Posted May 6, 2021 in Skateboards by Salena Retsos
With so many choices in Skateboards available at ShredShop.com, what should you look for to find your perfect setup?
Let’s start with sizing. If you’re at least 5’3 or wear a size 9 men’s shoe or larger, you’re gonna want a 7.5″ deck or larger. Start ’em young with Youth size decks starting at 7.5″ and smaller for the groms. Choosing the right width for yourself is more about personal comfort, but there are a couple things to keep in mind. Start at an 8″ deck and go up or down from there until you feel secure on the board. The more narrow the deck is the lighter it’s going to feel, making it easier to flip. The wider the deck, the more surface area you have; giving you more stability under your feet and better board feel. Size isn’t everything though…
The curve of your wood plays a big part in picking the right board for you. It’s all about the shape of your deck. A mellow concave means more board feel and more grip to stick the landing. A deeper concave means you can put more pressure on the rails of your deck for better response on technical tricks. Same goes for your nose and tail. The nose kick will always be higher and longer than the kicktail. If you’re more of a technical skater and looking to pop higher, look for a steeper nose and tail. More leverage = More pop. If you skate transition or are looking for more stability and board feel, you want a more mellow kick to your nose and tail. Keep in mind the size of your nose and tail too, the longer the nose and tail of your deck the more scoop control and hold you’ll have for tricks. Manny the local pad all day.
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Trucks are the glue that hold the whole thing together. Trucks will likely outlast any part on your deck, made from durable materials to cater to what you want. It’s important to get the right pair for your skating needs. Solid aluminum trucks are heavier, stable, and the most durable. Better suited for transition skating. Titanium or hollow trucks will lighten your deck and make it easier to flip for technical tricks. The size of truck you need depends on the size of your deck. The axle nuts should be flush with the edge of your deck on either side. If your trucks are too small your deck will be unstable, too big and you lose agility. It’s not just about the width though. You know that feeling when your wheel comes full stop as it touches your deck on a turn that yeets you to the pavement? Nobody likes wheel bite so you wanna get this right. There are 3 truck heights to consider depending on your wheel size. The height on your truck is determined by the length of the kingpin, or the bolt that goes through your hangar to the base of the truck. The standard height is the go-to, all-around truck height. Perfect for the middle of the road wheel size. Low trucks are great for technical tricks, a smaller kingpin gives you more hangar clearance for grinds and a lower center of gravity for stability. High trucks have a longer kingpin to compensate for larger wheel sizes and gives you a tighter turning radius ideal for skating transition.
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Picking out skateboard wheels you need to consider two things, size and durometer. The bigger and softer the wheel, the smoother the ride. Any wheel between a 55mm and 65mm with a lower durometer will give you a steady smooth ride, perfect for filmers or transition skaters. Harder wheels with a higher durometer are more responsive and better suited for technical tricks. Typically if you are in the park or skating street you’re gonna want something under 55mm. A smaller harder wheel will transfer pressure directly to your deck for more pop.
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Bearings make the wheels go round. A higher ABEC rating does not make them faster. Say it louder for the people in the back! The ABEC rating refers to the industrial strength of the bearing’s tolerance to physical changes. It’s about how much of a beating they can handle. So what makes bearings fast? The materials they’re made of. Steel bearings are the most affordable and plenty durable. The quality of steel and other components determine how fast they are. Ceramic bearings are lighter and stronger than steel ball bearings. The ceramic provides less friction making them faster and more expensive. The bonus of a ceramic bearing is less maintenance, they don’t have to be cleaned as often.
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Griptape is an easy one, the heavier the grit the grabbier your board is gonna get with your shoes. There’s an upside and downside to this. Griptape will thrash your shoes, no way around it, but it will save your ass on a skateboard. If you skate mostly transition you’ll want a better hold on your board especially at higher speeds. More technical skaters might go for a slightly less grippy hold, allowing you to shift your feet more easily for different tricks.
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It’s important to know what you’re getting and why so we put this guide together to make it easier. Put the ultimate custom shred deck together or buy one of our completes that are ready to roll at ShredShop.com. Either way, get out and Skate!