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What is a Penny Board? (Is It Worthy of a spot in your Quiver?)

A penny board is a type of skateboard constructed with a lightweight plastic deck for performance and practicality.

They are commonly sold as a full setup (including the deck, wheels, and trucks), but you can fine-tune the different parts as you please, just like with standard skateboards.

Get answers to your biggest questions about Penny skateboards below.

Penny Board Shape and Colors

Inspired by original 1960 skateboards, Penny boards have a retro (also known as classic) shape.

They are relatively narrow with pointed noses. The front of the deck is the board’s widest width, it is more narrow the closer you get to the tail. 

You’ll commonly see small kicktails on these boards.

Rather than grip tape, there is a waffle pattern on the tops of these decks. They come in a large variety of different colors and deck graphics, so you can seek out one that closely matches your personal style.

Penny Board Sizes

Penny boards are made in five sizes:

  1. Penny (22 inches): Great for the lightest possible transportation and fitting in your backpack when you aren’t riding on it. If you want to reach high speeds, this is your go-to. It’s also awesome for small kids to get started with skateboarding.
  2. Nickel (27 inches): Great jack of all trades. Does what the 22-inch does but provides higher stability, which is great for beginners.
  3. Surfskate (29 inches): This board gives you the feeling of surfing, for surf-like fun even when the conditions aren’t ideal. You can cover long distances without having to push too much. With this board, you can progress on key skating skills like carving and pumping.
  4. 32-inch Cruiser: Incredibly versatile model inspired by the best cruisers in history—allows you to casually grind, pop up onto curbs, or grind on ledges.
  5. 36-inch Longboard: Made for the cruisers of the world, seeking out long rides without many turns. The best for relaxing strolls.

If you’re an adult beginner, consider purchasing the 27-inch nickel board. Once you’re farther down the road of your skating journey, you can progress by moving onto different sizes if you’d like.

Penny Board Uses

These boards are fantastic for commuting on city or coastal streets due to how light and easy they are to maneuver, but you’ll rarely see them at a skate park.

Skaters love them for their versatility on challenging terrains. They can glide over pebbles, cracks, and stones easily without losing speed because of their small decks, large wheels, and fast bearings.

Traveling with a light Penny board is much more ideal than lugging around a big bike. The kicktail enables skaters to easily raise the front end of the board while in motion to ease the ride over obstacles.

If you are used to riding a standard skateboard, you may need to practice for a bit on the penny board before you’re on the go. Once you get comfortable, you’ll find yourself reaching for them for any short to medium trips you take.

History

Larry Stevenson made the first to be known plastic boards back in the 70s under his brand, Mahaka. But by 1978, wooden boards dominated the market.

The Penny Boards Skateboards brand was born in 2010 by founder Ben Mackay, who named the brand after his sister. He was inspired to start the company after falling in love with a plastic board his dad bought him at a garage sale as a kid.

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