First-time skateboarders may be eager to get out there and start kick-flipping their way into the skate parks, but you’ll want to make sure you don’t set yourself up for failure by buying a skateboard that breaks on the first bump in the road encountered.
If you don’t have a budget, the selection of boards almost seems endless, knowing the basics is important to prevent getting ripped-off.
If you do have a budget, then this guide will be even more important, making sure you get the best value for your money.
Build me a skateboard
For those who have more than a few hundred dollars to play with for their first skateboard purchase, you’ll probably be looking at getting a custom board with your own unique design on the deck.
While you could go online and choose exactly what you want, it is much wiser to do this at your local skate shop.
Choosing the right size, parts, and best quality is going to be much easier with the help of an expert, plus you’ll be investing in your skate community. The custom skateboards are going to cost 1.5-2x as much as complete boards, so if you’re on a budget it’s much easier to buy one prebuilt.
Choosing a complete skateboard
Rule number one for all skateboard beginners is to never buy your boards at Walmart. The price may tempt the budget-minded, but what good is saving twenty bucks or so when you’ll just have to end up replacing it in a few months or less anyways? The skate shops are going to have better quality complete boards, with selections of curved boards or flat boards, depending on the style you’re most comfortable with starting out.
While shopping for your first skateboard, make room in your budget for a good helmet with a strong strap and buckle. Skating often jostles cheap helmets around and off your head, once you start doing jumps, grinds, or verts. Also, a good pair of skate shoes can mean the difference between snapping your ankles or just falling on your butt as your grip on the board is not enough on its own, usually. Bad shoes will just wear down and become useless after a few weeks out in a concrete skate park.
No matter what skateboard you decide on, just keep in-mind that no board is impervious and you will eventually break it after heavy usage. I guess if you’re not super stoked about skating, you may be able to own a board longer than a few years, but those people are the exception to the rule.