Pennyboards are like puppies: Everyone wants one, but not everyone has the time or patience required to get the most out of owning one.
Pennyboards, the plastic skateboards modeled after the skateboards from the ’70s, have steadily risen in popularity since 2011 when Penny Skateboards was founded. They come in a variety of colors and in two different lengths: the Penny 22-inch and Penny 27-inch “Nickel” decks. When ordering a board from the website, the color of every individual piece can be customized.
It’s been easy to see a rise in the number of people riding Pennyboards around town and on campus. Whether they’re actual Pennyboards, or similar boards from a different brand, these small skateboards have become many student’s transportation of choice.
Braxton Wild, an employee at LipTrix Boardshop at 105 N. 500 East, said he has seen anyone from small kids to grown men come in and buy Pennyboards. He said it may have to do with the portability and ease of the boards.
“They’ve got soft wheels, so they’re really easy to cruise around on,” Wild said. ” I think a lot of college kids get them because they can put them in their backpack. They go as fast as a longboard and… they are a good thing to get from point A to point B. “
As popular as these Pennyboards are right now, I saw this same thing happen with longboarding in the past. Longboarding exploded in popularity, and longboards were flying off the shelves, destined to be used once and forgotten.
I suspected the same thing would happen with Pennyboards, and Wild agreed.
“I think they’ll probably be stoked when they get them, and then after a while it’s just going to be a thing of the past,” Wild said.
The trend of Pennyboards will inevitably come to an end. Here’s the root of the problem: Skateboarding is cool, so everyone wants to be involved, but not everyone has what it takes.
Skateboarding takes practice. Not everyone can jump on a 22-inch piece of plastic with wheels and cruise around like they want to. The learning curve will dissuade many from continuing.
Those who are willing to put in the time and practice will progress but only after falling down every once in a while. If you want to go fast, maneuver obstacles and get around in the most exciting way possible, eventually you will wipe out. The road rash you receive should be worn proudly. I’ve been skating since I was a 12-year-old, and I still fall sometimes.
I have had a Pennyboard for around 6 months. I put my dog on a leash and have him pull me around while I ride it. Sometimes I’ll ride around at night just to get fresh air. It’s definitely not my preferred source of transportation or entertainment, but I don’t have anything against them.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to see the trend is doomed to die. Everyone thinks skateboarding is cool, and those who say they don’t think so are lying. Skateboarding as a culture has heavily influenced contemporary fashion, art and music. However, skateboarding as a sport has been adopted and then forgotten by a high percentage of those who try it.
I know, Pennyboards look cool. They look fun. Just consider how much time and energy you’ll be willing to put into learning before you buy a Pennyboard that will soon be abandoned.