What are the best skateboards for beginners on the market these days? You’re asking this question because you want to learn skateboarding and spice up your life a little. Or, you’re coming back to skateboarding after a decade and are feeling completely clueless.
Whatever, I’ll guide you on how to choose the best beginner skateboard. I’ll give you tips on this and that so you can ease yourself into your chosen hobby easily, confidently, and fast.
Let’s dive right in and check out a few skateboard options that’d be ideal for beginners.
5 Best Complete Skateboards for Beginners
- Powell Peralta Vato Rats Complete Skateboard (Best Overall)
- Powell Golden Dragon Flying Dragon
- Krown Rookie Complete Beginner Skateboard
- 8.0 ” Enjoi Whitey Panda Wide R7 Beginner Skateboard
- SkateXS Panda Complete Skateboard (for Kids)
I’ll start with the best beginner skateboard reviews just in case you want to know the best options and buy. If you can spare a couple minutes after the reviews, I’ll show you how to choose the best skateboard for a beginner. So let’s roll.
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1. Powell Peralta Vato Rats Complete Skateboard (Best Overall)
Powell-Peralta, a California-based company sculpts the boards from hard, American yellow birch. The wood may be light, but it’s also quite strong. They use water-resistant glue to hold the plies together using Powell-Peralta’s proprietary presses. The decks are pretty stiff and long-lasting, and popping them is a breeze.
The skateboard features stable, high-quality Mini-Logo trucks made of premium alloys. The trucks turn well, thanks to their high-rebound bushings and heat-treated axles. These trucks are great for beginners, but they’re also great for advanced skateboarders. You won’t need to replace them when you evolve into a pro skater.
The deck is 8.25″ wide, and the wheelbase measures 14.25″. In addition, the board runs 32″ in length. These measurements are ideal for both beginners and pros. It’s a medium concave deck (K20 concave, a radial concave shape) with a 6.88″ tail and a 6.63″ nose.
The wheels are 53 mm Mini-logos at 101A, ideal for both park and street skating. You may have to swap them out for softer wheels if you’ll mostly skate street, though.
Finally, pro-quality griptape laden with silicon carbide grit ensure your feet stay on the board the whole time. And the 1960’s gang-scene inspired artwork by artist Craig Stecyk tells the word you’re a really cool girl or guy.
- Made of hard yellow American birch
- Affordable and made in the U.S.
- Cool Vato Rat Bones artwork on the deck
- High-quality Mini-Logo trucks
- High-rebound bushings
- Wide deck that increases stability
- Lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects
- Great for doing tricks
- Not cheap
- Wheels may be too hard for street skating
- 101A wheels not super grippy
- Wheel size not ideal for skating over cracks and rocks
You can find $40 decks, but aren’t they usually stuff no one should buy? It’s a quality board that’ll most likely serve you for months or years if you’re a light skater.
2. Powell Golden Dragon Flying Dragon
This is another beginner skateboard made by Powell-Peralta. But I should point out that the company produces this product from China. Not a very nice thing, right? It’s not nice when companies ships American jobs to overseas labor markets. But I think they’re not the only ones manufacturing stuff overseas.
Still, the board is great, and you may want to check it out. It’s 7.625″ wide and nearly 32″ long, ideal dimensions for beginners and experienced skateboarders. The wheelbase extends 13.75″, and the deck features a 7″ inch nose and a 6.625″ tail.
The trucks are from Powell, and while researching for this post, I noticed that the Amazon description didn’t specify whether they were metal or not. The info simply says they’re from Golden Dragon, and that’s saying not much. I contacted the manufacturer, and they told me the trucks are made out of cast aluminum. If that’s true, then they should be good. BUT one reviewer said they received plastic trucks! I’d hate to end up with plastic trucks at that price. For that reason, I’m hesitant about recommending this beginner skateboard.
There’s colorful screen-printed artwork on the deck, and that gives it a nice look. But graphics shouldn’t the only reason you choose board A over deck B.
- Great price
- Nice, colorful deck print
- Hard wheels for tricks and park skating
- Grippy topside
- Small wheels not great for moving over cracks
- At least one customer received a board with plastic trucks
- Wheels somewhat loud and slow
- Made in China
While many reviewers say you should buy this board, I’m telling to think twice before buying it. Luckily, I offer much better options here. If you insist on Powell deck, it’s best to go with the recommendation above — Powell Peralta Vato Rats Complete.
Other reviewers said their wheels were a bit slow and noisy on any surface apart from skatepark-smooth ones. But you can switch them out for quieter, faster options.
3. Krown Rookie Complete Beginner Skateboard (Best Budget Pick)
The Krown Rookie beginner skateboard is made of Canadian maple, arguably the best deck material out there. If you look at the price, you may end up thinking the board doesn’t work, but it sure does.
Krown has been in this game for over 2 decades. They’ve built up tons of board manufacturing knowledge and identified sources for high-quality parts at great prices.
The board measures 7.5″, a width that works for pretty much everyone. The length is 31.5″, which is standard length for a regular skateboard. The deck has a modern concave that makes pulling off tricks easy and fun.
What about the trucks? They’re 5″ heavy-duty aluminum trucks that come paired up with 52 mm wheels at 99A wheels. Made by Krown, the urethane wheels are precision and ABEC 7, which means they’re pretty fast. In addition, the trucks come with high-quality Philips-head mounting hardware for the perfect setup.
The deck is available in a variety of exciting color combos. There’s blue/black, purple/black, orange/black, white/black, and green/black so you can choose best option for your style. The griptape is black and grippy, precisely what you need as a beginner. And the tape has a place where you can write your child’s name, personalizing it.
- Great for kids and beginner skateboarders
- Narrow trucks = increased board responsiveness
- Super affordable
- Much better than most boards at that price
- You can write your child’s name on the deck
- You can write your child’s name on the deck
- Board may not last long with frequent use
- May not be ideal for heavy riders
- Trucks quite narrow
- May be too fast for a beginner
Narrower trucks aren’t always as stable as you’d want as a beginner. But you’ll soon become the master of your board. In addition, ABEC 7 wheels may be too fast for a beginner skateboarder. I recommend you learn how to slow down and stop before you learn anything else.
Is the Krown Rookie complete suitable for heavy riders, say 200+ pounds riders? No, that’d be too heavy for this board. I recommend this board for smaller skaters and kids. One more thing: if you’ll be riding your board frequently, it won’t last long. Still, at that price, this deal makes sense.
4. 8.0 ” Enjoi Whitey Panda Wide R7 Beginner Skateboard
They called it R7 because the manufacturer relied on Resin 7 construction to produce the board. This construction method involves 100% Canadian maple that’s treated with a special kind of epoxy resin glue that allows for extremely solid compaction.
Since the board is treated with resin, water would have a hard time seeping in, and that’s a good thing. Aside from that, resin withstands extreme temperatures thanks to its enormous thaw capacity. But that doesn’t mean skate in the rain without a worry! It just means you have a quality board that won’t get weakened by heat, wetness, or coldness. Resin also increases durability. You can expect this board to last a considerable duration with regular use.
The decks are pressed individually. Each deck gets that classic Popsicle shape that makes doing tricks feel incredibly easy and empowering.
The board’s underside is orange-ish with the iconic Enjoi Panda logo introducing patches of white. Note that the company offers different sizes, and that some options on Amazon may not be a complete skateboard. Only boards 7.5″, 7.75″, 8.0″ are sold as completes. If you choose any of the other widths, be ready to buy the parts separately and assemble your board.
The wheelbase is 14.13″ long, and that falls within the standard range. Lengthwise, the board measures 31.3″ — again, that’s the length of a standard skateboard. The griptape is black, and it’s acceptably grippy. As for the wheels, they’re white 52 mm TGM wheels with a durometer rating of 99A. They’re moderately hard.
But are TGM wheels any good? Well, I’ve never skated TGM wheels, but I’ve not come across bad reviews on them. These wheels are small and hard, the perfect solution for park skating. The trouble with small, hard wheels is they suck at moving over rocks and cracks. But you can swap them out with larger, softer Bones or Spitfire wheels.
I have a few quibbles with this beginner deck. I found that the trucks, wheels, and bearings may not be the finest quality. But for a beginner, that may not be such a huge concern.
Also, some customers received boards with pretty tight trucks and wheels. But that’s a problem that’s quite easy to resolve. Simply grab a wrench or skate tool and loosen the trucks down to a comfortable fit.
In addition, some boards may come with missing spacers and speed rings. But these can be had for cheap, and putting them on the wheels isn’t hard. Not a dealbreaker in my opinion.
- Durable, resin-treated Canadian maple deck
- Nice Enjoi logo graphics
- Nicely curved; ideal for tricks
- Reasonably priced
- Wheels not ideal for areas with rocks and cracks
- Trucks and bearings may not be the best quality
- Missing spacers and washers
Bottom line: This is a good enough entry-level board to learn skateboarding on.
5. SkateXS Panda Complete Skateboard (for Kids)
Have you been thinking of buying your child a gift but can’t seem to find one you think might excite them? Consider buying them the best complete skateboard for kids on the market. And I haven’t come across a better option than the Enjoi Whitey Panda complete for kids.
Made of high-performance bamboo, the skateboard is assembled in the U.S. and comes adorned with kiddo graphics. Your child will likely love the board instantly.
The wheels come in different colors — you can select one of 3 color combinations. As for griptape, you can select one of at least 8 exciting colors. The grip colors include pink, purple, green, orange, red, blue, black, and camo.
The board features versatile 53 mm wheels at durometer 90A. These wheels are rideable over a wide range of surfaces. And the high-precision ABEC 7 bearings inside the wheels roll smoothly fast. The wheels are easy to clean, too, thanks to the removable shields on them.
Speaking of wheel spin, don’t let your child leave the house without a helmet and protective pads. Kids aren’t the most careful skaters, you know. And you don’t want to worry about sudden healthcare bills all the time.
Lest I forget, the boards are available in 3 different age/weight categories namely:
- Age 5 to 7 (40-60 lbs): 7″ (W) x 28″ (L)
- Age 8 to 10 (60-80 lbs): 7.25″ (W) x 29″ (L)
- Age 11 to 12 (80-100 lbs): 7.4″ (W) x 30″ (L)
If you love purchasing environmentally friendly products, this board should be a great choice.
- Griptape available in multiple colors
- Kiddo deck graphics (panda)
- Made of light, high-performance bamboo
- Assembled in the U.S.
- Environmentally friendly choice
- ABEC 7 wheels can be pretty fast
I feel the price is a little too steep, though. Bamboo should probably cost less than that, but the parts are pretty decent. Maybe you shouldn’t wait until next Christmas to buy this board for your kiddo.
Remember: the board uses ABEC 7 wheels. These can be quite fast, which is why your child MUST always wear protective gear before dashing out for sessions.
And now here’s …….
How to Choose the Best Beginner Skateboard
Keep the following factors in mind when choosing a beginner skateboard, and you’ll end up with something that works.
1. Board Type/Style
What do you want? Do you want an old school board, a cruiser, a regular skateboard/shortboard, or a longboard? Let’s look at each of these skateboard types/styles before we start focusing on what you seek, a beginner skateboard.
Cruisers are mid-length boards typically used for cruising streets or transportation. They’re versatile and easy to control, and they can be pretty fast. These ones usually come with a kicktail. Think of cruisers as relatively smaller longboards or larger skateboards.
· Old School Decks
Old school boards are asymmetrical boards with a flat nose and kictails. They’re what you need for pool skating (not very common these days, huh?) and skating ramps. They’re also great for carving in the streets. One more thing, old school boards have a wider nose — wider than the tail.
Longboards are longer than any other kind of skateboard. They normally use large wheels and may have wheel cutouts so wheels can turn without wheelbite. They’re symmetrical in shape and typically used for downhill skating and long-distance transportation. But they’re not great when it comes to doing tricks or technical skating.
Finally, we have the regular skateboard, otherwise known as a shortboard. And that’s the board style this post will focus on. Skateboards are the shortest deck there is, and they’re designed for street and park skating. They’re also the best deck for pulling off ollies and all those other skateboarding tricks.
2. Complete Skateboard vs Custom-built Skateboard?
A blank vs complete skateboard? A blank is pretty much a plain deck — one without graphics whatsoever. A complete skateboard is an assembly that comes with every component a skateboard should have.
As a beginner, it’s best to buy a complete rather than a blank. Blanks have over the years received quite some bad rap for being super low quality. Plus, they’re not easy on the eye and you’d have to buy some stickers or paint the deck. I’m not saying all blanks are junk. In fact, some shops carry some pretty high-quality blanks these days.
The downside to buying a complete is that some companies tend to throw together crappy components. The wheels may not spin right, for example. And the board may be terrible, snapping after just a couple spins.
If you want a high-quality pre-assembled complete, buy from a respected brand. Don’t waste your hard-earned money on those irresistibly cheap target or Walmart boards. They’re known to break soon after you start skating on them!
Consider getting your board from your local skate shop. Or buy from Amazon. Amazon sells some really wicked skateboards. Ask around.
If you’re the handy type or just favor that route, you can buy a blank plus all the other parts and build your own skateboard. But you probably shouldn’t go the custom route if you’ve never owned a board before.
3. Deck Material
You can buy a plastic deck, a bamboo deck, or a maple wood one. Plastic decks are typically the cheapest boards around. But I’d advise you to go with a maple wood deck. Canadian maple wood is the finest quality I’ve seen. And not surprisingly, maple decks tend to be the priciest options.
Anyone who’s been skateboarding for a while will without hesitation tell you that the cheapest decks are usually crap. When it comes to beginner or pro skateboard decks, you get what you pay for. Generally, higher-priced decks are almost always better quality choices.
The best quality skateboard decks consist of 7 layers/veneers of maple wood glued together and allowed to set. But the market also offers decks with more or fewer veneers, and each formulation delivers a somewhat different experience.
You can never go wrong with a 7-ply deck if you’re a complete beginner. Avoid single-plank decks as they tend to not be as durable as multi-ply constructions.
4. Deck Size (Width and Length), Wheelbase, and Shape
Let’s briefly consider each of these aspects. They’re critical considerations when choosing a beginner-friendly board.
· What’s the Right Deck Width for Me?
Your height and how big your feet are should help you figure what board width you need. In general, any high-quality deck that’s between 7.5 ” and 8.0″ should be ok for almost every beginner.
If you go too wide, doing tricks becomes a little challenging. With a wider board, you’ll have to exert a bit more energy during skateboarding. And if the deck is too narrow for you, you’ll find it super hard to stay stable.
Your skating style should also determine board width for you. If you’ll be skating vert and ramps, choose a wider deck. And if you’ll be skating mostly street, a narrower board would be best. In my experience, one has to skate on a couple decks before they can have a “this is it!” moment.
A wider board requires more energy to maneuver while a narrower tends to reduce stability.
Wheelbase is the distance between a deck’s inner mounting holes. Some boards have just one set of mounting holes drilled near the ends of the deck. As a beginner, you want to go with the average wheelbase — 13″ and 15″.
Pro skaters may choose a deck with a couple wheelbase options, though. Don’t confuse wheelbase with Effective Foot Platform. Effective Foot Platform (EFP) describes the total amount of space on the topside of the deck available for the skateboarder’s feet.
· Choosing the Right Skateboard Deck Length
A deck’s length is the distance between the tail’s tip and the nose’s tip. Most shortboards/regular skateboards are between 28″ and 32″ in length. Beginner skateboarders shouldn’t focus too much on length. Instead, they should pay more attention to board width and wheelbase. So, any board in the 28″ to 32″ range in length should be good enough.
· Concave Style/Shape
The term concave refers to the deck material’s curve between the nose and tail. But why do manufacturers curve decks? A concaved deck allows for more foothold and control while skating. Such a deck also tends to be stronger than boards without curved edges. And don’t stronger decks translate into more durable skateboards?
Now, a board’s concave determines to a large extent the overall experience and performance a board delivers. You’ll choose from several different concave shapes, and each shape coincides with a certain style of skating.
There’s at least 7 different concave shapes to choose from, and that can be confusing. These concave shapes include:
- Radial concave
- Gaspedal/Flat-cave curve
i. Radial concaved decks (Ideal for beginners and skaters of all skill levels)
These ones are the most common skateboard decks, and they feature a U-shaped curve. This shape gives the rider lots of feet grip, enabling them to do all kinds of skateboarding. A deck with a radial concave would be the best bet for you, a beginner.
ii. Progressive curve
These decks are just like radial ones. The only difference is that these ones offer you a wider base. And a wider base for the most part means a more sure-footed board experience.
iii. Gaspedal/Flat-cave/ Tub Concave Shape
This concave design is similar to the progressive curve shape, but it has a steeper curve. With this shape, your feet stay somewhat flatter during skating. And the sharply angled curves are always there for when you want to do some really powerful tricks.
iv. Asymmetrical Decks
In this deck, the curves rise at noticeably different angles. These decks are designed to give the skater more heel-power. Heel-power comes in handy when it comes to doing turns.
v. Flat or Curve-less Decks
These aren’t very common nowadays. The closest you get to a flat deck these days is re-issue old school boards. These ones provide the rider with ample space so they can boardwalk and do other exciting tricks.
These decks look like the letter W. But it’s a part of the deck rather than the entire length that looks like that. The shape only applies to the area around the deck’s tail.
This would be an excellent board for a pro skateboarder as it powers super precise tricks. This is one of the most responsive concave shapes ever conceived. It allows the ride to exert more energy in their toes rather than their heels.
vii. Convex skateboard decks
Finally, we have convex skateboard decks. These ones have their curves pointing downward instead of upwards. They’re like a shallow, inverted bowl, and they’re designed for folks who love slalom and downhill skateboarding.
One thing distinguishes convex decks from all the other decks discussed above. It’s that foot placement feels a lot more natural with convex decks.
The images above came from Warehouseskateboards.
5. Hardware and Trucks
Pretty much any hardware works. These are the bolts and nuts that fasten your trucks on the board. Pay particular attention to the trucks, though. Trucks are metal pieces with axles, and they let you put wheels on your board.
Pick good quality trucks as these are supposed to last a long time. As a beginner, go with standard or low-profile trucks. High-profile trucks are best for cruising and carving. Trucks from either Venture or Independent are the best, but they’re not the only options, right? Mini-Logo trucks aren’t bad at all.
6. Wheels and Bearings
Hard or soft wheels? Small or large wheels? As a beginner, I recommend you start with a kind of a hybrid set of wheels — moderately hard/soft. A good place to start would be 54 mm wheels at 90A. Learn more about skateboard wheel durometer in this article.
7. Skate shoes and Protective Gear
Pretty much any skate shoes would do. But if you want to wear the best of the best skate shoes, read these skate shoe reviews to help you along. And if you’re looking for durable skate shoes, this resource should help you. What if you have wider-than-average feet? Pick any of the best skate shoes for wide feet reviewed in this post.
Not everyone wears protective gear when going out skating. But it’s best to wear a helmet, protective pads for the knees, elbows, and wrists just in case anything happens. Skateboarding accidents aren’t exactly rare, you know. Keep in mind that all forms of skating are potentially dangerous, and even pros bail. Take care.
Remember to Do These Things
Now that you’ve bought a nice beginner skateboard, there’s a few things you need to take care of on an ongoing basis.
1. Clean and Replace Your Skateboard Bearings
Bearings don’t last forever. So replace them when they break. Also, clean your bearings occasionally or as the need arises. Some people do it once a month, others once every 3 months. Others never clean their bearings unless they get so gunked up that they start seizing up.
I clean mine once every 2 months, sometimes even 3 months, and I’ve not had any issues. The more you skateboard, the more frequently you should clean your bearings and lube them.
3. Keep Your trucks Tightened Correctly
You don’t want your trucks too loose that you’re wobbling the whole time you’re out there skating. Tightening your trucks is simple and easy, fortunately. All you need is a skate tool and your hands. Here’s a detailed article on how to tighten skateboard trucks.
3. Replace Broken Parts
Decks — not the crappy kind — last relatively long. If and when your deck begins to warp and show cracks on the underside, replace it. Also, order a new board if the tail becomes too thin and doing tricks starts feeling like zero fun.
But how long does a skateboard last? Depending on use frequency and deck quality, you can expect your skateboard to last between a few months and a year. And for a person who doesn’t skate all that much, a quality board may last years.
Trucks last a long, long time. In fact, trucks rarely need replacement. So, be sure your complete features a decent pair of trucks. And if they ever break, replace them.
The griptape may also need replacement from time to time. But griptape lasts, too, regardless of the brand in question. Re-grip the board when the existing one loses its ability to stop your feet from slipping off the board.
4. Avoid Skating in the Rain
Bearings hate water — that’s a fact. So, you never want to skate in the rain or pass via puddles. And if you do, ride your board until all the water evaporates from the bearings. Even better, wash and lube the bearings.
Best Complete Skateboard for Beginners: Verdict
For a beginner, the skateboarding world can feel all too confusing. There’s too many moving parts in the buying process, and a whole ton of options to consider. Hopefully, this post was the little guidance you needed to shop like a pro skateboarder. There’s a lot to learn, though, and I believe I started you off in the right direction.
I believe the Powell Peralta Vato Rats Complete Skateboard is the best complete beginner skateboard. It’s moderately priced, and it’s a U.S.-owned business. Also, it’s wide (8.25″), and that gives it lots of stability.
In addition, the wheels are small and hard. Smaller wheels tend to be more stable and easier to control. The artwork on the underside is great, too. And the Mini-logo trucks last. However, its small wheels may give you problems in places with rocks and cracks. But you can always install larger wheels.
It’s a great deal for a beginner, and you can buy it on Amazon now.