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Expert Shopper Sports & Fitness

Penny skateboard vs. skateboard, which should I buy?

Should I buy a penny board or a regular skateboard?

Riding a skateboard is a skill that takes a great deal of balance. Where you place your feet determines how sturdy your base is and how much control you have over the board. When you start, having a smaller, narrower board makes learning to ride and steer more difficult.

In certain situations, such as commuting or traveling, a smaller skateboard might be a perfect choice. This article will outline the impactful differences between a Penny board and a skateboard.

Penny skateboards

Ben Mackay, the founder of Penny Skateboards, originally named his tiny skateboard after his sister, Penny. While the Australian company manufactures a wide variety of boards ranging from 22 inches to 36 inches, Penny eventually became synonymous with a category of skateboards distinguished by its smaller-sized boards. For this article’s purpose, when we say "Penny skateboard," we are referring to a 22-inch plastic skateboard.

When shopping for a penny skateboard, it is vital to pay attention to whether it’s an authentic board from Penny Australia or a generic penny board. A generic board may cost $20-$30 while authentic boards go for $109-$119. The difference is critical. A generic Penny board may be a toy that does not feature a proper design.

What you’ll love about Penny boards

  • Convenient, portable design: The size of a Penny board makes it ideal for traveling. Whether you are commuting to work, taking the board on a bike trip, or bringing it on vacation, the smaller size makes it easy to carry along. 
  • Come in a wide variety of colors: You can get a Penny board in a wide variety of brightly colored designs ranging from a solid color to a flame or postcard design.
  • Offer a smooth ride: If you're just looking to travel, a Penny board offers a smooth, fast ride.
  • Can be used by a skilled rider: Once you become a skilled rider, you can use a Penny board to execute basic tricks.

What you should consider about a Penny skateboard

  • Not best for beginners: The smaller deck means the rider's stance will be tighter, making it harder to maintain balance and harder to control the board. 
  • Limited use: While it is possible to do some basic tricks, the Penny board excels in traveling. Consequently, the fun you can have at a skatepark will be limited.

Top Penny skateboards

Penny 22-Inch Cruiser Skateboard

This is an authentic 22-inch Penny skateboard from Penny Australia. It is rugged, lightweight and offers a smooth ride.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Penny Australia 27-Inch High Vibe Board

For individuals who like the idea of a Penny skateboard but would prefer something a little larger, this 27-inch model is a good fit for your needs. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Swell Skateboards 22-Inch Cruiser Skateboards

While not the original, this Penny skateboard from Swell Skateboards is a durable aluminum and high-strength polymer option. For each purchase, the company donates $1 to the Save The Swell Fellowship program to support innovative sustainability research and conservation efforts.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Skateboards are designed to give the rider a sizable base for balance. Additionally, skateboards have a concave shape with an upturned nose and tail to provide greater control. Rather than being made of plastic, most boards are made with a seven-ply maple plywood deck with a polyurethane coating. 

These features combine to make a highly versatile board – you can use it for simple riding or tricks. The cost of a decent skateboard typically ranges from about $50-$150 – though you can undoubtedly purchase models that are either cheaper or more costly.

What you’ll love about skateboards

  • Better for beginners: The larger deck of a skateboard means there is more room to take a wider, more stable stance, which will make it easier for beginners to learn how to balance.
  • Easier to control: The upturned nose and tail give the rider complete control of the board, no matter which way it happens to be facing (e.g., riding fakie).
  • More versatile: Because of the ease of balance and the greater control, a full-size skateboard is much more versatile than a Penny skateboard.

What you should consider about a skateboard

  • Larger and heavier than a Penny board: A full-size skateboard is larger and heavier than a penny skateboard, making it more awkward to transport.

Top skateboards

CCS Skateboard

This wooden hybrid skateboard features a full-size skateboard’s concave design but at a slightly smaller size. It is a good option for individuals interested in a penny skateboard who don't want to give up too much control.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Kryptonics Pop Series 31-Inch Skateboard

This popular model is a highly affordable skateboard that is available at a variety of retailers. It can support up to 220 pounds and is recommended for ages 8 and older.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Dick's Sporting Goods, Kohl's and Macy's

WiiSHAM Pro Skateboard

A solid, entry-level skateboard for individuals who want quality without spending a great deal of money. This Canadian maple board is 31 inches long by 8 inches wide.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Should you get a Penny board or a skateboard?

Whether a Penny skateboard or a regular skateboard is best for you ultimately comes down to intended usage. If you need a portable board used for traveling or commuting, a Penny skateboard is a great option. If you are interested in performing tricks or are an absolute beginner, a full-size skateboard is a better option.

Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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