Skateboarding has come and gone in popularity over the years, but it does seem like it has gained recognition in recent years as the X-Games and Tony Hawk has really helped the sport along. I grew up in the late 1970's and riding skateboards was definitely a part of my life. I never was good enough to ride on skateboard ramps, but plenty of my friends did just that with their free time. The skateboard decks back then were pretty basic but todays top skateboard makers like Girl, Zero, Element, Old School, Birdhouse, Flexdex, and Baker produce quality decks that can perform tricks and flips without breaking. Other popular skateboard brands are Black Label, Bulldog, Consolidated, Dogtown, Monkey Business, Plan B, Popwar, Shorty's, SpeedDemon, Termite, Think, World Industries and Zoo York. Most skateboards decks sell for $50-$100 (that doesn't include trucks and wheels). Element is the best skateboard maker with their pro board selection of Experience Series, Horizon Series, Kaleidoscope and Northern Lights. Their latest line includes the Bam Haunted series, Argyle Series, Evolution Series. Bam Margera and Tony Hawk have really brought skateboarding back into the limelight through skateboard tours, video games, and the Bam Margera Show.
Skateboard parks have risen up in suburbia and kids are staying out all day/night to learn the skills of the top skateboarders. Skateboard ramps are also popping up in peoples backyards so that skateboarders don't even have to leave their homes to practice. I have seen the professional skateboarders at the Dew Action Sports Tour (I live in Portland Oregon where one of the shows is each year). A few years ago I saw the Boom Boom HuckJam event which featured lots of great stars. The boards they ride are all tricked out and probably not what you would find in a regular store. You can find skateboards in retailers like Walmart, Toys R Us, Target, Sams Club, and online at Amazon.com. What should you consider when buying a skateboard?
You will first need to decide if you plan on buying a complete skateboard deck or putting the parts together separately. For beginners and even intermediate skateboarders, we suggest buying a complete deck to eliminate all the hassle of choosing various components. If you do want to take on the job of building your own skateboard you'll need to research decks, wheels, trucks, bearings, grip tape, and hardware. A "deck" is the same thing as the skateboard - the surface you put your feet on. Skateboard decks are available in different shapes, sizes, designs and colors. Most are made of wood with a double kick tail and nose - you may still find skateboards made with plastic, aluminum and even fiberglass but stay away from those cheaper models. The average skateboard is roughly 30 to 33 inches long and best used at skateparks or street riding. The width will range from 7 1/2 inches up to 8 1/4. As you become more involved with the sport of skateboarding you may find that you purchase individual boards for street, cruising, or skatepark use. Skateboard reviews
- We found some excellent feedback on Theskateboardreview.com, Skateboard-city.com, and About.com (Skateboard deck section). Youtube is another source to see owners review their decks right in front of you. You'll get the good and bad that each manufacturer offers and find out which skateboards hold up best to the punishment that teenage boys dish out. You can browse the top selling skateboards online here
It's really hard to say that one skateboard is the "best" considering all the different styles and various uses for each board. You may want a longboard for cruising down city streets or perhaps be looking for a pro skateboard to do tricks and ramp riding with. Technology has even brought along the Ripstik Caster Board which is a street surfing board that resembles a skateboard but has extremely tight turning capabilities which make it very fun to ride and maneuver without having to push with your foot. Our advice is to get your skill level up using a basic skateboard and then progress onto something more advanced when you feel comfortable. POSITIV and Birdhouse skateboards are great for all levels of riders. Read online reviews that owner post and get a feel for your own style of riding. As we mentioned above, many skateboarding fans end up with multiple decks to accommodate all their various needs.
I have a neighbor who is a huge skateboard nut (the guy is almost 40 years old) and he still rides his longboard skateboard around the neighborhood. He uses the top rated Surf One Robert August II Complete Longboard
- which is the #1 seller in this category on Amazon. I had the chance to get on the deck the other day and it rides really smooth. With 180mm trucks, a length of 43 3/4 inches and a wide 8.875". The board is constructed with 7 ply maple and gives you that classic surfing look. Capable of reaching speeds up to 35 MPH (wear your protective gear) - you'll get plenty of looks on this street cruising skateboard. We recommend that you browse all the most popular longboard skateboards online here
. The Surf One brand is the top seller, but we also say to look closely at the Sector 9 and Paradise boards as well.
Ok, you want a Tony Hawk Birdhouse or perhaps a high end Element or Seismic. We say go with the Birdhouse skateboards
for their reputation and overall performance. The Birdhouse (CPX1041) Tony Hawk Full Skull Series is a popular bet - almost all of the boards are sold as complete skateboards. The ability to do tricks and maneuvers at skateparks is really what these decks are designed for. Of course, it takes time to be able to pull off the hardest tricks and hopefully the skateboard will hold up to the crashes and thrashing it will take. You can
view the top selling professional skateboard decks online here
Starter Skateboard Deck:
Whether you are a kid looking for that first skateboard or a parent browsing the internet trying to find that perfect deck for your son/daughter - look no further than Amazon. They carry what we believe are the 2 best beginner skateboards on the market. First, the POSITIV Team Complete Skateboards
comes in 5 color choices and 2 different styles. At $60 to $75 you get a complete skateboard ready to ride - the board is actually for ages 7 and older. The skateboard features super high-rebound 54mm/99a polyurethane wheels and trucks with high-rebound polyurethane cushions. This equates to easy turning and maneuverability that a beginner needs. I can remember my first skateboard and the trucks were so tight and the wheels were horrible - turning was very hard. Most parents agree it takes a while for youngsters to figure out their balance on a new board so take the precautions and get protective gear like helmets and elbow/knee pads. Kids are resilient and they will eventually get on the board and learn how to ride. The other top choice is the Birdhouse Silver Series Tony Hawk
which sells for roughly $80. Designed for use on streets, ramps, or even skate parks, the Tony Hawk board is well made and provides quality components. The trucks are aluminum, the bearing rating is ABEC-5 (provides speed and performance), and the deck is made with birch and maple wood.