Choosing The Right Skateboard – A Guide

Extreme Skates offers a large selection of skateboard goods, which is great if you can walk in and know what you want or need. However, if you are a 1st time buyer perhaps for yourself or a beginner skateboarder, we understand it can be overwhelming. That is where we come in. We will walk you through the process and give you the knowledge you need when choosing the right skateboard.

If this is your 1st experience at buying a skateboard “Welcome to the Skateboard Family” . One of first choices will be to either go for a complete skateboard or build your own. When buying a skateboard it is good to investigate the features and benefits of both options. It usually is cheaper to buy a complete as that is how they come out of the factory and therefor the choices are not there in terms of parts.

There are still a few things to look at when buying your first skateboard. We like to work on sizing and shape of board. That is why we carry a large selection of completes , finding something to suit your needs is our main objective.

When building a skateboard from individual components you will need the following:

Deck:

When considering which deck to buy it is important to choose the right size deck(width). In order to do that we take into consideration several features, such as  height and shoe size. Once the right size has been established then it is a matter of choosing the shape of the deck that feels most comfortable under your feet. For example a person might prefer a deck that has more concave (Concave is the curve of the wood between the deck’s nose and tail. Concave allows a more controlled ride and a stronger skateboard. Read our concave guide below for more information about different concave shapes).

Trucks:

Skateboard trucks are the metal T-shaped pieces that mount onto the underside of the skateboard and keep your skateboard wheels and bearings securely attached to the deck. They are a key component when you want to create your own skateboard. Skateboard trucks are composed of several different parts: axles, hangers, kingpins, and bushings. Skateboard trucks come in different sizes so it is important to choose the right size truck for the width of the deck as it will affect the stability of  your ride. Also avoiding wheel bite (when the wheels rub on the underside of the deck)  is a key factor when choosing the right trucks.

Wheels:

Skateboard wheels come in a variety of sizes and hardness’s. The wheels are made of polyurethane and are measured by both diameter and durometer (the hardness). Skateboard wheel diameter is measured in millimeters (mm). The lower the number, the smaller the wheel.  Most wheels range from 50-75 mm. Smaller wheels result in a slower ride, and larger wheels result in a faster one. Wheel diameter also affects how quickly you accelerate and how tightly you can turn. All the above a personal choice and a decision should be based on what type of skateboarding is going to done.

Bearings:

Skateboard bearings fit inside the wheels,( 2 per wheel) and are what makes the wheels spin. Bearings are sold in sets of eight and will fit all skate wheels Extreme Skates sell. Skateboard bearings are commonly measured by an ABEC rating which measures the quality of materials and precision used in manufacturing the bearing. The rating system usually has grades of numbers from 1 to 9. The higher the number the faster the bearing and the less friction on the bearing.

Deck Bolts:

Also known as mounting bolts are used to place the trucks on the deck. You need 4 per truck a complete set has eight bolts and lock nuts. The deck bolts come in different lengths. Choosing the right length depends on whether or not you use riser pads as you need to allow clearance for the extra item.

Griptape:

Griptape is a sandpaper like sheet on one side a sticky back on the other  which to stick to the skate board deck and has a one time use. This tape provides grip and traction. You cannot skateboard without griptape if you want to stay on your board. There isn’t a standard rating to choose from it is a personal preference and most skate shops have suitable grip on offer. There are so many options to choose from with a variety of colours and styles.
Choosing the right skateboard - A guide

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