If you have only just decided to get into skateboarding, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. In your travels, you have seen so many different boards with so many different wheels that you don’t even know where to begin. People who have been skateboarding for a while are quick to throw in their own opinions. They have a favorite board by now, and they will emphatically tell you that it is the only way to go, and that it’s perfect for anyone’s needs. But their opinions are contradictory! They all tell you to get vastly different skateboards, and you’re confused.
Take a breath, tie your shoes, and allow me to walk you through how to pick a skateboard. Though you can always put together your own skateboard, if you’re just starting out, you probably want to purchase a complete board. Let’s get started.
1. Decide what type of board you want before you start looking to buy.
Before you run out looking for a board, you should have some idea of what you need to be on the lookout for. There are two main categories of skateboard: the short board and the long board. Long boards, as their name suggests, are longer variants of the standard skateboard. Because of their wheel size, they tend to be faster, which makes them great for racing and zipping around town. They are heavier and bulkier, though, so they are not as good for performing tricks. Short boards, which are more like what most of us picture when we think of a skateboard, may not be as fast as the longer ones, but they tend to be ideal for performing tricks or skate park use. This is because they are smaller, lighter, and easier to maneuver. There are many other variants that combine traits of either board, so do some looking. Research each type of skateboard and consider your needs before selecting one.
2. Know that cheap does not mean good.
Many people, particularly parents buying for their kids, immediately check the price tag and use that to shop instead of focusing on the condition of the actual board. This can be dangerous no matter what you’re shopping for, but if it’s something you plan to ride around town at high speeds, a cheap board can be catastrophic! Inexpensive skateboards are inexpensive for a reason, and the cheaper your board is, the more likely it is to be cheaply made. The basic black short boards available at your local toy store for twenty bucks may be tempting because of their affordability, but the board isn’t likely to perform well on the street, and you very well may pay the price for it later in hospital visits and broken bones.
3. Anticipate maintenance.
On the one hand, you should not buy a board just because it’s cheap, but you also need to know that you can’t invest in a skateboard that uses up your entire life’s savings with the idea that you will never have to purchase another one. Skateboards go through a lot of abuse no matter how well you take care of them, and sooner or later, something is going to break. Wheels chip and decks break, so don’t spend too terribly much money on things that will have to be replaced down the road!