Gear Up: Essential Skateboarding Equipment for Beginners

gear up essential skateboarding equipment for beginners
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Skateboarding is a super fun activity that can also be useful for getting around a bit faster. No matter the reason that you are wanting to get into skateboarding, you will need to have some safety equipment to protect you. But what type of equipment are you going to want to have when getting into skateboarding?

The most important equipment when learning to skateboard are safety items like a helmet, and elbow, knee, and wrist protection. Wearing proper clothing like long pants and shirts with long sleeves, will also make learning to skate easier and safer.

So you know the general equipment that you need to get before starting to skate, so let’s cover all the best gear to get you started. Along with that, I will also cover the different types of skateboards you can choose from in order to get the best board for your goals.

Getting a Skateboard

Obviously, the most essential piece of equipment that you need for skateboarding is going to be the skateboard itself. While it might seem like all skateboards are the same, there are plenty of different types of skateboard to choose from. I will cover the types of skateboards that you can usually find at skate shops, but as you get more experienced into skating, you can always build your own skateboard that works perfectly for you!

Type of Skateboard

You can typically find 3 types of board when first skating: “classic” skateboards, longboards, and cruiser boards. The classic skateboard is the type of board that you see most often. It is the type of board that you will need if you are wanting to learn tricks, or do any kind of street skating or obstacles.

There are a few different types of classic board, but when you are first getting started with skateboarding, you should use the “popsicle stick” board. These boards are perfectly uniform and make it easier to learn a great number of tricks compared to some other types of classic boards.

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A longboard is the longest type of board that you can find and is made to be ridden across distances. You aren’t going to be able to do any tricks with this kind of board because of the shape and larger wheels, but is great for getting around the city.

Cruiser boards are the middle ground between the longboard and classic board. The cruiser board is a bit larger than your classic board – it still has the traditional shape, and has smaller, soft wheels. So you can do some tricks with a cruiser board, but they are also designed to be ridden longer distances.

There are also penny boards, but these aren’t great for helping you learn how to skate and are essentially mini longboards, so you should probably not choose a penny board if you are still a beginner.

Size of Skateboard

When getting your first skateboard, you are going to want to get a board that works best with you. The simple way to pick out a board is based on your height. If you are over 5 ft. tall then you need a full-sized board, and if you are under 5 ft. tall, then you want to start with a junior board.

The second way to determine the size of board that you need is by using your shoe size.

Shoe Size Board Width (Inches) Board Length (Inches)
1 7 – 7.25 28 or less
5 7.625 – 8 28 – 30.5
7 7.875 – 8.125 28 – 30.5
9 8 – 8.375 30.5 – 31.875
10 8.125 – 8.5 31.875 – 32.25
12 8.375 – 8.625 32.5 or more


The most important piece of safety equipment that you will need is your helmet. Just like with biking or many other sports, you want to protect your head, and it is even more significant when first learning to skate as it is common to stumble or fall. You shouldn’t ever go out without a helmet, as even professionals make sure they have a helmet when skating.


Many professionals will also be seen skating with other protection, as you never know when you might miss a trick. Knee and elbow pads are very common to see, and wrist guards are also very useful when you are learning how to skateboard. Most skateboarding safety equipment can be found at any skate shop or even many sports stores.

Knee Pads

Knee pads are the best protection after your helmet. When you fall, you will naturally want to land on your butt. When skating, however, you often fall forward and land on your knees instead. So unless you wish build up a thick layer of cuts and scars on your knees, you will probably want to have some knee pads.

Elbow Pads


Elbow pads are extra helpful when you are learning to do tricks at a skate park or in a half pipe, as your arms can hit the ground hard when you fall. Having elbow pads softens these blows, helping prevent cuts, bruises, and elbow pain or even breaks.

Wrist Protection

Wrist protection is very helpful when you are first getting started at skating, because when falling forward, you often naturally put your hands out to catch you. Wrist guards enable you to do this without cutting your palms or risking breaking your wrists. However, you should try to avoid using your hands when falling as it can lead to injury, and it is recommended that as you get better you stop using wrist guards.


Making sure you are wearing proper clothes can save you a lot of pain. Avoid loose, long, or flowy clothing as these can get caught in the wheels, tripping you up and possibly leading to injury. You will also want to start skating while wearing skating shoes, as they provide more grip and surface area on the board, making it easier to learn how to skate.

Venturing into the world of skateboarding as a beginner is an exhilarating journey, but it’s crucial to prioritize safety from the start. As highlighted in this article, investing in and consistently using proper safety gear, including a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards, significantly reduces the risk of injury and allows newcomers to build confidence with peace of mind. Skating is not just about mastering tricks; it’s about enjoying the process while safeguarding your well-being. Remember, the right safety measures not only protect you during falls but also empower you to push your limits and progress with greater assurance. So, lace up your skate shoes, don your safety gear, and embark on your skateboarding adventure with the knowledge that prioritizing safety is the key to a fulfilling and injury-free experience on the board. Happy skating!


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