If you are new to skateboarding, you will agree that choosing the right board could be a daunting task. You might have also come across the term “Pennyboard”, and be left wondering how it differs from the standard skateboard. Are you trying to compare Pennyboards and Skateboards, and want to know which is best for you?
If you are interested in finding out all there is to know about the Pennyboard and whether to opt for one rather than a standard skateboard, this article is for you.
In a nutshell, Pennyboards are great for kids aged 5-10 years who are just starting out with skateboarding, whereas skateboards are great for older kids and adults who want to do more with skateboards like tricks.
Pennyboards and skateboards are both great, and each has their pros and cons. There are also some distinct differences between both boards that could impact your skateboarding experience. Read on for more information.
Brief History of Pennyboards – What are they?
The term “Pennyboard” originated from an Australian company; Penny Skateboard. This company was founded by Ben Mackey in 2010, and he named his boards after his little sister, Penny.
Asides being the name of the Australian company, Penny later became a generic term used to refer to boards that share the characteristics we have highlighted below.
Pennyboards are smaller than the average standard skateboards, and their decks are typically made of plastic. Its plastic deck material accounts for the compatibility of these boards, which makes them perfect for commuting.
Pennyboards are best suited for short-distance travels and basic cruising around town. You can expect your pennyboard to be anywhere around 22-27 inches long, and it comes with a wide range of customizable colors.
When purchasing a Pennyboard, it’s crucial for you to verify if you are shopping from Penny Australia or a regular Pennyboard retailer. The regular Pennyboards are usually sold around $20-$30, while the original Pennyboards costs about $105-$120.
What about Skateboards?
The term “Skateboard” is often used to refer to a wide range of boards, from the portable Pennyboards to the much longer longboards. But in this context, when we say skateboards, we are referring to the standard skateboards.
Skateboards are less compact in comparison to pennyboards. They are usually within 28 to 32 inches long, with rounded edges and a kicktail which makes it easier to flip and perform tricks with.
Unlike Pennyboard decks that are made of plastic, skateboard decks are made of seven plies of maple wood which accounts for its strength. These features combined result in a more versatile board.
You can purchase a basic skateboard for about $40 or opt for a higher-end model with better hardware, which could cost up to $180 or more.
Notable Differences Between a Pennyboard and a Skateboard
The deck of pennyboards are made of hard plastic. This plastic is quite different from the usual because it flexes; it can be bent down and retracted to its original form.
Skateboards on the other hand are made of 7-ply maple wood, coated with polyurethane to make the deck smooth and more durable.
The trucks of pennyboards are made of cast aluminum. They are available in two sizes; 3 inches and 4 inches. The 3-inch truck is best suited for the 22 inches pennyboard, while the 4-inch truck is used for the longer 27-inch board.
Skateboard trucks are also made of aluminum, but can be made of other metals such as steel or brass as well. Skateboard trucks are wider than those of pennyboards, ranging from 6.3 to 9.35 inches.
The wheels of Pennyboards are made of polyurethane with a plastic core. Polyurethane is a synthetic rubber polymer that is strong and flexible. Pennyboard wheels are soft and bigger than those of skateboards. You will often notice the wheels bulging out of the deck’s sides.
Skateboard wheels are also made from polyurethane, but they often come in various sizes (small, medium and large). Skateboard wheels could be soft or hard, and are smaller that those of a Pennyboard, typically ranging from 1.9 to 2.7 inches wide.
Pennyboards vs Skateboards – Pros and Cons
Depending on your riding preference and skill-set, Pennyboards and skateboards are both great boards that make up a thrilling skateboarding experience. However, they do have their advantages and disadvantages.
- Durable: The deck material of Pennyboards are made of hard plastic. This plastic material enables the board to better withstand harsh riding conditions. Skateboard decks are usually made with wood, which eventually chips off and deteriorates faster.
- Portable and Convenient: Pennyboards have a compact size which makes it great for short commutes. Plus, its easier to carry about and can easily fit into a backpack without taking up much space. Its lightweight also makes it easy to move with, even without a backpack.
- Perfect for Young Skateboarders: If your little ones enjoy skateboarding as well, you might want to consider getting them a pennyboard instead. Pennyboards are ideal for kids aged 5-10 years. They would find it easier to ride as it would be a perfect fit for their size.
- Greater Level of Stability: Thanks to the large wheels on pennyboards, it makes it easier to maneuver cracks and bumps. It also helps curtail speed wobbles when riding.
- Limited Utilities: Unlike the standard skateboard, a Pennyboard has very limited use. While it is great for commuting and cruising, it is not recommended to perform tricks using a Pennyboard. You also cannot ride at increased speed, or work the skate ramps with a Pennyboard.
- Not Ideal for Older Riders: While the Pennyboard is great for young skateboarders, it’s not an ideal choice for teenage or adult beginners. This is because the decks have limited space, and the narrow stance makes it harder to balance and control the board.
- Best for Teenagers and Adults: The larger decks of skateboards give the rider more feet room, and enables them take a wider stance. Therefore, Skateboards are best for teens and older adults. The wider deck makes it easier for new skateboarders in this age bracket to learn how to balance on one.
- More Versatile: With a skateboard, learning tricks is easier. You will be able to perform all the tricks and stunts that would be difficult, or nearly impossible to perform with a pennyboard.
- Easier to Control: The upturned nose and tail of a skateboard gives the rider better control of the board. You can achieve greater speed, and manage downhill rides effectively.
- Customization: Skateboard decks usually come in a wide range of varied artwork styles. This gives you several options to choose from. You can easily find your aesthetic preference, and express yourself through your deck’s art. Oftentimes, manufacturers also release special editions that come with sought-after artistic characters and designs.
- Bigger and Heavier: Sadly, standard skateboards do not have the portability that Pennyboards do. As such, it is more difficult to carry about and protect from theft. The weight of the board would also require you to put in more work when flipping, or trying to achieve greater speed.
- Greater Risks: It is easier to perform different tricks with a skateboard, even the advanced ones. Although this is cool and exciting, the rider is often exposed to more risks and there’s a higher possibility of accidents occurring.
- Can Damage Your Shoes: Skateboard riders often require grip tapes to help keep their feet firm on the deck. Though an essential part of the skateboard, this can cause your shoes to tear up. Performing tricks persistently, could also cause the soles of your shoes to deteriorate.
Should I Get a Pennyboard or a Skateboard?
Ultimately, the choice as to whether you should get a pennyboard or a skateboard would depend on its intended usage. If you are simply looking for a board that is suitable for commuting and can be carried wherever you want, you should get a pennyboard.
On the other hand, if you want a board that would challenge your skills and give you a more adventurous skateboarding experience, a standard skateboard is for you. Your capabilities would also matter as well.
Most importantly, always ensure you purchase a high quality board (be it a Pennyboard or a standard skateboard) for a rewarding skateboarding experience. If you like this article, why not share it using the share buttons? Which do you prefer: Pennyboards or Skateboards? Let’s know in the comment section below.