Longboarding and skateboarding are very similar activities.
Both involve riding and propelling a wooden board on wheels, and neither has to involve more than that.
If you are standing on a skateboard and making it go, you are skateboarding.
If you are standing on a longboard and making it go, you are longboarding.
The basic techniques are the same.
But standing on a board and making it go is the most basic form of skateboarding or longboarding, and, while the techniques for general riding are the same, the balance and utility are different.
If you are just getting started with skating, you will almost certainly find longboarding the easier of the two.
Longboard Size vs Skateboard Size
Longboards are larger than skateboards. (Sometimes just a little, sometimes a lot).
The standard skateboard size is between 29” and 31” long and between 7.5” and 8.5″ wide.
Longboards start at 33” and go up to around 60” or 5’ in length (at least, as commonly sold in stores), and start at around 8.5” and go up to around 11” in width.
But the most popular sizes of longboards fall somewhere in the middle, with 36-42” being the most popular lengths and 9-10” being the most popular widths.
The point is, longboards are larger (both in length and width) than skateboards and accommodate wider trucks (the hardware that holds the wheels).
This gives longboards greater stability than skateboards (i.e. makes them easier to balance).
Some longboards also sit lower to the ground than skateboards.
The most popular of these longboard styles are called drop-throughs, and they have cut-outs in their decks which allow trucks to be mounted through their decks instead of under them.
Depending on the height of the trucks, a drop-through can bring a longboard deck down more than an inch from a top-mount board.
That may not sound like much, but a lowered deck lowers your center of balance, which makes it easier to balance and a board more stable when riding at higher speeds.
Longboards that don’t have these lowered decks – typically pintails – are harder to ride than those that do.
But top-mount longboards are still typically longer and wider than standard skateboards, which still makes them easier to balance on and to ride.
Longboard Utility vs Skateboard Utility
The other area in which longboards and skateboards greatly diverge is in their utility.
Longboards are designed for transportation, casual riding, and speed.
Skateboards are designed for performing tricks.
In other words, skateboards are designed to be maneuverable, while longboards are designed for stability.
Due to the stable nature of their longer, wider decks and wider trucks, longboards perform better at high speed than skateboards, which make them ideal for transportation and downhill racing.
The larger size and design of longboards do make it harder to perform tricks, but that’s not the purpose of a longboard.
Longboards are made to ride.
So, Is Longboarding Easier Than Skateboarding?
Yes, longboards are easier to ride than skateboards.
This is especially true of longboards that are considerably longer and wider than skateboards, and those that sit closer to the ground.
These boards provide wider bases, which make them easier to balance on and more stable at speed.
You won’t be doing tricks on them (not all the ones you can do on a standard skateboard, at least), but you will have a more comfortable, more stable ride and easier learning curve if you’re just starting out.
New to longboarding? Check out our longboard articles:
- Learn How To Ride A Longboard (You Can Teach Yourself)
- Everything You Need To Know About Longboards for Beginners
- Longboard Types: Drop Through vs Pintail vs Drop Down vs Dancer vs Longboard Cruiser
- Longboard Skateboard FAQs