What to consider when buying a skateboard for the first time
Learning how to ride a skateboard for the first time is an exciting and rewarding experience for many people. It requires lots of training and practice in order for the user to master their individual style and technique of riding. Many safety measures have to be learned. The only way to advance is by trial and error (which sometimes occurs through falling). Once the rider is comfortable with their board, they have the advantage of using the skateboard as a method of saving money on automobile fuel costs, burning calories, and running errands quickly, no matter how congested the traffic is in their neighborhood. However, some boards are built to assist riders who are new to skateboarding by making the ride easier for them. But what are the things that consumers should look for when they are seeking a beginner skateboard?
Beginner skateboards will have comfortable length and width on the deck, or the base of the board that the rider places their feet on when skating. For people with smaller feet, a board that has a width of about seven or eight inches is best, since it will let the user manage speed and balance much easier than smaller models. For larger feet, or those who are typically older than 13, a board that measures over eight inches will suffice, especially if losing balance is a concern for the rider. Ultimately, it is up to the rider to pick the choice that is best for them. Most beginner skateboards, which are usually referred to as “complete” boards, average at about seven and a half inches. This makes them one of the best choices for any age type if small children are not considered. When in doubt, it is best that consumers visit a skateboard or outdoor sports store and ask to stand on a complete skateboard to check if they are satisfied with the dimensions.
Most experienced skateboarders that purchase skateboard products do so with the full intention of assembling the board themselves. The reason for this is so that other purchased parts can be placed onto the board, as some skateboards have parts that are cheaply made or simply not preferred by the rider. Nevertheless, this is not recommended by beginners and occasional skateboarders since they may not possess the tools needed to safely fasten together the wheels and trucks to the deck. Many beginner skateboarders like the “pick up and use” aspect of complete boards. As soon as the board arrives to their home, it can be opened and everything will be ready to use. As a safety measure, it is advised that the bearings and trucks be thoroughly inspected for any loose parts. If parts appear to be slightly loose, it is recommended for the owner to buy an all in one skateboard tool to secure the components. Such tools will consist of sockets for the trucks and screwdrivers for the bearings. Even if the board is in perfect assembly during the time of its arrival, getting the necessary tools to maintain it is suggested.
Another consideration for the type of beginner board to purchase should be based on how often the rider anticipates that the board will be used by them. When skateboards are in operation, they have constant contact with concrete and asphalt. This can quickly erode and wear down the wheels and bearings overtime, especially on a board that is cheap. Cheap boards will need to be replaced relatively quickly. The quality of each individual component is important and complete skateboards that are decently priced (but not necessarily the cheapest) will often feature pieces that perform well and will stay in good shape over a long period of time.
Grip tape is also important. It is the part that touches the rider’s shoes when on the skateboard. It consists of a rough, rugged material that has a consistency similar to sandpaper. The underside is made from an extremely adhesive, sticky material that binds to the top portion of the skateboard. Some complete boards will vary in the quality of grip tape as well. A skateboard with a high-grade grip tape will be easier to perform tricks on and make turns. Cheaper grip tape has the potential to create problems in stopping the skateboard without jumping off to avoid falling.
In the chance that a complete skateboard is purchased that must be assembled, the manufacturer will place simple to follow instructions with the packaging that the user can read when building the board. If follow up parts will be used, the user should also read up on how to judge the make and quality of each piece that will be added. Bearing ratings, truck hardness, and wheel density are all things that will have an effect on the skateboard’s speed and ease of use.
Best Beginner Skateboards
Krown has been making skateboards since 1996. Since that time, they have grown into a large and bustling company that is dedicated to building durable skateboards that can suit any rider, both experts and amateurs. One stand out feature of this complete skateboard is the decent parts that come pre-equipped to the board; the trucks, bushings, and deck are all built strong. The deck size can accommodate most skaters and the wheels provide excellent spin in relation to its speed while riding. It is processed from Canadian Maple, so the rider should be free to perform many tricks without the worry of any tears or premature breaks.
• Length – 31.5 inches (80.01 centimeters)
• Width – 7.7 inches (19.55 centimeters)
Wheel Diameter: 52 millimeters
The PUENTE Pro Complete board surely has strength in mind with their product. It is constructed of seven ply maple wood and has a strong grip tape that won’t send the rider flying off the board with every bump. The trucks are five inches and the board’s weight capacity stands at 365 pounds. It is very smooth when in motion, having bearings that rate as ABEC 9. Since this board features a kick tail, all assortment of tricks such as ollies and kickflips are easy to perform once the user becomes comfortable with the board. There is no assembly required with this board.
• Length – 31 inches (78.74 centimeters)
• Width – 8 inches (20.32 centimeters)
Wheel Diameter: 35 x 32 millimeters
Krown again shows that the boards they produce are some of the best that can be bought pre-assembled online. Canadian Maple will keep the board from warping, and its 2-millimeter urethane wheels are hardened to withstand high intensity drops, such as those encountered when performing tricks on rails and steps. The trucks are made of aluminum and the deck stands at an average for most street boards in this category.
Canadian Maple Construction
• Length – 31 inches (78.74 centimeters)
• Width – 7.5 (19.05 centimeters)
Wheel Diameter: 52 millimeters
Penny boards are unique in a way that makes them appealing to kids and adults. The plastic deck found on this Penny (the name of the manufacturer) has a wide selection of colors and styles to choose from. The size is perfect to carry nearly anywhere and can even fit in most backpacks. It can be used immediately upon opening. Sharp turns and quick shifts in direction become simple to execute. The board’s total length is small, so potential buyers should be aware of this if long trips are expected when the board is acquired. If riders would like their board to follow them to all of their adventures, whether at work, school, or on vacation, the Penny board could be a favorite.
• Length – 22 inches (55.88 centimeters)
• Width – 6 inches (15.24 centimeters)
Wheel Diameter: 59 millimeters
The Powell Golden Dragon’s unique dragon design will make an appealing addition to any skateboarder’s rack. The grip tape was made to last, covering all of the board’s length and locking the user in place immediately when stepping on. The wheels are polyurethane. The bottom of this short board also has a nice screen-printed bottom for an added touch to the beauty of its design.
• Length – 31.62 inches (80.31 centimeters)
• Width – 7.62 inches (19.35 centimeters)
Wheel Diameter: 54 millimeters