What Type of Skateboard Should You Get? The Ultimate Beginner’s Handbook

Navigate the world of skateboarding with ease. Learn what type of skateboard fits your style, cruising needs, and trick ambitions.

Rolling into the world of skateboarding, you’ll face a barrage of questions flooding the skate park. Among the many, what type of skateboard should you get? I’m here to supply a handy guide on making that crucial decision. We’re going to deep-dive into a few top candidates that rule the streets: the popsicle skateboards, cruisers, and longboards. Each lies in its own niche with its pros and cons. Remember, selecting the right board aligns with your style, where you plan on riding, and the tricks you’re stoked to master. There’s a lot of shred-sational knowledge coming up!

What are popsicle skateboards?

About half of all skateboards sold are popsicle skateboards. Now, before you get an image of a summer treat on wheels, let me clarify: this is the most common type of skateboard aimed at those who have a hankering for technical tricks. But yeah, with the right wheels, you could definitely cruise on them, too.

Image of different types of skateboards hanging on the wall. Source: unsplash
Image of different types of skateboards hanging on the wall. Source: unsplash

The versatility extends to size as well, with options ranging from kid-friendly sizes like 6.5″ up to the beefy 10″. If you’re new, you’ll likely want to start with an 8.0″. If you’re a bit bigger or heavier, bump up to an 8.25″. As your skills ramp up, you might feel inclined to adjust your board size. Trust me, by that point, you’ll have a solid idea of what you prefer.

What makes a popsicle skateboard a good choice?

A popsicle skateboard is perfect for you if you like:

  • The thrill of jumping obstacles and doing flip tricks.
  • Feeling at home in the local skatepark.
  • Looking to shell out between $70 and $130, with these boards coming cheaper than a cruiser or longboard.
  • Thriving on challenges and keen on learning tricks.
  • The convenience of storage and carrying.
  • Appreciating the artistry of skateboarding and are eager to create your own style.

What could be a potential downside to a popsicle skateboard?

The cons of a popsicle skateboard include:

  • Replacements and frequent wear and tear, especially on your shoes.
  • Not quite ideal for long-distance cruising.
  • A habit of backing down when the going gets tough.
  • Steep ol’ learning curve.

If you’ve never stepped on a skateboard before, popsicles can be a bit tricky to ride at first. Don’t lose heart, though. With a bit of practice, you’ll get the hang of it. You can check out my recommended options for popsicle boards here. Let’s get that stoke ignited!

My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

What type of skateboard should you get? The ultimate beginner’s handbook | 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.

Could a longboard be “the one”?

I come from a skateboarding background, with roots planted deep in the street and vert skating. Not long ago, I got my hands on a used longboard. Trust me, there’s no feeling that compares to that summer breeze flowing through your hair as you cruise along on your longboard.

Longboards have seen a surge in popularity lately, rapidly expanding its user base. They are great for beginners who just want to ride long distances with minimal effort. Even a longboard delivers on tricks, although the scope here is narrower than a regular skateboard.

Why might a longboard be your ride of choice?

Longboards typically last longer than popsicle boards as they don’t have to deal with impacts from grinding or kickflips. Plus, your shoe budget won’t take a hit every few months, with even cheap canvas shoes fitting the bill here.

  • Keen on riding long distances.
  • Finding smaller boards intimidating.
  • Seeking comfort and easy speed maintenance.
  • Not a big fan of frequent part replacements.
Image of longboards leaning on a brick wall. Source: pexels
Image of longboards leaning on a brick wall. Source: pexels

What’s there to reconsider when going for a longboard?

Quality longboards can be a bit hefty on the pocket, but on the bright side, you wouldn’t need to replace parts as frequently.

  • Bulky boards aren’t your thing, or you’re on a tight budget.
  • Living in a crowded place or having short commutes.

Are cruisers in the running?

Quick as a wink, nimble yet portable, Cruisers might just make the cut for you. Either on short commutes or maneuvering crowded urban spaces, these boards are literally designed to ‘cruise’ through life. Picture them as the Goldilocks of skateboards, shorter than longboards but potentially longer than regular skateboards. The learning scale does weigh more towards the ‘piece of work’ end here, but choose a wide enough cruiser, and you’ll be cruising smoothly in no time.

I believe that picking the right skateboard should be seen as a journey of self-discovery rather than a daunting task. Stay curious and keep experimenting till you find your match. Maybe you’ll feel the pop of a Popsicle, the freedom of a longboard, or the agility of a cruiser calling you. Remember, it’s all about keeping it real, reflective of your style, and most importantly, fun.

“Be a rolling stone that gathers skills, tricks and styles, and cruises through life on the perfect set of four wheels.”

One of my favorite skateboard YouTube channels provides a ton of inspiration. Stay fresh and keep shredding!

Dos and don’ts of choosing a skateboard

Just like learning your first skateboard trick, choosing the right skateboard is a journey of its own. Now that you have a clear picture of the Popsicle Skateboards, Cruisers, and Longboards, it’s time to steer you through some dos and don’ts of choosing your ride.

Understand your style and riding preferencesDon’t rush into a decision
Consider the terrain where you’ll be skatingDon’t compromise on quality for a cheaper board
Be open to trying different board typesAvoid selecting based on brand hype alone
Conduct thorough research on the board typeDon’t neglect the importance of the right size
Ask for opinions from experienced skatersNever forget about safety gear
Table 1: Essential Dos and Don’ts when choosing your skateboard

If you’re still unsure about which board will be the perfect match, don’t shy away from asking your fellow skaters or seeking guidance from best skateboarding YouTube channels. Be patient, ask the right questions, and let your skateboard choose you!

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Before we wrap up, let’s address a few frequently asked questions that you might have brewing in your mind. The world of skateboarding can sometimes hit you with a curveball, but no worries, that’s where I come in. Here are some questions you might find interesting.

Is it easier to ride a cruiser or a longboard?

Well, the answer leans towards the Longboard here. Longboards are often wider and longer, which contributes to better balance and stability, making them beginner-friendly. Their ease in maintaining speed and comfort of the ride make them especially enticing for long-distance skating. But, if you’re someone looking for agility and maneuverability in crowded spaces, you might find Cruisers more to your liking, as they are nimble and portable. Check our detailed comparison here for more enlightenment!

How much does replacing parts on a popsicle skateboard cost?

The cost of replacement parts can vary significantly based on the quality of the equipment you’re aiming for. Decks could set you back between $30 to $60, while a good pair of trucks range around $20 to $40 each. You’d likely need to replace your wheels every few months, running you down another $15 to $40. If keeping it on the budget is your goal, go for a more affordable but reliable setup.

Are vans shoes good for skateboarding?

Most definitely! Vans shoes are a solid choice for skateboarding. They’re designed with a flat sole that helps skaters grip their boards better. They also have many skate-specific features that provide added comfort and durability. If you need some recommendations, check out these Vans shoes that got my seal of approval!

Should beginners start with a popsicle skateboard?

Popsicle Skateboards are versatile and provide a great platform for learning and performing a wide range of tricks. Yet, they come with a steeper learning curve compared to Longboards or Cruisers. So, while they’re a great choice for someone eager to get into the trick scene, they might not be the ideal choice for all beginners, especially if balance and easy cruising are your priorities. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all in skateboarding. It all comes down to personal playstyle and preferences.

Stay tuned to this channel, and don’t hesitate to ask if you’ve got any more questions. I’ll keep the tips, tricks, and advice rolling your way!

Final thoughts

Skating into the sunset with your perfect board is pretty much the skateboarder’s dream. But finding your ideal ride can seem like a climb up a vert ramp. I hope this guide illuminates the journey for you, whether you connect with the pop of a Popsicle Skateboard, the charm of a Cruiser, or the flow of a Longboard.

What specific skateboarding style do you gravitate towards? Street, park, or vert? And what kind of skateboard best accentuates your style and why? 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 complete guide to skateboard maintenance for more skateboarding tips and tricks. Thanks for reading, and keep the stoke alive!

Key takeaways

This article delved into the question “what type of skateboard should you get?” with a focus on three popular board types: Popsicle Skateboards, Cruisers, and Longboards. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Popsicle skateboards are great for those who have a knack for tricks and embrace a steep learning curve.
  • Longboards offer an excellent choice for beginners wanting to ride long distances with ease and comfort.
  • Cruisers take center stage when agility and portability are key, especially in crowded spaces.
  • Each skateboard type comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, deeply tied to an individual’s skating preferences and style.
  • Regular maintenance and cost of replacement parts are vital considerations in long-term upkeep of your skateboard.

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.

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