If you’re around my age there’s a chance you owned one or, at the very least knew someone that had a penny board. And if you’re around my age you might need a gentle reminder of what a best penny board is.
So, “Penny Skateboards” is an Australian company that was established in 2010 by Ben MacKay. Named after his sister, Penny is a registered trademark for skateboards but because of their popularity, the name was soon being used to describe all small plastic skateboards. They’re composed of different parts, all made separately and can be bought fully assembled or as a kit, for you to build. Penny boards are lightweight but very strong, in fact, genuine ones are almost indestructible. And they come in the three different sizes; 22 inches, the slightly longer 27-inch and the longboard, or 36-inch.
While there has been a resurgence in penny boards, they’re definitely not new. Like everything cool, they go back to the 70s, when the former Venice Beach lifeguard, Larry Stevenson, created the first plastic skateboards, and in the 1990s a whole lot of brands popped up including Globe, Krooked Skateboards and Stereo Skateboards. But they’re back and all the cool kids have them or want them. With almost a cult-like following, but on a much bigger scale, they’re as much of an accessory as they are a means of transport. They fit into backpacks, lockers and under the arm, and you need to seriously get your hands on one. Below we have reviewed the top penny boards. (Spoiler: We like this one the best!)
- 1 Our Top Picks
- 2 What You Need to Look For when You’re Buying the Best Penny Board
- 3 The Top 5 Best Penny Boards
- 4 Conclusion
Our Top Picks
|Board||Length||Truck Size||Wheel Size||Price|
|Penny Graphic Complete||22"||3.125"||59mm|
|Penny Nickel Complete||27"||3.125"||59mm|
|Ridge Skateboards Big Brother Retro Crusier||27"||4"||59mm|
|Skatro Mini Cruiser||22"||3"||59mm|
What You Need to Look For when You’re Buying the Best Penny Board
Penny boards are available in various sizes including the 22”, the 27” and the 36” longboard. Each of these has their own benefits with the 22-inch board built for speed and the 36-inch is perfect for performing tricks. Size really does matter, however there are no one “best” size wheels for penny boards.
- A 22″ Penny Skateboard would be good for you if:
You like getting around in the fastest possible time then you will want the 22-inch board. It’s easy to maneuver and small enough to put in your backpack or carry underarm. It’s definitely suited to the more experienced skater because of its speed but it’s also a good size for younger penny skateboarders. This is the original size and it’s as popular as ever.
- A 27″ Penny Skateboard is for you if:
You’re into collecting the newest editions and designs, and if you like a little more board under your feet. The 27-inch, or The Nickel, is like having the best of the shorter board and the longboard: it’s perfect for newbies, those that are feeling a little more confident with their tricks and skaters who prefer a slightly bigger board. It has the same cool features as the 22” but it’s a little more stable, giving you a smooth ride.
- The 36″ Penny Longboard is ideal if:
You like cruising the streets or coasting along the boardwalk. The newest member of the penny board family, the 36” longboard has larger wheels and reverse kingpin trucks that make for an easy ride. It’s perfect for beginners as well as more experienced riders who want to just coast along. For extra strength and flexibility, the plastic has been reformulated and while it has a wider and longer deck you can still pick up some speed downhill or travel at your own pace.
The deck is the platform or the board that you stand on. There are loads of designs to choose from but we think the classic waffle top is still the best. The non-slip surface offers better control and grip for riders to ride, glide or perform tricks with ease and confidence.
If you’re new to the world of penny boards you’ll soon realize they are not all created equal. Because you can buy the parts separately you need to make sure you get the best you can afford. Go for high-quality components that’ll last longer.
So we know that the better penny boards are made of a stiff, but flexible plastic that is almost indestructible. While they cost a little more be aware that cheaper boards are probably made from cheaper materials, which means they’re not going to last long at all. The old adage remains true: you get what you pay for.
The Top 5 Best Penny Boards
Penny Graphic Complete Skateboard
The Penny Complete Skateboard is like having a VIP or backstage pass to the coolest band ever! It’s great for beginners because of the soft wheels that literally glide over bumpy roads and any other obstacles, and advanced skateboarders love the retro design. I also like the pink, but hey that’s just me.
Penny, the company, has managed to combine a quality product with exceptional customer service that keeps customers loyal and coming back for more. The Penny Graphic Complete is without a doubt one of the best selling boards; their attention to detail and exceptional customer care is what sets them apart from other brands and keeps. Whether you’re getting it for yourself, or as a gift for someone else, it’s a good sized board to learn on and the smooth wheels make it easy to control and suitable for long distances. If you feel the need for a bit more speed and even longer coasting just oil the bearings, otherwise leave it as is.
Available in the coolest color combinations, the Penny Complete is designed for you to easily ride and ‘catch and carry’ and they fit into a bag or locker for easy storage and convenience. In our opinion, it’s a no-brainer.
EightBit 27” Complete Skate Board
Considered to be one of the best retro cruisers for beginners, the EightBit 27-inch Complete Skate Board is available in cool retro designs with a selection of board and wheel color combinations that let you customize your ride to suit you. There are so may choices, we can almost guarantee you no EightBit will look the same.
The EightBit 27” makes our list because it is a quality skateboard for smaller kids and even teens who are learning the basics; it has a strong waffle-grip deck for extra stability, and the 4-inch wide aluminum trucks and super smooth wheels give you a smooth, bump-free ride. While we know it isn’t as strong as an original Penny, we can tell you the deck is strong and flexible enough to handle serious wear and tear, and weight.
It is also cheaper than some of the other brands so if you’re buying it for someone who is learning or new to penny boards it won’t hurt your pocket as much.
Penny Nickel Complete Skateboard
It’s hard to write about penny boards and not feature the original. The Penny Nickel Complete Skateboard gives you that authentic cruising experience combined with style, quality and instant street cred’, or as someone else said, as cool as f***.
As with all the penny boards, there are so many colors and styles to choose from, from way-out-there Neo Tokyo and Bro Style to the more classic Rasta and Blackout. The Penny Nickel is 27-inches with nickel trucks and there is no assembly necessary. Whether you’re a student getting around campus or a tween tearing up the streets, this penny board is suited to everyone.
It’s lightweight and easy to carry, and while it only weighs 5.5 pounds its strong molded plastic board and well-constructed body will ensure your money is well spent.
Ridge Skateboards Big Brother Large Retro Cruiser
Ridge Skateboards has earned itself a good reputation in a fairly short amount of time and the Ridge Skateboards Big Brother Large Retro Cruiser is one of their best-selling boards. The 27-inch cruisers stay true to the iconic 1970s penny board shape in terms of design but they have upped the ante, increasing the size of the board and using better quality components.
Ridge Skateboards uses a secret plastic formula in the construction of their boards that consists of automotive industry-strength PU plastic, which combines strength and flexibility perfectly.
What we like about the Ridge Skateboards Big Brother Large Retro Cruiser is there are more than 1,500 color combinations to choose from. Can you say ‘cutomize’?
Skatro Mini Cruiser Skateboard
The Skatro Mini Cruiser Skateboard comes in at around about half of the price of the original Penny and they’ve managed to manufacture a board that is sturdy, trendy and made with quality components. The SKatro is well-designed, the wheels are easy to maneuver and it’s lightweight for the youngest of skaters to carry around with them. If you’re looking for the best cheap penny board on the market, this may be the one for you.
What they have gotten right is the manufacturing process that ensures optimal flex on every Skatro board. It is exclusive to them and has earned them the title of the smoothest mini cruiser on the market.
If you’re anything like us, and we think you might be, you need to take a look at their Retro style cruiser with limited edition gold aluminum trucks. Skatro has made a few of these available so if you want to get your hands on one, we suggest you move it.
There you have it, our review of the best/cheapest penny boards. The ride or die selection of the best penny skateboards available on the market at the moment. And while you might be thinking it’s a passing fad, we say yes it might be but it’s a pretty cool one.
You know something’s going to go mainstream when hipsters are posting pics on Instagram and outdoorsy type people are replacing their bikes, scooters and hoverboards with a compact piece of plastic with wheels. Deceptively simple, the design of the penny board is all about being flexible and light yet incredibly strong and robust. They’re compact enough for you to pick up and carry and you can toss them in a bag or a locker.
The best Penny boards have made a comeback in a big way and in cities and towns where traffic is a ‘mare and road rage fuels everyone, they’re designed for cruising the streets, maneuvering in and out of traffic, carefully of course, and if you’ve spent a fair bit of time on one and have managed to master a few tricks, riding up onto kerbs and getting around obstacles will prove unchallenging, to say the least.
We foresee penny boards being around for a while. They take us back to a time where cut-off jean shorts ruled and Chuck Taylors were the order of the day. They’re good for us, and our kids and they’re outrageously fun to ride. They make being outdoors fun and get us physical, more so than Olivia Newton-John ever did.
To learn more about the best penny board, visit Wikipedia.