Choosing your first skateboard could be an exciting experience but as time goes on and you begin trying out various boards, it could become quite overwhelming and confusing. Then uncertainty starts to set in. If you find yourself in this situation and you’ve perhaps being wondering where to get skateboard buying guide for beginners, you have come to the right place!
In this article, we would go over all the basics you should know before purchasing your first board. We’ve also included some useful tips that would guide you as you begin your journey into the world of skateboarding.
Skateboarding is huge these days, with lots of community around it (such as Reddit), both online and offline. There are regular skateboards and electric skateboards. There are even enthusiast-grade skateboards that can do up to 60km/hour! That shows you how much the skateboard has evolved.
Excited? You should be! Let’s start off with a brief overview of the different parts of a skateboard so you would be able to identify them and know their functionalities.
Parts of a Skateboard
A skateboard typically has some essential parts that its riders should know about. The different brands, parts and sizes available on the market today could be quite overwhelming for a beginner, but we would simplify it by listing the parts and telling you briefly about their various functions.
- Deck: This is the flat platform upon which you stand when riding your skateboard. It should be made of laminated wood and not any other material, such as plastic and the likes.
- Trucks: These are what enable the board to turn in various directions and they also provide axles for the wheels.
- Wheels: The wheels, as you should have rightly guessed, allow the board to roll and they provide housing for the bearings. There are specific wheel types for beginners, and also for experienced riders.
- Bearings: Bearings (also called Bushings) are typically found inside the sides of the wheels. Bearings enable the wheels to turn freely while you ride.
- Grip Tape: Grip tapes are flat, sand-paper materials on the top of the deck that provides gripping for your feet, and prevents you from falling off your board easily.
- Hardware: These are typically nuts and bolts that help hold all the parts of the skateboard in place.
Now, having looked at the parts, you might have noticed that there are quite a number of options to choose from when buying a skateboard. We’ve helped to narrow down these options into two groups, and would also help you identify which suits you best.
Skateboard Buying Options
As a beginner, there are two major options you should consider before buying your first skateboard. Let’s look at them.
- Complete Skateboards: These are undoubtedly the most common type of skateboard you will come across. It usually comes preassembled and ready to ride as such, you wouldn’t have to bother about brands, sizes, and pairing the different parts. Look through our skateboards for recommendations.
- Custom-built Skateboards: Unlike complete skateboards, custom-built ones do not come preassembled. With this, you would have absolute freedom to pick out all the parts of the skateboard yourself. While it could be fun building your own board and learning about the various parts, this is not ideal for beginners. More so, it is not a cost-effective option.
Let’s now consider some factors in detail.
What to look out for when Buying a Skateboard
Do proper research
Now before you whip out your credit card to buy a skateboard, wisdom dictates that you should conduct proper research. When you are on the lookout for possible places to buy your board, you might be tempted to get it from just about any online store out there, without some background research.
This is why you are here in order to get first-hand information on what to look out for before getting a suitable board. Please read on for more information.
The next useful information you should know is your skateboarding style. What type of skateboarding do you want to practice with your board? Do you have a skate park nearby and would want to learn a few tricks? Or are you more likely to just cruise around your neighborhood? If the latter is the case, you should get a board with big, soft wheels that would help you maintain stability even on rough surfaces. If the former is the case, however, smaller wheels would be more suitable as it would be easier to practice tricks with.
Next up is the size of skateboard you’re looking to buy. Skateboards usually come in different sizes to suit the preferences of riders. Skateboards are usually sized by their widths as the length isn’t much significance.
There are two broad classes of board sizes and we typically like to call them: Junior-sized skateboards and Full-sized skateboards. Rather than choosing a board size according to your shoe size (as some people would commonly say), boards should be chosen according to your height and weight.
If you’re below 12 years and less than 5ft tall, then we will recommend a junior-sized skateboard for you (Width: 7.25 – 7.5”, Length: 29cm). On the other hand, if you are above 12 years and over 5ft tall, a full-sized skateboard will be ideal for you (Width: 7.75 – 8.25”, Length: 32cm).
Just in case you are wondering about the difference between both sizes, thinner skateboards are usually lighter hence, it is easier to practice ollies and spin tricks with them but they do not have much landing room on the deck.
On the flip side, wider boards are heavier so they would require more effort to practice tricks, but they have more room on the deck for landing and foot control. For beginners, we usually recommend boards of about 7.75 – 8” wide. As you gain more experience, you can decide to opt for a wider one.
Skateboards likewise come in a wide array of shapes that could even leave you feeling confused. To begin with, however, we would advise you to go for a conventional skateboard shape that would help you understand the basic ground skills rather than one of those retro-looking ones.
When you have worn out your beginner board, you can then start considering trying other shapes. In between the nose and tail of a skateboard, there is usually a section called the concave that curves up slightly on the sides. While some riders believe the greater the concave, the easier it is to maneuver the board, it all boils down to your preference at the end of the day.
- Stability and balance are paramount: Skateboarding is all about finding your balance. This is why we usually recommend wider decks for beginners. As a newbie, you would definitely feel more comfortable on a wider deck rather than narrower ones. While it might not seem as cool now, get familiar with the basics first then you can decide to try out narrower boards.
- Cruising is a great way to start out: If you don’t want to end up with goofy ankles or increase the risks of injuries, don’t be that guy who starts out learning how to ollie before he can even ride. Your progress rate might seem a bit slow now, but don’t be in a hurry to become a pro. Learn the basics first. That way, you would progress much faster later on.
- Protective gear: You should also have your protective gear on at all times while skateboarding. You wouldn’t want to begin your journey with painful memories, so put on those protective skateboard gear. You can head over to one of our other articles: Skateboard Gear for Beginners to find out more.
- Don’t spend too much on your first skateboard: This is your first skateboard; you don’t need to spend too much on it even if you can afford to. While you might want to go all out in a bid to get the best quality possible, you can get a great complete board ranging from $100 to $140 dollars. Even if you get all those expensive parts now, you wouldn’t be able to utilize the board to its full potential just yet.
- Don’t feel awkward: It’s perfectly okay to be a newbie. There’s no need to feel awkward or nervous about it. Even the pros you see and admire today all started out just like you. So allow yourself to grow in the sport. Practice each new skill with confidence no matter how challenging it might seem. In no time, you would see yourself exactly where you once aspired to be!
We sure do hope our skateboard buying guide for beginners was helpful to you. You can leave your comments and feedback in the comment section below. We sure would love to hear from you.