Is Longboarding Easier Than Skateboarding? Essential Guide for Beginners

Get the low-down on longboarding vs skateboarding. Learn the differences, tips for beginners, and find which board suits you best.

Ever found yourself standing at a skate shop, staring at that slick longboard, then glancing over at a street skateboard, feeling the eternal dilemma? You’re not alone! The debate of whether longboarding is easier than skateboarding is as old as, well, the invention of the longboard itself. Both have their gnarly vibes and unique challenges, but if you’re itching to know which one gives you a smoother ride into the world of boarding, let’s dive deep and break it down.

What are the differences between skateboarding and longboarding?

A killer first step to understanding the skate game is recognizing that although longboarding and skateboarding are siblings in the world of wheeled sports, they serve totally different purposes. Longboards are designed for smooth cruising and turning; they’re characterized by their larger wheels, wider trucks, and greater size overall.

Image of a skater riding a longboard. Source: pexels
Image of a skater riding a longboard. Source: pexels

“Skateboards come equipped with harder, smaller wheels, perfect for rapidly accelerating and pulling off some sick tricks.”

They’re more suited for longer, leisurely rides thanks to their smoother ride and traits that make them less agile and slower to reach top speed. But hey, that’s not a big deal if you don’t plan on doing tricks, right? Skateboards come equipped with harder, smaller wheels, perfect for rapidly accelerating and pulling off some sick tricks. Their size also means they’re nimble enough for that, unlike their larger longboard siblings.

Interestingly, longboards can be more costly than skateboards. Sure, you can snag a cheap board of either type, but remember, “the price of quality is remembered long after the thrill of a bargain is forgotten.” Skimping on quality, especially on moving parts like trucks or wheels, can lead to some sketchy, if not outright dangerous, situations.

My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

Is longboarding easier than skateboarding? Essential guide for beginners | 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.

Is it harder to do tricks on a skateboard or a longboard?

Pondering this question takes us to the crux of the debate. Essentially, the type of trick will dictate the difficulty level. Let’s consider the ollie. On a skateboard, the trick seems natural—thanks to the upward curving nose and tail that’s constantly itching to ‘pop.’ A longboard, while bulkier and sometimes coming with a kicktail, generally lacks these features, making popping tricks much more taxing.

Unleashing your inner Rodney Mullen with longboard tricks isn’t entirely impossible, but it can bring about a whole bucket of limitations. With skateboards, however, the trick repertoire exponentially expands. Interestingly, the way longboard wheels are assembled, often positioned closer to the front and rear, is another brick wall for tricks; it can make popping seem like a Herculean task.

What do skateboards and longboards have in common?

Despite their differences, skateboarding and longboarding are fraternal twins. They both sprouted from surfing in its early days to satisfy the carving cravings when wave conditions didn’t quite cut it.

Image of a skater cruising with a longboard. Source: pexels
Image of a skater cruising with a longboard. Source: pexels

They share the core components of any board – main board, bearings, bushes, trucks, wheels. And, as much as we hate to admit it, we fall – sometimes hard. “Gravity: it’s not just a good idea, it’s the law!” But hey, whether it’s skateboarding or longboarding, both offer subcultures, music, and apparel to vibe with, and opportunities to make new friends. That’s a bonus, right?

How easy is it to switch between longboarding and skateboarding?

Thinking of jumping ship from longboarding to skateboarding or vice versa? Here’s the thing: it’s possible and quite doable if you’re willing to put in the work. More often than not, a longboarder will have the advantage when switching over. They tend to have a solid grasp of pushing and carving, which means once they’re on a skateboard, it’s just a matter of acclimating to the smaller size and harder wheels.

But remember, being comfortable cruising on a board does not guarantee immediate trick mastery. Switching from skateboard to longboard? That’s a smoother transition. It can feel a little bit like stepping into low gravity at first, thanks to the increased speed, slower acceleration, and the almost sluggish behavior a longboard provides, but hey, it’s a blast!

What styles are popular with skateboards and longboards?

Choosing a deck goes beyond mere aesthetics; it could shape your skate journey, depending on the style you gravitate towards. Some skateboarders like to experience a bit of everything, but often, you’ll find others sticking to shredding the streets, braving bowls, rocking ramps, or even finding joy in just cruising. Skateboarding can be challenging but fulfilling; grind some rails, jump some stairs, or just enjoy the ride – the choice is yours!

Longboarders also have their styles: cruising, downhill, slalom and an elegant form called ‘dancing’. Downhill longboarding can be especially thrilling for adrenaline junkies; for beginners – proceed with caution [/boards-and-parts/are-blank-skateboards-any-good].

“The opportunity of a lifetime needs to be seized in the lifetime of the opportunity.”Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination in skateboarding, so dive in and carve a path of your own.”

So, what’s my take?

As an intermediate skateboarder, I might be a little biased, but I must say longboarding seems less intimidating for beginners. The smooth ride and greater stability of a longboard can certainly help to soothe those initial jitters. However, in the long run, the versatility that a skateboard offers is hard to ignore. Whether it’s grinding, flipping, or merely cruising, a skateboard’s got you covered.

As for tricks, yeah, longboards are more limited – but that shouldn’t undermine the fun one can have on them. Remember, it’s about finding a board that complements your lifestyle, your preferences, and your skate goals. As with anything in life, start with what you’re comfortable with, and feel free to explore as you grow. Skateboarding or longboarding – you’re going to have an insane, ride-filled day anyway ^3^.

“You don’t stop skating because you get old… you get old because you stop skating!”So go forth, embrace the learning curve, fall, brush it off, get back up, and keep pushing. The skate community is rooting for you – now get out there and shred!”

Dos and don’ts of skateboarding and longboarding

Venturing into the world of skateboarding and longboarding can be both rad and nerve-wracking. While it’s essential to shred the pavement (or the park) with enthusiasm, it’s equally crucial to keep in mind some key do’s and don’ts to make the ride truly awesome.

Always wear the right gear, including helmet and padsDon’t skate in busy traffic or rainy conditions
Start with a comfortable stance – regular or goofyDon’t push mongo, it’s unstable and harder to control
Gradually upgrade your gear as your skills improveDon’t invest in expensive boards without trying it out first
Practice your balance and footwork before trying tricksDon’t rush into tricks or high-speed rides before being comfortable with the basics
Always respect other riders, pedestrians, and local lawsDon’t litter, and be mindful of noise levels in public places
Choose wisely, gear up right, respect rules and others, and progress at your own pace.

If you are a visual learner, check out the video below from YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

As a skateboarder, I often get a barrage of questions from interested folks eager to learn more about my passion. Here are some common queries and my answers to them:

Is skating a good way to commute?

Yeah, definitely! Skateboarding can be a super cool and eco-friendly way to cruise around town, especially for short distances. It’s a great way to dodge traffic, and it offers a killer workout, too. On a skateboard, every ride is an adventure of its own. Just bear in mind the local laws and safety norms where you are. Skating can be a viable commuting option, but it’s always important to prioritize your safety and that of others.

How to choose the right skateboard for beginners?

The right skateboard can definitely set you up for a smoother learning curve. When starting out, pick a board that is wide and with softer wheels to help maintain balance and maneuverability. Understanding your goals for skating and selecting a board tailored for it helps immensely. If you’re into trying out tricks, a regular skateboard might be a solid choice. On the other hand, a cruiser or longboard might suffice if you’re keen on commuting or just riding around leisurely. Here’s a resource to help you make an informed decision.

What sort of shoes work best for skateboarding?

Your shoes are your connection to the board, so choosing the right pair is crucial. Skate shoes are typically designed with flat soles to maximize grip and control on the board. They’re also constructed with materials that provide the durability needed to withstand the rigors of skateboarding. It’s also advisable to choose shoes that offer good ankle support and protection since sprains and strains can occur frequently in skating.

How long will it take to get good at skateboarding?

Learning to skate isn’t an overnight process. As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and neither are skateboarding skills. The good news is the more you practice, the faster you improve. Start with basics, such as getting comfortable on your board and learning to push and stop before moving on to tricks. Progress at your own pace, and remember, the journey is part of the fun.

Final thoughts

Skateboarding and longboarding they’re like two sides of the same coin, appealing to different previously surf-deprived souls in their own unique ways. Both offer their own excitement, challenges, and room for individuality. Now, while longboarding might seem less intimidating to kick-start your journey into the world of coping and carving, skateboarding’s versatility is pretty hard to overlook. Do you see yourself cruising the city streets or nailing that kickflip at the local skate park?

And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below. I read and reply to every comment. If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on mastering the concrete waves. Thanks for reading, and remember to keep riding the stoke!

Key takeaways

This article covered the ins and outs of the ever-ongoing debate – is longboarding easier than skateboarding? Here are some key takeaways:

  • Longboarding typically offers a smoother ride and greater stability, making it easier for beginners.
  • Skateboards are better for tricks and generally more versatile.
  • Switching from longboarding to skateboarding (and vice versa) is doable, especially with the understanding generated from this guide.
  • Both skateboard and longboard riders have their styles, with everyone finding their own groove.
  • Always remember to follow some basic do’s and don’ts while hitting the pavement (or park) for a session.
  • Every skateboarder or longboarder’s journey is unique; just enjoy the ride and keep pushing.

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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