Do longboards go faster than skateboards?

Two men longboarding downhill

There are many uses for longboards. Whether you’re cruising, commuting or downhill racing, there’s a board for every occasion.  If you’re looking for a longboard capable of high speeds, it’s imperative the board is built for stability and excellent turning ability.

Longboards do, in fact, go faster than skateboards.  The reasoning comes down to their hardware. Longboards have larger and softer wheels than skateboards, which adds stability allows you to go over gravel and cracks in the road easier. Additionally, their bearings are usually higher quality to allow for high speeds.

How fast do skateboards go?

Average Cruising Speed5 – 12 mph / 8.04 – 19.31 kph
Average Top Speed15 – 25 mph / 24.14 – 40.23 kph
World Record Speed50.25 mph / 80.86 kph (source)

Skateboards are great for getting around short distances. They are easy to strap to a backpack as well as use public transportation.  They are also great for doing tricks because both ends have lips that allow you to jump and flip with the board (something you can’t do with a longboard). 

Generally, it takes more effort to push off with a skateboard.  The wheels are harder and smaller, so you will have more resistance from that.  This can explain one of the reasons that longboards can go faster than skateboards.

It can be more dangerous to ride a skateboard at high speeds; They simply weren’t made for it. They are great for improving your balance and agility, and it can be really fun to improve your skills. 

One great benefit is the ability to ride at nearby skateparks with like-minded skateboarders.  It’s a great way to socialize and get support and help from your peers as you continue to learn.

How fast do longboards go?

Average Cruising Speed5 – 14 mph / 8.04 – 22.53 kph
Average Top Speed30 – 50 mph / 48.28 – 80.46 kph
World Record Speed91.17 mph / 146.72 kph (source)

Longboards have many uses depending on the board you buy.  They can go much faster than skateboards, so you’ll find many people use them to commute with them in urban centers and at universities and colleges.

Longboarding is also widely considered to be easier to learn for beginners. Longboards are wider and (of course) longer than skateboards, which makes it a lot easier to balance.  

Downhill longboarding can be a thrilling experience which makes it addicting. Of course, you need to first master how to ride a longboard on a level street before you start going down hills, but If this doesn’t motivate you to get started, then I don’t know what will.

How to improve longboard speed

As you get more comfortable on your longboard, you may be looking for ways to improve and increase your speed.  There are a few simple things you can quickly check.


You may be thinking “Hey, if I want to go fast, I better loosen my wheels so they can spin freely!”.  

Please don’t do that.

Wobbly wheels can be very dangerous; especially when going downhill.  If your wheels are too loose, it makes them wobble and can cause you to lose your balance as well as put pressure on your axles that can damage them permanently. 

Ideally, you will get a set of bearing spacers that fit between your bearings and wheels. This will allow you to tighten your wheels to be snug while at the same time, it allows the wheels to spin without much resistance. 


Most experienced downhill longboarders ride with looser trucks. Yes, you wobble more, but, with time, your ankle strength, agility, and overall balance will improve to help overcome that.

Another reason to keep the trucks looser is for safety reasons. Nearly every fatal longboard accident involves another vehicle.  Looser trucks will allow you to react quicker to traffic, intersections, guardrails, objects in the road, etc. It’s also much easier to perform tight turns, foot brakes, and slides.


Aside from regular maintenance of your bearings, upgrading them will only give you a tiny advantage. Before you spend your money on upgrading them, consider improving your speed with the other items we’ve listed here.

Posture & Strength

Staying fit and working out is always a great way to improve; However, longboarding in of itself is a workout as well.  Try focusing on cardio workouts and lower body workouts.  

You’d be surprised how much a little more strength and agility can help improve your ability to tuck properly and hold that position for an extended period of time.

How to stay safe

If there is one thing you need to know before riding downhill for the first time, it’s this:


If you only bring one piece of protective gear, make sure it’s your helmet.  Going downhill, you can easily reach 40-50 MPH. A crash without a helmet is almost a guaranteed concussion and trip to the ER, or even death!

Other important gear includes:

  • Gloves
  • Knee Pads
  • Elbow Pads
  • Hip Pads
  • Spine Protector

Leathers are also a great idea.  Leathers are primarily used to prevent you from getting road rash, but not from blunt force trauma.  

Final Tips

  • Learn to stop

You can’t start downhill longboarding without first learning how to stop.  It can be very dangerous and you just can’t risk it. Start by learning how to footbrake, then you can learn shutdown sliding.

  • Skate small hills away from traffic and pedestrians

If possible, find a remote area that you can practice without worrying about obstacles to dodge. You don’t want to risk getting hit by a car or object while learning.  It’s just not worth it.

  • Take a buddy

If you’re just starting out, take a buddy.  Better yet, find an experienced group of skaters and learn to ride in a pack.


Weather you’re riding a skateboard or longboard, know that both boards can go fast and can be very dangerous.  Be sure to follow the safety guidelines we listed and always take a buddy when you are starting out.

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