I've been learning how to skate around the back streets and on my brief commute to work over the past few months. I'm a 45yo 165cm 77kg man.

I've been using a penny nickel and a penny 22 that I got when my 10yo son was briefly interested in skating up and Dow the street with his friends.

For someone who has never skated, surfed or snowboarder I'm pretty happy that I can stop, carve(sort-of) and generally get around my local streets at a reasonable pace. I'm faster than my son on his micro scooter and I can carve from the top to the bottom of our street - it is a shallow incline but you can go pretty fast. I can't Ollie or slide. (Yet!)

On the suggestion of the guy at the lavas skate shop I got some hard (99) wheels to try sliding, but I don't think I adequately described the road surface. I quickly switched back to the penny wheels(84 I think).

I'm really enjoying skating as a way to get round and I want to get better.

I'm liking the penny boards, but I have some misgivings: the 22 is light but probably too small - I find it easier to skate in blundstone boots because the sole is so large an rigid it effectively gives me a larger board. The Nickel is a nice size - but it is heavy to carry on public transport. I also feel safer on the nickel in wet conditions. (Around Ealing UK FWIW)

Should I get a new board? If so what?

I'm not really constrained by price, but I can't be arsed building a board unless there is a really compelling reason.

Thanks in advance for any advice,


2 Answers 2


The thing is, the wider your deck is, the faster you can go safely.

So if you just want to cruise, I would recommend a longboard, or, if that's to heavy and to big, a cruiser build skateboard. That means a relatively wide deck (e.g. 8,125" or more) and propably some bigger and softer wheels... (something like 86A, 56-58mm)

With such a build, you will be able to cruise nice and safely from A to B, build you also have the possibility to

  • Looks like you edited out something in the end of your answer by mistake? Jun 2, 2020 at 18:32

At first I want to say that any board is good as long as you have fun riding it. I have never skated Penny boards, but I wonder if you wouldn't be interested in trying a board that has grip tape if your present board doesn't have that. You will find a great difference in how you can control the board.

If you think that a new board would help you I would advise you to go to a skate shop and try out different boards to choose a size that fits you. Avoid the extremes, very small and very wide boards, and get something in the middle but that you feel comfortable with. It's easy to adapt to a size of board, so as long as you get a "normal" size you can't go wrong.

Would also advice you to get a pair of flat soled purpose made skateboard shoes, as this really will help in getting a good feel of the board when you skate. But any sneakers will do too.

As to wheels, choose them for the terrain that you mostly ride in and how you ride:

Larger wheels are slower to accelerate (often seen as a con in street skating where you might need to get up to speed fast to slide a spine or something), but have a higher speed once they get up to speed.

Larger wheels also tolerate more rough terrain.

As so wheel hardness, hard wheels are less comfortable, slide easier but less predictable. Soft wheels has a more predictable slide and are the only thing that works on real rough asphalt. But a bigger reason for choosing hard or soft wheels is that many consider it much harder to do some tricks with soft wheels since they tend to stick when you grind and other tricks where your wheels might touch something but you want your board to keep speed.

Since the most important thing to evolve as a skateboarder is riding a lot, I would think about where I want to skate and get a board that fits that purpose. Your local skate shop would be happy to help you out, and you can try several boards there as well to see which fits you. Go visit them now! :)

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