Skateboarding is always a fascinating sport, especially among the younger. However, you will find mainly two types, longboarding and skateboarding, in this game and may wonder which one to choose.
So, is longboarding easier than skateboarding? If you are a beginner, then longboarding is the recommended one for you. As longboards have a wider wheelbase, they provide better grip for starters. However, the choice still depends on you.
Nonetheless, skateboarding and longboarding have different purposes. Also, you need to consider additional factors, including learning curves, riding styles, skill levels, etc., while choosing one. Thus, I will help you decide on the right type by sharing my experiences and findings. So, let’s continue reading.
Before trying out any of them, you must know their main features. I will discuss board shapes, sizes, wheelbases, riding styles, etc. Also, I will give a quick overview of how these features affect performance.
Here, I am sharing a table showing the average board shape and size of longboards and skateboards. Afterward, I will help you understand how these factors affect stability and maneuverability.
|Drop decks, swallowtails, pintails, fishtails, etc.
|Popsicle, twin-tip, etc.
|Typically, 33” to 60”
|Generally, 28” to 33”
|Usually 7” to 10”
|Typically, 7” to 8”
|No or gentle concave
|Steep, mellow, or medium concave for precise control
|Common, used for tricks and control
|Some designs have
|Often pointed for directional control
As longboards usually have a more elongated feature, they are excellent for stability. They are usually used as transportation due to their ability to cross longer distances. However, because of their prolonged size and less concavity, they are not suitable for doing tricks.
On the other hand, skateboards are more concave. It provides excellent control to the performers. It also makes them more flexible to use. Thus, they are suitable for performing different tricks.
Longboards have longer deck lengths, up to 60 inches. The deck is wider. Thus, it gives a better grip. Also, the more foot space makes the riding more stable. However, due to its wider and longer feature, it is not flexible for performing.
While typical skateboards are shorter and less stable, it is very suitable for quick movements.
As the name suggests, longboards have a longer wheelbase than skateboards. Usually, the wheelbase of longboards ranges from 28 to 30 inches, while a skateboard’s wheelbase ranges from 13 to 15 inches.
Also, longboards have softer and larger wheels, which is very beginner-friendly. Typically, they range between 65 to 80 mm and have an average diameter of 70 mm. Skateboards come with harder and smaller wheels, usually ranging from 50-75 mm.
Now that we have learned about their main differentiating features, it is time to know their riding styles. After all, it will have a great contribution to your decision to choose one. Here, I will discuss some common and interesting riding styles with you.
Longboards are more suitable for cruising than skateboards due to their broader features. You can easily cruise along boardwalks, bike paths, streets, etc. with your longboard.
Longboards are bigger and less flexible; thus, they are less suitable for performing tricks and typical street skateboarding.
On the contrary, you will enjoy performing technical maneuvers with skateboards due to their flexibility.
With longboards, downhill riding is very easy and enjoyable. It gives excellent control at high-speed thanks to its wider base.
However, you should not try downhill riding with typical skateboards, as they have terrible control at high speed.
You can show your freeriding and freestyling skills with your longboards by sliding and drifting while descending from a downhill.
Conversely, if you want to show your sliding and other creative techniques on a flatter surface or street, you can use a skateboard.
Do you want to show your artistic movements, like flipping, spinning, dancing, etc., on a skateboard? Then, you need to choose the longboard. Also, if you want to join in the downhill slalom racing, go and practice your longboarding skills.
However, with typical skateboards, these performances are only possible sometimes by seasoned borders.
We got a basic idea of the sizes, shapes, and riding styles of these two boards. So, let’s get started with which one is better for you if you are a beginner and why.
In longboarding, stability and balance are the main features. With the wider deck, you can easily have good space for foot placement and thus improve your balancing. Also, the softer and larger wheels will give you a smooth ride.
Here, I will share some tricks and tips that I followed as a newcomer in this exciting field years back.
As a beginner, you need to choose a wider and more stable longboard. My recommendation is that you should choose one between 35” and 50” in length.
You need to wear appropriate safety gear, including a helmet, gloves, knee pads, and elbow pads.
Based on the position of your feet, your stance can be categorized into two groups: regular and goofy. If your left foot is in front, you are in the “regular” group. If it is your right foot, then you are in the “goofy” group. Choose one which gives the most comfortable feel to you.
Now, stand on the board. Try to keep your feet shoulder-width apart and stay balanced without moving. Then, gradually shift your weight from one foot to the other. It will make the board lean into the side of the weight.
It is better if you place the longboard on a rough surface like a carpet because it will create more friction and increase stability.
After practicing balance, you need to learn to push. Keep your front leg on the board and push the board with the other one. After mastering the balance, you can try your style.
Work diligently on your starting, stopping, and turning stances on a static board. If you are confident enough in static mode, it is time to roll.!
Choose a safe and inclined space for rolling. However, do not push too hard for the first few times.
You need to use the back foot for braking. Using that foot, create friction to slow down the board. Also, try to keep your foot flat on the ground to prevent any leg injuries.
Just like how you turned the board in a static condition, try it while rolling. Make the board roll with your ankle and define the direction by pressing the toes on the left or right.
After mastering the turning, try to make an “s” shape curve with the board. It is a basic carving. It not only looks good but also helps you control the speed.
As a beginner, learn to slide with one hand first. Remember to wear your gloves. When you feel more comfortable being on the board, try the stand-up sliding. However, do not push very hard.
After mastering all the above steps, you can try to practice your skills on a small and less steep hill. Also, do not be afraid of falling. When I first started longboarding, I used to fall a lot and get some little bruises on my arms. However, it did not stop me from trying, and thus, I can enjoy this amazing sport now.
While skateboarding is more popular, it also comes with more challenges for beginners. I will give an overview of some of them and also share some suggestions on how to overcome them. So, let’s get started.
As a beginner, you will find it difficult to keep your balance on a skateboard. As a result, you may fall frequently. By practicing your stance frequently and adjusting your body position, you can maintain balance and stability.
Skateboards have a shorter space for placing your foot. Thus, it is harder to find a suitable spot for foot placement.
Skateboards are not as forgiving as longboards. Thus, learning the basics, like pushing, turning, riding, steering, etc., requires more precision.
Though skateboarding is infamous for artistic tricks and etiquette, as a beginner, you have to burn yourself to master these.
Due to continuous falling and failure, you will be frustrated and may even lose confidence.
No matter how challenging it may sound, it is still something you love. So, instead of being afraid, learn the basics first. When I started first, I was stuck with turning. I was so frustrated that I even thought of quitting.
However, after taking a few day breaks, I regretted not learning it. So, I searched for a skateboard club nearby and joined there. They helped me a lot with learning those basics.
Afterward, I learned some different tricks on my own and some from seeing others.
While longboards are designed to play with speed, skateboards are designed to show off your tricks and skills.
The longer and softer wheels and wider deck of longboards will give you a comfortable, smooth, and stable ride. It is specially designed for enjoyable cruising and carving. Also, this feature makes them suitable for transportation downhill.
On the contrary, skateboards will give you the freedom to do creative performances, including different turns like ollies, kickflips, heelflips, shove-its, 360 flips, grinds (e.g., board slides, lip slides), slides, and many more. The harder and shorter wheels are built to emphasize these types of maneuverability and technical performance.
In both longboarding and skateboarding, performers’ skills can range from beginner to advanced levels. Let’s look at tricks usually played at different skill levels in longboarding and skateboarding.
Both beginner longboarders and skateboarders focus on developing their fundamental skills. They learn balancing, pushing, and basic turns. While longboarders often practice cruising on flat terrain, beginner skateboarders practice easy skills on flat ground.
An intermediate longboarder focuses on mastering carving techniques and gaining control while riding downhill and sliding. On the contrary, skateboarders focus on practicing and experimenting with harder tricks like heelflips and varial flips at this level.
Advanced longboarders pull off maneuvers like slides, drifts, stand-up slides, etc. They also often venture downhill and focus on gaining high speed.
Technical tricks like tre flips, laser flips, double flips, etc., are common among advanced skateboarders. They master grinds, slide on various obstacles, and develop their unique styles.
Expert longboarders execute complex downhill runs with tight corners and technical sections, all while maintaining top speeds. They usually work as mentors to newcomers.
Expert skaters have exceptional control, creativity, and consistency. With their extremely technical tricks like 360 hardflips, late flips, the El Toro 20-stair rail trick, etc., they rule the game.
Both professional skaters and longboarders are recognized for their exceptional skills. They often create unique and innovative tricks.
Now that we have learned the pros and cons of these two sports, let’s take a look at the views of experts in these two fields.
According to the Longboarding Youngstar, Laci Simonik, beginners in this game should set a goal to motivate them and achieve bigger goals. While pro skateboarder Keith Meek thinks skateboarding is all about progression.
However, these games also come with challenges. A longboarder, Brenno Brélvis, broke his arm during practice at only 15. But instead of getting demotivated, he started working on his skills and now has the world’s recognition for longboard dancing.
There are also some people, like Brazilian longboarder Brenno Brélvis, who transitioned from skateboarding to longboarding and became successful.
Now we know that longboarding is usually easier for beginners than skateboarding. While longboarding is focused on carving and cruising, skateboarding is popular for unique tricks.
However, if you solely want to learn tricks and artistic performances, you should choose a classic skateboard to begin with.
Also, if you feel skateboarding is easier for you, then go for it. Nevertheless, you can switch between these two types of sports easily and even enjoy both simultaneously.