5 Best Complete Skateboards: Your Ultimate 2021 Guide to Shredding in Style

Find the five best complete skateboards. Tips, pros and cons, FAQs, and more. Gear up to shred in style today!

So, you’re in search of the best complete skateboards? Maybe it’s your first time buying a skateboard, or you’re a seasoned skater looking to upgrade your gear. Either way, hold on tight. We’re about to shred some critical information that will make your decision a little less sketchy! We’ll dish out insights on purchasing pre-built skateboards versus creating your deck, where to buy, what brands to consider, and crucial things to remember while purchasing.

What is a skateboard?

A skateboard is a small, narrow platform with four wheels attached to its underside, designed primarily for skateboarding. It allows a person, the skateboarder, to ride upon it and perform various tricks and maneuvers. It’s commonly used as a means of transportation and a tool for performing stunts and tricks, especially in urban environments and skate parks.

Image of a skateboard with colorful design.
Image of a skateboard with colorful design.

Components of a skateboard:

  • Deck: This is the flat, long board on which the rider stands. It is typically made of layers of laminated wood, often Canadian maple, which are pressed together. Skateboard decks come in various sizes and shapes, catering to different riding styles and preferences.
  • Trucks are metal assemblies mounted underneath the skateboard deck, holding the wheels in place. They also allow the skateboard to turn when the rider leans to one side. Each skateboard has two trucks.
  • Wheels: Skateboards have four wheels, typically made of polyurethane, which come in various sizes and hardness levels to suit different riding surfaces and styles.
  • Bearings: Located inside the wheels, bearings allow the wheels to spin freely around the axle part of the truck. They are crucial for achieving and maintaining speed while riding.
  • Grip tape: This is a grainy, sandpaper-like sheet applied to the top surface of the deck. It provides traction, helping riders keep their feet on the board, particularly when performing tricks.
  • Hardware: The nuts, bolts, and screws attach the trucks to the deck.
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

5 best complete skateboards: your ultimate 2021 guide to shredding in style | 61vn95mf7ql. Ac sl1184 | skateboard salad
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

I had my board stolen a few years ago and was forced to quickly replace it with a complete. I got one with an Enjoi deck and loved it so much that I still buy the Whitey Panda deck each time I need a new deck. This complete with budget-friendly, beginner-friendly parts, but I still swear by it.

What should you consider when buying a complete skateboard?

If you’re specifically hunting for the best complete skateboards versus building your own set, sometimes there isn’t a solid choice. Many pre-built skateboards come with softer wheels and non-name-brand bearings—not a killer deal. However, I found a pretty insane deal for a pre-built skate warehouse for just $75!

The deck is a standard seven-ply maple, and the metal trucks seem to be a solid choice, so it’s pretty much a steal at this price. But remember, just like the wild ride of learning a blunt spine transfer (I’m still working on mine, if I’m being honest), picking a skateboard is a personal journey. Don’t let the pretty graphics or the price tag fool you; the “best” skateboard is ultimately the one that feels right under your feet.

Don’t let the pretty graphics or the price tag fool you; the “best” skateboard is ultimately the one that feels just right under your feet.

Remember, if buying something pre-built, ensure your skateboard deck is made from seven-ply maple and those trucks. Well, as long as they’re metal, they’re all good. I wasn’t always a big fan of softer wheels, but they have their uses, too. If you’re like me, shredding the streets, you’ll prefer a harder wheel. I’ve got more on this in How to Choose the Best Skateboard Wheels.

Let’s dig deeper into what makes the best complete skateboards and how you can catch a prime deal! I’ve got some more collections of stuff lined up for you, so we’re just getting started.

The five best complete skateboards

Choosing the “best” complete skateboards can be subjective, as it often depends on personal preference, riding style, and what kind of skateboarding someone is looking to do. However, several reputable brands are known for producing high-quality, reliable skateboards. Here are five options that are commonly recommended, especially for beginners, because of their quality and durability:

1. Powell Golden Dragon Flying Dragon complete skateboard

  • Suitable for beginners and intermediate riders.
  • Known for its high-quality construction and durability,
  • It usually comes with soft wheels suitable for smooth and rough surfaces alike.

2. Plan B Team complete skateboard

  • A well-known brand in the skateboarding world, Plan B offers high-quality components and sleek designs.
  • Suitable for street and park skateboarding.

3. Element complete skateboard

  • Element is another respected brand, and their complete boards are known for their stability and durability.
  • Suitable for various styles of skateboarding, including street and park

4. Santa Cruz complete skateboard

  • Santa Cruz is a long-established and popular skateboard brand known for its quality and distinctive graphics.
  • Their complete boards are versatile and suitable for riders of different levels.

5. Enjoi Whitey Panda complete skateboard

  • Enjoi is known for its playful graphics and high-quality components.
  • Suitable for beginners and intermediate riders focusing on street and park skateboarding

When purchasing a complete skateboard, consider your needs, such as the skateboarding you plan to do, your experience level, and your budget. Also, check for the appropriate deck size and wheel hardness based on your preferences and riding style.

Do’s and don’ts of buying a skateboard

As useful as looking for tips can be, sometimes it’s the warning signs we need to watch. The dos and don’ts of buying a skateboard could be the difference between shredding down the street and shredding your wallet.

Do prioritize quality where it countsDon’t buy the first complete set you see
Do research the componentsDon’t be misguided by flashy graphics and brand names
Do’s and Don’ts When Buying a Skateboard

Additional skateboarding tips

Like any art form, skateboarding requires patience, practice, and a dash of bravery. While having the right skateboard under your feet can put you on the right path, some additional tips can further enhance your skateboarding journey:

  • Do remember to cover your basics before attempting bigger tricks. Check out my insights here.
  • Try getting a feel for different varieties and styles of skateboarding.
  • Always keep your safety gear on.
  • Make sure to keep your skateboard well-maintained.
Image of a black skateboard with orange wheels.
Image of a black skateboard with orange wheels.

My skateboarding journey so far

Becoming a skateboarder has been as thrilling as rushing to the top of a vert ramp for the first time. Yes, it has been daunting; the panic is real, and there have been falls. But the magic begins when you get up, dust off the fear, and ride again. As someone relatively new in this space, each triumphant ollie and each smooth carve is like a winning stroke for me.

“The best skateboard doesn’t mean the most expensive one; it’s the one that matches your unique style and resonates with your thirst for thrills.”

Coming from a non-expert like myself, I’ve found one thing to be true: The best skateboard doesn’t mean the most expensive one; it’s the one that matches your unique style and resonates with your thirst for thrills, just as I found mine here. Remember that skateboarding is less about the destination and more about the rad journey that takes us there. Let’s seize the moment, shall we?

Advantages and disadvantages of building your skateboard

The joy of skateboarding isn’t just about the ride; it’s about the intimate process of piecing together something that will reflect you on the streets and ramps. Whether you pick a complete set or build your own, each choice has pros and cons.

Advantages of buying a complete skateboard:

  • Complete skateboards are ready-to-use, saving time and effort compared to assembling one from individual parts.
  • Buying a complete skateboard is usually cheaper than purchasing all the components separately.
  • Ideal for beginners who may not yet know how to select and assemble individual components properly.
  • The components of complete skateboards are typically well-matched and balanced, ensuring a smooth ride.
  • Many complete skateboards come from reputable brands, offering quality assurance and reliability.
  • They are easily available online and in stores, making them a readily accessible option for new skaters.

Disadvantages of buying a complete skateboard:

  • Complete skateboards offer less flexibility to choose specific components (like decks, wheels, and trucks) that match one’s preferences and riding style.
  • Some complete skateboards, especially cheaper ones, might have lower-quality components than those you select when building your own.
  • The included components might not best match everyone’s riding style and preferences.
  • Skaters may spend additional money to replace or upgrade individual components to suit their needs and preferences.
  • Assembling a skateboard from individual parts can provide valuable learning experiences about skateboard maintenance and customization, which buying a complete skateboard might not offer.
  • Building your board allows for a more personalized aesthetic and style, which isn’t typically possible with most complete boards.

It’s all about the ride, the freedom, and the thrill of shredding through your boundaries—like skateboarding.

If you are a visual learner, check out the video below from YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Sometimes, a few queries remain even after diving into the details of complete skateboards. Here are some FAQs that might shed more light and turn you from a skating noob to a true shredder!

Where can I buy the best complete skateboards?

Online skateboard shops like Skate Warehouse, Warehouse Skateboards, and CCS.com are popular go-to places for complete skateboards and individual components. It’s always a good idea to navigate through each and make an informed choice.

What skate deck size should I choose?

A good starting point is anywhere between 7.75 and 8.25 inches. While the narrower ones offer more agility, the wider ones offer more stability—it all trickles down to your style and comfort.

Is building my skateboard hard?

Building your skateboard isn’t hard but requires patience, effort, and a basic understanding of the various components. Please don’t stop trying; it can be an exciting learning experience. For more tips, check out my Best Habits for New Skaters blog.

What is the durometer of a wheel?

The durometer measures the hardness of the wheel. Softer wheels in the lower 90s are good for smoother rides, while harder wheels near the high 90s or 100s are typically preferred for street skating due to their speed and slide capability.

Final thoughts

There you go, shredders! Your blueprint to skateboarding: whether you pick a pre-built or create your masterpiece, always remember to make choices that align with your style, comfort, and budget. Whether ollie-ing over a heap or grinding a rail, ensure the skateboard beneath your feet feels right!

Before we part ways, I’d like you to ponder something. Considering everything we’ve discussed, what resonates with you more—buying complete skateboards or building your own? Was my nugget of wisdom regarding my experiences with a seven-ply maple deck relatable, or do you have a different experience?

And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below. I read and reply to every comment. If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on shredding your best. Thanks for reading, and keep shredding!

Key takeaways

This article covered the throes of choosing the best complete skateboards, and here are some key takeaways:

  • Complete skateboards can often be budget-friendly, but building your own offers personalization and quality control.
  • Seven-ply maple decks and metal trucks are your go-to’s.
  • Preferences for wheel hardness and brand bearings differ based on your skate style.
  • Though an overlooked component, good-quality bearings significantly impact board performance.
  • The ideal deck size for beginners falls between 7.75 and 8.25 inches.

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

Nick eggert.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

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