Penny boards are vinyl cruiser skateboards shorter and significantly narrower than regular skateboards. They are 22” long by 5.9” wide. Although they’re quite tiny, they ride very nicely and can provide massive amounts of fun.
Doing an ollie on a Penny board is possible, but it is not very easy to execute because of the tiny kicktail, short 22” length, and significantly narrow deck at 5.9”. The lack of grip tape is another factor that makes it harder to ollie on a penny board.
Is it harder to do an ollie on a Penny board than a skateboard?
Performing an ollie on a Penny board is harder than on a regular skateboard. This is because regular popsicle-shaped skateboards are made of pressed maple, giving them more pop for ollies.
The shape of a skateboard’s kicktail is designed with deeper concave for tricks. Street decks are equipped with grip tape that allows riders to brush up their front foot on the deck to level the board in the air when they pop the kicktail.
Penny boards, in contrast, are made of plastic, which has more flex and less pop than a regular skateboard.
Also, in place of grip tape, Penny boards have a plastic non-slip waffle top for grip– which does not provide enough grip for your front foot to stick when brushing.
Another thing that makes it harder to ollie on a Penny board is the shorter deck. Your feet don’t have enough space to brush the board upwards, making it significantly more challenging to pop ollies.
Despite the short size and limited grip, though, some skaters still manage to ollie on a Penny board.
What tricks can you do on a Penny board?
Although Penny boards are not designed for tricks, it is still possible for skaters to perform tricks on them, especially on the longer 27” Nickel variant. You can do flat ground tricks, such as shoveits, early grabs, and more.
When skating transitions on a Penny board, you can kick turn, rock to fakies, frontside and backside slash grinds, pivots, and many more.
More advanced and talented skateboarders can do flip tricks, such as kickflips and 360 flips on Penny boards. This shows it is possible to do basic and even complex tricks once you get used to the short tail and deck surface.
How do I stop my Penny skateboard when going downhill?
The best way to stop a Penny board when going downhill is by foot braking. Sliding a Penny skateboard when going downhill is challenging because of its super short 11” wheelbase.
Having a very narrow stance (space between your legs) to position yourself to throw a slide makes it very difficult to do heelside or toeside slides.
Going downhill on a Penny skateboard is quite tricky, especially on steep hills. Although they are equipped with 59mm 83a cruiser wheels which are excellent for going downhill, the short 11” wheelbase and 3.125” trucks on the 22” Penny don’t help with stability.
That said, in spite of its size, it is still possible to do slides on a Penny board if you are skilled and experienced enough.
The best way to powerslide a Penny board is to place your back foot on the tail and powerslide as if you are riding a standard skateboard.
Do Penny boards break easily?
Despite their small size and plastic materials, Penny boards are very durable cruisers that can support a 250 lbs rider without breaking a sweat.
The plastic materials used for building the deck are incredibly durable– even trying to break a Pennyboard in half intentionally is hard.
In addition, the plastic materials give the Penny board a good amount of flex than makes it even more durable.
Should I use a Penny board or skateboard for getting around the city?
Penny boards are equipped with large 59mm wheels with a softish 83a duro. The size and durometer are similar to the wheels equipped on a cruiser, making the Penny board more suitable than a street skateboard for getting around the city.
However, because of the Penny board’s narrow shape and short length, riders may find it difficult to balance when riding, especially beginner skateboarders.
If that’s your case, you will need to get used to riding the Penny board before using it for transportation. Once you get comfortable with riding, carving, and foot braking on a Penny board, you may find it a better option for commuting than a skateboard.
Skateboards come with hard 90a to 100a wheels. Besides being harder, the wheels are also smaller than Penny boards with a 50 to 56mm diameter. These types of wheels are lighter for doing tricks and roll better on smooth skatepark terrain.
Penny boards’ larger (59mm) and softer (83A) wheels, in contrast, are much better suited for city commutes and everyday transportation.
Are Penny boards good for beginners?
Penny boards look good and come in a variety of different color themes, which entices many beginners into choosing a Penny board as their first skateboard for cruising and transportation.
Yet, they are not actually the best option if you have never ridden a skateboard before.
See also: Globe Blazer mini-cruiser review
Although beginners can always learn how to ride a short and narrow board like the 22” Penny or 27” Nickel skateboard, you’ll generally have a much easier time learning to balance, push, and foot break on a bigger cruiser or skateboard with a 29” to 32” length, 14” wheelbase, and 8 to 8.75” width.
If you are a beginner looking for a board to learn tricks such as ollies, flips, slides, grinds, and transition tricks, the Penny board is not the best choice either, as discussed earlier. See how to choose a good beginner board.
However, if you are looking for something lightweight and easy to carry around when commuting around town or campus, a Penny board can be an excellent and durable option.
If you cannot decide whether to get a Penny 22” or Nickel 27”, here is a comparison of their specs:
|Specs||22” Penny Board||27” Nickel Board|
|Wheels||59mm 83a Penny Softies||59mm 83a Penny Softies|
Although the Penny and Nickel are equipped with the same wheels, you can see there is a significant difference in their dimensions. As a result, it’s easier for a beginner to get started on the Nickel compared to the Penny skateboard.
See also: Can you teach yourself to skateboard?
Can you ollie on a Nickel board?
While Nickel board is made from the same materials and has the same waffle top as the Penny, it provides a more extended deck for brushing your foot when performing ollies.
The longer foot platform on Nickel skateboards also make it easier to pull off an ollie compared to a Penny.
That said, neither the Penny nor the Nickel are truly designed for tricks and ollies. Although they both havea kicktail, it is mainly there for kick turns and to allow you to manual over tiny road bumps, sidewalk cracks, and other road imperfections.
The kicktail allows you to float over obstacles for a smoother journey, not precisely for doing tricks. Despite that, it is still possible to ollie both the Penny and Nickel boards.