How to Ride a Penny Board
Although skateboarding has been around for decades, penny boards and cruisers like them have become one of the most popular styles to ride. Unlike the speedy skateboards that you’ll see in a typical skatepark, these boards are designed for mellow cruising that’s common on college campuses or coastal boardwalks. If you’re interested in learning how to ride a penny board, these tips will get you started.
Concentrate on Foot Placement
The biggest difference between riding a skateboard (or longboard) and a mini cruiser is the smaller size. Compared to a typical street skateboard, which is upward of 31 inches long, mini cruisers are just 22 inches. Particularly for tall riders, this can make it difficult to fit both feet on the board. If you find that it’s impossible to stand in a basic stance (i.e. one foot leading and one foot resting at the back), it may be more comfortable to lightly place the front of your back foot on the tail of the board, letting the heel hang off.
Find Your Balance
Second behind perfecting your foot placement, balance is far more difficult on a penny board or mini cruiser because of its size. The narrow, short board is great for stowing in a backpack or locker, but it creates less stability for the rider. One of the most important strategies you can use to improve your balance is to bend your knees. Keeping your knees soft helps distribute your weight evenly, get lower to the ground and compensate for weight imbalances as you turn.
Get Used to Turning
As with any new hobby, the best way to get better is to practice, practice more and then practice again. Get used to how the board feels under your feet and make sure you try turning in both directions. Although it’s common to try skating slowly at first, a little speed can actually make turning easier because of the momentum it creates. If you're having a difficult time turning, watch videos of others skating to see how they use their body to lean into a turn.
Mastering these three basic skills can make or break your ability to ride a penny board. Once you’ve nailed these, more advanced maneuvers will come much easier, so make sure you’ve got the basics down pat before you try to level up.