Skateboard for Commuting Guide: Choosing the Perfect Board

Master the art of commuting by skateboard with our precise guide. Dive into the world of cruisers, longboards, and more. Get the right board, ride right!

Ever thought about swapping out those gas guzzlers and overcrowded trains for something sleeker, cooler, and, let’s be honest, way more fun? I’m talking about turning your passion into your daily ride. Whether you’re shredding it on the weekends or just starting out, commuting on a skateboard is an epic way to navigate the urban jungle. But not all boards are created equal for the streets, alleys, and sidewalks you’ll face. So, grab your helmet, and let’s dive deep into this guide on choosing the perfect board for your daily grind.

What factors should you consider when choosing a skateboard for commuting?

First, understand where you are going to ride. City traversing calls for a stick that’s fifty-fifty maneuverable and quick to respond. The crowded city bustle isn’t exactly keen on longboards. Something more concise and dynamic is your ticket. Safety, as they say, should never be compromised. Always gear up; helmets and knee pads are not just trendy. They’re lifesavers, literally.

Image of a man riding a skateboard in the busy streets of new york. Source: unsplash
Image of a man riding a skateboard in the busy streets of new york. Source: unsplash

The terrain you’ll ride on matters. Rough asphalt? You’ll definitely want big, soft wheels that can offer balance. Trust me on this: your choices are strictly between a longboard or a cruiser. Oh, and remember, skateboarding in the rain is a decidedly bad idea. Slippery roads and decks don’t mix. Want to read more? Here’s why skateboarding can be dangerous.

My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

Skateboard for commuting guide: choosing the perfect board | 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.

Which board is best for short distances and crowded cities?

Get a mini cruiser if urban delirium is your everyday roadway. Their lightweight and portable design makes hopping on and off curbs faster than you can say “gnarly.” Contrary to their small size, these titans don’t compromise maneuverability or speed.

Blast through crowded streets, weave around pedestrians, and surf those concrete waves. Oh, and these beauties are designed to be travel-friendly, too. Chuck them in your backpack when not being shredded. Remember, a killer skateboard backpack would be a solid choice for this.

What are the options for long-distance riding?

If your commute encompasses long stretches with minimal interruptions, a longboard is your best choice. Longboards are literally cruisers of the skate world and much less taxing to learn than their smaller counterparts. Smooth travel is paired with an almost hypnotic Zen-like state. Longboarding brings Californian cruises to your everyday commute.

Now, don’t be that guy who cheaps out on the longboard; the quality and build can make a world of difference. If beginner vibes are overwhelming, the Pantheon trip longboard is a solid choice. Its stellar build and forgiving learning curve are stoked to join you on your skateboarding journey.

Are penny boards good for commuting?

Classically trendy, these boards do generate serious eye-candy points. But when it comes to actual usability, they’re a train wreck waiting to happen. If you’re blessed with large feet or are still budding in your skate journey, the instability these boards offer is bordering on criminal. Even for kids, they’re a definite no-no. Want to know why? Check out this comprehensive guide on how to choose a children’s skateboard.

What’s the verdict on cruiser board vs. mini cruiser?

Back to the cruiser vs. mini cruiser showdown. The former is beefier and just slightly bigger, perfect if you’re embracing its skateability, too. Go for a mini cruiser if portability is your prime concern. The champions up for the race are Landyachtz’s Tugboat and Arbor’s Pilsner. With rock-solid recommendations from the Cruiser Board Community, both of these bad boys have been put to the test and emerged victorious. Get your fix with these great skateboard cruiser picks.

Can you use a regular skateboard for commuting?

Sure, you can! Regular boards might be demanding to master at first, but they offer versatility. A classic 8.5″ popsicle should do the trick. Tricks and commuting? You got a cocktail of fun and function. Just toss in some softer wheels, like the Ricta Clouds 56mm/92A, and you’re good to go. Need a guide on getting your own board up and running? Here’s how to assemble a skateboard.

Image of a man riding a skateboard on the sidewalk unsplash
Image of a man riding a skateboard on the sidewalk. Source: unsplash

Now, while all this sounds awesome, no board will work its magic unless you remain consistent and open to learning. Every ride is a new experience, a new lesson to conquer. Keep skateboarding alive, and remember, it’s all about the ride!

Dos and don’ts of skateboarding for commuting

Skating to your destination may have been largely considered radical and unconventional. But with growing focus on health, fitness, and needless to say the thrill it awards, commuting on a skateboard is seeing new popularity. But before you kick start your journey, here are some street-smart decisions and pitfalls to avoid when catching the skateboard wave.

Wear safety gear: Helmet, kneepads and elbow pads can save you from serious injuriesAvoid crowded places if you’re a beginner: This could result in accidents, hurting not only you but others as well
Choose a board suitable to your needs: Boards can be split into cruiser boards, longboards or regular skateboards depending on the commute suitabilityDon’t skateboard when it’s raining: Wet surfaces make the road and deck slippery, making skateboarding quite dangerous
Practise regularly: This can improve your skateboard handling and the overall commute experienceDon’t choose Penny Boards if you’re a beginner: They feel unstable and may pose challenges initially
Seek professional help if needed: Skateboarding, although looks simple, needs understanding of balance and controlling. In case of difficulties, professional help is advisedDon’t stick to a particular board if it’s not suitable: It’s okay to switch between different skateboard types depending on your comfort and requirements
Key approach and avoidance strategies while skateboarding for commute

Advantages and disadvantages of commuting with a skateboard

While skateboarding as a means of commute can be an adrenaline-pumping way to start your day, it’s not without its drawbacks. In fact, there are pros and cons to this, just like any other activity.

Advantages of commuting with a skateboard

As a novice skater myself, I had to learn it the hard way: No pain, no gain. That’s bang on when it comes to the advantages of skateboarding for commuting:

  • Good for health: Skateboarding is not just cool, it’s a great workout too.
  • Time efficient: Breeze through traffic, no more waiting for public transport or getting caught in traffic jams
  • Environmentally friendly: Reduce your carbon footprint by switching from cars to skateboards
  • Portable: Easy to carry around when not needed
  • Fun and thrilling: Let’s admit it: skateboarding is simply more fun than walking or cycling!

Disadvantages of commuting with a skateboard

Sure, the adrenaline rush is exhilarating, but it doesn’t come without its share of hiccups:

  • Weather-dependent: Bad weather can ruin your skateboarding plans
  • Safety risk: Falls and injuries are common while learning
  • Longer commutes: Skateboarding can be tiresome for long-distance commutes
  • Stability: Some smaller boards, like penny boards, can pose stability issues, making it difficult for beginners or people with large feet.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Skateboarding can be equally thrilling and intimidating, especially when you’re planning on commuting atop one. To help you feel more comfortable and prepared, here are some fresh-off-the-deck questions that you might be asking as a skateboarding commuter.

What’s the best way to carry a skateboard when it’s not in use?

Skateboards can be fairly easy to lug around, thanks to their planar design. You can squeeze them into your backpack, although, considering its overhang, try not to swing it around too much. Some backpacks are designed specifically for skateboards and come with straps that hold them in place. To know more about it, here’s a guide on what are the lightest skateboard trucks.

Can kids use skateboards for commuting to school?

With proper safety measures and a touch of practice, kids can surely use skateboards for commuting. Still, this depends on the child’s skateboarding proficiency, the distance to school, and the terrain they’ll have to cross. Also, it’s a smart idea to make sure they wear safety gear and are comfortable with their ride. Here’s more on how to teach your child to skateboard.

Are there ideal skateboard wheel sizes for commuting?

Yes, there are. For smoother rides, bigger and softer wheels work great. The typical go-to wheel size for a pleasant commute varies from 54mm to 60mm. These chunky wheels help ease over cracks and debris and offer a smooth ride. To understand more about how to select the right wheels, here’s how to choose the right skateboard wheels.

Can performing tricks be a hindrance while commuting on a skateboard?

Possibly. While tricks can make your ride more fun, they can also increase the risk of accidents or mishaps, especially in crowded or busy spaces. If you’re someone who loves doing tricks, consider getting a regular skateboard that offers the best of both worlds. To get started, check out these easy beginner skateboard tricks.

Final thoughts

Wrapping up, it’s crystal clear how the right skateboarding gear, particularly the boarding type, can dramatically impact your commuting experience. We can’t stress enough the importance of keeping safety at the forefront while cruising, no matter who you are, a beginner or Pharaoh of the flatland tricks. Here’s a handy guide for beginners to get started with skateboarding.

What’s your favorite choice of board for commuting? And if you’re a newbie, did this guide help you make a solid decision? 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 skateboarding for commuters. Thanks for reading, and skate on!

Key takeaways

This article examined the ride of choosing a skateboard for commuting. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Your board type depends on your commute distance and the terrain you ride on.
  • Mini cruisers are ideal for short distances and city commute.
  • Longboards are best for long-distance and straight path commute.
  • Avoid Penny boards if you’re a beginner or have large feet.
  • Regular skateboards with softer wheels can be a good option once you grasp the basics.
  • Always prioritize safety while skateboarding, especially for beginners.

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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