skateboard
Ken Hada

Buying your skateboard

There's a huge variation of skateboard parts out there and, especially for beginners, it can be difficult to make the right choice.


(Image by kenson)

Where?

For your first skateboard, I suggest going to a local skateshop. Usually they're happy to help you pick the parts that are right for you.

There are a lot of online skateshops where you have a lot of choice at a decent price, but you don't get help and often you have to put the parts together yourself.

I don't recommend buying a skateboard in a toy store. They're ok for learning to ride a skateboard, but once you start learning tricks you'll regret your purchase.

Prebuild completes

Prebuild completes are skateboards already put together for you. They are cheaper than buying all the parts seperately, but you can't choose the parts yourself. That's not a big issue for beginners though.

Make sure to check if all the parts are ok, some completes have a pro deck, but bad trucks or bearings.

If you're just starting, getting a prebuild complete is probably a good idea.


(Image by Lee Bryant)

Custom boards

The obvious advantage of a custom board is that you can select the parts you like.

Deck

There's a huge variety of decks in different sizes and shapes.


(Image by wZa HK)

Blank decks are usually pretty good, you should definately try one if you haven't yet. They're made of the same wood, but they just don't have any graphics applied to them. They are a lot cheaper, because you don't have to pay for the brand.

After all, graphics are at the bottom of the board, they will fade once you start doing slides, and they won't improve your skating.

There have been a lot of discussions about what the best deck brand is, but it's mostly personal preference. For a beginner, it really doesn't matter that much. Your first deck will last you pretty long.

When you are at the skateshop, ask the shopkeeper if you can stand on the deck (on carpet) to see if you feel comfortable on it. Also, try to compare the weight of some decks you like. Don't just point to the one that looks nice, feel it, compare it.


Trucks

Trucks are the metal axles attached to your deck.

Because they're made of metal, they're the parts that will last the longest. So don't worry about spending some money on them.


(Image by Oliver Beattie)
I recommend either Phantom (extremely light and still strong) or Independent trucks (very durable).

In the skateshop, put one truck in one hand and another in the other hand, and compare the weight. Weight is not the only factor, but only by trying them out you can find out if they're durable.

Trucks are often sold seperately, which can be very handy if you just break one, you don't have to buy a new set.


Hardware

You also need bolts to attach the trucks to the deck. They're cheap, and they're pretty much all about the same. The weight won't make a difference, so you could buy cheap ones, or more decorative ones of you prefer.


Bearings

Bearings make your wheels spin smooth and fast. You need 2 for each wheel, so there are 8 in a pack.


(Image by APOLLO 11 Skate)

You often see an ABEC value on bearings. Higher ABEC is better, but it doesn't guarantee good bearings. Blank ABEC-7 bearings are a lot worse than good ABEC-3 bearings.

Most skateboarders agree that Bones Reds bearings are the best (at least for that price, they're supercheap). Buy some, you won't regret it.


Wheels

There are two factors to decide what wheels you need:

Medium is never bad for a beginner.


Other

Griptape is not optional. I prefer the standard black ones, but you might go for another color or one with a decoration, but make sure it's really grippy (that's what it's for).

New grip can break your shoes pretty fast, but well... that's skateboarding.

Risers are shock absorbing pads between your trucks and your deck. Some trucks (such as Phantom) already have some rubber on the base to perform this function. If your trucks don't have this, consider buying risers.


Clothing

Wear what you like, as long as you wear something. You don't have to wear baggy pants if you prefer tight. Most skaters prefer wide clothing because it feels good to skate in. If you don't feel comfortable in wide clothing, simply don't buy it! Just do whatever feels right for you.

Some people think they are skaters because they wear 'skate clothing', but they're not. You are a skater because you skate and not because of the clothes you wear.


(Image by Ellinor Stenroos)


Shoes

And again, buy shoes that fit you well, buy shoes you like. I prefer shoes that are just a tiny little bit to large. But make sure they aren't too large, or a kickflip might launch your shoe and hit someone in the face. Just normal shoes are okay, as long as the tip and the soles are strong enough, because the grip tape will speed up the aging process.

Please press "Like" if this helped you

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rafa13
rafa13
Nice tip! help me alot

13 May 2009 at 19:09

Nice tip! help me alot
Big_Dizzy
Big_Dizzy
gorila tape can help your shoes

2 June 2009 at 22:09

gorila tape can help your shoes

inwardpimpflip
inwardpimpfli
it does not how expenses the board if you are 145 pounds and jump off ledges the board will have problem just like the cheap ones

6 June 2009 at 20:47

it does not how expenses the board if you are 145 pounds and jump off ledges the board will have problem just like the cheap ones
thredofdeth
thredofdeth
eS shoes and Zero Boards rool! No one can tell me different. :D

6 June 2009 at 22:26

eS shoes and Zero Boards rool! No one can tell me different.
snap
snap
i got an almost and i dont regret it thanks to this tip :D

14 June 2009 at 20:28

i got an almost and i dont regret it thanks to this tip

Last edited by snap 14 June 2009 at 20:28

powerskater
powerskater
Tanks that was really helpful. I diden't know what deck and wheels to choose.

18 June 2009 at 19:53

Tanks that was really helpful.

I diden't know what deck and wheels to choose.
powerskater
powerskater
I chose Baker I recommend it (Y)

18 June 2009 at 19:54

I chose Baker I recommend it
phil0410
phil0410
i think blueprint boards are good for begginers because they dont cost too much and they last :)

21 June 2009 at 11:21

i think blueprint boards are good for begginers because they dont cost too much and they last
subboy
subboy
BEST TIPS I'VE READ EVER!!!! thx :D :D :D

3 July 2009 at 13:15

BEST TIPS I'VE READ EVER!!!! thx
allchavssuck
allchavssuck
nice tips! snapped board :( and looking 2 replace it. cheers

4 July 2009 at 15:41

nice tips! snapped board and looking 2 replace it. cheers

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When skateboarding first began, it was called "Sidewalk surfing".