Skateboard vs Longboard: The 5 Differences
When choosing a board you want to ride, think of the main reason why you want one. Do you want to do some tricks in the skate park? Or do you want to cruise and slide downhill? Today, we will differentiate skateboard vs longboard to help you select which one best suits your style.
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A Brief History of Skateboards and Longboards
Before we tackle their differences, we have to know the early history of how a skateboard and longboard came to be.
In the 1950s, surfing was booming on the beaches of California. Surfing was so hyped up that surfers wanted to experience the thrill of surfing on land during days with no surfable waves.
Then a genius idea of attaching some wheels on a wooden plank shaped into a surfboard came to mind, the skateboard was born.
When skateboarders realized that these boards were too huge to execute tricks, they made them smaller.
By the 1990s, the first skateboards were too small for skateboarders to cruise on them and the sensation of riding a surfboard with its size doesn’t feel natural. They tweaked the design to make it longer and that was the birth of the longboards.
People might not know the difference between skateboard vs longboard, at first glance they may look alike but they actually have few differences is a factor of which a skateboarder should consider.
Differences Between Skateboard Vs Longboard
Most people assume that the only difference between a skateboard and a longboard is its size. However, there are a few more things to consider before selecting which is the best for you.
Here are five key differences between a longboard and a skateboard:
1. Shape and Size
Visually, if you put a longboard and a skateboard together, there is a striking difference in the board’s shapes. Longboards have a flat nose and tail. On the other hand, skateboards have more of a curved nose and tail to give an advantage while doing tricks and flips.
But you may be surprised that there are longboards as small as 28 inches in length, but don’t let that confuse you with a typical skateboard. All you have to remember is that the main difference between the two is their shape: longboards are flat and skateboards are curved.
2. Deck Flexibility
When we talk about the deck, we are referring to the base of the board. Most decks are made up of flexible wood, such as maple and industrial-material glue. There are also decks made from artificial materials such as aluminum, plexiglass, composites, nylon, and fiberglass.
Different kinds of decks will have different purposes in skateboards and longboards. If you want to learn and do some tricks, your board should be thinner so it can have more flex. The flex of the board refers to the stiffness of it.
A board that is too “soft” may provide poor stability which can be challenging to nail tricks on. For a spring-like feel and performance-quality deck, skateboarders should select a board with soft to medium flex.
On the other hand, longboards are built to gain maximum speed as you run downhill. To keep the pace steady, they have thicker decks with little flex in order to support the rider.
3. Trucks and Wheels
On a skateboard, the trucks are more rigid and narrower, which gives the riders an advantage in grinding and landing tricks. Additionally, they are the same size as the width of the skateboarder’s deck.
Longboards’ truck is more flexible which is perfect for a smoother cruise in long distances and faster ride downhill. The trucks of a longboard are wider, typically around 6 to 7 inches to accommodate more control in long-distance rides.
When it comes to the differences of their wheels, longboards have larger and softer wheels for a smoother and more coordinated ride. Meanwhile, skateboards have smaller and harder wheels to make it easier to shred rails and better landing after a jump trick.
Most beginners who want to master basic tricks on skateboard practice on a longboard to balance. Since a longboard is wider and more stable, practicing one of the most important skills on a skateboard is learned, balancing.
Once they are more confident with their balancing skill, it is time to transition to the skateboard and learn how to balance on a smaller board.
Still cannot decide which board to choose? Ask yourself why you want to ride. Do you want to master impressive tricks or ride at exhilarating speeds? Here are more purposes of each board.
Skateboards are perfect for:
- Learning new tricks
- Grinding rails
- Skating at mini ramps
- Doing kickflips
- Mastering ollies
- Getting around town
Riders with longboards usually enjoy:
- A stable riding experience
- Cruising with friends
- Zooming downhills
- Riding the board to the beach
By this time you know what you need in the battle between skateboard vs longboard. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve will give you a better decision-making process when buying a board.
If you want to race or cruise around town, then get a longboard. If you’re fascinated with doing tricks and want to show it off to others, then get a skateboard and explore the nearest skatepark in your area.
The important thing is you have the best-quality board that you can use for a long time