So you want to buy a skateboard?

The Definitive Guide to Buying a Skateboard!

How to choose a skateboard deck

If you're just getting into skateboarding, it will be helpful to get familiar with the different styles of boards that skateboarders use. Skateboards come in four shapes. Each style of deck is designed for certain kinds of skateboarding, so the board shape you choose should match the style you want to skate. From there, you can build a custom complete that matches your skateboard deck and skating style.

Cruiser boards often have kicktails, but are more designed for simply cruising around. The decks are typically mid-length. Cruisers are very mobile, making them good for cruising the streets and stuffing in your school bag ;)

popsicles are your standard mordern day skateboard. Ideal for tricks, hitting up the streets and skating at the park!

Old School
Old school boards typically have a flat nose and kicktails. They are usually asymmetrical, with a wider nose. Old school boards are an awesome choice for skating pools, ramps, carving the streets and even hanging on your wall!

If you're not interested in doing tricks and want a skateboard to push around on for transportation, longboard skateboards, or cruisers, are a great option. Some longboards are specifically designed for downhill racing. Downhill longboards tend to have a symmetrical shape, sit lower to the ground, and have wheel cutouts, which allow larger wheels to be used. 

Features of skateboard decks

Skateboard decks vary in size but most are between 7"-10" wide, and are made of seven-ply wood, bamboo, resin, carbon fiber, or plastic. Deciding which skateboard deck is best for you depends on what you will be skating and, of course, your personal brand preference. Below are some factors to consider when buying your skateboard deck.

Choose your skateboard deck according to the width, not length. The average width of a skateboard deck is 7.75"- 8.25". The right width depends on your size and skateboarding style. If you buy a deck that is too wide for your height and shoe size, you will need to exert more power, which can make skateboarding and trick riding difficult. If you choose a board that is too narrow for your height and shoe size, you'll have trouble balancing and won't feel stable. Generally, teen and adult riders will want at least a 8.0" width. Larger skateboarders and those skating ramps and vert ramps should go with a wider deck such as 8.25" - 8.5"  and street skaters usually need a smaller deck like 7.75"-8.0"

Nose and Tail
The nose is the "front" of your skateboard and the tail is the "back." Which end is which can be hard to differentiate, but most decks provide you with graphics to tell the two apart. Many skateboard decks have a bigger kick on the nose and mellower kick on the tail.

The art of skateboard manufacturing has been refined over the past few decades, and manufacturers are constantly experimenting with new technology, materials, and graphics trends.


How to Buy Skateboard Hardware

Skateboard hardware, also known as mounting hardware, is used to connect the skateboard trucks to the skateboard deck. Skateboard hardware refers to the nuts, bolts, locknuts, and screws used when building a skateboard. The screws can have an Allen or Phillips head. Skateboard hardware comes in many different lengths, and often includes one different colored bolt so that the rider can mark the nose of the skateboard.

Each hardware set includes 8 bolts and 8 locknuts. The set will be used to attach the each truck to the deck.

What size hardware do I need to put together my skateboard?

7/8" to 1" hardware - no riser
1" to 1 1/8" hardware - 1/8" riser
1 1/4" hardware - 1/4" riser
1 1/2" hardware - 1/2" riser

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Do I need riser pads for my skateboard?

A riser is a flat plastic pad that can be mounted between the skateboard truck and the skateboard deck. Riser pads increase the space between the truck and deck, raising the board up so that you don't experience wheel bite. Wheel bite occurs when the wheel touches the skateboard deck during a sharp turn and stops the wheel from rotating. Riser pads come in a variety of colors and thickness levels. Depending on your skateboarding style, riser pads can prolong the life of your skateboard deck by reducing the risk for stress cracks where the deck and the trucks meet.

Skateboard decks that use wheels smaller than 55mm do not typically require risers; however, 1/8” risers can help keep the hardware from vibrating loose.

As the wheels get larger, there's a greater chance for wheel bite, which may cause you to randomly fall forwards.

Long story short,
Larger the wheel, the more height is needed in a riser pad.

What size hardware do I need if I use riser pads?

No riser - 7/8" to 1" hardware
1/8" riser - 1" to 1 1/8" hardware
1/4" Riser - 1 1/4" hardware
1/2" riser - 1 1/2" hardware

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Features of skateboard trucks

Skateboard trucks are made up of a couple main components:

The axle is the long pin that runs through the hanger and will attach to the wheels.

The hanger is the triangular metal piece that is the largest part of the skateboard truck, and supports the axle, which runs through it.

The kingpin is the big bolt that fits inside the bushings and holds the skate trucks parts together. Recently, hollow kingpins (and axles) have been on the rise, because they are lighter weight but don't compromise strength or durability.

The bushings are the soft urethane rings fitted around the kingpin to allow the board to turn and pivot smoothly.

Regardless of what type of board you're rocking, you will need quality trucks. However, if you are riding a vintage board (pre-1990s), you will need to look out for a set of Independents that have the old school bolt pattern.

And you can always contact us if you need help!



How to Buy Skateboard Bearings

All skateboard bearings are the same size, so you don't need to worry about size when selecting bearings. However, the ABEC rating changes the quality of materials and precision used in manufacturing the bearing. Higher ABEC, higher the quality.

Skateboard bearings are used to mount the skateboard wheels to the skateboard axle. Skateboard bearings are all the same size and will fit any skateboard wheel that Warehouse Skateboards sells.

While they do not vary in size, they do vary in quality. The rule of thumb tends to be that the more expensive the skateboard bearings, the higher the quality. Cheaper bearings are typically made of lower quality materials, which can get deformed or break completely under the pressure of skateboarding. Inexpensive bearings may also not be sealed as well, resulting in dirt and debris in your bearings that will slow your board down dramatically. The more expensive skateboard bearings are sealed, with higher precession machining, and higher-quality metals. They will remain fast and precise over timewith proper maintenance.

ABEC ratings:

Most bearings are measured by an ABEC rating. The higher the ABEC rating, the more accurate and precise the bearing will be.

  • ABEC 3 - The cheapest on the bearing chain.don’t expect them to be the best,.
  • ABEC
  • ABEC 7 

 The more you pay the higher chance of having a good quality bearing.  If you are a beginner i would recommend a cheaper bearing. $30 is a good start for a nice set!

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How to choose skateboard wheels

Skateboard wheel diameter is measured in millimeters (mm). The lower the number, the smaller the wheel. Most wheels range from 50-75 mm. Smaller wheels result in a slower ride, and larger wheels result in a faster one. Wheel diameter also affects how quickly you accelerate and how tightly you can turn.

If you are doing technical tricks on a shortboard, smaller wheels are a natural choice. For cruisers and longboards, larger wheels give you the speed and balance you will need. Additionally, your height and weight can affect what size wheels feels right for you.

50-53mm Small, slower wheels; ideal for making your board spin faster & Locking in to grinds
54-59mm Average wheel size for bigger riders skating street, skate parks, bowls, and vert ramps.
60mm + Specialty riders skating longboards, old-school boards, downhil; made for speed and rough surfaces.

Choosing skateboard wheel durometer

Durometer measures the skateboard wheel's hardness. Most manufacturers use the Durometer A Scale, which is a 100-point scale that quantifies how hard a wheel is. The higher the number, the harder the wheel. The average wheel durometer is 99a. Certain manufacturers may use the B Scale, which measures 20 points lower and allows the scale an extra 20 points for harder wheels. For example, an 80b durometer is the same hardness as a 100a durometer. Such skateboard wheels have a wider and more accurate hardness range.

Generally speaking, harder wheels are faster, and softer wheels are slower but offer more grip. Softer wheels are better suited to street skating; harder wheels are better for smooth surfaces, such as skate parks. Some companies even specially design their wheels for a specific use. For instance, Bones STF Formula and Spitfire F1 Street Burners are designed specifically for street terrain, while Bones SPF Formula and Spitfire F1 Park Burners are designed for park terrain.

Here are some general guidelines for wheel durometer.

Skateboard Wheel Durometer

78a-87a Soft wheel good for rough surfaces, longboards, or street boards that need lots of grip to easily roll over cracks. Designed for smooth rides, cruising, longboards, hills, and rough surfaces.
88a-95a Slightly harder and faster with a little less grip, but the grip's still good. Good for street and rough surfaces.
96a-99a Nice speed and grip-- an all-around good wheel. Great for beginners skating street, skate parks, ramps,pools, and other smooth surfaces.
101a + Hardest and fastest wheel with the least grip. Ineffective on slick and rough surfaces. These are pro wheels.
83b-84b Wheels using the B scale are extremely hard, measuring 20 points lower than the the A Scale in order to allow the scale to extend another 20 points for harder wheels.

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