Skateboard vs Penny Board: Which Board is Better for You?

If you’re looking to get into skateboarding, you’ve probably stumbled upon the penny board vs skateboard debate. Both are popular modes of transportation and leisure, but they differ significantly in design, size, materials, and riding styles.

Penny boards, born in the 70s and popularized by the Australian brand Penny Skateboards in 2010, are compact, lightweight, and made from hard plastic. They’re designed more for transportation and casual cruising. On the other hand, skateboards, with their wider decks and larger wheels, offer more stability and maneuverability, making them suitable for both cruising and tricks.

So, which one is right for you? The answer depends on various factors, including your height, weight, shoe size, and what you want from your boarding experience. Let’s dive in and explore the pros and cons of each.

Skateboard vs Penny Board

Understanding the crucial differences between a skateboard and a penny board can help you choose the right board for your needs. Let’s dive deeper into their design, materials, maneuverability, and versatility.

Design and Materials

Skateboards and penny boards differ vastly in their design and materials. Penny boards, originating from the Australian brand Penny Skateboards, are compact, lightweight and primarily made from hard plastic. Their design typically incorporates a tapered nose and tail. They usually measure between 22 and 27 inches long, ensuring they’re easy to carry and highly portable. The plastic decks and small size make penny boards an attractive option for many.

The image should depict a close-up comparison of the materials and design elements of a skateboard and a penny board.

On the other hand, skateboards, often seen as the generic term for this type of board, are larger and heavier, which gives them more stability. Traditionally constructed from seven-ply maple wood, skateboards offer durability and flexibility. Their design includes raised kicktails, enabling the performance of various tricks.


Maneuverability differs significantly between a skateboard and a penny board. Due to their larger size and wider trucks, skateboards offer more control, particularly at higher speeds. Their larger wheels further enhance maneuverability, providing the ability to navigate tight spaces like bowls or halfpipes with greater ease.

Penny boards, with their compact size and narrow trucks, are incredibly agile. However, their short wheelbase can make it harder to recover from a mistake, leading to more wipe outs and possibly additional small injuries.

a dynamic scene where both a skateboarder and a penny board rider are navigating through a crowded urban environment, showcasing their ability to maneuver.


When it comes to versatility, skateboards take the edge. They are ideal for doing tricks and stunts, thus appealing to riders interested in those aspects as well as casual cruising. The flexibility offered by the maple wood deck, coupled with the design that includes kicktails, elevates the potential for performing tricks.

In contrast, penny boards are primarily designed for transportation and casual cruising. They’re not recommended for tricks and high-speed cruising. However, because they’re lightweight, small enough to carry around, and simple to control, they often become the preferred choice for beginners or when portability is a key factor.

Skateboard or penny board? The decision comes down to what you’re looking to get out of the experience. Whether it’s performing tricks or just having a mini cruiser that’s easy to carry around, the choice between a skateboard and a penny board will depend on your personal preference.

The skateboard scene should depict an adventurous rider mid-air, executing a trick, highlighting the board's capability for tricks. Simultaneously, the penny board should be shown in a more relaxed scenario, with a rider smoothly cruising along a city sidewalk.

Cost Comparison

In this section, we’ll delve into the difference in costs between various types of skateboards and penny boards.

Initial Investment

Skateboards, due to their larger size and typically higher-quality materials, such as seven-ply maple wood, tend to cost more than penny boards. When you opt to buy a skateboard, you’re investing in a piece of equipment designed for stability, durability, and versatility. They’re larger and heavier, making them more stable for performing tricks and cruising around. If you’re interested in doing tricks, a high-end skateboard might be a worthy investment.

On the other hand, penny boards, originally introduced by Penny Australia, are a more economical option if you’re aiming for portability over trick performance. These boards, often with their signature plastic decks, are compact in size, easy to carry around, and designed for swift navigation through urban areas. The small size of a penny board – typically measuring between 22 and 27 inches long – contributes to its lower cost. Penny boards are ideal if you’re looking for a cost-effective board that’s still high-quality and reliable for casual commuting.

However, keep in mind that the initial cost of the board isn’t the only investment. There’s also the gear. No matter whether it’s a skateboard or a penny board, it’s crucial to budget for necessary safety gear. Helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards are all essential for safe riding. Though they might appear as added expenses, they’re really investments in your safety and wellbeing while enjoying the ride.

Skill Level and Learning Curve

When we talk about the type of board, whether it’s a skateboard or penny board, the skill level and learning curve play a significant role. One should carefully consider these factors before deciding which one to opt for.

As a beginner, you’re looking for something easy to control and this is where a penny board may be superior. Given their small size, they are considered easier for beginners to learn. Navigating through large crowds and narrow pathways becomes more manageable with such plastic decks. In terms of width, penny boards tend to measure between 22 and 27 inches long, making them a fantastic choice for kids and teenagers.

However, their relatively small size might make penny boards harder for teenage and adult beginners. Comparatively, skateboards might suit them better due to their larger size and stability. They are considered more stable, making them suitable for individuals who want to learn tricks. In fact, when it comes to performing tricks, nothing beats a skateboard with its curved nose and tail, kicktails, and greater width.

Moreover, unlike penny boards, skateboards offer a unique advantage in customizability. You can fine-tune the seven-ply maple wood deck, trucks, wheels, and even the bearings to ease the learning curve substantially. This gives skateboards an edge for those individuals who are keen on improving and refining their skills over time.

On the downside, skateboards are larger and heavier. This makes them less easy to carry around, unlike the penny boards. But the trade-off is a much wider potential for stunts and tricks when you’ve got the skills.

In the end, the right board for me isn’t necessarily the right one for you. It’s truly a matter of personal preference. What’s most important is to always remember wearing safety gear, regardless of whether you’re on a skateboard or penny board. Safety should always be your primary concern. Thus, ensure your initial investment includes a good quality helmet, knee and elbow pads before hitting the road or park.


So, you’ve seen how penny boards and skateboards stack up. If you’re just starting out or need a compact ride for crowded areas, a penny board’s your go-to. It’s small, easy to control, and perfect for beginners. But if you’re itching to learn tricks and crave customization, skate boarding’s the way to go. It’s stable, versatile, and grows with your skills. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer here. It’s all about what feels right for you. And whatever you choose, don’t skimp on the safety gear. Because no matter the board, safety always comes first.

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