You’re just looking for a quality skateboard to buy for a beginner (either you or someone you know), but you have no idea where to start. You see bearings, hardware, wheels, decks, and trucks being advertised but don’t want to spend hours researching which individual part to buy. This is how I felt when I was first looking to but a complete skateboard for my nephew for Christmas many years ago. I wanted something that he would love, but also that was safe and would not break the bank. After researching and making a decision I thought it would be useful to share this information with others who may be in a similar situation.
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.
This brand gets its name from a slang term for strip club. One video was called “Chicken Bone Nowison,” and it opens with a scene of skater pummeling a security guard. Is that not awesome enough? If there is a company that embodies a more perfect IDGAF attitude in skateboarding, please let me know. For the homies, by the homies is their mantra, which is pretty cool with a team comprised of rippers like Theotis Beasley, Andrew Reynolds, Dustin Dollin, Jim Greco, Terry Kennedy, Lizard King… The list goes on.
Rarely you make notice your deck to lose concavity or flatten over time. Although this isn’t very common, it’s typically due to water damage and is a sign of many other problems. Wooden decks are not meant to get wet and they will warp, crack, and break if they get soaked. It’s pretty simple and straightforward to avoid this problem. Keep your skateboard in a dry place, and don’t skate in the rain or through puddles. Skating through water will also destroy your bearings, if deck warping and breaking wasn’t a good enough reason for you to not do it.
Stacy Peralta and George Powell rekindled their business relationship in 2010 and have since been extremely successful once more, particularly through the re-release of many of their classic legacy skateboards, assisted by the return of the legendary graphic artist Vernon Courtlandt Johnson (aka VCJ) who was responsible for creating many of the brand’s most iconic board graphics.
As Palace’s reputation began to grow, the brand added more riders, including ex-Stereo Skateboards pro Benny Fairfax, ex-Blueprint Skateboards pros Danny Brady and Chewy Cannon and Southbank mainstays Karim Bakhtaoui and Blondey McCoy. From the outset, Palace’s approach was to mix a core skate team with a heavy emphasis on soft goods which almost immediately propelled their appeal way beyond the confines of the skateboard market and expedited their growth into one of the biggest names in the street wear arena.
I'm not talking about mall chain stores, like Zumiez; I mean a locally owned and operated skateboard shop. Look around at what they sell, and talk to the staff about the different brands. Of course, they may be biased toward the brands they carry, but chances are you'll learn something that will help you make a decision. There are some big-name board brands that you'll find in most shops, but there should also be some smaller brands you may not have heard or seen around town. There might even be a a local skater or manufacturer that you could support.
The skateboard companies that are considered at the top include Element Skateboards. Founded by professional skateboarder Johnny Schillereff in 1992, the company’s goal was to expand on Johnny’s “Elementality” vision to build a company that helped to bring awareness to skateboarding. The goal is to focus on its uses in nature and the environment and the interconnecting of art and skateboarding. Developed from an urban mentality that was rough around the edges, the brand was transformed to embrace the “tree” logo with an emphasis on the positive and making the world a better place. A customer can purchase complete skateboards that include the decks, wheels, trucks, and bearings or they can customize a deck to suit their needs. Accessories and clothing are also offered. There are 20 professional skateboarders on the Elements team including such names as Brandon Westgate, Nyjah Houston, Mark Appleyard and Nick Garcia.
A skateboard is a special type of sports equipment crafted from a long piece of maple wood with a polyurethane coating for increased durability and easy sliding while in motion. The wood is attached to four wheels and propelled forward by either the push of a rider's foot or by the gravitational forces acting upon them in a given circumstance, which means that a rider can simply stand on the board's surface and ride it downhill without using their feet at all. Skateboards are available as either long boards or short boards. Long boards are usually between thirty-five and sixty inches long and are ideal for cruising purposes and downhill racing. They are typically more expensive than short boards, which are around thirty inches long and are designed for getting air and performing stunts or tricks.
Canadian maple wood decks are the industry standard and is what the vast majority of decks on this list will be made of. However, is the seller just says “maple” the deck is typically made in China and the wood may be slightly softer and lower quality. This is more common among the lower cost blank decks, and most pro brands or higher end blanks are typically 100% Canadian maple. In my opinion, the difference between Canadian and Chinese maple decks is slight and in many cases, a cheaper Chinese deck may be the better option for you if you have a small budget or tend to go through decks very quickly.
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.
Following The Real video, the brand released full-length videos at regular intervals, with each release being celebrated as a classic overview of the era involved. 1997’s Non-Fiction, featuring founder Jim Thiebaud and a revamped team including the likes of Mark Gonzales, Keith Hufnagel, Joey Bast, Drake Jones and one-time Real female rider Jamie Reyes is seen these days as one of the precursor’s of skateboarding’s general shift away from unbridled technical progression towards a heavier emphasis on style.
If what you want out of your first skateboard is something very stable to just get the feel of riding without the danger, the Atom Drop Deck is perfect. This is a longboard, meaning it’s perfect for longer rides and cruising around. The components are made to handle lots of wear and tear, and the low-ride deck makes you feel more in control, closer to the ground, and more stable.
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.