It is normal to feel a bit confused when trying to pick out your first skateboard for beginner adults. There is a lot to consider when faced with the different sizes, trucks, wheels, and even weight range that a skateboard can have.
As a beginner, you shouldn’t just opt for something that looks good but looks for a skateboard that is stable, rolls smoothly and requires next to no maintenance.
You don’t need to get an expensive truck if you cannot afford it, choosing a basic truck and bushings will work just as well. Wheels and boards – a typical deck of 8”- 9” inches, is suitable when choosing a skateboard for beginner adults. Wheels also do not need to be too soft as a hard landing will be the least of your worries when learning to skateboard.
To recap, the basics you need to focus on when deciding on your first skateboard are;
- Be smart and don’t spend too much on the first skateboard
- Choose basic accessories to go with it – grip tape, trucks and bushings
- Don’t worry about how hard or soft the wheels are, what you should focus on is your first attempt.
Now, let’s take a more in-depth look at the 20 tips to choosing a suitable skateboard for beginner adults that would serve you well and last you a long time.
Skateboard Tip #1: Skateboard Balance
If there’s one thing you need to get right when it comes to skateboarding, it is balance. Many skateboarders have their personal preference when it comes to the width of their board and they can even tell the difference if they were to use a new board with a different width.
A skateboard with an 8.5-inch width is suitable for a beginner, and then with time, you could switch to a narrower deck (8” inches). Usually, you will find it hard to perform flips and pops with a wider board; in the end, you must be sure that the size of your trucks and deck tally.
It’s all about finding your balance.
I can feel the difference between a somewhat wider skateboard deck and a narrower one like 8 Inch. I just feel more confident, but one can argue that this is a personal preference. And when you begin, start with the basics rather than jumping into ollies, it will go a long way to help and prevent fear – see the previous post on how to overcome your fear of skateboarding.
Skateboard Tip #2: Pick the Right Width
This is important, and as stated earlier, picking a wider board has its downside, though you will need it to learn stability as a novice. If you must use a narrower board to learn skateboarding, then go for something in between like 8.25” inches deck. With this, you may not start performing kickflips immediately, but what’s the rush if it prevents you from injuries.
If you are happy to risk it, you can start with an 8” board. It is worth bearing in mind that you there’s a chance you will initially find it unstable, but with enough practice, everything will get easier.
Skateboard Tip #3: Start with a mellow or medium concave
If you don’t know a concave shape is, it is the curved shape along the y-axis of the deck. Great tricks are aided by the concave – they make your deck flip faster, but they can be less stable.
As a beginner skateboarder, it is best you begin with a medium (mellow) shape concave.
Never go for a steep concave until you have mastered 89% of skateboarding (this type of hollow is very responsive but less stable).
The concave is the curved shape across a decks y-axis. More concave makes your deck flip faster but makes your ride less stable. Go with a medium shaped concave, also called mellow concave.
Skateboard Tip #4: Pick the Right Wheels
As a beginner, start with medium-hard wheels instead of softer ones. Such wheels will let you ride smoothly. Thus, you get to practice and perfect pushing and skate switching. For street-skating, go for wheels with a durometer of 96a and 99a; if you prefer to cruise, then 78a and 87a is a good fit.
As you progress, you can then switch to using harder wheels when you feel you have the control. The sizes also matter, as both bigger and smaller wheels will give you a high velocity, but tricks will be limited, unlike small but hard wheels that are suitable for technical ricks.
Skateboard Tip #5: a little about trucks
The only thing that matters about trucks is the width; the wheels should stick out- that should be your cue when picking out one. The width of your truck ought to match your board. Using a medium or low truck would help you balance properly, unlike using a high truck, which are suitable for steering but not great skateboard choice beginners.
Just stick with lower trucks and as you progress, the tricks and flips will become easier.
To avoid wheel bite, make sure your wheels are not too big to the extent that they are touching the deck. The chart below will throw more light on this.
|Brands||Their Size||Axle Width (inches)||Deck Width (inches)|
|Independent||169||8.9||8.75 – 9.75|
|Independent||149||8.5||8.25 – 8.75|
|Independent||139||8||7.75 – 8.25|
|Thunder||149||8.5||8.25 – 8.4|
|Thunder||147||8||7.9 – 8.2|
Skateboard Tip #6: Skateboard Deck Length is not a big deal
The length of the deck you pick doesn’t matter. Go for the regular size, and everything should be fine. The smaller sizes are for kids unless you want to do a full split.
If you need anything longer, then you should go for a longboard; in fact, if you are not tall, the length should be the least of your worries.
Skateboard Tip #7: Know your Bearings
If you are going to spend money on your bearings then you should stay away from the cheap Chinese knockoffs on the internet. Go for the Bones Reds bearings – a decent bearing system that lasts a lot longer if you are able to avoid water, mud, and dirt.
You should also consider adding spacers between your bearing; they are hollow and pipe-shaped, yet small in size. Their duty is to prevent damage to your bearings as you fix the nut to the truck axle.
When setting up your skateboard, place a bearing on the wheel, then add the spacer before placing the other bearing. Spacers are cheap, although they have no negative impact on your skate performance, but you should try to get them.
Skateboard Tip #8: Use standard bushings
Don’t what skateboards you choose to give you a headache because most skateboards come with bushings, which are fine for you as a beginner.
If high steering power is important to you, then softer bushings are recommended. If your aim is to keep the trucks tighter, then harder bushings are what you want.
If you find that your bushings feel too loose, then try tightening the nuts on your truck axle.
Skateboard Tip #9: Is Cruising Your Thing?
You might want to start cruising when you ride; it will help you learn to balance before going into tricks. If you are looking to learn tricks first, then it will only waste your time and scare you in the event of any mishap happening.
Learning the basics will teach you to balance, and if cruising grants you that, you should go for it. To learn how to properly cruise, get a board of 8.5” to 8.25” inches with soft medium wheels of about 96A and a sixty millimetres wheels; these specs will you skateboard without issue.
Anything above that wheel size will need higher trucks or riser pads. If you want to stick to just cruising then go for softer wheels, they will do the job fine.
Skateboard Tip #10: What Riser Pads to Choose
Riser pads help provide additional dampening when riding in the street – think of them as like a car suspension. Riser pads are cheap and are usually placed between the deck and the truck’s baseplate.
If you have large wheels, riser pads will help prevent wheel bite. Riser pads also help reduce the pressure cracks caused by the impact of the truck’s baseplate.
Skate tip #11: Get some Grip Tape
Even with just the standard grip tape, you will be just fine. It is like a sandpaper material atop your deck; it prevents you from slipping off your board. There are a lot of cool prints nowadays, so have fun shopping, but never go cheap knockoffs- they would last long.
Skateboard Tip #12: Picking the Right Brand
Every skateboard brand is just as good as they are bad, but as long as you pick a pro skateboard board, you will do just fine. Be sure that the deck is made of maple wood with at least 7-ply layers. It is worth noting that many brands get their decks from the same manufacturers and just rebrand them.
Skateboarders are often quick to judge boards when sometimes they are simply the ones that are at fault, and this is because they skipped the basics and lack adequate control over their board.
Skateboard Tip #13: Protective Gear is a Must
It goes without saying that you can still get injured while wearing protective gear, but what is 100% impact compared to 40%. Most skateboarders tend to develop the habit of skipping protective gear just as they skip the basics; this is dangerous.
Some say they hardly fall; please don’t take such chances, protect yourself.
Skateboard Tip #14; Blank Deck or Graphic Deck?
Blank decks are cheaper than decks with graphics on them. As a skateboarder, however, it is pretty much an obligation to buy graphics to support the industry in developing more genius technology.
Those funds also go towards funding contests and inviting pro skateboarders to invitationals.
So unless you are specifically into plain blank patterns or not able to afford graphics, then just go with the graphic deck option.
Skateboard Tip #15: Spend less on your First Skateboard
As this is your first skateboard, you don’t need all the expensive equipment and skateboard accessories like ceramic bearings, hollow trucks, top-notch wheels, and expensive decks.
A complete skateboard setup can easily get expensive, so wait until you become a better skateboarder – then you can begin changing parts as you go along.
Skateboard Tip #16: You do not Need a Penny board
It will benefit you a whole lot more if you avoid the plastic Penny boards, especially if you are looking to get one to practice with. These boards are not great for performing tricks; they are manufactured to be too small and just too narrow!
What you’ll end up with is a frustrating trail of woe throughout your use. So unless you plan on riding one for work reasons, it should be your last choice for skateboarding.
A Penny board is more suitable for beginner kids rather than beginner adults.
Skateboard Tip #17: Your shoe size doesn’t matter
Don’t let anyone fool you; shoe size does not matter. It is all down to personal preference, a skateboarder with large feet can use a small board if he feels comfortable with it and vice versa.
As long as you can maintain your centre of gravity, you would have no problem riding a board of your choice (do this by assuming a crouch position).
Only tall skateboarders should worry about how wide or long their skateboard deck is.
Skateboard Tip #18: Getting a Complete Setup
If deciding on what setup will work best for you will stress you out or you really don’t know how to go about it, then you can get a complete skateboard setup. And if you want to enjoy the experience of setting it up yourself, youtube videos can also help if you don’t know what to do.
One bonus to buying a complete skateboard is that you can identify what parts you would like to change in the future while having the opportunity to test them first.
Skateboard Tip #19: Buying your Skateboard
Avoid getting your board and skate equipment from superstores like Tesco, ASDA (in the UK) or Walmart, Target (in the US). You may see a cool-looking skateboard in one of these stores but chances are they are made with inferior materials, low-quality wood, fake plastic, and all. They can snap upon one ollie, both proper and improper landing.
It is best you avoid such skateboards; it will only discourage your skateboarding spirit, create fear, or help you waste money (if you go ahead to buy).
Skateboard Tip #20: Don’t be Timid when learning
When you finally get all you need, there is no need to feel timid about taking your first ride, you might be cautious but don’t be too scared, it will only develop fear in you.
You can begin skating in an area with lesser crowds or in skate parks (do this early in the morning as they are usually empty at this time) and gradually proceed to busy areas when you gain more confidence.
Skateboarders won’t tease you; rather, they will gladly help, so there is really nothing to worry about in general.
Skateboards for Beginner Adults
These tips will guide you through the early journey of your skateboarding life, try not to wear skinny jeans as you need the freedom to skate most especially perform tricks. Look to get yourself some decent skateboard shoes with socks because your feet will definitely get sweaty and soggy.
Don’t forget to wear your protective gear.
Lastly, you can skate with a friend or two, it will help you catch up/ learn faster, and if you can afford it, you attend skateboarding classes if you like. If you can’t, see more of our post and watch videos online. Have a fun-skating day!