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.
Another bonus of shopping at an actual skate shop is that you get to see what the boards look like in person. Most skate shops will have a cool wall of boards, and it's fun to just stand there and look at all the graphics. If one jumps out and grabs you, then you can ask the shop owner about the brand, and whether it's a good one. There's nothing wrong at all with buying a skateboard deck because you like the graphics!
Many of the most popular skateboard brands sponsor teams of skaters, like Zero's Jamie Thomas and Element's Barn Margera. Professional skaters are often good sources of information as to what skateboard you should buy. If a pro skater rides a certain board, there is a good chance that if he or she finds that it is high enough quality you will also like the board. Users looking for a new skateboard will want to research a variety of different brands to find the one that best suits their needs, based on function and features.
Typically when looking at different completes you will see size dimensions in the format of ~7-8 x 31-34″. This measurement is referring to the width and length of the skateboard deck. Typically all other parts are relatively standard and the deck size is the main thing to look for. Standard skateboard widths for beginners are between 7.5-8.25 with smaller boards being better for younger and smaller guys. You don’t really have to worry about length much as long as it’s shaped regularly. You may hear about the concave of the deck or a special type of board construction, but for the most part, it will not matter much to a beginner. If you have no idea what size would be best you will never go wrong with a 7.5 or 7.75.
This period was fueled by skateboard companies that were run by skateboarders. The focus was initially on vert ramp skateboarding. The invention of the no-hands aerial (later known as the ollie) by Alan Gelfand in Florida in 1976, and the almost parallel development of the grabbed aerial by George Orton and Tony Alva in California, made it possible for skaters to perform airs on vertical ramps. While this wave of skateboarding was sparked by commercialized vert ramp skating, a majority of people who skateboarded during this period didn't ride vert ramps. As most people could not afford to build vert ramps, or did not have access to nearby ramps, street skating increased in popularity.
Individuality and a self-expressed casual style have always been cultural values for skateboarders, as uniforms and jerseys are not typically worn. This type of personal style for skateboarders is often reflected in the graphical designs illustrated on the bottom of the deck of skateboards, since its initial conception in the mid seventies, when Wes Humpston and Jim Muri first began doing design work for Dogtown Skateboards out of their garage by hand, creating the very first iconic skateboard-deck art with the design of the "Dogtown Cross".
A rugged street inspired brand founded by Stevie Williams and Troy Williams, DGK has been a favorite of inner city kids for years. Interestingly, this brand has found its way into mainstream streetwear culture through famous skateboarding rappers such as Lil Wayne and others. An overall solid brand with great products and street inspired logos and graphics.
The first skateboards started with wooden boxes, or boards, with roller skate wheels attached to the bottom. Crate scooters preceded skateboards, having a wooden crate attached to the nose (front of the board), which formed rudimentary handlebars. The boxes turned into planks, similar to the skateboard decks of today. An American WAC, Betty Magnuson, reported seeing French children in the Montmartre section of Paris riding on boards with roller skate wheels attached to them in late 1944.
The Golden Dragon is a fantastic board for beginners, and it’s all in the wheels. The high-rebound polyurethane wheels are hand-cast and offer amazing grip as you ride, plus fantastic roll. The deck itself is just slightly longer than a standard skateboard, which offers a bit more stability for beginners, who might be worried about sliding or slipping off a shorter board. Additionally, this board features the All Powell-Peralta Ligament strap, an important safety feature that keeps the deck together if it should break. This helps prevent injury and provides a little more peace of mind for the rider.