Are you looking to step up your skateboarding game? Not surprised, skateboarding has become super popular amongst the lesbian and queer community and there are loads of epic skate parks in London.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or looking to upgrade your board, having the right equipment can make all the difference. But with so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. That’s where we come in. We’ve done the research and compiled a list of the best skateboards for beginners. These boards are not only high-quality and durable, but they also come at an affordable price point, making them the perfect choice for anyone looking to master the basics with ease. From classic designs to more modern options, we’ve got you covered. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive in and find the perfect board for you.
Skateboards: Your guide to knowing the best skateboards for beginners, from your longboard to your cruiser. Find “The One” for you in our guide below.
Skip to article content:
- What to look for in a beginner skateboard
- Safety tips for beginner skateboarders
- Skateboard deck sizes and shapes
- Our top ten skateboards for beginners
- Where to buy decent skateboards for beginners
Get Your Skateboard On
If you thought skateboarding was for 15-year-old boys squeezed into jeans 10x tighter than your average Hinge date you can think again. Gone are the days when you had to cover half your face with hair and pierce your own abdomen to qualify to ride, 21st-century skating is open to all. London hosts some great flat terrain and some awesome skate parks (if you’re feeling brave). In addition, skating burns the cals and is a great alternative way to keep fit. Plus, it could be a great date. So what’s to lose? Treat yo’ self to a board and get skating.
With many different types, styles, prices, and variations, it’s tricky getting your head around what’s what. Below are some explanations and top tips for picking your getup plus some places to grab your new kit. We’ve opted for completes, which means the boards are all sold with decks, wheels, trucks, ETC.
Let us begin. Now, there are a few different shapes and each shape is designed for a different purpose. Sounds familiar … Skateboard prices vary depending on the type of board, but you can get yourself a beginner setup for around £80- £100.
What to look for in a beginner skateboard
When looking for a beginner skateboard, there are several important factors to consider. Here are some key things to look for:
The size of the skateboard deck is crucial as it affects stability and maneuverability. For beginners, it’s generally recommended to choose a deck width between 7.5 and 8.25 inches, but the right size may vary depending on personal preference and shoe size.
Deck material: Skateboard decks are typically made of either maple wood or composite materials. Maple wood is the most common and provides good durability and pop. Composite materials like fiberglass or carbon fiber can offer added strength and lighter weight but are more commonly found on higher-end boards.
The trucks are the metal T-shaped components mounted underneath the deck that holds the wheels. Look for trucks that are sturdy, made of durable metal (typically aluminum), and have a good turning ability. It’s also important to consider the width of the trucks and make sure they match the deck size.
Wheel durometer and size: The durometer refers to the hardness of the wheels, usually measured on a scale from 1 to 100. Softer wheels (78A to 87A) provide more grip and are ideal for cruising or rough surfaces, while harder wheels (88A to 101A) are better for tricks and smooth surfaces. For beginners, a durometer around 90A to 96A is a good starting point. Wheel size should also be considered, with smaller wheels (50-53mm) offering better maneuverability and larger wheels (54-60mm) providing more stability and speed.
Bearings are responsible for the smoothness and speed of your skateboard’s wheels. Look for skate-rated bearings, such as those rated with the ABEC scale (ABEC 5 or higher is generally recommended). However, keep in mind that the ABEC rating is not the sole indicator of bearing quality, and some brands use different rating systems.
Grip tape is the rough, sandpaper-like surface applied to the top of the deck for traction. Ensure that the grip tape is well-applied and not peeling off. You can also consider the design or color of the grip tape to personalize your skateboard.
Brand reputation and quality
Opting for a reputable skateboard brand known for producing quality products can increase the chances of getting a reliable and durable skateboard. Research different brands, read reviews, and ask for recommendations to make an informed decision.
Consider your budget and try to find a skateboard that offers good quality within your price range. While it’s tempting to go for the cheapest option, investing a little more in a quality skateboard can make a significant difference in performance and durability.
Remember that personal preference plays a vital role when choosing a skateboard, so it’s essential to find a board that feels comfortable and suits your riding style. If possible, visit a local skate shop where you can physically see and test different skateboards to find the one that feels right for you.
Safety tips for beginner skateboarders
Wear protective gear
Always wear a properly fitting helmet to protect your head from potential injuries. Additionally, consider wearing knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards to protect your joints and wrists in case of a fall.
Find a safe practice area: Begin practicing in a safe and controlled environment such as a skate park or an empty parking lot. Avoid busy streets or areas with heavy pedestrian traffic.
Learn proper falling techniques
Falling is inevitable while skateboarding, so it’s important to learn how to fall safely. Try to roll with the fall, using your forearms and shoulders to absorb the impact. Avoid using your hands to break your fall, as this can lead to wrist injuries.
Start with the basics
Begin with fundamental skills such as proper foot placement, pushing off, and maintaining balance. Mastering these basics will provide a solid foundation for more advanced maneuvers.
Know your limits
Don’t push yourself too hard or attempt tricks or maneuvers beyond your skill level. Progress gradually and practice at your own pace to avoid accidents or injuries.
Be aware of your surroundings
Always pay attention to your surroundings and be aware of any obstacles, pedestrians, or other skateboarders. Look out for cars, bikers, and potential hazards on the road.
Follow traffic rules
If you’re skateboarding on the streets or in public areas, obey traffic rules, signals, and signs. Skateboarding on sidewalks may be prohibited in some areas, so be aware of local regulations.
Skate with others
Skateboarding with a friend or in a group can provide an extra layer of safety. Look out for each other, share tips, and assist if someone gets injured.
Maintain your skateboard
Regularly check your skateboard for any loose bolts, worn-out parts, or cracks. Keep your board in good condition to ensure safe and smooth rides.
Stay hydrated and take breaks
Skateboarding can be physically demanding, so remember to stay hydrated and take breaks when needed. Fatigue can increase the risk of accidents, so listen to your body and rest when necessary.
Skateboard deck sizes and shapes
This is the classic type of skateboard, with black grip tape and interesting graphics, you know, the type you would pick on Tony Hawk pro-skater. These boards cost anything from £50 and are generally between 28-33 inches long, or 7 to 10.5 inches wide.
The wider the board, the better the stability, but the narrower the board the easier it is to perform tricks; Sometimes a wider deck can get caught when flipping. The shortboard is designed for doing tricks in the park rather than cruising downhill. The wheels are hard and generally don’t enjoy going over rough surfaces, poor wheels.
Shortboards are often made from woods such as maple, offering flexibility and strong material, allowing the rider to go hard and not home.
The cruiser board is designed for just that, cruising. These boards are built for skating over flat ground and enjoying the ride, without any tricks and shit.
The wheels are softer than other types which allows for little bumps, dips and small stones on the pathway. Cruiser boards are all lengths, short, mid and long, but anything over 36′ is generally considered a longboard.
Not to be confused with a long cruiser, these boards are the longest skateboards around. Generally, over 36 inches in length is considered a longboard.
The longboard is designed for downhill racing, which means they can get some speed. Often boards are lower to the ground with wheel cutouts to allow for bigger wheels (usually around 70mm). However, you can simply ride the longboard around the park.
The length of the longboard depends on weight and height, if your longboard is too long you’ll waste valuable energy pushing the board along, but if it’s too short you won’t fully maximise the board’s capacity. To sum it up, the bigger you are, the longer board you will need.
The Old School board have flatter noses and kick-tails unlike their shortboard cousins, these boards can be used pretty much anywhere but are perfect for ramps and rails. The nose of the board is usually the widest part of the board, but the style is very symmetrical and balanced. Generally, these boards are a similar length to shortboards.
Prices really vary but are generally around £80 up.
Penny’s were founded in 2010 by Ben Mackay in Oz for skaters to cruise around on, without doing any tricks. These are considered short cruiser boards.
If you fancy a Penny, they’re around £110- £130 but it may take you a while to choose, the colour combinations are endless. Brightly coloured, the original Penny is around the size of a large foot at 22 inches, offering little stability but a lot of awesomeness. Penny boards are also available in 27 inches and 36 inches (which can be considered a longboard).
The Penny is small enough to carry onto public transport without clonking a commuter plus once you get used to the whole balance thing, you’ll be away.
Our Top Ten Skateboards for Beginners
Globe Big Blazer 32″ x 9.25″ Complete
Penny Skateboards Blackout 22″
Primitive Gillet Altered State 8.5″ Skateboard Deck
Alien Workshop Spectrum 8.0″ Complete
Globe Full On 7.75″ Complete
Girl Mccrank 93 Til 8.0″ Complete
Santa Cruz Classic Dot 7.5″ Complete
Primitive Rodriguez Eagle 8″ Skateboard Deck
Where to buy decent skateboards for beginners
These online shops have loads of different skateboards, including longboards, short or long cruisers, and old-school boards along with lots of tips, guidance, and advice when selecting.
Blue Tomato UK
Black Sheep Store
Team Nonchalant x
Last Updated on 25th May 2023 by Nonchalant Magazine