While longboarding and skateboarding provide a similar type of fun and enjoyable experience, they are not entirely alike. But what is the difference between a longboard and a skateboard? Which one would be better for you? The answer to this longboard vs skateboard debate has been going on for a long time. While the main point is to surf around and commute on your board, both skateboard and longboard deliver different performances on a similar level. Once you know the main differences between these two, picking the ideal one for you becomes pretty easy!
What Is The Difference Between A Longboard And A Skateboard?
This is the interesting and million dollar question and also need to know what will be easier for novices. Let’s go and begin to find the answers…
Origins Of Skateboards And Longboards
Before you learn the differences between skateboarding and longboarding, a little history lesson on their origin is a must. In the early 1950s, surfers used to love the feeling of waves. They wanted to experience the feeling of land whenever they wanted to do as well. So, they cut a board out of a wooden plank and attached some wheels under it.
And thus, the idea of skateboarding was born. Later the riders modified the boards into smaller sizes to nail tricks on them. However, in the 1990s, surfers again felt the boards were too small for a comfortable riding experience. They modified the board design into a longer one, which is now known as the longboard.
Since then, people have invented different types of styles to ride a cruise board. Cruising, free-style, vert, downhill skateboarding, etc. are some of the most common forms of regular skateboards and styles. Along with these, carving, dancing, slalom, etc. are part of longboarding and styles. Regardless of the technical variation, wearing protective gear is the one thing that you should never compromise.
Differences Between Skateboarding And Longboarding
Riding your skateboard has already been considered one of the most exciting sports these days. Besides, anyone can ride the skateboard regardless of their age. While a non-skater may not find any differences, these five differences between a longboard and a skateboard are enough to set them apart.
Shape And Size
This one is the first feature that separates a longboard and a skateboard. When you put both boards side by side, you will see the longboard has a flatter tail and nose. But a skateboard has a curvier nose and tail to land flips and tricks easily. Then comes the length, of course, being the longboard is longer between the two.
It can be 59 inches long, whereas a regular skateboard can be around 36 inches at best. However, some longboards can be 28 inches as well, which may seem confusing to you. Hence, just remember to check the tail and nose as the key feature to identify a longboard and a skateboard. It means if you see a flattened but short-sized board, it is a short longboard.
As a new skater, keep in mind that the deck is the foundation of your board. If you plan to learn new tricks, you will need a thinner deck that provides flex or stiffness. For mellow cruising, the flex needs to be soft. And for executing tricks, the flex should be in between soft or medium. It will give you balance and a bouncy feel to make easy jumps.
The deck of longboards is usually thicker with low flex. It helps you to maintain stability and gain the most speed when you race downhill.
Trucks And Wheels
While trucks are the base that attaches the wheels with the skateboard or longboard, their outlook and functionality are different on both boards. Trucks on a skateboard are firm and narrow, making it easier to grind and perform the tricks you want. Their size is also similar to the skateboard’s deck width.
On a longboard, the trucks are more flexible and allow you to ride smoothly. This trait is undoubtedly ideal for longboarders who prefer to race downhill or cruise long distances. The longboard trucks are usually wider measuring around 150-180mm.
While the skateboard wheels are small and hard to surf rails, gaps, and ledges, the longboard wheels are also soft and large, providing more speed to your ride. In case you just want to cruise using your board, softer wheels would be better for a more synchronized ride.
Surfing on the sidewalk on a board requires you to balance yourself on it. If you are a total newbie but want to learn new tricks, starting with a longboard would be wise for you. Their size and shape make it easier to balance on. The small size of the skateboard will be tough for you to adapt to at first. When you get comfortable and gain enough confidence, you can switch to a skateboard for more improvement.
Speed And Tricks
To perform unique tricks at maximum speed, choose the skateboard without any delay. This board is also perfect for grinding rails, master kickflips, skating on mini ramps, performing ollies, etc. As for longboards, you should pick them for a balanced riding journey, cruising, beach riding, bombing hills, roaming around town, etc.
What’s Better, Longboard Or Skateboard?
Well, the answer totally depends on one’s individual preference. You would like longboarding if you prefer to roam around the town, your neighborhood, and the streets. A longboard will let you cruise at a good speed, which means you can go to places rather quickly. Not to mention the minimal obstacles you will face when you hit any bump.
Even for a simple relaxation time, you can take a ride on your longboard and enjoy the fresh air. Now, skateboarding is a bit different from riding the longboards. You may feel it is tough to get comfortable on the skateboard at first, as falling from the board is pretty impossible to evade. Yet the more time you invest in it, the more you will start enjoying it.
Both boards have their pros and cons to consider. However, it is up to you to decide which one would suit you better.
Is It Easier To Ride A Longboard Or A Skateboard?
When it comes to riding easy, longboards are definitely going to win the race! The large and soft wheels of the board are responsible for this. Normally, skateboard wheels are harder and small, leading the ride halt over a small bump or cracks, disturbing the overall flow. That’s why you should always choose a longboard if your purpose is cruising.
You just have to focus on cruising, while the board also provides you with a fast ride. However, the longboard wheels’ weight is heavier than the skateboard ones, making the board hefty. And for this reason, skateboards are a better choice for performing tricks and techniques. But as a beginner, learning with a longboard will give you the initial confidence.
Once you master the fundamentals of skateboarding, you can switch and start using a skateboard instead. Before that, you should only concentrate on learning to brake and cruising, along with speed control. The big wheels of a longboard help to roll the board at a pretty high speed. Hence, when learning the brake technique, you should ride at a slow pace.
However, the cost of a skateboard is also crucial in this case. If you don’t have enough budget to spend on a longboard and then on a skateboard, you should opt-out for a skateboard for the initial learning. Balancing the skateboard may be a bit harder for a rookie, but not impossible.
Besides new tricks, you will learn to control the board after confronting cracks and bumps. But don’t rush yourself. Have patience and learn the basics before anything else!
Longboarding Safety: Is A Longboard Safe To Ride?
While a longboard is the longer version of a skateboard, there are some more visible and technical differences between these two types. Since both are good at serving their specific purposes, your decision to pick one depends on what activities you want to use it for. For a beginner, a longboard will be more stable and easier to ride.
You can maneuver the board without much hassle. So, riding longboards is fun and safe, but how to longboard safely? To ensure enough safety, you can take some security measures to relax your mind.
- Having stability and balance doesn’t always guarantee safety. Especially with an electric longboard, there will always be a chance to fall or hit on the wrong side, which exposes you to danger and grave injuries. Hence, always wear protective gear like a helmet, knee and elbow pads, shin, proper clothes, etc.
- You have to learn the basics before you step onto the busy road on your longboard. Keep practicing until you have learned enough to step up your game.
- To move your legs smoothly, remember to wear your skateboard shoes.
- Always follow the skateboarding rules and practice in an open area. The location should be smooth and without any vehicles around.
- Try not to push the board with too much force if you are just a novice. Try to maintain the board speed and your body movement to prevent accidents.
- When applying brakes, softly put down your pushing foot from the board deck to the ground. Please don’t do it hastily, as it will change the force and speed suddenly.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do You Have To Wear A Helmet When Riding A Skateboard Or Longboard?
Of course! You must wear a helmet when riding your board regardless of the type. In most countries, surfing on a longboard or skateboard is considered illegal as it is a vital part of the skateboarding laws. It’s natural if you find wearing a helmet is disturbing. But this simple protective tool actually saves you from severe injuries in case you fall from the board or cause a commotion.
Should I Get A Skateboard Or Longboard?
Choosing between a longboard or skateboard might not be easy at first. Longboards were basically built to give you the surfing feel on the sidewalk. Later, users felt a shorter version would be better, and that’s how the modern skateboard got invented. Hence, both boards have similar looks despite having distinct features.
For cruising and roaming around, a longboard would be a better choice as you can ride it the easy way. If you are into performing tricks and unique movements, a skateboard is what you need!
What Is The Best Longboard For A Beginner?
We already know that longboards are better for cruising around the city as they are easy to control and stabilize. This one is a good option if you are a beginner in this type of activity. Longboards will help you to learn to brake efficiently when needed. Learning the brake technique is mandatory for safe cruising. Otherwise, you will end up wounded on the sidewalk.
Hence, if you want to do skateboarding, we suggest learning the basics with a longboard first. Later, you can switch to a skateboard when it suits you. The wheels of a longboard are softer, for which you can maneuver the board smoothly. However, due to its shape, you should not try performing tricks with a longboard.
You may have a chance to succeed if you keep practicing with dedication, but a skateboard will need much less time for sure. Longboards from Volador, Retrospec, Quest, etc., can be a good choice for a beginner.
After going through this whole write-up, you must have gotten an idea on what is the difference between a longboard and a skateboard. While it may seem a bit difficult at first, finding the answer is not that tough if you know what to check first.
If you are a beginner and want to learn skateboarding for the first time, you can buy a traditional or electric one at first. If you think you will be comfortable on a longer board, you can choose a longboard instead. The point is, once you know what you need, just pick that skateboard or longboard suitable for you and start practicing.