Skateboarding is more than just a sport; it’s a way of life—a thrilling dance on wheels that demands the right setup for the best experience. Whether you’re a newbie stepping onto a skateboard for the first time or a seasoned rider looking for an upgrade, the question “What skateboard should I get?” is a pivotal one. In this guide, we’ll break down the essential components of a skateboard, offer insights based on your skill level and riding style, and help you make an informed decision that’s tailored to you.
Understanding the Anatomy of a Skateboard:
Before delving into the decision-making process, let’s unravel the components of a skateboard:
- Deck: The deck is the wooden platform you stand on. It comes in various widths, lengths, and shapes. Wider decks offer more stability, while narrower ones enhance maneuverability.
- Trucks: Skateboard trucks are the metal T-shaped components mounted underneath the deck. They come in different heights and widths, affecting your turning ability and stability.
- Wheels: Skateboard wheels come in different sizes and durometers (hardness levels). Smaller wheels are great for tricks, while larger ones are ideal for cruising and stability.
- Bearings: Bearings determine how smoothly your wheels spin. They are rated on the ABEC scale, with higher ratings indicating better precision.
- Grip Tape: This is the gritty surface on top of the deck that provides traction for your feet.
Choosing the Right Skateboard:
- For Beginners:If you’re just starting, consider these aspects:
- Deck Size: Opt for a deck between 7.5″ and 8.25″ for a good balance of stability and maneuverability.
- Truck Size: Choose trucks that match the width of your deck. Trucks around 139mm to 149mm work well for beginner setups.
- Wheel Size: Opt for wheels in the 52mm to 54mm range for versatility.
- Bearings: ABEC 5 or 7 bearings are sufficient for beginners.
- For Intermediate Skaters:As you progress, you might want to fine-tune your setup:
- Deck Shape: Experiment with different deck shapes based on your preferred style (street, park, or vert).
- Truck Height: Select trucks based on your deck size. Mid-height trucks (around 139mm to 147mm) are versatile.
- Wheel Hardness: Consider slightly harder wheels (around 95A) for a smoother ride and improved control.
- For Advanced Skaters:Advanced skaters have unique preferences and requirements:
- Custom Builds: At this stage, you might consider customizing each component for a setup that suits your style perfectly.
- Truck Width: Fine-tune your truck width based on your deck size and preferences.
- Wheel Diameter: Tailor your wheel size to your skating style—smaller wheels for tricks, larger wheels for speed and stability.
- High-Quality Bearings: Opt for higher ABEC-rated bearings for maximum precision.
Choosing Based on Riding Style:
- Street Skating:For street skating and tricks, prioritize deck size and pop:
- Deck Width: 7.75″ to 8.25″ decks are popular for street skating.
- Smaller Wheels: Opt for wheels around 50mm to 54mm for quick acceleration and responsive tricks.
- Lightweight Setup: Consider a setup with lighter trucks and narrower wheels for flicking tricks.
- Vert Skating:For ramp and transition skating, stability and control are key:
- Wider Deck: Choose a deck width above 8.25″ for stability on vert ramps.
- Larger Wheels: Opt for wheels around 54mm to 60mm for speed and smooth transitions.
- High Trucks: Higher trucks (around 149mm) provide extra clearance for coping.
- Cruising and Commuting:If you’re using your skateboard for transportation, focus on comfort:
- Wide Deck: Select a deck around 8.5″ for stability during longer rides.
- Softer Wheels: Choose wheels with a durometer of 78A to 85A for a smoother and quieter ride.
- Soft Bushings: Install soft bushings for enhanced turning and shock absorption.
Skateboards come in a range of price points. While premium setups offer better quality, budget options can still provide a solid starting point for beginners. Look for reputable brands that offer reliable components within your budget.
Experiment and Evolve:
Remember, skateboarding is a personal journey. As you progress and refine your skills, your preferences might change. Don’t hesitate to experiment with different setups until you find the one that feels like an extension of yourself.
In Conclusion: Choosing Your Skateboard:
The question “What skateboard should I get?” is an exciting one that opens the door to a world of possibilities. By considering your skill level, riding style, and budget, you can build or select a skateboard that becomes your ultimate companion on wheels. Keep in mind that skateboarding is about more than just riding—it’s about self-expression, pushing limits, and embracing the unique sensation of rolling on pavement.
So, go ahead, choose your skateboard, and embark on a journey that’s as thrilling as it is liberating. Happy skating!