Longboard vs Skateboard: Which is Right for You?

Compare longboard vs skateboard in our detailed guide. Nail your choice, cruise or tricks, tackle the streets like a pro.

Welcome skaters and wannabes alike! You’re probably scratching your head, unsure which path to take—longboarding or skateboarding? Not to fear, mates! I’ve been on that rocky road a few times. It all hinges on what type of rider you aspire to become. You’re leaning toward one but unsure if it’s the right one. I get you! By the time you read to the end of this post, you’ll be equipped with all the knicks and knacks to confidently say, “Yeah, I’m all about that longboard life,” or declare, “Skateboard or bust, dudes!” We’ll break down everything, from the basics to the technical. Ready to dive deep? Enjoy the ride!

What are the differences between a longboard and a skateboard?

Skateboarding is a universe encompassing various disciplines, each entailing its ride. Within this expanse, longboards and skateboards coexist but offer pretty different experiences.

Image of a new black skateboard. Source: wiki commons
Image of a new black skateboard. Source: wiki commons

Longboards, for starters, are more substantial and longer than skateboards. Their larger dimensions and flexibility endorse them as an easier ride, making them a solid choice for beginners. Not to forget, these boards boast massive, softer wheels, enabling them to negotiate bumps and cracks seamlessly. Ideal for long cruises, they offer a smoother journey, minimizing the rumbles of coarse terrain.

On the flip side, skateboards are a tad smaller, with harder wheels diametrically. Perfect for nailing those jaw-dropping flips and grinds. While they might lack commuting comfort, skateboards excel in agility and precision, making them every trickster and park shredder’s dream ride!

Are you curious about the opportunities each board poses? Explore our detailed guides on the best skateboard for tricks.

My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

Longboard vs skateboard: which is right for you? | 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.

How does the deck shape differ?

From popsicles to fishtails, the deck shapes for both boards vary, further diversifying your ride style. Here’s a quick breakdown.

  • Popsicles: Skateboards often embody popping colors in this standard shape, featuring a curved tail end and a concave design. Their length usually hovers around 32″ and the width between 6.5″ and 10″, influencing the board’s stability.
  • Pintails, fishtails, blunts, and cruisers: Longboards can span any of these shapes (and more), each suited for a specific use. For instance, pintails and fishtails are ideal for directional boards and carving, while blunts cater to beginners with their stability.

For a deeper dive into shapes and how they enhance your ride, check out this comprehensive guide on skateboard deck shapes.

What’s the wheel deal?

Even in mere circles, wheels can make or break your ride. For skateboards, it’s best to stick with smaller, harder wheels for better control and less bounce during grinds or stunts. On the contrary, longboards favor larger, softer wheels for smooth cruising and improved grip.

However, the universal truth lies in the many options, inviting you to find your sweet spot.’ For insightful details, browse our analysis on hard vs. soft skateboarding wheels.

What’s the difference between their trucks?

The trucks—those pesky metal pieces—are essential for maneuverability and stability. Skateboard trucks are usually smaller and provide agility, essential for controlling tricks, whereas the wider trucks on longboards give stability, a must for high-speed racing. This is just scratching the surface; for an extensive explanation, look at our article on how trucks influence your ride.

Why should I choose one over the other?

The right choice truly depends on what skateboarding chapter you want to unfold. If you’re stoked about technical tricks and controllers, a skateboard is your best bet. Yet, if you’re all about cruising, coasting, and covering substantial distances, then the longboard will be the one.

Image of a black longboard with yellow wheels. Source: wiki commons
Image of a black longboard with yellow wheels. Source: wiki commons

My opinion:

As a seasoned skateboarder still sharpening my skills, I lean towards skateboards. I love the technical challenge and the ecstatic joy after landing a trick. Sure, the longboard could offer a relaxing cruise ride, but for me, the thrill of skateboarding remains unparalleled. However, this is purely my subjective view, and the right choice may vary based on your preferences and riding style. Consult our guide on choosing the perfect skateboard to make an informed decision.

“The right choice truly depends on what skateboarding chapter you want to unfold. If you’re stoked about technical tricks and controllers, then a skateboard is your best bet. Yet, if you’re all about cruising, coasting, and covering substantial distances, then the longboard will indeed bethe one.”

Skateboarding is a dance of balance, skill, and style, intricately interwoven. To help disentangle this complex web, we’ve put together this table elucidating some real numbers behind the thrill of skateboarding.

Size30″-33″ long, 7″-10.5″ wide33″-50″ long, 9″-10″ wide
WheelsSmall, Hard (ideal for tricks)Large, Soft (ideal for cruising)
TrucksSmaller, better control for tricksWider, more stable speed
TricksEasier for technical tricksLimited trick abilities
Skateboards vs longboards

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We’re revisiting some commonly asked questions about the skateboard vs. longboard debate. These should fill in any gaps, providing a more solid understanding of the topic.

How challenging is it to transition from a skateboard to a longboard?

Transitioning between the two can initially seem daunting, but it’s manageable. The key differences, including size, maneuverability, and ride purpose, add distinct dynamics to the learning curve. If you’re already adept at skateboarding, transitioning to a longboard—or vice versa—will be easier as they share fundamental aspects like balance, control, and footing.

Check out our detailed guide on transitioning between skateboard and longboard for practical tips.

Are there boards that allow both cruising and trick performance?

Certainly, hybrid boards strike a balance, allowing you to cruise and perform modest tricks. Remember, while these boards offer versatility, they may not excel at either discipline. For a more nuanced look at the decks that work effectively for both cruise and performance, explore this comprehensive board guide.

Can I fit longboard wheels on a skateboard?

Yes, although it requires adjustments, you can fit longboard wheels on a skateboard. The larger wheels cater to a smoother and more comfortable ride, especially when cruising over rough terrain. To navigate this smoothly, our in-depth guide on fitting longboard wheels on a skateboard could set you up perfectly.

Which one is more suitable for beginners?

For beginners, the longboard is usually preferred due to its larger and more stable structure, which aids in easier balance. However, it ultimately boils down to your preference and the skating style you’re interested in. Our suggestions for the best skateboard setup for beginners should give you a clearer picture.

Final thoughts

Drawing the curtain on this intense face-off, it’s evident that both the longboard and the skateboard bring their unique flavors to the skate park. However, the choice ultimately comes down to your personal preference, riding style, and key objective—be it mastering tricks or cruising endlessly. So, what will it be? A skateboard to conquer the parks or a longboard to breeze through the city? Let me know in the comments section below. I read and reply to every comment. Check out my blog for more dope tips and insights about street, park, and vert skating. Thanks for reading, and until next time, skate on!

Key takeaways

This article went all in, exploring the clash of the skate titans: skateboard vs. longboard. Here are the key takeaways:

  • Longboards are best for cruising, while skateboards are ideal for performing technical tricks.
  • Skateboards have smaller, harder wheels, and longboards feature larger, softer wheels for smooth rides.
  • Deck shapes vary across both boards, with each shape catering to certain riding styles.
  • Boards allowing both cruising and tricks exist, but they might not excel in either arena.

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

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