Fri. Jul 19th, 2019

Penny Skateboards

When you get past a certain age (43 I think it is) you are allowed to waffle on endlessly about how great everything was X years ago and how rubbish everything is now.

Obviously, this applies to skateboards too. In the old days skateboards were somehow more tactile than they are now. Perhaps it was something to do with the heavily varnished decks and brightly colored translucent wheels, or perhaps the surf-inspired graphics and stickers.

I still recall getting my first skateboard back in about 1975. It was a Skoda bought from the local toy shop at (probably) great expense. It looked a little bit like this:

Thanks mum and dad! I think it was probably a birthday present and Christmas present rolled into one. ? I seem to recall spending hours just spinning the wheels and watching them come (very) slowly to a halt. When I wasn’t watching the wheels, I was actually out riding the thing, pounding up and down the uneven surface of my road, dodging cars and dodging pedestrians. Tricks included 360s, wheelies (now called “manuals”, walking the dog, space walking and various other too-uncool tricks.

But it wasn’t really about the tricks in the old days. I appreciate how difficult a lot of tech tricks are, and I appreciate the satisfaction and thrill involved in landing a perfect kickflip, but at the same time just standing on a skateboard and letting gravity take you places on smooth wheels is just as rewarding and satisfying. And this is where Penny skateboards come in.

They look a lot like the old 1970s plastic boards that I grew up with, and it’s great to see so many cruiser-style boards on the market. But Penny manages to stand out in an already busy market place, and have managed to carve themselves a niche as the ultimate commuter board. These skateboards are so small (only 23 inches in length with a 12-inch wheelbase) that they weigh hardly anything at all. The other great thing they have going for them is the lack of grip tape on the deck surface. Anyone who has ever carried a skateboard for more than a couple of minutes will know how the grip tape can ruin not only your hands but your clothes as well! Penny boards, with their smooth plastic surfaces and easy-to-grip moldings are the perfect shape to carry effortlessly or chuck in your backpack.