“Do you skateboard?” “Yes! I have a longboard!”
This is about the perfect way to rile up a skateboarder, skaters don’t consider longboarders to be skateboarders for many reasons. I want to be clear that this is not a hit piece on longboarders, honestly I don’t care what you do, but it’s interesting to see where the hate comes from.
I often see this question online and even get emails asking me if I consider longboarder to be skaters. In reality, the hate for longboarders is more a thing on the web then it is in real life. There is only a small group of skateboarders that hate longboarders. Honestly, I never came across someone that expressed real hate towards longboarders though mocking longboarders is quite common.
The reason some skateboarders hate longboarders is because it’s easier, more commercial, and doesn’t look cool. The hate towards longboarders has resemblance to tribalism, even wearing the wrong shirt can be a cause to be frowned upon.
Longboarders are less likely to push themselves to the limit, don’t do tricks, and just use it as a means of transportation. Carrying a longboard around looks a bit goofy and awkward compared to a regular skateboard.
The truth is skateboarding is completely different from longboarding. While the tricks on skateboards are endless, longboard tricks are limited. But ask any skateboarder how they feel about downhill longboarders, most will agree that it’s pretty extreme.
Let’s dive into the reasons why some skateboarders don’t like longboarding and why they are wrong.
- 1 10 Reasons Why Skaters Hate Longboarders
- 1.1 1. Longboarding is Too Easy
- 1.2 2. Skaters Are Tribal
- 1.3 3. Longboarding Looks Dorky
- 1.4 4. Longboarders Don’t Follow Skate Park Etiquette
- 1.5 5. Longboarding Isn’t as Popular
- 1.6 6. Longboarders Are Posers
- 1.7 7. Longboarding is Commercial
- 1.8 8. Longboarding Tricks Are Limited
- 1.9 9. Longboarding is For Women
- 1.10 10. Skaters Are Toxic
- 2 Conclusion
10 Reasons Why Skaters Hate Longboarders
Do skaters hate longboarders or do they hate longboarding? Probably both. While there are a few that love to hate on everything. In my opinion it’s just irrational tribalism but it can’t hurt to look at why some get riled up when they see a longboarder passing by.
I can get the hate for scooter kids, as they often cause accidents and often lack situational awareness. In fact, only a few months ago I collided with one in our local mini ramp. The kid just dropped in when I came out of a 50-50. I couldn’t skate for weeks and was livid.
There are a few reasons that I can think of why skateboarders don’t always appreciate longboarders, but I also did some digging to see where the often irrational hate comes from.
1. Longboarding is Too Easy
Skateboarding takes a lot of practice because of the smaller (and harder) wheels and the smaller deck size. Longboards are easier to ride, especially when you’re beginner. Somehow this is reason for some skaters to hate on longboarders.
I personally think longboarding is a great way to learn how to ride for those who want to learn skateboarding. Great to get the basics down, learn to balance and push without much risk, especially for older skaters.
Skilled longboarders actually can do pretty awesome tricks most skateboarders couldn’t pull off. Though tricks are more limited on longboards, there is still plenty of challenging stuff to master. However, there’s a good chance a longboarder that’s been riding for a while can’t do an ollie on a regular skateboard. A skateboarder will likely be able to pull off tricks on a longboard though.
Standing on a longboard is much easier and the ride is way more forgiving. The big soft wheels and huge boards are great for those who just want to ride. You often see longboarders making a transition to skateboarding eventually. Skateboarding and longboarding are just completely different disciplines and shouldn’t be compared.
2. Skaters Are Tribal
Skaters love to hate on anything that doesn’t fit their worldview (not all of course) and don’t like change. A small portion of the skate subculture is so deeply invested in skateboarding that it can be considered tribalism.
If you wear skate shoes or happen to wear a T-shirt from a skate brand, you will be considered a poser. Wearing Nike SB shoes is already reason enough to question your moral compass. Heck, even certain tricks can get you in trouble.
People tend to stick to their group and anything outside of the tribe or doesn’t abide by the rules is considered the enemy. Fortunately, this kind of behavior is less common but also depends on where you live. The larger the city, the more likely you’ll run into these type of skaters.
3. Longboarding Looks Dorky
You can be the best skater around town and do the most ridiculous tricks no one can pull off, but if you have an ugly style you will be less appreciated.
Skateboarding is a lot about style and how you make a trick look easy. Skaters often feel like longboarding just looks dorky, just like scooters but to less extend. One thing I can related to is when you see someone carrying a longboard around.
Sometimes they are almost as big as the rider and it just looks really awkward. While this is entirely subjective and a stupid reason to hate on longboarders, many skaters just don’t like the look of it.
I asked my wife what she thinks about longboarders carrying around these huge boards, I got a blank stare like ‘what the hell are you on about’. For those not active in skateboarding, it just doesn’t make sense.
Anyway, if there is one thing that looks extremely cringy, it’s 30-year-olds on electric longboards with a hipster beard and a dorky helmet. Just add some gloves to make it the ultimate cringe fest. There is no excuse for this and perhaps we can find some common ground here, e-boarders are the worst. In most cases they don’t even know how to ride.
4. Longboarders Don’t Follow Skate Park Etiquette
A longboarder in a skate park is a rare sight, and they don’t always follow skate park etiquette. While my most recent encounter was positive, sometime longboarders get in the way.
Many beginner skateboarders make the same mistakes, but longboarders get more hate when they don’t follow the unwritten skate park rules. Rules like not snaking, not knowing the lines, occupying a bowl for way too long, or hanging out on objects are frowned upon. Longboarders get more hate because ‘they aren’t real skaters anyway’.
That being said, I recently was skating in a local park and a longboarder showed up who ripped the bowl. It was a pretty awesome sight and he got the respect he deserved.
Is this really a thing, some claim it is? I only have positive experiences.
5. Longboarding Isn’t as Popular
Even though the popularity of longboarding is increasing, the community is fairly small. You don’t see longboarders ride in groups very often, usually it’s a lost soul just minding his own business.
Some skateboarders base their entire personality and life style on skateboarding. Many keep skateboarding till they are coming of age or can’t walk anymore. Longboarders often just ride for a short while and see it as a fun workout. Often they ride for a few years and lose interest.
Still, a weird reason to hate on someone just enjoying a hobby, but it is one of the reasons. ‘longboarders are quitters and don’t take risks’ is something I read somewhere. While longboarding is more of a fun way of transportation, skateboarding for many is a way to express themselves.
There is some influence of skateboard culture on society which and skateboarding gets quite some exposure in media, the way we dress (Vans), music, and the way we perceive something as being cool or trashy (skaters are loved and hated). Skateboarding is a life style where longboarding is just something temporarily.
6. Longboarders Are Posers
Poser is a common insult in skateboarding. Wearing Thrasher shirts when you don’t skate, walking around with a skateboard instead of riding, or hanging around a skate park trying to look cool and talk trash will get you labelled as a poser. No matter what you do, there is always someone that thinks you are a poser, even posers call other skaters posers.
While it is a bit of a contradiction to call a longboarder a poser (it’s not skateboarding), you might be considered one by skateboarders. This is mainly because longboarding is considered easy and doesn’t involve a lot of risk or practice.
Dressing like a skater and visiting a skate park won’t help your cause if you can’t tre-flip your longboard. Skateboarding takes a lot of practice and you really need to earn your place in some communities, depending on the levels of toxicity.
To be honest, back in my day we we’re pretty open to new skaters and try to help as much as possible. If someone would have showed up with a longboard it would probably have raised a few eyebrows. Dressing like a skater and showing up with a longboard is not recommended and will come off as only doing it for aesthetics.
No matter how hard you try, longboarders just don’t fit in a skateboarding community because many longboarders can hardly do any tricks let alone ride a skateboard.
7. Longboarding is Commercial
Even though skateboarding is more popular than ever and becoming somewhat mainstream, it’s still a subculture that doesn’t like anything remotely corporate. Skaters favor particular small brands and even shops, anything too commercial will summon the wrath of skaters. The hate for Zumiez is real and a good example of a company that doesn’t understand it’s target audience.
Skaters loathe big companies and there is a small group that even hates on contests, including the Olympics. They don’t consider skateboarding a sport but a lifestyle.
Starting a skateboard brand, for example, only works if you are a professional skateboarder or well known in the small industry. Skaters hate on Nike and Adidas because they don’t support the industry, getting a sponsor deal from those companies is frowned upon. Nyjah Huston is considered a sellout and a corporate shill by many because ‘he is in it for the money.’
Longboard companies are usually larger corporations, though there are exception like Pantheon and Zenit to name a few. A company like Sector 9 however is as corporate as it gets. They don’t care about longboarding or skateboarding, the only thing that matters is sales.
Since longboarding is more for the general public, they often aren’t aware or don’t care about the culture. Longboarders are in general less invested in the scene like skateboarders are. Only dedicated longboarders know where to buy boards and components, they support the smaller companies and detest companies like Loaded and Sector 9.
This doesn’t mean all skaters support smaller brands, many buy blank decks or simply the cheapest skateboard available. Overall skateboarders are more invested in the culture and scene, there is a reason why the hashtag #supportyourlocalskateshop exists.
8. Longboarding Tricks Are Limited
Skateboarding has so many tricks that it’s impossible to keep up with. Some tricks don’t even have a name because why bother keeping up.
Even though longboarding has different styles and disciplines, they arsenal of tricks is very limited. Longboards often lack a nose and tail which makes it hard to pop a longboard. There are a few that can pull off insane tricks on a longboard, but these guys probably are skilled skateboarders as well.
Doing tricks on a longboard is way harder than on a skateboard. Longboards are heavy, wide, less nimble, and obviously long. The lack of concave and kicktails makes it extremely difficult to do basic tricks. Longboards aren’t meant for doing tricks but for long distance riding.
If you are going to invest time and effort in learning kickflips on a longboard, your time would be much better spent on a regular skateboard. You might as well practice kick flipping a banana.
9. Longboarding is For Women
Longboarding is more popular among women, they take up a much larger percentage compared to skateboarders. The sad thing is that in a recent study, female skaters indicated they are still judged by their gender.
So if there is some weird animosity towards woman in skateboarding, and longboarding is considered a women’s sport, you can expect some skateboarders to consider longboarding feminine. Perhaps some skateboarders just feel uncomfortable when their manhood is threatened.
Those whose sense of masculinity depends on other people’s opinions should really look in a mirror. I wish I had just a fraction of the skills of some of the professional female skaters out there.
10. Skaters Are Toxic
Talking about generalization, but some skaters do act elitist. There is a toxic part of the community that just like to hate on everything. Recently I visited a skate park close to where I live and there was this one guy constantly screaming at anyone that didn’t bring a skateboard. Some skaters can be so toxic that they alienate themselves from other skaters.
These skaters are the worst, constantly whine about everything and nobody likes them around. They are also the ones that give skateboarding a bad reputation and perpetuate the negativity and hate for skateboarders.
So rest assured longboarders! Skaters also get a lot of hate and it’s still considered an activity for misfits and outcasts. Many parents forbid their kids picking up skateboarding because they fear the might turn into little juveniles as soon as they enter a skate park.
This stigma is pretty common among older people, though the younger generation is more open to the culture. There are many reasons why skateboarders are hated, and some reasons are legit.
To the uninitiated, there is a difference in skateboarding and longboarding but the hate is unjustified. I’m sure there are many longboarders that loathe skateboarders for their own reasons.
I want to point out that I don’t hate on longboarders, I just looked up the reasons on forums and asked around. People should do what they like and gatekeeping is pretty toxic, skaters even hate on each other for trivial reasons.
To completely contradict my conclusion I invite all skaters to stop hating on longboarders and hate on scooters instead. If there is one thing that all skaters have in common no matter their age, it’s the hate for scooters. So let’s unite and be sensible, scooter kids are the source of everything what’s wrong with society.
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.