How to Buy a Skateboard – It Is a Must Read Skateboard Buying Guide
Are you confused about buying a skateboard? Do you want to own a skateboard but are thinking too much about which skateboard to buy? The quality of the skateboard and the performance of a skateboard? Are you confused about buying a complete skateboard or buying the parts and assembling it by yourself? Don’t worry, we have got it covered for you.
Many teenagers nowadays practice skateboarding, or I can say learn skateboarding and want to make skateboarding as their profession, but do not know how to buy a skateboard and are pretty confused about which one to buy. Skateboarding is a great sport, and people love performing tricks and showing their talent to the whole world. Skateboarding is not only a profession but also a passion for some of the skateboarders. Skateboarding has got much recognition from the earlier days, and as of 2000, there are more than 28000 skateboard parks encouraging people to practice skateboarding and learn new tricks.
Earlier only freestyle skateboarding was popular, and skateboarders learned and performed tricks only in freestyle skateboarding. But later vert and street skateboarding became quite popular. Nowadays teenagers are much into street skateboarding as it is much fun and many tricks are done on streets, stairs, handrails, etc.
Buying a Skateboard Based on your Level
Buying a skateboard very much depends on your level, i.e., whether you are a beginner or an intermediate or an expert skateboarder. If you are a beginner in skateboarding, then you might go for longboards as they are good and cheaper than usual skateboards and help you perform easy tricks. You can learn skills on longboards as a beginner and practice them for efficient performance.
Now, if you are an intermediate skateboarder, this means that you have some knowledge of skateboarding and can perform and showcase your skills as well, then you can go for regular skateboards like a classic skateboard that is somewhat costlier than the longboards but are cheaper than the professional ones. Using these you can learn some hardcore skateboarding tricks, and you can also assemble one as you know how to make an assembled skateboard and you can concentrate on the trucks, wheels, and bearing of the skateboard for efficient performance.
If you are an expert skateboarder, then you exactly know what to do, and you can make your skateboard also, so all you need to do is get the parts and assemble the skateboard and you are ready to explore the world and showcase your talent to others.
Buying a Skateboard Based on your Skill
Buying a skateboard also depends on whether you are a vert or freestyle or a street skater. If you are a street skater, then you might want to buy a professional skateboard and a costly one as you are roaming and perform more tricks than an average vert or freestyle skateboarder.
If you are a freestyle skateboarder, then you can go for the classic skateboard and perform tricks on it. The skateboard style depends a lot on your skill as you perform more tricks as a street skateboarder and learn more tricks while performing, so you need a stronger and robust skateboard to perform tricks on it.
How to Buy a Skateboard?
Purchasing a skateboard is one of the toughest jobs for a skateboarder as it gets confusing about what deck size you need if you are a beginner, what much be the truck size, which wheels to use, the correct size of the deck and it requires money. If you want to get a cheap skateboard, then you might not go for it and start saving some money to afford a quality skateboard as we do not suggest buying cheap skateboards. Cheap skateboards are available at less cost, but you cannot perform tricks on them, they break so often, and then again you need to buy a skateboard, so instead of it, you need to get a quality skateboard so that you can perform tricks on it and it is strong in spite of rough usage.
Now when we come to buy a skateboard, you need to be clear in your mind that whether you want to buy an assembled skateboard or want to buy the parts and assemble the skateboard yourself. A complete assembled skateboard is available for a lesser cost than the later one. When you go and buy the parts of the skateboard, they might cost you more as you decide the quality of the deck, the truck, then wheels and the bearing of the wheels. This might cost you much as you consider each part separately, and the price of the parts depends on the quality and the brand of the parts.
Whereas, when you buy an assembled skateboard, you buy the complete skateboard from a branded skate store and all the parts are of a single brand that might cost you less. This you need to consider while you buy a skateboard.
Now when you buy a complete skateboard, remember to buy a professional and a branded one as it might last longer and you can sue it to perform some quality tricks on it. While purchasing a skateboard, you need to keep in mind that which brand’s deck to buy, the truck of the board, the grip tape to be used, the wheels, etc.
Let’s discuss some key points to remember when you buy parts of a skateboard.
Buying a Skateboard Deck
The most important and the most necessary part of the skateboard. You need to keep in mind the deck size, the width of the deck, the brand of the deck and the most crucial thing the price of the deck so that we are in budget and buy the other branded parts. Now while buying a deck, you need to keep in mind that we need to buy a branded one and also if you are a beginner in skateboarding then you can go for the assembled skateboard as they are pretty good for beginners and learn skills.
But as an experienced or an intermediate skateboarder, you know some tricks and can build your skateboard.
Now firstly we need to think about the size, width, and height of the deck so that you can keep your foot perfectly and do not end up falling while skating.
The Size Of The Skateboard Deck:
Here is the table you can use to find the best suitable skateboard configuration.
|S.No.||Deck Size||Person’s Height||Person’s Age||Person’s Shoe Size|
|1||Full Size (7.5” OR More)||5’3”||13 or Above||9 or Above|
|2||Mid-size(7.3”)||4’5”-5’2”||9 to 12 Years Old||7 to 8.|
|3||Mini size(7.0”)||3’5”-4’4”||6 to 8 Years Old||4 to 6.|
|4||Micro size(6.5”-6.75”)||3’4” or Less||Less than five years.||3 or less.|
Depending on the style of skating, here are some size of decks you should prefer:
- For adult street skaters: deck size of 7.5” to 8”.
- For ramps, skate parks, and pools skaters: deck size of 8.0” to 8.25”.
- For vert skaters or cruising or going to school skaters: deck size of 8.25” or above.
You can check the impressive collection of skateboard decks here.
After this, you can also choose the style of skateboards such as shortboards, cruiser skateboards, old school skateboards, longboards which you can use for different purposes.
Such as shortboards are used to perform tricks, and they are the best if you are into street or park skating. Cruiser skateboards have kicktails and often used to roam around streets. The size of cruiser boards is around the mid-length. Old school skateboards are the ones with kicktails and flat nose and are used in pools, vert skating, ramps, etc. Longboards are used for transportation and not for tricks, but you can use them for downhill racing.
Here is the table that represents the shape and features of a skateboard:
|S.No.||Shape of Skateboard||Features of Skateboard|
Better grip for all styles of skateboarding.
|2||Progressive||Dramatic version of radial concave.|
Secure footing and a locked-in feel.
|3||W-concave||The extra curve helps to shift energy from heel to toe.|
It can turn in a faster way.
|4||Tub||The sharp rails give shift in energy.|
Almost the same as radial concave
|5||Asymmetrical||The rails rise at different angles.|
More power to heels for smooth turns.
Provide natural foot placements.
They are loved by slalom and downhill skaters.
|7||Flat||With no concave|
More space for foot.
Helps board walking.
Some good tricks.
Buying Skateboard Trucks
The second most important part of your skateboard is the truck of the skateboard. The truck is attached to the deck and is very much helpful for performing tricks and balancing the skateboard. All your tricks depend on the size of the truck and whether the skateboard’s truck is perfectly balanced on both the sides or not. The trucks are T-shaped and are placed below the deck. You need to keep in mind that the width of the truck must match the width of the deck. The truck has the axle, the hanger, and the kingpin. The axle is the one through which the wheels are fixed, the hanger is triangular, and the axle goes through the hanger. The kingpin is a larger bolt that holds all the parts together.
Size of the Skateboard Truck
- 10.0” truck axle: for a 10.0” size deck.
- 9.0” truck axle: for a 9.0” size deck.
- 8.5” truck axle: for an 8.5” size deck.
- 8.0” truck axle: for an 8.0” size deck.
- 7.75” truck axle: for a 7.75” size deck
- 7.5” truck axle: for a 7.5” size deck.
- 6”-7.25” truck axle: for a 7.25” size deck.
You can check out some trucks here.
Profiles of Skateboard Trucks
Here is the table that represents skateboard profile and its truck features.
|S.No.||Profile||Features of Trucks|
For smaller wheels
|2||Medium||For street and park skateboarders.|
|3||Large||For cruising and carving.|
For larger wheels.
Buying Skateboard Wheels
Now after we have got the deck and truck for our skateboards now its time we go out and get wheels for our skateboard as without the wheels the skateboard is just like without salt in the food. Wheels are the first thing anyone notices about your skateboard. There are kinds of wheels available in the market, but we need to buy a branded and good quality wheels which are durable and do not get damaged after some harsh skateboarding in the town. The wheels are made of polyurethane, and there are many colors, sizes of wheels available, and this might be a tough task to choose between different colors of wheels.
Here is the table represents the size of a wheel and its features
Suitable for the street, skate park and bowl skateboarders.
|2||54-59mm Diameter||Average size.|
Good for beginners.
Suitable for vert ramps, street skaters.
|3||60mm and Above||For Longboards|
Old school boards, downhill and dirt boards.
Can be used on rough surfaces.
Now while buying wheels, you also need to focus on the hardness of the wheels.The harder the wheel, the faster it is, or the more rpm it has. To measure the hardness of the wheels, you can use a durometer which rates the hardness of wheels on A scale of 1-100. Also, some organizations use the B scale, which has 20 points less than that of A scale, so if we measure 70 on A scale, then it is 50 on the B scale.
Here is the table to use the durometer readings and its features
|1||78a-87a||For smooth rides.|
Can be used in longboards, cruiser.
Can be used on hills, rough surfaces.
|2||88a-95a||Slight harder and faster.|
Used at streets, skate parks, pools, ramps.
It is used on smooth surfaces.
|3||96aa-99a||Good for beginners practicing on the smooth surfaces|
|4||101a and above||Hard and fast.|
As they are rated on b scale, they are harder compared to wheels rated on A scale.
You can check some wheels for skateboards here.
After you are done buying wheels for your skateboard now, you can buy some other materials needed for assembling your skateboard.
Buying Skateboard Bearings
Once you have bought wheels, you need to keep in mind that you need friction for the wheels to rotate smoothly on the ground and for that, we need bearings for your wheels. Bearing are also very important for your wheels as without bearings the wheels do not rotate. Buying bearings is not a bigger task, all the bearing are the same, and the only thing you need to take care of is about the quality of the bearings. The higher the quality, the more expensive is the bearing.
The bearings are given ABEC ratings depending on the performance of the bearing so you can buy any of them all the bearings are good and would perform in the same manner. The bearings are rated ABEC 1,3,5,7,9, and as we all know, the higher the rating, the better the bearings are so you can buy the one with higher ABEC rating. But you need to keep in mind that ABEC does not specify the noise, vibrations, precision, materials, lubrication, Rockwell hardness, etc. of the bearings so that why ABEC 3 is better than ABEC 7 hope you get this.
Buying other materials:
As we are done buying the bearings its time for us to look into the smaller parts of the skateboard such as the hardware, the grip tape and the riser pads for the skateboard.
The skateboard hardware which means the nuts, bolts, screws required to connect or assemble the parts to the deck of the skateboards. Allen head or Philips head screws can do the job.
Now, coming to the grip tape of the skateboard, the grip tape is required to provide grip to the skater and the angle he places his foot and hold needed to perform tricks on the skateboards. The grip tapes are of the size 9” X 33”. It is made of sand-paper, and many types and designs of the grip tapes are made to make the skateboard look attractive.
Next, comes the riser pads these pads are placed between the truck and the deck of the skateboard to stop wheel bites while bites are a phenomenon that occurs when the wheels touch skateboards deck when skateboard takes a turn and prevents the wheel from rotating.
Here is the table that shows the Raiser and the hardware to use.
|1||½” Riser||1 1/2’” Hardware.|
|2||¼” Riser||1 ¼” Hardware.|
|3||1/8” Riser||1 1/8” Hardware.|
|4||No Riser||7/8” to 1” Hardware.|
Once, we are done assembling the hardware and the skateboard; we are ready to skateboard and perform skills and learn skateboarding. After you have assembled your skateboard, we need to follow the safety measures also and wear a knee-pad and helmet always while skateboarding. You might have a doubt that so and so is not wearing any safety gears and performing tricks but you need to understand that he might be an expert in it and he knows how to follow the safety measures while skateboarding.
Also, you need to maintain your skateboard and treat it like your child and not break it. You need to protect it and take care of it as it might help you earn income one day. Also, if you want to become a better skateboarder, you need to take proper care of your skateboard. Do not make your skateboard wet as it might cause wear and tear of the deck of the skateboard. You need to keep your skateboard clean and keep it away from mud and dirt as the grip tape might lose its grip if exposed more to mud or dirt. As you have read the whole article, enjoy skateboarding and let us know your experience on skateboarding and your views