Despite the seemingly limitless choice presented by your friendly skate shop, buying your first board or receiving your first board is actually pretty simple.
It might be that you are picking up a board for someone else or maybe you’ve had a go on your friend’s board and got the bug. Either way, here are some tips for navigating the purchase of what might turn out to be a most cherished possession.
The two ways to go when buying your first skateboard
Option one: buy a ‘complete.’ This is the most common choice for most beginners. Simply put, a complete is a skateboard that comes fully setup and all of the components are sized and matched to complement each other. All of the skateboard’s parts are of a high grade and offer a medium range of control and speed.
We offer a range of these in-store and actually carry our very own June Store completes available here. Its ready to skate straight away and all you need to do is think about the size of the deck itself (more on that later). We’ll do the rest.
Option two: carefully select each of the components and we’ll build it for you.
To help you choose which is right for you, we’ve added a checklist of the five things that make up a complete skateboard.
A Deck. This is the wooden part of the skateboard. Each deck has its own individual artwork on the underside, usually created by an artist who's work embodies the brands aesthetic. You’ll find many decks hanging on the wall in-store, each is also available on our site. With us, each deck comes with free black grip tape for the top of the deck. We’ll apply this for you too. The most popular deck sizes are 7.75 inches, 8 inches, 8.125 inches, 8.25 inches and 8.5 inches. But we said this was simple so, to make it easier, here is a suggested size guide.
Under 9s: You might want to go for a 7.75inch board. It is the thinnest and shortest board and will be the easiest to manoeuvre. Don’t forget that when a skateboarder is learning to push, carve or ollie they’ll need to pick up and reposition their board as they practice.
Under 12s: Slightly older? You might want to choose an 8inches or 8.25inches board. This will be slightly bigger and it will offer a wider surface to stand on. Comfort is key here and a slightly wider surface could offer more stability.
13 and upwards: 8.125inches – 8.5inches. This will be more about what feels right under the skateboarder’s feet than anything else. The most popular sizes amongst both younger and older skateboards are 8.125 and 8.25 as they offer both stability and manoeuvrability.
Trucks. These are the metal parts that connect the board to the axle. The axle then connects to the wheels. A kingpin runs through the middle and is surrounded by a piece of rubber called a bushing – this part helps control how much or how little you can turn the board. The tighter the kingpin, the more resistance you will feel when turning the board. Our range of trucks can be found here and we’ve put together a size guide to help you along too.
Bearings. These come in packs of eight because you’ll need two for each wheel. We recommend ABEC 7 or 9 and put these in all of our June Store completes. This rating refers to the amount of ball bearings and with 7 or 9 you’ll be guaranteed to glide with each push. They also offer great feedback so if you push gently you’ll roll slowly and when you’re ready it works the other way too.
Wheels. Skateboard wheels are made from urethane and the density of this comes in different ratings. We use 99a or 101a for our competes or you can find our range of wheels here. These are the ideal densities for your first board as they’ll absorb any small drops whilst still gripping the ground beneath the board. There are many different sizes to choose from, but to start out we'd suggest starting with a 52mm size or something close for an ‘all-rounder’ size.
Bolts. These secure the board to the trucks. They are cheap and simple but you can’t go anywhere if you don’t have the board bolted together!
And that’s it.
So hit the links above; pop in or call up and we’ll get you rolling in no time. Whatever you choose, just remember to skate safe and have fun.