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My 15 year old has expressed an interest in skateboarding and has gone to the skatepark a few times with friends, using a borrowed skateboard. I’d like to get her one, but have no clue where to begin. If anyone has a good recommendation for brand or accessories, I’d greatly appreciate it! Thank you!

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1 hour ago, Gentlemommy said:

My 15 year old has expressed an interest in skateboarding and has gone to the skatepark a few times with friends, using a borrowed skateboard. I’d like to get her one, but have no clue where to begin. If anyone has a good recommendation for brand or accessories, I’d greatly appreciate it! Thank you!

OK, I asked my skateboarder son (16) for his suggestions, which he's happy to give with the caveat that different people have different tastes and that there are trade-offs to many of the component parts and sizes, so being able try friend's stuff first is the ideal situation.

The brand of the "deck" is the least big deal. There are differences, but one will eventually destroy (and need to replace) a deck and for the most part the construction is pretty similar. He says one gets used to the feel of whatever you ride. That said, he likes Anti-Hero and Death Wish decks the best. Bakers are nice new, but don't last well. He is down on Girl decks (after owning two). Bottom line on desks: get one she likes and don't stress this decision.

The bigger deal is the deck's width. This is an especially important choice because the trucks (the longest lasting and most expensive part of the set up) need to match the deck width. The most common sizes are 8.25 and 8.5, but there are wider and narrower options (and an oddball 8.38 that is in-between).

Having a wider deck makes a board feel more secure, and makes landing on the board easier when one takes jumps. The downside is that a wider board is heavier and if she wants to learn kickflips it is a little harder. The width is a decision you should really give due consideration. What size is the borrowed desk? Can she try another friends deck? Once you purchase trucks it is painful to change deck sizes.

As to trucks, tastes again vary. My son started with Thunders (hollows) but now has (and strongly recommends) Independent (hollows). "Indys" are the most popular brand. The "hollows" are more expensive than the standard Indys, but they cut out a little weight (which helps with tricks). He says the Indys turn better and are a little higher than the Thunders, which he likes.

Wheels are another matter of taste. My son likes Spitfire Formula 4 wheels in size 54. Not too big and not too small. And a good overall hardness.

For bearings most skaters go with the standard Bones Reds--one of the less expensive options.

Grip tape isn't a big deal. Mob is super grippy (and a destroyer of shoes). Skate Junt! grip has been his "go to" grip for a while.

These are generalized recommendations.

Sometimes people will try to match set ups to particular uses like parks vs street, these split the difference.

I hope this helps. Let me know if there are other questions that my son can help with.

Bill

 

 

Edited by Spy Car
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When my dd wanted one, dh went to a skate shop and had them build it out with their best mid-price-range options. Which was still very pricey, but there was no telling whether she was going to get REALLY into it or get over it quick. (She got over it fairly quickly.) 

It might sound silly, but it was kind of like buying an instrument. We didn’t want one so cheap that it lacked the full experience, but we weren’t about to invest in top of the line for a beginner.  And skate shop people tend to be great about helping a parent out without sending them running out the door over price points.

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Ds is into skateboarding and has several different sizes and styles.  He said that it really depends upon what she might want to do with a skateboard.  It isn't necessarily that one is better than the other, it depends on what you are planning on doing with the board as well as the skater's height.  (somewhat akin to whether you are looking for a racing bicycle or a mountain bike.).  Much of the "board" itself (other than size) is about artwork, not performance. 

He suggested talking to a local skateboard shop about how she would use the skateboard and see what they suggest.

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I would definitely recommend sticking with a standard "popsicle" shaped deck. These are by far the post popular and most versatile type decks.

I personally have romantic associations with the classic cruiser decks that are paired with larger and softer wheels, as they are geared towards the "sidewalk surfing" style skating that was popular when I was growing up. And I got my son a 70s-style Z Flex to have as a secondary board driven my my nostalgia. He enjoys it, but in moments of honesty he has admitted that for street cruising he likes his standard popsicle just as well (if not better). And there are so many other areas where the popsicle style style excels.

The popsicle style really is the place to start.

That's what other friends are almost certain to skate. If someone gets really into skating and has a need for a shaped deck, or a cruiser, longboard, or downhill board--that's something for a "future development."

I think most skaters and skate shops would tell you the same thing.

Bill

 

 

 

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