|70 x 51||70 x 51||70 x 51||70 x 59||70 x 52||60 x 45||54 x 37||54 x 37||59 x 45||70 x 52|
|Bearings||ABEC 7||ABEC-11||ABEC 7||ABEC 5||ABEC 9||ABEC 7||ABEC 7||ABEC 7||ABEC 7||ABEC 7|
Skateboard Buying Guide
Types of Skateboarding
There are three basic types of skateboarding that enthusiasts engage in. We have listed these types below with some information about each of them so you understand the differences.
- Street Skating – this type of skateboarding involves skating on the different raw streets of the city. It can include such things as grinding along a picnic bench or other trick style moves as well. It is very easy to engage in street skating since all you have to do is grab your board and go. Many people engage in street skating as a means of getting to work and/or school. If you skateboard to work or school or you like to learn how to do tricks, street skating will appeal to you.
- Transition Skating – Transition skating is done at a skate park or in your own backyard if you have built your own bowls or ramps. Wearing protective gear is always important, but even more so with transition skating. This is due to the trick factor and big jumps and spinning that this type of skating usually involves.
- All-Around Skating – This type of skating is exactly what its name indicates. The person who engages in multiple styles of skateboarding is an all around skater. You will find them in skate parks, on the street and practicing jumps and spins in their backyards.
Which is Better Custom Building or Complete?
Skateboarding enthusiasts either buy a complete board already put together or they choose custom where they can choose all the individual parts. Most often a beginner will choose a complete board and the more experienced skateboarder will choose to customize their board to get exactly what they want.
Depending on the company, even if you choose to customize your board, they will put it all together for you, in many cases, free of charge. One is not necessarily better than the other in terms of buying complete or customizing. What really matters is which method gives you the skateboard that you want for the type of skating that you do or plan on doing.
Skateboard Components Explained
There are several different parts that make up a skateboard. When you are customizing your board yourself, these are all things that you will choose. It is good to know the different parts of your board so you can compare complete board specs against each other with knowledge. When you know what all the parts are, you’ll understand the descriptions better when you are researching different boards.
- Skateboard deck – Decks range in lengths and widths and can range from 44” on a long board to a small mini size deck. Width is also a factor. Boards can range from 7.5” to 9”. What determines the best deck for your needs has a lot to do with the size of your feet and how comfortably you fit on the board. If you can. Try out other people’s boards to see what you prefer when it comes to length and width.
- Grip Tape – Grip tape is the sandpaper style material that is on the skateboard decks. Some skateboard decks are completely covered with grip tape and others just have strips. The purpose of the grip tape is to provide more friction for the rider when controlling the skateboard. It helps to keep the board “stuck” to your feet which is very handy when doing certain tricks and moves.
- Trucks – The metal parts that are on the underside of the deck that pivot, allowing the rider to turn fluidly are called trucks. This part is the most important part of a skateboard. The quality of the truck will affect how the skateboard turns and rides so it is very important that you pay attention to the trucks of any skateboards you are considering. In general, the wider your deck is the wider your truck will need to be.
- Wheels – Wheels for a skateboard come in sets of 4. Each truck needs two wheels. Skateboard wheels range in size from 49mm all the way up to 60mm. They can be over 60mm as well but those are typically used for longboards that need a softer wheel when riding over rougher terrain. A general guideline is street skating board wheels are usually between 49mm-54mm and transition boards are 55mm to 60mm. Depending on the company, wheels may come in different styles and designs; some boards even have lighted wheels. If you are purchasing larger wheels for your board, you will have better results if you get a set of riser pads as well. This will reduce the incidence of wheel bite that can occur when the wheel rubs against the board. Wheel bite can cause the board to come to a sudden, instant stop which can be very hazardous.
- Bearings – The small round part that fits into the wheel is responsible for the wheel rolling and keeping up speed is called the bearing. Skateboard bearings have an ABEC rating. The higher grade bearings are longer lasting and provide more rolling speed than the low grade bearings. It will differ depending on the brand you get.
- Bolts – The bolts on your skateboard are what keep the trucks mounted to the underside of the board. A skate tool is needed to attach these bolts and is used for adjustments as well. There are many different sizes of bolts that can be used for a skateboard. The longer bolts are for use with trucks that have riser pads. The longer bolts come in many different lengths, colors and designs as well. Some riders choose different colored bolts for the nose of the board than the tail for a quick, at-a-glance way of telling which is which.
Don’t Forget the Protective Gear
Safety when skateboarding is of major importance. There are a few pieces of safety gear that are crucial when riding a skateboard. This gear includes:
- Helmet – to get a properly fitting helmet, measure from the ears to the back of your head. You need to make sure that the helmet fits properly so your head is protected in the event of a fall.
- Knee pads and elbow pads – important for protecting these areas in the event of a fall.
- Wrist pads – not every rider gets these, but in the event of a fall, they can protect the wrist and palm from getting torn up.
Choosing the right skateboard is very important regardless of your skill level. If you’re completely inexperienced and don’t know anything about skateboards, spend some time at the local skate park or other places where skateboarders hang out and ask their advice and opinions on brand names, deck styles and more. They can be very informative as to what the popular choices are.
The information in this guide is designed to help inform would-be skaters of the considerations that need to be looked at when they are searching for the best skateboard for their activities and preferences. The three top rated skateboards that we have reviewed above are good examples of quality boards that have excellent construction and that are great choices for beginners and intermediate.