How To Choose The Best Skateboarding Brands
Here is what you need to do...
The first step in knowing how to choose the best brands is knowing the key components of the skateboard. The big four are: Deck Trucks Wheels Bearings
The Deck- Your deck is the actual wooden board part of the skateboard. Decks vary greatly in shape, size, and quality. Most boards today are made of 7 plies of Canadian Maple. Sometimes long boards are made of other materials like teak, balsa, or bamboo; however, a deck intended to be used for aggressive skateboarding should be Canadian Maple.
I've had a lot of different skateboards from a lot of different companies and its impossible to pick one that has been far superior to the others. In fact, Many of the big skateboard companies actually get their decks from the same sources. The size and shape of the board is of much more importance than the actual brand, especially for beginners. The width of the board for a beginner should range from 7.00"-7.75". The nose of the board (front of the board) should be slightly wider than the tail (rear). It should have a medium amount of pop (lift of the nose and tail) and concave (curve that runs the length of the board).
My first board was an element and while its not my favorite brand I can definitely recommend it. Other brands I've had success with included: Flip, Birdhouse, Powell, and Black Label. Pro model boards typically cost $45-$65. A cheaper alternative is to buy a blank deck or shop deck. They're usually just as good as pro models and are about $35-$45.
The Trucks- The trucks act as the axle for the wheels, connect the wheels to the deck, and are responsible for turning and grinding. The two important aspects of trucks are how tight or loose the truck is and how high the truck is. The looser the truck the easier it is to turn and viceversa. A novice skater is going to want something with a medium height and looseness. The tightness of the truck can be adjusted to fit the skaters needs.
The width of the trucks should be as wide or just slightly narrower as the width of the board. Personally I recommend Independent Truck Co. over any other brand. I also like destructo, tensor, thunder, and silver. Trucks cost about $45-$55 a set.
Wheels- Skate wheels have two main measurements to them, diameter and hardness. Different combinations of size and hardness are used for different terrains and styles of skating. A beginner skater is going to want something about 53mm-56mm with medium hardness.
My favorite brand by far is Bones. I've also liked spitfires, and rictas. Blank wheels (kind of like the fore mentioned blank decks) can provided a cheaper alternative without sacrificing quality. A set of wheels can cost anywhere from $30 to $60.
Bearings- The bearings go inside the wheel and cause them to spin on the axle of the truck. Bearings might be the most argued about part of a skateboard but once you understand how they're made it becomes simple to pick out the best. Bones reds are my favorite. If they're kept clean they will last forever and they're reasonably priced for the quality. Lucky bearings would be my second choice, they're slightly less expensive but not quite as nice. Bones Reds and Luckys cost about $15 a set. Bones also has some more expensive bearings that are of a higher quality. A set of Bones ceramic bearings costs about $100 but will last forever without ever getting slower.
Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.
Experienced skaters choose each piece of their board individually to create a custom set up that caters to their own unique style. Many online shops sell "completes" for about $150-$200. These come pre assembled with all the parts included. This can be helpful for a novice, however, buying parts individually at a local shop is a much better bet. This way you can see shop clerk assemble the board so when you're ready for your next board you'll be able to do it yourself.
Stuff You'll Need
|Birdhouse 7.75 Full Skull Team Skateboard Deck||$54.99|
|ELEMENT Skateboards DISPERSION||$67.99|
Suggested Further Reading
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This Student Author's Background
Funny or interesting story about this topic...
I used to work at Lake Owen action sports camp as a skateboard instructor and skate shop manager. The Summers I spent there taught me all about the ins and outs of the skate industry.
When did you first do this & how did you get started?
I got my first skateboard when I was about 7 years old. It was just a kmart board. I started skating aggressively when I was about 13 years old and upgraded to a professional grade skateboard.