Using a skateboard can be a highly entertaining and thrilling experience. It requires good balance and coordination to handle it successfully and to keep safe.There are a host of options to select, and choosing a skateboard can be a bit of a puzzle. In this buying guide, we will show you practical ways on how to choose a skateboard that will be just right for you.
Choosing the Skateboard Deck
It’s important to choose the correct size deck since it helps you keep good control while on the skateboard. The deck is the long flat board you stand on in order to skate.
If you’re a beginner, the correct deck will help you practice the basic stunts with ease until you are able to tackle harder tricks.A plastic deck is a good place to start. It can provide an even surface to help you launch out with confidence.
The size of the deck is also a priority when choosing a skateboard. Choose a deck depending on how you plan to use the skateboard. Some persons like to do stunts, while others use it mainly for transport. However, the deck you choose must be wide enough to maintain your height, weight and your style of skateboarding.
Decks come in a variety of sizes, including small, mini, medium, and full. They are available between 7.5 and 9.5 inches (19-24 cm) wide. Lighter decks will allow you to flip and move around more easily, while a bigger deck will offer additional space and stability. A narrow deck may be ideal for persons of smaller body frames. A wider board may provide additional support for persons with heavier body frames.
Choosing a Skateboard Truck
In case you’re wondering, the truck is the t-shaped metal part that lies under the deck. The truck functions like an axle and connects the wheels to the deck of the skateboard. It comes in pairs and should measure the same width as the deck.
Choose a truck that’s sturdy enough to keep the board intact. The skateboard truck should not be too tight or too loose. You may need to tweak it a few times until you find the correct balance. A loose truck will help you maneuver more easily but will tend to wobble, while a tight truck will be more stable. The height of the truck should allow enough space between the wheels and the deck. If they touch each other when the skateboard is in motion, you may flip off or the board may stop and lose momentum.
Choosing the Skateboard Wheels:
Height & Size of Skateboard Wheels (Diameter):
The type of skateboard wheels you choose should suit your riding style and will determine the quality of your rides. The size of the wheels will affect your speed how well you’re able to control the board.Most wheels are available in a sturdy, yet affordable polyurethane material.The sizes (diameter) range from 49 – 55 mm. Each size helps you turn or accelerate as needed.
Small wheels tend to sit closer to the road surface and are more suitable for street riding and advanced tricks.They are lighter and help you glide over surfaces easily. Small wheels measure between 50 and 55 mm and are ideal for riders with smaller body frames.
They are more suited for all-around skating and measure between 54-60mm. They tend to be lighter and will help you move over most surfaces easily.
Large wheels will give you more speed but they may not handle turns smoothly. They will support larger body frames and measure between 55-60mm. For cursing or longboarding, 64-75 mm wheels are suitable for additional speed and stability.
Skateboard Wheel Hardness (Durometer):
Each wheel is also measured depending on how hard it is or how well it can withstand penetration (durometer). The wheel’s durometer ratings come in A” for (softness) and B” for (hardness) and range from 70A to 90A or higher. For cruise or longboard skating, softer wheels between 75A to 85A can help cushion the vibration and make sliding easier while street riding needs a medium to hard wheel between 90A and 97A. For vertical rides, harder wheels from 97A or higher will provide greater grip and control especially if you like more advanced skating.
Choosing the Perfect Size Skateboard
There’s a skateboard for everyone! Boards are available for children under 5 years and up to 13 years and over and come in sizes ranging from small to full. Your ideal skateboard depends on your personal taste, skating style and how heavy or tall you are. However, it’s important to note that width is more important than length. Skateboards range in sizes between 6.5 and 8.25 inches wide.
They are available in a range of colors, sizes, shapes, and weight. Some skateboard materials include plastic, plywood, carbon fiber or bamboo. If you enjoy mainly street skating, a small board is ideal. However, if you like going over ramps or are heavy or tall, a skateboard with a wider deck is perfect.
Skateboard Size Guide
Small or Micro Boards:
If you’re choosing a skateboard for children under 5 years old, the mini size may be the right fit. Small decks can handle up to size 3 shoes, and children between 3 and 4 feet tall. They measure from 6.5 inches to 6.75 inches wide.
They are suitable for children ages 6 to 8 years, with shoe sizes between 4 and 6. The width 7.0 inches, and fits persons from 3’4” to 4’4” in height.
These will be adequate for children 9 and 12 years, wearing sizes 7 to 8 shoes, and between 4’ 5” to 5’ 2” tall. The width is 7.3 inches.
These fit ages 13 and over with at least size 9 shoes. The width is usually 7’ 5” or higher and fits sizes 5’ 3” inches tall.
How to choose a skateboard need not be a hassle if you know your personal riding style, and body type.While there are lots of options in styles, colors and materials, the correct wheels, deck, width and truck are critical to overall safety. A good skateboard will give you lots of control, balance and stability and hours of fun and riding pleasure.