Education & Learning

A Very Brief Primer On The Penny Board

One of the most recent developments in skateboarding in Australia has been the growing popularity of the longboard. Similar in usage profile to the longboard, if not aesthetics or appearance, is the plastic penny board. Essentially, a penny board is a small plastic skateboard with certain characteristics that makes it more like a longboard in that it is more oriented towards cruising than aerial tricks, although it will obviously be much less suited to the big down hill slopes that many people would associate with longboarding. There are many skating techniques that are associated with longboarding, and many of these are either applicable or adaptable to the penny board.

There are multiple techniques possible for braking while on a longboard, including:

• Foot braking (the simplest and easiest to execute, but much less effective at low speeds).

Learn Maori carving (slightly harder to learn, and more effective for slowing rather than stopping completely)

• Sliding (requires slide gloves, and probably not particularly applicable to a penny board). 

Foot braking is fairly intuitive. Essentially, the rider places one foot on the road in order to reduce their speed and eventually stop. It is only an effective braking technique if one is going slow enough that one is able to balance one foot without falling off of the penny original or other board. Extend the front foot to the side, turned about thirty degrees towards the board, and slowly lower it to the road so that friction slows the penny board without stopping too suddenly.

Carving is simply making large S bend turns in order to get rid of excess speed. It is effective at higher speeds, so long as the rider is able to maintain control ofthe board and the turn without falling off. It is particularly effective on slopes because it reduces the effective steepness of the slope and help you to learn more.

Sliding requires specialised slide gloves. Do not attempt sliding without slide gloves. Sliding without gloves will destroy your hands. Sliding without slide gloves is a Very Bad Idea and should not be done under any circumstances. Sliding involves placing both hands on the pavement, like a foot brake, while simultaneously pushing out with one’s back foot in order to shift all of one’s weight to the front wheels of the board and initiate a drift.Sliding is effective at any speed, but requires practice. It probably is neither necessary nor wise to slide on a penny nickel or any other penny board.

Surprisingly few people realise that the penny board is actually an Australian product invented by the Australian skater and cabinet maker Ben Mackay and brought to market in the year two thousand and eleven. It quickly gained attention with distinct advertising utilising a nineties aesthetic. The penny board has now successfully been marketed outside of Australia in thirty five countries.