Should You Buy Walmart Skateboard: Quality vs Cost

Explore why investing in a Walmart skateboard might not be the best decision. Quality or cost? Read on!

Skateboarding, a sport transcending from its Californian surf roots to global urban playgrounds, has always been about expressing individuality, skill, and style. But when choosing your first skateboard, or even just a new board, should Walmart be on your radar? We’ve all seen those attractive skateboards on Walmart shelves and wondered if they’re worth the investment.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the pros and cons of purchasing a skateboard from the retail giant, weighing factors like price, quality, and intended use. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned skater, this article aims to provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision.

Should you buy a Walmart skateboard? No, if you’re serious about skateboarding or plan on frequent use, a Walmart skateboard may not provide the durability or performance needed. They’re typically more suited for casual or beginner use due to their lower quality. Investing in a skateboard from a specialized brand or shopping for regular or advanced skating is better.

Why isn’t a Walmart skateboard a solid choice?

While strolling through Walmart’s toy aisle, you might be tempted to grab one of their skateboards. They’re right there, they’re cheap, and they’ve even got some pretty killer designs. But before you throw that board into your cart, let’s talk about why a Walmart skateboard may not be such a hot idea.

Image of skateboards hanged on a skate rack. Source: unsplash
Image of skateboards hanged on a skate rack. Source: unsplash

Firstly, it’s no secret among the skating community that Walmart skateboards are notorious for their low-quality components. Have you ever heard the saying, “You get what you pay for?” Well, my friend, this resonates truly and deeply with Walmart skateboards.

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My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

Should you buy walmart skateboard: quality vs cost | 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’s the deal with low-quality components?

Here’s where things get sketchy. Walmart skateboards have a bad rap, partly due to the poor materials they’re made of. It’s no epic secret; these boards are constructed to keep costs low, which translates to using cheap materials.

  • Trucks: These metal parts hold the wheels onto the skateboard. Walmart boards are typically crafted from subpar metal prone to breakage. Remember, we want trucks like a beast that can take a beating and roll smoothly.
  • Wheels: They wobble, they’re out-of-round, and they’re typically not durable. If the wheels aren’t up to snuff, prepare for a bumpy ride. Scratch that: an almost unrideable ride.
  • Deck: Walmart skateboards often come with decks with a bad concave or curved shape. A poor concave makes it harder to perform tricks and can feel uncomfortable under the feet.

Is riding a low-quality skateboard a big deal for beginners?

Yes, and in a pretty significant way! When you’re just starting on the vert, street, or even the park, you’ll want a board that supports your learning journey, not one that throws obstacles in the way. High-quality components are crucial for a smooth and enjoyable ride.

A beginner on a low-quality skateboard can expect to struggle with balance, which increases the chances of frequent falls (and not the cool kind). The skating journey will have some spills but unnecessary ones due to a poor board. I am not stoked about that.

Some might argue that you can test the waters with a cheap skateboard, and if you’re into it, upgrade to a quality one later. The thing is, a poor first experience can dissuade newcomers from sticking with this fantastic sport. So why risk it? As we often say in skating, go hard or go home!

What qualities distinguish a good skateboard?

Now that we’ve discussed the downsides of low-quality skateboards, let’s focus on the brighter side: what makes a killer skateboard?

  • Deck: A top-notch skateboard deck should comprise seven sturdy bamboo or maple wood layers. For some serious tricks, it needs the right concave (curved shape) and the nose and tail to angle upwards.
  • Trucks: Never, and I mean never, go for plastic trucks. Quality metal trucks are essential for a safe and smooth ride.
  • Bearings and wheels: The bearings should spin well, and the wheels must be sturdy and round for a good ride.

Remember that every part of your skateboard contributes to a great ride. So, invest in a well-built skateboard in every aspect, not just one or two. Remember, the journey of a thousand tricks begins with a single ollie, so pick the right gear. I will take some of an off-ramp here and share my humble opinion—just an honest perspective from one skater to another.

I’m not a guru, but I’ve witnessed the tales of frustration first-hand from skaters who bought substandard skateboards and experienced it myself. Check out my stories on /culture-and-community/skaters-you-will-meet-part-8. I think it’s not worth the few bucks saved to compromise on your ride’s quality.

“In skateboarding, quality and safety should always rule supreme. Don’t let the allure of a bargain board from Walmart lead you astray. Your ride, your joy, and your journey deserve better.”

After all, skateboarding is all about the ride, the thrill, and the journey, and it deserves that bit of extra investment to ensure you’re getting the most out of it.

Image of skateboards displayed in a store. Source: unsplash
Image of skateboards displayed in a store. Source: unsplash

Dos and don’ts of skateboard shopping

Skateboard shopping, especially for the first time, can feel like walking a tightrope—simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying. To help navigate this adventure, below is a handy table of dos and don’ts.

DosDon’ts
Consider the quality of the materialsDon’ts
Look for metal trucksGo for skateboards with plastic trucks
Buy from a respected brandGrab a skateboard from a toy aisle
Buy a skateboard just because it’s cheapThink about the skateboard deck’s concave
Ensure the bearings and wheels are well-made and sturdyForget the importance of good wheels and bearings
A summary of the important factors to consider when shopping for your first skateboard

Advantages and disadvantages of purchasing a Walmart skateboard

To unpack this topic thoroughly, we must discuss the potential upsides and pitfalls of investing in a Walmart skateboard.

Advantages

  • Cost-effective: Walmart skateboards are considerably cheaper. It can be a tempting choice if you’re on a tight budget.
  • Readily available: If you live far from a dedicated skate shop, you’ll find Walmart’s broad distribution convenient.
  • Good for a trial: If you’re unsure whether skateboarding is for you, a Walmart skateboard can be a temporary stepping stone before committing to a more substantial investment.

Disadvantages

  • Subpar quality: I’d be remiss if I didn’t highlight this again. Walmart skateboards are notorious for their low-quality components, which can impede your progress severely.
  • Limited lifespan: Due to their substandard build, these skateboards don’t last long and can break or wear down, increasing the chances of injuries.
  • Poor performance: Expect a less smooth ride, and performing even basic tricks becomes a tall order.
  • Increased frustration: The overall experience can become irritating and may deter a budding interest in skateboarding instead of encouraging a budding interest.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Considering all the facts, it’s natural to still have some niggling queries. Let’s venture into a few more frequently asked questions that might help clear up any lingering confusion on why a Walmart skateboard might not be a good choice!

Can I improve a Walmart skateboard by replacing certain components?

In theory, yes, you could swap out some components like the trucks, wheels, and bearings, but this can quickly get costly. Considering the low-quality decks that most Walmart skateboards come with, investing in a higher-quality skateboard from the get-go may make more sense.

Are there any safe, cheap alternatives to Walmart skateboards?

There certainly are! Blank skateboards are often less expensive than printed ones and tend to be decently made. Remember to avoid the toy aisle and buy from known skateboarding brands or a local skate shop.

Is it worth trying to sell a Walmart skateboard after purchasing one?

To put it simply, probably not. Given their low initial cost and notorious reputation for substandard quality, you are unlikely to find a buyer willing to pay a decent amount for them. Instead, you could consider using it as a beginner board to get a feel for skateboarding.

Final thoughts

Our odyssey down the rabbit hole of Walmart skateboards has hopefully brought clarity to the gnarly world of skateboard shopping. Remember, the right gear can make your skating journey a bombardment of bliss while you settle for a subpar board. You might leave some skin on the pavement in your skateboarding journey, but don’t let it be because your board let you down.

So, have you ever ridden a Walmart skateboard? What was your experience like? 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 debunking popular misconceptions in the skateboarding world. Thanks for reading, and keep shredding!

Key takeaways

Dude, we’ve covered a lot of ground in this post about whether you should buy a Walmart skateboard. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Walmart skateboards are cheap but made with low-quality materials that can hinder your skateboarding journey.
  • Low-quality boards can be uncomfortable and pose a safety risk due to their substandard components.
  • Using a low-quality skateboard as a beginner may make learning more difficult and less enjoyable.
  • A quality skateboard is a worthwhile investment and doesn’t necessarily need to break the bank.
  • Good skateboards are constructed with high-quality materials, including sturdy trucks, durable wheels, and a well-designed deck.
  • Despite the low cost, it’s usually not worth upgrading a Walmart skateboard due to the low-quality deck.
  • Keep embracing the skateboarding style by investing in the right gear and jumping into our skate community.

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

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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