Buying your skateboard: Getting it right

Whether you’re new to the sport or an old skateboarding hand, getting the skateboard that’s right for you can seem something of a challenge. And, while it clearly isn’t the toughest decision of your life, it can certainly seem that way, especially given the huge amount of choice available on today’s market.

To break the decision down, start with deciding whether to buy a “Complete” board that’s already been put together, or to assemble one yourself. The second option may be a little ambitious if you are a first-timer.

Many skaters flounder deciding on dimensions for their skateboard. But it needn’t be a problem.

Understand that skateboard decks are available in varied widths, and this can be a more important factor than wheelbase length.

The width you choose will depend on how big you are, the way you skate and your personal preferences. Adult skaters over 5ft 3” who take a size 9 shoe or bigger will want a full size deck of 7.5” or wider.

Other considerations include your skateboard trucks or the T-shaped bits of metal mounted underneath the deck of your board. Its width needs to closely match that of your deck. Every board needs two trucks.

The truck profile height, or measurement between the skate deck bottom and general hanger, is another factor. While most boarders want mid-sized trucks, for some tricks and styles, you may favour a low or high truck.

The wheels on skateboards (usually made of polyurethane) have different colours, sizes and levels of robustness. Diameter is measure in millimetres, and smaller wheels mean slower boarding, bigger ones make the board travel more quickly. For beginners, average wheel size is 54-59mm, smaller ones will be more stable for tricks and smaller riders, as well as street skating.

Also look at the wheels’ hardness – the harder the wheel, the faster you will travel, but with softer wheels you will have an improved grip on the surface you are riding on. Hardness is measured by something called the Durometer A Scale.

Finally, skateboard bearings are all the same size, so that’s one less thing to worry about. But go for ones rated more highly for quality.

These are just some of the things to take into account – ask us if you have any more questions.

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