Is A Longboard A Skateboard ? – Let’s Check Everything!
If you are a beginner at skateboarding, you will surely be confused with the question “Is a longboard a skateboard?” before deciding to buy your most suitable sports equipment.
Although longboards and skateboards share many of the same characteristics, they are still two different boards. Each type serves various riders with particular uses and preferences.
Visually, longboards and skateboards don't have many differences but go into every detail, you'll understand why longboards are for light activities over long distances, while skateboards are for eye-catching freestyle tricks.
Even if you're already leaning towards either of these two types, there are many differences between them that can make you think twice once you know.
When this article comes to an end, we believe you can choose the right board without any hesitation because it covers every issue and gives you the answer you are looking for.
Now, let’s check out the most important factors related to longboards and skateboards!
Longboard And Skateboard - What Makes Them Different?
Deck Shape And Size
Based on the name, you can probably guess that a longboard will be longer than a skateboard. Typically, longboards have an average size of 33-60 inches in length and 9-10 inches in width, while these figures in skateboards are 28-32 inches and 7-10 inches, respectively.
What the difference does the deck shape lead to? The larger size provides longboards with more stability and balance between their rails.
In terms of shape, although it comes in many different designs, the basic feature of a skateboard is that its deck curved upwards at both ends, allowing skaters to perform ollies and flips.
Longboards, by contrast, have various shapes and sizes with longer and narrower decks to bring more comfort and ease to players.
Due to the longer deck shape, a longboard has larger and softer wheels, allowing it to move faster and be suitable for a variety of surfaces. You will not have to worry if you encounter small stones or obstacles in your journey.
What about a skateboard? With smaller and stiffer wheels, it can bounce off an obstacle. However, the small wheels make them ideal for grinds and tricks.
You can easily see that both skateboards and longboards have trucks at the bottom, but they are not the same. Just like wheels, a skateboard truck is stiffer, making it perfect for grinding and performing tricks.
In terms of size, a skateboard truck is also narrower and uses a TKP (traditional kingpin). A longboard truck, by contrast, is larger, quieter, and includes an RKP (reverse kingpin) and hangers with sizes ranging from 5.9-7 inches
The size of longboard and skateboard bearings is the same regardless of the wheel size or the board type. The difference lies in the bearing spacers.
The axle diameter of the bearing spacer is generally 8mm for most skate trucks, whether longboard or skateboard. What you need to pay attention to is the overall spacer width.
If you use a skateboard, it is advisable to choose an 8mm spacer, and for a longboard, the size should be 10mm.
Longboard And Skateboard - What Should We Choose?
For Easy Riding
Overall, getting used to a longboard is easier than a skateboard. Thanks to the long and wide deck, you should have almost no trouble standing and balancing on a longboard.
The larger and softer wheels of the longboard will give you a smooth and stable ride through cracks, small rocks, or insignificant obstacles on the road.
Meanwhile, learning how to stand on a regular skateboard will be slightly more challenging because the small deck and short length make the board less stable and manageable.
Additionally, small and stiff wheels are not set up for dealing bumpy and rough rides. Bumps and minor obstacles on the road can stop a skateboard, causing you to fall if you are an inexperienced player.
If your goal is to ride a few miles, you'll need a fast, easy-to-push board with just the right amount of thrust to save energy. And perhaps, skateboards are not the perfect choice in this situation.
Although a skateboard, especially a professional skateboard, can significantly pick up speed, it requires more force and pushes to maintain speed. This will make you exhausted soon, so it is not suitable for long-distance commutes.
Meanwhile, a longboard with a long deck, large wheels, and efficient bearings will save you effort and still achieve the desired speed over great distances.
If you’re into dancing to show off your artistic sides, a longboard is a better choice!
Its large symmetrical plank with flexibility and lightness offers space and stability for cross jumps and turns, as well as the maneuverability to carve on flat ground.
On the other hand, too short and stiff deck, small and hard wheels, and the tight truck all together make the skateboard unfit for the purpose.
This is the area where skateboards shine the most. Depending on your skills and experiences, you can perform simple to complicated tricks and stunts, including standing tricks, handstands, spins, pivots, flips, and more.
All are a part of the DNA of a skateboard, with kicktails, hard wheels, and full-length concave.
It is very difficult to perform freestyle tricks with a longboard unless you are a professional longboarder or at least a seasoned player. Even so, you can only perform a few tricks with this board, including power slides, pumping, or carving.
Purpose Of Longboard And Skateboard
Purpose And Pros - Cons Of Longboard
As mentioned above, longboards come in many different shapes and sizes, suitable for various purposes. You can use a longboard to travel long distances or dance to show off your talent and technical prowess.
For some experienced riders, longboards can even be used to perform some street tricks like Ollies or kickflips. They don't require a lot of strength to get up to speed, and once you get used to it, it's a great and healthy activity.
- Suitable for traveling with minimal effort
- Easy to gain balance and stability
- Undisturbed by pebbles and other small objects
- Bulky and heavy to carry
- Limited tricks and stunts
In general, a longboard is suitable for those who like:
- Stable riding experience
- Cruising with friends
- Bombing hill
- Using the board to get around town
Purpose And Pros - Cons Of Skateboard
Skateboards are for those who love and want to try unlimited street tricks. You will enjoy great experiences with skateboards in skate parks and streets.
In addition, the deck, wheels, and truck are designed to withstand significant shocks and speeds. Once you know how to ride a skateboard, you won't have any problems using a longboard.
- Pull off street games and tricks
- Compact and easy to carry
- High speed
- Create world views (stairs, rails, curbs)
- Mastering a skateboard makes it easier to take up longboarding
- Requires a lot of effort and perseverance
- Regularly change related equipment and tools
- Not suitable for long-distance travel
- Hard wheels can cause discomfort when riding on rough roads
Thus, a skateboard is an ideal choice for players who:
- Learn and try new freestyle tricks
- Ride quickly in crowded areas
- Own a sport board that carry and store easily
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are still confused between these two items, refer to some of the following questions to make the right choice.
Are Longboards Or Skateboards Better For Beginners?
Longboards are easier for beginners thanks to their longer and wider deck that helps you balance easily. While moving, larger and softer wheels help amateurs overcome small obstacles on the road easily without injury.
Skateboarding requires more skills and perseverance. Scratches and bruises are inevitable when you practice in the beginning. But once mastered, it will give you unlimited room for creativity.
Which Performs Better In The Rain?
A longboard will perform better in wet conditions. It has more grip due to the larger and softer wheels that distribute your weight evenly throughout the vehicle, making it safer to ride in wet conditions.
However, any board is not recommended to skate in rain or wet conditions. That's because rainwater can wreak havoc on the wood deck and bearings.
Although some bearings can perform well in rainy weather, they are expensive. Not only that, rain can affect the glue and cause the deck to flood, which may lead to the peeling of laminated boards.
Which Is The Fastest?
Skateboards can accelerate faster, but skateboarders will need more effort to maintain that speed for a long time and catch up with longboarders.
Besides, skateboards will tend to be unstable at high speeds because wheels and trucks aren't designed for that.
As the truck doesn’t respond well to top speed, the skateboard can wobble and you might be thrown off. It is difficult to deal with the situation unless you are a skilled skater.
So, let's choose a longboard for this case. Longboarding takes great effort to get up to speed, but once you achieve the speed you want, maintaining it shouldn't be difficult.
Moreover, when traveling sideways, a longboard with large wheels and a soft deck will keep your ride stable without worrying about the risk of splashing out.
See also: How Fast Can A Longboard Go - Quick Tips
Which Lasts The Longest?
In terms of durability, longboards last longer. People use longboards mainly for cruising, going sightseeing. These activities are quite gentle and forgiving so the boards won’t degrade in a short time.
While the wheels can wear out, the board and truck can last for years if you handle and maintain them properly and regularly.
If you often use longboards for downhill riding, the wheels may have to be changed often, and the bearings will also be more or less affected. In general, the board’s durability will depend on how often you skate, the type of terrain, and the style you prefer.
Now, you probably know the answer to the “Is a longboard a skateboard” question? Once you understand these two board types thoroughly, you can make your own choice with ease.
To keep it simple, you need to remember the two most basic things: choose a longboard if you want to go long distances or don't want to do various tricks. And choose the skateboard when you want to try unlimited tricks.
Whichever product you choose, you need to maintain them regularly to ensure a smooth and pleasant ride. And there's nothing like stepping on a skateboard or longboard and feeling how it works.
So, stock up on these facts, then go to the store and try them on before buying!