The first step of learning to skateboard is to get a good quality skateboard. But which type of skateboard should you get? Longboard, Cruiser, Penny board?
If you want to learn to skateboard and you’re not sure which type of skateboarding you want to do, read on.
Often just referred to as a skateboard, because it is the most common, a shortboard is a board that is typically used for doing tricks. It is used in:
- the skatepark
- the streets
The most common shaped shortboard is the popsicle (pictured) and is more or less asymmetrical. This skateboard is the most versatile skateboard. If you want to learn to do tricks and also commute shorter distances, this is the board for you.
Why should you get a shortboard?
If you want to learn more technical tricks, get a smaller popsicle shortboard (symmetrical). A symmetrical board makes it easier to do tricks using the nose, and to ride switch (ride in the stance opposite to your natural stance). This is highly technical skateboarding, however, if in doubt, go for a popsicle for the versatility.
If you want to carve bowls and ride ramps, and generally ride faster, get a larger short board. There are more shortboards available now with varied and old school shapes (asymmetrical).
A cruiser is a larger shortboard that has been setup to commute with bigger, softer, faster wheels. You can also ollie up kerbs on a cruiser but it isn’t for doing more technical tricks.
You can use it in the skatepark , and can be used for carving bowls and riding ramps. The soft wheels means the wheels don’t slide so well however, which is something you want for more technical tricks.
Why should you get a cruiser skateboard?
Choose a cruiser if you want to commute, but want something more portable than a longboard. You may want to have a try at some basic tricks, like carving the bowl. If you want to do more than just basic tricks however, just get a larger shortboard.
A longboard is for speed & downhill. These are the ultimate commuter board, but you can’t ollie them because most do not have a kicktail.
These skateboards have a very long wheelbase and is about providing stability at speed. They are built for carving, and have softer, larger wheels for grip. The deck is often shaped to prevent wheel-bite (when the wheel contacts the deck and stops it turning) when you make tight turns. Longboards are built for the rider to powerslide to reduce speed.
Why should you get a longboard?
Get a longboard if you want to do longer commutes, and want a very stable board. You might want to try some downhill. Get a longboard if you are interested in longboard dancing. Longboard dancing replicates longboard surfers, who walk up and down the board and perform moves which look like dancing.
You may want to try a longboard if you are crossing over from Snowboarding.
The surf skate is a relatively modern phenomenon that has been created to permit surfers to practice some of their movements on land.
A surf skate truck has an extra pivot point that has been developed to accommodate extremely tight carving. This enables the rider to emulate a cutback from surfing. A cutback is an extremely tight carve which a standard skate truck would not accommodate.
Why should you get a surf skate?
Choose a Surf Skate if you are looking for a way to practice surfing in the city. The surf skate can also be used in the skatepark, and is great for carving the bowl. Don’t get a surf skate if you want to learn technical tricks, like ollies and flips.
Electric skateboards come in short and long varieties. If you are new to skateboarding you will probably want to get a longboard of the electric variety because of the stability. It might be an idea to learn on a standard board first, however it isn’t necessary as you probably won’t be pushing very much on an electric skateboard.
Why should you get an electric skateboard?
Get an electric board if you want to commute. To state the obvious, avoid if you want to learn how to push.
If you snowboard you should find an electric skateboard easy to transfer to, because you don’t have to learn to push first.
Don’t get a Penny Board if you want to learn to skateboard. They are very, very difficult to learn on, because the extremely small wheelbase means a narrow riding stance, which makes balancing very challenging. Penny boards are a bit of fun.
They have large soft wheels which means more grip, less pushing, as such they are good for commuting short distances.
They are not for tricks because there is no grip tape.
Why should you get a Penny board?
Get a Penny board if you can already skate and want a highly portable skateboard.
Now you’ve decided what type of skateboarding you want to try, you are going to need to try or buy a skateboard.
The biggest barrier to learning is getting a skateboard that is:
- fit for purpose and
- sized for you, and
- adjusted for you.
We can give you a go on a shortboard at one of our group lessons, to help you decide if skateboarding is for you.
Skate School is about having fun on your board. We think the most versatile skateboard is the shortboard, and the best skateboard is the most versatile one. We’d advise you to get a shortboard because it is the best balance between fun and commuting. If you think you’re doing more commuting just buy a larger shortboard or cruiser, with a bigger wheelbase.
If you can’t come to try our boards, we’d point you in the direction of our buying and sizing guide.