If you’re new to skateboarding, you might be wondering about the different types of skateboards available to skaters today. Back when skateboarding was just getting started, there really weren’t that many options to choose from.
The standard old school skateboards came in one main shape and size. However, over the years, skateboarding has evolved to include a wide variety of different boards, all of which serve different functions.
If you’re looking for a smooth ride, you might be interested in checking out a mini cruiser skateboard. If you’re looking for something a little longer in length that has softer wheels, longboard skateboards are an excellent choice.
There are many types of skateboards available today and finding the right one that will suit your needs will mostly depend on what your goals as a skater are. Those looking to just cruise will do well with a longboard or cruiser board, whereas those looking to get into street skating to perform tricks will want to get a street skateboard setup.
In this post, we will provide you with a guide on the many different types of skateboards available to skateboarders today which we hope can help you out when you decide to buy your first skateboard.
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Longboarding originated in Hawaii when local surfers in the 70s came up with the idea to bring their surfboard on land and put wheels on it. Eventually these early longboarders would use shortened surfboard-shaped plywood to create the first longboard.
For a while, longboarding remained an under-the-radar pastime that was only popular with the surfing community. But once street skating took off in the 1980s, it wasn’t long before longboards started getting mass produced in the 1990s by Sector 9 Skateboard company.
Longboards typically range between 32 and 50 inches in length, with cruising longboards being the shortest and downhill and freeride boards being the longest.
Cruiser longboards are shorter than downhill longboards and are capable of performing kick turns offering the skater better control of their board when skating in tighter spaces. They have a wider body than a typical street skateboard and have wide, soft wheels making it easy to ride over gaps and cracks in the sidewalk.
These boards are perfect for cruising down the boardwalk by the beach or for getting around town. Cruisers are great for beginner skaters because of how comfortable they are to ride and how easy they are to turn due to their shorter length.
If you have the need for speed, and are looking to get started in downhill skating, a downhill longboard is the way to go. Longer than a cruiser longboard, a downhill longboard is specifically designed to be optimal for downhill riding. These are typically what you think about when you picture a classic longboard skateboard.
Downhill longboards typically have larger wheels that are extra soft and come equipped with flexible trucks that allow the skater to carve when going downhill. Also known as a slalom skateboard, downhill boards are used in downhill slalom skating and are best for this type of skating style that requires you to carve and turn through obstacles while going downhill.
A freestyle skateboard is another type of longboard but it is designed for flatland riding. A bit more playful than a traditional downhill longboard, freestyle boards can come in a variety of different shapes and are about as long, if not longer, than a downhill board.
If you’re a taller person, freestyle longboards are a great alternative to a cruiser and offer a smooth and comfortable ride with extra wide and soft wheels.
The street board is the most common board you can find, as it is typically the type of skateboard you think about when you picture what a regular skateboard looks like. These boards have come a long way over the years, and are extremely versatile if you’re looking to take your skating skills to the next level by performing tricks and going to the skate parks.
Street skateboards consist of the skateboard deck, trucks, wheels, and bearings. You can purchase a complete skateboard setup or choose to build your own board with your own choice of deck, trucks, and wheels. With a wide variety of skateboard decks to choose from, you will be sure to find a design and shape that suits your style.
Street boards are the type of board you use for vert skateboarding as well as standard street skating. These boards are designed in a way that makes it possible for skaters to ollie, and perform kickflips, rail grinds, and other tricks.
Skaters looking to shred a vert ramp, mini ramp, or street park will most likely want to get a street board and will have a lot of different skate brands to choose from. It is recommended to go to your local skate shop to build your board. The friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you find the right board that will work best for you.
Mini Cruiser Skateboards
A mini-cruiser is a smaller version of a regular cruiser and is so compact that it can easily fit in a backpack. These are great for riding around town and can be stored away much easier than a standard cruiser.
Sometimes called penny boards, a mini-cruiser can feel a bit cramped when putting both feet on it, but once you get the hang of it, you will enjoy a nice smooth ride thanks to its large and soft wheels that make it easy to go over bumps and cracks in the road.
These mini boards are a great way to get around and are an affordable option if you’re looking for a sleek and comfortable ride.
Electric skateboards are the newest boards available on the market today. These are great if you have to travel long distances and don’t want to wear yourself out kicking and pushing. Shaped much like a freestyle longboard cruiser, an electric skateboard offers a comfortable ride that is powered by a battery pack that propels the wheels forward.
Simply use your handheld remote as a throttle, keep both feet on the board, and zip around town. Electric skateboards can be pretty fast. One of the most popular ones on the market is the Boosted Board.
Boosted Boards can reach speeds of up to 22 miles per hour, and have two battery options that range from 7 to 14 miles of battery life. These new-age skateboards are great for city dwellers looking to avoid heavy traffic and get from place to place in a fast and efficient way.
Which Board Should You Choose?
Having gone over all the different types of skateboards you might be wondering which one you should choose. A lot of that is going to come down to what type of skater you want to be.
If you know you want to perform tricks where you flip your board while jumping gaps and off ledges, then you will most likely want to go with a street board. Street skateboarding is probably one of the most popular ways to get started in skating, but is not always the best choice for everyone.
If you’re not looking to become a hardcore skating pro and just want a great way to relieve stress while getting some exercise, consider getting a cruiser skateboard. With a wide-body and medium length, these boards are extremely easy to maneuver and have big enough wheels to ride over even the sketchiest terrain.
There is no greater feeling than cruising comfortably down the boardwalk with the wind in your hair. And if you’re simply looking for relaxation and recreation, cruisers are a great way to go.
Those interested in downhill racing can look into buying a downhill longboard if speed is what they’re after. But it is recommended that you at least get started on a standard cruiser or freestyle longboard to get comfortable with the basics before attempting any dangerous downhill rides.
If you’re interested in a comfortable ride that can easily be stored in your backpack you should consider a mini-board. Mini cruisers or penny boards are great for getting around the city and can have large enough wheels to make it easy to ride over bumps.
While there is a bit of a learning curve to being able to get both of your feet on the board comfortably, once you get used to it, it can be a great way to get around.
Traveling more than a few miles on a skateboard can be tiring, especially if you’re dealing with hills and rough terrain. Using an electric skateboard to get around town can save you a lot of time and energy.
With some models being able to go as fast as 22 mph, electric boards are an amazing way to get from A to B without needing to get in your car or public transportation. And with batteries that can last up to 14 miles, electric skateboards are a far cry from the old school skateboards of the 80s.
Having gone over the main types of skateboards available to skaters today, we hope that you have a better idea of all the different options available to you. Whether you’re looking to get into street skating, cruising, freestyle, or downhill, there is a skateboard that can fit your interests, style, and needs.
Skateboarding has evolved tremendously over the years and has grown to a point where there is not only one style of skating. Aside from high-level trick skating, skateboards these days have something for everyone and have become a viable mode of transportation.
Those looking for maximum comfort and stability can’t go wrong with a cruiser, and if you’re looking to catch as much speed as possible, a longboard is your best bet.
If you want to take your skills to the skate park you will benefit from building your own street skateboard and will have no shortage of styles and options to choose from.
Most impressively, we now have electric skateboards that are powered by batteries. This is an incredible development that the first skaters probably couldn’t have imagined when they first started back in the 80s.
With so many different types of skateboards to choose from, finding the right board can seem like a daunting task, but the truth is, that if you’re looking to get into the sport for the first time, you should probably visit your local skate shop to speak with professionals that can help point you in the right direction.
Overall, skateboarding can be one of the most rewarding sports. And with so many different styles of skateboards, there is an opportunity for everyone to get involved in a sport that was once considered too dangerous for the average person to even attempt.
The introduction of cruisers, longboards, and electric skateboards made the barrier to entry for the sport much lower and has allowed for people to enjoy riding more comfortable boards that are easy to control and use as a reliable mode of transportation.
With all that said, we hope you can use this article to guide you in your journey of picking out your new board. Whether you’re just starting, or you’re an experienced skater just looking to try out a new board, knowing what options you have available will put you in a better position to choose a skateboard that will work for you and will allow you to accomplish your objectives.
Having so many different types of skateboards to choose from is something that wasn’t available to skaters even 20 years ago. With this in mind, we believe there is no better time to get out there and start skateboarding. Whether you’re just looking for exercise or are looking to become the next Tony Hawk, chances are there is a skateboard out there for you that can help you move forward in your skating journey.