Skateboarding is becoming increasingly popular in recent times, especially among teenagers and you would agree that there is something undeniably cool about the sport. In this article, we have carefully outlined all the necessary skateboard gear for beginners alongside a few extra tips. The most important skateboard equipment you would require is?
While it is super fun, it also comes with some risks and injuries that do happen while skateboarding. As a beginner, it is important to get the right skateboard gear because you should expect to fall off a lot while at it. Falling off a lot doesn’t make you unfit for the sport, that’s simply how we learn. Practice makes perfect, right? But you might just never get there without the right safety gear. You probably guessed right… The skateboard. Let’s consider it briefly.
If you are really serious about trying out skateboarding, you really have to decide whether you are getting a regular skateboard or an electric skateboard. Skateboard Longboards are just a variation of skateboards, though they are for more experienced skateboarders.
You should start with a regular skateboard if you will, and then maybe later go for an electric skateboard. Now this is simply a matter of personal preference, though popular opinion dictates that electric skateboards are for lazy riders. However, this is open to debate.
On purchasing a skateboard, it is important that you get acquainted with all its parts and their various functionalities. A good skateboard should consist of a number of essential parts, the first and most conspicuous of all being the deck.
The deck is the flat piece of wood that you stand on while skateboarding. Different skateboards usually have decks of varying lengths ranging from mini-sizes to long-boards. For those just starting out, we usually recommend the standard 81cm (32 inches) board that has two projections at each end of the deck which are commonly referred to as “kick-tails”.
You should also ensure that the top of the deck has a grip tape. The grip tape is a black, flat material that offers grip for your feet to prevent you from falling off your board easily.
Next up, we have what is called trucks. Trucks are attached to the skateboard by bolts and they allow you turn the skateboard while rolling. They likewise come in varying sizes and could either be tightened or loosened to allow for increased or reduced ranges of movement.
Lastly, we have the wheels which also come in various sizes. Small wheels are better for skating in tight places while larger wheels are preferable for skating at a fast pace. We advise beginners to start with 55 to 60mm wide wheels (2.1 – 2.3 inches).
The skateboarding environment
While the right skateboarding equipment is necessary, where and when you skateboard also has a major role to play in your safety. Rather than riding at your preferred location, we usually advise beginners to locate a well-known skate park in their locality because you would be provided with the ideal surfaces to ride on. If you must ride in any other areas excluding skate parks, here are some useful tips for you:
- You should only skate when the weather permits: If you skate when it’s raining or snowing, your wheels could slip, your grip tape wouldn’t be as effective and you could fall off your board.
- Never ride in the street or in crowded places.
- When at skate parks, obey all the rules: Stop and look in both directions before entering skating areas to avoid running into an oncoming skater.
- Practice skateboarding on a smooth driveway that’s away from traffic or in a parking lot that is not in use.
- One person at a time on a skateboard.
- Don’t wear headphones while skateboarding.
Skateboard gear for beginners – a breakdown
Now there is essential skateboard gear for beginners and experienced riders alike. We are going to highlight the most important below. It’s quite tempting to quickly get a board and hit the skate park. However, just before you try out those new skills or try to drop-in, make sure you have all the protective equipment listed here.
Anyone who has had a major slam before would certainly tell you that helmets are the foundation of protective gear for skateboarding. Irrespective of your age, skateboarding location, or level of experience, helmets are an essential part of skateboarding or any fast-moving sport because they protect the most vital organ of your body. Before choosing a helmet, the first step to take is to determine your size. Helmets need to have a snug fit but at the same time, they shouldn’t be uncomfortably tight. You might need to try out various sizes and models to determine the one that fits you best. For beginners, we would recommend full-cut helmets why because they offer better coverage including protection for your eyes and further down your neck. This isn’t just an accessory. Remember that cuts and bruises can heal but head injuries could last a lifetime.
- Knee Pads
This is probably the second most essential protective gear that you should have. Knee pads should have a proper fitting with thick plastic caps on them to protect that joint. It is generally advised in skateboarding or any other fast moving sport to land on fleshy areas of your body rather than the bony areas, so you would notice that most of the protective gear makes that possible by protecting the latter. Knee pads should likewise have a snug fit so they wouldn’t slide down when you need them the most. You might also want to note that the straps on pads loosen with time and continued use. It is therefore advised to go for sizes that are a little smaller so they can fit properly when they eventually loosen out.
- Elbow Pads
Skateboarding slams typically result in some kind of bruise, scrape, cut or even broken bones (in more severe cases) usually around the palms, elbows and knees. These pads help reduce the severity of the cuts and bruises. Although some skaters prefer to put on only a select few, its advisable to go for as much protection as possible. Elbow pads help to protect you from broken arms and elbows especially when you fall backwards or sideways while dropping in.
- Wrist Pads
Wrist Pads would be a great option particularly if you prefer to drop-in on your hands to cushion your fall. This method is however not ideal because all your weight would be going to your wrists rather than others areas like your knees. As such, high impact falls could result in broken wrists even when wrist pads are worn but just like elbow pads, they help to reduce the severity of injuries. So it’s advisable to have one on rather than leaving your wrists completely exposed because you could just break a fall with your wrist even when you didn’t plan to.
- Padded Shorts
This offer protection for the hip and tailbone. Although they are not as common as other protective gears, padded shorts could come in really handy especially for older skaters who have heavier bodies. Many pro skaters typically wear padded shorts under their clothes so you might not even notice them, but they are there all right.
- Skateboard Shoes
Skateboard shoes are equally as important for skateboarding as you wouldn’t enjoy the sport with just flip flops on. Skateboard shoes should be flat-bottomed and should offer enough cushioning around the ankles. If you plan on learning a few tricks, your ankles would take the most bite so you should invest in suitable shoes as they would save you a whole lot of pain in the future.
Recommended Skateboarding gear
Here’s a selection of Skateboarding gear you should check out. There are helmets, knee pads, and others.
We sure do hope this article was helpful, and you are now well acquainted with the necessary skateboard gear for beginners. You may also check out other skateboard articles.
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