Get a grip. Don’t buy Pennyboards

Penny skateboards have their value right in their names – a penny.

For those who don’t know, Penny skateboards is a company that manufactures retro styled skateboards. They are shaped to resemble 1970 era skateboards that were made of plastic.

The small size of the skateboards make them easy to store and carry. It is also their size that makes them dangerous. There’s barely any room to properly place your feet on the surface. My feet were left hanging off the edges by several inches which made leaning to turn all the more difficult.   Penny does sell larger “nickel” series boards which are about 27 inches in length. That’s still not as long as a regular street skateboard but it’s a far cry from the micro boards most students seem to purchase.

The largest safety hazard these boards possess is they are sold assembled without grip tape.

Grip tape is the sandpaper like paper that goes  on top of most skateboards on long boards. It’s purpose is very simple: to grip you.

Go to any Walmart or Kmart and look at the section where the pre-built skateboards are. Despite being of an absolutely terrible quality, they all come with grip tape.

To the individual who has just started skateboarding or simply wants to look trendier than an Urban Outfitters summer catalog, a penny board seems like a good idea. They retail for approximately $100 with even cheaper imitations online and are sold both in stores and online pre-built. The average student who purchases one will assume they are good to go and while they will indeed be able to roll around it will by no means be safe.

An imitation Penny Skateboard. Notice the toes hanging off the edges of the deck.

 

I’ve seen over a dozen students riding small penny boards, book bags in tow and no grip tape. I’ve even seen people ride them in the rain. You shouldn’t even be riding in the rain with regular skateboards that have good grip tape.

Pennyboards are small fun boards for those who like a challenge, but I do not recommend them for beginner and recreational skateboarders or just about anyone who doesn’t want a challenging experience riding.

Without grip tape they are unstable. Even with grip tape the grooves on the boards upper part make tearing through the tape much easier. If the tape stays on and doesn’t begin to peel or tear the actual board itself is not as responsive as a traditional wooden board or “deck.”  The trucks, the aluminum turning mechanism under the board, are engineered off technology that predates the very era the whole skateboard seeks to imitate. They are narrow and don’t provide for much stability, best suited for straight lines or slalom style skating.

If you want to properly get into skateboarding around campus effectively, look into “long boards” or for a more compact option “cruiser skateboards.”

A Penny may cost around $100 and comes in a variety of attractive colors, but for performance  and safety my extra $50 to $100 will go to a cruiser or long board with wider trucks, a wooden deck and most importantly of all- some grip.

diego.saldana@fiusm.com

About the Author

Diego Saldaña
: Opinion Director, Broadcast Major. Interests: Vintage motorcycles, cycling, collecting vinyl records, history.

51 Comments on "Get a grip. Don’t buy Pennyboards"

  1. Penny board are awesome. Long time skater. Rise my own cruiser board (with grip) around campus all day. I get you, pennies can be annoying cuz they’re so small and hard to turn, and it seems people just get them cuz they’re trendy.

    That being said, the rubbery surface on top makes them pretty non-slippery. You can even do tre-flips on them pretty easy. Penny boards are mad fun because they are so small and challenging to rise on. You can try rediculous things like triple tre’s and have a chance at landing it.

    As for rising in the rain, also super fun. Power slides up the ding dong. I don’t do it because I paid money for bones swords bearings that I keep in pristine condition. However I have been looking at getting some cheapo bearings for rain riding.

    So in the end, to each his own. I love seeing a skater culture around so who ever wants to ride be free my friends. Have fun and take some spills. It’s all in the art of fun.

    P.S. I realize this was written 2 years ago but w/e bite me.

  2. Okay, if you have a problem and don’t want to get griptape, from the pictures and the shoes you’re wearing I can see why you have a problem with it. Just slap on some vans or some kind of shoe that has well enough grip then see! Because I have a penny and i’m completely fine with just a pair of vans but do not get the slim for skating….

  3. Okay, if you have a problem and don’t want to get griptape, from the pictures and the shoes you’re wearing I can see why you have a problem with it. Just slap on some vans or some kind of shoe that has well enough grip then see! Because I have a penny and i’m completely fine with just a pair of vans but do not get the slim for skating….

  4. Not only is this design hazardous, the usage of skateboards has exploded on MMC. This combined with inexperienced users, bicycles and mini segways (http://www.amazon.com/RunActiv-Self-Balancing-Electric-Scooter-LED/dp/B013ELR11C) is becoming troublesome for actual pedestrians. I believe the riders of skateboards are at the top of the list; they tightly weave in and out through the masses of innocent bystanders throwing caution to the wind. Many times, you do not hear them riding close by you until it is too late. And even if you do see them approaching, at their speeds, you must decide in the blink of an eye how to avoid a collision because they expect you to yield. I have had several close calls with skateboarders–all have come within inches of me–and most have blindsided me. I am not a VIP; I am waiting for the day when one gets into a collision with an operator of one of the above devices to hear of the consequences.

    Public roads, both off and on campus, are already enough of a challenge to negotiate by a vehicle; the walkways should remain 100% for this purpose.

  5. You are a pussy and you obviously don’t skate or like women

  6. Oh your’e one of them "safety tools". Get a life bro instead of knocking a cool product. Besides on a penny you don’t fall you trip.

  7. I have had one for three years through high school and it was the best way of getting back and forth to school. I road it in every weather you can think about, and I even road it with boots on. I fully think that Pennyboards are the best skate board to have fun in.

  8. I began with a penny board, and it was definitely a challenge to learn on but i find long boards no fun because there is NO challenge, as well as longboards are a large nuisance to bring anywhere and pennies do fit in most backpacks or bags. They are define toy dangerous to ride in the rain but i do it anyways?, i don’t recommend it.

  9. I began with a penny board, and it was definitely a challenge to learn on but i find long boards no fun because there is NO challenge, as well as longboards are a large nuisance to bring anywhere and pennies do fit in most backpacks or bags. They are define toy dangerous to ride in the rain but i do it anyways?, i don’t recommend it.

  10. chill my dude

  11. I DON’T THINK ONE PERSON AGREES WITH THE POSER, I MEAN AUTHOR.

  12. Been skateboarding for over 15 years and have had all styles of boards. Nothing wrong with Penny boards. People have been riding boards without grip tape since the beginning of the sport. I even ride barefoot sometimes. Nobody has ever gotten into skateboarding for safety. Great story for Parenting Magazine though.

  13. Okay this is so wrong.

    I a 17 year old guy that wears almost 11 mens, my feet fit perfect on a pennyboard!! Anyone can ride them!! The downside, they turn sharp, but, nickelboards turn sharper. There’s plenty of stability on a pennyboard. Theres a lot more feet room tho on a nickelboard. A pennyboard can’t handle as much impact than a nickelboard (small patch of gravel, fallen twigs from trees, ect) a pennyboard can get you going at some pretty insane speeds, but, a nickel can get you faster, do to more stability. There is literally nothing wrong with a pennyboard. Ive ridden a pennyboard with grip tape and I personally don’t like it, you don’t need griptape to stay on a board!!

  14. Okay this is so wrong.

    I a 17 year old guy that wears almost 11 mens, my feet fit perfect on a pennyboard!! Anyone can ride them!! The downside, they turn sharp, but, nickelboards turn sharper. There’s plenty of stability on a pennyboard. Theres a lot more feet room tho on a nickelboard. A pennyboard can’t handle as much impact than a nickelboard (small patch of gravel, fallen twigs from trees, ect) a pennyboard can get you going at some pretty insane speeds, but, a nickel can get you faster, do to more stability. There is literally nothing wrong with a pennyboard. Ive ridden a pennyboard with grip tape and I personally don’t like it, you don’t need griptape to stay on a board!!

  15. Okay this is so wrong.

    I a 17 year old guy that wears almost 11 mens, my feet fit perfect on a pennyboard!! Anyone can ride them!! The downside, they turn sharp, but, nickelboards turn sharper. There’s plenty of stability on a pennyboard. Theres a lot more feet room tho on a nickelboard. A pennyboard can’t handle as much impact than a nickelboard (small patch of gravel, fallen twigs from trees, ect) a pennyboard can get you going at some pretty insane speeds, but, a nickel can get you faster, do to more stability. There is literally nothing wrong with a pennyboard. Ive ridden a pennyboard with grip tape and I personally don’t like it, you don’t need griptape to stay on a board!!

  16. I don’t believe this crap
    Penny Boards are super good for learning how to skate
    SO YAHH
    umm u suck
    bai <3 ^-^

  17. I don’t believe this crap
    Penny Boards are super good for learning how to skate
    SO YAHH
    umm u suck
    bai <3 ^-^

  18. I don’t believe this crap
    Penny Boards are super good for learning how to skate
    SO YAHH
    umm u suck
    bai <3 ^-^

  19. Great article with excellent idea! Thank you for such a valuable article on such a interesting topic.
    I really appreciate for this great information

  20. Anyone who is a dumbass enough to ride their board in the rain shouldn’t have it . The rain gets into your bearings and rusts them out which makes them unusable. You obviously have no idea what you are talking about , and haven’t ever ridden a penny board ever

  21. Anyone who is a dumbass enough to ride their board in the rain shouldn’t have it . The rain gets into your bearings and rusts them out which makes them unusable. You obviously have no idea what you are talking about , and haven’t ever ridden a penny board ever

  22. The solution is buying a Chubby Unicorn, great downhill board for those "dangerous" parking garages.

  23. There ARE penny boards WITH grip tape. Some people just want penny boards no matter what. Maybe some people have waited 2 whole years just for a penny board and end up not being able to get it because their parents believe such crap. Maybe the kid’s dreams are crushed because their parents believe this. Yes, fine, it’s dangerous. But different people have different views. Maybe they want to use the penny board for a specific reason. Maybe some people want to use it to whack people who criticise it. I don’t know. #dreamcrusher

  24. Pennys are great shut it

  25. Pennys are great shut it

  26. Pennys are great shut it

    • Penny boards are the shit. Stop hesitating and buy one right now. Ive never tried the original, ive only had the nickel. Ive used it for a year and its been SICK. But my friend accidentally kicked it into a busy road and a car ran over it. It exploded. They are extremely durable, but you cant expect a car going 50 mph to not destroy the thing. Im buying another one ASAP but ya, theyre the best.

  27. In the picture the skateboard is not a real penny board. The real penny board has the brand name "Penny" on the center of the skateboard where the circle is. The real Penny board also has a "P" on the back side of the Penny board where the tail is and is also has the word "Penny" on the right side of the front truck. Also, on the bottom in the three sections that are divided the are some words about the Penny board.

  28. Also the Penny board is a very, very good quality skateboard. There are videos online that show them getting runover by a car, ( strength test) and they still work perfectly. Also, you choose if the penny board brings grit-tape or not. If your feet are still left outside of the penny board you can either get a nickel board (27") or a penny longboard (also made out of plastic) (36"). So penny boards are very good quality skateboards and I recommend them to anyone who wants to have fun on a skateboard.

  29. Also the Penny board is a very, very good quality skateboard. There are videos online that show them getting runover by a car, ( strength test) and they still work perfectly. Also, you choose if the penny board brings grit-tape or not. If your feet are still left outside of the penny board you can either get a nickel board (27") or a penny longboard (also made out of plastic) (36"). So penny boards are very good quality skateboards and I recommend them to anyone who wants to have fun on a skateboard.

  30. Umm you are soo wrong thats why there are different sizes the 22" and the 32" so if you think about even roasting the best skateboard on earth get out of here and get the right skateboard, you dumbfuck.

  31. For some reason I read this with the voice of a 95 year old in my head. "It’s dangerous, wippersnappers!"

  32. Fucking stupid ignorant cunt, you have an option to buy grip tape

  33. I had one of these back in the day! But it was an actual board from the 70s. I still sucked on it.

  34. I had one of these back in the day! But it was an actual board from the 70s. I still sucked on it.

  35. I had one of these back in the day! But it was an actual board from the 70s. I still sucked on it.

  36. You are a pussy, that article is lame and gay, and so are your corny shoes

  37. You are a pussy, that article is lame and gay, and so are your corny shoes

  38. I was going to comment: "WTF?!"

    But then I saw all this comments above and I felt justice has been done! ahah

    You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about. But still, you can say it’s your opinion, but that’s it.

    I have a big wood deck, loaded dervish, etc. And the one i use the most it’s definitely my Penny Nickel, why?
    Because it’s portable, fast, awesome to ride in small spaces and it’s always fun!

    And more, some time ago I got some troubles with a Nickel, so I contacted Penny and they simply apologized and told me to choose another Nickel model free of charge. From that day on I don’t have any negative thing to say about this brand. Just the opposite.

    In fact, my Penny 36" arrived today!

    PS. Oh, and my Nickel came with transparent grip tape 5*****

  39. Ucanshutthef#uckup | February 20, 2016 at 9:54 PM | Reply

    Penny boards were made without grip tape so they could be ridden barefoot you dingus. Like after the beach…

  40. You clearly have never been on a Penny Longboard.

  41. You clearly have never been on a Penny Longboard.

  42. Grip tape is NOT a safety feature. In fact, it’s probably MORE dangerous to have grip tape on your board for the purposes of regular riding, because you want to be able to move your feet as freely as possible to kick push, toe drag, etc.

    The sole purpose of grip tape is to help the board stick to your feet for ollies and flip tricks. It does not make the board safer.

  43. He is correct. Penny boards totally suck. Get a cruiser. They come in all sizes. Plastic deck. Horrible idea. No grip. Even worse idea. Tiny little trucks. Lets get a real skateboard and at least learn how to ollie up and down curbs

  44. He is correct. Penny boards totally suck. Get a cruiser. They come in all sizes. Plastic deck. Horrible idea. No grip. Even worse idea. Tiny little trucks. Lets get a real skateboard and at least learn how to ollie up and down curbs

  45. Obviously you know nothing about penny boards. I’m 13. For starters you don’t ride a penny board with those shoes there is specific skate shoes to get and they aren’t expensive I have vans and they have the same grid on the bottom and stick fine. Second of all you can but girl tape for a cheap price for penny boards. Buy it look it up. And third not all penny boards are plastic I hope to god you know that cause there is Woodstock retro style boards same as thin longboard wood. FYI they are safe as hell if they are right for you and If you know how to ride penny boards.

  46. Who da f*#k is this f#*ktard. Obviously a total authority on the situation. Riding in the rain……..? Really!!!. Had to look up the name for those ugly a*s old man shoes. Their called bucks. Next topic:
    Dont suck, get rid of those bucks!

  47. Jake Barbieri | May 4, 2016 at 9:30 PM | Reply

    Maybe you’d get more grip for let me see Skateboarding shoes?!?!?!

  48. josh van doren | May 5, 2016 at 7:49 AM | Reply

    i know so many people have written that your a ***** and a prick, etc. but honestly i got my penny nickle board yesterday and i have just been riding and riding it ever since i got it. if you want it to be more grippy then buy some ****ing griptape they are not that expensive. if other people don’t want any grip then just leave it up to them, don’t be ****ing judging other people just because you are unhappy. i don’t griptape and i wasn’t flying all over the ****ing room. so in conclusion just keep it to yourself. its ***** work..

  49. I didn’t know FIU had such giant pussies lol, never had a problem with my nickel board.

    Hoot Hoot mother****ers

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