Buying a skateboard for the first time can be a mine field, and whether it's a starter complete for a child, a friend or yourself we've put together this Buyers Guide Manual to hopefully answer a few of the commonly asked questions and help you pick the best option of skateboard for you.
It's often tempting to just pick up a cheap complete from a supermarket or sports shop, but these are often not made for any kind of sustained use and are really only suitable as a toy. So even if it's just an entry level board of any type it's always best to be made by a proper skateboard manufacturer.
We keep a wide variety of complete skateboards in stock as well as bespoke decks and accompanying hardware, coming in a host of different sizes and price ranges. For many beginners a complete can the best option, and our skateboard buyers guide below will give you some good pointers to what's the best buy for you.
A complete skateboard is very simply a pre-made skateboard that has had all of it's parts (Deck, Trucks, Wheels, Bearings,Truck Bolts and Griptape) already assembled, and apart from the question budget the main question is what size of board is best for me? If you're an adult the answer is pretty much a case of personal preference and comfort, there's no wrong answers if it feels good and works for you. But in the case of buying a skateboard for a child or young person this guide below will help with your choice.
These are generally the smallest boards that we keep in stock, mostly ranging from 7"- 7.5" wide and best known as mini or midi complete skateboards. Sometimes the smaller ones can come with a foam grip instead of traditional griptape, which can be too rough for younger kids and toddlers to kneel on. As well as a slightly softer wheels which give it a smoother ride and less vibrations and not too jarring on the knees for a child.
The choice of complete boards in the next size up are the same kind of length as a full size adult board but slightly thinner, we would recommend around 7.5"-7.75" wide. Anything much bigger can be a bit difficult to get off the ground or flip once tricks start coming in to the picture.
As mentioned above, the best size for an adult really comes down to personal preference and the type of shape, style and size skateboard that suits you best. There's no And we've got full sized completes from 7.75"- 8.25", available in traditional popsicle shape as well as some more retro fishtail shape options. But do bare in mind that the larger the board the heavier it gets, and that can have quite an impact as a beginner but it's not the end of the world if you just want what you want.
We also stock some very reasonably priced ready made undercarriage sets that consist of a pair of Trucks, Wheels and Bearings, which can then be paired up with any of the Decks from our site and a packet of Truck Bolts. This is a good option if there's a Deck you've set you're heart but don't have the budget for a fully custom set up.
The other option for you is to build your own bespoke set-up by choosing all the parts separately: Deck (all of our decks come with free griptape), Wheels (pack of 4), a pair of Trucks (these are priced individually but usually sold as a pair), Bearings (pack of 8) and a packet of Truck Bolts (pack of 8). All that's needed to assemble your skateboard is either a spanner kit, or more simply a Skate Tool has all the right heads on it for the job. If you're not familiar check out the parts descriptions below.
Deck: The actual board itself, usually constructed with 7-Ply Canadian Maple. Featuring a Nose (front) and Tail (back), as well as 8 Truck Bolt holes.
Griptape: This is the sticky backed black sandpaper that is put on the board first and cut round to fit before any other parts are bolted together. Whether you want it clean and neat or chopped up in to strips and shapes, it can be fun to customise your grip job and really make it your own. It's probably a good idea to either ask one of the guys in your local skateshop for some pointers on gripping boards cos they do it all day and know all the tricks, or alternatively head to YouTube for some instructional videos. Our tip is to place the sheet of grip on top, rub around the outline of the deck with a file. This leaves a slightly scored edge the you can cut around from below with a sharp blade, then rub down the edges with a file or leftover grip.
Trucks: Are the two metal undercarriages that bolt to the deck and attach the wheels to the board, consisting of a forged aluminium baseplate, steel axels, kingpin, rubber bushings, a pivot cup and bolts. To adjust the tightness of the Trucks by turning the kingpin, and the wheels simply bolt on to the axels after the bearings are fixed in to the wheels.The truck width varies along with the width of the deck, but be careful to check the size chart on the product page when choosing because all of the companies use different sizing codes.
Wheels: Come in a set of 4 that are made from Urethane and come in a variety of sizes and hardnesses, depending on what you want to use them for. If you like the idea of more cruising around and not doing so many tricks then a softer wheel could be for you, with something between a 78a and 90a hardness. But if you wanna skate the parks and streets doing more trick based skateboarding then you're gonna need a harder wheel between 99a and 101a.
Bearings: These come in a pack of 8 and two push in to each side of the wheel with an optional spacer between the bearings if you choose. It's easiest to bolt the trucks on to the deck first then place a bearing on the axel and simply push the wheel down on to the bearing, and repeat on both sides of each wheel.
Hardware: The 8 small bolts that fasten the truck to the deck, most feature an Allen key head and between 3/4"-1.5" depending if you use riser pads to raise your deck from the wheels, but usually around 1".
Choosing a Complete Skateboard set-up for the first time can be daunting so we do recommend that you come in to Bored, or another core skate shop who will be able to talk you through these choices but if you can't get to one then we hope this little guide has helped with some of the decisions. Or feel free to get in touch with the shop, our staff who all have years of knowledge and experience with these things and always happy to help you.