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Updated November 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Buying guide for Best Penny skateboards

Penny skateboards are lightweight, durable plastic boards that sometimes get a bad rap but can be extremely fun to ride. While true Penny skateboards are manufactured by a brand called Penny, the term "penny board" is often used to refer to any plastic skateboard of a similar style. Still, if you want a quality plastic skateboard, opting for a name-brand Penny skateboard is a safe bet. 

The trouble is deciding which Penny board to buy. Alongside their iconic small-scale plastic boards, Penny makes larger boards, including full-size skateboards and longboards. You'll need to consider what type of skating you intend to do, since some Penny boards are great for cruising and others for learning tricks or riding transitions. 

Once you learn more about Penny skateboards and see some recommended boards, it will be easier to find the right model for you. Whether you want to have some fun or are aspiring to be the next Tony Hawk, there's a Penny board to meet your needs. 

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Penny skateboard decks won't get warped or otherwise damaged by water, but the bearings can rust and seize up if they get wet, though they're fairly easy to replace if this happens.

How to buy the best Penny skateboard

Types of Penny skateboards

Penny produces a range of different skateboards, so you'll need to choose the one that best suits you or the person you're buying for. 

22 inches: These Penny skateboards are significantly shorter and narrower than full-size skateboards. They're good for kids learning the basics or adults who want the challenge of riding a mini board or like the boards’ highly portable, compact size.

27 inches: These Penny boards are smaller than full-size skateboards but easier for teens and adults to ride. If you're looking for a classic Penny board, this is the best size for most buyers. 

29 inches: Surfskates are closer in length to a full-size skateboard but with a pronounced curved shape that's wide in the middle and tapers toward the nose and tail. It's designed to replicate the feeling of surfing on waves. It's an excellent choice for cruising and gives riders a tight turning radius and plenty of control. 

32 inches: These skateboards are around the same size as full-size skateboards, though the deck shape is closer to that of a cruiser than a popsicle-shaped standard board. These boards are better for tricks and riding transitions (bowls, pipes, and ramps) than smaller Penny boards. 

39 inches: Penny longboards are the ultimate cruisers. They aren't great for tricks or transitions, but they're ideal if you want to casually ride around town.

Penny boards vs. competitors

Penny boards are the original plastic skateboards, but they have many copycats. You'll pay more for a name-brand Penny board than for most competitors, but you can be sure of its quality. Not only are Penny boards durable, but they also have decent trucks, bearings, and wheels, which makes all the difference. You can find some other good plastic boards from well-known brands, but cheap knock-offs are best avoided. 

Wheel size and hardness

Most Penny boards have 59-millimeter 83A wheels. The first number is their diameter while the second is a measurement of the wheels’ hardness. These wheels are larger and softer than the wheels you'll find on a standard skateboard used for street or park skating. Larger, softer wheels make it harder to pull off tricks but easier to cruise around on slightly uneven surfaces. While a crack in the sidewalk or a small twig in your path could throw you off a standard skateboard, these wheels roll right over these kinds of small obstacles. 

Both the 32-inch Penny board and the Penny longboard are exceptions. The 32-inch board has smaller, harder wheels for pulling off tricks and riding transitions, while the longboard has even larger, softer wheels for the smoothest of rides. 

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Did You Know?
While Penny skateboards don't have grip tape on the top of the desk like wooden skateboards, they do have a honeycomb pattern in the plastic that improves traction. 
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What features do Penny skateboards have?  

Plastic

Penny skateboards are made using a proprietary plastic formula that's a blend of plastic and fiberglass. That's what makes the boards so durable and why competitors’ boards generally aren't as strong. 

Colors and graphics

What's great about Penny boards is that they can be brightly colored all over. They usually don't have as elaborate graphics as you might find on wooden decks, but there are some great design options available. 

Powder-coated trucks

Most skateboards have plain metal trucks, but Penny skateboard trucks are powder-coated, which not only offers them some protection but means they can be brightly colored too. 

The smallest Penny skateboards are ideal for young kids who would struggle to learn the basics on a larger board.

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What accessories should I get for a Penny skateboard? 

Skate tool

All skaters need a skate tool, such as the Zeato All-in-One Skate Tool. You can use it to tighten or loosen your trucks and wheels or completely remove the hardware on your board. 

Helmet

It's always a good idea to wear a helmet when you skate, but it’s especially important if you're new to skating. The Triple Eight THE Certified Sweatsaver Helmet not only offers excellent protection but also has a sweat-wicking lining, which you'll appreciate when you're skating hard.

Pads

The Triple Eight Saver Series Pad Set contains quality knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards. They offer ample protection for beginning skaters and are reasonably priced. 

How much do Penny skateboards cost? 

Inexpensive 

The cheapest Penny skateboards cost roughly $75 to $100. In this price range, you'll find 22- and 27-inch boards with basic designs. 

Mid-range

Expect to pay $100 to $125 for mid-priced Penny boards, including more decorative 22- and 27-inch models and most 32-inch options.

Expensive

The most expensive Penny skateboards cost $125 to $150, including Penny longboards and surfskates. 

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Staff Tip
Since Penny boards are made of plastic, it's easy to wipe the deck clean. Just avoid getting the bearings wet. 
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BestReviews

Tips

  • Wear safety gear when learning to ride a skateboard. You're more likely to hurt yourself when you're just starting out, not only because you're more likely to fall but also because you don't yet know how to fall properly. You should always wear a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads.
  • Find your skating stance. If you're just learning, you'll need to find your natural skating stance. Regular stance is when you skate with your left foot at the front of the board and right foot at the rear of the board, and goofyfoot is when you skate with your right foot at the front of the board and left foot at the rear. Experiment to see which feels more natural to you.
  • Experiment with comfortable cruising positions. It can be trickier to fit both feet on a 22- or 27-inch Penny skateboard when you cruise, so you might want to try a few different foot positions to find what feels comfortable. It's an adjustment if you're used to riding a full-size skateboard.
  • Consider what types of tricks you can pull off on your chosen Penny skateboard. Because of its size and shape, it's harder to pull off tricks on a Penny board, but some are easier than others so adjust your expectations. For instance, ollies are fairly hard on any Penny board, while a fakie kickturn is easy to do even on 22-inch Penny boards. Generally speaking, it's easier to pull off most tricks on large 27-inch Penny boards and easier still on 32-inch models. 
     
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Some people love the flex of a Penny board deck, but if you're used to riding a regular wooden skateboard, it might feel strange at first. 

FAQ

Q. Are Penny skateboards good for beginners? 

A. This is debatable and really depends on the age of the person learning and what they want out of learning to skate. On the one hand, Penny boards are lightweight, which is a bonus for some individuals. They also have large, soft wheels that roll smoothly on sidewalks and other paved areas, even those that are slightly cracked and rough, which is perfect if you don't want to learn the basics in front of others at the skatepark. On the other hand, small, classic Penny skateboards aren't the most stable option, which can be off-putting for beginners. Small Penny skateboards are fine for kids who are learning the basics, but adult beginners are better off learning on either a 32-inch Penny skateboard or a standard full-size skateboard. 

Q. Are Penny skateboards easy to ride?

A. Penny boards are small and fast, so they can be fun to ride, but they certainly aren't easy to ride. They're just as hard to ride as regular skateboards, and smaller Penny boards are slightly more challenging than larger, more stable boards. 

Q. What is a “Penny-style” skateboard? 

A. A Penny-style skateboard is a small plastic skateboard with a vintage mini-cruiser shape rather than the popsicle-stick shape of standard full-size skateboards. You can find plenty of Penny-style boards that aren't made by Penny, though their quality varies. Conversely, some skateboards made by Penny aren't what most people would describe as Penny-style boards. For instance, Penny longboards might have a plastic deck, but they aren't Penny-style boards in the traditional sense.

Q. Are Penny skateboards easy to ride?

A. Penny boards are small and fast, so they can be fun to ride, but they certainly aren't easy to ride. They're just as hard to ride as regular skateboards, and smaller Penny boards are slightly more challenging than larger, more stable boards. 

 

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