Skateboarding is accessible and easy to try, but it's also easy to let go once you realize how difficult it is. If you're thinking about trying skateboarding, might as well put all the chances on your side with a setup that's perfectly adapted to your needs. Because having the right setup will seriously make your learning process way easier.
It's getting hot oustide, the snow in the streets is disappearing and a lot of new skateparks are popping on every corner of the province. It's definitely time to go skate! In addition to being an ultra accessible, skating is a free activity that can be practiced anytime and anywhere. It's also good to sharpen you perseverance and a great way to stay fit.
However, there are many questions to answer to when buying your first skateboard. It can be a rather intimidating process if you do not know too much about the subject. Know that it should not be. One way or another, we are here to answer your questions and help you setup your own flawless board.
The first item to look for when buying a board is its width. If you prefer to skate transitions and rougher terrains, go for a wider board (8 ¼ or more). If, on the opposite, you prefer the more technical side of skating, a thinner board will allow you to handle it more easily (8 ¼ and under). In addition to the type of skateboarding you like to practice, the size of a person will also greatly influence his skate board selection.
Testing the width of your board by relying on the length of your shoes is a great way to estimate the width that will be best suited to your need. If you are tall and wear shoes size 13, a wider board will allow you more stability while if you are smaller and you wear a 7, it may be harder for you to make it move under your feet.
Then, it's important to check if you like the shape of the skateboard you have in your hands, starting with the concave, which is the elevation of the sides of your board in relation to its center. Some prefer flatter concave and others more aggressive ones. The shape of the board is often a matter of personal taste, so take the time to step on boards at the skateshop. If you feel comfortable from the first moment you step on a deck, it's a good sign.
Finally, take a look at the nose and tail. The front and back end of a skateboard change a lot from one brand to another. Depending on the posture you take when you ride or how to place your feet on your board when popping, a shape that's adapted to your style will help you land maneuvers more naturally.
The trucks :
IMPORTANT! The width of the board must always be in harmony with the width of your trucks. Usually, the majority of skaters choose between two formats of trucks: 139mm and 149mm. For wider boards (8 3/8 and up) opt for the 149s. For a narrower board, the 139 will fit perfectly.
Once you know the size of your trucks, you need to choose which brand you're going to want to stick to. Because when you like a truck model, you won't ever want to switch to another brand. At this level, it becomes very personal. Some people prefer the lightness of the Thunders while others would simply skate if they could not get Indy. Take time to check every detail about the truck, because you're going to keep those for a while and you want to like them.
The bearings :
At this level, the procedure is quite simple. The higher the ABEC number is, the faster bearings are. Be careful though, because the faster the bearings, the more fragile they are. For beginners, there is nothing better than a good set of ABEC 3. For experienced skaters, ABEC 5 is a fair choice and for those who really like to ride fast, treat yourself with a nice set of ABEC 7.
If you just started skating, a good set of Mini-Logos or Bones Reds will do the job just fine. The bearings are probably the only part of the board that does not include any "feelings", or very little. As long as you have bearings that roll well, you're good to go. Our advice: start with a more common brand of bearings before going for the fastest one on the shelf.
Finally, the last part of your selection: The wheels. Like the bearings, choosing your wheels is also quite simple. However, there are a couple technical features to know before you can make a perfect choice. Pretty much the same as boards, the size of your wheels depend on the terrain you like to skate. If you like bowl skating, go for larger wheels (54mm and up), but if you prefer to skate flat and ledges, we suggest smaller wheels (53mm and under).
Then it is important to look at the width of the wheels. With the "rugged" condition of our Quebec streets, it is better to avoid small wheels and on the contrary, wheels that are too big will help you go fast and not feel the pavement, they will make it more difficult when you try to learn actual tricks. Not too big or too small, 53mm is one of the most popular sizes. If you are a beginner, go with that.
Again, take the time to visit us in stores to test your gear before you buy your setup. Once the board, wheels, bearings and trucks are selected, put a sheet of griptape on it, mount the parts together with a hardware kit and that's it! You'll be ready to go shred with a board you'll love from the first seconds you step on it!
HAVE A GOOD SKATE SEASON!