How to Choose the Right Skateboard

Choosing a skateboard is a difficult task for a beginner. Experienced skateboarders know what they want to get from the Board (speed or maneuverability) and how to achieve this, they can choose a skate for themselves. But beginners will have to understand the details and look for ready-made complete solutions. 

First, you need to decide what you need a Board for — moving around the city with a simple ride or tricks. Next, you will dive into the study of the features of manufacturing materials and various designs. And last, but not least, you can already think about the design of your skateboard. Difficult? If yes, we have prepared a simpler way – our guide on how to choose a skateboard.

What is a skateboard made of

Depending on the type of Board its design and some technical characteristics change, but in general, the design remains the same:

  • Deck — the basis of any skateboard can be straight, with a concave (side bend), curved on one or both sides, solid or segmented.
  • Track — cushioned suspension, which is attached to the Board through a special pad under the platform.
  • Wheels and bearings-running gear.

The main thing that distinguishes one skateboard from another is the shape of the soundboard. Long provides good stability, wide-comfort on the road, and curved due to the nose and tail allow you to perform different tricks on the Board.

Maneuvering the skateboard trucks provide. They are designed in such a way that when the side pressure makes the wheels turn in the right direction. And vibration mitigation is provided by adjustable suspension dampers.

Types of skateboards

Classic skateboard

A small Board with curved edges and small wheels. These skates are almost the same length and width with minor deviations of 1-2 inches. Classic models are rarely taken as transport, they are mainly needed to perform feints and tricks.

Pluses

  • A good margin of safety deck;
  • Ability to do any tricks;
  • Excellent resistance;
  • Cool design.

Minuses

  • Good models are expensive;
  • Not particularly rolling, but for this type speed is not the main thing.

Longboard

“Longboard” is the most accurate name for a skate, which has a deck that can reach a length of 100-140 cm or more. Here the front and rear axles are spaced as far apart as possible, and the wheels themselves are large and soft, often peeking out on the sides of the Board.

With this design, the longboard becomes particularly stable, shows itself well at high speeds, although its maneuverability is significantly lower. But this skateboard is good for overcoming distances and long descents.

Pluses

  • Speed up very fast;
  • Maximum stability on the road;
  • Can be used as a city transport;
  • It is a long time.

Minuses

  • Expensive and rare product in our stores;
  • Heavy;
  • Tricks on this Board can only be performed by a professional.

Penny board

Penny is considered the benchmark of the Australian company Penny Skateboards. Penny is distinguished from ordinary skateboards by the size and shape of the deck: it is short and narrow and the feed has a kicktail. Penny is made of plastic, so no flu-tip is needed – a corrugated surface provides traction with the sole.

There are two types of pennies:

  1. Original – smaller and more maneuverable – suitable for children 22 “
  2. Nickel – a more secluded deck 27 “gives stability and comfortable driving around the city
  3. Penny Longboard – size 36 “has stiffer wheels and a slot in the finger deck for comfortable carrying

Pluses

  • Universal suitable for children and adolescents;
  • Fast, keep the balance well;
  • Fast acceleration;
  • Convenient for transport.

Minuses

  • It is difficult to perform tricks;
  • Not suitable for riders with a shoe size of 10 or more.

Freeboard

Professional skate with 6 wheels, which are located slightly wider than usual, was developed based on the longboard. Here, the modified suspension uses weights that make the entire structure more stable and turn the Board into a “snowboard for asphalt”.

The same effect can be achieved by a pair of additional wheels — they are freely rotated around its axis by 360°, so that the skate can go in any direction.

Pluses

  • A comfortable ride;
  • Maximum stability;
  • Develops a decent speed;
  • Super maneuverable.

Minuses

  • Requires special skills – at least, snowboarding;
  • The length of the deck should be selected strictly by height.

Streetboard

Streetboard

It looks like a classic skate, but it is not. The deck of a streetboard consists of three parts: the main well fixed and two not rigidly fixed segments. This Board is used for tricks as the classic, and due to the features of the Board has great maneuverability.

Pluses

  • Original appearance;
  • High maneuverability with good stability;
  • You can perform even more tricks and feints.

Minuses

  • Ephemeral;
  • Not suitable for beginners.

Waveboard

Two-wheeled models whose decks consist of two independent parts connected in the middle by a special torsion mount. On these projectiles, you do not need to push off with your foot – the speed on them is gained by the movement of the body (as on a swing).

Pluses

  • Fast acceleration;
  • Very high maneuverability;
  • Convenient for performing tricks and feints.

Minuses

  • Unstable.

Mountainboard

Skates for extreme “mountain” riding. These models have huge inflatable wheels up to 8″, which allows them to ride freely on the grass and off-road. The length of the deck reaches 1 m, the width is about 30 cm.

Structurally, these boards are almost identical to others but have a powerful spring suspension, leg mounts, and sometimes a motor.

Pluses

  • No restrictions in the choice of routes;
  • Extreme stability;
  • Perfect shock-absorption;
  • The ability to take lifts in the presence of the engine;
  • The Speed Is High.

Minuses

  • Great weight;
  • Price.

Skateboard selection options

So that the skate does not spoil the riding when buying the vehicle you literally have to collect it by parts:

Deck

Mostly it is made of pressed wood, with few exceptions. The number of layers varies from 6 to 9, but the most popular are seven-layer decks – there are 90% of such on the market. There are the selected tree species that play an important role:

  • Canadian (aka American) maple is the best choice for the skate. Especially appreciated by professionals for its strength with a relatively small weight and perfect elasticity.
  • Chinese maple-quite a bit poorer that the Canadian “brother”, but if there is not enough money for a cool deck, this option is quite suitable.
  • Hardwood this is not a variety, but the General name of hardwood, which has sufficient strength to arrange the usual rides in the city.

Also, the deck may have additional layers, such as a smooth plastic coating that allows you to slide on the railing. But this is an optional element of the skate, in contrast to the grip tape-skin, similar to sandpaper, which does not allow the feet to slip off.

The size of the Skateboard Deck

Further, in order to choose the right deck size, you must choose the appropriate size.

7-1/4 Mini/Kid
Skateboard

deck 7-1/4 Mini/Kid Skateboard

7-1/2 Skateboard Deck
7.5 x 31.5 Inches

7-1/2 Skateboard Deck

7-5/8 Skateboard Deck
7.62 x 31.5 Inches

7-5/8 Skateboard Deck

7-3/4 Skateboard Deck
7.75 x 31.5 Inches

7-3/4 Skateboard Deck

7-7/8 Skateboard Deck
7.87 x 31.5 Inches

7-7/8 Skateboard Deck

8 Inches
Skateboard Deck

8 Skateboard Deck

8-1/4 Skateboard Deck
8.25 x 32.25 Inches

8-1/4 Skateboard Deck

Tracks

Here you need a strong, but light suspension. Alas, such a combination of characteristics is impossible to find. You will have to make a compromise: strong and heavy steel or light, but less durable aluminum.

Also, pay attention to the size of the tracks – they must be made to the width of the Board and have a length of no more than 20 cm.

The size of Skateboard Trucks

Given the size of the deck, you should also choose the right size trucks.

Skateboard Truck

AXLE

HANGER

HEIGHT

Wheels

In all models, except mountainboards, they are made of polyurethane of different hardness:

  • Soft (from 73A to 79A) – designed for a comfortable ride and better control of the Board, but quickly wear out.
  • Average (from 80A to 84A) – the “Golden mean”, which is most often found on complements.
  • Hard (from 87A to 101A) – well gain and keep the speed, are resistant to abrasion, but it does not extinguish the vibration on an uneven road.

As for the diameter of the wheels, choosing it, you choose the speed of your skate, as well as the ability to ride on difficult sections of the road.

Choosing a Skateboard Wheel Size

The choice of wheels for your skateboard depends on your riding style.

How to choose Skateboard Wheels

Standard wheel sizes and features:

  • 54-60 mm. Very fast and well go even on the cracked asphalt, but steep turns are forbidden – will rest against a soundboard.
  • 51-53 mm. Perform themselves well on rough road surface without cracks and potholes.
  • 48-50 mm. The smallest and “slow” wheels are sensitive to surface quality. Suitable except for riding on concrete or special areas for skateboarders.

The width should also correspond to the quality of the road surface – the worse it is, the more massive the wheels are needed.

Bearings

Inside each wheel, when putting them on the tracks, put 2 bearings of the AVES standard. They differ in the class of manufacturing accuracy, and hence the speed of acceleration.

On skates put the following types of bearings:

  • AVES1 – the cheapest and crudely made. Installed on children’s boards and budget shells for beginners. They are not designed for long-term use, and they do not allow you to accelerate too much.
  • AVES3-standard bearings of a middle class with good indicators of durability. The developed speed is quite enough for novice skateboarders-Amateurs.
  • AVES5-ideal for daily riding and allow you to easily disperse the Board. The best projectiles are produced with the “five”.
  • AVES7-has increased complexity of production, so they belong to a higher price category. These bearings have the highest accuracy and reliability, and also allow you to develop high speed, for which they are called racing. “Seven” is chosen by experienced skateboarders and professionals who can make the most out of any Board.
  • AVES9-the most expensive bearings, but in our case – not the best option. When this design was created, the developers did not take into account the needs of athletes and the high loads experienced by the boards. “Nine” was simply unable to work in such harsh conditions – under the weight of the rider, it quickly deforms and fails.

What skateboard to choose

  1. For beginners, classic skate is the most convenient way to learn. The lighter Board is better to take – around 7 layers of any solid wood (beech, ash, birch), would be ok with layers of maple.
  2. Pick up soft wheels, within 78A-84A so they keep well on the road and do not slip. Their width will determine the quality of coverage on the area where you will learn to ride. Here you need class ABES3 or ABES1, specially if the Board is intended for a child.
  3. For daily riding and practicing, tricks for experienced skateboarders The classic board would fit. But here you would need a more reliable and elastic deck made of Chinese maple or with layers of Canadian. Bearings can have 3-5 accuracy class, just above the average stiffness wheels are better to choose – up to 95 A.
  4. For high-speed driving and riding around the city, buy a longboard. Thanks to the large size of the Board and wheels, you can quickly get to the place. Just look for a well-cushioned suspension with wheels of medium stiffness and maximum width, so that you can easily pass the roughness on the asphalt, and at the same time extend the life of the skate.
  5. Experienced riders can even choose a freeboard or streetboard – their maneuverability in the city will be just right.

If you have decided on the type of board in the table below, you can choose the parameters for the selection of parts for your skateboard.

Truck SizeHanger (mm)Axle (in)Board Range (in)
129127.007.67.4″-7.75″
139137.0087.75″-8.25″
149150.008.58.25″-8.75″
169160.008.98.75″-9.75″
215183.00109.75″ and up

Now you know what types of skateboards are, how they differ and you probably already know for what purpose you want to use the board. If you want to learn how to stick on board, both the classic version of the skateboard and the plastic pennyboard will suit you if you want to choose for your child.

Ralph Martin / Author
When you have to make a choice, you need to understand the choices you make. Make informed choices
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