It’s common for beginners to be undecided when shopping for an appropriate skateboard – questions like whether they should get the penny board vs cruiser board… While some expert suggests a beginner should purchase the penny board, some would recommend the cruiser board.
So, shopping for the necessary equipment can be pretty burdensome as you come across various types and brands that could confuse you about which one to purchase.
As a result, this article will discuss which is the best for your skateboarding journey.
What Is A Penny Board?
Penny boards are plastic skateboards that are scaled down from standard skateboards. Its concave shape, upward-curving tail, and waffle-like top surface give riders a secure grip on the board. The length of a penny board is between 22 and 26 inches, and the deck is either 6 or 9.5 inches wide.
Because it’s plastic-based, it’s usually lightweight and portable. Thus, it is suitable for beginners who are also college students, as they can easily fit it into their bags or lockers. Its rough surface allows the skater to ride barefoot and perform many stunts.
It’s named ‘penny’ because it’s believed that with a single penny, you can ride one. However, due to its small size and shorter board deck, it’s only suitable for short-distance rides and can’t be used to perform carving like other longer boards.
- It’s affordable
- It’s lightweight and handy
- Suitable for beginners
- Allows for easy flexibility and tricks
- It’s compact-sized and can be stored easily
- Allows for barefoot skating
- Penny boards are not usually durable
- They’re not stable and can’t withstand heavyweight skaters
- Not suitable for long-distance rides
What Is A Cruiser Board?
Cruiser boards fall in between the longboards and the regular skateboards. It’s longer and bigger than a skateboard but shorter than a longboard. It’s mainly used for regular movements around the neighborhood. It isn’t suitable for performing advanced tricks because it lacks an elevated kicktail. Although you might come across some cruiser boards with the kick tail, it usually isn’t precise like that of a penny board.
Typically, a cruiser board’s length ranges from 25 to 37 inches. The term “longboard” refers to a board size larger than this. A cruiser board is your ideal option if you’re a novice who wants to get more at ease while skating without desiring to learn numerous tricks. This is because it is more extensive, providing more room for the feet to balance securely on the board, and is appropriate for long-distance movements.
Additionally, cruiser board decks are made from maple wood just like the skateboards and longboards, and thus, offer more durability.
- It’s more durable
- It’s suitable for long-distance rides
- Heavyweight skaters can comfortably ride on it
- It offers a very stable and smooth ride
- It’s a bit pricey
- Not suitable for advanced tricks and stunts
- Difficult to maneuver in tight spaces
Difference Between Penny Board and Cruiser Board
Now that you have a brief idea of a penny board and cruiser board, let’s dive into some key comparisons between these two skateboards.
Penny boards are small-sized boards with simple concave shapes. They come in various simple design patterns and are usually aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. Furthermore, they are designed with curved tails, making it easy to perform tricks on them.
Cruisers are rather large skateboards that have the standard design. They can occasionally be created in the shape of popsicles, but they are often concave. Cruiser boards are primarily made for long rides and journeys. Additionally, you might encounter cruise boards with exquisite deck patterns and décor.
Penny board decks are manufactured from hard elastic plastic that can withstand pressure. Additionally, this plastic is lightweight and handy, making the board more suitable for beginners. The plastic deck material enables riders to carry the board around comfortably.
Cruiser boards are made from maple wood which offers more strength and durability. However, some cruisers are made using cherry wood, renowned for its beautiful grain pattern. You can also find some cruisers made with grade-A plastic material.
An average penny board deck size ranges from 22 to 26 inches, whereas the cruiser boards are 22 to 38 inches. However, depending on the brand, you could find one that extends to 40 inches and above.
The trucks of a penny board are made of cast aluminum. They are slimmer and narrower, measuring approximately 3 inches, which makes it easy for the rider to turn. Unfortunately, they are more likely to cause wheel bites.
The truck cruisers are larger and broader, making it easy for cruising and carving. Therefore, riders who seek a board for this purpose would benefit from purchasing the cruiser board. Additionally, the axle ensures more rider stability and it doesn’t cause wheel bites, thanks to the large base plate.
Using a stainless-steel bearing for your penny board is usually recommended because it’s stain-resistant because in most cases, you’ll likely ride your penny board in the rain. Thus, ABEC-7, ABEC-9 & ABEC-11 bearings are great for penny boards.
Most skateboards and longboards use ceramic, titanium, and steel bearings. Cruisers use any bearings; however, the ABEC-11 bearings are commonly used because of the high tolerance rate.
For penny boards with deck sizes of 22 to 26 inches, a wheel size of 59mm diameter is appropriate. If the deck size extends above 26 inches, you should choose a wheel of around 69 diameters. Penny boards use softer wheels with a hardness rating of 83a durometer for better navigation and control over the board and for doing tricks.
Cruisers around 37 inches and below would work best with 60-67mm diameter wheels. However, if your cruiser board measures above 40inches, you should select wheels of 70 to 75mm. Cruisers require large wheels that enable easy and smooth rolling. The durometer range for the cruiser’s wheels is 80a to 86a.
It’s essential to note that when purchasing wheels, the size should complement the deck size. If you are unsure which wheel size suits your board deck size, you should seek professional advice.
Penny boards are made from hard plastic; however, there is a limit to the weight they can withstand. A penny board can accommodate a weight limit of 200 pounds. Although, some manufacturers of penny boards claim that they can withstand the weight of a car.
Cruisers are more durable and stronger due to the material they are made from–maple wood. The weight limit of cruisers is around 300 pounds; thus, it’s more suitable for heavyweight skaters. Furthermore, they are also ideal for tall riders as the board deck offers more space for standing.
Because of their small size, it’s easy for riders to use penny boards to perform advanced skating stunts. Additionally, they are great for downhill rides, as they are flexible and easy to maneuver.
Cruisers are best used for riding around the neighborhood because of their large size. It also offers users a more comfortable ride and can be used to travel long distances.
The price range for a penny board is between $50 to $100, depending on the materials used, the brand, and its features. Thus, you can say penny boards are more budget-friendly.
Cruisers are often a bit pricey, with the lowest price costing $100 to $150. The high-end cruisers can cost several hundred dollars. However, the price depends on the brand, material used, and features.
Finally, penny boards are usually used by riders who desire to commute within a short distance. The board allows the skaters to stop, turn, and easily maneuver in tight corners. Additionally, skaters use it to pull off advanced tricks.
Cruisers are ridden by skaters that want to travel for a long distance, as it’s comfortable to do so on the large board deck it offers. Their large soft wheels also make movement smoother and more stable.
You can watch this video further to learn more about these two widely used skateboards.
Penny Board vs Cruiser for Beginners: Which Is Easier?
Are Penny Boards Faster Than Cruisers?
Should I Get A Penny Board or A Cruiser Board?
Making the right skateboard purchase can impact your skateboarding experience as a beginner. Therefore, it’s essential to do proper research before settling on any board type.
Most times, beginners are advised to opt for a penny board because it enables them to be more flexible in learning basic skating skills. However, as they advance in experience, they can purchase cruiser boards, allowing them to make long-distance rides.