Longboard vs Skateboard

Those out there who are fond of pulling tricks in public would find this article informative yet interesting. Yes, one of the most fun things these days is skateboarding or longboarding. However, it becomes a bit difficult for a beginner to decide which one is to go for, in the first place.

If you are also a beginner and want to know about the differences and similarities between the two, keep reading!

Longboard vs Skateboard


The idea behind the “Boards”

Before we directly jump into the technical aspects of the two, let me quickly walk you through the history. It was roughly the 1950s when the surfers started replicating the idea of water surfing on the land surface.

The initial model was made out of a wooden plank with small wheels attached at its bottom and was called Skateboard. This continued till the 1990s when the board was shortened and with a few other minor modifications, it was renamed Longboard.

Technical Differences Between Longboard vs Skateboard

1. Size & shape

Apparently, a longboard has comparatively a flat surface on the front as well as on the tail. A skateboard, on the other hand, has a more curved shape on the nose and the back. This is the main reason why you can easily land tricks on your skateboard.

The average length of a longboard is 59 inches and is usually 9-10 inches wide while most the skateboards are only 36 inches long and 7-10 inches wide. However, if you are a first-time buyer, the dealer might show you a longboard only 28 inches long, but do not fret because it is still a longboard if it has a flatter surface. It is just called a Short Longboard.

2. Trucks

Well, both boards have trucks to which the wheels are attached at the bottom, but they differ in the extent of rigidity. You will find skateboards more rigid, allowing you to perform pull-off tricks and stunts easily on the skateboard. The narrow trucks and the Traditional Kingpin (TKP)of the skateboard make it possible for you to have more fun. As a beginner, it becomes a bit confusing considering the variety of the sizes available. As a rule of thumb, you should choose the one having the same size as the width of your deck.

Many people find it easier to go on a longboard because it has a more flexible approach. Riding a longboard gives you a smoother and more comfortable experience. Longboards have comparatively wider trucks with a Reverse Kingpin (RKP). Talking about the trucks of longboards, they come in different types according to the purpose and level of the skill.

For instance, the most common is the Top-mount trucks, the Drop-thru Trucks are for beginners allowing more flexibility and less sensitivity. While the top-mounted Dropped Deck trucks are ideal for the skaters who love to slide. Then there are Flush Mount Trucks with a lower center of gravity but allow strong leverage.

3. Wheels

If you are into a more comfortable and smooth experience, you will love to have a ride on the longboards. Yes, the credit goes to the wheels which are softer and a bit larger in size (63mm and 80mm). They are moving much faster also and you will find them easy to move on any sort of surface. Since they are faster, they are able to absorb the shocks while moving on a crackly surface too.

The skateboards, on the other hand, have smaller and harder wheels. Although they are easy to balance on, the wheels cannot sustain extended movement on bumpy roads and may wear off soon. However, the skateboards are easier to land tricks on owing to these hard wheels. Generally speaking, the wheels should range between 52 and 58mm depending on your skill level. If you are a street skater, you would need small wheels, unlike the transition skaters who mostly go with larger wheels.

4. Mobility

Although the logic behind mobility of both boards is the same and that is the thrust by the rider’s foot. But there is a basic difference between the skateboard and the longboard when it comes to movement. The skateboards are more fun if you want to go on the ramps and flip and leap over the tracks as they are usually lightweight.

However, at the same time, they are not very stable and you may find it hard to balance in the beginning. The Longboards, on the contrary, are more stable and have been designed for long distances, as for transportation. If you have already gotten a hang of it, you can easily cruise through the city in no time.

Another aspect regarding mobility is the element of Pumping. The skateboarders actually move the board by pushing the ground with their feet, which is neither safe nor sustainable. That is why you cannot cover long distances on skateboards. But the case with longboards is different and is designed such that you can move the board by pumping. All you have to do is to shift your body weight back and forth and the board will take you in the given direction without much physical effort.

Non-Technical Elements Diffrence

 1. Learnability

Well, considering the shape, size, and weight of the boards, it is easy to say that if you have not tried any board in your life earlier, you should start with the longboard. Since it has a wider and bigger deck, it is safer for you. In addition, you can have a smooth experience in the beginning before trying a relatively trickier skateboard experience.

Skateboard is a bit difficult to learn also because the wheels of the skateboard are more likely to get stuck in the cracks and nooks and corners on the track and you may get hurt.

2. Lifetime

When it comes to which of these boards is long-lasting, the longboard again leads the way. The reason is, that there is nothing as much of the rider’s intervention in the mobility of the board, unlike the skateboard. The only part which wears off soon is the wheels because they are doing most of the work like cruising and sustaining the pressure in the form of pumping and absorbing the shocks along the way.

On the other hand, technical skateboarders often have to replace the decks, trunks, and wheels every now and then due to rapid wear and tear.

3. Safety

Now, the aspect of safety is equally important in both cases. But the general perception is that the skateboard is a safer option as compared to the longboard. The reason is you go slowly on a skateboard and it is easy to control the speed. Contrary to that, the longboards are driven by the pumping technique and are mostly cruising through the crowds.

4. Costs

Longboards are visibly an expensive option, especially if you are going for the best quality product. A decent longboard with a high-quality pair of wheels, great deck, and dependable truck will cost you somewhere between $150 to $250. However, the skateboards range from $90 to $150 where $90 will have no guarantee of quality but $150 will get you the best quality of the parts.

Well, it is highly recommended to go for a rather expensive but reliable longboard rather than opting for a low-cost but risky skateboard. If you are just trying to first learn before buying one for long term, you can even get a second-hand longboard but again, you need to be careful about the condition of the deck, trunks, and wheels.

5. Speed

The speed and tricks you can land on with your longboard can never beat the skateboard. Yes, due to the technical stability, a smooth drive, and big, but soft wheels, you will find it easy to cruise through the streets in no time. You can always enjoy your heart out by racing with your friends and have the time of your life on your longboards.

Skateboard, meanwhile, is a bit slower option. However, it is best to have a hang-on. Especially if you are a beginner, skateboarding makes the best call as you can learn at a slow speed and then master the kick tricks. Later if you think that you can handle the cruise on a longboard, you may switch to the longboard.


So, this summarizes everything you need to know to make a decision if you should opt for a skateboard or a longboard. The most important decisive factor, among all, is the purpose for which you want to have the board and also the skillset you have. If you are a beginner with the boards, the skateboard is recommended.

However, if you are confident that you can handle the speed and technique of a longboard, the options are endless for you as you can dance, trick, and even cruise across the city on your longboard. Whatever you like to have, make sure that you wear proper gear for protection especially at your learning stage because safety always comes first.

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I was born and raised in the U.S. I started skating at the age of 10 when I got my first skateboard. I started doing longboarding a few years ago and I loved it so much that I started my own website.

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