The main difference between a longboard and a skateboard is the size.
That’s probably not much of a surprise.
However, there are some other differences as well, and these are often just as notable, completely changing how the boards ride and feel.
If you’re sure whether you should buy a longboard or a skateboard, this is the guide for you.
Difference Between a Longboard and a Skateboard
There are a few key differences between traditional skateboards and longboards, including:
Size and Shape
The size is the most obvious difference between a longboard and a skateboard.
Skateboards are usually between 28 and 34 inches long and between 7 and 10 inches wide; longboards can be anywhere up to 60 inches long and 10 inches wide.
There is also such a thing as a short longboard, which offers the high speed, easy-riding capabilities of a longboard without the cumbersome size.
As for the shape, skateboards arc at both the tail and the nose while longboards narrow to a curved point.
When it comes to longboard vs skateboard wheels, it can be summed up as the following:
Longboards have bigger and softer wheels; skateboards have smaller and harder wheels.
The larger and softer wheels make longboards great for generating high speeds and ensuring you have a smooth ride. The smaller wheels on a skateboard make it easier to perform tight turns and tough tricks.
Cruising and Tricks
The main differences between a longboard and a skateboard are not how they look, but how they feel and ride.
A skateboard offers more deck flexibility and movement, making it easier to shred rails and land tricks. A longboard offers more stability and can reach higher speeds.
Big soft wheels mean that a longboard is good for downhill speed and general cruising but bad for even the most basic tricks. A short and wide profile means that a regular skateboard is not great for cruising leisurely over long distances but is great for landing tricks.
Cost and Experience
Most beginners opt for a traditional skateboard. It’s the style that they associate with the sport and they also have their eyes set on the skatepark and their minds on learning new tricks.
A skateboard is cheaper and there are many different styles to choose from, but the learning curve is also steeper. You’ll need to devote a little more time to getting used to the board and will experience many more falls.
Longboards are more expensive, but longboard riders experience fewer injuries, even though they ride longer distances and at greater speeds.
Summary: Difference Between a Longboard and Skateboard
It’s often said that longboarding was invented by surfers keen to make skateboarding a little more like surfing.
A regular skateboard is shorter and more maneuverable. It’s designed to be ridden in skate parks and can help you to grind, jump, and perform tricks on half pipes.
A longboard, on the other hand, is designed to provide a stable riding experience—cruising at high speeds, riding long distances, and generally getting from A to Z.
If your goal is to race downhill, gain maximum speed, and enjoy some long-distance cruising, pick up a longboard. If you’re looking to nail tricks at the skate park and on the street, it’s all about conventional skateboards.