Decisions You’ll Have to Make When Buying Your First Skateboard
In the world of skateboards, there’s a wide range of boards, so newcomers can oftentimes be overwhelmed by the variety of choice they’re faced with. That being said, doing your homework before you head out shopping is essential to picking the right board for the type of riding you’ll most frequently participate in. Otherwise, you won’t enjoy it as much as you should, and you’ll end up spending more money on a new board, or just drop the sport altogether.
The most popular types of boards are skateboards, longboards and cruisers. Skateboards are typically used for skatepark riding and performing tricks, while cruisers (as their name implies) are used for cruising around the park or even commuting around town. Longboards are typically used for downhill riding. Most newcomers should get familiar with the basics of riding on even terrain before they go to a skatepark and attempt any tricks, which is why I almost always recommend they go for a longboard or cruiser board first. Once you get a feel of the board, you can start experimenting with a skateboard.
However, there are a few other factors you have to consider when shopping for the perfect skateboard, longboard or cruiser board. The wheels, for instance, can make or break your riding experience. When deciding between different wheels, you have to consider their size and hardness. Smaller sized wheels are ideal for street skating (49-52mm) and skating in skateparks, while larger sized wheels are better for longboarding and cruising (54-60+mm).
Furthermore, you have to consider the truck size. The trucks are the parts that connect the deck and the wheels. In order to get the right size, you should refer to your deck size. In other words, ensure the axle length that matches the deck width so that the truck doesn’t stick out or in. Instead, you want to align them to each other. So, for instance, an 8″ wide deck should be fitted with a 150mm truck. Most trucks are made of aluminium alloy, even though other metals and blends can be used as well.
Lastly, get some safety gear, as you’re probably going to fall quite a bit. Safety gear, such as helmets and some pads on the joints, is highly recommended. You only need to fall badly once to break an arm or leg, so it’s best you’re properly protected. Safety gloves can also be helpful, as the first thing people do when they fall is they reach out with their hands to cushion the fall.