Beginners guide to buying your first skateboard
If you are going to buy your son, daughter or any young relation a skateboard and haven't ever skated yourself it can seem overwhelming. Perhaps you are shopping for a board for yourself. Whoever it is for, this post has been put together to answer frequently asked questions and explain the different complete skateboards we have for sale and who they would be suitable for. We also talk you through putting one together from scratch. If you are reading this you are already in the right place.
Putting together a custom complete from scratch
When buying a skateboard the best way to make sure you get exactly what you want is to opt for putting together a custom complete. With such a large selection of products available this can appear daunting so we have put together this guide to break it all down so you can consider this option. You will find it filled with information about each stage of selecting the individual components you need. Board widths and the trucks you will need for different sizes are well explained in one of the helpful visual aids accompanying this post. If starting from scratch doesn't appeal to you we have hand picked a large selection of complete ready assembled skateboards. These simplify purchasing a skateboard for the first time and are explained at the end of this guide. Whichever option you choose we have you covered...
Picking a Board
Picking your Board is important, you will be looking at that graphic for a while so hopefully there will be something from the over 300 boards we have on offer which catches your eye. The shape and size of the board you pick is the most important factor. That is what you will be looking down on, standing on and learning to manoeuvre so size is key. If you look through our selection of boards you will notice that the width of them varies from 7.5" all the way through to some which are 10" wide. We tend to recommend that a small person selects a board on the narrower end of the spectrum so between 7.5" wide and 8" wide. Our thinking behind this is that the less board there is, the easier it is to flip around and work with when it comes to that. We can advise when it comes to shapes and sizes but finding a board you are happy with generally comes first.
Now you have picked your board you need to select a set of Trucks. You will need to purchase two trucks. These come in a variety of sizes and we only stock a few brands which makes it marginally less confusing. The merits of the three main truck brands we stock are explained HERE. What trucks you go for is also dictated to some extent by the width of the board you chose as having a wide board with narrow trucks is a disaster. We can advise you as to what size works best. Many of these companies offer lighter versions of their standard trucks where much of the weight is shaved off by introducing hollow axles and kingpins. All of this can be explained too. Here is a key to sizes…
Once you have a set of trucks picked out you can select a set of Skateboard Wheels. They come in sets of four. We stock wheels from many different companies. They come in a variety of sizes, colours and hardnesses. Most complete boards we assemble will have wheels which are between 50mm and 54mm wide, this is because you can put these on the trucks without a riser pad. If the wheels you want are any bigger a riser pad has to sit beneath the truck to prevent wheel bite when you turn. This is when the wheel rubs on the underside of the board. We also offer some wheels which are a softer compound which are designed more for cruising around than learning tricks. They are great for rolling around on rough surfaces but tend to grip most surfaces making any kind of slide an impossibility. All of this can be discussed, we can show you through all the wheels we stock including our own.
Bolts and Bearings
With everything else picked all you need to do is choose some Bolts which fix the trucks to the board and some Bearings which sit inside the wheels and make them spin. Bearings vary drastically in price, starting from as little as £8 and peaking at nearly £80. Our best selling bearings are Bones Reds which are £15.95 to give you an idea. More involved bearing buying advice can be found HERE.
Picking a ready made complete
For years we have offered already assembled Complete Skateboards. Some of these we assemble ourselves and others we order as completes from one of the companies whose boards we stock. We have checked out the variety of different hardware there is out there and made well researched decisions as to what we use. We opted for Bullet trucks which turn well but we get for a lower price meaning we can offer you an affordable entry level setup. These completes start from as low as £79.95. The advantage of buying one of these completes is that it will last you a long time compared to cheaper ones on the market. Cheaper ones tend to deteriorate quickly, meaning that you will have to start from scratch again once its life is over. Essentially buy cheap, buy twice. All of our completes and the components they comprise of will last well, meaning that you can upgrade separate bits, as and when you need them. All of our completes can be viewed HERE