What Should A Beginner Get First: A Regular Skateboard Or A Longboard?
When first wanting to get into the riding of a skateboard or longboard you may be having a hard time choosing which one you should start with.
You may think that one may be easier than the other or more suited for someone new.
Well, after reading this article you will learn that both are best for different purposes, so even though they are both boards with wheels, they aren’t that much alike when it comes to choosing between the two.
You will learn the purpose of each type of board, and then with that information, you will be able to determine which one you should start with.
What do they have in common?
First, we will touch briefly on what longboards and skateboards have in common.
You will see that it isn’t that much. The main thing that they have common is that they are both boards with trucks and wheels attached to them.
At first look, the only difference seems to be the length of the board. That is why people try to decide which one to start with thinking that one might be easier than the other to learn.
Though, you have to think about why you want to ride the board in the first place and then decide which one to start with.
You should read the what is different between skateboards vs longboards to know exactyle.
If you want a board to do tricks, then a skateboard is the way to go.
This is because being shorter makes it easier to maneuver. Also, skateboards have harder and smaller wheels that are designed to grip the ground more. This is good when riding on smooth surfaces, such as a skate park, but not so good when riding on a bumpy street. That is because while riding on a street the hard wheels will cause you to feel every bump making the ride unpleasant.
Skateboards are also designed to do tricks better with how the kicktail is, and how they are weighted. It is much easier to be able to smack down on the end of a skateboard and get it up in the air. The smaller size also helps with keeping it under control while it is air born and spinning it around.
The grip tape on skateboards is also somewhat different from longboards. Skateboards are designed to be more grippy so that you can do tricks.
If you want a board to cruise on and get around, then a longboard is the best option for you.
This is because the longboard has big soft wheels that absorb the bumps in the road and help to not transfer them to board and your body. This means you can ride a longboard around for hours without having the same fatigue as a skateboard.
Longboards also build and hold momentum better. This means if you want to learn how to ride without kicking the ground, then you can do that easier with a longboard. A lot of longboard riders learn a technique called pumping that can transfer the energy of their body to the board to keep it going. We have an article here to learn how to pump better.
You still can do some tricks on the best longboards as well, even though that is not the main purpose. Balance tricks are easier since it is longer and you can get a better stance. Grinding and air born tricks though are a lot harder. This is because longboards are normally flatter and don’t have curved edges to kick the board up with. As for shape, longboards have more variety.
You can get symmetrical boards or none symmetrical, and you can get boards of various heights. If you want to customize your board longboards, have more options, but this does not mean that skateboards can’t be customized. They can, and most riders do. That is one thing about the world of skateboarding is making the board your own.
One last type of riding that fits into the cruising area and that longboards do a great job at is downhill riding. This type of riding is focused on speeding down hills and getting as fast as you can while maintaining control. Longboards being longer helps with the control at top speeds and having the softer wheels again really helps because a bump won’t send you flying off.
Does Your Body Matter?
Some may be wondering if their frame or body make a difference in which is easier to ride and the answer is maybe.
Some people are just naturally more coordinated than others. If you are shorter, then you can probably ride both types of boards with comfort and not tell much of a difference.
If you are taller though, then the extra length of a longboard might make it easier to get a comfortable stance that helps you balance.
Since you can spread your feet on a longboard more, it might make it easier for a taller person. This isn’t to say that tall people can’t ride skateboards though, they can, but it just may be harder.
Also, some of you may be wondering if one type of board is safer than the other.
The answer is no, not really.
Both boards are safe, especially once you are experienced. When first learning you will fall, but that isn’t the board’s fault.
No matter what type of board you have you will probably fall a few times. Safety does come in with the riding you are doing. Learning tricks is more dangerous than just cruising, so some people might say longboards are safer than skateboards, but that isn’t the case.
When it comes to safety the most important thing is to be using the right board for the right thing and also to take your time learning and don’t be a beginner trying to do Tony Hawk type tricks.
So as you can see picking between a skateboard and longboard comes down more to the riding that you are going to be doing.
- If you know you want to do tricks and mostly will be riding at a skate park, then get a skateboard. This is because that is what they are best designed for.
- If you are mainly going to be using your board for commuting or downhill riding, then get a beginner longboard. This is because that is what they are best designed for.
- If you plan on doing both, then I would say get a longboard first. This is because you have to know how to ride before you can start learning tricks. The whole walk before you run saying applies here. Once you are comfortable riding your longboard around, then trade it to the skate shop and pick out a skateboard so you can start learning tricks. Plus, with a longboard, you can learn balance tricks, and you need balance for any tricks you will be doing on your skateboard.
If you still can’t decide which type of board you should get first, then the real best answer is just to try both out.
Hit the local skate shop or skate park and see if you can ride some different boards. This will give you a feel for what is comfortable for you. What is comfortable for one person won’t be for the next. You just have to learn yourself and eventually learn your board.
It is a process, but once you have started, you will get to the point that you have a board specifically customized the way you want it and it will be just for you.