Due to COVID-19 and being quarantined, most people have more free time on their hands than they’ve had in years. So, what better time to start skating? Skating is perfect because you get proper exercise, you can safely hang out outdoors, and you have more time to learn new tricks. It may have been a while since you’ve picked out a new board, or this might even be your first time, which is super exciting! Unfortunately, our storefront is closed for the time being, and it’s a little more difficult to share our knowledge with you in person. That’s why we put together this checklist of things to consider when you’re picking out your skateboard. Keep in mind, all of these tips are exactly that - tips. You can do whatever you want with your skateboard because in the end you’ll be the one riding it and skateboarding is just about enjoying yourself and your board.
Choose Your DECK
There are a lot of deck brands and companies out there today. Based on the brand you’ll see different styles of artwork, different names of the pros who ride for that company, and different shapes and sizes.
Because we have so many different boards on our wall, it might help to do some research on the brands. If there is a certain skater who you like you can look up their sponsors and get their pro model. Or if you see an artwork that you like you could figure out the artists and buy their boards. Or you could look up the company of a board you like and see if their videos and overall vibe.
Then there is the technical route, you can pick a board based on size (dictated by the width.) The size you pick will be based on what you want to skate, For tricks we suggest boards not too skinny or too wide based on your height and shoe size. For transportation you can go for something a little wider that is comfortable under your feet to get you from Point A to Point B. If you’re picking a board to use for transportation with the occasional ollie or slappy, you can get a regular size board with some softer wheels. As you progress, concave and wheel base will come into play. Feel free to contact us with questions regarding concave and wheel bases.
In the end, pick what you like. It’s your board and you’re the one who is going to be skating it. As long as it feels comfortable to you, you’re good.
Choose Your GRIPTAPE
For those unfamiliar with what grip tape is, it is the coarse sandpaper-like sheet that goes on the top of your skateboard. It keeps your feet from slipping off the board when you’re riding or trying tricks. You need to have this on your board.
Traditionally, the grip tape is black, but just like anything rules are meant to be broken and you can get different colors and patterned grip if you’d like.
There are two main companies and their grip tape is slightly different.
Choose wisely because removing the grip tape once it’s on is a nightmare!
Choose Your TRUCKS
Ideally, you’d like to the edge of your board flush, or as close to being flush, as possible with the outside of your wheels. To make sure they’re flush you’re going to have to pick the right sized trucks.
There are a few different truck companies and they are all a bit different.
These are the major truck companies that you will see on our site. Each of these companies has a different size chart, and you could find them below.
If you are curious about having a lighter board - which might be better for children - you might want to look into getting hollow, titanium, or light trucks. There are the Indy hollows, Thunder lights, Thunder titanium, and many more. You might also want to consider the height of the trucks, or how high off the ground your board will be, and how far your wheels will be from the bottom of the deck. The lowest high of a truck is 48mm and the high end is 55mm. As you start to get more comfortable on the board you will begin to notice the difference of the height.
Choose Your WHEELS
When buying a skateboard it’s always worth trying to figure out what kind of skating you would like to do. Are you trying to get from point A to point B? Do you want to skate at the skatepark or at street spots? Do you want to get into transition skating? For the most part, this will be affected the most by the wheels you choose.
Wheels are measured in size (millimeter) and hardness (durometer). For the smoothest ride possible you’d want a large (55mm-60mm) soft wheel (78-88D), like the Rtica Clouds, the OJ (Mini) Super Juice, or the Krooked Zip Zinger wheel. However that also means it will not be ideal for learning how to do tricks, skate ramps, or skate street spots.
If you’d want to skate street and skate parks you’d want to get something around 50-56mm wheels and a 89-101aD. Spitfire, OJ, Dial Tone, and Slime Balls are the ideal wheels for street and park. The OJ Key Frames and the Spitfire HDD are a good in-between wheel - part cruiser, part street wheel.
Choose Your BEARINGS
When it comes time to pick out which bearings you’d like there are a few things to keep in mind. Basically, the more you invest in your bearing the better your wheels will spin, and the longer your bearing will last (if taken care of, but we’ll get to that). Bones Reds and Bronson G2s are the perfect bearings for any skater - beginner, frequent skaters, or just a skater who likes to cruise.
If you’re a more serious/experienced skater, and you’re out skating everyday or every other day, you might want to consider getting a bearing like Bones Super Reds, Bronson G3, Bronson Raws, Bones swiss bearing, Bones swiss ceramic bearings.
Bearings are super important to the way your skateboard works. If you don’t take care of them, and you ride them in the rain and dirt, then your wheels will stop spinning. There are bearing cleaning kits, and speed cream that can help you get the most out of your bearings.
Choose Your HARDWARE
Last, but not least, you need to select hardware. This hardware will hold your trucks to your board. You can either buy phillips head or allen key hardware. They also come in different sizes.
Normally you would want to get ⅞” or 1” hardware. Either of those should be fine. However, if you are going to get riser pads, which are good for cruiser boards to make sure your wheels don’t hit the bottom of your board while riding, you’re either going to want to get 1 ¼” or 1 ⅛”
Once you get your board, have some fun! Skateboarding is for everyone, and there’s no right or wrong way to do it. We hope this helps! If you have any remaining questions, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] Have fun out there!