By Valentina Diaz
V. Diaz, a journalist and passionate skateboarder is a full-time writer for SHIT®️ Magazine.
Once you start buying skateboard decks frequently you will be adapting your tastes to the skateboarding accessories. It's something that you will learn with experience, investment and some wrong or wise decisions. What we suggest is to check the place and surfaces where you will start actually using it.
The buying decision for a skateboard requires a little bit of research to figure out deck shapes, type of wheels, best choice for bearings, axles and protective equipment as well as the skaters weight, age, experience and foot size. But do not despair, we've got you covered!
In this guide, you will find some tips to buy a skateboard but also some complimentary things that will help you get started in this amazing skateboarding world.
Decks, Shapes and Materials
Depending on the skaters age you have to choose the type of skateboard deck. First of all the deck is usually composed of glue and maple wood made out of 7 layers. Sometimes you can find a board made with other materials like fiberglass or aluminum but often these make the board heavier. It is concave and has a front called nose and a back called tail.
For many years, the industry has offered these with a decorated design that defines the brand and style. You can get it smaller from size 7 and all the way up to size 9 if you want it bigger. Some of the known brands are Almost, REAL, Welcome, SHIT, FLIP, Creature, Zero and Santa Cruz...
There are some different shapes and kinds of boards depending on what you want and differences as well in sizes and thickness, for a child it is better to use a small board size like 7, 7.5 or 7.75, these are prefered because of the low weight. You change it according to the childs development skating and their growth as well.
If you are a teen or adult, we suggest that you start with an 8 which is the most common size; if you are strong, 8.25; and if you want to skate at the park, size 8.5 will do. It all depends on your taste and which kind of deck you feel comfortable with, you need to take care of the grip tape and find out how are you going to put it together with the axles.
What Type Of Axles Do I Need?
Axles, or Trucks as we call them should be lightweight, so it's recommended to have the aluminum or titanium axles, even if you have a low budge you can also get the steel ones but these will make the board weigh more and that's something that might hinder you while skating.
If you would disassemble the trucks (trucks usually comes ready to use and fully assembled) you can see that it is composed of a base plate where you can put it together with the deck, a kingpin and a bushing that is connected with the hanger and stamped with the cone bushing, then comes the top cup washer and the kingpin nut that will help you adjust the tightness of the trucks.
There are different kinds of elevations and according to your preferances you may add a riser pad to add height. Most importantantly, the trucks need to be as wide as the board size, not bigger, not smaller. Once you get your trucks you probably won't need to change them for a long while.
Wheels, Bearings And Accessories
You can have different types of wheels and all of them are amazing, thanks to the wheels we can do what we do nowadays; as Queen said, "defying the laws of gravity". With them you can go faster, skid, stop with style and do everything else imaginable, these are what make our sport happen.
Wheels are made of polyurethane, they have sizes ranging from 54 to 60 mm, here you want to mind the type of surface and places to skate because the differences surfaces affect your wheels, influencing your speed ,skills and progression as a skater.
For skateboarding we usually use the 56mm and there are both cruiser and street wheels. It is important to highlight that wheels also have a weight, that's why we don't use longboard wheels for skateboarding because they are too big and soft and adds weight. Of course, you may use them but professional skateboarders don't. Try to make it a rule to use light wheels.
Bearings are important to put the wheels together with the skateboard, especially because quality bearings guarantee a quality skate session. Among the most known brands are Bones, Rush, Pigs or Bronson Speed.
Those are ball bearings and most of them are good for precision and are made of metal. They are composed of an inner ring, an outer ring, a ball cage and 7 small balls, these together make the wheels turn and each bearing have shields to protect the bearing and give them durability.
How can you distinguish one from another? Well, the brands give them something called ABEC (Annular Bearing Engineers Committee) rating and what the brands say is that the ABEC number means quality, and a higher number is better.
Clothes and Protective Gear
Finally, your clothes are really important. Not because someone is going to judge you for it, but because you have to feel comfortable while skating. In skateboarding everything counts, so your clothes and shoes will give you a chance to get better and take advantage of the machine you now have.
For shoes it is important to buy durable footwear that has been created for skateboarding, it will protect your feet from the impact and more.
Even if you are unafraid of falling or getting hurt. it is still important to take basic preventive measures, at tleast by using a helmet and kneepads. In the street modality it might be weird because as we've said before, skateboarding is so stylish that those don't look cool to some skaters, but we suggest you wear it anyway.
On the other hand, if you want to learn how to skate in a bowl, protective equipment are essential and will assure that you develop quickly.
Read also: 7 Tips To Practice Skateboarding at Home
Read also: Your Guide to the Skate Tool