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Buying your first skateboard

Buying your first skateboard can be a daunting process so we've put together a quick guide to help you understand the process.

There are two ways to get your first skateboard;

These are skateboards that are pre-assembled and ready to  roll. All you have to do is decide which width to go for and which brand/graphic you like the most. This is a good way to get a skateboard with no hassles and then decide if you then want to upgrade the parts later. Browse our pre-built completes here. As a guide boards 7.5” to 7.75” wide are good for smaller skaters, 7.8” and up are better for older skaters or people with big feet.

The way to get your dream set-up is to buy all the components separately and assemble them yourself. To do this you will need to choose a deck, trucks, wheels, bearings, bolts and griptape.

The guide below will explain these components and how to choose what’s right for you.

The deck is the most important part of the board. We recommend a standard 7 ply board, in a width to suit your size [more expensive boards have carbon inserts or deck-tech but 7 ply is tried and tested]. If you are a smaller skater a board size 7’.5”-8” wide will be fine.  Most fully grown skaters will ride 8’.1”-8’.75” as a guide. There is no right or wrong with board size-it all depends on personal preference. Browse all decks here.

Other aspects of the board you choose will be its shape, concave and graphics. Check out the board shape image to understand these, we recommend a “popsicle” shape for your first board which can be seen below [left 4 shapes].

The concave is the slight  side to side bend along  the length of the board, this  helps your feet stay on the board  -  see our graphic which explains this.Again this is all down to preference, a medium concave will be fine for your first board. The graphics [picture] are entirely down to your preference. Each brand has their own identity and you will pick a board you like the look of. Graphics have no impact on performance with a skateboard. Once you have selected your board you will then have to apply griptage  -  we supply Jessup grip for free with all decks but some skaters like to add graphic grip. See the grip section here.

The trucks are the part of the skateboard that hold the wheels to the deck but also make it possible to turn. The trucks you choose depends on size, brand, height and colour. Once you have chosen your deck size refer to our truck page to see what’s available in your size.  

An important part of the trucks are the bushings  -  these are the rubber parts which enable turning. Trucks will come with stock hardness bushings  -  normally medium. You can tighten or loosen them to your own preference. If you feel you need tighter or looser trucks you can always switch out your bushings for harder or softer ones. Click here for alternative bushings.

Wheels come in various sizes, hardnesses and colours. We recommend a 52-54mm size in a standard hardness of around 97a-101a. You can get softer wheels which are great if you wish to use your skateboard as a mode of transport or as a cruiser. Softer wheels will roll more smoothly over rough ground. Harder wheels are better for street and parks. Browse all our wheels here.

Bearings for skateboards come in one universal size,  608z,   but have different quality ratings  referred to as the ABEC. The higher the ABEC the higher precision  and cost. You can also get bearings that aren’t on the ABEC scale and are ‘skate-rated’. These include our most popular bearing the BONES REDS or SWISS bearings from BONES or ENUFF. Browse our full range of bearings here.Never use your skateboard in the wet as this will compromise your bearings and your board.

These attach your trucks to the board, 4 for each truck, sold in packs of 8. Allen key, Philips or hybrid [Allen and Philips]. If you use riser pads you might need a longer bolt but most boards with a standard truck will be fine with a truck bolt 7/8’ -1”. Browse all truck bolts here.

We recommend a minimum of a helmet when you start out. Measure the circumference of your head and then click here to browse our helmet section. We also stock a vast range of pad sets for all different ages and sizes. Browse our full safety gear range here.