How To Buy A Skateboard
Buying a skateboard online can be confusing.
Here at Stronger we love walking people though that process and explaining it all in person, but right now we are unable to do that, so we are making this guide to help you as you navigate our site.
Complete or Parts?
The first thing you'll need to decide is if you are buying a complete skateboard or choosing your own parts. You can see our current complete skateboard selection here.
Our completes are perfect for newer riders who are planning on mostly skating at skateparks or other smooth surfaces. We focus on small to medium sized completes since these are most often purchased by parents on a budget.
Our completes tend to run 7-8in wide and come with hard wheels (more below). They are perfect for people who don't know what to buy, are on limited budget. Our pre-built completes usually cost $90-$110, unless its something extra special we built here in the shop.
Building your Own:
Make sure you choose a deck, trucks, wheels, bearings, and hardware. Griptape is optional if you don't have a preference. Risers are also optional.
What most people think of when they think of a skateboard is the wooden surface you stand on, this is called the deck. They come in many different sizes and styles.
The most important thing to consider when choosing a deck is what you think is cool! You liking your deck is more important than it being the perfect shape or size or brand! This is especially true for new skaters and kids who are more likely to ride a board they think is awesome. So look around for something you think is really cool!
We focus on boards for doing tricks or casual riding. We don't carry any longboards, but we do carry "cruiser" boards and we can turn any deck into a cruiser board by adding soft wheels and risers (more below).
Most of our boards are "popsicle" shaped, meaning both ends are rounded and raised so you can do tricks off both the nose and tail. From the top they look like a short popsicle stick.
"Shaped" decks are anything that isn't a "popsicle." These decks usually have wider tails and may look more like popular shapes from the 80s but each one has its own unique shape. Some brands like Welcome Skateboards, have in-detail guides to their shapes on their websites.
Skateboard decks are most often measured by width. But length and wheelbase measurements are often available as well. Most decks are 7"-10" wide. The most popular size we sell and the one we most often recommend is 8.25" wide. The number you see alongside the name of the deck is the width measured in inches.
Very generally speaking if you have smaller feet or a smaller body a smaller board is easier to ride and vise versa; larger feet and body do better on a larger board. But preference outweighs all of this. What you like and feels good is something you discover over time as you skate and is very personal.
For young children we recommend boards 8in or less in width or a mini sized deck which will be shorter in length as well as width.
You can read more on choosing a deck from Tactics here.
Shop skateboard decks.
Trucks should match the width of your board or be as close as you can get. You won't notice a quarter of an inch difference unless you are doing highly technical flat ground tricks. Whenever buying a new complete try to closely match the width of your trucks and decks.
Most modern skateboard trucks are built very similarly, with the main differences being width and height, and occasional high end materials like titanium for the lowest weight trucks. Again, you will figure out what you like over time by trying different brands/styles.
One popular feature of modern trucks is to make them "hollow" meaning the axle and king pin are hollow which makes trucks about 15% lighter. This can be nicer for learning tricks like ollies and kickflips as it can be easier to maneuver lighter board, but it's by no means a necessary upgrade.
Trucks also come with different heights and styles of kingpins (the big bolt down the middle).
If you are shopping here just make sure your trucks are the same width as your board (or close) and you will be good to go.
Once you have your board your kingpin on your trucks can be tightened or loosened to change how responsively they turn.
You can find a lot more in-depth information from Tactics HERE.
Shop trucks here.
When choosing your board you will also need wheels. There are two primary things to consider when buying wheels: Diameter and Deurometer.
Diameter is how big the wheels are. Most park skaters choose wheels between 50-60mm wide. Bigger wheels will give you a smoother faster ride. Smaller wheels will give you less weight and make technical tricks easier.
Durometer measures how hard a wheel is. Harder wheels will slide easily on smoother surfaces for powerslides and grinds and they will resist flat spotting. Softer wheels give you grip for turning and absorb the bumps when riding on asphalt.
When skating at a skatepark we recommend wheels that are about 52-59mm diameter and 95a-101a durometer/hardness.
When using your skateboard for transportation exclusively we recommend wheels that are 60mm wide or larger 80a hardness or less.
For a mix of both you will want to find a wheel that is between 80a and 95a in hardness and we have been carrying more and more wheels in that range as its increasingly popular among the skaters here.
For a lot more details check out Tactics guide to wheels here.
Shop wheels here.
Bearings are a part you buy to go inside your wheels and can later be replaced separately from your wheels. This is an area where the cost can vary wildly. You can find bearings for as little as $15 or as much as $200! Our current selection ranges from $18-$60.
When you buy less expensive bearings you can expect to replace them in a few months to a year depending on how often and how hard you skate.
More expensive bearings can last years if they are cared for well.
The difference in price generally comes from the materials used and the quality of the materials. Higher grade steels cost more than lower grades and ceramic bearings can cost more than steel bearings.
The most important thing to keeping your bearings lasting a long time is to keep them dry! Steel will rust if it gets wet, so stay out of puddles and add a little lube once in a while and your bearings should have a decent life span.
If you have no idea what to get, grab a pack of Bones Reds.
Read a lot more from tactics here.
Bearings can be found in Accessories.
Hardware is often missed when buying a complete. Hardware is the bolts and nuts that hold the trucks to the board. On skateboards locking hardware is used to be sure the bolts do not come loose and cause a dangerous situation where your trucks could come off!
Hardware comes in different lengths and colors and can be phillips or allen head.
For a board without risers 7/8" or 1" is the best choice. You don't want your hardware to be excessively long as it could get caught on things while skating and is more prone to bending or breaking.
If you have no idea what to get grab a pack of shorty's here.
You need longer hardware if you plan to use risers.
Here is a a guide. Again, like much of the above these are not hard and fast rules. There are skaters who run 60mm wheels with no risers and skaters who run 55mm wheels with risers. You will find what you like over time.
Risers and Rails
Risers are flat plastic pieces that sit between your board and your trucks to raise up your board and give more clearance for your wheels to spin. You generally only need risers when your wheels are 56mm or above.
We highly recommend 1/4in risers for all wheels 60mm or larger to prevent wheel bite, when your wheel catches on your board and stops spinning! Wheel bite can throw even experienced skaters right to the ground, avoid it!
Rails are plastic bars that are added to the bottom of the skateboard, primarily to help with sliding across rails and other obstacles. They also help protect your graphics and give you something to grab when doing airs.
Risers and Rails can be found in Accessories.
We are happy to apply your griptape to your deck or fully assemble your skateboard at no cost. Just let us know in the notes if you would like us to.
If you would like to assemble your own board you can check out this link to learn how to do it yourself!
If you still have questions and you can't find good answers via google please email us at email@example.com.
Please be patient, we will do our best to respond within 24 hours.