Choosing the right skateboard

If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably been dreaming about getting your own skateboard for several days. You will have already ruled out the scooter option… excellent! But first of all, do you know what kind of skateboard is the right one for you? And how to choose your first skateboard ?

Longboard

Do you like speed, downhill or long distance travel? Then it’s definitely a longboard you’re looking for. Due to my lack of experience on longboards, I can’t give you a lot of details about these boards. I leave you a site with a little more info about these boards : longboard boardshop. But don’t worry, you will be able to do great downhills even with other kind of skateboards.

Penny skate or Cruiser ?

Two types of skateboards to revive the old school look of the 80’s.

The penny remains the choice with the smallest size, but is easily assimilated to a children’s toy. Moreover, it is not the most comfortable to place your feet correctly. If your use of skateboarding is mainly dedicated to trips in town, then I recommend you rather go for a cruiser.

Just like the penny skate, it is equipped with soft wheels to move you on the roughest roads and sidewalks. It’s the perfect ally for urban travel, with a larger surface area than the penny and a much smaller footprint than a longboard and better maneuverability.

Classic skateboard!

Finally, there’s a good chance you’ve found this article from the skateosphere if you’re interested in classic skateboarding. By this I mean skateboarding “to do tricks”, jumping off stairs and riding on ramps. After many years of evolution, and thanks to advanced technology and performance, a new, more balanced and lighter design is now available:

We will see together the different parts that make your skateboard.

The board :

Today, there are many brands and choices of skate decks… but then which one to choose ? In European brand, you will find the leader Jart with accessible prices. And many other companies like Nomad Skateboard in Spain with excellent designs, or Magenta for France. It is important to buy your skateboard in a specialized store, to have quality material and not a toy type skateboard that you can find in supermarkets . Nudes boards (without specific brands, wood color) are also a good alternative.

The boards are always made of 7 plies of wood, and the material used remains Canadian maple wood, known for its resistance and flexibility. For the curious, I invite you to watch Gregory Cognet’s video, which explains in detail how a skateboard is made by hand.

First of all, the size of the skateboard? Very generally, we recommend a thinner size to start and also to do flip tricks. Between 7,5″ and 8″ at the most so that you are comfortable enough on your board. If your main practice is curving, then we can go to 8″ and + boards. For old school skaters, the companies offer wider skates between 9″ and 10″.

The concave of the skate: this is the shape and depth of your skate, more or less raised on the sides. To begin, prefer a medium or light concave, which will be more manageable in its use.

The grip : very often skateshops offer you a grip with the board. But sometimes it’s not the case, choose the great Jessup griptape if possible, a sure value.

Wheels:

To begin, we will privilege soft wheels, more comfortable to move around. For tricks and street, we usually use wheels between 49mm and 53mm, against 53mm and 60mm for the bowl or ramp.

A mid-range will be more than enough to start and practise. If you want to upgrade later, Spitfire and Bones are still for me the top 1 value for money.

Bearings:

Actually, I’ve only been using one type of bearing for a few years now… Red Bones Bearings. Great value for money, combining resistance and speed. The higher the “Abec” are, the better the bearing performs, but little loss of resistance to shocks.

Trucks (skate axles):

Their size varies according to the size of your board, with a 7,75″ you can choose 139mm trucks. Against trucks of 149 from 8,1″. The Independent brand remains one of the best options, although more expensive. Thunder is an excellent brand and a bit more economical.

Screws & tools:

Finally, the screws, to attach your trucks to your board. The color is not important, however some marks often leave a screw of a different color. This will indicate the nose and tail of your skateboard.

You will need a tool to mount it. I recommend you to choose the model that has a die in the center. Indeed, it’s not rare that the threads on the axles of your trucks get damaged. You change a bearing in session, and after removing the wheel, impossible to screw the nut again… use this tool to rethread the thread.

I’ll publish soon a video about skateboard assembly. In the meantime, if you already have your board, you can arm yourself with your tool and start the assembly. And why not already make you want to go to skate all the spots in Barcelona?

Before letting you mount your board by yourself, each skateboard has a front (nose) and a back (tail). You will recognize the nose by a slightly wider and steeper shape, while the tail is a little more rounded and less curved.

Anyway, don’t hesitate to ask the skateshops in your town, they will be happy to help you choose your first skateboard correctly.

If you need more information, or have any doubts about the different models of skateboards, I’ll be happy to help you.

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