Skaters: What do you look for in a skateboard?

Hi all,

I’m Laura, and I’m really new to the skate scene (a late bloomer at 33). I’m really interested to know if you skate, what do you look for when buying a board?

Do you gravitate towards a certain brand, or do you like to try a variety? is it better to pay more, or are you happy with the cheaper boards?
Is there any brand with art work that’s more female oriented? Seems like there’s a lot of sexist stuff out there!

Thanks

 
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Welcome to the world of skateboarding hold on to your seat!

When I’m buying a new board I always look at the size first and then board brands which I am familiar with or had in the past. I have ridden cheap boards which are usually called blanks (no images) to more expensive brands to mid range also. Majority of skateboards are made in Asian countries now like China so the build quality is the same just cheap production and less quality control. A lot of brands get made in the same place so it’s more about picking some thing you like at the end of the day.

There is more female orientated brands out there and I really hope you can support them. Skateboarding is male driven as majority of skateboarders are male, no different to surfing but a little different in snowboarding. Are brands sexist? Some images are but they are always racist, biased what ever you want skateboarding has it. If you do a search of female skateboard pro’s it comes up with some stupid shit about the hottest 20 females in skateboarding, wank! article. It’s freedom of expression and the chance to what ever you want and how you want to do it. No rules.

Brands like Hoopla, Cherry, Diva and Meow skateboards are female skateboarding brands. Even Girl skateboards have a middle ground of design male/female and being a good quality brand.

 
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Welcome to Boardworld, Quikdrawlau! shaka

A few considerations when buying your first deck:

Deck width. What size shoes do you wear? Being female, unless you have really big feet, avoid getting anything too wide.

Look for a 7-ply Canadian Maple deck. Really, just steer clear of the really cheap boards, i.e. what you would find in non-skate stores.

From there, just get something you’re stoked on. Going to your local skate shop and taking a look around is a good step. I would link you to our store but we’ve pulled it down until the new website launches next month. We have some really good quality Boardworld decks (made in the USA) which sell for $59.95 (less member discount and also comes with free grip).

 
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If you’re not great, don’t worry too much about the actual quality of the wood. Something $100 and $50 won’t feel or ride any different (though avoid the really cheap crap). Blanks from actual skate stores will last a decent time while you’re learning and then once that snaps, get a bigger brand name product. (The BW boards I’ve heard are good quality)

The main thing to look out for in my opinion is good wheels, bearings and trucks.

For a good first board, you probably need to spend somewhere in the $150 range and you’ll enjoy it way more than if you get cheap junk. Avoid the pre-made decks and go into your local store and get them to build you a board. Might cost a bit more but is generally a much better product with the advice from the people running the store.

If you’re looking for a cruiser board (big wheels) then just grab a Z-Flex or Santa Cruz board which will be more than enough if you’re not trying to learn tricks etc and will be a way smoother ride if you’re just rolling around.

 

Thanks guys (gals)!

You’ve been so helpful with your advice, I really appreciate it.

I have really small feet so the advice about the narrower deck is very helpful, as is the price range to look for.

So good to know that there are female-oriented brands out there! I’ve seen some pretty awful / objectifying artwork, and yes, I think the industry could stand a little equality in this regard. Perhaps not flowers and butterflies (but that’s cool, if it’s your thing), but definitely less t&a.

Being a bit of a clumsy chicken, and obviously bricking it at the thought of hurting myself, can you give me anything to look for regarding board safety (like, is the Canadian Maple actually safer than other materials, or less likely to snap?). I guess safety or protective equipment is a given but avoiding hospital trips would be great!

Thanks again! smiley

 
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I’d say it’s very unlikely you snap a board unless you’re really into tricks and stuff. I got a blank deck and it’s lasted ages (I’m not good at all though) yet a mate that grinds and can do flips and stuff can go through a board every 4-6 month and quicker if it’s a low quality deck.

 
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All good decks are made from Canadian maple. I wouldn’t buy anything else. I wouldn’t recommend you do either. You will end up saving money in the long-term as the deck will last longer and is less prone to deterioration and snapping. You can get good quality Canadian maple blank decks that are cheaper as they don’t have artwork etc. All reputable brands use Canadian maple, as far as I’m aware.

 
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Arent the BW decks US Maple? LOL

BTW the BW decks are prob the best most reliabl/durable decks I have ridden.

 

Thanks again, your assistance is so valuable.

One final question: I’ve seen a few boards with a carbon fibre layer at the top. What’s your opinion on carbon fibre? After a quick bit of research, it seems that the layer is more lightweight than Canadian Maple and can give boards more pop.

Is that true do you think, or just a gimmick?

 
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I personally find it a gimmick.

Carbon makes the board stiffer. Stiffer doesnt = more pop. The flex of wood aids with pop along with its crispness.

Ive found that the carbon boards are less likely to snap and last longer, but they feel dead after a while cos the wood wears out but u think the board is still good.

Depends on what you like, but 90%  of people still ride just wood. It just works

 

Wow! That’s really interesting! I’ll certainly think twice before purchasing a carbon fibre board.

Cheers for your perspective on this.  smiley

 
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Quikdrawlau - 10 April 2015 01:00 PM

Wow! That’s really interesting! I’ll certainly think twice before purchasing a carbon fibre board.

Cheers for your perspective on this.  smiley

It’s easier just to stick to the materials that a more ‘classic’ because they are tried and tested. If you look at pros they don’t use carbon fibre boards. Your board will deteriorate over time even if it’s just left in a garage. It’s just the way timber is and it doesn’t last for ever.

I have had boards in the past which broke in less than a month and others which took 3 months plus. If your popping tricks and landing away from the bolts your going to break the board. If your small the board will last longer. I ride 24 Skateboards now and they a warranty.

24 Skateboards, inc. and 24 Skateboards Pty Ltd offers a 1 year (12 months) Skater Guarantee on specified skateboard decks sold.  This Skater Guarantee will include the following:
If the skateboard deck should break or develop any fault or is unusable for just about any reason* within 1 year of the original purchase of the skateboard deck, we will replace the skateboard deck for a small fee of $25 which will cover the postage and handling fee. {No questions asked}.

 
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Quikdrawlau - 09 April 2015 08:39 PM

So good to know that there are female-oriented brands out there! I’ve seen some pretty awful / objectifying artwork, and yes, I think the industry could stand a little equality in this regard. Perhaps not flowers and butterflies (but that’s cool, if it’s your thing), but definitely less t&a.

This is why I read Women’s Day instead of Thrasher Magazine. I confess more T & A.

 

Haha! And here I thought people only read Womans Day for the recipes.

Thanks for the thoughtful advice, guys!

 
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Quikdrawlau - 10 April 2015 04:23 PM

Haha! And here I thought people only read Womans Day for the recipes.

Thanks for the thoughtful advice, guys!

Your welcome wink