Ever notice small vertical or horizontal cracks through your grip tape or by the hardware of your trucks?  These are called stress or pressure cracks and are basically mini fractures of your skateboard deck that typically are seen in the areas of the deck that withstand the greatest impact (around the trucks).  A few pressure cracks is generally no big deal and you won’t even notice them while skating, but they can compound and grow larger and make your deck lose “pop” and increase the chance of snapping.  To avoid pressure cracks, you cant use riser pads underneath your trucks to reduce the level of impact your deck takes.  You should also avoid over tightening your hardware and storing your skateboard in a very humid place as both of these practices can also make your board weaker and more susceptible to pressure cracks.
Remember don't get those cheap skateboards from Walmart. They won't hold up to any skating and can break from a single ollie that is landed improperly. I know they are cheap, but 2 cheap boards a week for a few weeks adds up to the price of 2 or 3 expensive boards. These boards are also heavier and slow which makes them much more difficult to do tricks on.
If you are completely new to skateboarding, consider taking a minute to read through the Skateboard Decks Section in our Buyer’s Guide will be helpful, but a good rule of thumb is: the bigger your feet, the wider your board should be. If you wear a size 9 and up, you can’t go wrong with buying an 8” board. Narrow boards are easier to flip while wider boards are more stable, but there are no hard and fast rules to skateboarding. The only way to really find out what you like is by trying new shapes, sizes, and brands. Brands like Welcome, Baker, Chocolate, Deathwish, and Element all have a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and graphics.