What is the Difference Between a Penny Board and a Skateboard?

When it comes to choosing the right ride for cruising around town or mastering tricks at the skatepark, there are two popular options to consider: the penny board and the skateboard. While both offer a thrilling experience on wheels, they possess distinct features that cater to different riding styles and preferences. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the anatomy of penny boards and skateboards, highlight their key differences, discuss the pros and cons of each, and provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision when choosing the right ride for you.

Anatomy of a Penny Board

Penny boards are known for their compact size and vibrant designs. They typically measure around 22 inches in length and are constructed from durable plastic materials. The deck, or the top part of the board, is flat and provides a stable platform for riders. Penny boards feature wide and soft wheels, allowing for a smooth and comfortable ride even on rough surfaces. Additionally, they are equipped with high-quality bearings that enable efficient rolling and maneuverability.

The trucks, which are the metal components that connect the wheels to the deck, are usually made from aluminum. These trucks play a crucial role in determining the turning capabilities of the penny board. Furthermore, penny boards come with a variety of grip tape options that enhance foot grip and control. Overall, the compact size and lightweight nature of penny boards make them highly portable and convenient for everyday commuting.

Anatomy of a Skateboard

Skateboards, on the other hand, are larger and more versatile compared to penny boards. They typically measure around 31 to 32 inches in length and are constructed from layers of sturdy wood, such as maple. The deck of a skateboard is concave, meaning it has a curved shape that helps riders maintain balance and perform tricks. Skateboards also feature harder and smaller wheels, making them suitable for various terrains and skatepark surfaces.

The trucks of a skateboard are typically made from a combination of aluminum and steel, providing durability and stability during high-impact maneuvers. Skateboards come with a wide range of grip tape options, allowing riders to customize their boards according to their preferences. Due to their larger size, skateboards may require more effort to carry around but offer greater stability and control, especially for advanced tricks and maneuvers.

What is the Difference Between a Penny Board and a Skateboard?

Now that we have examined the anatomy of penny boards and skateboards, let’s delve into the key differences between these two rides. One of the primary distinctions lies in their size and weight. Penny boards are smaller and lighter, making them ideal for quick commutes and easy storage. Skateboards, on the other hand, are larger and more substantial, offering enhanced stability and control for more advanced riding techniques.

Another significant difference is the wheel size and hardness. Penny boards typically have larger and softer wheels, which provide a smoother ride and better shock absorption. Skateboards, on the other hand, have smaller and harder wheels that offer increased maneuverability and speed. The choice between wheel sizes ultimately depends on your riding style and preference.

Additionally, the trucks on penny boards and skateboards differ in terms of material and turning capabilities. Penny board trucks are usually made from aluminum and offer limited turning capabilities, making them suitable for cruising and basic maneuvers. Skateboard trucks, on the other hand, are often made from a combination of aluminum and steel, providing more durability and allowing for sharper turns and tricks.

Penny Board vs Skateboard

Feature Penny Board Skateboard
Size Smaller and more compact Larger and more standard
Deck Shape Plastic deck with a kicktail Wooden deck with various shapes
Deck Length Typically around 22 inches Varies, but commonly 28-33 inches
Wheelbase Shorter wheelbase Longer wheelbase
Wheels Softer and smaller Larger and harder
Trucks Usually aluminum Standard skateboard trucks
Maneuverability Highly maneuverable Less maneuverable, more stable
Riding Style Cruising and short commutes Tricks, street, and park skating
Portability Very portable and easy to carry Less portable due to larger size
Terrain Smooth surfaces, commuting Versatile, handles various terrains
Skill Level Beginner to intermediate Beginner to advanced

Riding Styles and Preferences

When it comes to riding styles and preferences, penny boards and skateboards cater to different needs. Penny boards are perfect for beginners or riders who prefer a smooth and relaxed cruising experience. Their compact size and soft wheels make them ideal for commuting short distances and navigating busy urban environments. Penny boards are also popular among riders who value portability and convenience, as they can easily be carried and stored.

Skateboards, on the other hand, offer more versatility and are suitable for various riding styles. Whether you enjoy cruising, performing tricks at the skatepark, or riding on ramps and rails, a skateboard provides the necessary stability and control. Skateboards are favored by experienced riders who seek a challenging and dynamic riding experience. They allow for more advanced techniques, such as ollies, kickflips, and grinds, which require a larger and sturdier deck.

Penny Boards


Like any other ride, penny boards come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. One of the main advantages of penny boards is their portability. Their small size and lightweight nature make them easy to carry around, whether it’s on public transportation or in a backpack. Additionally, penny boards excel in cruising and commuting, thanks to their smooth ride and soft wheels that absorb shocks from uneven surfaces.


Penny boards have some limitations. Due to their small size, they may not offer the same stability and control as a skateboard, especially at higher speeds. Additionally, the limited turning capabilities of penny board trucks can make it challenging to execute sharp turns and complex maneuvers. Furthermore, penny boards may not be suitable for riders who are interested in performing advanced tricks or riding on challenging terrains.



Skateboards have long been a favorite choice among riders, and for good reason. One of the main advantages of skateboards is their versatility. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, a skateboard offers a wide range of possibilities for different riding styles and tricks. Skateboards excel in skatepark environments, allowing riders to perform various tricks, jumps, and grinds on ramps and rails.

Moreover, skateboards provide greater stability and control, thanks to their larger size, harder wheels, and concave deck. This makes them suitable for riders who enjoy cruising, as well as those who want to challenge themselves with more advanced tricks and maneuvers. Additionally, the durability of skateboards ensures they can withstand the rigors of intense riding sessions and withstand high-impact landings.


Skateboards also have their downsides. The larger size and weight of skateboards make them less portable compared to penny boards. Carrying a skateboard may require a dedicated backpack or a specialized carrying case. Moreover, skateboards may not be as comfortable for long-distance commutes, as the harder wheels may transmit more vibrations from rough surfaces. It is also important to note that skateboards require more skill and experience to ride confidently, so beginners may need more practice to master the techniques.

Choosing the Right Ride for You

When it comes to choosing the right ride for you, several factors should be considered. First and foremost, your riding style and preferences play a crucial role. If you value portability and convenience for short commutes, a penny board may be the better choice. On the other hand, if you seek versatility and enjoy challenging yourself with tricks and maneuvers, a skateboard is the way to go.

Another important consideration is your skill level. If you are a beginner, starting with a penny board can be an excellent way to learn the basics and gain confidence on wheels. Penny boards offer a smooth and stable ride, making them more forgiving for beginners. However, if you have some experience and are eager to progress to more advanced techniques, a skateboard will provide the necessary platform for growth and development.

Safety should also be a priority when choosing the right ride. Regardless of whether you opt for a penny board or a skateboard, it is essential to wear appropriate safety gear, such as a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads. Familiarizing yourself with local laws and regulations regarding skateboarding and penny boarding is also crucial to ensure a safe and enjoyable riding experience.


In conclusion, penny boards and skateboards have distinctive features that cater to different riding styles and preferences. Penny boards are compact, lightweight, and excel in cruising, while skateboards offer versatility, stability, and the ability to perform tricks. By considering your riding style, preferences, skill level, and safety requirements, you can choose the right ride that suits your needs.

Whether you opt for the smooth and portable experience of a penny board or the dynamic and challenging nature of a skateboard, both rides offer endless fun and excitement on wheels. So, grab your ride of choice, gear up with safety equipment, and hit the road or the skatepark for an adventure-filled journey.