We’re watching a blip on our trend radar and it dates back to the 1970’s care-free days of jean shorts, Chuck Taylors and plastic skateboards. Yes, our rock climbing, slack lining, snowboarding, river running friends are again riding Penny boards, and the little plastic “short cruisers” are starting to show up along with Pendleton blankets and artisanal firewood in photoshoots and Instagram posts around the industry.
At Summer Outdoor Retailer the brand Bureo helped fuel this rocketship concept with its plastic short cruisers made from recycled fishing nets. But Ben Mackay actually gets credit for the official naming of the Penny board, named after his sister with the launch of Australia’s Penny Skateboards back in 2010 — a name now used to characterize all small plastic skateboards, due to its popularity, high quality materials and balanced design.
Penny Skateboards are said to have revived the plastic skateboard category, pairing a high-quality plastic deck with cruiser wheels (59mm) and trucks. Mackay’s premium plastic boards are the perfect platform to re-learn the craft and make it a part of your fun-loving, outdoor lifestyle, opening up time-killing, carefree options wherever your Sprinter van might be parked. Made with a secret flex plastic formula in a range of rad graphics and colors, Penny boards are available in 22” and 27” decks.
Like Bureo, Penny does have a recycled model, the Penny x AOB x i Ride i Recycle Limited Edition, a stunning 27” limited-edition Penny with a 100 percent recycled plastic deck, quality hardware and visuals provided by Art of Board’s design team. Sales of this board will help fuel AOB’s skateboard recycling program, I Ride I Recycle (IRIR), a movement in skateboarding to recycle broken and worn out skate decks.
And while I’ve seen more people, even, especially, seasoned athletes, bust their asses on skateboards over the years, myself included, Penny says the following four steps make it easy for kids of all ages to get back into riding plastic short cruisers.
All images courtesy of Penny Skateboards
Try this and let us know how it works out for you…
1. Get to Know Your Board: Trucks, decks, bearings…Don’t be intimidated and understand how your board functions. Just like snowboarding, only way harder and more punishing.
2. Choose Your Stance: Are you goofy or regular foot? Similar to surfing and snowboarding stances, learn which foot feels most comfortable forward. “Natural” or regular is having your left foot at the front, goofy is your right foot forward.
3. Kick, Push, Kick, Push: Most people find it comfortable to lift the back foot off the board to push along. Mongo is the term for using your front foot to push. Both stances are handy to know, if only to give your legs an equal amount of time working out.
4. Lean With It: Leaning side to side can turn the board with the trucks. But you can also apply slight pressure against the tail (the back concave of the board), and when the board’s front wheels lift off, that’s called a manual. Once the wheels are off, immediately turn your legs to the left or right to turn sharply.