Should you Use a Skateboard for Commuting?

Richmond Bendu Aug 06, 2022
17 People Read
Skating, skateboard for commuting
Table of Contents
  1. You Need the Right Board for the Right Area
  2. Can you use a Regular Skateboard?
  3. Long Distances in Less Crowded Areas (Longboard)
  4. Shorter Distances in Crowded Areas (Cruiser Board)
  5. You Need Training Before you can Commute Comfortably
  6. Don't Buy a Toy Skateboard
  7. Are you Considering a Penny Board?
  8. Use protective gear
  9. It is Important to Replace your Parts
  10. Using a Skateboard for Commuting is Great Fun
  11. Should you get an Electric Skateboard?
  12. Conclusion

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only.¬†

It's not unusual anymore to see someone commuting on a skateboard. With a skateboard, you can easily get from point A to point B while staying healthy and having fun. There is just one thing you need to figure out: what kind of board fits my needs?

If you plan on commuting long distances, you would need a different board than if you want to ride in the city. All the boards you can choose from have pros and cons, the boards more suited for longer distances are going to be heavier, and the boards where maneuverability is essential are lighter.

You need to look into other factors as well. Do you want it to be portable, lightweight, electric, or cheaper? You can't get everything at once, so prioritize what you need most.

You Need the Right Board for the Right Area

Getting the right board for your area is important. For example, if there are cracks in the ground and rough pavement, you should get a board with larger and softer wheels. Both cruiser boards and longboards have large wheels, but they are used in different places.

No matter where you ride, it is a possibility that you will fall; you should at least wear a helmet to avoid the worst injuries. Remember that you can't just hop on the board and ride, you need practice, and you should have a feeling of mastery before you skate in crowds.

If you start skating in crowds before you have control, you risk hurting other people. You won't be able to skate fast anyway since you spend most of your time trying to avoid hitting people.

Can you use a Regular Skateboard?

If you are considering using a regular skateboard for commuting, you probably already have one or are interested in learning tricks.

Using a skateboard for commuting is possible, but you should change your regular skateboard wheels to larger and softer ones. the smallest wheel size you should use for cruising is 54mm, and they shouldn't be any harder than 87a (lower number means softer wheels)

If you use larger wheels on a regular skateboard, you will probably need to use riser pads. You use riser pads to increase the distance between your wheels and deck; if they are too close, you will experience wheel bite regularly.

I don't recommend using a regular skateboard for cruising; I have used a longboard, cruiser board, and a skateboard for cruising. A cruiser board or longboard provides a better experience.

If you use harder wheels, you won't be able to skate as fast, and cracks, small rocks, or twigs will eventually trip you up.

skateboard, shoes, active

Long Distances in Less Crowded Areas (Longboard)

A longboard is your best option if you plan to travel long distances that are less crowded. The main differences with a longboard are the weight and bearings. The bearings on a longboard require more effort to start spinning, but when they have momentum, they spin for much longer; this will save your energy, and it is really satisfying to skate without needing to push all the time.

Longboards are also heavier; this in itself makes your board travel. Further, the large board is also comfortable and easier to balance, making it great for beginners.

Carrying a longboard can be a hassle, but when you are used to it, you won't think of it much. You need to be an experienced longboarder if you want to ride in the city comfortably.

longboard, skateboard, sports

Shorter Distances in Crowded Areas (Cruiser Board)

When you skate in the city, you need something portable; there are many instances where you need to pick up your board, so having a heavy board will slow you down.

The obstacles in the city are curbs, people, cars, etc.; you can easily maneuver your way from point A to B with a cruiser board, you will need some practice, but this comes naturally with time.

A cruiser board is small and responsive, and if you pick one with a kicktail, you can ollie up curbs to save yourself some time. If you want to learn some tricks, you can get yourself an old-school deck, they work great as a cruiser deck, and you can learn basic tricks like ollie and kickflip. Old-school decks are one of the best shapes, in my opinion.

You Need Training Before you can Commute Comfortably

No matter what board you get, you will need practice before it is safe to cruise; this is especially important if you skate in a crowded area.

I assume your goal is to be able to skate as fast as possible without hurting yourself; if this is true, then you need the practice to meet your goal. When you start, you will probably go slow and struggle to balance and turn; luckily, you improve fast with dedication and a few skating sessions a week.

Don't Buy a Toy Skateboard

If you want a good skating experience, you should avoid buying low-quality skateboards. The board will probably break faster, and the bearings will be slow.

Having a bad skateboard will take away the fun. You will need to replace the parts fast anyway; starting with a high-quality skateboard is much better. When you have a skateboard you are proud of, it's more fun to skate, and it's nice to know that your board isn't holding you back.

Are you Considering a Penny Board?

Penny boards are fun, but they are definitely not the best cruiser setup. However, suppose you want to get a Penny board. In that case, I recommend the smaller version. I don't think you should go for a penny board, but the smaller version is lightweight and perfect for carrying around.

Use protective gear

You should get good protective gear if you want to use skateboards for commuting. Of course, the most important gear is your helmet, but you should consider getting wrist and knee protection as well, elbow protection works great too, but I don't usually use them myself.

It is Important to Replace your Parts

All the parts on your board will deteriorate, and if you wait too long to replace them, you might end up hurting yourself.

Skateboard deck

Your skateboard deck wears down slowly. If you are an inexperienced skater, it might be hard to know when to replace it. Replace your board if it gets a razor tail that is beyond repair, if it gets chipped too much, or if you have had it for a long time. When your board gets old, it will lose pop, but if you don't intend to do tricks, it won't be much of a problem.

Bearings

Your bearings need maintenance regularly if you want to avoid replacing them often. Also, avoid skating in wet conditions or areas with a lot of sand; you need to clean them if you can't avoid getting them wet or dirty.

You don't want your bearing to break while riding; this will result in a sudden stop, and you can get serious injuries. However, if you do maintenance on your bearings, they will last for a while.

Trucks

Your skateboard trucks will last for a long time. If the trucks get wet, dry them to avoid rust; besides that, you only need to replace them if you have grinded them down and they become weak.

Wheels

Your wheels wear down slowly, but with soft wheels, it will happen faster, but you usually get bigger wheels as well, so it won't be much of a problem. Also, you can slow down the wheel wear by taking your wheels off after you have skated for a while and turning them around before you put them back on.

If you have hard wheels, they will deteriorate slower, but they won't provide a comfortable ride while cruising.

Using a Skateboard for Commuting is Great Fun

The best part about skating for commuting is that it's fun. I skate to my day job, which makes my day much more fun, I get some excitement in the morning, and after work, I get excited on my way home.

I can't speak for everyone when I say this, but skating to work has improved my mental health at least a little.

Should you get an Electric Skateboard?

I don't recommend getting an Electric skateboard as your first board; you need some skateboarding skills to make it safe.

If you know how to skateboard, I highly recommend it; the downside is that they are very heavy, and if you want to skate in the city, you need to get used to skating on the road with cars.

Some of my friends started skating e-boards before they knew how to skate, and they all ended up injured, but if you learn the basics first, you will find that electric skateboards are super fun, fast, and effective to get around.

Conclusion

When you cruise, the most important thing is using big soft wheels; if you want a cruiser skateboard, I recommend getting an old-school skateboard deck.

Cruiser boards are better for skating in crowded areas, and since the wheels are large and soft, you can easily skate over sidewalk cracks.

Longboards are better for long-distance commuting; it is possible to skate in the city with them, but you should avoid them unless you are an experienced longboarder.

Remember to use good protection if you want to skate; you don't know when it might save you.

You can use a regular skateboard if you want, but you need to replace the wheels and add riser pads. I recommend this only if you want to save money and already have a regular skateboard.

Table of Contents
  1. You Need the Right Board for the Right Area
  2. Can you use a Regular Skateboard?
  3. Long Distances in Less Crowded Areas (Longboard)
  4. Shorter Distances in Crowded Areas (Cruiser Board)
  5. You Need Training Before you can Commute Comfortably
  6. Don't Buy a Toy Skateboard
  7. Are you Considering a Penny Board?
  8. Use protective gear
  9. It is Important to Replace your Parts
  10. Using a Skateboard for Commuting is Great Fun
  11. Should you get an Electric Skateboard?
  12. Conclusion

Disclosure: ¬†Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only.