Longboard vs Skateboard – What are the differences? 

 December 13, 2022

By Nick

Longboard vs skateboard

Are you a longboarder or a skateboarder?

Or are you one of those people who can do both?

Well, whichever one you're into, we've got some news for you: there's a big debate happening in the skateboarding world about which is better – longboards or skateboards.

We're not going to get into that here (that's for another blog post), but we will explain the key differences between these two types of boards and how they each excel at different things.

So whether you're just starting in the skating world or you're thinking about making a switch to longboarding, read on to find out more!

The history of the longboard and skateboard

Old School Skateboarder

When people think of skateboarding, they typically envision the longboard-shaped boards most popularized in the '80s, not the popsicle skateboard that skaters use today. But longboarding and skateboarding have been evolving since long before that era. The long lineage of longboards dates back to 1959 when the first version of longboards was created to surf on land.

These "Sidewalk Surfers" became especially popular in California and other parts of America during the 1960s. Fast forward to 1972 when skateboarders began to experiment with their version of longboards which combined traditional skateboard components like trucks, decks, and wheels into one long boarding vehicle.

The resulting invention has become known as the modern longboard, and it embodies its original purpose: allowing surfers to ride a wave no matter what form it takes - be it pavement or water.

Longboarding has come such a long way throughout history, proving that its good times can already last forever. Skateboarders should embrace this philosophical example by letting go and riding their longboards with ease. Sure, even short rides can be enjoyable but there's no doubt that longboarding offers an even better experience.

How skateboards & longboards are used

Longboarder crusing

Skateboards and longboards have long been a mainstay of the extreme sports world, but it is important to know the differences between them – and when each is most appropriate.

Conventional skateboards -popsicle decks- are smaller and lighter than longboards, and they’re ideal for landing tricks, ollies (a kind of jump), or riding around town or in your local park.

Longboards have a different deck shape are best suited to long-distance travel or downhill racing, as they are longer, stiffer, and sometimes wider than skateboards and have bigger and softer wheels. They provide greater stability at high speeds, which makes them perfect for riders looking for more speed, control, and smooth riding.

For long-distance cruising, longboarders often use the common longboard shapes which are symmetrical with drop-through mounting systems for added stability and maneuverability.

Whether you’re choosing a longboard for cruising, downhill racing, or urban carving, it's important to find one that suits your particular needs - there are softer wheels, harder wheels, cruiser wheels, smaller wheels, bigger wheels, wider trucks, all kinds of different deck shapes and even grip tape; so be sure to do your research before making a purchase. 

Differences in trucks and wheels

Longboard vs skateboards trucks and wheels

Trucks and wheels can make a big difference in your longboarding or skateboarding experience.

Even though they have similarly designed trucks there are some key differences.

First, longboard trucks are typically wider, heavier, and have more height than the trucks of traditional skateboards. This allows longboard riders to have greater stability and a smoother and more comfortable ride when they're longboarding in the streets, especially in long distances.

Longboard trucks also feature a looser turning radius due to their unique designs, which are ideal for making sharper turns.

When it comes to longboard wheels, they tend to be larger and wider than traditional skateboard wheels. This gives longboards a better grip on surfaces and makes them resistant to speed wobbles.

On the other hand, unlike longboard wheels, skateboard wheels are smaller and harder, which are lighter and designed for less resistance when maneuvering tight corners at high speeds, which is ideal for street skating, skatepark riding, and performing tricks.

They won't last as long as longboard wheels either due to this design feature so that must be taken into consideration before purchase.

All in all, it's important to know what type of truck or wheel works best for your specific needs, and it will help in choosing between skateboards and longboards.

Longboarding vs Skateboarding culture

Longboarding culture

Longboarding and skateboarding both have unique cultures that create attractive communities for their respective riders. The biggest differences are that longboarding culture is often seen as more laid back and relaxed, while conventional skateboarding culture is seen as more dynamic and adventurous.

Cruising on longboards often involves a smooth ride over long distances, even though some riders prefer hitting the road at a high speed.

Popular destinations include long stretches of flat pavement by the beach or local parks. Skateboarders, on the other hand, will typically ride around areas populated with rails, steps, and ledges to land tricks on. Thus, longboards are optimized for long-distance transportation from point A to B with little fuss or risk of injury or damage to equipment, while skateboards are designed to perform tricks in specific locations such as skate parks and half pipes.

Despite their differences, longboarders and skateboarders share a passion for skating, preferably with friends or others that share the same enthusiasm. Together these two cultures enrich each other in ways that allow them to continue doing what they love in a friendly environment.

Whichever board you decide to go with, it's sure to make all your rides more fun! With the right gear on hand, you'll be ready to take on any terrain that comes your way! Dive into the world of extreme sports with either a longboard or skateboard - the choice is yours!

Choosing the right board

Longboard vs skateboard boards

Trying to decide between skateboards and longboards? The best way to choose is by considering what type of riding you plan on doing. If you’re new to the scene, a longboard for beginners is typically best.

A typical beginner’s longboard is a pintail shape ,one of the most common longboard shapes, which offers good stability and room for moving around. On the other hand, if you're an experienced rider looking for speed and agility, then choosing a downhill longboard, which is designed to carry high speed, can be an excellent option.

Downhill modern longboards tend to be thinner with higher kicks on either end, so they require better balance but let you make quick turns and maintain speed.

For extreme downhill riders seeking an adrenaline rush, there are even drop-down longboard decks available that offer extra stability during those high speeds! It all depends on your personal preference and skill level, so make sure to take that into account when deciding what kind of board best suits your needs.

Whichever board you decide to go with, it's sure to make all your rides more fun! With the right gear on hand, you'll be ready to take on any terrain that comes your way! Dive into the world of extreme sports with either a longboard or skateboard - the choice is yours!

About the author

James Mason here. Surfing, skateboarding, and longboarding enthusiast currently living in Rio, Brazil. Started boarding since I was old enough to wear a helmet, except I often didn't. Think that explains a lot :)