Max Tarkhov / Unsplash
Max Tarkhov / Unsplash
Max Tarkhov / Unsplash
By Daniel Meagher
Skateboards are synonymous with an easy lifestyle, in part because of boarding culture, but also because they're just a fun way to get around or get yourself moving. Whether you're new to boarding or an old pro, it's nice to have a high-quality skateboard kicking around to learn new tricks on. And regardless of your level, there are a few things that all riders should look for in a design. Functionality, durability, and a smooth ride are just some of the key features you're going to want in a higher quality skateboard. These skateboards we've selected are the ones we keep coming back to for all of the above (and more... fun graphics don't hurt, either).
Best Overall: This fat-wheeled skateboard is bound to have you riding smooth.
First up on our list of skateboards is this 22″ long x 6″ wide, Penny-style skateboard that’s ideal for tricks, yet has the maneuverability and functionality of a city board. Whether you’re just starting to learn tricks or you’re already a master, this lightweight board is durable and easy to flip, transport, and ride.
One notable bonus for beginners? The wheels are fat. This means less chance of crashing or tumbling due to tiny rocks, cracks, or tricky terrain. We like that the accessibility of this board makes it an ideal choice for beginners or those looking for a regular old’ skateboard that’s durable and fun.
Simple board design that’s got high-quality features and an easy-ride design.
Weight capacity of 198 pounds.
If you like graphics, this board isn’t the one for you. Made from plastic, this board only comes in 5 color options (but they are fun, bright colors).
Best Plastic Board: The fresh wheels of this skateboard light up without batteries.
This mini cruiser’s deck is made from PP plastic, and with a single kick board, it’s an awesome skateboard for beginners. The deck is 22″ long and 6″ wide, and because of the material and size, this board is best for a total newbie or even a teenager that has some skill and just wants to have fun with a new board.
Perhaps the greatest feature of this board is the oversized, soft wheels made from high-quality polyurethane. The softness increases their shock absorption, and they’re also resistant to abrasion. These qualities make for a super smooth, easy ride, which is another key point for why it’s such a great beginner’s board.
The wheels are extra fun: LED lights, great grip, and more comfort while riding.
The LED lights work without batteries. In fact, the electricity needed for the LED lights are generated from rotary power.
V-truck and base are made from heavy-duty aluminum.
This board is only appropriate for those who weigh less than 180 pounds. It’s a fun board, and we wish it worked well for beginners who are over 180 pounds.
Toughest Graphics: This concave trickster board features long-lasting graphics and a reliable ride.
This super durable, seven-layer Canadian maple wood deck offers lightweight maneuverability and a toughness that will far outlast other boards at this price point (or higher). We love how smooth the ride is with this board, thanks in part to the precision bearings, bushing, and a quick wheel response.
If you’re into graphics on your board, you know what a drag it can be when they aren’t properly applied or made from shoddy materials. The graphics on this board are printed with a thermal transfer process, which basically just means the graphics stay put. With four different designs to choose from, the hardest part is deciding which one to go for.
This skateboard arrives fully assembled.
Maximum load weight of 330 pounds.
Excellent skateboard for commuting, skate parks, ramps, and other smooth surfaces. It’s an easy trick board.
With only four design options, we wish that there was a bit more diversity in choice.
Best Mini Cruiser: This short board is rad for riding around town.
For a smaller, fun little cruiser, this gorgeous short board is amazing. Being that it’s ultra-portable, this is an awesome skateboard for taking in and out of restaurants or shops as you cruise around town. Shortboards are great city boards for this reason, and we absolutely love this one in particular. Made from Canadian maple, the deck of this board is extremely high quality. With a sandy grit finish, you won’t slip around as you tool about town.
The design of the bottom and the top are low-key and streamlined, with four different choices for colors and patterns. Each board also features double kick tails, which means you’ll up your skating tricks and performance whether you’re just out for a ride or at the skatepark.
With Double-kick tails, all the best tricks are available to you.
Mini-size at only 27.5 inches with an 18-inch wheelbase.
Bold, fun, artistic graphics.
6 plies of high-quality Canadian maple, with wheels and bushings that are cast in SHR polyurethane. The entire board has zero plastic parts, and we love that.
The stock wheels are great for beginners, but if you’re looking for a little more pro-tier, you might want to swap out for some next-level wheels.
Best for Kids: The ideal starter board for youngsters, there's a strong chance your kid will love this board.
Why should the big kids have all the fun? At just 17 inches in length, this mini wooden cruiser skateboard from Rudeboys is an excellent beginner skateboard for the youngest new boarders. After all, starting ’em out young yields confident skaters, and as long as there’s that interest, you might as well indulge. Appropriate for children ages 3-5 years, there’s a 121-pound weight limit on this board.
Made from real wood, this board only comes in at 7.5 pounds so it’s the perfect material and weight for newbie boarders. It comes completely assembled, so there’s no need for your kiddo to impatiently wait to try out their new ride.
The top of the board is plain, but the bottom features silly designs (we personally love the cheeseburger print).
Price point that’s great for a starter board.
Made from real wood.
The packaging leaves a bit to be desired. Yes, it comes fully assembled, but the entire skateboard is wrapped in plastic and it gets caught on each little nail or screw of the board.
What equipment do you need for skateboarding?
First and foremost, you’re going to need a skateboard. Beyond that, it’s a good idea to have standard skateboard safety gear. When it comes to skateboarding, standard safety gear includes a helmet, wrist guards, elbow and knee pads, and comfy, flexible, well-fitting sneakers or skate shoes. If it’s a particularly sunny day, it might be a good idea to wear form-fitting sunglasses, as well. Whatever accessories you do go for, just make sure that they are properly fitted to your body as well as your skill level.
What’s the proper way to care for a skateboard?
For proper care of your skateboard, it’s important to only use your skateboard on dry days. Water damages skateboards, so it’s best to avoid particularly wet or rainy days. Because of this, you’ll also want to make sure that you’re storing your skateboard in a dry place that has moderated temperatures (not too hot, nor too cold). You’ll want to keep an eye on any chips or splinters that become present in your skateboard, and sand down any spots like that if and when they pop up. In short, keep an eye on the parts of your skateboard and replace the worn ones as needed.
Daniel is a freelance writer covering the latest in technology and all things outdoors.
The Active Times partners with OnRamp for informational product guides. OnRamp and The Active Times may earn a commission if you make a purchase through OnRamp product links. The Active Times is not involved in OnRamp content creation.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.