Beginners guide to: Skateboards
Buying your first skateboard is the exciting first step on your shred journey, and it all begins with picking the right board for you. This page will help you learn some of the terms you'll want to know, and give some helpful advice on what to look for in your first deck.
The words you need to know:
A Skateboard. A deck is the wooden piece that makes up the majority of your board. you'll hear these called all kinds of things, but "deck" is probably the main one. They come in all different shapes, sizes and from tons of different brands.
A deck that's designed more for riding around than for doing tricks. These wider, longer boards will often be paired with bigger, softer wheels to help deal with bigger bumps in the road and rocks. Get one of these if you just want something for transportation, and don't necessarily care much about doing tricks.
The most common shape of skateboard. These are the boards you'll see pro's like Chris Joslin, Nora Vasconcellos or Nyjah Huston riding in their video parts. The shape will vary from brand to brand, and which brand you like will be up to you, but if your looking to kick flip, ollie and grind, this is the shape of skateboard you'll want.
Picking your first board
Now that we know a few of the terms, lets look at picking the right board for you! There are two key things to keep in mind when your picking your board. The Size, and the Shape
The size of your board refers to the width, not the length. Although some boards may be slightly longer or shorter, the vast majority will be the same at around 31 inches.
Skateboards come in a wide variety of sizes, but for the most part will fall between 7.75 inches and 9 inches.
Smaller Boards i.e. 7.75", 8.0", 8.138" are better for flip tricks. The smaller size will make flip tricks easier, because the board can get around faster, giving you more time to catch the board and land the trick.
Medium Boards i.e. 8.138", 8.25", 8.375" are great for just about everything. From flipping to grinding and just skating around for most people these boards will do everything. You really can't go wrong picking a size close to 8.25 for your first skateboard.
Bigger Boards i.e 8.5", 8.75", 9.00" are typically reserved for either big cruiser boards, or in some cases for transition skating (quarter pipes and bowls) while you certainly can do flip tricks on these, the wide base is much better suited in places where stability, not flipability is key to success.
For Kids under 8 we recommend a smaller board that will better fit smaller feet, however a slightly wider board, such as an 8" would be fine as well.
For everyone over 8, there are a lot of options. Wider boards are easier to balance and learn on but will be harder for flip tricks like the kick flip. The most common size is around 8.25 (also called 8 and a quarter). This is a great size to start learning on at any age, although might be tough for younger children to learn aforementioned flip tricks.
Every brand will have different shapes, and each shape can be better suited to individual riders style and trick selection. Some boards have bigger noses and tails, some have a more concave shape than others. Each brand will be a bit different than the next. For most experienced skaters the shape of the board is a matter of preference, just what feels best under their feet. One key difference between shapes is how concave the board is.
For Beginners we recommend you pick one that is round on both ends, with medium or light concave.
If all of this seems like kind of a lot, then just head over to our SKATE COMPLETES section, where we've brought together a selection of boards we think are perfect for beginners.