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How does a longboard differ from a skateboard?

The differences between a skateboard and a longboard

Although they may appear similar to the untrained eye, using either a skateboard or a longboard can massively change your riding experience. So, what exactly are the differences? This post will cover the distinctive features between them, helping you to decide which would be best for you.

What are they?

To start off with, a longboard is a type of skateboard. If you need a refresher on skateboards, one of our previous posts can help you with that.

As the name suggests, a longboard is longer than a traditional skateboard. A skateboard can range from 25-35 inches long and 7-10 inches wide, whereas a longboard ranges from 35-60 inches long and 9-10 inches wide.


The difference in size makes longboards a more comfortable choice for beginner riders, as the longboard deck provides more space. This means that riders can take a wider stance, making it easier to balance. To add, a wider deck allows for a larger truck, also improving the stability of the board. Sadly, this also means that longboards are not as easy to manoeuvre as skateboards.


The longboard being considerably larger and heavier makes performing tricks much more difficult. The number of tricks that can be performed on a skateboard is endless, whereas this number is rather more limited on a longboard.

The difference in wheels also contributes to this. As skateboards are designed to be used in skate parks, they have small, hard wheels to improve manoeuvrability and allow for greater control over speed. Unfortunately, this does mean that skateboards are not as comfortable to ride over long distances, as hard wheels do not absorb bumps very well.

Opposingly, longboards are designed more for leisure and cruising, therefore have larger, softer wheels. Whilst this makes longboards faster and smoother to ride, soft wheels can cause the board to bounce when performing tricks. 

There are some tricks that can be performed on a longboard though! Power slides and carving are popular amongst longboard riders.


Another difference between a skateboard and a longboard is the variety of shapes they are available in. Whilst skateboards tend to only come in the popsicle style, longboards have a wider variety of more distinctive shapes suited to different types of riders. For example, a fishtail board is more suitable for surf-style riding and a cut-out board is good for downhill riding.


Which should I get?

In short, if you want to learn and perform new tricks in a skatepark, the skateboard is for you. If you'd rather a smooth ride through town on a sunny afternoon, go for the longboard! Although, at the end of the day, the decision is ultimately yours to make, and hopefully this post has helped in your research.

Which board stands out to you the most?

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