Buying a new skateboard

When buying a new board for the first time, you are going to need to know what to look for. First make sure you are familiar with all the different parts of a skateboard found here.

If you can go into a local skateshop, that should be your first choice. They should help you through the process and make sure you get what you need. Going to a large spots store will most likely not have skaters working there, and while possibly be a cheaper version, you may not get the quality and expertise you are in need of.

Your other option is going online. There are a few popular places online that specialise in skateboarding and snowboarding. Many of these online stores will enable you to buy a complete (the entire skateboard with deck, wheels, cairns, hardhat and grip tape), or you can pick each product our yourself. The later option can cost a little more, but you get a much wider range of options. Below are a couple of options. Please be aware that some of the graphics on the boards are not appropriate for younger children.

California Cheep Skates or CCS

Skate America

Skates Co UK


Skatescouk also has various videos online to help in the buying process. Check out the two videos below for some helpful advice on choosing a new deck.

This is the part of the board that will take the most damage and need to be relaxed more regularly. It is always a good idea to keep an extra on hand in the case that you are out skating someone and it breaks.

Next thing to look at are the trucks. Unlike the deck, trucks should last a long time, and usually the feeling gets better with time. There are different truck widths and heights. A general rule is for the trucks to fit the width to the deck. If it is your first time buying, go with a middle height that will keep the centre of gravity low but not too low where you can get a lot of wheel bite. Wheel bite is when your wheels touch your deck and usually ends in a fall.

Both of the videos have a little extra to add. You will notice that besides the feel and personal pretence, that main thing is that the trucks match your board size.

So now you have your deck and trucks, it is time to buy your wheels and bearings.

Generally the size you should be looking for if you are in the Skate After School Activity would be between 50 and 56.

Bearings are important for speed, and a good bearing should last. You don’t need to go out and purchase the top of the line ceramic swiss bearings to ride fast. Bearings all have a rating called ABEC. For the most part, skateboard bearings all work fine. Moving up in price range is only worth it if you are going to take care of them. In Dar, there is just way too much dust and dirt and sand to consider a high priced bearings. Below is a video about bearings which shows the Bones Reds. These Are the bearings I have skated for as long as I remember.  The price is right, the build is quality, but they are not unlike many others on the market.

The next two pieces of your board tend to be a matter of preference. The hardware (bolts and nuts) and the grip tape.

Hardware is pretty standard. If you are riding street skateboard setup, you can pretty much choose any hardware out there. One thing to check is if the bolt has an allen head or a standard screw driver head. If you have a skate tool with a standard screw driver head, don’t but a set of hardware with allen head.

Grip tape is more than just sandpaper. In general, any grip tape you find at your local skate shop should have just enough grip without tearing up your shoe. Choosing your grip tape is pretty easy, putting it on is the real trip, but one you want to learn eventually.

Alright, lets take some stock of what you have so far. You have your deck, trucks, wheels, bearings, hardware, and grip tape. If you are at your shop, have them put it together for you, but watch what they are doing. Check out which way the trucks are points, how to put the bearings on, and definitely how to apply that tricky grip tape.

*Now that you have taken a look at how to choose your skateboard, look around on some of the sites above and post your custom complete below.



  1. Cool! Glad you put the videos in here. Your students, and others, will appreciate this. They are much more likely to watch things than read detailed instructions.

    Suggestion: What do you think of having an intro video at the top that features you. Less than a minute is plenty and it personalizes you and the mission you are bringing to the website. Sound cool?

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