How to buy a skateboard
One of the best things about skateboarding is that there are no rules, no scoreboards and no refs or coaches telling you how you need to do it. Skating is a totally individual sport. You can do it whenever you want (except at night), however you want. Oh, yeah, and it’s lots of fun, too. And getting started is easy. All you need to do is pick the right gear.
There are two main styles of boards: longboards for cruising around and shorter boards for riding at skateparks and doing tricks on ramps or the street.
WHERE TO SHOP
The best place to buy a skateboard is your local skate shop. It will have a wide selection of boards and, most important, knowledgeable salespeople who can steer you in the right direction. You can find cheaper deals at superstores, but when it comes to skateboards, you get what you pay for.
For the most part, a really cheap skateboard (say, $30-$40) will be harder to ride. Cheap boards are built from much lower-quality parts, are heavier and less durable, and the wheels won’t spin as smoothly.
If you’re just starting out, your best bet is to buy a “complete” from a skate shop. Instead of piecing together the deck, wheels and trucks, etc. one by one, completes are fully assembled, ready-to-ride boards. They are usually built with good-quality, entry-level components and provide big savings.
Most street completes cost $80-$100; longboard completes are $100-$150. If you were to put together those same parts on your own, you would likely spend at least 30 to 40 percent more. As you get more advanced, you’ll probably want to upgrade your parts individually and customize your own board.
Most skateboard decks (the part you stand on) are made of seven layers of plywood glued together. Street decks are all pretty similar, with the same general shape, a length of 30–32.5 inches and a width of 7.5″–8.25″. Smaller boards are more maneuverable and better for tricks, while wider boards are more stable and easier to carve in ramps and pools or while cruising the streets.
The biggest difference here is the graphics on the bottom. Pick a shape you like with graphics that fit your personality. Or buy a blank deck and draw your own designs. Most decks cost $50-$60; more for longboards.
The axles holding your wheels to the board are called “trucks.” Some are lighter weight or more durable (you’ll pay extra for that), but for the most part, they are all pretty similar.
Size-wise, you want them to be about the same width as your deck. For a street board, 139 millimeter-wide trucks are probably the most common. Tighten the kingpin bolt on the trucks for flip tricks, and loosen it for carving.
Expect to pay $15-$30 per truck, and stick with quality brand names like Independent, Thunder and Venture.
The wheels are your direct connection to the ground, so if you’re going to splurge, buy nice wheels. There are two things to keep in mind: size and hardness.
The bigger the wheels, the faster they go. For street skating, wheels between 49 mm and 54 mm are a good start. For ramps and skate parks, some skaters like to go with slightly larger wheels. Longboards generally have wheels from 65 mm to 70 mm.
The hardness (or durometer) of the wheel determines how your board will ride. The softer the wheel, the more grip it has and the more forgiving it will be. For instance, a 78a–87a is best if you’re riding around rough neighborhood streets with rocks and cracks. Most longboards use softer wheels like this. If you plan on riding at skate parks and ramps or want to do tricks, look for wheels rated 95a–99a. They are harder and faster, but still have plenty of grip.
You’ll spend $25-$40 for a set of four wheels, slightly more for longboard wheels.
Your wheels are mounted to the trucks with bearings, small round metal pieces that slide inside the center of your wheels. Most bearings are rated with an ABEC number (from 1 to 12) that tells you the quality of the bearing itself. The higher the number, the higher quality and faster the bearing
(and your wheel). Look for bearings rated ABEC 5 and up or just choose Bones REDS Bearings ($18; bonesbearings.com), which are the industry standard and the most popular bearing by far. Most bearings cost about $15-$25 for a set of eight (you need two per wheel).
DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT THESE
No matter what kind of skateboard you get, remember to always wear full protective gear when you’re using it!
- Elbow pads
- Knee pads
U SHOULD REALLY HAVE A PAGE ON ROLLER BLADES
this totally left out bearings YOU NEED BEARINGS
Lol yes, you won’t be rollin with out them
I’ve been skating for 5 years now and just bought a chris haslam almost with tensor trucks and wheels best deck ever…
this helped me a lot because i was gonna get a cheap board THANK YOU
i’m still stuck on doing ollies on my long board what board should i buy for tricks?
buy a skateboard that is smaller than your longboard beace skateboards are easiler to do tricks on. but dont forget about ur longboard keep practicing on that too
Use a short board.
Use a shortboard
i just made one
want to buy a skateboard but in my area the roads are rough wat should i do then
wheres the rock board
SkateXS makes smaller boards for skaters age 5 to 10 that are a shorter length of 28″ or 29″ but still made with high quality trucks, wheels, and bearings just like Ryan suggests.
I heard of them
I think i learned alot about skateboarding.it is very cool.
i wish i knew how to skate
Just borrow a skateboard from a friend and give it a shot. If you like it buy yourself a board and keep training.
i’m just getting a board but it has to be good for tricks
i practise every day.
hi guys! I just start scateboarding 5 months ago and its so hard to learn all of those tricks. I’m slowely loosing my faith in my scateboarding but I really want to scateboard. how long took you to learn this and finally go to park or pool for scateboarding?
i think you should take a class and see where that takes you and one more thing practise every day and do not stop
you should go on youtube and watch videos that show you tips and tricks. thats how i learned.
Took about a year to get super comfortable riding around and popping tricks. Just keep riding and trying different stuff, you’ll never learn if you don’t go out of your way to try new things. Have fun and keep skating
i have a plan b. AWESOME BOARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Excellent info it is surely. My friend has been seeking for this content.
I also wasted my money on a toysrus board but bought a new one from zummiez!! thats a skate boarding shop..
zumiez sells great boards. but skate warehouse is cheaper. they also have sweet boards.
Seriously toys r us
Minilogo. Great decks for a cheap price. And if you’re looking for bearings, bones reds. None other.
Bones Swiss are far better than reds. Reds are cheaper and good for beginners, but swiss are crafted for speed. Of course, I ride cruisers and longboards so i like the speed.
i need a good cheap board thats lite someone pleez help me
Get a punisher board
I accidentally said same thing twice
What brand has lightest boards with most pop?
Toy Machine’s fiberlam!
try toy machine or dominoin
I have a plan b sheckler board didnt have much pop and kind of heavy, but pretty good
What brand has lightest boards with most pop?
I have a ZERO baord
The Mongoose Build-A-Board is selling for $25.00-$48.00. Not super hi-end but pretty good for beginners.
Dbx boards are pretty good and cheap. You can buy them at dick’s sporting goods
Dbx boards are pretty good and cheap
Guys, you will get good just like me, I can do Ollies,Nollies,Kickflips,Heelflips,Shuvits, but I am still working on landing the 540s.
Did anybody know that Tony Hawk threw a tantrum to get expelled from preschool?
i have a plan b with tensor trucks and spitfire wheels although i used to have a birdhouse mini had tons of pop and worked well if you dont know what trucks to get i like mid height trucks i dont really care for low if you want you can get riser pads to elevate your board at a skateshop you can ask about them
I keep urging my parents to take me to the skateshop so I can buy a new skateboard even though I can’t even ollie yet.
Im new at sk8ting. I have a cheap board but dont really know how to ride. Any tips?
Lean to turn
thanks for the info. i break so many!!
I HAVE A GOOD ONE IT HAS GOOD WELLS AND TRUNKS BUT IT WASN’T CHEAP BUT IT IS REALLY GOOD
Im awseome at it. I can do tricks on my skateboard.
skateboards rule O_O
i need help finding a good skateboard that wont break easily and that will last long and some good quality trucks and trusty wheels that will help me go fast and do tricks
go to yuor local skate shop (not zumiez) and talk to the guys there, theyll be happy to help you. make sure to go to a shop that is by skaters for skaters.
i got an almost. it was good,but it got scratched up. the wheels got skinny. my birthdays soon so i need some recomendents
Element with thunder trucks and spitfire whells
Never buy a DBX skateboard they are very weak and too pricey!
I just build my own board and add my own graphics
i wasted my money on a cheap walmart scateboard
Me too. but I like mine 🙂 .
dude element zoo york and spitfire
thanks for the info i am looking at buying a skateboard and i don’t want to WASTE MY MONEY
my choice of board is dgk and element and world industries
Thanks I will use that guide to buy my new skateboard.
i like to do tricks, but i also like to use a longboard. is it possible to just do an ollie on a longboard?
mayb an ollie but thats about it
Of course it is! But you have to have a longboaed with a kicktail(otherwise it will be very hard, but possible). I suggest the sector 9 ours bamboo series. Its the best! happy skating!
i s it true that cheaper skateboards are more heavy? i got a cheap one and it was so heavy i couldn’t get that much pop.. so i think its true
yes it is true cheap boards are heavy cause usualy the cheaper they are the less time is put into them
if u want a really lite board check out the element board that has holes that go through the whole board better aerodynamics and liter. sry i cant remember the name of it
I’ve got a Plan-B Ryan Sheckler as a first board and I got a new one for Christmas
and a Krytonics longboard for my birhday.
kryptonics make sturdy boards i got a do it yourself it is perfect
kryptonics are good to a point but almost everyone ive ridden you can barely get a pop
i have a tony hawk board and this helped in decieding!
stir, etnies are awsome i got some world industries and they tor in two months.