15 Awesome Alternatives to Skateboards (Plus Interesting Facts)

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Riding skateboards is a cool way for youngsters to get around campus as well as enjoy the health and social benefits that come along with it. Skateboarding increases metabolism, improves balance, and also enhances coordination. It’s also pretty easy to learn. Once you get the balance down, it’s just a cruise from then on.

To up the ante, many skateboarders graduated from skateboarding and taken on other alternatives. Skateboard-style boards have increasingly popped out, offering many exciting ways for gravity-defying tricks to pass time.

Alternatives

1. Bicycles

Cyclist riding on his bicycle.

Bicycles come in so many different designs that you are all but guaranteed to find something that is perfect for you. You can choose a three- or ten-speed bicycle, bikes with various amenities, and even electric bikes, or e-bikes. A good bike store or sporting goods store will have a very wide selection of bicycles for men, women, and children, and since bicycles also come in various styles and colors, you can find something you love every time if you know where to look.

Advantages

  • Nearly everyone can ride a bicycle
  • Bicycles don’t have to be expensive to purchase

Disadvantages

  • They are more cumbersome than skateboards
  • You can’t do the same things as you can with a skateboard

2. Dirt Boards/Mountain Boards

Closeup of the mountain board.

Dirt boards, or mountain boards as they are sometimes called, are meant mostly for downhill shredding, steep slopes, and rough terrains. They have large, threaded wheels and foot straps, in part because they are designed to feel like you’re going down the side of a mountain. Naturally, you’ll not want to use your dirtboard when actually going down a mountain or hill, but you can still get the same feeling of exhilaration by riding one of these boards, especially if you are riding over rugged terrain.

Advantages

  • They are a lot of fun to ride
  • You’ll love how you feel when riding one

Disadvantages

  • Some are very expensive
  • You can’t do the same things that you can with a skateboard

3. Freeboards

Freeboard side and front profile

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Designed much like a snowboard, freeboards have wider trucks and wheels, and they allow the rider to get a more controlled shredding, or carving sensation because of the wider truck and the extra wheel found on each freeboard. If you love snowboarding, but don’t really think much of the cold weather, riding on a freeboard might be for you.

Because of its weight, this type of skateboard isn’t the best for doing tricks, but you can still shred pavement or asphalt. It simulates the feel of a snowboard, and it allows riders to transition to skateboarding easily because of its narrower wheelbase and smaller deck.

Advantages

  • You feel a sense of freedom when riding them
  • They provide for a more controlled shredding experience

Disadvantages

  • They are mostly good for regular riding and not tricks
  • They are too small for some riders

4. Longboards

A young man and woman riding longboarding on the road.

Longboards are a type of skateboard, but they’ve been around much longer. They are a bit longer and much heavier than a skateboard, and they are meant for long-term adventures. Longboards have larger wheels and overall sizes than a regular skateboard, making your ride a lot smoother and more stable.

Advantages

  • They are a great alternative to a regular skateboard
  • They are easy to use

Disadvantages

  • You can’t do all of the tricks you may want to do
  • Their large size doesn’t fit every body type

5. Roller Blades/Skates

A young man wearing roller blades in the air.

Rollerblades or skates aren’t as popular now as they were decades ago, but they still offer an easy and fun way to get around town. Many of the newer roller blades allow the wearer to go very fast, allowing for a quick way to get where you need to go.

In addition, roller blades are made to fit men, women, and children, and they come in a wide variety of designs and colors as well. Rollerblades are also called inline skates, and though they are different than wearing roller skates because there is only one row of wheels instead of two, they are a lot of fun once you get used to them. It is also a great way to get your exercise.

Advantages

  • Rollerblades are great exercise
  • They can be made to fit any size foot

Disadvantages

  • Rollerblades can be dangerous
  • They sometimes take a long time to learn

6. Scooters

A man passes by a company building as he rides on his scooter.

The best thing about scooters is that they are available in both manual and electric versions, so it is easier than ever to pick up some speed and enjoy your ride. They also have a handle to latch onto so that you can feel a bit more secure while riding, and they are inexpensive as well. Not made for the road, they are still easy to use when you’re on the sidewalk or some type of pavement, and the good thing is, even small children can utilize them safely.

Advantages

  • They are a lot of fun to ride
  • They can be ridden by nearly everyone

Disadvantages

  • The number of tricks you can do is limited
  • You can only go so fast with a scooter

7. Segway Devices

Three people riding on segway devices.

Almost everyone knows what a Segway is. It is a two-wheel device that is battery-operated and has handles to hold onto, and you see them everywhere. They are fun to ride, simple to use, and less expensive than you might think.

They can usually drive for about 25 miles or so before the battery needs to be charged, and they come in sizes that can accommodate anyone, although they are usually meant only for adults to ride. There are many different types of Segway machines, and if you do your research it is easy to find the right one that has a fit and speed that is appropriate for your needs.

Advantages

  • They are fun to drive and can be driven almost anywhere
  • They are easy to learn

Disadvantages

  • They can be dangerous if you’re not paying attention
  • They take a while to learn for some people

8. Streetboards

Ascent Icecream Streetboard with Bindings

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Streetboards, also known as snowboards,  are similar to skateboards but it’s also a pivot board with two points of flex for the nose and the tail. The rider’s feet are typically strapped in.

Advantages

  • Lets you do lots of insane tricks.

Disadvantages

  • It can be very hard to learn.

9. Flowboards

Man flowboarding on sheet wave.

Flowboards combine aspects of skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding and to some extent, wakeboarding and skimboarding. It involves riding on a “sheet wave” which is roughly three inches thick and moves at a rate of 20-30 miles per hour.

Advantages

  • They can be very fun.

Disadvantages

  • Requires plenty of skills and can be hard to learn.

10. Stowboards

Foldable stowboards

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Stowboards are similar to skateboards but they are foldable into a little block and can be packed in your bag or stowed anywhere.

Advantages

  • Rides smoothly, steers well, and flexible.

Disadvantages

  • Takes a while to learn for some people.

11. The Wave

Man riding The Wave

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The Wave is a new caster board riding system that’s a hybrid of a skateboard and a snowboard. It’s a pivot board with two wheels below linked footpads.

Advantages

  • It’s fun to use.

Disadvantages

  • It can be difficult to learn.

12. Freeline Skates

Freeline skates on concrete ground.

Freeline skates are small metal plates on two 72 mm longboard wheels and a grip on top.

Advantages

  • It will satisfy your thirst for conquering new skills and challenges.

Disadvantages

  • It can be very challenging.

13. T-Board

T-Board by Tierney Rides

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T-Board from Tierney Rides is an innovative skateboard with two wheels that acts like a snowboard.

Advantages

  • It’s exhilarating.

Disadvantages

  • It can be very challenging.

14. Arbor Pocket Rocket

Arbor Pocket Rocket

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Arbor Pocket Rocket has all the features of a longboard and the scale of a skateboard, so it’s a fusion between the two.

Advantages

  • Rides just like gliding, carves smoothly, and makes no sound while rolling along.

Disadvantages

  • Tricks can be difficult to do on an Arbor Pocket Rocket.

15. Snowdeck and Snowskates

Man gliding down a black slope on snowskates.

Snowdecks are a fusion of a skateboard and a snowboard. Unlike the regular skateboard, it has a miniature board instead of wheels and a leash instead of a binding. Snowskates, on the other hand, are almost similar to snowdecks except that they don’t have the trucks and blade.

Advantages

  • They’re the go-to rides during snow season.

Disadvantages

  • They’re seasonal pasttimes.

 

Interesting Facts about Skateboards

The Wheels Weren’t Always Perfect

Although the wheels on skateboards are now high in quality, durable, and very reliable, the earlier versions were made out of clay or even metal. These wheels were clumsy and very noisy, not to mention slow. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1970s that polyurethane wheels were introduced to the skateboarding community.

Safer Than You Think

A young man on an exhibition while skateboarding.

This fact may surprise some people, but skateboarding actually results in fewer injuries than many other sports, including football, basketball, soccer, and baseball. Most skateboarding injuries result from new riders who don’t always have the proper safety equipment on, and most of the injuries involve the wrist and hand area.

Banned in Some Countries

It seems silly now, but the country of Norway actually banned skateboards for over 10 years. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that they brought the sport back, and in fact, Norway went on to host the X Games, which included the sport of skateboarding.

A Real Money Maker

Closeup of a skateboard in action.

Skateboarding has very humble beginnings, but because of its popularity, it is now a $5 billion industry, and it grows every year. In fact, there are now roughly 13-million skateboarders throughout the world, and the number grows by approximately 10% every year.






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