Skateboard Types: Shortboards and Longboards

Skateboarding was started in California in the 1950s by surfers who wanted to have an adventure when waves were low. Since the beginning, skateboarding has evolved and has become a lifestyle sport enjoyed by skateboarders and people watching their tricks equally. Nowadays, top skateboard brands offer many skateboard types for different riding styles.

What is a Skateboard?

A skateboard is a shortboard mounted on small wheels used for coasting and performing athletic stunts. It is usually constructed with 7- ply maple wood featuring different shapes and sizes used for different skateboarding styles.

What is Skateboarding?

Skateboarding is a popular form of recreation and sport among young people, in which a rider balances on a skateboard and performs tricks. The rider is referred to as a skateboarder. Skateboarders adopt various skateboarding styles depending on their personal preferences, each requiring a different type of skateboard.


Skateboard History


Initially, skateboards were flat wood decks with metal wheels, and skaters used to ride them bare feet. But, over time, skateboards have changed their shapes and styles and led to the different modern skateboard shapes we see today.

Vintage Skateboard

In the 70s, wide boards with vibrant colored graphics were ridden by skaters mainly for pool and vert. Later in the 80’s, Rodney Mullen brought skateboarding onto the streets, and street freestyle skating was born.

There have been many changes in skateboard shapes, sizes, structures, and components with increased popularity to meet the need for skateboarding.

For different riding styles like street skating, bowl, vert, and cruising, skaters have always preferred different types of skateboards. For this reason, skate companies created different deck shapes over the years to best suit individual requirements.


Types of Skateboards


In this article we will discuss main skateboard types, and will figure out which type suits your style.
Following are the main types of skateboards, each type is suitable for a different skateboarding style and skill level.

  • Double Kick Skateboards
  • Cruiser Skateboards
  • Mini Cruiser Skateboards.
  • Longboard Skateboards
  • Carve Skateboards.

The Double-Kick Popsicle – Standard Skateboard


The Double-Kick Popsicle Skateboard- Standard Skateboard

Best for: Street/Park/Freestyle

Recommender for : Beginners to Pros

The popsicle double-kick skateboard is the most popular choice you will see on streets and skateparks when it comes to freestyle or street skateboarding. It’s the most versatile skateboard type preferred by most skaters worldwide, allowing them to adopt any skateboarding style.

The double-kick skateboard has popsicles or Band-Aid-like shapes featuring a double kick at either end, referred to as nose and tail- exactly or nearly symmetrical. However, these decks are not entirely flat; they feature varying concave across the width.

Both ends of the deck curve upward, creating kicktails, allowing a skater to perform tricks suck as fliptricks, nose-slides, or varials and easy maneuvering of the board. These skateboards are usually 32” long and they work best with standard skateboard trucks and 50 to 55 millimeter wheels.

The popsicle double-kick is also the standard, street or modern school skateboard we see today. It’s the double-kick skateboard that you’ll find riders of all skill levels riding in skateparks, vert, and street skating.

The standard popsicle skateboard type is recommended for beginners, adults, and kids because they work well for street skating, skate parks, bowl/vert skating, and cruising. They are typically ridden with small, bit hard wheels to accommodate the hard impact while lading tricks. In addition, small wheels are less prone to wheel bites.

The double-kick skateboard is the best weapon for those intending to shred the streets, perform tricks, grind the curbs, and get airborne.

The “Popsicle ” has been the shape of a standard skateboard deck for years, also called shortboards.

Standard popsicle skateboards are suitable for;

  • Skating streets, pavements and curbs.
  • Carving
  • Skateparks ,Bowl/pool and vert.
  • Downhill
  • Technical skating (Skate tricks)
  • Grinding

Not suitable for:

  • For high-speed rides.
  • Riding on rough surfaces.
  • Riding long distances.

Old School Skateboards


Ols School skateboards

Best for: Pool/Vert/Cruising

Recommended for: Beginner adults for learning balance

The old-school skateboards have an asymmetrical shape, meaning they have a flat, wide nose and a single kicktail that can pop the board for basic tricks. These skateboards are much wider and have longer wheelbases than standard skateboards. Moreover, their decks come with a width upwards of 8.25″ and are similar to vintage 80’s style skateboards.

Interestingly, these skateboards are more stable and fantastic for bowl/pool skating and transportation because they are equipped with high and wider trucks. In addition, these skateboards feature soft, big fat wheels to offer high speed.

On the other hand, these skateboards are heavier, and their decks are thicker than standard decks. It is difficult for a skater to flip or ollies these skateboards due to the deck’s extra width and short nose. Therefore these are not the preferable choice for street skating, where skaters do a lot of flip tricks.

Old school skateboards gained popularity in the late seventies when skaters started doing ollies. The old-school skateboards appeal to older, beginner, or bowl skaters who don’t do ollies or flip-kicks much and prefer to carve and ride faster. The single kicktail allows riders to pop the board and enter the air.

Old School boards are for you;

  • For skating ramps, pool, vert.
  • Carving the streets.
  • Downhill riding
  • Cruising

Not suitable for:

  • Technical street skating.
  • Fliptricks

Cruisers Skateboards


Cruiser Skateboards

These Skateboards are typically wider than standard skateboards, featuring a flat or slightly curved tail and nose with softer wheels for gentler, smoother rides. Plus, cruisers have asymmetrical shapes, and the single Kicktail of the cruiser enables the rider to perform an ollie up a curb if needed during commuting.

They are meant for leisurely riding or commuting because of their stable ride and easy maneuverability. They are lighter and nimbler than longboards, allowing you to make tight turns. Thus, cruisers are ideal for cities to get from point A to B. Cruisers are typically fully assembled and “Ready to Skate.”

If transportation is your goal, cruisers are the best option for you. They are great for beginners learning stability because they offer wider decks and big soft wheels for more grip, preventing skaters from stumbling.
Moreover, cruisers are usually the same length as standard skateboards but have many shapes like fishtail or squared tail cruisers.

Cruisers come fully assembled and are meant for;

  • Leisurely riding or commuting smoothly.
  • Learning balance and stability.
  • Performing basic tricks.
  • Tight turns
  • Rides smooth on rough grounds.
  • Carving and sliding downhill.

Not suitable for:

  • Maneuverability for beginners.
  • Tricks and technical skating.

Shaped Deck Skateboard


Shaped Deck Skateboards

Shaped skateboard decks are wider than standard decks but have the same length. These shaped decks don’t feature a round nose and round tail but rather a squared tail and a pointy or a bit squared nose.

Recently, shaped skateboard decks have become very popular because they provide more room for foot placement, hence offering a stable ride. These shaped skateboards decks usually don’t come fully assembled, giving you the opportunity to customize your board with wheels, trucks, bearings and grip tape of your choice.

These decks make perfect skateboards for transition with wider trucks and street skating with small hard wheels, all thanks to the decks’ pronounced concaves and curved noses and tails. Moreover, companies manufacture these decks with seven-ply maple for strength and lightness to perform tricks easily.

Shaped skateboards are suitable for;

  • Transition skating Bowl/Vert/half pipe.
  • Street skating and performing tricks.
  • Cruising
  • Beginners to Pros.

Not suitable for:

  • The steep concave of these decks may sore your feet after long ride.
  • May feel big to people who like narrow decks.

Mini-Cruiser


Mini Cruiser Skateboard for 5 year old kids

As the name implies, this is a cruiser of small size compared to a regular cruiser board. The deck is usually constructed with polyurethane and has no grip tape applied; instead, have a textured top to provide traction. You’ll also find some mini cruisers made of the wooden top ridden by experienced riders as well.

Therefore, these mini cruisers are popular among little kids between 5 and 10 years old. Their textured top makes it safe for little kids to ride it on their bellies or bums. Moreover, they are lightweight, compact, and fit into a backpack to carry around easily.

Shaped skateboards are suitable for;

  • Learning balance and stability for skateboarding.
  • Cruising on the streets and skateparks.
  • Racing downhill.
  • Carving

Not suitable for:

  • Tricks
  • Riding at high speed.

Longboard Skateboard


Longboards

If you’re not interested in doing tricks or ollies and desire a skateboard to push around for leisurely cruising, downhill riding, or transportation, longboard skateboards are the right choice. As the name implies, a longboard is longer and wider than a standard skateboard deck, offering more space for foot placement and allowing skaters to skate around easily.

Longboards come fully assembled in various shapes and sizes, but they are long, hefty, and not the best choice for tricks and technical skating. They have many different shapes, such as twin-tip longboards, pintail longboards, and swallowtail longboards, but their length classifies them.

Longboards are 34″ or longer equipped with big soft wheels for a stable and smooth ride. Therefore these are the perfect choice for beginners, learning balance.


Types OF Longboard


The main types of longboard are;

Pintail:
Pintail longboard

Pintail longboard featuring a unique shape of a pointy nose and tail with a longer wheelbase. Interestingly their deck shape prevents the wheel from touching the board (“wheel bite”) while offering generous foot space for a stable ride. Therefore this deck’s design optimizes cruising and carving ability.

Pintail longboards are equipped with trucks set close to the front and rear of the board, allowing more flexible movement when riding. Due to soft big cruiser wheels, you can get a high-speed ride for cruising or downhill riding.

Moreover, the Pintail longboard gives you the feel and look of a surfboard.


Twin Tip
Twin Tip Longboard

Twin Tip longboards are meant to race downhill and are symmetrical in shape that is closer to earth. Their nose and tail are almost symmetrical, and the narrow tip design prevents wheel bites.

Their wheels have cutout attachments, allowing larger wheels to roll smoothly. You can carve deep without worrying about wheel bite by having a narrow tail and nose. And the wide flat deck keeps you stable while riding at high speeds.

Aside from the deck shape, twin tip boards have a truck setup that mounts by going through the deck, unlike other board styles with trucks mounted to the base of the deck- making it the perfect type of skateboard for speed freaks.

Drop through or downhill longboards primarily features the same Twin Tip longboard style to offer traction and high-speed downhill riding grip. Excellent for deep carve downhill and long-distance riding.


Cruiser Longboard:
Cruiser Longboards

Cruiser longboards feature a single”kick-tail” on the rare and pointy nose along with a longer wheelbase. These longboards are equipped with wider high trucks and large, softer wheels than a standard cruiser to provide a fast and forgiving ride. The trucks feature soft, flexible bushings letting the rider turn and maneuver easily.


Longboards are the go-to board for those intending for mellow cruising, pushing long distances, commuting, and sliding down hills at high speeds.

Shaped skateboards are suitable for;

  • Downhill riding.
  • Commuting
  • City streets cruising and off-road riding
  • Learning stability for beginners
  • Big swooping turns
  • Riding rough ground smoothly
  • Surfing and snowboarding practice.

Not suitable for:

  • Tricks
  • Small kids

Skateboard Types Comparison


Please refer to the following skateboard types chart to figure out which skateboard type suits your style.

Deck TypeLevelKicktailRecommendation
Double Kick Skateboard (Popsicle)Beginner/ProDouble kicktailBest for cruising and tricks in street and parks.
Modern Shaped Deck SkateboardIntermediate/ProDouble kicktailBest for street & transition skating.
Old School SkateboardBeginner/ProSingle kicktailBest for cruising, bowl /pool skating and commuting.
CruisersBeginner/ProSingle kicktailBest for cruising & commuting.
Longboards
BeginnerSingle/no kicktailBest for Cruising, downhill racing.

For more detail please watch the following video for skateboard types comparison .


Final Thoughts


There is a variety of skateboards available on the market. Each skateboard type may have a different name; however, we have tried to cover all the popular skateboard types. Selecting the best Skateboard that suits your style is essential as it impacts your riding experience. Each Skateboard comes with components suitable for a particular type of riding. Once you figure out which skateboard type suits your needs, you can jump to our relevant blog for the topnotch recommendation.

We hope you find this article helpful in selecting the suitable Skateboard. Please share your feedback after reading the article.


Frequently Asked Questions


What are 3 types of skateboards?

Following are the main types of skateboards that are widely popular.

  • Double Kick Skateboards.
  • Old-School Skateboard
  • Cruiser Skateboards.
  • Mini Cruiser Skateboards.
  • Longboard Skateboards.
What are 4 types of skateboarding?

Four types of skateboarding are as follows

  • Freestyle/Street skateboarding.
  • Transition /pool/vert Skateboarding
  • Cruising & Commuting
  • Longboarding & Racing downhills
What is the most popular skateboard type?

The Double-Kick Popsicle Skateboard is the most popular and versatile skateboard type. They are suitable for beginners learning control to pro shredding the skateparks verts and staircases. You cannot go wrong with a double kick skateboard, whether it’s casual cruising, bowl/pool, or trick skating. Additionally, the lightweight and narrow deck lets you pop higher and has easy maneuverability.

What skateboard is best for tricks?

A shortboard- a double kick skateboard, is ideal for street skateboarding and vert/pool skateboarding. Its design is suitable for performing tricks, whether you are a beginner or a pro. On the other hand, if you struggle with balance, a cruiser or longboard might be the right choice.

What skateboard do pros use?

Almost all professionals prefer 8.0” to 8.5” wide double kick standard skateboards. These skateboards feature lighter decks and small hard wheels suitable for technical skating.

What type of skateboard is best for a beginner?

Well, it all depends on your personal preference. Depending on your preferred skateboarding style, you can get a double-kick popsicle skateboard or a longboard. Please refer to the size chart of skateboards before purchasing a skateboard.

What type of skateboard is best for kids?

The best type of skateboard for kids depends on their age. If the kid is five or below with a shoe size 3 or less, getting a mini-cruiser with a polyurethane deck is preferable for a safer riding experience.

You can get other skateboard types for older kids depending on their skill levels, like double-kick skateboard, cruiser, or longboard. You can also experiment with different shapes and sizes for a versatile riding experience.

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