What to remember when buying your first skateboard
© Selfish skateboards
Excited about your first skateboard? First know what type suits you, then go and shred the surface.
If you’re thinking about buying a skateboard you probably won’t regret it. Just cruising around feeling the wheels rolling below your feet will give you freedom and calm like never experienced. But as an amateur who’s just trying to figure out the whats and how´s of skateboarding there are a few points to keep in mind.
Its pretty simple actually, choosing the right board. You will need a deck, trucks, bearings, grip tape, hardware and wheels. To determine the factors of choosing a board perfectly suited for your needs, consider the following basics.
Choose the right shop
To buy a board, go to a skate shop. Presently some notable skate shops are Holystoked in Bangalore, Free Motion Sk8 in Delhi and Active8 Sports in Pune. It’s important to note that buying at a skate shop will always get you exactly what you need or close. Your local skate shop will have the product and expertise to guide you on the whole process. You might find boards in weird materials like bamboo, plastic or fiberglass so steer clear of the malls and toy stores that sell highly crude versions of skateboards, because that will just make you end up in a skate shop eventually to get the real deal. Quality skateboards are made with 7-ply maple and will give you that perfect pop, lock and drop! Understanding the importance of shopping locally could go a long way. Instead of ordering boards online or buying them from abroad, buy from your local skate shop which will let the local communities around that shop flourish allowing the overall skateboarding scene in India to grow.
Depending on what you skate more, street or transition, you should choose a size that benefits your skill set.
Someone who skates street more often is likely to enjoy anything between a 7.5 to 8” deck. Someone riding pools and parks should start at 8” or larger. If you don’t have a specific forte already then it is recommended to start off with an 8” wide and 30” long deck.
Street skating wheels are generally smaller than park wheels since they’re lighter weight and more responsive making them easier to flip. Wheels are measured in millimeters so a good size for street skating is anything from 49 - 52 mm. And as for transition or vert skating, you would go for something around 54 - 60 mm. They are larger and cover more surface area hence enabling you more speed for those airs or grabs.
For determining truck size, you just refer to your deck size. Make sure that the axle length matches the width of the deck meaning once the trucks are on they should fit with the width of the deck. Not sticking out or in too much. You want to align them to each other. For a standard 8” deck a truck size of 149 should be good.
Skateboards come in various shapes so it can be confusing to understand at first. Eventually after you wear and tear your beginner board you can start trying a couple of different deck shapes as to know your preferences better. The retro looking ones and cruisers can come in later on for play. But to begin with, a conventional board shape will get you to understand pumping the bowl and basic flat ground tricks. The concave is the section between the nose and tail that curves up slightly on the sides. Some skaters feel the more the concave the easier it is to flip the board. But ultimately there is no better or worse shape board, to each his own preference.
Graphics don’t matter
If you’re looking at preserving your graphics instead of testing your full potential on the board, then that board belongs at home, hung on your living room wall. Board graphics are cool but eventually they will fade away very unlike the skills you develop on the board.
If you’re still unclear about which board to buy, don’t fret too much. It will take some till you develop enough skill to actually feel the small differences. Keep skating, keep trying new boards and shapes and you will eventually find that perfect match for your style.