At the top of our list is the Hikole Complete Pro Skateboard, a board that comes with the assurance that it’s great as a casual street board for beginners and a good trick board for the more experienced skaters out there who want to freestyle in urban environments.
We say that because of the double kick concave design that this board has.
The deck of the board is a durable one since it’s made from high-density Canadian maple wood, which is strong enough as is, but only gets sturdier when layered on top of the other nine times.
An extra layer of grip tape on top of the decks is also great for keeping you on the board when executing tricks, though the grip tape and the graphic on the bottom of the board may wrinkle and develop bubbles after a lot of use.
The wheels are a 55mm diameter and an 85A durometer, which is soft enough for learners but have enough give in them to be suitable for tricks and other maneuvers that more experienced skaters can find value in.
These wheels are also held by the reputable ABEC 7 bearings that are great for keeping up speed when you want it.
Double kick concave design makes this board great for tricks.
Durable, high-density nine-ply Canadian maple deck.
Handy grip tape keeps you on the board.
55mm 85A PU wheels are great for beginners and pros.
ABEC 7 bearings help you pick up speed when you need it.
Graphic and grip tape can develop wrinkles and bubbles.
The third board we have is a rough and ready budget option that also ranks as an Amazon’s Choice product, and for the all-encompassing search term “skate board” no less.
It’s the Roller Derby Deluxe Series skateboard, a somewhat plain looking board that hides a bright graphic on its underside.
The deck is a seven ply one made from hard rock maple wood that’s durable enough for all the punishment you should want to put it through.
Attached to the decks are five-inch T5 trucks that are lightweight and allow you to weave through obstructed alleyways and the like, though some have expressed concern that the trucks may want replacement for a better performance.
The wheels are medium sized, sacrificing some speed for a more apt sizing that’s better for traversing streets and other concrete-based surfaces.
With these wheels and their wheelbases are branded Bevo Silver-5 bearings that dampen
We definitely recommend these if you’re after a competent skateboard whilst on a budget.
Seven-ply hard rock maple wood deck is tough.
Lightweight five-inch T5 trucks are great for weaving.
The fourth skateboard we have is the Powell-Peralta Vato Complete Skateboard, another skateboard that you can grab for a decent price that’s made with maple hardwood and lightweight aluminum.
That maple wood is layered in seven plies to make the deck strong and able to withstand your weight and any knocks or impacts it’ll face out on the streets.
The wood of this board is shaped into a deep concave design that makes this board a responsive and easy to control one, a useful property for a street skateboard to have since you can avoid people and other obstructions better.
These boards’ lightweight, aluminum trucks are manufactured, and quality tested by Skate One, ensuring that they’ve been looked over by industry experts, and the fact they’re light makes them easier to turn and results in a breezy ride.
As for the wheels of these boards, they’re 53mm in diameter so that they don’t get in the way when executing tricks.
That said, they’re harder at a 101A durometer rating, meaning that they’re harder to control on rough terrain and lack some bounce that you may want if tricks are the primary reason you’re buying a skateboard.
Seven-ply maple wood deck is tough enough for the streets.
Deep concave design gives you more control.
Lightweight aluminum Skate One tested trucks.
Mid-sized 53mm wheels are great for tricks.
Harder 101A wheels are more difficult on rough terrain.
This last option is actually a very capable board, but it finds itself here because the board is all you get with this purchase.
The Vision Groholski Frankenstein Reissue Skateboard Deck is a great option for those looking to build their own board.
The deck itself, however, is a good one, being durable and stable thanks to its cruiser board shape and low concave design.
Part of that design is the modern truck hole pattern located towards the center of the board that makes assembling this skateboard with your own custom trucks much easier and more compatible with what you’ll find on the market.
It’s also available in a variety of striking colors and design options to have most people’s tastes covered.
As we said, it’s just the deck and so is more suitable for those enthusiasts looking for a specific board part when making their own purpose-built street board.
Since it’s only the deck, most prices to pay will pale in comparison to the prices you can get complete boards to, but this deck is even pricier than some whole boards out there.
A durable skateboard deck that offers stability to its rider.
We’ve written this buyers’ guide with the intention of explaining the properties and features of different skateboards, and which ones make a skateboard better or worse to take out on the street.
We’ll be running through the deck shapes of skateboards, the materials they’re made from, their trucks, wheels, and bearings.
We’ve also included a Frequently Asked Questions section where a few common questions regarding skateboards have been answered.
Shapes of Skateboard Decks
Skateboards come in a variety of different shapes but the overwhelming majority of the ones above, and the ones that are ideal for performing tricks in an urban environment, are the symmetrical twin-tip boards with a concave in them for the sake of trick stability.
These street skateboard decks are the classic design that comes to mind for most people when considering skateboards, especially ones for use in public.
Other kinds range from longboards to cruisers, but they aren’t so pertinent to getting your hands-on street skateboards unless you only plan on riding them with no freestyling or trick performance, like using them only for commuting, for example.
Instead at number five on our above list we have a board that is shaped like the old school bowl/shaped decks. These are visibly wider than the street versions, looking a bit like the cruiser-shaped boards, and this betrays the fact that they’re handy as hybrid decks that can work in the street whilst still handling themselves in most other situations.
All of the boards above are made with some form of plywood, mainly maple hardwood, and we think that’s what you should go for when in search of a good skateboard.
Maple is probably the most common wood used to make skateboards and longboards since it’s sturdy but allows for some bend without breaking, being one of the softest hardwoods there is to work with.
Otherwise there’s a wide variety of synthetic materials that get used for skateboard decks, usually composite or fiberglass that’s more lightweight than wood though is more hit or miss in terms of durability, since it now depends on the brand of synthetic material used whereas it’s uncommon to get noticeable variations in a certain wood.
A lot of what could be said about truck quality is how they interact with the rest of your board in use. You want trucks that are made of a lightweight metal that has a good weight to hardness ratio with the deck of your board, so that they’re not too harsh on the deck and cause any damage when weight is applied.
You also don’t want them to stick, and you want them to stay put during movement rather than coming loose and interfering with your boarding.
Wheels are described on product listings with two main metrics, the diameter of them and their hardness. Wheel diameter is simply the size of the wheel, and larger wheels tend to be better for taking on harsher surfaces.
They also tend to be softer, providing some forgiveness and bounce to add to tricks. There’s something to be said about a healthy middle ground, especially when you want wheels that are practical for outside urban use.
Softness in wheels is measured in durometer ratings that are expressed in numbers and a letter. A good way to think of them is that ratings from 78A to 87A is soft and grips the ground very well, which is better for cruising boards than your usual skateboards. 88A to 95A is tougher, but still soft enough to dampen any rough terrain.
96A to 101A is harder again and, in our opinion, the best for most street skaters, whereas 83B to 84B is a separate classification of very hard wheels that are often only used by professionals operating in urban environments.
When it comes to bearings, they’re usually classified by the ABEC rating scale.
The first thing you should know is that ABEC 5 is a great rating for most skaters since it’s a great starting point for beginners but capable enough to allow for skill growth in some more experienced skaters.
ABEC ratings below five are considered low-quality which, whilst cheaper, cause more friction that hampers a skater’s performance.
ABECs 5 to 7 are pretty standard, particularly in complete skateboards you can buy, since they’re smooth and responsive. ABEC ratings above 8 and 9 are very, very fast and very sensitive to the micromovements in your feet and your center of gravity, making them best for those looking for great speed.
We recommend you stay in the ABEC 5 to 7 range since it’s most of what skaters want out of their boards, allowing you a smooth, uninterrupted ride without being too sensitive to control for most, like higher ABECs can be.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a 7.75 skateboard a good size?
In order to have the most skating styles covered, you’ll usually be safe going for a board that’s between 7.75 and 8.25 inches. Street skateboards in particular are useful at 7.5 to 8 inches since this is best for adult riders to perform tricks with, especially the more demanding and technical ones.
That said, size can largely be a preference since your ability to board properly and perform tricks with that board can depend on your height, leg length, and even foot size.
Try to stay within the ranges but go with the best size that can accommodate you comfortably whilst also allowing you to perform tricks, and all without having too much space that you can trip over.
Where is skateboarding in public legal?
Skateboarding in public is legal in pretty much the entirety of the United States, though the same can’t be said for some other countries out there.
A general rule to avoid even potentially having the book thrown at you by someone who wants to move you along is that you have to give way for any pedestrians, and in general be respectful and try not to bother them.
This will hopefully keep you safe, particularly from public nuisance laws like NYC’s reckless skating charge that prohibits skating in a way that threatens the health or possessions of another person.
Since the laws vary by city, there are places like Akron, Ohio that have made skateboarding after dark illegal, though we can’t verify how harshly these laws are enforced.
Also take into account where you want to skate, since some places have laws on the books prohibiting skating outside of police stations, libraries, museums, courthouses, and even the entirety of some business districts.