What's the Difference Between a Longboard and a Skateboard?

There has been a longstanding debate between longboarders and skateboarders regarding which board is better. But to the amateur boarding fan or upcoming hobbyist, identifying the differences between the two isn't quite so easy. This can be an especially difficult decision if you want to start sidewalk surfing for the first time.

Read on to learn more about the primary functions of both types of board.


Skateboards have a distinct shape that makes it easy to pick out from a crowd. Both of the tail ends of the board curve up in order for the rider to make a number of tricks. Because the board is small and light, it makes it easy for the rider to perform kickflips, ollies, and more. To handle such spontaneous tricks, skateboards are equipped with smaller, harder wheels attached to firm trucks. These trucks make it easy for a skater to grind on curbs and rails before kicking into a trick.

In short, skateboards are designed to perform tricks. They're only about 7 inches wide and 28 inches long, making them easy to transport and carry. They do best on flat terrains, like those found in skate parks.


Longboards came about as a result of the skateboard's popularity in the 1950s. This might seem fairly recent, but this is because this board was inspired by the surfboard. In fact, we didn't see the first female professional skateboarder, Patti McGee, until 1964.

Like the name implies, longboards are longer and wider than the traditional skateboard, typically measuring at 10 inches in width and up to 60 inches in length. Where skateboards are designed for fast tricks, longboards are designed for easy riding.

Because longboards are bigger and easier to balance on, they're a popular option for beginner riders. However, the longboard appeals to just about anyone who wants a more stable ride. Longboards are equipped with bigger wheels that are soft enough to take on many terrains. Combined with a more flexible track, this makes it ideal for leisurely rides around town. And since they're not performing any tricks, longboards are easily customizable, coming in a number of different shapes, sizes, colors, and designs.

Which is better?

While neither board is better than the other, each has its pros and cons depending on what you use it for. Luckily, innovation has led to a rising number of electric powered skateboard and longboard options. Companies like Backfire Boards have even developed off road longboards and automatic skateboards that enable a rider to surf on just about any terrain.

For more information about the innovative products from Backfire Boards, check out our inventory of automatic skateboards and remote control longboards today. Whether you're a seasoned veteran or an amateur boarder, our automatic skateboards and Backfire longboards offer a new, fun experience for everyone who loves to ride.

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