Skateboard Buying Guide & Size Chart
If you're a beginner looking for your first skateboard, you've come to the right place. Our crew is full of daily skaters, so we put our heads together to give you the basics on how to choose the right skateboard for the kind of skateboarding you want to do.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Start here to learn all the parts of a skateboard and how they come together to create one of the greatest inventions of all time.
- Deck - Is the standing platform, made from layers of laminated wood.
- Trucks - Allow the board to turn and provide axles for the wheels.
- Wheels - Allow the board to roll and provide housing for the bearings.
- Bearings - Fit inside the sides of the wheels and allow them to spin freely.
- Grip Tape - Applied to the top of the deck to provide grip for your feet.
- Hardware - Nuts and bolts that hold the trucks on the deck.
There are three main types of skateboards that are all very fun and functional for different types of riding. Watch the video and read below to decide whether a standard skateboard, skateboard cruiser or a longboard is the right fit for you.
These are the best skateboards for beginners because they work well for street skating, skate parks and almost all other styles of skateboarding. Typically ridden with hard wheels, these skateboards resemble the shape of a popsicle stick because they feature both a nose and a tail that are exactly or nearly symmetrical. Check out these assembled complete skateboards.
If transportation is your goal, cruiser skateboards are our recommended choice. Cruiser are usually a similar length to standard skateboards, but have a large variety of different shapes. They are also typically ridden with soft skateboard wheels for a smoother, faster roll on rough surfaces. Compared to longboards, they are lighter and more nimble, allowing you to bob and weave through urban obstacles.
If you are looking for a large stable board that makes it easy to learn to balance, these are the boards for you. They are also ideal for mellow cruising, pushing long distances and skating down hills at high speeds. Check our Guide to Longboarding for more info.
What size skateboard should you get? We recommend starting with a skateboard deck width that is proportional to your shoe size. If you wear men’s size 6.5 to 9, start out with a deck width of 7.5 to 8.0 inches. If you wear shoes 9.5 or larger, we recommend getting a deck between 8.0 and 8.5 inches.
In general, skaters who like flip tricks, manuals, ledges, flat bars and technical tricks usually prefer boards on the narrower side of the spectrum (7.75 – 8.25 inches). Those who skate big bowls, hand rails, or like to jump down large gaps and stairs are usually more comfortable with a larger board (8.25 – 9.0 inches). Wider boards are also great for transportation because they offer a more stable and comfortable standing platform.
TIP: Don’t be afraid to try out different sizes to find out what works best for you. There’s no exact science about deck size – only personal preference.
Skaters that are 13+ or wear an adult shoe size of 8+, should be able to handle a full-sized skateboard (7.5" or wider). We offer mid-sized skateboards (7.25 - 7.375") for kids 9-12 years old, mini skateboards (6.75 - 7.25") for kids 6-8 years old, and even micro skateboards (6.5 - 6.75") for kids under 5 years old.
If you’re looking for your first skateboard, or buying someone their first skateboard, a pre-built complete is a great way to go. They come with everything you need, are usually less expensive, and the parts are picked with beginners in mind.
If you want to upgrade your parts and personalize your setup for your skating style, we recommend building your own skateboard. Dig into our detailed guides below to learn how to pick the parts for your perfect setup and head to our skateboard builder to create your masterpiece.
Still Have Questions?
We’re here to help. You can call, email, chat or IM during business hours seven days a week. Our customer service staff skates…a lot. They know their stuff and are happy to help you with all things skate.