Skateboards have been around. Their popularity hit fever pitch in the late 1970s following droughts in California that saw many take to skating in empty pools. Skateboards have surged in popularity since then, with public affinity driven by ESPN sponsored events, video games such as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, and event promotors like Monster Energy.
Taking a moment to consider all the unique varieties of skateboards that have evolved can be inspiring. There are skateboards for commuters, skateboards for adults, skateboards for off-road conditions, and even electric skateboards. For those in the market for a new type of recreation, or even those looking for alternative transportation, getting familiar with these types of skateboards is essential.
Types of Skateboards
Below you’ll find an overview of the most distinct varieties of skateboards. This list doesn’t encompass every option on the market but, instead, provides an overview of the market’s most popular options. As with many great products, popularity isn’t without reason. The following types of skateboards have stood the test of consumer demand.
These were among the most popular types of skateboards back in the day. They were the initial design provided by many board companies for several reasons: they were easy to carry, less expensive to produce, and more maneuverable in some cases.
Mini boards can be easier to perform tricks on but aren’t the ideal choice for long traveling. These boards can be a great choice for kids aspiring to be pro skaters. They aren’t likely to be a solid option for professionals looking for alternative ways to commute to work. Either way, these are usually one of the cheaper options.
These are the latest-and-greatest variants on the skateboard market. Electric skateboards have emerged from a growing demand for eco-friendly, sustainable, and less expensive means of communication. They’re quite popular in cities and denser metro areas, but an all terrain electric skateboard can even provide reliable transportation for more rural enthusiasts.
Electric skateboards are among the most expensive of these varieties—but for a good reason. These boards come with features like inflatable wheels, shock absorbers, batteries, and motors. They’re hardly comparable with other models but still a proud member of the skateboarding family. Electric skateboards are an excellent option for young professionals looking to upgrade their walk to work.
These boards are designed for comfort and, like the name implies, casually cruising around. Most cruisers are found to have a slightly more pointed shape and smaller overall size. However, the characterizing feature of cruisers is the softer, wider, smoother wheels.
Any skateboard can easily be converted into a cruiser—at least technically speaking—by a simple wheel upgrade. Not only does this make for a convenient option, but it allows the possibility of those seeking more adventurous riding to also cruise in more comfort with a simple hardware change. Great for touring local areas, riding on greenways, or learning the basics of skating.
These skateboards are a close relative to the cruisers but have a few notable differences. As their name implies, longboards are longer—an easy guess—but are also wider than other boards. These characteristics are expressed for two reasons: better comfort and better stability. Longboards are the hallmark choice for riders looking for long-distance comfort that doesn’t want to sacrifice speed.
Short models such as mini boards or cruisers can become unsteady at higher rates of travel. This means not being able to “book it” down hills, having to hit the brakes around tighter curves, and look a bit farther down the road to anticipate quick turns. Longboards help with all this and more, making them the non-powered choice for many commuters and young professionals.
Skateboards have evolved to match consumer demand. The different types of skateboards on the market reflect several very different uses. The mini boards, for example, were among the first type to hit the market but are now among the least accessible format.
On the other hand, electric skateboards—including offroad and all-terrain electric skateboards—are the newest but also quickly becoming one of the most popular
Each of these boards offers advantages over the others but can also be considered as having disadvantages as well. Carefully considering how you plan to use your skateboard will ensure you make the best buying decision when it comes time to purchase.