Skateboard Shopping 101: Choosing the Right Deck, Trucks, and Wheels

skateboard shopping 101 choosing the right deck trucks and wheels
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When purchasing a skateboard, many things need to be taken into consideration, specifically the deck, trucks, and wheels. However, how do you determine which decks, wheels, and trucks are best for your skateboarding needs? The world of skateboard components can be vast and intricate, with an array of materials, shapes, and sizes available. The skateboard deck, as the foundation of your ride, comes in various widths and constructions, each influencing your board’s stability and maneuverability. Choosing the right trucks involves navigating through options related to width, height, and materials, impacting your board’s turning responsiveness. And then there are wheels, with considerations for size, hardness, and profile, all influencing your skateboard’s speed, grip, and ability to roll smoothly over different surfaces.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the essential factors to consider when shopping for your skateboard, ensuring that your deck, trucks, and wheels align seamlessly with your unique style and skateboarding aspirations. Whether you’re a seasoned skater looking to upgrade or a beginner stepping into the world of skateboarding, understanding these fundamental components is key to crafting a setup that suits your preferences and enhances your overall skating experience.

Choosing the Right Deck for Your Skateboard

There are seven main types of skateboard decks: standard skate, cruiser boards, old school, longboard, traditional 7-ply, tech construction, and slide decks. The best deck for your skateboard will vary depending on how you plan to use it, personal preferences, and experience.

Standard Skate Decks

Standard skate decks are ideal for all skateboarders, as they work well for street riding and tricks and can be used by skateboarders of any skill level. They are also widely available and relatively affordable.

Old School Decks

Old school skateboard decks are wider than standard skate decks. This makes them more stable, so they are best for general transportation and bowl skating purposes. They are hard to do tricks with, and some don’t like to use them while skating on the street.

Longboard Decks

Longboard decks are best for skateboarders who struggle with balance or intend to use the skateboard to travel long distances, as they are sturdy and easy to balance.

Cruiser Board Decks

Cruiser board decks are best if you plan to use your skateboard as your main form of transportation. They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes and often have soft wheels, making them easy to ride over rough surfaces. They are much easier to maneuver than longboard decks.

Traditional 7-Ply Decks

Traditional 7-ply skateboard decks are often made out of layers of maple wood veneer, although they can be made of other types of wood. They are extremely sturdy and last for a long time, even with regular, frequent use. Because it is lightweight and sturdy, this deck type can be used to do tricks and travel long distances.

Tech Construction Decks

Tech construction skateboard decks are made with layers of fiberglass or other similar materials. They are extremely sturdy and retain pop. This type of deck is best for skateboarders who do tricks and jump over stairs with their skateboards, as they are extremely sturdy and last for a long time.

Slide Decks

Slide skateboard decks have a vinyl or plastic coating on the bottom and often have unique designs. The coating makes it easier to perform slide tricks, so it is the best type of deck for skateboarders who enjoy doing various tricks. It also reduces the amount of wear and tear on the bottom of the skateboard, which, when it takes place on the back end, is called “razor tail“.

When determining which deck is best for you, you also need to consider how big the board needs to be. To determine how big your board needs to be, find out what your shoe size is. The bigger your shoe size is, the bigger your skateboard deck will need to be in order to support you properly. For example, if your shoe size is 6.5-9, your skateboard deck will need to be between 7.5-8 inches wide.

If you do a lot of tricks while skateboarding, get a deck that is on the skinnier side, as it will be easier to maneuver than wider boards. If you plan to use your skateboard as a form of transportation, get a board with a wider, more stable deck.

Choosing the Right Trucks for Your Skateboard

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The trucks of your skateboard should be as wide as the deck, although they can be slightly less wide. They need to be able to support your weight, and to do that, they need to take up a lot of room on the bottom of your skateboard.

Skateboard trucks are typically categorized by brand, but they are also categorized by height. There are three main skateboard truck height categories: low, mid, and high

Low Trucks

Low skateboard trucks are 46-49 mm high. They are lightweight and extremely stable. However, because this type of truck is so low, the risk of wheel bite (your wheel dragging the underside of your deck) is high.

Mid Trucks

Mid skateboard trucks are typically 50-53 mm high. If you intend to use your skateboard in a variety of ways, this is the best type of truck for you.

High Trucks

High skateboard trucks are typically 53.5-58 mm high and are best for skateboarders who like doing tricks often. The risk of wheel bites is also low when your skateboard has high trucks. However, when skateboarding down a hill, skateboards with high trucks can sometimes become unstable.

Choosing the Right Wheels for Your Skateboard

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The wheels of a skateboard are extremely important. There are three main types of skateboard wheels: park or street, cruiser, and longboard wheels. Skateboard wheels are also categorized by hardness or durometers.

Softer wheels are best for skateboarders who ride through parks and on the street regularly. They are also great for cruising. Hard skateboard wheels are great for riding in skate parks and street skating. Medium-hard skateboard wheels are best for general riding, street riding, and beginners.

Park/Street Wheels

Park or street wheels are typically 50-54 mm in diameter and have a durometer level of 95A-101A. They are great for skateboarders who do tricks and skate on the street often. They are quite easy to maneuver.

Cruiser Wheels

Cruiser wheels, also known as soft wheels, are typically 54-60 mm in diameter and have a durometer rating between 78A-90A. They are the best type of wheels for cruising because they are extremely stable and moderately soft. They also make turning and maneuvering easy.

Longboard Wheels

Longboard wheels are the hardest type of skateboard wheels. They typically have a durometer rating between 75A-85A and have a diameter between 60-75 mm. They are meant to be used with longboard decks, which is why they are called longboard wheels. They are quite stable and come in a variety of shapes, unlike other types of skateboard wheels.

Overall, the type of trucks, wheels, and deck that is best for your skateboard will vary depending on what you intend to use the skateboard to do.

In conclusion, the choices you make when selecting a skateboard’s deck, trucks, and wheels are pivotal in shaping your riding experience. As we’ve explored in this guide, each component plays a crucial role in determining factors such as stability, maneuverability, responsiveness, speed, and grip. By understanding the nuances of deck materials, truck dimensions, and wheel specifications, you empower yourself to tailor your skateboard to match your unique preferences and style. Whether you prioritize street tricks, downhill cruising, or transition skating, the right combination of deck, trucks, and wheels can make all the difference. Remember, your skateboard is an extension of your identity on the pavement, and investing time in choosing the ideal components ensures that every ride is a reflection of your individuality. So, armed with this knowledge, embark on your skateboard shopping journey with confidence, and let the synergy of deck, trucks, and wheels propel you toward new heights in your skateboarding pursuits. Happy riding!

Weekend Notice: Orders placed over the weekend will be shipped the following Monday.