What Type of Skateboard Should You Get?


Different types of skateboards

To some people, a skateboard is just some two by four with wheels attached, they can’t see the difference and probably don’t care. Let’s dive a bit into different types of skateboards you most commonly see on the streets. I’ll cover some of the pros and cons of every type of board at a very basic level. So what type of skateboard should you get?

Go for a popsicle skateboard if you want to dedicate yourself to technical skateboarding. Go for a cruiser if you want a portable and nimble commuter to ride in crowded places.  Get a longboard if you want to ride long distances without much effort.

Let’s see what types of skateboard or longboards are out there and what makes them good for one thing and less suitable for the other. I’ll cover some of the pros and cons and why you should or shouldn’t buy. Let’s go.

Skateboard Types And Styles

I’ll only briefly cover the most popular types and styles and do a deep dive some other time. Most beginners either look for a longboard, a cruiser or a regular popsicle skateboard.

Before you decide you need to think about what you want to do. Maybe you just want to cruise around a bit and not do any technical tricks. Perhaps you want to cruise but longer distances or ride downhill. And most common, do tricks and become a gnarly skateboarder. 

Popsicle Skateboard

CCS complete deck side view

About 50% of all skateboards sold are popsicle skateboards. This is the most common type of skateboard and designed for technical tricks. It’s also possible to just cruise on them but you need the proper wheels in order to do so. Let’s see what they are great at and why you should or shouldn’t get one.

They come in different sizes, varying from kids sizes like 6.5″ up to 10″ wide. The most common size, to begin with, is 8.0″. If you’re a bit bigger or heavier consider and 8.25″. Once you get comfortable riding a regular skateboard you can go up or down in size. By that time you have a better understanding of what you prefer.

Reasons to Buy

You love the idea of jumping over obstacles, doing flip tricks and ride your local skatepark. Look no further, this is the board you need. Expect to pay between $70 for and entry-level skateboard and $130 for a high-quality setup.

  • Cheaper than a cruiser or longboard
  • You love to learn tricks and like a challenge
  • Great way to make new friends
  • Easy to store and carry around

Skateboarding is all about creativity, some say it’s a sport but skateboarders think it’s an art. Once you progress there isn’t a better feeling in the world than landing gnarly tricks. Kickfplippnig stairs or the feeling of grinding a ledge feels great, hard to explain until you experience the feeling. It will get you hooked for the rest of your life. Check 0ut my recommended skateboards if you’re looking for a popsicle board.

Reasons Not to Buy

Popsicles are meant to be destroyed. Tricks will eventually damage your deck and parts need to be replaced at some point. How often you need to replace depends on your skill level, quality of your deck and how often you skate. Fortunately, all parts on a skateboard can be replaced. 

  • Parts need to be replaced more frequently
  • Wear and tear on your shoes
  • Not suitable for long-distance cruising
  • You have the habit of giving up when things get difficult
  • Steeper learning curve

A popsicle is a bit harder to ride if you never stepped on a skateboard before. They are smaller compared to longboards and harder to control at first. You’ll learn though, it just takes a bit more practice to feel how a skateboard behaves. You should feel comfortable riding this type of board quickly if you set your mind to it.

Once you progress, your shoes will show signs of wear and tear. You probably won’t care because you enjoy popping kickflips and ollies and it’s just part of the game. The biggest caveat is that skateboarding could be more expensive in the long run. Shoes and decks need to be replaced most often, wheels and trucks can last for a long time depending on the quality.

Longboard

longboard

Coming from a skateboarding background I recently got my hands on a used longboard and I must admit, riding a longboard is awesome! We got some great bike lanes over here and the feeling of riding one in the summer with a soft breeze is very calming and relaxing. 

Longboards are less common compared to popsicles but still very popular and currently the fastest growing market! They are great for beginners who just want to ride long distances and experience the freedom of riding a board.

Even a longboard is suitable for tricks but more limited than a regular skateboard. Longboarding has many different styles like dancing, bombing hills, freestyle, etc but you’ll learn you’re preference along the way.

Longboards are available in different shapes, purposes, and sizes but the good news is you can start on any type of board. Some are more beginner-friendly than others but in general, it doesn’t really matter as long as you don’t feel the need to downhill. Just keep in mind that you can get hooked and want more out of your board in a few months. Consider buying a used board first.

Reasons to Buy

If you want to ride long distances and a small board seems intimidating to ride on, go for a longboard. They are beginner-friendly because of the large and wide boards. Very easy to balance on and they don’t require much effort to maintain speed. 

Longboards last longer than popsicle boards because they don’t have to deal with impact from grinding or kickflips. Also you don’t have to buy new shoes every 3 months. Cheap canvas shoes will do just fine. in short:

  • Easy to ride
  • Expensive at first but cheaper in the long run (if you stay away from downhill)
  • Maximum comfort when riding

Reasons Not to Buy

You don’t want to carry a bulky board around or have a limited budget. A quality longboard is expensive but you don’t have to replace parts very often. Wheels need to be replaced about once or twice every two years, depending on how often and how far your ride.

  • Longboards are heavy and bulky
  • A quality longboard is expensive
  • You live in a crowded place
  • You only have short commutes

Cruisers

best mini cruiser skateboards

Cruisers are fast, nimble, portable skateboards and shorter than longboards. Some are even shorter than a regular skateboard (mini cruisers). These boards are perfect for urban riding, cruising around town, or to ride around campus.

It’s a bit harder to learn how to ride on a cruiser but if you get one that’s wide enough you’ll get the hang of it in no time. Some cruisers are suitable for a limited amount of tricks. I tested a couple of cruisers and reviewed a bunch, here’s the summary.

If a cruiser has a kicktail and/or nose they are suitable for more technical stuff. Keep in mind that tricks are harder on a cruiser, look for a popsicle board if you want to do technical stuff. 

Reasons to Buy

If you don’t want to drag a heavy board around, live in a crowded city and want something to ride for short distances without too much effort, go for a cruiser. Cruisers are getting more and more popular and for good reasons. You can easily take them on the bus and don’t require a lot of effort to push. Get a cruiser if:

  • You only have short commutes
  • Need something compact and lightweight
  • Want to cruise but also like a bit of a challenge
  • Hop a few curbs 

Reasons Not to Buy

Cruisers can be used for longer distances but will require you to push more often. If you want the ultimate cruising experience and just a calm ride, buy a longboard instead. Although some cruisers allow you to do tricks, they’re not suitable for flips and ollies. Sure you can pull it off but you’ll damage your board and landing might be sketchy.

  • Not great for technical tricks
  • Less comfortable compared to a longboard
  • Less suitable for long distances, but still doable 

What Type of Skateboard Is Best for Beginners?

There is no such thing as ‘the best skateboard for beginners’, if only it was that easy. There are too many factors at play and it all depends on what you want to do, the environment you skate (rough roads, hills, skateparks nearby), and your budget.

If you want to learn how to ride a board fast, a longboard is a good choice. They are easier to ride compared to a popsicle board.

Figure out what you like and go from there. Once you made up your mind make sure not to go for the cheapest board possible. For cruisers, I would check out Landyachtz, for longboards check out Sector 9 and Landyacthz. Regular skateboards Santa Cruz, Powell Peralta or Plan B.

A decent longboard will cost you between 130 and 200 bucks. A skateboard with premium components around $130-150, cheapest around $70, Decent cruisers go from $90 to $150. Good luck deciding!

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Ruben Vee

I'm an aged skateboarder, but I still shred responsibly. I started skateboarding 25 years ago and I'm out there whenever I can. Insta @skateboardershq

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