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How to Choose a Skateboard

As early as the 1930s, kids were attaching roller skates to two-by-fours and calling them skateboards, but oh, how times have changed.


  • Step 1: Know your boards Knowing the basic components of a skateboard is key to finding the right board for you. They are: the skateboard deck (the board itself), the trucks (the metal mounts that attach to the wheels), and the wheels.
  • Step 2: Choose the width Begin by choosing the width of your deck. Most measure between 7½' to 8¼' wide. Decks wider than 8' offer good stability and control for ramps, half pipes, and pools. Narrower decks offer better maneuverability for tricks and flips.
  • TIP: If you want to do a bit of both, an 8' deck is a nice compromise.
  • Step 3: Choose the length Select the length of the deck, which is usually between 31' and 33'. Any longer, and the board is meant for cruising. Shorter boards are easier to control--perfect for beginners, children, and petite riders.
  • Step 4: Choose the material Decide on the material of the deck. Wood is the most common, with Canadian Maple being the most popular. Plastic is cheaper and more durable, though it’s less responsive. Aluminum and fiberglass decks are also alternatives, but they’re pricey.
  • TIP: While you can buy cheap skateboards, it’s better to invest in reputable brands--it’s cheaper than paying for an injury.
  • Step 5: Choose the concavity Choose the concavity of the deck, which has a raised nose, tail, and sides. The flatter the board, the easier it is to ride, making that the best choice for novice skaters.
  • Step 6: Choose the trucks Choose the trucks. Trucks generally range between 4¾' and 5½'. A wider truck will offer a more stable landing platform and a smaller turning radius.
  • Step 7: Choose the wheels Select the wheels. Nearly all are made from polyurethane and vary in size from 52 to 60 mm. Smaller wheels are usually lighter and easier to control. All wheels should be smooth and free of irregularities.
  • TIP: Every rider is different, so test several combinations of decks, trucks, and wheels to find the most comfortable fit.
  • Step 8: Decorate Decorate your new board with stickers that express your personality and style. The most important thing is what your board looks like anyway, right?
  • FACT: The modern skateboard was invented in 1958 as a way to practice surfing out of water.

You Will Need

  • Budget
  • Selection of board to try out
  • Stickers

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