How to Buy a Skateboard
If you’re a novice skater and you don't want to build a custom complete skateboard, check out our selection of pre-assembled completes. Warehouse Skateboards offers complete skateboards that are built from the same quality parts offered separately on our site.
This is great for a novice skater who doesn’t feel like reading this entire breakdown but wants to choose all the right parts. It’s also great for the skate-masters who know precisely what they want, since many of our completes are built from our top selling components.
If you’re a seasoned skater, you probably know exactly what you want. If you need a push in the right direction, below is a list of components to set up your custom skateboard.
Start building your complete skateboard at Warehouse Skateboards.
- Skateboard Deck
- Set of Skateboard Trucks (two trucks)
- Set of Skateboard Wheels (four wheels)
- Set of Skateboard Bearings (2 per wheel, 8 total)
- Set of Skateboard Risers (set of 2)
- Skateboard Hardware (set of 8 bolts and nuts)
- Skateboard Grip Tape
- Skate Tool (a must have, if you don’t already have one)
Lets get some of the lingo down first.
- Width: The average width of a deck is 7.5"- 8.25". Width is influenced by the size of the rider and the type of riding. Bigger riders and those doing ramps and vert typically prefer a wider deck. Street skaters usually choose a smaller deck. Choose your deck according to the width, not length.
- Length: The length of the skateboard is measured from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. Average board length is 28"-32" but length is only usually used for advanced skaters.
- Wheelbase: The distance from one pair of inner mounting holes to the other inner pair. The average wheel base is 13"-15", and again, the choice is influenced by the advanced rider.
- Nose and Tail: The nose and tail can be hard to tell apart but most decks provide you with graphics to distinguish the two apart. Also, most skateboard decks have a bigger kick on the nose and mellower kick on the tail.
- Mounting Holes: Pre-drilled holes where the skateboard trucks are attached. Arranged as two sets of four holes; one set is near the nose, the other near the tail.
- Ply: When looking at the side of the deck, thin layers of maple veneer are visible. Layering the wood in a cross-grain pattern creates a stronger board than a single solid piece of wood. The typical board is seven-ply.
- Concave: The section of the board between the nose and tail curves up slightly on the sides. The concave gives the rider more control and to increase board strength.
Decks come in many different widths. If you are a beginner, choose your deck according to the width not the length or wheelbase. The width you need depends on your size, skating style, and personal preference. Here are some general guidelines:
What skateboard deck width is right for me?
Deck width: 6.5" to 6.75”
Deck length: 27.2” to 27.6”
For skaters 5 years or younger, under 3’4” tall who wear a size 3 shoe or smaller
Deck width: 7.0"
Deck length: 28”
For skaters 6 to 8 years old between 3’5” and 4’4” tall who wear size 4-6 shoes
Deck width: 7.3”
Deck length: 29”
For skaters 9 to 12 years old between 4’5” and 5’2” tall who wear size 7-8 shoes
Decks 7.5” or larger
For all skaters over age 13, taller than 5’3” with a shoe size of 9 and up. However, individual skating style will determine deck size for these decks:
7.5" to 8" - Standard board for adult riders skating streets or doing more technical tricks
8.0" to 8.25" - Skating pools, ramps and parks
8.25" and larger - Vert, pools, cruising and just going old school
The width of your truck axle should closely match the width of your deck. Truck size can be measured by the width of the hanger or the width of the axle.
What size skateboard trucks do I need for my skateboard?
6"-7.25" Axle - 6.5" to 7.25" deck width
7.5" Axle - 7.25 to 7.5" deck width
7.75" Axle - 7.5” to 8" deck width
8.0" Axle - 8” to 8.5" deck width
8.5" Axle - 8.5” to 9" deck width
9.0" Axle - 9” to 10” deck width
10.0" Axle - 10” and above deck width
What about truck profile height?
Truck profile is the distance between the bottom of the skate deck and the hanger. In general, a mid-sized truck works well for most skateboarders, but high or low skateboard trucks may be preferred for different styles of skaters.
Low : Provides extra stability for flip tricks, designed for small wheels (50-53mm).
Mid : Good all-around profile for street or park (53-56mm).
High : Great for cruising and carving, designed for large wheels (56mm+)..
Skateboard wheels vary in color, size and durability. The diameter and durometer of the wheel affect the way the board rides. The diameter and durometer are a matter of personal preference and skating style. Here are some general guidelines:
What size skateboard wheel do I need?
Diameter: Smaller wheels are slower, bigger wheels are faster.
50-54mm : Slower, but stable and good for trick riding and smaller riders.
54-60mm : Beginners of all sizes on ramp, park and street.
60mm < : Longboards, old-school boards, speed and rougher surfaces.
Durometer measures the wheel’s hardness. Harder skateboard wheels are faster; softer wheels are slower but have better grip.
Skateboard wheel durometer is usually measured on a Durometer A Scale which goes from 1-100 to measure hardness. Some companies use the B Scale which measures 20 points lower, allowing the scale to be extended by 20 points for harder wheels. So an 80B durometer is the same as 100A durometer. The average wheel durometer is 99A.
78a-87a : Soft wheel good for rough surfaces, longboards or street boards that need lots of grip and easier to roll over cracks and pebbles.
88a-95a :Slightly harder and faster with a little less grip, but the grip's still good.
96a-99a :Good speed and grip. Good wheel for beginners, street, ramp and park.
100a < : Hardest and fastest wheel with the least grip.
Bearings may not vary in size, but they do vary in quality. The more expensive ones are actually made better with better sealing, more inner ball-bearings, and higher quality metals. Mostbearings are measured by an ABEC rating; this system includes grades 1,3,5,7, and 9. The higher the ABEC rating, the less friction and faster the bearing.
Note: Bones Bearings are not ABEC Rated because they are superior in quality and the ABEC rating ignores many quality factors that Bones Bearings pride themselves on. Bones Bearings use their own rating called Skate Rated.
Do I need risers for my skateboard?
Skateboard decks that use wheels smaller than 55mm do not typically require risers. 1/8” riserscan help keep the hardware from vibrating loose and can also protect your skateboard deck from stress cracks.
As the skateboard wheels get larger, there's a greater chance for wheel bite (when the wheel will makes contact with the underside of the deck) causing a nasty wipeout. In general, the longer the skateboard and the larger the wheel, the more height is needed in the risers.
Skateboard hardware is what you will use to assemble your board.
Grip tape is the sandpaper-like material applied to the top of the deck that helps your shoes grip the board. Grip tape most commonly comes in one large sheet that must be applied and cut based on the size and shape of your skateboard. You can cut shapes out or choose different colors or patterns to customize the look of your skateboard.