If you’re bored of walking everywhere and are looking for a faster way to get around town or even commute to work, skateboarding might seem very appealing. One of the main questions you may find yourself asking while looking to buy a skateboard is, how fast can I go?
The average speed of a skateboard can range from 5-12 mph. This figure includes all kinds of terrain, skills, and setups. An experienced skateboarder can regularly hit speeds of 8 mph and over. Longboards are even faster than skateboards, with an average 8-10 mph speed when pushing on flat ground.
Many factors can affect the average speed of a skateboard, such as the experience of the person riding it, the terrain and surrounding area, the materials of the board, and wheel size can all affect how fast you will be able to skate.
How Fast Is A Skateboard?
How fast you are able to go depends on the riding surface and your environment, your experience and skill level with skateboarding, as well as your entire skateboard setup (wheel diameter, bearings, weight). Below are a few real-life examples of average skateboard speeds recorded and measured by actual skateboarders.
|Type of Skateboarding||Average Speed|
|Moderately Skilled Skateboarder (Soft Wheels)||7.5 mph|
|Short Commutes (2 Miles)||8-12 mph|
|Moderate cruising with big soft wheels (7 Miles)||7 mph|
|10+ Miles On Flat||5-8 mph|
|UC Davis Average Skateboard Speed Observations||9.7 mph|
|Hard Pushing With quality (new) Bearings||7.5 – 12 mph|
It is well known that the better-quality skateboards combined with more experienced riders and a few downhills will average higher speeds than moderate to inexperienced skaters with lower quality boards.
The world record for the fastest speed that was achieved on a skateboard is 91.17 mph and was acquired by peter Connolly in 2017, beating Kyle Wester by a small margin.
How Fast Is A Longboard?
As the name suggests, a longboard differs from a skateboard as it is longer. A skateboard is usually 28-34 inches long and around 7-10 inches wide. In comparison, a longboard is typically 35-60 inches long and about 9-10 inches wide. The longer and broader your board is, the easier it will be to keep yourself balanced, making longboards perfect for beginners.
Longboards are generally faster than skateboards because of their larger wheelbase (the distance between the trucks) and having bigger wheels. Average cruising speeds for longboards range from 6-14 mph. When downhill riding, longboards regularly achieve speeds of 50-65 mph.
How fast you can go on your longboard will depend on your riding style and skill, your fitness level, which relates to your ability to push and pump, as well as your weight, the type of board you’re riding, the kind of slope, your speed tuck and your ability to brake sufficiently.
Downhill longboarding is for the extreme adrenaline junkies who are all about the higher speeds. The goal for downhill long-boarders is to go as fast as possible. Downhill skaters can fly down hills at speeds that regularly reach 50-65 mph.
Serious downhill riders are incredibly technical, committed, and responsible individuals who are enthusiastic about speed sports and want to push the boundaries without taking unnecessary risks.
The fastest downhill longboarding speed that has ever been recorded was 91.17 mph and was achieved by Peter Conolly on the 16th of September 2017 in Quebec, Canada.
How To Increase Your Speed
If you’re looking to improve your skills and impress your friends by increasing your speed, or maybe you want to cut your traveling time in half – there are a few things you will need to look at.
Effect Of Terrains On Your Average Skateboarding Speed
The surface of the environment you are riding on will significantly impact your average skateboarding speed. Traveling on deteriorating urban roads and sidewalks can bring down your average speed as you will need to dodge every crack and pothole – except when you’re skilled enough to be able to jump over them.
Bad roads, traffic, curbs, and stairs can all greatly impact your average speed in urban areas. You also need to factor in being skilled enough to stop at stop signs and traffic lights. Otherwise, speeding up without knowing how to slow down adequately can be extremely dangerous.
A skateboard commuter (who stops at traffic lights) can usually travel one mile in around 8 minutes, achieving a 7.5 mph average speed. The amount of uphill’s, flats, and downhills along your route will also have an impact on your average speed. Declines and rural areas are better if you are looking to break your record time.
How Does Experience Affect Your Average Skateboard Speed?
There is a direct correlation between your average skateboarding speed and your skill or experience level. You typically don’t move any faster than walking speed when you’re a beginner. As you practice and improve your skills, you can get closer to and sometimes even overtake someone at biking speed.
In dense urban areas with cracked and uneven pavement, your riding skills and experience level will have an even more significant impact on your speed. A more experienced skateboarder can easily dodge or ollie over certain obstacles. Your average skateboarding speed should increase by around 1-2 mph as your skills develop.
While traveling over longer distances on flat terrain, your average skateboarding speed directly results from your pushing skills. This refers to the frequency, intensity, and effectiveness of your pushes.
A more experienced rider will have a higher level of fitness. This allows them to have strong and endurance pushing skills that can significantly increase their average speed.
Larger Wheels Increase Your Skateboard Speed
Wheels play a prominent role in how fast your skateboard can go. This is because bigger wheels will roll a lot faster than smaller ones. Softer wheels are also helpful as they grip better and absorb more significant shocks from the ground.
Softer wheels may be slower when rolling, but they provide the perfect cushioning that will allow you to roll over obstacles smoothly. In turn, this means you will be covering more ground in less time.
The best wheels for urban traveling have a diameter of 65mm or more and a durometer of between 78A and 85A.
Longboards are typically a lot faster than skateboards because they are larger and have bigger wheels by default. So, if you’re interested in gaining more speed, maybe consider switching boards. They travel much faster over asphalt with less effort and roll over cracks and stones smoothly; their size makes them a lot more stable at higher speeds.
Skateboards are a lot faster than walking. With a 5-12 mph average speed, you will be able to reach your destination a lot more quickly. In comparison, longboards are even faster than skateboards, with average cruising speeds of 9-10 mph, due to their large wheels and body size.
You can try a few things to increase your average speed. Honing your skills until you have more experience skating, going downhill, choosing routes with fewer uphill’s, and buying larger or softer wheels for your board will make you go faster.
I’m an aged skateboarder and I still shred responsibly. I started skateboarding 25 years ago but also love surfing, snowboarding, or anything that involves a board.