Why are penny skateboards so popular?

Isabella Charlotte
By Isabella Charlotte 8 Min Read

Penny skateboards have taken the world by storm, emerging as a cultural icon in the skateboarding community.

These compact and colorful boards have garnered immense popularity, especially among urban commuters and avid skateboard enthusiasts.

In this article, we will delve into the factors that contribute to the widespread appeal of penny skateboards.

Why are they called penny boards?

Penny boards are named after the brand that popularized and commercialized this style of skateboard. The original Penny Skateboards brand was founded in Australia by Ben Mackay in 2010. The name “Penny” doesn’t refer to the size of the board or any specific aspect of its construction; rather, it’s the brand name chosen by its creators.

The term “penny” could potentially be associated with the idea of small change, reflecting the smaller size of the board compared to traditional skateboards. Additionally, the original Penny Skateboards were known for their plastic construction and vibrant color options, resembling the small, colorful copper coins known as pennies.

Penny boards gained rapid popularity due to their compact design, portability, and unique aesthetics. Over time, the term “penny board” has become a genericized trademark, and people often use it to refer to any small plastic skateboard, regardless of the brand. However, it’s essential to note that Penny Skateboards is a specific brand that played a significant role in popularizing this style of skateboard.

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Factors Contributing to Popularity

The popularity of penny skateboards can be attributed to a combination of factors, each playing a crucial role in their widespread appeal. Here are some of the key reasons why penny skateboards have become so popular:

Compact Design and Portability:

One of the key reasons behind the popularity of penny skateboards is their compact and lightweight design.

Measuring around 22 inches in length, these boards are easy to carry and maneuver, making them a perfect choice for urban commuters.

The portability factor allows riders to seamlessly navigate through crowded streets, easily carry their boards on public transportation, and store them in tight spaces.

Vibrant Aesthetics:

Penny skateboards are renowned for their eye-catching, vibrant designs and color options.

The aesthetic appeal of these boards has become a significant driving force in their popularity. The variety of color choices allows riders to express their individuality and personal style.

From bold patterns to retro-inspired designs, penny skateboards have become a fashion statement for riders of all ages.

Durability and Quality Materials:

Penny skateboards are constructed from high-quality materials, contributing to their durability and longevity.

The use of robust plastic decks, high-performance wheels, and sturdy trucks ensures that these boards can withstand the rigors of daily use.

The combination of quality materials and craftsmanship reassures riders that their investment will provide a reliable and enjoyable skating experience.


In contrast to many other skateboards on the market, penny boards are relatively affordable.

This affordability factor has made them accessible to a broad audience, including beginners and casual riders.

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The combination of quality and cost-effectiveness positions penny skateboards as an attractive option for those looking to enter the skateboarding world without breaking the bank.

Versatility in Riding Styles:

Penny skateboards are versatile and suitable for various riding styles.

Whether cruising down the street, navigating busy sidewalks, or performing tricks in a skate park, these boards can handle a range of terrains and maneuvers.

This versatility appeals to a diverse audience, attracting both casual riders and more experienced skateboarders who appreciate the adaptability of the penny board.

Social Media Influence:

The rise of social media platforms has played a crucial role in amplifying the popularity of penny skateboards.

Influencers and skateboard enthusiasts often showcase their skills and adventures with penny boards on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

This exposure has led to an increase in the visibility of penny skateboards, inspiring a new generation of riders to join the community.

Is it harder to ride a penny board?

The difficulty of riding a penny board can vary from person to person, and it often depends on individual factors such as balance, coordination, and previous experience with skateboarding. However, there are certain aspects of penny boards that can make them both easier and more challenging for riders:


  • Size and Maneuverability: Penny boards are smaller and more maneuverable than traditional skateboards, making them easier to navigate through tight spaces. Their compact size can be advantageous for beginners who may find larger boards more challenging to control.
  • Lightweight Construction: Penny boards are typically lightweight due to their plastic construction. This can be an advantage for riders who are not used to carrying heavier skateboards, especially if they need to carry the board when not actively riding.
  • Versatility for Cruising: Penny boards excel in cruising and commuting. Their design allows for a smooth ride, and they are well-suited for short commutes or leisurely rides. Beginners may find cruising on a penny board more accessible than attempting complex tricks on a traditional skateboard.
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  • Stability and Balance: The smaller size of penny boards means a smaller standing platform, which can be challenging for individuals who are still developing their balance and stability. Beginners may take some time to get used to the narrow deck and find their balance on a penny board.
  • Less Foot Space: The deck of a penny board is smaller, providing less foot space compared to larger skateboards. This reduced area can be challenging for individuals with larger feet or those who are accustomed to having more room on a skateboard deck.
  • Limited Trick Potential: While penny boards are versatile, they are primarily designed for cruising rather than performing advanced tricks. Riders who are interested in mastering complex tricks may find traditional skateboards more suitable for their goals.
  • High Center of Gravity: The plastic construction and small size of penny boards contribute to a higher center of gravity, which can affect stability. Riders, especially beginners, may need some time to adjust to this feature and develop the muscle memory required to maintain control.
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