Penny board

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Penny board
InventorBen Mackay
ManufacturerPenny Skateboards

A Penny board is a type of skateboard that is characterized by a short and narrow plastic deck. Although such skateboards were first manufactured during the 1970s, their name, and contemporary popularity come from the Australian brand Penny Skateboards, founded in 2010. The company's name has since been widely genericized to describe all small plastic skateboards.[1]


The first line of plastic skateboards was launched in the 1970s by Larry Stevenson for his Makaha[1] brand. Greentech also began to manufacture plastic skateboards.[2] These plastic skateboards were widely popular during the early 1970s, although the era's professional skaters still shunned them in favor of wooden boards.[3][2] By 1978, laminated wooden decks had become the industry standard.[3]

Ben Mackay created the Penny board in 2010, from which the brand Penny Skateboards was born.[4] McKay named the brand for his sister, Penny.[2] The idea behind the creation of the company was inspired by Mackay's first-ever skateboard, a small plastic cruiser his father bought for him at a garage sale.

Ben Mackay first started manufacturing and designing his own skateboards to sell to local skate shops.[5][6] Mackay began experimenting with different shapes and types of boards. He used a variety of materials, such as fiberglass and carbon inserts, as an alternative to timber.

By 2015, the Absolute Board Company was providing 36% of the market of boards under 34 inches.[2]


Penny skateboards on sale at a shop in Shibuya, Tokyo.

Penny boards are distinguished by a plastic deck. Different parts of the Penny board structure are available in a variety of colors and designs. They are sold in five different deck sizes, the 22 in (55.9 cm), 27 in (68.6 cm) (the Nickel), 29 in (73.7 cm) "Surf skate", 32 in (81.3 cm) cruiser and 36 in (91.4 cm) longboard. Customers can also buy each component of the board individually.

  • Deck: Penny skateboard decks are made of plastic (polycarbonate) and feature a non-slip "waffle top" texture.
  • Grip tape: Grip tape is offered for 22" and 27" models.
  • Trucks: Penny trucks are made from cast aluminum.
  • Wheels: Penny board wheels are made from Polyurethane, with a plastic core. The wheels on 22-inch (55.9 cm) and 27-inch (68.6 cm) Penny boards have a diameter of 59 mm (2.323 inches), while Penny longboard wheels have a larger diameter of 69 mm (2.717 inches). All Penny wheels are rated at 83A.[7]

The nickel skateboard is five inches larger than the Penny board and is suited for beginners because of its larger deck, but still remains lightweight due to its plastic design.[8] Both the Penny board and the Nickel board are lighter than a regular wooden skateboard.[9]


The Skater Oscar Candon complained that "you can’t even ollie up a curb" with a Penny board. According to the skateboarding historian Craig Snyder, plastic is not a popular board component among the skateboarding community.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Penny vs Nickel Board: 2021 Reviews, Tips & Videos". 24 March 2021. Retrieved 29 July 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e Courtney Rubin, Penny Skateboards Find a Niche,, 22 July 2015
  3. ^ a b Rice, Joel (14 August 2012). "The rebirth of plastic skateboards". X Games. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  4. ^ Bradstreet, Kailee. "The Board Room: Penny Skateboards Founder Ben Mackay". Transworld Business. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  5. ^ "From Skateboard and Longboard to Penny Board (Fall 2102)". Historpedia. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  6. ^ Smith, Aaron. "A History Of Penny Skateboards". Skateboarder Magazine. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Penny vs Nickel Board: Reviews, Tips & Video". Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Penny vs Nickel Board: 2021 Reviews, Tips & Videos". Longboarding Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  9. ^ BeachAhoi (9 January 2020). "Know What is Best for You, Penny Board vs. Skateboard". Retrieved 5 July 2021.

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