Choosing The Right Skateboard
Types of Skateboard
There are 5 essential components that make a skateboard; deck, trucks, wheels and bearings. Your choice of skateboard will depend on your skate style, places you like to skate and what components would improve your skate experience.
Cruiser skateboards generally have bigger wheels, wider trucks with tall risers and retro shaped decks making them easily maneuverable. The ideal skateboard for transport, exercise, relaxation and self-expression.
Classic shape skateboards generally have smaller wheels, low trucks and a quality material deck making them ideal for tricks on all terrain. The ideal skateboard for performing tricks on street or at the skate park.
The quality of a deck depends on the material it is made of and the conditions it was made in. A full description of Podium deck specifications can be found here. Shapes of decks vary with skate styles and personal taste. A full Deck Size Guide can be found here.
Standard shape decks are normally available in more than one size. Skaters will base their ideal deck width off their height and weight. In general the wider a deck the more stability for the skater, but wider does not necessarily mean a ‘better’ skate experience.
Skaters also consider their personal skate style. A street skater who wants to do flip tricks in a street environment won’t ride the widest deck available while a transition skater who wants to carve, grind and get air in a skatepark environment will generally ride wider deck options.
Trucks are what connect your wheels to your board, they will affect the way your skateboard rides and turns. Choosing the right trucks will result in the best skate experience.
The first thing to inform your truck choice is whether the truck fits with your current deck size. Truck size (axle width) is the width from one edge of your board to the other. The majority of trucks are produced to be suitable for most 7.5” to 9” + deck widths. The width of the truck should be the same width of the deck. This will provide you with optimum stability on the board.
Trucks are available in varying heights and each is better suited for various skateboarding styles. In general there are LOW, MID, and HIGH trucks. A full Truck Size Chart can be found here.
Obviously the finest metals and manufacturing processes to produce a quality Skateboard truck. There are countless modern innovations in the market, when making your choice it all comes down to size, weight, material, strength, control and durability.
Each skate wheel needs 2 bearings and a spacer to rotate on the axle, skate bearings are sold as a complete set of 8 bearings with 4 spacers. Bearings vary in materials, construction and precision. For a full breakdown in Bearing materials click here.
Skateboard bearings adhere to the standardized “608” size, so that pretty much all bearing brands will work with all wheel brands.
The ABEC (Annular Bearing Engineering Committee) Rating is a system intended to measure physical limits and manufacturing tolerances in fast spinning machinery, the higher the ABEC rating, the tighter the tolerances and greater capabilities for speed it has.
When choosing bearings you want to consider maintenance and durability. Depending on your height, weight and skate style some skaters will never break a bearing, but other skaters find themselves constantly breaking bearings. This can make bearings inconvenient and expensive to replace.
If you are going to use your skateboard on the streets and find yourself constantly breaking bearings, we recommend choosing bearings in the range of Abec 3-5.
However, if you are planning on skating transition you can benefit from faster bearings in the range of Abec 7-9.
If you are after a low maintenance bearing, we recommend sealed bearings lubricated with grease, as these are most resistant to dirt & dust and require little or no maintenance.
A lot of skaters LOVE to clean their bearings! Open bearings spin fast and are easy to clean. Regular cleaning and lubrication of bearings can help to increase their durability and speed. See how to clean your bearings here.
Skateboard wheels are not all the same, different wheel size and hardnesses have quite a significant impact on your skating experience.
The diameter of the wheel (mm) determines the speed and maneuverability. In general bigger wheels provide higher speeds, but bigger wheels does not always mean ‘better’ wheels. Even though smaller wheels (50-53mm) provide less speed, they are popular because they provide better maneuverability.
The wheel durometer (DU) describes how hard the wheels are which directly affects the wheel’s ability to grip and absorb vibrations. Choosing a wheel durometer is basically a matter of personal preference. If you prefer smooth comfortable rides choose a softer wheel.
Complete Skateboards usually come with a wheel diameter of around 54 mm and durometer of 95A DU which is a very good all-round wheel size/durometer. Smaller wheels mean your Complete Skateboard is lower to the ground making them popular with skaters who want to grind ledges and do flip tricks. The harder wheels provide higher speed and a longer lifespan
Cruiser Skateboards usually come with a wheel diameter of around 70 mm and durometer of 78A DU. The bigger wheel size helps you navigate cracks in sidewalks and uneven terrain. The softer wheels provide more shock absorption and grip, making your ride more comfortable.