Hey there, fellow skaters! It’s Matt, your go-to guy for all things skateboarding.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just stepping onto the scene, one thing remains crucial – a good quality skateboard.
With the market flooded with options, distinguishing the gems from the duds can be challenging.
Fret not; I’m here to guide you through recognizing a top-notch skateboard that will elevate your riding experience.
Let’s dive in!
Deck Decoded: The Foundation of Excellence
The deck is the heart and soul of any skateboard, dictating its overall performance.
When evaluating a deck, pay close attention to the material.
Opt for decks crafted from sturdy Canadian maple, known for its durability and resilience.
A deck’s ply count is equally significant; the standard 7-ply configuration balances strength and flexibility.
Additionally, inspect the concave shape.
A good skateboard deck boasts a well-defined concave, providing better control and responsiveness.
Check for any warping or unevenness; these are red flags for subpar quality.
Remember, the deck is your canvas for tricks, so invest wisely!
Trucks Talk: The Silent Heroes
Trucks might not steal the spotlight, but they’re the unsung heroes of skateboarding.
High-quality trucks are made from durable materials like aluminum and feature a sturdy kingpin.
The width of your trucks should match your deck size, ensuring optimal stability.
When inspecting trucks, give the pivot cup and bushings a once-over – these components significantly impact maneuverability.
Loose or tight trucks?
It’s a matter of personal preference, but a snug fit offers better stability, while loose trucks provide more maneuverability.
Strike the perfect balance to match your skating style.
Wheels Wisdom: Where the Rubber Meets the Road
Wheels play a pivotal role in your ride’s smoothness and grip.
Quality wheels are typically made from high-density polyurethane, promising durability and excellent traction.
Size matters, too; larger wheels offer a smoother ride over rough terrain, while smaller ones are preferable for technical tricks.
Check the wheel hardness, often measured on the durometer scale.
Softer wheels (78A-87A) are ideal for cruising, while harder wheels (88A and above) are better suited for tricks and slides.
A well-rounded skateboard often features wheels in the 99A range, offering versatility for various terrains.
Bearings Brilliance: The Need for Speed
Smooth, effortless glides depend on top-notch bearings.
The ABEC (Annular Bearing Engineers’ Committee) rating system is a benchmark for bearing quality.
While a higher ABEC rating suggests greater precision, it’s not the sole factor determining speed and performance.
Skateboard bearings are typically rated between ABEC 1 and ABEC 9. A rating of ABEC 5 or higher is recommended for optimal performance.
Remember, proper maintenance, like regular cleaning and lubrication, will significantly extend your bearings’ lifespan.
Graphic Glam: Style and Substance
Sure, the graphic on your deck adds flair, but it’s more than just eye candy.
A well-applied graphic speaks to the skateboard’s overall quality.
A straightforward, vibrant design indicates attention to detail during the manufacturing process.
Beware of poorly aligned graphics or cheap prints that may peel off after a few rides – these are telltale signs of subpar craftsmanship.
While aesthetics matter, don’t let them overshadow the skateboard’s core components.
Aim for the perfect balance between style and substance.
Flex Feel: Tailoring Your Ride
Skateboards come in various flex levels, influencing how the board responds to your movements.
The flex factor depends on the deck’s construction and materials.
A stiffer deck offers stability and is ideal for ramps and high-speed riding, while a more flexible deck enhances maneuverability, perfect for street and technical tricks.
Consider your preferred style of skating when selecting the right amount of flex.
Experiment with different flex levels to find what suits your riding style and comfort.
Brand Loyalty: Trust the Pros
When in doubt, turn to reputable skateboard brands.
Established brands have earned their stripes through years of dedication to quality and innovation.
Pro skaters often collaborate with these brands, lending their expertise to create high-performance skateboards.
Research and read reviews to identify brands with a proven track record.
While there are hidden gems among lesser-known brands, sticking to the tried and true is a safe bet for ensuring quality.
|Canadian maple, 7-ply, well-defined concave
|Aluminum construction, sturdy kingpin, proper width
|High-density polyurethane, appropriate size and hardness
|ABEC 5 or higher, regular maintenance
|Clear, vibrant design, well-applied
|Match with preferred skating style
|Reputable and well-reviewed
As we wrap up our guide on discerning skateboard quality, remember that your choice of equipment is a pivotal part of your skating identity.
A high-quality skateboard isn’t just about durability; it’s an investment in your performance, style, and overall enjoyment.
Whether cruising the streets or mastering tricks, let this guide be your roadmap to selecting a board that propels you to new heights.
So, go ahead, ride with confidence, and let the streets become your playground!