5 Helpful Tips for New Skateboarders Picking Their First Setup

Navigate the skateboarding world with ease! Explore 5 crucial tips for new skateboarders to choose the perfect setup. Start your skating journey right!

Are you just starting your rad journey as a skateboarder? Just like all the pros, every skater starts somewhere. And what better way to kick things off than with helpful tips for new skateboarders? Hands down, getting a jump-start with the right knowledge will make your ride smoother and save you from a world of, let’s say,’skinned knees and bruised pride’! Let’s dive into the heart of the action, shall we? These tips will make you a solid skater, no doubt about it.

How do you choose the best setup for a new skater?

Choosing your setup as a new skater can feel like taking your first crack at a half-pipe—pretty daunting, eh?—but it doesn’t have to be. With the right guidance and the inclination to dive into the finer details of deck, wheels, bearings, trucks, and grip tapes, you’ll set your ride up for a killer session in no time!

Image of skateboards on a rack of a skate shop. Source: pexels
Image of skateboards on a rack of a skate shop. Source: pexels

1. Selecting the perfect deck

Your skateboard deck is pretty much the holy grail of your setup! It’s the foundation for your journey in the world of skating. There’s a world of shapes, sizes, and building qualities. Sizing matters; for beginners, sticking with a range from seven and a half to eight inches in width offers a solid middle ground for balance and control.

As you discover your style on the streets, parks, or ramps, you’ll get a feel for the precise deck size and shape that spell out ‘home.’ The trick is to not stick to one brand but experiment! Just beware of the flashy sales jargon and the all-too-tempting gimmicks like feather-light builds or enhanced pop. Opt for quality, durability, and comfort. Not sure what to go for? Well, here’s a solid choice for a quality board.

2. Betting on the best bearings

Alright, you are moving on to the next essential cog in the skateboard machine: bearings! These little guys keep your wheels spinning smoothly and freely. You can catch some air with the good-old Bones Reds or Bronson’s, which are made to last.

Remember, skimping here isn’t a smart move. While a cheaper set of bearings might save you a few pennies upfront, they’ll likely run you aground sooner rather than later, often requiring replacement. If you want to dig deeper into your pockets, go for a high-quality set like Bones Swiss. Clean them regularly, and they might be your ride-or-die (pun intended) for several years.

3. Truckin’ right

Onto the trucks! These guys are responsible for attaching your wheels and bearings to your deck. Yep, they’re pretty important. The right set of trucks will balance stability and turn ability—too loose, and you’ll be wobbling all over the place. Too tight, and well, turning will be a chore!

Choosing good trucks becomes even more important if you’ve gone for cheaper decks. Kick up a notch by grabbing yourself a great set of trucks to start on a high note! Wondering which ones to go for? You can find some seriously top-rated trucks right here.

4. Wheelin’ in style

We’re at the wheel—another key part of your ride! Your choice will vary depending on your skateboarding goals and the spots you’ll be ruling. For park skateboarding, go for a harder compound. If commuting or street skateboarding is your thing, softer wheels will be your mates.

There’s also a range of wheel sizes: smaller wheels will slow you down a notch and require smooth surfaces, while bigger wheels roll faster and can conquer rougher surfaces. Find your fit, and remember, shape matters too! Rounded-edge wheels are more forgiving, whereas square wheels are your mates for grinds. Check out these beginner-friendly wheel options.

5. Gripping it right

Now, let’s talk grip tape. Grip tape, by design, helps you keep your feet rooted on the board, providing the traction you need for tricks or cruising. It’s essentially sandpaper with adhesive on one side that you stick onto your deck.

As a beginner, you won’t need to stress too much about grip tape. Most decks come with it applied. However, if you are slapping some on yourself, it’s a job that needs some doing. Take your time, banish any air bubbles, and trim the edges. Patience and precision will let you enjoy safer, smoother rides!

Image of a skater adjusting the wheels of his skateboard. Unsplash
Image of a skater adjusting the wheels of his skateboard. Unsplash

Do’s and don’ts of choosing skateboard parts

You are kick-starting your journey in skateboarding, which calls for some words of wisdom. Let’s break down the do’s and don’ts of choosing your skateboard parts.

Prioritize a quality, well-sized deckSkimp on board quality for fancy graphics
Invest in decent bearingsGet the cheapest bearings on offer
Pick your wheels based on your skating styleChoose your wheels just by their looks
Experiment with brands once your first board wears outStick to one brand forever
The dos and don’ts when choosing skateboard parts
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

5 helpful tips for new skateboarders picking their first setup | 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 else should you know as a beginner skater?

Now that we’ve run you down the essentials, let’s leap some golden nuggets that’ll help you unlock your skateboarding prowess:

  • Take your time building your setup; don’t rush into buying the first board you see.
  • Visit your local skate shop and get their advice. The skateboarding community is usually more than happy to help out new riders.
  • Remember, comfort is key—choose the parts that feel the best under your feet, not the ones that look the coolest.
  • Practice makes perfect. Once you have your setup, the real fun (and work!) begins. Skate as often as you can to get the feel.

My skateboarding journey: From tumbles to triumphs

As a relatively new skater, I’m still learning and understanding the art of skating. I’ve had my fair share of slip-ups; don’t get me started on that attempt for an ollie over coping, which ended with me on my butt! But that’s the journey, right?

“Comfort is key – choose the parts that feel the best under your feet, not the ones that look the coolest. Practice makes perfect. Skate as often as you can to get the feel.”

And with each fall, mistake, or wrong choice of skateboard part, I’m learning more about skating and myself. Those exhilarating win moments, like when I landed my blunt spine transfer, keep me going. So, keep pushing, falling, and learning—in skateboarding and life, always!

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We’ve explored a load of information about getting started with skateboarding, but there’s always room for more queries. Here are some other common questions newbies may have:

What safety gear do I need when starting skateboarding?

Great question! At the very least, you’ll want a solid helmet. Knee and elbow pads are also a fantastic idea. Trust me, nothing takes the fun out of skating like a preventable injury. Are you interested in getting a pad set? Please scroll down to find my recommended gear.

How long will it take for me to start doing tricks?

Learning tricks in skateboarding is a highly personal journey and is massively dependent on your practice routine. Some might land their first kickflip within a month or two, while others may take longer. Remember, skateboarding is not a sprint; it’s a marathon!

What kind of shoes should I wear for skateboarding?

Go for shoes specifically designed for skateboarding. They’re built to handle the wear and tear of skating and provide the right balance of grip and flexibility. I was wondering which shoes to buy. Here’s a link to some top-rated skate shoes.

Final thoughts

Starting your skateboarding journey can have ups and downs, but with the right gear and mindset, I promise you’ll look at an incredible ride. From choosing the perfect deck to understanding the significance of bearings, trucks, and wheels, each step will shape your experience in skating.

So, are you ready to step onto your first board and immerse yourself in the world of skateboarders living life on the edge? 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 enlightening, share it with someone who could benefit from my ‘noob journey’ into skateboarding. Why not check out my blog for more tips and tricks? Thanks for reading, and as always, keep rolling!

Key takeaways

Embarking on your skateboarding odyssey can seem daunting, but with some sage advice, you’re on track for a killer ride. Here are the key takeaways:

  • The deck is your foundation. Choose the right one.
  • Good bearings are essential for a smooth ride.
  • Pick trucks that balance stability and turnability.
  • Tailor your wheel choice based on your skateboarding style.
  • Practice; don’t just purchase. The best way to progress is to get out there and ride!

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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