How to Choose a Good Skateboard

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11-12-2019, 16:00
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Updated: November 27, 2019 Choosing a good skateboard can be tricky, especially if you're just beginning to get into the world of skateboarding. There's much more to take into account than just the cost, including deck type and size, truck height, and wheel size and hardness. This choice can be made easier if you understand how the different parts change the way the skateboard rides and what that means for how you want to use it. Once you understand what makes a good skateboard for you, you'll be hitting up the skate parks in no time.

Selecting a Style

  1. Choose a shortboard if you plan on doing park skating or learning tricks. Shortboards are what most people imagine when they think of a skateboard. The size of a shortboard makes it perfect for getting air and doing tricks. If this is what you envision yourself doing, a shortboard will work.
    • Shortboards also work for casual riding, though they are not as versatile as longboards or penny boards for different types of terrain or longer distances.
  2. Get a longboard if you want to use your skateboard mainly for cruising. Longboards are heavier and bulkier than shortboards, meaning they won’t be as good for performing tricks. What they are good for is taking long rides, making them a good choice if you want to use your skateboard as a means for transportation.
    • Because they are longer than regular skateboards, typically 34 inches (86 cm) or more, this type of board also is easier to balance on, which may be beneficial if you are just beginning to learn to ride.
  3. Pick a lightweight penny board for easy transportation. Penny boards are similar to longboards in their purpose, but they are much lighter and much more portable. Penny boards are small, typically between 22 inches (56 cm) and 27 inches (69 cm), and made of lightweight plastic, making them easy to pick up and carry around during the day.
    • Penny boards are not as good for doing tricks because of their small size. If you think you might want to learn how to do some tricks on your board, this wouldn't be the type to invest in.

Choosing the Size and Shape

  1. Get a full-sized deck if you are taller than 63 inches (160 cm). Full-sized skateboards have a deck width of 7.5 inches (19 cm) or larger, and are generally the best choice for most adults and some children.
  2. Select a mid-sized deck if you are between 53 and 62 inches (130 and 160 cm). Mid-size decks have a width of 7.3 inches (19 cm). Decks this size are best for people who have a shoe size between US 7 and US 8, as well as children typically between the ages of 9 and 12.
  3. Opt for a mini or micro skateboard for children. A mini skateboard is perfect for kids between 41 inches (100 cm) and 52 inches (130 cm) tall. Mini skateboards have a deck width of 7 inches (18 cm). If you're under 40 inches (100 cm) tall, go with a micro skateboard. This is the smallest size deck, and its deck is between {convert|6.5|in|cm}} and 6.75 inches (17.1 cm) wide.
  4. Pick a radial-, tub-, or progressive-shaped deck if you want a classic look and secure footing. Decks in these styles have a slight dip in the middle and raised edges. The indention in the middle allows you to plant your feet more firmly, letting you balance a little more easily than a flatter or differently-shaped model.
    • If you are new to skateboarding, this style is probably best for you to begin learning on.
  5. Go for a w-concave or asymmetric deck shape if you want a board for tricks. These styles allow for quick changes in direction, which makes doing tricks much easier. They are harder to balance on, so if you are new to skateboarding these shapes might not be for you.

Picking the Trucks and Wheels

  1. Match the size of your trucks to the width of your skateboard. Every skateboard requires 2 trucks, which hold the wheels in place under the deck. Choose trucks that are the same size as, or at least very similar in size to, the skateboard’s width to provide maximum stability while riding.
  2. Choose low trucks for tricks and high ones for cruising. Truck heights are not standardized but are commonly divided into low, medium/mid-sized, and high trucks.
    • Low trucks are designed for small wheels and are good for doing tricks.
    • Medium trucks are designed for general usage, either commuting or tricks.
    • High trucks are designed for large wheels and work best for cruising and casual riding.
  3. Get smaller wheels if you are looking to use your skateboard for tricks. Smaller wheels, which are typically between 48 and 54 mm in diameter, provide more stability than larger wheels, meaning that they do well for skateboards that are used for doing tricks or riding in skate parks. On the other hand, wheels of this size don't allow for as much speed and make transportation difficult.
  4. Opt for larger wheels if you want to use your skateboard for getting around. Larger wheels, usually 55+ mm in diameter, are not as stable, but they let you go faster and cruise for longer distances without having to put in much work. On the flip side, they aren't as good for tricks or skating in parks.
  5. Choose soft wheels for a smooth ride. Softer skateboard wheels are easier to ride on because they provide more grip, but soft wheels also wear down faster. Get softer wheels if you plan on using your skateboard for transportation; this will let you ride on pretty much any type of road or surface. Softer wheels don’t go as fast, but they provide smoother rides because they can grip the surface of the ground better.
  6. Opt for harder wheels if you want to go faster. Wheel sizes on skateboards vary a bit (but all are measured in millimeters) and are based on what the skateboard will be used for. In general, as wheels get larger, they allow for greater speeds. Hard wheels let you ride faster and more easily do tricks, but they don't have much grip and should only be used on smooth surfaces, like in a skate park.

Tips

  • Depending on your level of comfort with the task, you may or may not want to choose to build your own custom skateboard. Creating your own means that you can match your exact specifications and be in complete control over design choices.
  • If you don't want to build your own skateboard, buying a pre-made one is the best way to go. There are many ways to go about this process, but the best way to begin is to go to your local skate shop and look around. The people who work there can help you get exactly what you need and ensure quality and safety standards.
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