What Are Penny Skateboards? Watch This Video

Penny boards are something of a nostalgia for veteran skaters these days and for many, could have been their gateway into the world of skateboarding. Characterised buy their short, narrow plastic deck, they came into being in the 1970’s and rose in popularity throughout the 80’s. But what makes these little plastic skateboards so special? Is it the unique design and style or is it the retro vibe? If you follow our YouTube channel, you would have seen that we recently restored an 80’s Penny Skateboard. Watch it right here!

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With fresh new grip tape, clean up wheels and trucks, this classic was ready to roll again. One thing that did proof a challenge was how sticky the ride was, but with shiny new skateboard bearings, it rolled freely once more and proved to be a wild little shredder.

Penny Boards – A Love Letter to the 80’s

The 80’s were a wild time to grow up in. It was a time of big hair, big shoulder pads and neon coloured clothing. For anyone old enough to remember getting picked up from school in their mum’s Vauxhall Cavalier, with Bonnie Tyler blasting out, it was a care-free time. We’d rush back home to watch Thunder Cats while smashing through a bag of Space Invaders, but those 4 channels on the terrestrial TV wasn’t enough to keep us in one place for too long.

I remember being in one of two camps: either having a BMX and speeding around like Elliot from E.T. or shredding a skateboard like Marty McFly. If the weather was nice, it didn’t take much convincing to get outside and meet the gang at the park and start cruising. Penny boards were a popular choice for many kids of the era who wanted something a bit my whippy and light-weight. The deck was made from plastic rather than wood, it didn’t come with conventional skateboard wheels and used larger wheels more attuned to longboards and cruisers and could come a variety of garish colours, but even though it didn’t have a sweet graphic on like with most wooden skateboards, it wouldn’t stop us from slapping on the stickers to personalise our ride.


These days we don’t see many plastic Penny Skateboards knocking about and their popularity has been largely replaced by polyprop, shortboards or cruiser skateboards, but who knows, everyone loves nostalgia and a lot of us old timers look back at the 80s with fondness. Maybe it’s through rose-tinted glasses, but I think we can all agree, it was a great time.

The Rise of Skateboarding in the 80’s

Skateboarding didn’t become mainstream until the 70’s where it was born into the Californian sun and culture, derived from the surf scene, but it wasn’t the sport we know today. It was mainly cruisers and longboarders taking to the streets, boardwalks and parks on the west coast. That was until the 80’s where skateboarding as we know it today blew up, with the likes of Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen and Steve Caballero, to name a few, taking the sport to the next level and showing the try potential of what you can achieve. And thus, skateboarding became known as the extreme action sport we know today, with loads of variants and styles of skateboards stemming from this explosion, including the humble Penny Board.

Even today, skateboarding is as popular as ever, becoming a legitimate sport with its own pro tournaments and events in the Olympics. We’re seeing bigger and better tricks from the new generation of skateboarders, and we’re excited to see where this awesome sport will go in the future. So, don’t forget to stay tuned with SkateHut, the biggest skate shop in the UK, for everything skateboarding.

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