Which skateboard for beginners is best?
When you’re just starting out and don’t yet know your trucks from your tail, the prospect of buying a skateboard can seem daunting. Choosing the best skateboard for beginners is about balancing quality and affordability. Nobody wants to spend hundreds of dollars on a skateboard only for it to gather dust for the next decade.
If you’re looking for a quality board from a big-name skateboard brand that’s decent to ride but won’t break the bank, the Santa Cruz Screaming Hand Complete Skateboard is a safe bet.
What to know before you buy a skateboard for beginners
For the majority of beginner skateboarders, a standard modern skateboard deck style — sometimes known as a “Popsicle” deck — is the way to go. Whether you’re ultimately interested in street skating or transitions, this is the type of deck that almost all skaters use. Some skaters prefer cruiser decks for cruising — that is, riding around on streets or paved trails — but you can also cruise on a Popsicle deck and it’s a more versatile choice if you decide you want to learn some flip tricks or to carve a bowl down the line. Penny boards and mini cruisers might be appealing for their portable sizes and affordable prices, but they’re hard to balance on and impractical to learn on.
Wheels for park skating and street skating are usually between 50 and 60 mm, with wheels of 54 mm and up feeling most stable for beginners — 54 mm to 60 mm wheels are also great for cruising. For street skating and transition skating — skating ramps, pipes and bowls — harder wheels between 95a and 99a are standard. The slightly softer 95a wheels offer slightly more grip, which helps you feel more stable when just starting out. Even softer 75a to 90a wheels are usually found on cruiser skateboards, as they feel smoother rolling over slightly rough surfaces and can roll over cracks in the sidewalk and small objects without sending you flying.
What to look for in a quality skateboard for beginners
All full size skateboards are roughly the same length, it’s the width that differs. Wider boards are more stable, so they’re great for beginners — something between 8 and 8.5 inches is ideal. While they’re a little harder to pop (get off the ground), this isn’t something new skaters will need to worry about for a while.
The graphic is the artwork found on the underside of the board. It might not change the way your skateboard performs, but it looks cool.
You don’t need to worry too much about the trucks on a beginner skateboard. Once your skating has improved and you’re looking to build your own deck from scratch, you might want to upgrade your trucks to something durable enough to stand up to heavy use.
How much you can expect to spend on a skateboard for beginners
You don’t want to spend a fortune on a skateboard for beginners, just in case you don’t take to the sport, but you don’t want to spend too little, either, or you’ll end up with a useless board that isn’t much more than a toy. Expect to pay $50-$100 for a beginner skateboard.
Skateboard for beginners FAQ
Is it hard to learn to skateboard?
A. Skateboarding isn’t easy to master — it takes years of dedication to amass a decent bag of tricks. Expect to fall regularly and attempt new moves and tricks over and over until you get it right. That said, most people can get a decent grip on the basics of skating — balancing on the board, pushing and carving — within a few hours, although you’ll probably feel slightly wobbly and uncertain for weeks. Although it’s tricky to learn to skate, it’s also great fun. There’s an excellent community of skaters, so you’ll likely make friends along the way.
What safety gear do beginner skateboarders need?
A. It’s important for all skaters to wear safety gear. While more experienced skaters sometimes go without, beginner skateboarders usually don’t know how to bail to avoid nasty falls or how to fall safely. They’re more likely to fall often and are therefore more prone to injury. At the bare minimum, you should wear a helmet and knee pads, but ideally, you should have wrist guards and elbow pads, too.
What’s the best skateboard for beginners to buy?
Top skateboard for beginners
What you need to know: An excellent complete board from a popular skate brand, it’s ideal for beginner skaters who are serious about learning.
What you’ll love: This board measures 8 inches across, so it offers a stable base for beginners. It features quality Bullet trucks and Slime Balls 95a wheels. The graphic features the classic Santa Cruz screaming hand design.
What you should consider: This skateboard is on the higher end of the price spectrum, so some new skaters might prefer a cheaper option.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top skateboard for beginners for the money
What you need to know: This affordable skateboard is perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to spend much on a first board.
What you’ll love: You can choose from a range of simple graphics, so you should be able to find a design you like. The hard 99a wheels are great for use at skate parks. The deck measures 8 inches across.
What you should consider: While it’s fine for complete beginners, buyers who take to skating will likely want to upgrade within a few months.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is a versatile board that’s great for cruising, as well as some basic park, transition and street skating.
What you’ll love: The large, soft 60 mm 78A wheels can deal with slightly rough terrain, which is ideal for cruising. Measuring 8.5 inches across, this board gives you an extremely stable base. The trucks and bearings are of decent quality for a complete.
What you should consider: Although the 8.5-inch deck is great for stability, smaller skaters might find it hard to push and — eventually — pop to attempt ollies and flip tricks.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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