Skateboard - Buying Advice
Skateboarding is currently one of the most popular extreme sports on the market. First developed in America in the 1950's by bored surfers looking for a thrill when there weren't any waves, Skateboarding quickly grew into a worldwide extreme sport. Part of the charm of skateboarding is the ability to create your own individual board, with thousands of new parts and designs released every year.ﾠWith such a wealth of products to choose from, it can be really daunting whether picking your first board or breathing new life into your current set-up with a new part. In this section, we'll be offering some of our top tips when purchasing:
Things to consider when buying a Skateboard:
As there is such a wide range of Skateboards available, there's some importantﾠthings to keep in mind when choosing yours:
- Moneyﾠ- You don't want to spend more than is necessary, however the qualityﾠof a product can be discerned by the cost. The higher the cost, the better qualityﾠyou are likely to get.
- Skill Levelﾠ- Practically all models are suitable for beginners, but for more experienced riders, you would get theﾠmost out of purchasingﾠhigher-end parts. More expensive parts tend to be made from stronger, lighter materials.
- Ageﾠ- If the skates are for a child it may be worth taking a look atﾠsome of the smaller boards we have to offer. Make sure you purchase a board with a smaller deck as smaller kids will struggle with a larger, wider skateboard.
- Complete or Custom - It's possible to purchase a complete skateboard or the parts separately. It's generally cheaper to purchase a complete board however custom set-ups are the perfect option for more experienced riders or beginners who want a really unique board.
A skateboards most important component is the deck. This is the long wooden plank you would stand on. This deck is made of 6 to 7 ply laminated maple wood. These layers can be dyed to create various coloured ply. Decks come in a large variety of sizes, from 7 to 8.4 inches wide by 28-32 inches long, bowl rider decks can be even wider, up to 10.5 inches.ﾠDecks come in loads of styles, sizes and designs.ﾠ
Griptape is the sandpaper like layer that sticks down on the top of deck, this provides grip for the rider to stand on. Griptape is available in a variety of colours and stylea, some even have die-cut - a shape cut out the griptape which enables you to see a design on top of the skateboard.
These are metal 'T' shaped items that pivot on a base which allow the rider to turn left and right. The trucks are normally made from an aluminium alloy, however new trucks have been made using a magnesium alloy which is a very lightweight metal with the same strength as the aluminium trucks.
Trucks come in two pieces; the Base, and the Truck. These two parts are connected together by a long bolt called a 'King Pin' the two parts are cushioned together for a smoother ride by what is called a 'Bushing' or 'DoDo'.ﾠEither side of the truck fits the wheels.
Wheels are generally always made from polyurethane, a rubber like material which provides a smooth ride. Wheels come in a variety of sizes, the larger the wheel the faster you will go but with more effort from the rider, smaller wheels produce a lower top speed, but will require less effort to get to that speed. Wheels are generally measured in mm's (eg: 56mm)
Wheels also come in different hardnesses, hard wheels allow for tricks on ledges and waxed surfaces as they slide easier. Soft wheels give more grip making it much harder to slide/grind. Softer wheels are a great option for vert skaters as they need a lot of speed but need to remain in control of their board. The hardness is measured on the durometer 'A' scale. (Eg: 98a). Higher numbers represent harder wheels.
Standard warranties are normally between 30 days and 3 months. Some brands offer a longer warranty which can be for as long as 1 year. The majority of all complete Skateboards have a parts-only warranty. Skateboard decks aren't generally covered under any sort of warranty due to the nature of use they're put through. Depending on the rider and how the deck is used, a deck can last minutes, months or even years.
As a general rule of thumb, a manufacturer will not replace the entire Skateboard unless it is a complete write-off. Instead once theyﾒve identified the fault, theyﾒll replace the part. The manufacturer doesnﾒt cover general wear and tear (for example, replacing worn wheels). A manufacturer will very rarely refund an item unless itﾒs out of stock.