Types Of Skateboards

Types Of Skateboards

In the old days, you could just attach wheels of a roller skate to a board and you had yourself a brand-new skateboard (maybe not brand new, but homemade, which was just as good as a new one, I guess). Anyhow, nowadays, it’s a different ball game. Since we could do anything we wanted, why not have different types of skateboards?

I will be honest with you. For me, it was a mess. It still is if you ask me. There are just too many types of skateboards. I mean why couldn’t we have just one that did it all? Why do I need a different skateboard for cruising and grinding? *sigh* However, until that’s done, here are the different types of skateboards that you need to know about.

In broad terms, there are 3 types of skateboards:

  1. Skateboards (obviously)
  2. Longboards
  3. Cruiser boards

Read more:

Skateboards

Different Types of Skateboards

Shape

Skateboard has been around forever and this type is not looking to go away anytime soon. Starting with the shape, skateboards have the most aggressive kick-tails and noses so that you can do tricks. Still, the defining characteristic of a skateboard will always be the popsicle shape that differentiates it from the rest.

Built-for

If your goal is to learn new tricks, skate mini ramps and grind rails, then look no further, skateboard is your best friend.

Plus, due to its size, you can easily fit skateboards in your bag-packs and start anywhere (well maybe not so much on rough roads)

Disadvantages

  1. You will always have to carry it around. There is no option available for a lock.
  2. The damage to the shoes is more in the case of skateboards due to kicking and the quality of skateboards. The grip tape on the longboard is friendlier for shoes.

Here are some of its characteristics:

Deck length31’’ – 33’’
Deck width7.25’’ – 8.5’’
Wheels95a – 104a (better powerslides and tricks)
TruckTraditional KingPins (TKPs) but can also have Reverse KingPins(RKPs). TKPs are:
a) lighter,
b) lower to the ground,
c) better for grinding due to kingpin bolt behind the hanger

Longboards

Different Types of Skateboards

Shape

Longboards come in several shapes, a few of those are:

  • Pintail

Pintail is inspired by surfboards by which I mean it looks like a surfboard and offers distinctive cruising feel that even that beginners love. It has a flat surface that offers stable foot placement; along with small wheels make it great for sharp turns and carving.

  • Drop-through deck

A drop-through longboard has cutouts on the nose and tail that allow the trucks to be mounted on top of the board.

  • Drop-down deck

Drop-down is similar to drop-through deck in a way that it also has cutouts on the nose and tail, however, it has a special shape, whereby you will be standing closer to the ground than the truck mount points.

Built-for

  • Pintail

Pintail is perfect for those who want to learn how to longboard, thanks to its shape and size. It is ideal for cruising and learning to carve, as due to its long length (at least 36’’), provides a sturdy base for beginners.

  • Drop-through deck

Drop-through offers better stability while riding at high speed. It is commonly used for cruising with momentum as you will be able to push for speed to suit your requirements. It is built for more technical riding when compared to pintails; drop-through generally comes with a stable wheelbase, kicks, and concave.

  • Drop-down deck

If you are looking for cruising and carving under 25mph then look no further. When it comes to sliding, you will find that the drop-down deck is made in heaven. Having a drop-down is also good for pushing and commuting, this is because you don’t have to stress much to reach down and push. The lower the board, the lower the fatigue.

Disadvantages

  • Pintail

Pintail, although offers more foot space, is less effective and not as stable as you will be higher off the ground. It is also more flat when compared with drop-through and therefore does not have much concave for securing your feet. This results in pintails being less adaptive and maneuverable.

  • Drop-through deck

Drop through deck may not be suitable if you are a beginner. The maneuverability offered by drop-through can be slightly overwhelming for a beginner. You may want to improve your balance skills before opting for a drop-through.

  • Drop-down deck

You need to be extra careful when riding drop-down downhill. Lack of traction has been known to cost riders who were overconfident. The keyword here is “were”. Yes, it’s that brutal. But still, if you want the pure satisfaction of being blown away by the wind, it comes highly recommended.

  • Weight

Longboards are generally heavier and bulkier when compared to cruisers and skateboards (they won’t fit in the overhead compartment of a plane).

Point to be noted:

Pintails have longer and loose trucks which offer “polished” carving sought by many skaters, whereas drop decks and drop-throughs are close to the ground, in turn increasing stability by being close to the center of gravity (yeah, science!)  offering more speed when cruising downhill.

Here are some of its characteristics:

Deck length34’’ – 46’’
Deck width8.5’’ – 10’’
Wheels78a – 85a (softer & wider)
TruckReverse Kingpins (RKPs); which are:
a) better at higher speeds,
b) offer more stability,
c) better for carving

Cruiser boards

Different Types of Skateboards

Shape

Cruiser boards mainly differentiate themselves by materials. There are 2 main types of cruiser boards, made from either plastic (penny boards) or wood.

  • Plastic

Cruiser board made from plastic is known as penny board; have a very narrow deck made from plastic and other lightweight materials.

  • Wood

The best way to describe a ‘’wooden’’ cruiser board is that you take a longboard and skateboard and it’s a nice fusion. They have low-key kick-tails and a wider design when compared with plastic cruiser board, which means you can do flip tricks if you want (does not mean it’s easier unless you are used to it). It is normally, longer than a skateboard and shorter than your typical longboard.

Built-for

Cruiser board is typically for cruising short distances. They are easily maneuverable mid-length boards designed for cruising streets. It is worth mentioning that the cruiser board can turn on a “dime” which will help you avoid those obstacles and cracks during your commute.

  • Plastic

Due to its size, the penny board is easy to carry and has better maneuverability, making it optimal for children. The softer wheels on the board also make it fast and give that ‘’smooth’’ feeling while riding.

  • Wood

It is ideal for your daily commute or just cruising around the city. Compared to skateboards, it has higher trucks and larger and softer wheels, making it easier to ride.

Disadvantages

  • Plastic
  1. Penny boards are difficult to ride because of their small area which is barely fit for an adult, making it an unpleasant experience for beginners.
  2. Doing tricks on a penny board is hard. Its only use, therefore, is commuting (which was its original purpose anyway!)
  3. More expensive than longboards for half its size. It is better to get wooden cruisers if you are looking for a decent mode of commute.
  • Wood
  1. This cruiser board is not made for downhill, although they allow for quick acceleration, they can put you off balance and lack the comfort of a longboard.
  2. When compared with skateboards, it is difficult to do tricks on cruisers simply because of the lack of stability, putting you off balance, and in the worst cases crashing and hurting yourself.
  • General
  1. Not suitable for beginners as it is difficult to balance. A longboard is more appropriate in this case.
  2. Cruisers are not suitable for speed riding and doing tricks.
  3. Most cruisers usually have a smaller deck size. Therefore, you may find a lack of space to move around. It can be tough, especially for beginners, to catch that perfect footing.

A few characteristics:

Deck length28’’ – 34’’
Deck width8’’ – 10’’
Wheels78a – 85a (softer & wider)
TruckTraditional KingPins (TKPs) but can also have Reverse KingPins(RKPs). As above, TKPs are
a) lighter,
b) lower to the ground,
c) better for grinding due to the kingpin bolt behind the hanger

Conclusion

So, there you have it. There are many types of skateboards. Whichever board you choose, make sure you base that decision on the type of riding you will be doing and what you hope to achieve.  Therefore, the suitability of your chosen board will also depend on what you want to use it for. For instance, whether you want to be a professional skater or you want to use it to travel around. Your experience also matters when choosing a skateboard.

If you ask me, for beginners, or for someone who is learning how to ride a skateboard, I would recommend having the longboard over skateboard and cruiser boards simply because they are more accessible and there is a chance that you will be able to ride it within a couple of hours due to the comfort they offer.

Additionally, you may wish to have the board that suits you the best when your skill level improves. There are various types of skateboards to choose from.

If you wish to read further about which board suits you the best in more detail, then click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many types of skateboards are there?

There are 3 main types of skateboards:
1. Skateboards
2. Longboards
3. Cruiser boards


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