Choosing skateboard is never an easy task at all. If you need something that will fulfill your needs for a longer period of time, you need to be cautious. Your desire mustn’t overcome your mind. You need to be a tactician – take a look at every single parameter.
Just like in boxing – if you cover all the angles, you have more chances of protecting yourself. Choosing skateboard is not a joke, this is a very serious thing. You are buying something that will serve your needs for few years. You don’t want to buy a new board every single day. Your investment should be smart and you should focus on fully satisfying your needs.
This video tutorial can be very helpful.
We will focus on the most important things which may come in handy during the choice of your first skateboard.
When you are choosing skateboard, make sure to understand that deck is the most important part of it. It is the wooden part you stand on while skating. If you are a beginner, everything looks the same right?
Well, it isn’t. There are longboards and cruiser boards. The difference is explained here.
The choice of manufacturers, widths, and lengths is huge. Which one will be the most suitable for you?
When it comes to the width, the skateboards will vary from 7.5 to 9.5 inches. If your feet are bigger, you should choose the wider one. But there are so many other variables that could affect your choice.
You need to reconsider this advice twice before choosing skateboard – if your skateboard is lighter and narrower, that means you will have more chances of obtaining world-class tricks. You will be able to rotate your skateboard and jump off the mega ramp easily.
If you are a professional, it is always better to purchase a narrower one. If you are a beginner, you will definitively need more balance and stability while you learn the basics. There is one good side of wider skateboards – it is a lot easier to catch flips. If you want to ride your board and enjoy, pick the wider one.
Before you even think of choosing skateboard, find out which is your style. This will be very helpful. If you are a beginner, stick to the wider one.
Brands and idols
Some of us strictly go for one brand or one skateboarder, like Rodney Mullen, Tony Hawk, or Bob Burnquist. If somebody sees Mullen’s name on the board, he will obtain it, no matter of quality, size, and price. The same thing happens with the specific manufacturer.
Better stick to the technical details and your needs. Choosing skateboard towards your idol can be a recipe for disaster. But it can also be a good choice. If you want to gamble, go for it!
Here is the most important part. How much does the board dip in the middle, compared to the sides?
There are flatter and steeper boards. Some companies go for deeper boards. If the concave is steeper, it means the middle of your foot is slightly above the level of the middle of your board. In the moment you are choosing skateboard, remember that this parameter will affect the comfort and performances of your skateboard heavily.
A deeper concave is more suitable for tricks, while a flatter board means easier landing when in the air. The choice depends on your skating style.
People are normally drawn by graphics or other tiny details. This is great, but will this fulfill your expectations when you try to perform your favorite trick?
Choosing skateboard can be a nightmare if you choose a wrong set of wheels. It will help you to roll, but do you want to enjoy your cruise or your goal is to become a legend?
You can see here how to change your wheels and bearings.
The range of sizes can vary. It is usually between 50mm and 65mm (if you go for a longboard).
If your wheels are smaller, the board is lighter and you have the ability to perform more tricks. Choosing skateboard is tricky by itself. Smaller wheels mean more tricks and technical skateboarding. On the other hand, bigger wheels mean you want to enjoy your ride. Many pro skateboards have smaller wheels.
There is a scale for wheel hardness so it will be a very easy to determine – 78 is the softest one, while 101 is the hardest one. But will you go for softer or harder wheels when choosing skateboard?
The harder ones are definitively more popular. The most of the boards you see on youtube or in videos have harder wheels. After all, it needs to remain solid in the concrete and skate parks, it is never an easy task at all. If you go for tricks and dangerous things, better choose a harder set of wheels.
The softer and bigger wheels are good for cruising. But if you are on the softer surface, you can try to learn a trick or two with the bigger ones. But if you want to go pro, choose harder and smaller wheels. When choosing skateboard, go for the size you like and try to fulfill your requirements.
This is the same things like axles in the car. Trucks are connecting the deck with the wheels. Many newer models have inverted T design. It is time to choose the most proper one for your needs.
There is one general rule when it comes to this – when your skateboard got the wheels on, your truck should be pretty much level with the end of your board.
Different manufacturers offer different names and numbers. If you are choosing skateboard in a good skate shop, make sure to ask them about the width of the board and choose the truck which fulfills the general rule.
The truck height ties into wheel size of your board. Remember, when you turn, you need enough clearance between the deck and the wheels of your skateboard. If they are rubbing each other, it’s a recipe for disaster. If this happens, you will fall off your board.
The height is measured from the base plate to the center of your axle. Tell these criteria to the skate shop and they will recommend you the most suitable solution.
This parameter relies on individual’s requirements. Do you want to leave your skateboard loose or you will tighten it to the maximum?
Tightness is important when it comes to turning. The tighter one will provide you more stability. The loser one will enable other benefits. It will be wobblier, but the response will be better and sharp turns will not be critical.
When it comes to the tightness, there is good news. In the moment you are choosing skateboard, you can decide for one setting. When you go pro or skating style changes, you can readjust to the tighter or the loser one.
Are you even aware how many skateboarders ignore this parameter? This is one of the most important things if you want to enjoy your ride, and especially if you want to become a pro.
Here are more details about skateboarding bearings. Unfortunately, many skateboarders don’t know why is it used for, but the link in the previous sentence provides explanations. Remember that the cylinder inside the skateboard wheel allows spinning properly.
Bearings are all the same size. So when you choose, there will be no need to think of whether the size is a proper one. Bearings are the subject of an ABEC measurement, it is explained in the link.
We have few recommendations when it comes to the choice of bearings:
- The ABEC3 means the lowest standard, while ABEC11 means the highest one. It means that more of the bearings are tested. It is a higher grade, so it will probably cost more money.
- Bones bearings are made for skateboarding only. If you want something extremely technical, consider this when choosing skateboard.
- Ceramic bearings are more expensive than the metal ones. They will not rust, and their durability better.
- If you are a beginner, you can purchase a medium quality standard and model. As you progress and discover your needs and qualities, you can buy the better one.
- Don’t buy the first one you see without the previous check.
Many skateboarders may avoid this under the excuse of saving money. But when the deck is destroyed after the series of ridings, not only that they will lose money, but they will have to spend three or even five times more money. Grip tape is an investment that definitively has more benefits.
The grip tape has an abrasive top sheet. It certainly looks like a sand paper. It lines the top of your deck. When choosing skateboard, make sure your grip tape has a quality, or you will have big problems. It stops you from slipping off, but at the same time, grip tape will help you with tricks when you master them.
Some very wide skateboards require an extra grip aside. It usually happens when you choose longboard. Other than that, there is not much difference among the grip tapes. The color creates the biggest differential – if you are the fan of a specific color, go for it. You can see here how to install a grip tape.
You can see skateboard grip tape buyer’s guide here.
There are so many various designs on the market. You will definitively be able to choose the most suitable one for your needs in the moment you decide for choosing skateboard.
Final option – purchasing a complete skateboard
This is the easiest way to go if you are a beginner.
If you purchase a model, you will save money. However, tiny adjustments are crucial if you want to result or enjoyment. If your skateboard is too stiff, maybe the holes in the concrete will irritate you. There is also a possibility you will need to adjust some parts. You can do this in the skate shop, but the best option is if you purchase everything towards your own needs.
If you start skating, choosing skateboard which is already made sounds like a good option. But as you go deeper and deeper in the world of skateboarding, you will realize this is not the model you would like. You will see some adjustments are required. This is the reason why a pro should always purchase part by part.
UrbanSurfer has an amazing choice of complete skateboards, and here are top 5 picks, when it comes to the price-quality ratio:
- Globe The All Time Cruiserboard – Oiltrip, only 109.99 pounds;
- Globe Blazer Cruiserboard – Rosewood/Rust, only 104.99 pounds, the deck is bit wider, it offers more enjoyment;
- Globe Blazer Skateboard – Bamboo/Almond, only 98.99 pounds;
- Enjoi Spectrum HYB Skateboard Deck White, only 44.99 pounds, it is very suitable for your child;
- Enjoi Whitey Panda Logo Wide Skateboard R7 8.0, only 54.99 pounds, the skateboard is wide, you will have more options.
Choosing skateboard isn’t an easy task at all.
You should thoroughly read and analyze all the facts before making a purchase.
Now you know what are the most important criteria when choosing skateboard – don’t skip them. Follow one by one, choose what suits you most and visit UrbanSurfer!