perfect for novices due to their relative stability and sturdy construction. Their unique design makes them accessible to a wide range of skating enthusiasts.

Banana Boards blend seamlessly into both street and park skating scenarios. The concave design, combined with their quirky appearance, gives them a leg up. You might see skaters cruising around town. They’re also enjoyed by a mega-chorus of skaters for casually cruising around. They’re an unparalleled choice to amp up your skateboarding escapades without draining your bank account!

Is a banana board the same as a penny board?

While they are often used interchangeably in casual conversation, they are not exactly the same. A “Banana Board” is a term that originated in the 1970s to describe the brightly colored, plastic skateboards that became popular during that era.

Image of a man and a flipped banana board. Source: pexels
Image of a man and a flipped banana board. Source: pexels

On the other hand, “Penny Board” is a specific brand of plastic skateboard that was founded in 2010 by Ben Mackay in Australia. They are reminiscent of the original banana boards in design and material, but they have their own specific build and style.

So, while all Penny Boards can be considered a type of banana board due to their plastic construction and retro design, not all banana boards are Penny Boards.

How does the banana board feel?

Speaking purely from my experience, Banana Boards add an absolutely different flavor to the skating ride. They’re great on the streets, and it’s freaking cool to see them fly and flip in the air while performing tricks. With their concave design, these boards sit like absolute eye candy among the skateboard clan. It feels like the skateboarding version of breaking the fourth wall!

“Steering on a banana board might just be that missing piece in your skateboarding puzzle, a journey of exploration, and packed with a punch of excitement!”

And hey, just in case you’ve been wondering where to get your hands on a Banana Board, online retailers like Amazon are always a good place to start. For more options and detailed information on different types of skateboards, check out this detailed guide on how to choose a skateboard for a child.

To enjoy the ride and navigate potential bumps, here are some simple ‘do’s and don’ts’ you might want to keep handy when using a Banana Board.

Clean the wheels and bearings frequently to maintain smooth rides.Don’t use it for advanced tricks or skatepark activities.
Do remember that it’s designed for cruising; ride accordingly.Don’t ride at very high speeds; it’s less stable than larger boards.
Do clean the wheels and bearings frequently to maintain smooth rides.Don’t assume it’s as customizable as a traditional skateboard.
Do use protective gear like helmets and pads. Safety first!Don’t ride on rough terrains; they’re best on smooth surfaces.
Do practice in open areas before navigating crowded places.Don’t overload it with weight or try jumping off high ledges.
Quick ‘do’s and don’ts’ to have a smooth ride with your banana board

Skateboarding: The Never-ending Horizon

In the end, skateboarding, to me, is like an infinite horizon. You can always travel towards it, but you’ll never reach it. There’s always something new to learn, to master, to get stoked about. Today, it’s the Banana Boards that I find super cool. Who knows what will catch our eyes next?

How about checking the best skateboarding wheels that could seriously ramp up your Banana Board experience? But no matter what shiny object catches our attention, one thing stays consistent – the sheer joy and thrill of skateboarding never fade away.

Advantages and disadvantages of using a banana board

To shed some light on the overall experience of riding a Banana Board, let’s delve into the advantages and disadvantages that come with it. As they say, it’s not only about the ride; it’s also about the bumps along the way.

Advantages of using a banana board

Here are the advantages of using a banana board:

  • Portability: Banana boards are compact and lightweight, making them easy to carry around and stow in small spaces.
  • Maneuverability: Their small size allows for quick turns and easy navigation, especially in crowded urban areas.
  • Retro Vibe: They have a distinct ’70s look that’s appealing to many riders, adding a touch of nostalgia.
  • Great for Cruising: They’re designed for cruising, making them a good choice for short commutes or leisurely rides.
  • Durable: Typically made of strong plastic material, they tend to be durable and can withstand a decent amount of wear and tear.

Disadvantages of using a banana board

Now, let’s talk about the disadvantages of using a banana board:

  • Stability Issues: Due to their small size, they can be less stable than larger boards, especially at higher speeds.
  • Not Ideal for Tricks: They’re not designed for performing complicated skateboard tricks or for use in skate parks.
  • Limited Adjustability: Unlike traditional wooden skateboards, it’s more challenging to customize or adjust the parts of a banana board.
  • Wheel Bite: The small design can sometimes lead to wheel bite (when the wheel touches the board) during sharp turns, causing abrupt stops.
  • Limited Foot Space: The compact design might not be comfortable for everyone, especially those with larger feet or those used to larger decks.

If you are more of a visual learner, check out the video below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

One of the best parts of engaging with a passionate skateboarding community is the myriad of questions that come my way. Here, let’s dive into some of the spirited queries that often slide into my message box.

How much does a banana board cost?

Considering their innovative design and versatility, you might expect Banana Boards to cost a pretty penny. But, one of their key attractions is their affordability. This makes them a fantastic option for novices or those on a budget. Whether you’re saving up for a summer holiday or are on a tight budget after the New Year’s Eve party, these boards let you dive into the world of skateboarding without bleeding your bank account dry.

How hard is it to learn to skateboard on a banana board?

Like anything new, learning to skateboard on a Banana Board comes with its own set of challenges. But, given their unique design, these boards can actually be easier to maneuver than traditional skateboards. It might require patience and practice, but the fun you’ll have on the ride is well worth it. Plus, you can always turn to skatepark tips for beginners if you need a hand getting started!

Can I perform tricks using a banana board?

While Banana Boards are mainly designed for cruising around town and similar types of rides, pulling off basic tricks is definitely possible. The concave design of the Banana Board allows for smooth maneuverability. Remember, your skills undoubtedly play a vital role, and with time and practice, even tricks can be nailed on a Banana Board.

Final Thoughts

Well, if you have reached this part, you might as well buy a Banana Board because, hey, you did just skate through a full blog about them! Jokes aside, it’s exciting to see how such an unconventional piece of skateboard, the Banana Board, is making waves in the skating realm. It’s not always about the big, flashy tricks you can perform, but sometimes, it’s just about the simple pleasures of skating.

Did I cover everything you wanted to know? I read and reply to every comment. So, let me know if you have any more questions about Banana Boards or anything skateboard-related! If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more such skateboarding tidbits. Thanks for reading, and catch you on the flip side!

Key takeaways

The article painted a vivid picture of the colorful Banana Boards in the diverse canvas of skateboarding culture. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Banana boards are flexible, easy-to-use skateboards distinguished by their unique concave design.
  • They are versatile.
  • Banana boards are a cost-friendly way to venture into the skateboarding world.
  • Despite a few potential challenges, the fun and thrill of riding these boards outweigh them.

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

Nick eggert.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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