Beginner’s guide to skateboarding

2. Components that make up a skateboard

When you’re ready to buy your first skateboard, these are the four things you’ll need in order to put together your set up:

Deck (+ Grip tape) – The deck is the wooden bit you stand on and the grip tape is the sand papery layer that’s applied to the top of the deck to provide grip for your shoes.

Decks (or boards as they are also known) are sold by their width size. More technical skaters (the ones who do lots of flip tricks) tend to opt for boards between 7.5 and 8 inches – the thinner boards allow for quick rotation. Others who like to do big tricks, skate pools or vert usually opt for 8 inches and up.

When learning to skate, a slightly wider board generally feels more stable under your feet. The best thing to do before you buy any board though is to take it off the shelf and stand on it in the shop, that way you’ll get a good feel for it.

Trucks – These are the parts that attach the deck to the wheels and also allow you to turn. The most important thing when buying a set of trucks is to make sure they are not wider than your deck.

Wheels – Generally speaking, when starting out, opt for 52mm to 55mm diameter wheels. As your skating progresses you will be able to choose a set of wheels better suited to your style of skating.

Bearings – You have probably heard some little kid talking about his or her bearings which are ABEC 6 zillion and 2 and makes their board go faster than anyone else’s in the whole wide world! Don’t be fooled into spending a lot of money on what is essentially a very good marketing campaign. When you’re starting out, look for bearings rated between ABEC 3-5 and cost no more than £20.


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