Would a longboard make you happy because of its fast ride? Or would a skateboard pique your interest for tricks and exhibition? You must be torn as to which wheel board to choose. For starters, you have to determine what you love doing with these boards first and then choose one that meets your needs.
Both a skateboard and a longboard are made of a board with four wheels. What makes them different is their appearance and functionality. While a longboard satisfies your need for speed, a skateboard allows you to play and maneuver. At this point, what you are learning is just the tip of the iceberg. As you dig deeper, you will find out what each is capable of doing.
History of Skateboards and Longboards
Before you dive in on the differences between these boards, it’s great to know why they were built in the first place. That way, you have an idea why they look the way they do now.
Boards on land weren’t a thing until surfers wanted to make a surfboard that they can use on terra firma. This was during the 50s when surfing was gaining popularity.
However, there were days when the waves were too small or the sea was just too flat for surfers to enjoy a good surf. Hence, they turned to build a surfboard-like skates. This was the birth of the skateboard.
The first skateboards looked far different from what they are now but the concept of it was born in the 50s. The only problem was that skateboards never really gave the same feeling as surfboards.
Instead of abandoning the skateboards, other surfers tried to tweak the size and style of the skateboard. This was when the longboard was created. The longboard as you know it today looks more like a surfboard.
Skateboard and Longboard: What’s the Difference?
If we put the skateboard and longboard side by side, appearance would already tell us they are not so similar. To better understand what these differences are, here is a comparison of their specs:
The deck of a skateboard has a curved nose and tail. These curved edges aren’t just signs to show where you should put your feet. In fact, these curved edges make it possible for you to make tricks on a skateboard.
The same can’t be said for the longboard. The longboard is flat all throughout. There are no curved edges. With that said, the tricks you can do on a longboard are very limited.
Speaking of decks, you’re going to notice a very obvious difference between skateboards and longboards – their length.
In general, longboards are longer than skateboards. They are usually 33-60 inches long. However, there are longboards that are short, around 28 inches. This length is almost the same as the standard size of a skateboard.
A skateboard is around 28-32 inches. They’re definitely shorter than a longboard.
How do you know if it’s a longboard when it’s 28 inches long? The simplest way to know is to look at the style of the deck. Is it curved on the edges? If so, then it’s a skateboard. Remember, longboards are flat all throughout the deck.
No matter how different a longboard and a skateboard are, they will always have a set of four wheels attached to their trucks. If they don’t have any, how are they going to move?
For the longboard, the wheels are a lot bigger and more flexible. This is to make sure that the board can withstand long distances. Besides, longboards are made for transportation. It’s just right that their wheels can withstand different types of pavement.
Unfortunately, skateboards don’t have wheels like that. Their wheels are smaller and less flexible. However, there are skateboard wheels that are flexible to allow easier movement for tricks and cruising.
Both boards use trucks where their wheels are attached. However, the trucks they use are very different from each other.
For one thing, the trucks of a skateboard are never wider than the actual deck. The trucks on a skateboard are also more rigid and narrow. This design allows for maximum movement when doing tricks and grinds.
Since longboards aren’t made for tricks, their trucks don’t really need to be rigid and narrow. Instead, they are flexible and wide. Most of the time, you’ll see trucks that are much wider than the longboard’s deck. That’s okay since this design allows them to have a smoother ride for long distances and transportation.
What Should You Choose: Skateboard or Longboard?
While both boards produce the same fun and amusement, each carry features that would somehow outshine the other. To help you filter your expectations, here are some factors to consider.
First of all, ask yourself what you prefer to use. Are you more comfortable with a longboard or do you like the skateboard better? During this part, it’s also helpful to ask yourself why you want to buy a board in the first place.
As stated at the start of this post, longboards are meant for speed. They were built to be fast boards even when you’re using them on city streets. To add to that, longboards are ideal for longer rides. Because of their shape and length, you have more room to make yourself comfortable if you’re going to ride for a long time.
What if you just want to learn a few tricks? You have a skateboard for that. A skateboard is built for shorter rides and tricks. Because it’s a lot smaller than a longboard, it’s easier to maneuver, tоo.
If your main goal is to learn a few tricks on a board, there’s no question here. What you need is a skateboard. You can’t do tricks on a longboard.
Way of Riding
Both the skateboard and the longboard need you to use one leg to thrust yourself forward at first. You put one leg on the board and one leg on the ground. To get started, you just push yourself forward using the leg that’s on the ground.
You don’t stay like this for long, though especially when you’re using a longboard. When you’re on this kind of board, you don’t need to always thrust yourself forward with one leg on the ground to gain speed.
For a faster ride, you have to shift your weight back and forth. It’s like you’re swaying with the longboard.
On the other hand, a skateboard picks up its speed by needing you to thrust yourself forward. Yes, even when you’re already moving, you need to thrust yourself with your other leg to keep the speed.
Are you new to the whole skateboarding and longboarding thing? Have you mastered your balance already? It doesn’t seem like it, but there is one board that is ideal for anyone who wants to master their balance.
That’s the longboard. In general, anyone who is a beginner in all these boards would have an easier time balancing on a longboard.
A longboard has enough space for you so you don’t have to feel very conscious about your feet not having enough space to step on.
Of course, if you’re used to longboards and you already know how to balance on a board, then you can buy a skateboard. Skateboards are harder to balance on because they’re smaller, but with enough practice, you can master the ride.
Both longboards and skateboards have their cheap and expensive models. However, there are more skateboards that are way cheaper than a longboard.
For those whose top priority is the price, then you should go for a skateboard. Although you have to replace some of its parts more frequently than you would on a longboard, the initial costs are very reasonable.
Nonetheless, you should still consider a longboard if you want a cheaper alternative to cars. Longboards may be expensive, but they are way cheaper than driving your car to and from work. Besides, one of the main selling points of a longboard is that you can use them as a means of transportation.
Again, tricks are limited on a longboard. With that said, you have to consider this when you see yourself wanting to learn tricks in the future.
Fortunately for skateboards, the sky is the limit when it comes to tricks. There are so many things you can do with it, and there’s even more when you go on top of ramps and hills.
When it comes to learning these tricks, there’s no board where they are easier to do. It all depends on your learning curve. There may be a lot of tricks to do on a skateboard, but the learning curve is so steep as opposed to a longboard’s learning curve.
So should you get a skateboard or a longboard? That really depends on you. At the end of the day, you have to consider all the factors stated here for you to make a decision.
But to sum it up for you, if your priority is another cheap mode of transport, you should get a longboard Longboards are made for longer rides and city cruises. If your priority is to learn tricks and to skate in the park, then you should go for a skateboard.