Longboard vs Skateboard: Which One Should You Get?

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If you’re a skateboard enthusiast and love gliding across the asphalt, hearing your wheels grinding on the sidewalk as you race down the street, you may be wondering if there’s anything that could make it even more fun. The answer is that there sure is – a Longboard!

A longboard is just like a skateboard but longer. The size of the board makes it sleeker than your average skateboard and makes it faster too. But what exactly are the differences between a longboard and a skateboard and which one should you choose?

In this article, we’ll compare longboards vs skateboards. We’ll consider how they compare in terms of size, speed, maneuverability, cost, and more. That way, when you go to invest in new wheels for 2021, you’ll be sure to make an informed decision.

What Is a Skateboard?

A skateboard is a board similar in shape to a surfboard which is made of maple wood, often consisting of seven to nine plies. It’s relatively short and narrow with four wheels at the bottom and has become immensely popular since its introduction in California in the 1950s.

Skateboards are used for riding, rolling, or performing stunts by standing on them and propelling or pushing with a foot off the ground. Sizes, designs, and colors all vary from board to board. On average, most boards measure 32 inches (81.3 cm) in length and 8 inches (20.3 cm) in width, with a thickness of around 0.5 inches (1.3 cm). Skateboards consist of three main parts; the deck or board itself, two trucks, and four wheels that attach to each corner of the deck.

What Is a Longboard?

A Longboard is a type of skateboard that is longer than the average skateboard. It can be made from wooden materials such as maple, oak, bamboo, birch, or koa and typically has a length of 33 inches to 59 inches (or 84 to 150 centimeters) and a width of 9 to 10 inches (or 22.8 to 25.4 centimeters).

Longboards are mainly used for cruising on the roads or beach or riding downhill (aka longboarding). They come in various shapes including flat-nose riders, pintails, drop-through decks, swallowtail, and drop decks; all of which can have similar shapes to traditional skateboards. The components wise they’re pretty much the same as a regular skateboard with trucks, wheels, deck, and grip tape.

The very first Longboards were designed in the 1950s as an alternative surfboard. Since then, they’ve become commercially available and remain popular with skateboarders today!

Origins of Skateboards and Longboards

In order to comprehend the distinction between a skateboard and a longboard, it’s important to consider their origins. The idea for skateboards originated with surfers in the 1950s who were looking for an inland experience that was similar to riding waves on the ocean. To achieve this, they grabbed a wooden plank, cut it into a board shape, and added some wheels to it – thus creating the first skateboard!

However, by the 1990s, this traditional size and shape of skateboards were not enough for riders who wanted something bigger that more closely resembled a surfboard. As such, they modified them once again and created what we now know as longboards.

The Purpose of a Longboard

A longboard is a great way to get around town or even travel long distances. It also has tremendous versatility, as it can be used for a variety of purposes – including cruising, dancing, carving, freeriding, downhill, and even performing tricks.

No matter what kind of longboard you have or the activity you want to use it for, the main purpose of a longboard remains the same – to provide an efficient and fun way to get from one place to another. You don’t need too much effort to get up to speed on a longboard and once you master its use, it can provide a great exercise routine.

Not every type of longboard is meant for all activities – for example, if you want to do technical tricks with your board you may want something different than if you wanted to carve or travel large distances. Before purchasing your longboard, make sure you know which style suits your needs the best.

Longboard Pros

Longboards offer lots of advantages for riders. One great benefit is that longboards require little effort to cruise on. They’re easy to balance and won’t get bogged down by small objects like rocks, making them a great option for those just starting out.

In addition, longboards can last a very long time compared to skateboards since you only need to replace the wheels occasionally. So even with regular use, your longboard can stay in good shape for many years. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting started, a durable longboard is a perfect partner!

Longboard Cons

Longboards are not the most cost-efficient way to get around town. Quality boards and decent parts can be pricey, leaving you with a hefty bill for your ride. Not to mention the fact that longboards are rather bulky and very difficult to carry around. Traveling with one can be quite a hassle, especially in crowded areas.

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When it comes to tricks, a regular skateboard has far more capabilities than a longboard does. With many more available boards and much greater maneuverability when making those trickier turns or jumps, they tend to come out ahead in this category.

The Purpose of a Skateboard

The purpose of a skateboard is to perform tricks and maneuvers. Skateboards usually have a popsicle-like shape with a curved up nose and tail, as well as a concave deck surface.

Skateboards are made for this kind of riding – softer, bigger wheels help cruise around but technical tricks like kickflips, ollies, and grinds are best done with skateboards. It excels in parks or streets where fast movements and quick turns can be achieved, while longboards prioritize smooth cruising instead.

There are various styles of skateboarding as well, such as vert skating (more likely in vertical terrain or a bowl), mini ramp (ramping setups in smaller spaces), and technical street skating for more advanced riding. Whether you’re just starting out or an experienced rider, there’s always something more to learn about when it comes to skateboarding.

Skateboard Pros

Skateboarding has a number of advantages, especially when compared to other types of transportation. First and foremost, skateboards are incredibly easy to carry around; you can even strap them to your backpack! And if you’re flying somewhere, some airlines even allow them as a carry-on.

Secondly, skateboarding can be very fulfilling–not only is it great exercise but landing those tricky tricks is tremendously satisfying! It’s also an amazing way to meet new people and share your passion with others. Furthermore, skateboards are highly agile and built for impact so they’ll make you look at the world differently–every curb, stair, or rail has the potential for a cool trick!

The best part? Skateboarding is an economical option compared to longboarding, however, longboarding has been increasing in popularity. Plus there are tons of parks and facilities made specifically for skateboarders in cities across the world. After years of decline, the popularity of skateboarding is sure on the rise again!

Skateboard Cons

Skateboarding certainly has its drawbacks, and it’s important to be aware of them before you start. Skateboarding requires dedication and commitment – if you don’t take the necessary steps, you risk injury. Plus, skateboards can become costly over time, as parts such as shoes, decks, and wheels need to be regularly replaced depending on where you ride.

When it comes to transitioning between ramps and parks, skateboarding is typically less physically demanding—but that doesn’t mean it’s without cons. Skating long distances may feel uncomfortable due to the hard wheels of a skateboard bouncing against rough terrain while carving turns proves almost impossible.

Ultimately, these considerations should factor into your decision when starting skateboarding as a hobby.

What Are the Main Differences Between Skateboards And Longboards?

Rolling on the streets with either a skateboard or longboard requires different techniques; some of the key differences are as follows:


Wheels are an important part of longboards and skateboards, as they can affect the way your board moves, its speed, and even how well you can perform tricks.

Longboard wheels tend to be larger than typical skateboard wheels and softer for a smoother ride on rough roads. They usually measure between 2.6 inches to 4.2 inches or 65 to 107 millimeters in diameter, with urethane construction for maximum durability.

Skateboard wheels, on the other hand, tend to feature smaller diameters between 1.89 inches and 3.35 inches or 48 millimeters to 85 millimeters, and are made from tough polyurethane plastic.

Both types of boards benefit from different size wheels depending on the kind of riding you want to do: bigger wheels allow you to travel faster while smaller wheels offer more control when performing tricks.


Trucks are a crucial part of both skateboards and longboards and have some similar components. Baseplate, hanger, axle, bushings, and kingpin are all common features of both types of boards.

The main difference between the trucks of a skateboard and a longboard is the kingpin’s angle. In a longboard truck, the kingpin is at a greater angle – from 38 degrees to 50 degrees to the board – so that it allows for better maneuverability and smoother rides over rougher roads. Additionally, the kingpin in some longboards faces outwards, which provides an extra level of control not seen in traditional skateboard trucks.

Conversely, due to their smaller size and angle, skateboard trucks are strong and rigid – as they’re intended for more intense tricks or stunts. This strength enables skaters to perform difficult or risky stunts with confidence.

Deck shape and size

When it comes to deck shape and size, the longboard is decidedly larger than a skateboard. Longboards are much wider which leads to increased stability when riding. They also have curved tails that project upwards from either end, allowing for comfortable cruising.

For people with big feet, the larger surface of a longboard allows them more room to balance comfortably on the board. The narrower tail ends of the longboard also make for easy maneuvering. So if you’re looking for both stability and control in your ride then look no further than a longboard!

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Deck Flexibility

When it comes to skateboarding, the deck is arguably the most important part of your setup. The flex of your deck will dictate how easy or hard it will be for you to pull off tricks, so taking the time to get the right flex for you should be a priority.

If you are just getting started in skating and want to learn new tricks, then you’ll probably want a thinner board with a soft to medium flex. This will provide some stability but still have enough springiness for easier jumping and air flips. For mellow cruising, a softer flex is preferred as it gives more cushioning when landing from ramps and other obstacles.

No matter what level of skater you are, finding the right balance between stiffness and flexibility in your deck can make all the difference in getting those tricks down with ease.

Best uses

Skateboards and longboards both have distinct best uses. When it comes to skateboards, their small wheels and curved tails make them ideal for performing stunts and tricks. For longboards, meanwhile, their larger wheels and flexible trucks lend themselves to comfortably cruising at long distances or racing downhill on the roads.

Whether you’re looking for something you can use to perform advanced stunts or cruise around with ease, skateboard, or longboard, the choice is up to you!


Balance is essential for skateboarding, no matter the board type. When first starting out, a longboard might be your best bet. It’s larger and more stable, so it’ll help you learn how to balance without stressing too much. As your confidence and skills grow, you can transition to a smaller skateboard and take your balancing ability to the next level!

Regardless of what kind of board you ride on, investing in the practice of balance will pay off greatly. You’ll be able to pull off new tricks with ease while also simply having an enjoyable ride!

What They Have in Common

Skateboarding and longboarding have surprisingly a lot in common! Though they might appear vastly different, fans of both sports come from all walks of life and share a passion for hundreds of creative ways to express themselves.

Both skateboarders and longboarders alike make use of trucks, wheels, decks, bearings, and other components that are interchangeable. With a few simple adjustments like adding riser pads, you can even turn your skateboard into a longboard or vice versa!

Moreover, fans of both longboarding and skateboarding often have an avid interest in related board sports such as surfing, wakeboarding, or snowboarding. Skaters may be independent spirits that find little interest in other popular activities but identify with their community as one big family supporting every individual’s creative expression through their favored boardsport.

Which Lasts the Longest?

When it comes to longevity, there’s no doubt that longboards last longer than skateboards. This is because longboard riders typically use their boards for cruising, so they only wear out the wheels while the board and trucks can stay in good condition with proper maintenance. For example, I personally have a 15-year-old Sector 9 longboard in pristine condition!

On the other hand, skateboarders need to replace parts of their setup much more often. It’s common for technical skaters to replace their decks every few months or even weeks due to impact damage and chipping of nose and tails. You also need to frequently replace your shoes, adding additional costs compared to longboarding. That said, trucks and wheels can last a fairly long time with regular skateboarding (depending on how often you ride).

Which Is Safer?

When it comes to being safer, you can’t go wrong with longboarding. It all depends on where, how often, and what style of riding you’re doing. Cruising around is much less risky than bombing down the hills. And if at all possible, stay clear of any traffic as many accidents involve vehicles.

As far as skateboarding is concerned, it’s relatively safe compared to other activities such as basketball or football. That being said, technical street skaters tend to have a higher risk of getting injured than people just cruising on longboards – though the majority of these injuries are minor in nature. Therefore, it’s always wise to wear a helmet for added safety and protection.

Which Is More Popular?

It’s clear to see that both skateboarding and longboarding are becoming increasingly popular. While skateboarding is still the more dominant of the two and makes up around 50% of skateboard sales, longboarding has seen rapid growth in popularity over time. Approximately 40% of popsicle riders also ride a longboard, particularly among college students who often prefer them for commuting around campus.

On top of that, women have increasingly become part of the longboarding community, as it appears there are more females riding on these boards than those riding on skateboards. Taking all this into account, it’s safe to say that both skateboarding and longboarding have their own unique appeal and will continue to remain popular with people of all ages.

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Which Performs Better in the Rain?

When it comes to which board performs better in the rain, longboards come out ahead. While it’s never recommended to skate or longboard in wet conditions, longboards are better equipped to handle slippery surfaces. This is thanks to their larger (softer) wheels and weight distribution, which offer more grip than a regular skateboard’s small (and often hard) wheels.

Unfortunately, rain is also bad news for your wooden board and bearings – while there are some bearings that can handle wet conditions, they can be incredibly expensive. Rain also affects your grip tape and can cause a deck to become waterlogged as the wood absorbs the water; this reduces flexibility and can even lead to delamination of the glued wooden layers. So no matter whether you have a skateboard or longboard neither can really stand up against the forces of nature.

Which Is the Fastest

When it comes to speed, longboards have the edge over skateboards. This is because they require less effort and energy when it comes to acceleration and maintaining velocity. Skateboards may be initially more responsive and thus able to accelerate faster, but keeping up that momentum requires a lot of energy in pushing constantly.

Due to their wheels and trucks being unable to handle the speed, Popsicle skateboards become unstable when speeding. Speed wobble sets in, making it hard to stop once it starts – only an experienced skateboarder will know how to handle this.

Longboards have slightly higher hurdles on acceleration but most beginners won’t even feel any difference there. But once you get up to speed, a longboard allows you to maintain your pace without expending too much energy, thanks to its large soft wheels, wide decks, and other components that keep your ride stable with fast speeds. So if you want the fastest ride out there – go for a longboard!

Which Is Easier to Control?

The question of which is easier to control – skateboard or longboard – can ultimately depend on the activities you are planning to do with your board.

Longboards, for instance, are designed for comfortable and easy riding, featuring larger decks and smoother gliding – perfect for cruising at greater speeds along roads and hillsides. This offers more control than with a skateboard.

Skateboards, on the other hand, are usually equipped for trick-based sports at skate parks. They allow you to maneuver easily and help you perform an assortment of tricks quickly and easily. Control during these demanding maneuvers is optimum with a skateboard.

Should I Get A Longboard Or Skateboard

Are you having trouble making a decision between getting a longboard or a skateboard? If so, don’t worry! You’ve come to the right place.

When it comes to choosing one over the other, the decision really depends on what type of skateboarding experience you are looking for. Beginners who are just learning how to balance themselves benefit from the wider deck and bigger wheels of a longboard, which make it easier to push and roll. If you’re interested in cruising or going really fast, then a longboard is your best bet as it’s designed for distance rolling and speed purposes.

On the other hand, if you fancy more tricks, stunts, and skate parks then I recommend opting for a skateboard – its size, shape, trucks, and wheels were made for these activities. Plus it’s super lightweight making transportation extra easy! In terms of price, both have great options across different budgets so that doesn’t have to be an obstacle either.

Which Is More Expensive?

When it comes to skateboards and longboards, the price tag can vary. Longboards tend to be more expensive due to their larger decks, bigger wheels, and higher quality hardware and trucks.

On average, you may expect to pay between $150 – $250 for a good longboard, whereas a high-quality skateboard could cost as low as $90 – $150 or more. Of course, if you’re on a budget then you can still purchase an entry-level skateboard for under $50.

Overall, longboards are typically more expensive than skateboards due to their size and higher-quality construction materials and components.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, it all depends on personal preference. Longboards and skateboards both provide a lot of fun and excitement for people of all ages, so no matter which type you choose, you are sure to have a great time.

Whether you like the extra stability and ease of use of longboards or the maneuverability and technical prowess of skateboards, understanding the differences between them can help you make an informed decision on which board is right for you.

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Joseph E. Bogle

This is Joseph E. Bogle, the founder and lead writer of SkateToScoot.com, an enthusiast of skating for over a decade. I'm an aggressive skater and certified skating coach, dedicated to sharing his knowledge and passion for skating with others through his blog. With my unique combination of personal experience and professional expertise, SkateToScoot.com is a valuable resource for skaters of all levels, from beginners to advanced athletes.