Getting the right skateboard is not all that difficult if you know the types of skateboards that are available and their different characteristics. The key thing is to understand what types of skateboards are often used, what makes one better at one thing and less suitable for the other?
So what skateboard should a beginner get? For technical skateboarding, choose a Popsicle skateboard. If your desire is to get a skateboard more suited to a portable commuter ride in crowded places, then a cruiser is your best bet. Go for a longboard if you want to ride long distances with little effort.
With every recreational activity comes equipment to make them possible. This equipment varies in design, colour and sizes that make them suitable for different individuals of all ages. Skateboards are not left out.
To non-skateboard enthusiasts, every skateboard is just a two by four with wheels attached. Taking note of the difference is almost impossible simply because they don’t care.
This article will provide firsthand knowledge of the different types of skateboards there mostly the types commonly seen on the streets.
Finding the right kind of skateboard to suit one’s style can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you are a beginner. I will not just acquaint you details of key features to look out for when choosing a skateboard but also the pros and cons of every type.
For a quality skateboard, what should you look out for?
Skateboard Types and their Styles
This article will briefly cover the most popular types and styles of skateboards. It is pretty standard for beginners to look for a longboard, a cruiser or a regular Popsicle skateboard when getting the right board.
Before you decide on a particular board, you need to identify what purposes your skateboard or longboard is going to serve. Perhaps you need something for cruising around a bit without having to do technical tricks. Your preference could be cruising longer distances or simply riding downhill. You may want a skateboard for tricks alone.
Keep reading, and this article will take you on a ride of information!
Popsicle skateboards are popular on the skateboard market. It is the most common type of skateboard, specially designed for technical tricks. The wheels of a Popsicle skateboard are different from that of regular wheels, so they need to be changed to proper wheels if you are using Popsicle skateboard for cruising.
Over 50% of skateboards you see at the average departmental store are Popsicle skateboards.
To the pros and cons, Popsicle skateboards come in different sizes and vary from kids’ sizes of 6.5″ up to 10″ wide. 8.25” are ideal if you’re on the big side but 8.0″ are more common to find for Popsicle skateboards. It is okay to change sizes often if you choose as long as you are comfortable riding a regular skateboard.
Why a Popsicle skateboard?
It is the perfect board for jumping over obstacles, flip tricks and the occasional ride to your local skate park. You will get a standard Popsicle skateboard for $70 but be prepared to spend at most $130 for a Popsicle skateboard of high-quality.
Pros of Popsicle skateboards
- You get to learn tricks quickly and comfortably
- It is way cheaper than a cruiser or longboard
While it is considered by some to be a sport, skateboarding is recreational but with enough creativity to be called an art. This is, in fact, the opinion of some skateboard enthusiasts.
Starting as a beginner in skateboarding is difficult, challenging and frustrating. The average expert skater will tell you how many times they felt like quitting as beginners.
To be a flawless skater takes countless sessions of practice and a lot of consistency. It also takes a couple of scrapes and bruises, as you progress, but the feeling of executing those awing tricks you saw at your local skate park is priceless.
Cons of Popsicle skateboards
Like real Popsicle sticks, Popsicle skateboards are easily damaged courtesy of regular grinding against ramps and other surfaces. This means that deck parts, wheels will need to be replaced regularly.
The quality of your deck and your expertise with skateboards will determine how often you replace. All parts on a skateboard can be replaced, so you are good to go.
- Parts need to be replaced regularly due to tricks
- Technical to use
- Unsuitable for cruising long distances
- Wear and tear on your shoes
Popsicle skateboards are not for beginners or persons with zero ideas of skateboarding. This means that riding a Popsicle skateboard is going to be a challenge if you’ve never stepped on a skateboard before.
Popsicles are small in size compared to longboards, making them difficult to control and manoeuvre. Practice will help you learn the peculiarities of the Popsicle skateboard.
Once you are determined to master riding a Popsicle skateboard, it doesn’t take long to get comfortable on it.
Be prepared for your shoes to show signs of wear and tear. Also be ready to have little chunks taken out of your wallet for replacement of decks, wheels, skate shoes et cetera.
This may seem inconsequential compared to flawlessly executing that trick, but it’s an unavoidable part of skateboarding. The quality of your gear will determine their durability as you practice.
Note that there is a reason why popsicles are designed for technical uses. They are best for zipping around a skate park or up and around ramps, staircases; but that is all there is to it. It is not advisable to take your Popsicle skateboard on a cruise to the other side of town.
My skateboard background made riding a used longboard super awesome as it was a whole new ball game entirely.
The difference is amazing. Riding with the soft summer breeze whipping past is not just therapeutic but divine. My local town has some great bike lanes to make this experience just perfect.
What’s the big deal about longboards?
While they are growing fast and steadily gaining popularity on the market, longboards are not very common compared to Popsicle skateboards.
Also, unlike the technical Popsicle skateboards, longboards are 100% suitable for beginners. The average beginner is ideally not interested in pulling off tricks. So if you want to get comfortable on a skateboard by cruising long distances, a longboard will serve this purpose well.
Longboards will let you practice or perform skills, but they are limited, unlike your regular skateboard. Styles you execute without difficulty on a longboard are freestyle, dancing, bombing hills, et cetera.
Longboards are on the market in various shapes and sizes to suit different needs. Even better, interested skaters can start their longboard experience on any kind of longboard available.
Beginners are also in consideration as some longboards are beginner-friendly. As long as you are not down hilling, longboards, in general, are just perfect for you.
Skateboarding is addictive and thoroughly enjoyable for skaters. Whether beginner or expert, skateboarding is bound to get you hooked. You would need boards that can do more within short periods. A used board is preferable if you want to practice on a longboard.
Why should you buy a longboard?
Longboards can take the demands of long-distance rides. Just keep going. Some skaters find a smaller skateboard intimidating or even inadequate.
If you are in this category, then go for a longboard. Its board is designed to be large and wide, making it beginner-friendly and super easy to balance on.
Longboards require minimal effort to manoeuvre and do not require a lot to maintain and speed.
Another exciting feature of longboards is that they are durable thanks to its intended purpose by manufacturers.
Not having to absorb the jarring impact from grinding against hard surfaces, kickflips and the like, longboards have a certified likelihood of lasting longer than Popsicle skateboards.
Your Vans, Converse and other skate shoes also last longer when you are using longboards which means you do not have to purchase new months every three months.
Those cheap, low-quality canvas shoes are sure to last on longboards.
It can be agreed that while longboards are expensive, not having to replace the parts frequently is a huge plus. The wheels are strong enough to be changed just twice a year depending on the distances you are riding and how often you take it for cruises.
- Costly to buy but zero maintenance cost.
- Easy to ride
Carrying a heavy and bulky board around is no fun and is no one’s idea of cool. Having a limited budget is more likely to send you in the other direction when you see the price tag of a longboard.
- Not easy to carry around
- Not ideal if you live in a crowded place
- Your commutes are short
The word itself will give you an idea of what a cruiser is like and what it is capable of. Cruisers are what to buy when you want to look cool while reading.
They are not just fast but nimble and portable as well. Where skateboards are shorter than longboards, some cruisers are even shorter than a regular skateboard. These are called mini cruisers.
Cruisers, in general, have their boards perfectly designed to make them suitable for urban riding. You can zip around town comfortably on a cruiser board; you can also cruise around your campus on it.
It can be challenging learning how to ride a cruiser. Choosing one with width will help you master it quickly. The amount of tricks you can perform on some cruisers is limited. A cruiser is suitable for technical moves if it has a nose and a kicktail or just a nose. Do not forget that tricks are harder to execute on a cruiser; so it’s advisable to get a popsicle board if you want to practice the technical stuff.
If you prefer carrying a portable board to lugging around a big heavy one, a cruiser will suit your needs. Cruiser skateboards will also serve the needs of skaters who live in crowded cities and want something to take them short distances without too much effort.
Another reason Cruisers are getting more and more popular on the market is the simple fact that it is portable enough to take on the bus and very easy to put into motion.
- Good for short commutes
- Will let you hop on curbs
- Extremely compact and super light
- It provides a feeling of thrill and competition.
Cruisers are smaller than popsicle skateboards and longboards but will perform well even with long distances. Using a cruiser will however require you to push more often than is required due to its small length and width.
The design of cruiser boards is such that it supports tricks but not ollies or flips. Cruisers are not for calm rides which is why they are built to be the fast with easy manoeuvrability.
A longboard will do that for you. Unsupported tricks on a cruiser board will not just damage your board but will also affect the neatness of your landing.
- Not very comfortable to balance on
- Not great for technical tricks
- Not suitable for long distances
The Best Skateboards for Beginners
This question is often asked for beginners and by beginners themselves. Anyone would agree that with how challenging learning to ride a skateboard can be, having a board that is suitable for one’s level of expertise is an added advantage.
A salesperson may give you a couple of suggestions as to the best skateboards for beginners, but the truth is it is not that easy to identify one type of skateboard as the best for beginners.
Too many variables come into play that makes it impossible to choose a particular skateboard and pronounce it the best choice. Choosing a skateboard is determined by the following things:
The kind of skateboard you decide to purchase will be determined by the purpose you expect it to serve. Do you want to practice tricks on it or do you just want to have something to get you to school faster or a friend’s house in your free time? Be sure of what you will be using your skateboard for.
While there may be a couple of boards that are said to be suitable for beginners, it is really up to you to purchase the skateboard that suits your needs. This may not be the dubbed “beginner skateboards.”
Your immediate environment or that of your local town plays a vital role in the kind of skateboard you choose as a beginner. You want to buy something sturdy enough to accommodate the harshness of the environment if your roads are rough, hilly or gravelly.
It may be a nearby skatepark. Always ensure that the type of skateboard you are buying suits your environment.
Whether you have a good environment for skating or not, whether you have a particular purpose you want your skateboard to serve, your budget plays the most important role in what you eventually choose.
This is because a skateboard may be perfect for what you want from skating but may be way out of your budget. Some skateboards on the market usually are expensive as a result of their key features.
Are you cool with learning at a slow but leisured pace, or do you just want to get the hang of the basics and start flipping through the air?
A longboard is a fantastic choice if you want to learn how to ride a skateboard fast. It is wide and long, giving it sufficient room to provide comfort. Longboards are much easier to ride than popsicle skateboards or cruisers.
Money is valuable. Everybody likes cheap, but absolutely nobody likes items of inferior quality unless budget restrains them. When a board has good quality, the wheels will roll more easily; turning will be easy too.
A good quality board is also more stable than a cheaper but inferior one—this way, you are not at risk of injury caused by a poor skateboard. Check that the wheels on your intended purchase are made of urethane and not plastic or rubber. This will give you a better grip on your board and a smoother ride.
Are the wheels spinning freely? Or can you sense a wobble or a grind as you test run the skateboard? The ideal bearing to look out for is ABEC 7 or 5. You may ask the salesperson present if you don’t know how to check for these things.
You can make extra choices of what you want from there; brand, colour, size, et cetera. Never go for the cheapest boards available. Trust me, nothing gets more frustrating for a beginner than using skateboard of poor quality.
I choose Powell Peralta, Plan B or Santa Cruz for my regular boards. Landyacthz is what I check for if I want a cruiser. Look for Santa Cruz, Sector 9, Peralta, Landyacthz, Plan B or a regular skateboard if you want a longboard.
Good luck deciding!