Longboards excel when covering longer distances on roads and bike paths or for “bombing” hills. The wider trucks and wheelbase provide superior stability, and larger wheel options help retain speed for faster commuting. Still, longboards are less responsive than shorter boards and don’t always have kick tails, making them less functional in tight spaces.
A good helmet protects your most important vital organ. Remember that in some states helmets are required by law. In Oregon, for example, skaters 15 and under can be fined for not wearing a helmet. Knee and elbow pads will also save you from bumps and bruises. Knee pads are particularly valuable when learning to skate tall vertical walls because they allow you to slide down the wall on your knees instead of having to run out of every bailed attempt. Wrist and ankle injuries are common in skateboarding, so braces are another great investment.
Now you need to look at the wheels of your skateboard. There are dozens of different sizes, materials, shapes, and features of skateboard wheels, and it can get confusing for beginners. The most common type of wheel is a hard plastic wheel, and for beginners, you’ll usually see a “90a” level wheel. Professional skaters often choose even harder wheels, up to a 100a, because it gives them more “pop” for tricks. But somewhere between a 90a and a 97a is usually best for beginners.
In 1976, skateboarding was transformed by the invention of the ollie by Alan "Ollie" Gelfand. It remained largely a unique Florida trick until the summer of 1978, when Gelfand made his first visit to California. Gelfand and his revolutionary maneuvers caught the attention of the West Coast skaters and the media where it began to spread worldwide. The ollie was adapted to flat ground by Rodney Mullen in 1982. Mullen also invented the "Magic Flip," which was later renamed the kickflip, as well as many other tricks including, the 360 Kickflip, which is a 360 pop shove-it and a kickflip in the same motion. The flat ground ollie allowed skateboarders to perform tricks in mid-air without any more equipment than the skateboard itself, it has formed the basis of many street skating tricks. A recent development in the world of trick skating is the 1080, which was first ever landed by Tom Schaar in 2012.
This is an interesting option because it is basically a hybrid between a blank and pro skateboard deck. It’s like a pro board in that is has a “brand” and logo, but the cost is similar to blanks and they don’t sponsor the same quantity and caliber of professional skaters that other pro brands do. While the logo is really cool and the rest of the parts seem to be high quality, you may not get the same brand recognition with Punisher as you would with other brands like Element or Toy Machine. This deck is also 7.5″ which makes it a great choice for a younger beginner. This is the perfect beginner skateboard for someone who doesn’t really care about the brand name, but still wants the style and performance of an above average professional skateboard.
Moving on to our favorite pick from the Plan B series, Plan B Skateboard Complete Felipe Victory 7.6″ Tensor Assembled, suitable for all kinds of riders, but is an ideal skateboard for intermediate skateboard riders. The deck is made from 100% North American maple and measures 7,6 inches. Its wheels are 52mm TGM wheels which means it is excellent for both street and park skating. We also love its lightweight trucks and heavy-duty aluminium with grade 8 steel kingpins and axles plus the bushings (USA made) and pivot cups. The bearings are rated 5 on the ABEC scale.
Penny Skateboards have a reputation of exceeding customer expectations and have a growing fan base. People love their aesthetically pleasing, good functioning plastic skateboards which are also, by the way, best skateboards for beginners. Their plastic formula for skateboard decks makes their decks stronger and more flexible than all other plastic skateboards. Its light weight and small size makes it easier to use for beginners and kids alike. Moreover, Penny is also famous for the variety of skateboards that it provides ranging from their classic skateboards to their glow series, graphic and metallic fade skateboards. We saved the best for the last; you can even design your own Penny skateboard!
By the 1960s a small number of surfing manufacturers in Southern California such as Jack's, Kips', Hobie, Bing's and Makaha started building skateboards that resembled small surfboards, and assembled teams to promote their products. One of the earliest Skateboard exhibitions was sponsored by Makaha's founder, Larry Stevenson, in 1963 and held at the Pier Avenue Junior High School in Hermosa Beach, California. Some of these same teams of skateboarders were also featured on a television show called "Surf's Up" in 1964, hosted by Stan Richards, that helped promote skateboarding as something new and fun to do.
The concave of a skateboard deck is how curved the width of the deck is. Very few skateboard decks have no concavity and are completely flat as then they would break very easily and be hard to do flip tricks on. Steep concave decks are the most study and best to do flip tricks on because the slope of the deck catches the skater’s toe or heel more easily and flips the board faster than a shallower deck. Shallow concave boards are better for cruising around and vert skating as they are more comfortable on your feet and more controllable. In practice, these recommendations are pretty general and it ultimately comes down to personal preference on the the best deck concavity. But if you have no idea, following the recommendations or picking a board with moderate concavity is a good place to start.
The skateboard has a solid and stiff mini-deck, which is around 22 inches and constructed out of 100% plastic material. Such deck is very lightweight. It is only four pounds but you have an assurance that it can handle up to 198 lbs. of weight. You will also fall in love with the board as it comes in 23 graphics and colors, so picking a favorite is much easier.
This board is an excellent option for beginners because of its simplicity and durability. The lightly concave design allows for simple turns but doesn’t require the rider to be an excellent navigator. You can start off riding this deck down the street and use it as you learn ollies, kickflips, and how to drop in to a half pipe. It will withstand it all and look good doing it.
As the name implies, a complete skateboard contains all the parts listed above, but in an already assembled ready-to-ride skateboard. The advantage to buying a complete is it completely eliminates the research and guesswork of buying each product individually and ensures that the skateboard is assembled correctly and safely. This is the approach I used when buying a skateboard for my nephew and what I recommend for people buying a skateboard as a gift or as their very first skateboard for themselves.
Want the same great performance and high-quality construction as a name brand deck but don’t have a large budget? Blank decks are your answer. Depending on the brand, blank decks can be similar or better than pro decks and are available in just as many or more shape options. These decks are perfect for people who love skating and don’t really care about supporting a profession or the graphic on their deck. Blanks are also great for aggressive skaters who go through decks quickly as many blank skateboard decks are sold in bulk packs of 3, 5, or even 10 decks per pack.
The first thing to consider is what kind of skateboarding you want to do. Do you want to skate your local skate park and learn tricks? Do you want something for commuting across town or campus? Or, would you enjoy charging down hills at high speeds? Take a look at the options below and note which features work well for the type of skating you want to do.
POSITIV has begun to gain some serious momentum in the past years. They released an entire line of team completes in sizes ranging from 7.5-8.0″ at very affordable prices. This specific deck is 7.75″ so it is a comfortable size for all ages and weights. The great thing about this board is that it includes MiniLogo bearings and other pro brand parts. The deck also uses a rare waterproof sealant and slide coat to ensure that the deck lasts longer and slides smoother than other skateboards on the market. The overwhelmingly “positive” (no pun intended) reviews speak for themselves with this skateboard.
Decks come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can choose a mini-board, a cruiser, a drop-through, or a standard deck for your favorite set of wheels and hardware. Widths range too from a few inches with a 22-inch board to the wide size of a true cruiser. Some decks are flat as possible while others are significantly concave for optimized turning. You can buy a deck with artwork and grip tape already attached for a quick install or you can get a bare-bones wooden deck to truly customize.