By now, you’ve probably seen someone carving down the sidewalk or zipping through your neighborhood on what looks like a colorful, late-1970’s skateboard. Chances are, you’ve seen one of the most popular skateboarding-related creations in the last ten years – the Penny Skateboard! These lightweight, responsive skateboards hit the market in 2010 and were created by long time Australian skateboarder Ben Mackay. However, even though Ben brought this design into modern popularity, plastic skateboard designs like the Penny board date all the way back to 1978.
The Early Days
Plastic skateboard decks like Penny Skateboards have had an interesting history of re-emergence. The first known plastic skateboard was created in 1978 by a Venice Beach lifeguard named Larry Stevenson. Larry’s plastic skateboards were produced under his own board company called Makaha Skateboards and Larry is even remembered (RIP) as the creator and patent owner of the “kicktail” design on a skateboard deck (the upward concave of a tail on a skateboard). While Larry’s initial plastic deck constructions may not have experienced continued success, the plastic skateboard design reappeared in the early 1990’s. Successful modern skate brands like Krooked Skateboards, Stereo, and Globe produced plastic skateboards during this time. However, similar to Larry’s experience, these designs just didn’t meet market demand in quite the way that a seven-ply maple skateboard deck could. Now, it seems that times have certainly changed. Ben Mackay’s “Penny Skateboards” were inspired by a traditional plastic skateboard that his father had given him when he was just 5 years old. However, Ben improved the old-school design by creating his own plastic cruiser with modern, performance skate components that give it response and ride-ability that skaters of the 70’s could only have dreamed of! Ben decided to found his own company in 2010 to make these boards again and decided to name it after his sister – Penny!
Cruising Into a New Era
Quite unlike the stories of previous plastic skateboard deck manufacturers, Penny Skateboards have experienced an unprecedented level of success in the skateboarding world in recent years. Ben’s Penny boards have actually become so successful that the name “Penny Skateboard” has become a general term to describe any kind of plastic mini-cruiser skateboard on the market today. However, no other brand or manufacturer has managed to achieve the quality, durability, lightweight and responsive design of an authentic Penny Skateboard! Beware of all the other cheap options on the market that look similar to a true Penny board. These brands may offer a similar look, but the quality of the components on these boards are not comparable to the components specifically engineered by Penny to create their authentic Penny design. Extensive thought has gone into each component to ensure that it retains the form and feel of a classic board from the 70’s, but with the performance features of a modern high-end skateboard. Nowadays, Penny Skateboards Australia produces four different complete skateboard designs. Each design is categorized by their overall length, ranging from 22” to 36”. For comparison, a standard wood popsicle skateboard deck is generally about 32” long. We’ll discuss each Penny model and how to determine the best ride for you further in the reading.
What Makes an Authentic Penny Skateboard?
Several specially designed components come together to make Penny skateboards awesome. Beginning with the deck, you’ll notice that Penny boards do not come with griptape on top like a typical skateboard. Instead, Penny boards are molded with a built-in “waffle-top” design. This design is actually similar to the super grippy sole of a classic Vans skate shoe. Not only does the waffle-top of each Penny board give it a nice, grippy ride, it gives every board a trademark look that you won’t find on any other plastic skate deck. You’ll know the board is authentic by the “Penny” logo embossed in the center of each Penny deck.
On the bottom of every board, there are thick “grooves” that strategically give each board the right level of flexibility. Unlike wood skate decks, Penny board decks will flex when you ride them, but for good reason. The flex of a Penny board allows the rider to lean the weight to the sides and really carve into turns. This is a big part of what makes skating a Penny board unique from other cruisers.
Next are the original Penny brand trucks found on each complete. Penny trucks are almost always color-matched to the specific board they are mounted on. However, a constant is that they always feature a raised “Penny” logo branding on the front of the hanger and on each baseplate. The trucks feature premium-quality bushings that help give the board the smooth turns and carves they are known for.
Finally, one of the most important components of every Penny board – the wheels! Penny Skateboard wheels always have a “durometer” or hardness rating of 83A. For comparison, a downhill longboard wheel is generally 78A (very soft) while a technical street skateboarding wheel is around 101A (hard). The hardness of Penny wheels is formulated to give their lightweight boards the perfect amount of grip that naturally gathers momentum while carving and cruising. This hardness will also give the wheels a smooth and comfortable ride on slightly rougher surfaces, allowing the board to cruise quickly even on rougher streets.
The Penny Collection of Today
Now that we’ve gone over all the things that make Penny Skateboards incredible, check out the current models that Penny Skateboards Australia has to offer!
The 22” Penny Skateboard
The 22” Penny skateboard is the original Penny board. The small size gives it very responsive and nimble skate performance combined with super easy transportability for travel. The 22” Penny board comes in a massive variety of awesome color combinations and even with limited edition graphics. One of the latest designs features The Simpsons themed graphics with many of the main Simpsons characters featured on the bottom of the board. In addition, Penny has just teamed up with Tony Hawk and Birdhouse Skateboards to create a limited series with the iconic Tony Hawk skeleton eagle graphic. This series also features black griptape on the top of the deck, a special option as Penny boards otherwise always feature the waffle-pattern on the top.
The 27 Penny Skateboard
The 27” Penny board is the step up from the legendary 22” model. The 27” is not only longer but a bit wider, making it a better option for larger skaters or adults who prefer a little more space for their feet. The wider design also makes this board a bit more stable at higher speeds. Just like the 22”, the 27” comes in a huge array of color options and you’ll find the same limited series graphics, even graphics such as Star Wars or the Tony Hawk series.
The 32” Penny Cruiser Skateboard
Can’t decide between a cruiser skateboard and a Penny board?! Skate the best of both worlds with the 32” Penny cruiser skateboard. The Penny cruiser features a full nose and tail like a traditional skateboard, making it possible to use the cruiser for skate tricks. This cruiser is especially fun for skating bowls or transition at a skatepark and will offer a different ride than any other cruiser out there. The wide riding surface also makes it a great option for skaters who are just too large for the smaller Penny options.
The 36” Penny Longboard
The Penny longboard is one of the newest models in their lineup and it’s already a hit. It features the shape of a common pintail-style longboard, but the entire deck is made out of their unique plastic formula, giving the deck the perfect amount of flex for carving into turns and slides. The Penny longboard can be used for smooth cruising or even fast downhill skating and it features specially developed inverted longboard trucks by Penny. Just because it’s a Penny board doesn’t mean it has to be small!
“ Okay, Penny boards are freakin’ awesome, but which one should I get ?! ”
Luckily, picking out the right Penny Skateboard for you isn’t hard and can be a whole lot of fun! Firstly, choosing a Penny Skateboard actually has a lot to do with personal preference. There is not actually a set rule for which board that certain size riders must use. Instead, just understand that the traditional 22” Penny board is a good option for riders who intend to bring the board along with them while traveling places (it’s easy to stow in your skateboard backpack) and it’s the smallest option, making it the best choice for younger riders. For slightly larger skaters or adults who still want the agile feel of the traditional model, check out the 27” Penny board. This model is a bit wider, making it better for bigger feet as well as offering a little more stability at higher speeds.
The 32” Penny Cruiser is an awesome option for someone looking for something that’s the size of a standard skateboard deck of today. The 32” Penny board features a full nose and tail, enabling the board to be used for modern skateboard tricks and it offers the same amount of foot space as a full-size modern skateboard for larger skaters. Finally, the 36” Penny longboard! This board is ideal for skaters looking for the longboard experience, but who are also fans of the lightweight and flexible construction of a plastic Penny deck. If you’re used to skating things like electric skateboards that reach super-fast speeds, the Penny longboard will also reach high top speeds while downhill skating, a must for adrenaline junkies. But, if you’re going to race your Penny longboard downhill, just be sure to wear a good skateboard helmet! No matter which Penny board you choose, you’re sure to have a unique, old-school, and seriously fun skateboarding experience that can only be had with an authentic Penny Skateboard!
New In Penny Board ? Below you will find introduction how to ride a Penny Skateboard