Hey there, skating enthusiasts! If you’ve ever wandered into the world of skateboarding, chances are you’ve encountered the debate: Are Penny boards easier than skateboards? Well, you’re in for a treat because we’re diving right into that discussion today. We’ll break down the anatomy, size, stability, and more to give you a clearer picture of which board might suit your style better.
What are Penny Boards?
Definition and History of Penny Boards
Penny boards, often recognized for their compact size and vibrant designs, are a unique subset of skateboards that have taken the skating world by storm. These mini cruisers have a distinct history that dates back to the early 2010s. The term “Penny board” was first coined by the Australian company Penny Skateboards, founded by Ben Mackay in 2010. The original concept was to revive the classic plastic skateboards from the ’70s, creating a lightweight and highly portable option for riders of all ages.
Key Features and Design Elements
Deck Shape and Size
The standout feature of Penny boards lies in their deck – a smaller, plastic-molded platform that sets them apart from the larger wooden decks of traditional skateboards. These decks are typically around 22 inches in length and 6 inches in width, making them exceptionally compact and easy to carry. Their distinctive waffle-like pattern provides both a nostalgic touch and added grip for riders.
Wheel Size and Material
Penny boards often come equipped with soft and slightly larger-than-average wheels. These wheels, usually around 59mm in diameter, are made from high-quality urethane, providing a smooth and comfortable ride while effectively absorbing vibrations from rough surfaces. The increased size of the wheels allows for better clearance over small obstacles, enhancing the overall cruising experience.
Truck Design and Responsiveness
The trucks of a Penny board are an essential component that contributes to its maneuverability and stability. These boards usually feature reverse kingpin trucks, designed to be more responsive and conducive to carving. The trucks are set at a slight angle, allowing for quick and sharp turns, ideal for weaving through crowded sidewalks or streets.
Penny boards are widely regarded as a beginner-friendly option due to their stability and ease of use. The compact deck, along with the wider stance and low center of gravity, provides a solid foundation for new riders to build their confidence. This accessibility factor has made Penny boards a popular choice for those who are new to skateboarding or looking for a relaxed cruising experience.
Learning Curve and Skill Development
The learning curve associated with Penny boards is relatively gentle compared to traditional skateboards. Their stability and forgiving nature allow beginners to get comfortable quickly, paving the way for skill development. While mastering advanced tricks might be more challenging on Penny boards due to their smaller size, the foundation they offer can make transitioning to larger skateboards smoother for those looking to expand their skill set.
User Experiences and Testimonials
User experiences with Penny boards vary widely and often reflect personal preferences. Many riders enjoy the convenience and portability these mini cruisers offer, especially for short commutes and casual rides. The lightweight nature of Penny boards also makes them a popular choice among college students and urban dwellers who need a convenient mode of transportation.
Testimonials from riders often highlight the joy of gliding effortlessly on a Penny board, taking in the sights and sounds of their surroundings. They appreciate the smooth ride provided by the soft wheels and the quick-turning capabilities that allow them to navigate tight spaces with ease.
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What are Skateboards?
Definition and Brief History of Skateboarding
Skateboarding, a captivating fusion of art, sport, and self-expression, involves riding a specially designed board with wheels attached underneath. Born out of a blend of surfing and sidewalk surfing in the late 1940s, skateboarding has evolved into a global phenomenon. Initially seen as a mere pastime, it has transformed into a diverse subculture, complete with its own language, fashion, and distinct community.
Essential Components and Technical Aspects
Deck Variations and Concave
At the heart of every skateboard lies its deck, the wooden platform upon which riders stand. Decks come in various shapes, sizes, and materials. One defining feature is the concave – the curvature along the width of the deck. This concave plays a vital role in enhancing control, facilitating tricks, and providing a comfortable foothold.
Wheel Hardness and Size
Wheels, an often underestimated component, significantly influence the skateboard’s performance. Two key factors to consider are wheel size and hardness. Larger wheels (around 54-60mm) offer better stability, making them suitable for cruising and downhill riding. Conversely, smaller wheels (around 49-53mm) cater to street skating and tricks. Wheel hardness, measured on the durometer scale, determines the grip and slide of the wheels. Softer wheels (78A-87A) provide better grip, while harder wheels (88A-101A) offer a smoother slide.
Truck Types and Adjustments
Trucks are the metal T-shaped components that connect the wheels to the deck. Different truck sizes impact stability and turning capabilities. High trucks enhance maneuverability, making them ideal for tricks, while low trucks are more stable for cruising and carving. Trucks can be adjusted by tightening or loosening the kingpin bolt, allowing riders to customize their experience based on their preferences.
Skill Requirements and Learning Process
Initial Challenges and Difficulties
Learning to skateboard is a journey marked by challenges and rewards. The initial challenge for beginners often lies in finding their balance and maintaining it while moving. The unfamiliar sensation of standing on a rolling platform can be disorienting and even intimidating for some. Falling is an inevitable part of the learning process, which requires perseverance and a willingness to embrace the falls as lessons.
Skill Acquisition and Progression
As riders persist and begin to grasp the basics, their skill set widens. Pushing, turning, and stopping become second nature. From there, they venture into the exciting realm of tricks – from the ollie to the kickflip, each trick demands precision, coordination, and practice. Progression varies from person to person, with some skaters dedicating themselves to mastering technical tricks while others lean into the joy of cruising and carving.
Personal Experiences and Opinions
Personal experiences with skateboarding are as diverse as the people who partake in it. Riders share tales of conquering fears, the exhilaration of landing their first trick, and the meditative satisfaction of cruising through their surroundings. Opinions on skateboarding range from viewing it as an art form that empowers self-expression to recognize it as a sport that fosters discipline and determination.
Comparison between penny boards and skateboards
Stability and Balance
Penny Boards: Penny boards are often celebrated for their stability, making them an excellent choice for beginners. With their wider decks and lower center of gravity, maintaining balance on a Penny board is comparably easier. This stability can provide newcomers with a sense of security and confidence as they navigate the board.
Skateboards: Skateboards, on the other hand, offer a different experience. Their narrower decks and elevated center of gravity require riders to develop stronger balance and core control. While this might pose a challenge initially, it can lead to greater control over the board in the long run.
Maneuverability and Control
Penny Boards: Penny boards excel in terms of maneuverability due to their compact size and responsive trucks. Riders can easily carve through tight spaces, pivot with finesse, and make quick turns. This agility is ideal for cruising and weaving through urban environments.
Skateboards: Skateboards shine in the realm of maneuverability as well. Their larger size, when compared to Penny boards, provides leverage for executing tricks that involve intricate footwork. While it might take more practice to master, the potential for advanced control and fluid movements is remarkable.
Versatility and Terrain Adaptability
Penny Boards: Penny boards are best suited for smooth surfaces like sidewalks, boardwalks, and well-paved roads. The soft wheels absorb vibrations, offering a comfortable ride on these terrains. However, their limitations become apparent on rough or uneven surfaces.
Skateboards: Skateboards boast greater versatility, capable of conquering a wide range of terrains. Whether it’s cruising on sidewalks, performing tricks at skateparks, or tackling street obstacles, their sturdy construction and adaptable wheel hardness allow them to handle various surfaces with finesse.
Learning Curve and Skill Development
Penny Boards: Thanks to their stability and forgiving nature, Penny Boards have a gentler learning curve for beginners. New riders can grasp the basics of riding and turning relatively quickly. However, mastering complex tricks might be more challenging due to the smaller deck size.
Skateboards: Skateboards often come with a steeper learning curve, particularly for beginners. Balancing, pushing, and executing tricks demand a higher level of skill acquisition. However, this curve eventually leads to a more expansive skill set, as riders can progress from basic techniques to intricate flips, spins, and grinds.
Are Penny Boards Good For Beginners?
If you’re a beginner dipping your toes into the world of skateboarding, you’ve likely heard of Penny boards – those colorful, compact cruisers that seem to glide effortlessly down the streets. Let’s discuss the benefits of Penny boards for newcomers to the skating scene.
Stability and Balance
One of the standout features of Penny boards that makes them a great option for beginners is their inherent stability. The wider deck and lower center of gravity work in harmony to provide a solid platform for learning. Finding and maintaining balance is often a primary concern for those new to skating, and Penny boards offer a friendly solution to this challenge. The wider deck surface offers more room for your feet, boosting your confidence as you cruise along.
Lessons in Maneuverability
As a beginner, the idea of navigating a skateboard’s sharp turns might be daunting. This is where Penny boards come to the rescue. With their compact size and responsive trucks, Penny boards are incredibly maneuverable. Navigating tight spaces becomes a breeze, allowing you to focus on building your foundational skills without feeling overwhelmed. Whether you’re zipping through your neighborhood or weaving through a busy park, Penny boards provide an avenue to hone your control and handling.
The cruising experience on a Penny board is often described as smooth and comfortable, akin to gliding. The combination of soft wheels and a flexible deck means that minor bumps and cracks in the pavement are absorbed, making for a more pleasant ride. For beginners, this translates to a lower chance of unexpected wobbles or sudden jolts, contributing to an overall sense of ease and comfort.
Building Confidence Early On
The stability and forgiving nature of Penny boards create an environment where beginners can build their confidence without feeling overwhelmed by the learning curve. Those initial rides, where you’re getting a feel for the board and finding your balance, are crucial for establishing a strong foundation. Penny boards facilitate this process by offering a stable and enjoyable riding experience, helping you progress at your own pace.
In the grand scheme of things, Penny boards can indeed be an excellent choice for beginners. Their stability, maneuverability, and comfortable cruising experience all contribute to a positive start in the world of skateboarding. While Penny boards might not be the go-to option for those aiming to conquer advanced tricks and techniques, they offer a gateway to the joys of riding, encouraging newcomers to embrace the journey and develop their skills with confidence.
So, if you’re a beginner seeking a friendly introduction to skateboarding, consider giving Penny Boards a try. Remember that the most important aspect of skating is enjoying the ride and the progression that comes with it. Whether you’re cruising by the beach or navigating through your local streets, Penny Boards can be your trusty companions on the exciting path of becoming a skater.
When to Get a Penny Board or Skateboard?
Choosing between a Penny board and a skateboard boils down to your preferences, goals, and the type of skating experience you’re seeking. Here’s a quick guide to help you decide when to opt for a Penny board or a skateboard:
Get a Penny Board When:
- You’re a Beginner: If you’re new to skating and seeking a stable and comfortable introduction, a Penny board is an excellent choice. Its wide deck and low center of gravity provide a forgiving and confidence-boosting experience.
- You Prioritize Portability: If you value convenience and need a compact board that you can easily carry around, a Penny board’s lightweight and small size makes it a convenient companion for short commutes and travels.
- Smooth Cruising is Your Focus: If you’re looking for a relaxed and smooth cruising experience along sidewalks, boardwalks, and well-paved paths, a Penny board’s soft wheels and comfortable ride will suit your needs.
Get a Skateboard When:
- You Seek Versatility: If you’re interested in exploring a variety of terrains, from skateparks to street spots, and want a board that can handle tricks and maneuvers, a skateboard’s adaptable design offers more versatility.
- Tricks and Skill Mastery are Your Goals: If your ambition is to conquer flip tricks, grinds, and ramp riding, a skateboard provides the necessary platform and control for advancing your skills in trick-based skateboarding.
- You’re Willing to Invest Time in Learning: If you’re prepared to invest time in mastering the basics and progressing through a steeper learning curve, a skateboard offers a rewarding journey as you develop your balance, control, and technique.
In the end, the decision between a Penny board and a skateboard hinges on what resonates with your skating style and aspirations. Both options have their unique benefits, allowing you to embark on a journey that aligns with your preferences. Whether you’re drawn to the simplicity of Penny boards or the versatility of skateboards, the world of skating is open to you, ready to provide endless thrills and opportunities for self-expression.
Conclusion|Are penny boards easier than skateboards?
In weighing Penny boards against skateboards, it’s clear that each has its strengths. Penny boards offer stability and comfort for beginners, while skateboards provide versatility and trick potential. Remember, ease of use is subjective – it depends on your goals and preferences. Try both options, feel the ride, and decide which aligns with your style. Whether you’re drawn to smooth cruising or mastering tricks, the choice is yours. Happy skating!