How to determine what skateboard size you need
You want to skateboard and your friends are sick of lending you their board. Or you tired of deck-sharing for a game of skate.
Maybe you are Mom or Dad and your kiddo has been begging you for a skateboard. You obviously care so much for your kid that you refuse to simply buy a skateboard with plastic trucks and a deck with no true shape from your local Walmart.
(No offense walmart, your decks suck.)
In this article we I will give you some good things to know when buying your first board. We'll go over everything from choosing the right size skateboard for you, to picking the right wheels and bearings. If you are buying your own new board then get ready to have so many awesome options that it can feel like the best kind of overwhelming.
If you are getting one for your kid or a special young skater in your life. It may be a better gift experience if you get them involved. Maybe the board is a surprise gift and you can't involve the recipient. If so you could always get a "Complete Voucher" from the local skate shop.
My dad pulled me out of school around noon, in my 8th grade year. He gave me a receipt and said "Go pick out a new skateboard. I already paid for it." I took it to the shop and picked out my trucks, wheels, bearings, and deck. Obviously I spent the rest of the day and most of the night skateboarding.
No matter the reason for buying a skateboard, you need to make sure you get the right one!
What size skateboard do I need?
How do you know what size skateboard you need? Not all people are the same size. So naturally our skateboards won't be the same size either. What size skateboard is right for beginners?
Having the right size board can be crucial to your success as a new or even an advanced skater. I have a few buddies that I grew up skating with, and I can tell you, when I step on their skateboard it feels like I'm stepping into an upside down alternate universe where everyone chews on moth balls. Alright we're going to cover all of the questions you might have.
This size is for the extreme toddler in your life. this board is just about as small as a professionally shaped skateboard will come. Some companies out there may be making them smaller than a micro, but this won't be something you can find commonly. Micro skateboards are about 27 inches long and 6.5 inches wide.
Some kids really do start skateboarding as early as 1 year old. So thanks to all the awesome skate companies such as Enjoi, Almost, and Zero for making micro boards for the tiny shredders out there. Here is a complete micro skateboard by Blind. They are a another well known and trusted skateboard company.
Blind is another trusted and well known skateboard manufacturer.
Ages 6-8 or even some larger 5 year olds. this deck is perfect for a young skater. The mini skateboard size is about 29 inches long and around 7 inches wide. It's the second smallest skateboard size that is available.
Most all of the top skateboard companies offer a mini size board so they are readily available all over the internet. Availability at skate shops will be a hit or miss.
Here is an awsome Mini blind complete skateboard.
Mid Size skateboards
For the budding young lad or lady. this deck isn't so big that a preteen could not effectively flip it. When you are first starting to skateboard you will most likely have trouble with getting the full rotation of your flip tricks like kick flips and heel flips.
So do not add insult to injury by trying it with a board that's too big like a full size. The mid size skateboard is about 30 inches long and 7.25 inches wide. These decks are available just about anywhere you look.
Here is a great price on this Zero 7.25 inch complete skateboard. Zero is a very well known and trusted skateboard company.
Full Size skateboards
The full size skateboard has much more size ranges than the other 3 skateboard sizes. You can get a full size that is only 7.5 inches wide or all the way up to 9 inches. And you really need to consider your foot size more than your height.
Then after that it's purely preference. I'm 6ft 2in and 180 lbs and size 11.5 shoe. I ride 8.5 and wont ride less than 8.25.
So, again if you are getting this board for yourself then hopefully you have now learned what size board you need to get. If you are getting this for a friend or loved one, then gather your intel on this lucky person and figure out which size deck would best suit them based on the information you have now.
What size skateboard wheels should I get?
The larger the wheels the heavier the skateboard. The heavier the skateboard the harder it may be to flip for a new skateboarder. The smaller the wheels the board becomes less capable of holding up against large cracks or rough pavement.
When planning your wheels size you should go outside and inspect the area where you plan to do most of your practicing. If your street or driveway is nice and smooth then go ahead and spring for smaller wheels 52mm or less and maybe low trucks.
If the pavement is nice and smooth then you can consider getting larger diameter wheels like 53mm and up but you have to get high trucks so you don't get wheel bite.
What size trucks for my skateboard?
You want your axle length to the be exact same width as your skateboard. As for the height. Skateboard truck heights come in two main sizes low and high (high is also standard). The height of your trucks depends on which wheels you want to use.
If you have 52mm or less then you can use low trucks or high trucks. If you have wheels that are more than 52mm then you will be restricted to highgh trucks. this is preference, but remember the larger the wheel, the heavier the board. A heavy skateboard is more difficult to flip.
HOWEVER, the smaller the wheel the more devastating the cracks and bumps in the pavement are. Here is what you should do. Go outside and examine the area where you will be practicing most of the time. If the pavement is smooth then spring for smaller wheels and low trucks. If the pavement is rough then go for larger wheels and high trucks. It's really that simple. Just remember! The width of your trucks should closely match the width of your board the tolerance would be minus .125" inch for your trucks.
You certainly do not want trucks that are wider than your board. this can cause wheel bite and make it very difficult to turn without doing a kickturn.
What size wheels and trucks for a skateboard? (summary)
In general if you are new to skateboarding I recommend having you board be as light as possible. That means low trucks and smaller wheels.
Should a beginner have low trucks or high trucks?
If the beginner is very tall (6ft tall or taller) should never use low trucks. With the longer legs, you are going to need that extra pop distance to the ground.
In all other cases, I would say low trucks small wheels. This will give you less weight to manage with your muscles that are now performing rigorous motions that they have never had to do before. The low trucks help with less weight, as do the smaller wheels. But also the low trucks offer a reduced pop distance.
What is pop distance?
This is the distance from the underside of the top of the tail to the ground. It's basically how far down you have to depress your nose or tail to gain POP (lift).
What ABEC bearing is best for beginners?
Bearing ABEC Rating refers to the tolerances of the parts of the bearing in relation to each other. A beginner (skateboarding for less than 2 months and up to a year), really has no business riding with high precision bearings. As a matter of fact you might find yourself practicing in the grass to keep the board from rolling out on you. It is just not sensible for a new skater to use ABEC 11 ceramic skateboard bearings. A new skateboarder will do fine with ABEC 3 - 5 bearings.
Buying your first skateboard is awesome, and what's even better is that buying a new board continues to be just as exciting every time you do it. Thanks for reading and please check out our other articles and trick tips for helpful information.