Whether you’re a newbie at the skateboard scene or trying to up your game, the skateboard versus longboard battle is always heated. Were you thinking to yourself, “do longboards go faster than skateboards?”.
Well, if you’re here, you must be looking for something fast. Don’t worry; we got you. There’s only one answer: go long or go home.
Longboard vs. Skateboard – Which Board Is Faster?
Longboards and skateboards have many different parts and components. The most important components are the wheels, trucks, bearings, and deck. Each of these parts comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, which look and perform differently.
Whether you prefer cruising or performing tricks, you’re experiencing the combined effect of all of these components.
We have gathered together a list of reasons that make longboards faster than skateboards.
This includes the appearance, features as well as parts of the board. All of these factors play their roles when you’re on the ride. If you want to know why we are saying so, keep reading.
With one look, you can notice how different longboards are from skateboards. The most obvious difference is the deck – the wooden part of the board. Decks come in many different shapes and sizes.
The geometry of the board determines how it is affected by air resistance. This, in turn, affects the speed of the board.
Longboard decks are much larger compared to skateboards. Skateboards are usually 22-32 inches long. But longboards are a whopping 33-60 inches in length.
In addition, the skateboard is 6-8 inches wide, but a longboard is 9-10 inches wide.
With that size advantage, longboards are more stable and can keep their momentum. You can comfortably keep both your feet on the deck and shift your weight from side to side.
This is known as pumping. Pumping allows the rider to maintain their speed on the board without moving their feet.
Skateboard decks are more compact. You can’t use this technique of pumping because there isn’t enough space.
Longboard decks come in many different shapes. All longboards are fast, but some longboards with a particular shape are faster when it comes to performing riding techniques such as free-ride, drop-through, fishtail, pintail, etc.
Usually, skateboard wheels are around 50mm in diameter. The diameter of longboard wheels ranges from 65 to 100mm. Bigger wheels cover more distance every time they turn. So, they roll faster in the same duration of time.
Big wheels also handle obstacles better. A fun ride is a smooth ride, not a bumpy one. But everyone might not have a skate park nearby.
Or maybe you want to ride your board to commute—the small hard wheels of a skateboard jerk and wiggle with even the slightest bump on the sidewalk.
Smaller wheels have a smaller contact patch. This means that a smaller part of the wheel is touching the terrain.
So, every time a wheel hits something, the board loses speed sooner, and you can’t cruise. You just end up tired from dragging your feet on and on. Nobody wants to skate like that, do they?
Typically, skateboards come equipped with hard and resistive wheels that easily skid. Longboards come with softer wheels made of grippy material. So, it takes less effort to push and maneuver a longboard.
The wheelbase is the gap between the wheels. If your board has a wider wheelbase, the wheels are further apart from the center of the deck. The truck becomes less sensitive to the jerking of the wheels.
A longer wheelbase is especially a much-needed thing for taller people. Tall individuals have a higher center of gravity than their shorter peers. As a result, they tend to lose their balance more easily.
This component is probably the biggest game-changer in the battle of the boards.
Skateboards have traditional kingpin (TKP) trucks. Such trucks fit top mount boards only. Boards with TKP trucks are more agile and easier to maneuver because the rider has more clearance above the ground.
Due to the TKP trucks, skateboards wobble at high speeds. Such trucks are narrower, so the slightest movement can make you lose your stability.
The longboards use Reverse Kingpin (RKP) trucks which are considerably wider. This type of truck is easier to maneuver at low speeds and much easier to control at higher speeds.
RKP trucks are also attached to a lower part of the board in comparison with TKP trucks. So, you have an excellent, low base to position your feet.
The effect of bearings on the speed is less evident than other components. There is no definite answer as to which board comes with faster bearings. However, we can all agree that we prefer more durable bearings.
Bearings are the unsung heroes that we take for granted. Eventually, no matter where you skate, the bearings become caked with dirt, rusted, or scratched.
Then they stop working. Even if you never step outside the skate park, you can’t prevent this from happening.
Longboards might seem pricier, but they promise durability. You are getting a board that is fitted with quality parts.
Skateboards are cheaper because the manufacturers want you to think you’re getting a good deal. These manufacturers end up choosing less durable parts just to hit that price point.
The Power of Confidence – Stability Is the Key
Yes, you read that right. The deal-breaker of the speed contest is within you, not the board.
If you’re using a stable board, you don’t have to deal with speed wobbles and skidding. You’re no longer worried about the next pebble or twig that might hit your board. Now, all that energy and concentration can be used to improve your skills.
Since you’re spending more time practicing, your rate of improvement will accelerate as well. In the long journey of mastery, staying confident and consistent is how a rookie turns into a pro.
Better Safe Than Sorry
Besides having fun, it’s also essential to maintain safety and take caution. It takes more time and distance to break a longboard than a skateboard.
So always remember to wear protective headgear, elbow guards, and knee guards. Try your best to avoid busy roads and crowded sidewalks.
So, do longboards go faster than skateboards? Yes, they do. Does that mean skateboards are unbearably slow? Nope, not at all. Skateboards are built to be light, not fast.
Aim to be the next speed maestro? Just get the longboard; you won’t regret it.