Nothing says NYC summer like being able to freely cruise through skateparks and skate through newly pedestrian-allocated streets. If you’re already a skater, or are thinking of picking up a board and starting soon, the first course of action is selecting the right skateboard. This process can be confusing and overwhelming at first, but trust us, having the right skateboard makes all the difference in the world. Let’s jump in.
Find the right size
The first and most important question in deciding on a skateboard is to answer the question: what is it going to be used for? Are you looking to cruise or are you planning on turning some tricks? Skateboards, much like bikes and instruments, come in a variety of sizes. There are, however, three main categories: penny boards, short boards (also known as skateboards), and longboards.
If the board is just for transportation, you’re going to want a longboard or a penny board. If you’re going to the skatepark and trying out tricks, then go for a traditional skateboard.
Find the right board shape
Not only does a board need to be the right size, it also has to have a specific shape. You may think that all boards are generally flat, but in reality, there are many options. Boards can be flat-cave, concave, asymmetric and convex… these all sound like complicated terms but you can forget about them for the time being. A radial concave shape is what most skateboards have, and this is the best option to go for if you’re just starting out. The edges of the skateboard are slightly higher than the center, allowing you to center your feet and keep them on the skateboard.
Find the right material
Skateboard decks are constructed with different material, however, Canadian Maple Wood is the most common material you’ll find in the market. And that’s because it’s a solid one. The two other most popular materials are Bamboo and Baltic Birch Plywood. There are plastic alternatives that are much cheaper, but we recommend sticking with wood as it provides the most stability.
Complete vs. build your own?
Did you know that you could build your own board? If not, now you know! You can purchase the deck, wheels, trucks, and bearings separately at your local skate shop, and then assemble everything on your own. As cool as it sounds though, we recommend not doing that for your first board. It gets tricky! Once you’ve developed some skating references, you can always change your pieces and upgrade them one by one.
Pay the price
Don’t cheapen out. We understand that a first board is a trial, but if you cheapen out and buy a bad board, it will ruin the whole experience for you. You can expect to pay anywhere between $40 and $100 for a board, depending on the quality, size, and shape.
We know that getting your first skateboard is a big step, but it’s a very exciting one. Always talk to your local skate shop and ask for advice if you can, most even offer help online during COVID.