We answer the most common question, in our own style.
There are many places to start ones longboard/skateboard journey. There are many ways, and guides out in the world and over the internets. There is lots of misinformation, and lots of partial information. So it can be very confusing to get ones start. The happy news is that once one has a little knowledge it is much easier to spot the partial, incomplete or biased just to sell you something information. Although this information may be posted on our website, with the hopes that providing it will add some value to your hopefully future purchase. We also hope that even if you don’t choose to purchase with us now, that as you progress in you journey our guide will get you started in as good a manner as we can offer.
Skateboarding and its counterpart in a different name, but same game Longboarding can easily be divided up and thought of in styles of skating, but even that can get confusing. In many cases even these styles can be interchanged, and one can have a set up do many different styles relatively well.
What is a good board for a beginner?
This is the question that gets asked most in the shop. My answers vary from person to person, depending on our rapport at the door, but my most often given response is, “Find a board you want to fall off of the most.”
This isn’t supposed to be a smart assed answer. It is both a warning, and a fact. Skateboarding, and longboarding can be dangerous. You are going to fall off of what ever you are riding. It doesn’t matter if:
- It’s the most stable shape
- If it has the longest wheel base
- If it is the most expensive
- If it has small wheels
- If it has big wheels
- If it is flexible
- If it is stiff
You are going to fall off of it, with any luck and determination, you are going to fall off of it a bunch. So picking a board that looks cool to you will go a long way in getting you back on it, after you have fallen off, multiple times.
Sometimes people have seen a board being ridden, sometimes they have rode a friends, but for the most part every area is going to be different, places the rider is going to skate (to start) may be different, end desires of riding styles may be different. On several occasions a person just likes the way a board looks, and figures it out from there.
There are some rules of thumb to follow, and some things to keep in mind as a selection of board is weighed and thought about.
- DO NOT BUY A SET UP WITH PLASTIC TRUCKS!!! Not to start, not to try, not to give as a gift for an uncertain recipient. These should not even be allowed to be made or set up on a longboard, and if there is one certain thing in skateboarding plastic trucks are asking for trouble and injury, or at the very least not a fun time, and that is if you are lucky.
- One can not buy yourself into skill, but cheeping out on a set up can hold you back from progressing or learning, and in some cases could even lead to more injury than usual, or even cause injury in itself
- If you are on a budget, then save up to purchase an established brands’ set up will go farther than most “budget” boards on Amazon. Those brands touting the “beginner boards” labeling anywhere on their website is the tag line for “Hey dude who does’t know what they are buying just buy this, because it’s not like you will know you are buying something with random cheep components we bought in bulk to slap on other bulk random components."
- The sad part is, regardless of you knowing or not knowing things does not translate to your boards ability to properly operate. The saddest part of this industry is when people don’t continue skating because they think it is themselves who can’t skate, when in fact the board they bought is holding them back from even learning the most basic things.
Keeping these things in mind and there is very little you can mess up or choose incorrectly.
Still Curious? In our next Stoke Compendium post will cover the multitude of styles that exist in skateboarding/longboarding.