FTC has grown from being the staple skate shop of the Bay Area to being a respected brand pushing skateboarding across the globe. Their SF flagship sits in the famous Haight Ashburry district, always attracting visitors and giving them a look into what skateboarding is really like in this day and age. FTC will have you covered in their own gear, and will also always be pushing the next big thing in their shops, and they never make a bad call.
We have unfortunately seen low quality skateboards that even try to use plastic trucks (please avoid). However it can be really hard to spot a poorly made metal truck without skating it. Brand awareness can come into play here again. The manufacturers name should be marked on the trucks. A quality set of trucks (2 per board) could start out as low as around $30 and will go up from there. 
Hardware won’t have an effect on your skating. Standard 7/8 - 1 inch hardware will work for most skateboards. However, if you use riser pads, be sure that you have long enough hardware to go all the way through the deck, trucks and riser pad. If you're unsure what length of hardware you need, give one of our experts a call at 888.450.5060 and we'll be stoked to help you out.
Girl skateboards are know for their witty graphics and high quality canadian maple decks. This specific complete features Mike Carroll’s pro deck and it comes fully assembled directly from the manufacturer (Girl).   The reason this is such a great option for beginners is that all parts of this complete are truly pro quality and it’s built to last.  The width is also perfect for all ages and shoe sizes at a moderate 7.8″.  Definitely a great skateboard for beginners if you like the graphic and logo.
Mixing a clean and colourful graphical identity with tongue-in-cheek parodies of existing brand logos (most notably the now largely discontinued Starbucks homage), Skateboard Cafe have carved a niche within the flooded UK skateboard market largely based on their skater-owned status, the lack of conceit in their identity and a regular and well-received output of video content.

Keep in mind that the deck width will also affect the size of the trucks that you use. You’ll need wider trucks to make a wider deck more stable. If you see a wide deck with narrow trucks, you can expect the ride to be wobbly and hard to manage. Pay attention to the bushings on the board as well. If the bushings are very firm, you’ll have a more stable ride, but it also makes it harder to turn. Soft bushings are much more responsive, but you do lose a little bit of stability. If you don’t know if your bushings are firm or soft, you likely have soft bushings, since this is the default.

Girl skateboards are know for their witty graphics and high quality canadian maple decks. This specific complete features Mike Carroll’s pro deck and it comes fully assembled directly from the manufacturer (Girl).   The reason this is such a great option for beginners is that all parts of this complete are truly pro quality and it’s built to last.  The width is also perfect for all ages and shoe sizes at a moderate 7.8″.  Definitely a great skateboard for beginners if you like the graphic and logo.
Modern decks are made with a composite of thin layers of either maple or bamboo pressed into a near symmetrical shape with a nose equal to or longer than the tail. The deck should be concave (subtle U shape) along the whole board with both the nose and tail angled upwards (the "kick" of the board). Conceptually while the skateboard is a platform, it also serves to cup the balls of the skater’s feet with rising sides, nose and tail providing the foundation for pretty much all modern skateboard tricks.
Without good grip tape, skaters have a tough time staying on top of their board. The main complaints about poor grip tape tend to be that it was never very grippy or lost its grip really quickly. Once again, we recommend trusting in name brands with years of experience supporting skateboarders. Unfortunately, if you are buying a pre-made complete skateboard, you probably won't have access to the brand name of the grip. 
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