Weight Limit for Skateboards
One of the most common questions asked by adult beginners to skateboarding is what the weight limit for skateboard riding is? In all honesty, there is no real weight limit for skateboarding. A lot depends on the board you choose – high-quality skateboards can withstand being under your weight for long periods of time.
If you think about it, there are a number of professional skateboarders that may be considered heavyweights, and skateboarders like Stu Graham and the big Ben Schroeder (Big Ben’s skateboarding career ended in 2011 when he collided with a car and broke his tibia). While there are others, who weigh less than 195 lbs – Steve Caballero weighs about 134 lbs (height; 5’3”).
When the professional skateboarder, Danny Way, won the Guinness world record for the longest ramp jump of about seventy-nine feet; he weighed 180 lbs.
Good skateboarding brands often set their weight limit to 250lbs as they are highly durable options. You can also get a sturdy maple skateboard deck that is designed to hold a weight of 220lbs. The risk with this is that there’s a chance of it snapping if landed incorrectly.
Injury when a Skateboard Snaps
Landing incorrectly, especially for larger-bodied skateboarders, may not only cause the board to snap but also can cause severe injuries like ankle sprains, Achilles tendonitis, bone spurs, fractures, plantar fasciitis, and other foot injuries. A large person, rolling his/her ankle during a kickflip, is likely to fall and get badly injured.
Injuries rate can be reduced by wearing the right protective gear, but it cannot be completely avoided.
People with larger mass should be the ones asking what the weight limit to skateboarding is?
As a heavy skateboarder, the impact of your weight to skateboarding is both a blessing and a curse, the former being that you get an impressive momentum going downhill and the latter any slight mistake that energy could and will cause significant damage/injury.
This doesn’t mean lightweight skateboarders do not accelerate fast enough, they cannot generate the amount of momentum a heavyweight skateboarder would, when going down ramps.
If you are a heavyweight skateboarder, you will be taking too many risks doing technical tricks you are not accustomed to. Even if you may have seen videos of 300 – 330lbs skateboarders doing tricks, there is still a significant amount of risk.
The only way to avoid such injuries is correct foot placement and knee bending, and any slight mistake could make things turn ugly. A large-bodied skateboarder should avoid jumping high distances or onto rails. If the board snaps, the trucks will give way and the resulting injury could be long term.
It does go without saying that even the lightweight skateboarders snap their skateboards now and again, but heavyweight skateboards should limit the number of tricks they attempt.
The fact remains that irrespective of whether light or heavyweight, as a skateboarder, you have to learn to distribute your weight correctly, especially when landing.
Knowing Your Skateboard Deck
How to apply your weight
Case study: The Derek Lam Skateboard (Click to See on Amazon)
Construction: 7-ply Canadian maple, a deck length of 31 inches and a deck width of 8 inches.
One of the most important things to consider as a novice or heavyweight skateboarder is the deck width; this is because it is the centre that provides stability and support.
The typical width usually ranges from seven to eight inches (this excludes micro boards). However, most heavyweight skateboarders tend to go for broader options – which also has its downsides – as tricks become a whole lot harder to do.
Skate note: Almost all skateboards are thirty-two inches long, but the length of boards is something tall skateboarders put into consideration.
Below is a weight chart showing the various deck options available in based on the size, weight, and age.
Deck Width: 6.5”-6.75”
Age: 8 years
Deck width: 7”
Average weight: 59-62lbs
Deck width: 7.3”
Average weight: 63-89lbs
Age: 13 and above
Deck width: 7.5”-7.6”
Average weight: 102-152lbs
Age: for adults
Height: from 5’7” upwards
Deck width: 7.7”-10”
Average weight: 195lbs
Skate Note: skateboards are more concave in shape than longboards and flat boards that tend to look longer in length because the latter is more suited for longer transportation and the former for technical tricks.
This plays a major role in the strength of your board. Commonly used materials include bamboo, carbon fibre, laminated maple wood, and plastic, all the listed has both their good side as well as their shortcomings (bad sides).
This post will further elaborate on each material for better understanding as to which will better withstand
- The laminated maple Wood is the most used, including the youth and beginner model. It is between 7-9ply, and a well-crafted one can withstand a weight of 220lbs. Some notable brands use this material, some of which include: Birdhouse, Element, Powell-Peralta (the flight deck is manufactured with a thin layer of carbon fibre, making it very sturdy), Plan B, and Zero. Also, some fairly good brands still make use of the laminated maple wood; examples are Playwheels, a 28-inches by 7.5-inches skateboard, and the Kryptonics recruit, a 31-inches by 7.5-inches skateboard with a limit of 110lbs. It is important to note that not all skateboard manufacturers place a weight limit on their board.
- The carbon fibre is what the strongest skateboard decks are made from. They are featherweight and are known to splinter upon snapping. Most of all, the strongest deck in the market has carbon fibre in its make. Some which include the Revdeck by Revolution Enterprise, the Lithe Slate 2 Deck (made of both carbon fibre, light woods, and maple woods). The latter of these skateboards do not splinter because of the added materials.
- Other brands can produce their boards from fibreglass, birch wood and even coated with the famous epoxy resin, an example is the Lib-Tech skateboards, having a coated core made of poppy wood.
- The vinyl plastic, these are used for plastic boards that are majorly used for transportation and not tricks. They are used for both longboards/cruisers and skateboards; these boards are pretty strong. The penny skateboard is an excellent example of these categories.
How Trucks Affect Weight
Heavy skateboarders should also pay attention to the trucks on their skateboard. How durable your trucks are matters a lot because when you land, your weight is all on the trucks.
The sturdiest trucks are often made using 356.0 T6 aluminium and can bear a weight of about 250lbs.
Skate Note – For any skateboarders over 250lbs, it is a risk doing complex tricks. One sensible option is to pick out harder bushings; more on bushings can be found in our previous post, check it out!
If you read through this post, then by now you will know that there is no official weight limit for skateboard riding. However, there is a limit to the number of tricks you can perform while heavyweight.
Even tricks as basic as kickflips or ollies will be all the more difficult, if you are over 220lbs, you stand a risk of getting injured. s an alternative, you could simply opt to use longboards instead. They are often used for commuting but there are electric boards available that can withstand the weight of a 250 – 330 lbs rider.