Okay, you saw people riding them all over town, and they seem fun - so you decided to get one, too. Well, the first order of business is figuring out how to stand on that thing without falling right off?
We promise that it’s not as difficult as it looks - and with the help of this guide, it will be as easy as one, two, three.
Seriously, stick around; we’ve prepared a step-by-step guide on how to ride a penny board as efficiently and safely as possible.
Now, without further ado, let’s jump straight in and get you on that board as soon as possible!
What Is A Penny Board?
A penny board is a light and resistant board made of plastic but uses cruiser wheels and trucks. If it looks similar to a longboard, that’s because it is - well, shape-wise, at least.
Size-wise, it’s much smaller.
You get to enjoy your ride without worrying too much about damaging your board - while still retaining all the comfort and the stability of a regular board.
In essence, a penny board is a plastic skateboard you’d use in the surroundings that aren’t the best for a full-sized skateboard or longboard.
For instance, penny boards are often used to get around big cities and densely populated areas. That’s where this type of board shines.
Now that you know what a penny board is, we can move on to the main topic and see how you can learn to ride it in the shortest amount of time possible!
Penny boards are pretty short, but they’re still wide, so there’s room for your feet - even if it may not look like it at a glance. And given how small of a surface you need to manipulate to go in the desired direction, these are easier to ride, too.
Now, lesson number one:
Learn how to stay on the board without you moving on it - and without the whole board moving from underneath you.
Compared to a regular longboard, where there’s plenty of space for your feet, on a penny board, you’re limited to an area of 22 to 27 inches. So, as you can imagine, that makes the positioning of your feet pretty important.
For starters, many will have to put their feet wherever they feel well-balanced. However, if you still find balancing tricky, a good rule of thumb is to aim for the bolts.
You know, the top of the screws above the trucks.
When pushing, aim to place your front foot over the bolts, or at the very least just below the front two bolts. That will give you a solid position once you start moving with your back foot.
On that note:
The position of the back foot isn’t as important; that’s the foot that’ll be in charge of pushing and braking, anyway. So, you can place it perpendicular to the board when you want to rest or while you’re cruising.
Finding Your Balance
We highly recommend that you step on the board for the first time in a setting where you have something to hold on to while doing so. Your balance probably needs some work at this point - unless you know how to ride a skateboard, that is - so having something to hold onto would be amazing.
Now, the secret to better balance is bending your knee just a bit more. That way, more weight is placed on your board. You should aim to maintain an angled upside-down L shape with the front leg.
When you can stand on your penny board without any problems and maintain your balance, you will be ready to take the next step in learning how to ride it.
And the next step is to take one foot off the board and step onto the ground.
That’ll allow you to gain momentum while pushing off the ground with your back leg - but you’re not there yet. For now, try putting your back leg down on the pavement, then putting it back up on the board a few times.
The goal is simple - maintain your balance while transitioning from one position to the next and back.
Let’s Roll: Gaining Speed
Now that you’ve mastered the whole maintaining-your-balance part and can stand in one spot without losing your board from underneath you, it’s time to get moving.
The first step - and probably the most important one - is to find a good spot. Something flat that doesn’t have any noticeable inclines or bumpy sections should do.
Trust us; you don’t want to attempt riding a penny board on anything but the flattest of terrains. Smooth and incline-free is the way to go while you’re still in the beginning stages.
Another piece of advice - wear a helmet. Also, it would be great if you’d wear knee and elbow pads, at least until you get the hang of balance.
Safety is a number one priority; don’t take this part lightly!
Suppose you’re all geared up and ready to get going; how do you get started?
Step on the board, place the front foot over the bolts but keep the ball of your other foot on the ground. Now, shift the weight to your front leg and lightly push off in a straight, smooth motion.
Your knees should be bent, and you should ensure that both of your feet are facing forward to keep the balance and continue going on in a straight line.
Congratulations, you’re now officially riding a penny board!
How To Stop
Stopping might be the easiest or the most challenging part of riding a penny board, depending on how you plan on stopping the board.
If you decide to go the usual route, you have two options:
The first one is available only if your movement speed is moderate and you can step off of the board. We’d generally recommend this to beginners that are just learning how to ride a penny board.
Just step off and pick it up.
The other method involves dragging the sole of your footwear against the ground until you come to a complete stop.
How To Turn
Once you get going, turning is probably the most complicated part. As with stopping, you’ll have two ways to go about it:
- Shifting your weight on the board in the direction you’d like to go in - a method that might be more suitable for beginners.
- Using the kicktail involves placing your back foot at the very end of the board, pressing down onto the rear lip until the front wheels are off the pavement, and swiveling in a new direction.
How To Ride A Penny Board? - Conclusion
So, there you have it! Now you know how to ride a penny board. That wasn’t too hard, now, was it?
We get that the size of the board doesn’t inspire confidence, but trust us - give penny boards a shot, and you’ll love them!
If you have nothing better to do right now, head outside - and start practicing. You’ll be a pro in a matter of days!