If you’re eager to ride the wave and dive into the thrilling world of skateboarding, you’ll need a trusty board to start your journey. But with so many options available, choosing the right skateboard can be overwhelming. Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know to pick the perfect skateboard, from decks and wheels to skateboard shoes and accessories. So, buckle up, grab your sneakers, and let’s dive into the exciting world of skateboarding!
Choosing the Right Deck
The deck, or the flat wooden part of a skateboard, is the foundation of your ride. Decks come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, so it’s essential to find one that suits your style and skill level. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing a skateboard deck:
Deck Size: Beginners should start with a wider deck for increased stability. Typically, 7.5 to 8 inches wide is ideal for new riders.
Deck Shape: The most common skateboard shape is the popsicle, which has a symmetrical, rounded nose and tail. This shape is versatile and perfect for all types of skateboarding.
Deck Material: Most decks are made from 7-ply maple, offering a balance of durability and flexibility. However, some skateboard brands use bamboo or carbon fiber for added strength and lighter weight.
Deck Concave: The concave, or curvature of the deck, affects how the board feels underfoot and how it responds to your movements. Beginners should opt for a medium concave for a comfortable and versatile ride.
Picking the Perfect Wheels
Skateboard wheels play a crucial role in your ride, as they affect the speed, grip, and overall feel of your board. Here are some factors to consider when choosing skateboard wheels:
Wheel Diameter: Measured in millimeters, the diameter of skateboard wheels typically ranges from 50 to 75mm. Beginners should start with wheels between 52 and 54mm for a balanced ride.
Wheel Hardness: The hardness, or durometer, of skateboard wheels affects the grip and speed of your ride. Softer wheels (78A to 87A) provide more grip and a smoother ride, while harder wheels (88A to 101A) offer faster speeds and better sliding capabilities. Beginners should choose wheels with a durometer of 90A to 95A for a mix of grip and speed.
Wheel Shape: The shape of skateboard wheels affects traction and slide. Rounded-edge wheels are better for street and park skateboarding, while square-edge wheels offer more grip for cruising and downhill riding.
Selecting the Right Trucks
Trucks are the metal components that connect the wheels to the deck, providing stability and control. When choosing trucks, consider the following:
Truck Width: Your trucks should match the width of your deck for optimal balance and control. For example, if your deck is 8 inches wide, choose trucks with an axle width of 8 inches.
Truck Height: Trucks come in low, mid, and high profiles. Low trucks are suitable for smaller wheels and technical street skating, while high trucks work well with larger wheels and offer more clearance for carving and cruising. Beginners should choose mid-profile trucks for versatility.
Bushings: The rubber components in the trucks, called bushings, affect turning and stability. Beginners should look for trucks with medium bushings for a balanced ride.
Choosing the Right Skateboard Shoes
Your choice of footwear plays a significant role in your skateboarding experience. Skateboard shoes are designed to provide the grip, cushioning, and durability needed for skateboarding. Here are some factors to consider when selecting skateboard shoes:
Material: Skate shoes are typically made of suede, leather, or canvas. Suede offers the best grip and durability, while canvas is lightweight and breathable but may wear out quickly.
Sole: Look for a shoe with a flat, grippy rubber sole that provides excellent board feel and control. Vulcanized soles are flexible and offer better board feel, while cupsoles provide more cushioning and support.
Padding and Support: Skate shoes should have ample padding and support, especially around the ankle and tongue, to protect your feet during falls and high-impact tricks.
Fit: Choose a snug-fitting shoe that offers support without restricting movement. Skate shoes should be comfortable and allow you to move your feet freely.
Top Skateboard Brands to Consider
When it comes to skateboarding, brand reputation matters. Here are some top skateboard brands that offer high-quality decks, trucks, wheels, and accessories:
- Santa Cruz
- Plan B
- Girl Skateboards
- Zero Skateboards
- Independent Trucks
- Bones Wheels
- Spitfire Wheels
- Vans (shoes)
- Nike SB (shoes)
Q: Is an electric skateboard a good option for beginners?
A: Electric skateboards can be a fun and convenient way to get around, but they may not be the best option for learning the fundamentals of skateboarding. Traditional skateboards provide a better platform for developing balance, control, and technique.
Q: How often should I replace my skateboard?
A: The lifespan of a skateboard depends on how frequently and aggressively you ride. Decks may need to be replaced every six months to a year, while trucks and wheels can last several years with proper maintenance.
Q: Can I use my skateboard for both street and park skating?
A: Most skateboards can be used for both street and park skating. However, some specialized boards are better suited for specific styles. For example, a cruiser or longboard is ideal for transportation and carving, while a popsicle-shaped skateboard is versatile and perfect for street and park skating.
Embarking on your skateboarding journey can be exhilarating and empowering, but it all starts with finding the right gear. By considering the factors outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to choosing the perfect skateboard, shoes, and accessories for your needs. So, go ahead, pick your board, and start shredding the streets and parks with confidence and style! Happy skating!