Skateboard VS. Longboard

skateboard vs longboard

As you know already skateboards and longboards are quite different from each other. In fact, longboard is just a longer version of skateboard. They are both sporty equipment but have different shapes, sizes and functions. Many people are not aware of its differences so here are all the ways that skateboards differ from longboards.


The idea of skateboarding was created from the practice of surfing. Back in the 1950s, the culture of surfing was very popular. Everyone loved surfing but they were sitting ducks when the waves were flat. In order to indulge in something thrilling when the waves were flat, the concept of skateboarding on the roads which can be done irrespective of tidal and weather conditions were introduced. So the boredom of surfers during low drifts gave birth to skateboarding sports. Longboarding on the other hand, were evolved from the idea of skateboarding itself. Skateboard producers decided to build longer decks with larger roller-skate wheels. They wanted to build boards that can travel faster and ride on greater variety of terrains with more insanely wicked riding abilities. This lead to the creation of longboards.

Deck Shape

Deck ShapeThe decks of skateboards and longboards have different features. The deck of the skateboard is curved on the upward direction on both sides of the board. These features make it easy to perform tricks like ollies, and kickflips. Longboards however, are usually and almost all the time larger, as the name implies. Instead of curves, longboards have two narrow strips on either side making the board more stable. Longboards can be used to do more dangerous tricks while maintaining speed and stability all the while. Unlike longboards, skateboards are smaller and lighter and therefore are very easy to carry around. The skateboard deck is typically 30 inches in length and 7 inches in width. The length of longboards varies from 22 inches to 45 inches which is dependent on the function of the board and the width is around 9 inches.


TrucksThe trucks of the skateboards are located at the bottom of the board close to the center. The trucks are better suited for grinds and for the purposes of skateboarding tricks like ollies, flips on curbs or benches, and etcetera. The trucks on the longboards are at the bottom edges which are more suited to speedy rides and more advanced tricks for which longboards were designed for.


WheelsIn general skateboards have smaller wheels than longboards. Smaller wheels have to spin more numerously to maintain the same speed. Larger wheels therefore create less friction that enables faster and smoother rides. The small wheels of skateboards have problems travelling over sticks, ricks, cracks or on the street or sidewalks, but longboards have no problem whatsoever travelling over uneven surfaces. Longboards normally have soft and large wheels that make riding on rough surfaces relatively easier and more comfortable. The larger wheels have low chances of being stopped over obstructions. Longboards have greater stability, traction and durability because of their larger wheels and lower durometer of the wheels.


The shapes available for longboards are pintails, flat nose, drop-through, drop-down boards, and boards shaped like longer shortboards.Skateboardshapes include flat concaves, w-concaves, radials concaves, skateboards with kicktails, and etcetera.

Riding Styles

Longboard riding styleThe different features of skateboards and longboards allow it to have different styles of riding. Skateboards are usually used for street style skating and are used to ride on ramps, pipes. Skateboards have a curved structure with the nose and tail pointing upwards which consequently enable skaters to pull off tricks like kick flip just by kicking or hitting on certain points of the board that make it flip. Most street, vert, and pool skaters use skateboards for riding because of its size, weight and concave. Longboards on the other hand, apart from being heavy, have low concave and tail and nose, thereby making them unsuitable for kick flips, ollies. Longboards are used for downhill racing, travelling from point a to b, or just cruising around the city. The design, features and weight of longboards allow for big turns, quick carves the same way as surfers do. The very purpose of longboards is to allow easy turning and smooth cruising at high speeds over long distances while maintaining stability. Given below are some of the aspects of riding styles that skateboards and longboards differ in.

Cruising- Conventional skateboards are very well suited for riding on parks and ramps. The tight turns and light weight allow the riders to flip the board with ease. Nevertheless, the short length of skateboards makes them less stable and uncomfortable for long cruising rides. By contrast, the design of longboards makes transportation and long cruises more comfortable. Longboard riders are able to cruise for many miles and can enjoy smooth and uninterrupted journeys through the metropolises or country side.

Pumping- Skateboarders use their foot contact on the ground to drive the board by pushing the ground for thrust. This is not a very good option when riders want to cruise at great speeds on longboards. The wide-ranging design of longboards makes it able to pump the board instead by shifting the weight of the rider back and forth when riding. This creates the driving force of the longboard without the feet ever leaving the ground.Longboarders can often cruise indefinitely on flat surfaces or downhill surfaces with both feet fixed firmly on the board. Variations of the technique are power-turning and gyrating where riders pop the front of the board off the ground occasionally in a turning manner which can keep the board moving contact of the feet with the ground.

Balance- The length and stability of longboards make riding styles needing balance relatively easy. On longboards the rider can position the feet in a wider posture because of its increased width and length that offers much greater balance than that of conventional skateboards. The increased width provides extra comfort to riders with big feet. Skateboard requires extra balancing skills. The small width of skateboards, which is usually 7 inches to 10 inches, provides limited positioning of the riders hence little balancing is offered. The upper extremes for widths of the boards are usually found on longboards.

Tricks – Tall riders can learn and perform agile tricks on longboards which can be as impressive as conventional tricks. Longboards allow tricks like flipping the board, barrel rolls and ramping for people of all sizes and weight while some riders being faster than the others. The lengths of the longboard are very visually striking when performing trick such as these. This makes up for the slower execution when compared to conventional tricks.

Advantages of Skateboarding and Longboarding

Offers full body workout – While riding people move their feet and legs, and moves their arms for better balance. People keep twisting their bodies and all these actions take place simultaneously. These give the body a variety of movements the whole time of riding so ensures a very good exercise.

EnhancesStamina – Skaters do not just skate for a few minutes, they find it so enjoyable that people tend to skate for hours non-stop or may be even an entire day. This increases their physical endurance and hence enhances stamina.

Improves coordination – The sport requires continuous movements of the eyes, legs, arms so improves coordination. The more people skate the better will be their coordination. Precision and coordination are two important components of life. When these qualities are developed, the ability of people to do sporty activities will be improved as well, like climbing mountains, multi-tasking, and driving which is a fundamental daily activity.

Relieves mental stress- Sports such as this one can relieve people’s mind of stress, as it helps in taking the mind off things. Supposedly, skating can help people think more clearly. Skateboarding can help bring things into perspective and enables one feel more in control in other aspects of life.

Improves reflexes – Skateboarding and longboarding requires swift actions in short terms to maneuver tricks. People tend to get injured and hurt a lot while riding. The pain associated with riding can help improve reflexes as people hate getting wounded. Riders try to avoid injuries while riding and while learning tricks repeatedly they also learn how to avoid the movements that can cause injuries and so develop better reflexes.

Improves balance-Balance is a key component of skateboarding among other things like coordination and concentration. Both skateboarding and longboarding requires balance, but everyone is not naturally good at maintaining balance while riding. Just like any other skill this particular one has to be improved with practice. Beginners continue to practice till he develops the necessary skill to maneuver tricks and eventually will get better at it as the core muscles become stronger from the continuous movements and actions that are not normally done in day to day activities.

Advantages of Skateboarding

Teaches precision – Skateboarding involves a lot more jump and flip tricks than longboarding as we have already discussed. Skateboarding involves more perfectly aligned motions. People fail and continuously keep on trying till they get better. With each turn riders place their feet differently on the board with a slight change in timing, or changes in speed which enable them to land differently. The non-stop practice enables riders to develop motions and timing that are very precise.

Advantages of Longboarding

Longboards have been created for purposes that require soft, medium sized wheels that allow smooth and flexible movements around bumps, corners, and etcetera. Longboards can be used for commuting a lot better than skateboards because of their speed and stability. So, longboards provide an inexpensive, eco-friendly, enjoyable and light weight mode of transportation. Longboards are a better mode of transportation than skateboards over both long and short distances. Given below are more of the advantages of longboards over skateboards.

Smooth riding- One of the biggest differences between longboards and skateboards is that longboards possess soft urethane wheels, whereas skateboards usually feature small, hard ceramic or even composite wheels. Riders feel more comfortable and at ease at their knees, ankles, legs, back, shoulders while travelling with longboards. Longboards can tackle cracks, bumps rocks, and other road obstacles more smoothly and safely than skateboards. This is because the large and soft wheels act as shock absorbers that reduce the impact of the hits and ensure tenderer ride.

Affordable – Longboards by all means will last longer than skateboards. The average cost of longboards is $ 150. If it is ridden vigorously the long board will last about 3 years but if used less frequently will last 5 years at least. Therefore the cost of replacement of longboards will vary between $ 30 per year to $ 50 per year depending on the frequency and vigorousity of its use.

Multi-terrain feature – Longboards can be ridden absolutely anywhere let it be bumpy roads, sidewalks, alleys, stony paths, grasses, or downhill planes. No matter where you ride you will never feel any obstacle or discomfort in riding. Skateboards on the other hand can travel over a limited number places and are not as much smooth on bumpy or grassy surfaces.

Long-lasting- Longboards can last up to 10 years, depending on the use though, which is still a lot more than the amount of time that skateboards last. This due to the difference in materials used and the type of tricks involved in both of the boards. Longboards tend to wear and tear a lot less slowly than skateboards.

Quieter than skateboarding – Large urethane wheels of longboards are quieter and stealthy when compared to small ceramic wheels of skateboards.Longboards are usually used to travel over long uneven or slope surfaces and not many flip tricks are done with it as like skateboards, so naturally that makes skateboards noisier.

Great resale price – Longboards typically command 75% to 125% of their resale value. They are valuable to their customers for a long time a lot longer than skateboards are. As long as longboards are functional they are valuable to their user which is apparently to a maximum of ten years.

Extremely customizable – The trucks, wheels, bearings of longboards are exceptionally customizable. The parts can be transferred to almost any kind of longboard deck with the use of riser pads. Riders can manipulate their boards to any form of their personal preference. This makes longboards to be upgraded easily. Skateboards can be customized too but to a lesser extent than longboards.

Disadvantages of Longboarding

According to a study at Brigham Young University, Utah, longboarding may out riders at a greater risk of severe head injuries than the more conventional form of skateboarding. The researchers appraised 824 people with an average of 19 from Utah trauma center. The findings revealed that more than half of the respondents had injuries related to longboarding accidents between the years 2006 and 2011 and their injuries were a lot more severe than injuries related to skateboarding accidents. The study suggested that longboards are at a greater risk of head fracture, TBI and bleeding within the skull. Among longboarders, 8% had a head fracture, 31% had a traumatic brain injury and 14% had an intracranial hemorrhage. However, among skateboarders 0.5% were suffering from a head fracture, 12% had a brain injury and none of the skaters had an intracranial hemorrhage.

So why is longboarding more dangerous than the reckless sport of skateboarding? To begin with, environment plays an important role. Skateboarders mostly practice in skate parks or in open places like parking lots while longboarders prefer to practice on the open roads.Longboarders in open roads can face numerous obstacles like curbs, moving cars, sign posts, etcetera. They also tend to perform stunts like weaving between obstacles or riding downhill to be able to reach the fastest of speeds. This greatly increases chances of severe injuries. In addition, longboarders are much less likely to wear helmets out of desire for freedom according researcher Dr. Steven M. Thygerson, an assistant professor of health science at Birmingham University, which makes them more vulnerable to head injuries. Lastly, longboards travel at greater speeds than skateboards which alone makes it extremely susceptible to injuriesespecially in the head region.

To sum up, skateboards and longboards are both thrilling. The have different line of origin and were created in different times. They come in many shapes and size each suiting perfectly to their functions due to difference in their features like wheels, bearings, and trucks. Both skateboards and longboards have their own benefits and drawbacks. Longboards however, are more dangerous than skateboards because of the riding styles it is entitled to do and because of the terrains it is meant to be ridden on. Both of the boards should be ridden with caution in order to get maximum remunerations of its features. Longboards and skateboards are both equally enjoyable and thrilling but serve different purposes in the aspect of riding.