Picking the right board for beginners
It can be daunting when you’re deciding on which type of skateboard to buy. Here is an overview of the main characteristics of each category of skateboards. We’ve classified the various types of skateboards into 3 main categories:
Ride Quality: 1/5
Ability to do tricks: 5/5
Purpose: Performing tricks and short distance cruising
Portability: Stunt boards are really portable especially due to their lightweight nature. They are effortless to carry around crowded places. Stunt boards are lightweight in nature to allow them to flip quickly in the air when performing flip tricks, this makes them a go-to board for commuting on public transport systems since they don't weigh much.
Ride Quality: Ride quality is one of the Achilles heels for stunt boards. Most stunt boards have small hard wheels that are lightweight making flip tricks effortless. However these small hard wheels absorb minimal road vibrations affecting the ride quality of the board. Nevertheless, stunt boards are still worth considering if you’re planning on cruising around since ride quality can be improved by switching out the wheels to larger and softer cruiser wheels.
Ability to do tricks: Trick and flips at the skatepark is the stunt board's forte. Its small, hard and lightweight wheels ensure minimum weight with just the right amount of grip, thus allowing maximum agility for all kinds of tricks. The hard wheels that are made from high rebound flat spot resistant urethane are perfect for doing power slides and grinds on smooth surfaces. They can take a lot of punishment with ease. If your priority is to do tricks, and have a lightweight, portable board, stunt boards will be ideal for you.
Ride Quality: 3/5
Ability to do tricks: 2/5
Purpose: Urban commuting and short distance cruising
Portability: Cruiser boards are skateboards that have been shrunk down to the bare minimum for skating. They are much smaller than traditional skateboards and longboards. This allows them to be lighter and more compact overall, making them the perfect companion for carrying around on your urban commute.
Ride quality: Urban cruising is an effective mode of transport when your destination requires a bit of walking. This falls right into the territory of cruiser boards since their sole purpose is to give riders a board that glides through urban landscapes while being portable. Cruiser boards often come with medium-sized soft wheels (78-82A durometer) allowing them to have great manoeuvrability while gripping on to pavements at higher speeds. This is essential for weaving in and out of traffic in crowded areas.
Ability to do tricks: Cruiser boards often come with a kicktail that allows riders to perform ollies (a trick that makes your board ‘hop’ in the air) to avoid potholes and curbs. Cruiser boards are by no means the best boards for performing tricks as they tend to be heavier than stunt boards. Furthermore, they tend to be smaller in size making them less stable when landing flip tricks. Nonetheless, cruiser boards are a versatile bunch since they offer riders a compromise between good ride quality and the ability to do tricks. If you’re planning to mainly cruise around town and occasionally perform a few ollies to avoid obstacles a cruiser board is definitely the right board for you.
Ride Quality: 5/5
Ability to do tricks: 4/5
Purpose: Long-distance cruising, High speed cruising, freestyle tricks, dancing and downhill
Portability: Longboards are not the most portable boards among skateboards hence their name ‘Longboards’. Longboards tend to range from 38 inches (96.5cm) to 46 inches (117cm) being longer than most skateboards. Their large footprint also makes them heavier than most skateboards hence carrying them around places will be more of a hassle as compared to cruiser boards and stunt boards. Longboards are most suitable for larger parks and gardens where there is plenty of space for cruising and exploring. If you intend to skate and cruise around large spaces a longboard will be the most ideal choice.
Ride Quality: Longboards are known best for their superb ride quality. Their long and wide decks make them ideal for beginners to learn the ropes of pushing on a skateboard since such decks offer utmost stability for riders. Longboards also have superb manoeuvrability since most longboard trucks are reverse kingpin trucks that give riders a large turning radius while maintaining ride stability. Longboards are best known for their top of the class ride quality and stability making them the best companion for all your long-distance skating trips.
Ability to do tricks: When it comes to performing tricks, longboards are quite a unique breed since the tricks performed on them do not resemble traditional skateboard tricks. Due to their large size, longboarders tend to prefer longboard dancing and other tricks that involve some hand assistance. The main difference in tricks for longboards and traditional stunt boards is the weight difference, this forces longboarders to come up with tricks that fit the heavy nature of longboards. Nonetheless, the list of longboard tricks is not exhaustive making longboards an exciting bunch.