Types of Skateboards: Longboards and Shortboards

April 13, 2023 — by Richard Dawson

A skateboard is a piece of wood or composite material with two sets of axles and four wheels that a skater can use to get around or do tricks. You use your feet to move on a skateboard, but there are also electric skateboards that don’t need you to kick or pump.

There are two main types of skateboards: longboards and shortboards. However, there are many more types of each type that are made to fit different body types, riding styles, and aesthetic designs.

Shortboard skateboard subcategories include:

1. Cruiser skateboards

Skate board cruiser is like street skateboards, but the deck is thicker and the wheels are bigger and softer. This makes them better for going faster and on rougher surfaces. A cruiser’s tail can also be a “kick tail,” which lets you do tricks like “ollies” and “kickflips” that get you off the ground and over things like kerbs.

skate board cruiser

The cruiser skateboards’ directional design, compact size, larger softer wheels, and sensitive trucks make it an ideal mode of transportation for getting around town. Some skate board cruisers, however, are versatile enough to be ridden downhill, through transitions, and in bowls. Double-kick skateboards
A ‘double kick’ is a board with two kicks at either end which allows for a spectrum of flip tricks that most skaters perform today. The small wheels and low trucks of a double kick make it easier to do tricks and make the board more responsive and great for performative jumps.

2. Mini skateboards

These are the smallest skateboards, and because of their size, they are often used by kids who are just starting out. More experienced skaters also like mini-boards because they are small and easy to carry around. This is especially useful when travelling or when space is tight.

3. Mini cruiser skateboards

A mini cruiser board is a mix of a cruiser and a mini. It has larger, softer wheels and a smaller, narrower deck. They are also good for people who are just starting to ride, especially kids because the larger wheels make them stable and the size is right for smaller riders.

4. Old-school skateboards

An old-school skateboard looks like a surfboard because the nose is pointed and the tail is flat. These decks are significantly wider and have longer wheelbases than normal decks, making them more stable and suitable for bowl skating and transit. Excessive width and short noses make it more difficult to flip or ollie on old-school skateboards, therefore they are not suitable for street skating.

5. Penny or nickel skateboards

A penny board is a fantastic alternative for children. They will have no trouble using the regular 55cm-sized skateboard and will be able to master the fundamentals of skating fast and simply. Therefore, adults should choose a larger size penny board, such as the 68cm or 80cm versions.

girl riding a penny board

6. Street skateboards

Skaters take them to the skatepark and back home because they are easy to ride in bowls and on the street. They have a round nose and a round tail, like a popsicle stick, though there are some variations on this theme. Other models are also thicker than these.

Longboard skateboard subcategories include:

1. Classic longboards

This is the classic longboard, which is over 80cm long with a wide deck. While they aren’t great for tricks, longboards excel at navigating wide turns and pinpoint road carving while rocking the classic skater look.

2. Downhill longboards

These boards have notches that let taller wheels that rise above the deck height and shorter trucks fit. Many have cut decks, which means that the deck has holes that let the top of the truck sit higher than the board, making the overall height even lower. This keeps it low to the ground, and together with the wheels, you can go as fast as 70 km per hour downhill.

3. Pintail longboards

The distinctive design of a pintail longboard prevents wheel bite (the wheels contacting the board during turns) and provides more foot room. Therefore pintail boards can be used for many different things and are great for cruising and carving. Many beginners pick this shape as the boards are easy to maneuver and learn your way around.

4. Twin-tip longboards

Twin-tipped longboards are longboards with nose and tail “tips.” The tips of the longboard are made by huge cutouts in the deck. The cuts avoid “wheel bite,” which happens when there is severe tilting. As a Longboarder leans into the deck to complete a turn, drift, or slide, the bottom of the board may come into contact with the wheel. This is known as wheel bite, and twin-tipped longboards eliminate it.