If I were to pick between a BMX bike and a skateboard, I would go for the skateboard without hesitation.
Although a BMX bike is easier to learn, I love a good challenge so I would go for the skateboard. It increases your balance and coordination. It also boosts alertness since you have only feet for movement and control.
Aside from that, the skateboard is a cooler ride. It doesn’t have the bulkiness of a BMX bike (despite how small it is). It is easy to move around and you can easily customize it.
If you compare it with the BMX bike in terms of cost, maintenance, and all. It is by far more inexpensive than a BMX bike.
What is the major difference between a BMX bike and a skateboard?
So they are used for sports, fun, can be used to do cool tricks, and are a means of transportation…too many similarities. Yet!
The major difference between a skateboard and a BMX bike is the structure and build. While you just stand and move on a skateboard, you are sitting in a padded chair and even control a BMX bike with your limbs
When you compare the two, the skateboard is easier in terms of structure and size. It is made up of just three parts. It is also very portable even if it is a longboard.
A BMX bike on the other hand is not as simple as a skateboard. With a lot of parts and pieces (I really dislike the pedals. You will if you hit your shin against them), it is confusing to learn about and maintain.
Plus even a child’s BMX bike is far bigger than a skateboard
Evolution of Skateboarding
Ahh, evolutions… wait you didn’t think you were going to learn ALL about them without diving a bit into history, did you? Well, calm down. I will make it fun I promise.
Nothing ever really escapes evolution, and that goes for skateboards and bikes. Skateboards haven’t changed much.
In fact, they have been on and off the social and sports scene since the 1960s. Also, they have been too simple and too straightforward to renovate. Only the decks are constantly worked on.
The deck is one of the parts of a skateboard. The other two are the truck and the wheels. The deck is the base that you stand on, usually made of wood with a concave middle.
The truck is what connects the wheels to the deck and the wheels are the four things that roll on the ground.
The one thing that changes about skateboards is the shapes of the deck. This is because new tricks and stunts require maneuverability.
A particular design is needed to pull them off hence the restructuring. Skateboards moved from the original 1960 flat decks to a middle concave and a more pronounced nose (front of the deck) and tail (rear of the deck).
As stunts and tricks came in, the shapes kept changing. For example, when the kickflip became popular, we saw skateboards with larger noses and sharper tails.
Sometimes the decks became slimmer, sometimes fatter, soon deck rails came at the bottom for easy sliding, then plastic skateboards competed with the wooden ones.
Another change would be the design. In earlier decades, skateboards were just skateboards, a means of fun and short transportation for youth. Now, tricks and stunts are just as important as the aesthetics of your board.
Might as well go into hiding if you had a plain wooden board. Plastic boards came with their designs, things you could not alter, compared to wooden ones that could easily be spray-painted in a matter of minutes.
Evolution of BMX
Moving to Bmx, there are a lot of significant changes in terms of evolution. Just like skateboards, BMX has been around since the 1970s.
They are not just regular bikes, they are different, smaller, and they were born out of inspiration for motocross racing.
Although they were created for transportation, they are now used more for racing. That’s why they called BMX, bicycle motocross.
They started out as a point A to B small size bike but as children wanted to imitate motocross stars, the purpose sort of changed.
As the years went by, it was decided, ‘hey we could motocross on our bikes!’ and they were customized to fit the needs of motocross.
They became smaller, tougher, and yet lighter than they were originally made.
By the time it became a sport, the handlebars were easier to turn, thick wheels able to handle any terrain, and they were even smaller which meant (and still goes as an unsaid rule) that the rider was much bigger than the bike.
The result is basically a tiny racing bike that could handle the same things that motocross could take. They were easy to maneuver and they come in different types. Each type is meant for different terrain: half pipe to dirt tracks.
In the end, you would hardly see any BMX bikes on the streets. Thank goodness we still have regular bikes and tricycles for kids.
Modalities of BMX and skateboard
So let’s see what the modalities of skateboarding and BMX are. By modalities, I am talking about styles and stunts.
Honestly without these, BMX bikes would just be tiny bikes and skateboards….still skateboards, a slightly cooler mode of transportation.
This method was really popular in the 1970s. It is also called pool riding. It is done in an empty pool. A ramp or incline is made to lean on the vertical side of the pool with part of it on the horizontal.
Then the skater takes from the horizontal to the vertical using the ramp. Skaters used bigger wheels (about 55m) and a wider deck for this style.
This is like all the styles in one place. Think of it as a park for just skateboarding tricks. Common styles found are ramps, half pipes, quarter pipes, and some obstacles.
This is very similar to skiing. In this style, you skate downhill, maneuvering obstacles. It is very fast, and long.
Longboards are usually used for downhill skating because they can handle the speed and maneuvering that a normal skateboard can’t. Some people do use normal skateboards though.
I dare say that is by far the most common skating style. It has been ever since ollies – a method in skating where the skater leaps to the air with the board without the use of his/her hands – was invented.
It gave birth to more tricks and reduced the need for ramps and pipes for stunts. Now, people try to skate anything that they possibly can like stairs, rails, and long objects.
As the name says, there are no particular rules or methods to freestyle skate. It just involves common tricks like spins, wheelies, and handstands. Other tricks are developed as well. Sometimes it is done with choreography and music. How well you can move and skate is rated.
You can skateboard almost anywhere (maybe not on quicksand, wet soil, and all I guess) and it will still be called skateboarding. Bmx modalities are broken into groups. Each group has tricks under them.
This is one of the thrills for BMX fans. This type of off-road bike racing is very similar to motocross racing. BMX bikes for racing are lighter with fully padded seats and bars.
The tires are walled up to three times to add to their strength.
The frame of this bike is generally more sturdy than other types of BMX bikes. There are two types of BMX racing bikes: the 20″ common among young riders and known for its agility and the 24″ or cruiser common among experienced racers and known for its ease in jumping.
BMX freestyle styles include flatland, vert, street, trail, and park. They are usually done in parking lots or streets. Also, any big smooth open space can be used.
Sometimes ramps and other varieties are used. Bikes for BMX freestyle are the 20″ with more spikes for the wheels. It allows you to do more stunts than other bikes will allow.
This can also be grouped under BMX freestyle. This type of BMX riding is done on the streets with obstacles. Sometimes poles, pipes, and rails are also included. It has more technical tricks than freestyle.
Think of this type of BMX riding as a more specified form of BMX freestyle. Done on smooth surfaces, there are no ramps or pipes needed. An example is riding without hands or doing a wheelie.
BMX dirt jump
This BMX riding focuses on starting in soil, mostly wet loamy soil, and then performing tricks and stunts with the best cycle on the air. It doesn’t matter who finishes the fastest just who carries out the best tricks
Why you should love BMX?
Although BMX racing is not as safe as regular bikes, they are much easier to control than skateboards.
Anything as small as a pebble can disrupt your skateboard and end up in an accident. BMX bikes are easier to control because of the brakes, handlebars for steering, and pedals for motion.
BMX (like this one on Amazon) is also better for tougher terrains like going uphill, rocky places, and even soft ones like wet soil and dirt.
It also requires fitness and skill to be able to ride and perform tricks on BMX bikes rather than skateboards. All that pedaling will develop your muscles too. What is there to not love?
Why you should love skateboarding?
Skateboards are way more fun than a bicycle, even if it is a BMX bike. With only your feet for control, it is easy to look cool.
Besides, who wouldn’t want to whiz past people in speed with a different, cooler mode of transportation? No one, that’s who.
And when you come to the fitness factor, skating takes way more energy than you realize. You just don’t feel it. Why do you think rounds on the half-pipes leave you breathless?
Aside from the energy, skateboarding helps you stay alert. With your feet for controls, you can start, speed up, slow down and come to a complete stop. It also aids your coordination and balance skills.
Have you seen used an Arbor skateboard? They are on Amazon, click the link and take a look.
Skateboard vs BMX: Which gear is more expensive?
Having just a BMX bike or a skateboard isn’t good enough. There is more equipment -gear – that you need to be able to skate or bike well.
Let’s start with a skateboard. You can get a skateboard (like this one on Amazon) within the price range of $100 to $150. You can also get a helmet (like this on Amazon) and pads (like this one on Amazon) for both your knees and elbows for nothing more than $50.
BMX bikes (like the Mongoose BMX) are nothing less than $200 and you find them as high as $600, $700. With no particular specifications, you can also get your helmet, knee, and elbow pads for the same price.
If you are really covering up, throw in a $20 shin guard.
Maintenance is another aspect. Replacing any of the three parts that make up your skateboard shouldn’t be up to $60.
If you want to be adventurous and you decide to create your own skateboard, then you should have $200 maximum. On the other hand, you are looking at a likely $1000 to maintain a BMX bike.
Maybe not all at once but if you balance your accounts, you will get something close to the amount either greater or less. And why not?
We are talking about tires, pedals, a quick visit to the mechanic to make sure it didn’t go through too much damage to render it useless or very unsafe or make sure it can hold up. What can I say? BMX racing is very intense for bikes sometimes…and very expensive.
If you do the maths, considering gears and accessories, you’d find that BMX biking gear is way more expensive than the gear of skateboards.
Skateboard vs BMX: which riding experience is more exciting?
Tough one huh? Well, it is the skateboard. Let’s admit it, BMX may have two wheels but they are more restrictive than the four we have.
Think about it like this: the wind in your face, those cool stunts, and tricks, no annoying pedals, no brakes that hold you back, no complicated structure. What is there to lose?
BMX may have well-padded seats but it is not useful if you don’t use them. Also the discomfort of dealing with the tiny structure. And coupled with all that is the fact that the skateboard is faster than the bike.
So, in the end, with all its thrills, the skateboard is much more exciting because it is less restrictive, it is cooler and it is a much more adventurous ride.
Skateboard vs BMX: Is it harder to skateboard or bike?
Skateboarding requires a lot of balance and coordination while BMX biking needs fitness and a lot of strength. The two can be mastered with time and practice.
With that said, it is easier to learn to bike than to skate. The reason is bikes give you a lot more comfort. You get to sit down.
You don’t have to struggle with balance, especially if you have training wheels. A regular bike will get you ready for a BMX bike.
And as bikes are so popular and easy to learn, I reckon you won’t be struggling to maintain balance by the end of the week.
Also, most BMX bikes can do skateboard tricks and it is easier there because of the handlebars, pedals, and brakes.
Skateboard vs BMX: Safety issues?
When it comes to the issue of safety, skateboards and BMX bikes have their strengths and weaknesses.
BMX bikes can handle any surface or terrain, for example, snow. Skateboards can not. They are only good for smooth surfaces.
If you owned both, you would use the BMX bike more often if the weather is bad or if the road is not smooth or doesn’t have a sidewalk.
We have heard of injuries and well yes, it is bound to happen no matter how careful you are. How do you learn if you don’t make mistakes?
Falling off a skateboard is common, you would have scrapes, bruises, road rash, concussion, and so many others.
You could even bump your head or stand a chance to break your wrist or elbow (or both!) And it is just the same for BMX bikes.
Falling off a BMX bike, especially during a stunt like a half-pipe or a dirt jump would be fatal. The parts are bigger and will hurt more making a BMX bike more dangerous than a skateboard.
Skateboard vs BMX: Transportation
I would generally not advise that the two be used as a mode of transportation on busy or major roads.
They are small and cannot be compared to the machines of cars and trucks. However, they are okay for small streets and free roads.
That said, each has its pros and cons. For example, regular bikes are not allowed on sidewalks, much fewer BMX bikes. Still, there is the road and bikes would be better for long distances than skateboards.
Skateboards win a point when they stop being portable. It is easier to keep to watch a skateboard and even easier to maneuver small spaces when moving in or with it.
For BMX bikes, you will need a bike rack and it may not be available everywhere you go.
Skateboards need smooth surfaces to move well because the wheels are not designed for rough terrains like rocky ground, wet soil, and mucky fields. BMX bikes, on the other hand, handle this easily.
And while skateboards move fast and can work on sidewalks if you can keep away from traffic, it is just a horrible idea to get around on a skateboard, especially in the city or busy and crowded areas.
Too many shoves will topple you off. Here, balance recognizes the BMX bikes more.
And the results are in, or is it out? Bmx bikes are better. You get there in record time no matter the terrain or road type (free, busy, and so on).
Still, if you are to travel or commute on a bike, get a regular one that is sturdy with a kit in case of accidents.
Why are BMX bikes prohibited from skateparks?
It’s not because of any misunderstanding or rivalry. On the contrary, BMX bikes are not allowed into skateparks because of the damage that they cause.
Remember I said BMX bikes are designed to be sturdy? Well even though they are light, the pressure from the severally walled tires is too much for the concrete.
If it has to be a park for both skateboards and BMX bikes, the concrete and basically all varieties and equipment have to be stronger.
I have biked and have skated, done a few tricks in my day but I will still stick with the board. It is more me. I’m the end, don’t let my own choices be yours.
Think it through. Whichever you go for, it should be fun and exciting. Be sure to consider all factors before getting your BMX bike or your skateboard.