14 Best Complete Skateboards That Aren’t Trash (Tested)

If you don’t want to assemble a skateboard yourself there are a few decent options out there. Buying a pre-assembled skateboard might seem easy but getting a good complete skateboard isn’t.

A complete skateboard is fine when you want to learn skateboarding but only if you pick the right one.There is no such thing as the best skateboard, it all depends on your preferences.

You don’t have to pay a lot of money for top-quality components when you’re a beginner. Once you improve your skills and parts start to wear, it’s easy to replace parts with better quality wheels, decks, trucks, and bearings.

14 Best Skateboards

All of the skateboards are tested by me, local skaters, and my son. Some are great for cruising, others are great for technical street skating.

FYI: the boards on this page are updated regularly but may not always be available.

So without further ado, here are the 14 best skateboards that get you the best bang for your buck, tested and approved!

Note: This page contains links that earn me a small commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.

1. CCS Complete

CCS complete skateboard in a park

A very decent beginner skateboard and on top of the list because it’s really cheap. Don’t expect to get a top-quality board, but it a great skateboard for beginners and pretty cheap. I recently tested this skateboard and was pretty impressed.

Don’t grind curbs too often, the trucks are made of cheaper material and can only take minor beatings. This doesn’t mean they fail on you right away, but after a couple of months of grinding, they might break.

CCS skateboard wheels and bearings

This complete is more suitable for skateparks because the wheels are 100a and 52 mm, very hard and small. It won’t give you a comfortable ride on rougher streets but is great for skate parks and smooth surfaces.

Don’t buy this one if you just want to cruise. For that, I suggest looking further down the list (like the Stoked complete). The bearings are fine, nothing too fancy but they will get the job done and last for quite a while.

It comes in different sizes starting at 7.0″ wide, anything up to 7.5″ wide is for kids under 10, 7.75″ to 8.25″ is great for technical skaters but you could go for an even wider board if you want more stability.

This board also doesn’t have any of the common soft bushings problems, actually they are a bit too hard. It will take some time to break them in before it turns properly, just loosen the trucks and you should be fine.

I think this board is the second best bang for your buck, and it’s even the cheapest on this list. Budget-wise probably the best choice. Currently available on Amazon (affiliate link).


  • Deck width between  7.0″ to 8.5″
  • 7-ply maple wood deck
  • Comes with a set of CCS trucks
  • 52mm 100a wheels
  • Standard bearings

2. Stoked Ride Shop Complete (Best Quality Budget)

Stoked Complete Skateboard Street

This complete is my favorite and for good reasons. Stoked offers a relatively cheap street setup that is perfect for beginners. We skated this setup for months and it’s still performing well.

You get quality Paris Street trucks that are better than most standard trucks, or you can pick Independent trucks! The former are great all-around trucks and the latter are the best of the best, no webshop will offer a setup like this! The indy setup will cost you a bit more but it’s worth it, they’ll last a life time.

Stoked added Fireball Bearings, they’re fast, reliable, and better than the junk you usually get when buying completes. I do recommend replacing them with Bronson G2 bearings once you get better at skateboarding.

The deck consists of quality maple and has a mellow concave which makes it suitable for tricks but still provides stability. Great pop, doesn’t snap when board sliding like those cheap toy skateboards, so pretty reliable overall.

For technical tricks, you need hard wheels (softer will feel more bouncy) and you get 53mm 99a blank street wheels. Great size and hardness for street and still perfectly fine for park/transition skateboarding. Not the best skateboard wheels we’ve tested to be honest, but fine for a beginner.

If you want something on a budget and quality parts, this is the best choice. You also get a skate tool to tune the board to your liking. Funny thing is, this is the only setup that doesn’t require you to tighten the trucks. The bushings are pretty hard and take some time to break-in, you might want to loosen them actually.

This one has been tested for over 6 months and it’s still doing fine. Do yourself a favor and get the one with independent trucks, they’ll last for a decade. If you have large feet go for and 8.25″ or and 8.5″. Technical street skaters should pick 7.75″, 8.0″, or 8.25″.

It’s poppy, won’t snap easily (unless you mess up), can take a 7-stairs, and is pretty cheap compared to the competition. I should have saved this one for last, but it’s one of the better boards considering the price.

Only Available on Stoke Ride Shop in many colors, starting at 99,95 if you pick the Litezpeed trucks.

8.0 and 8.25 are safe choices. 7.75″ is great for kids up to the age of 12, and 8.5″ is great for those who have large sized feet or are heavy/tall.

  • 7.75″ / 8.0″ / 8.25″/ 8.5″ Canadian Maple 7-ply Deck
  • Paris Street Trucks or Independent Trucks
  • Paris Hardware
  • Stoked House Bearings
  • 52mm/99a Blank street wheels
  • Bullet Griptape
  • Skate tool

If you don’t like blank skateboards, check out the other avilable setups. Most of them come with Independent trucks and quality brand skateboard decks.

3. Element Complete

element skateboard independent trucks

I always have been a fan of Element, and I love their hats, shirts and mostly deck designs. This deck is a great value option and skateboarders are positive about Element completes in general.

Almost all the parts come from Element, so no unknown truck brand or wheels. Of course, you can always get better quality stuff but not at this price range.

This complete offers a pretty solid components, and a very forgiving ride. The mellow concave makes it easier to keep your balance, and beginners will appreciate the softer 95A wheels that offer extra grip and stability.

If you are looking for something to do tricks and and a comfortable ride, this complete is a good option. The only downside are the rather soft bushings and it will take some time to break them in.

This means the wheels can come into contact with the board when you lean left or right but the fix it easy. Just gradually tighten the kingpin nut and you should be good.

You get a great quality deck that will hold up once you start to pop ollies. It’ll probably wear faster once you start grinding and do flips, but that goes for all skateboards.

Check for availablity on Amazon (affiliate link).


  • Deck width: 7.75″ to 8.0″
  • Deck length: 31.75″
  • Wheelbase: varies
  • Element 7-ply maple deck
  • Element 5.0 Polished Trucks
  • Element wheels, hardness varies
  • Soft 90a bushings
  • Allen hardware
  • Shielded bearings

Stoked Ride Shop offers a custom Element skateboard which is a bit more expensive but consists of better parts. Starting at $ 127,95. It comes with Independent or Paris trucks (depending on your choice) and quality blank street wheels.

This includes a 8.25 and a 8.0 setup that you can’t get anywhere else. No issues with bushings being too soft, overall a superb setup and comes with a free skate tool. (currently only a 7.75 available (for kids 10 to 12), but there are a few great alternatives).


  • Deck width: 7.75″, 8.0″, and 8.25″
  • Deck length: 31.75″
  • Element 7-ply maple deck
  • Paris Street or Independent trucks
  • 54mm 100A blank street wheels
  • Allen hardware
  • Shielded bearings

4. Cruiser/Tricks Blank Complete

Stoked Ride Shop Cruising and tricks Skateboard

Ride Shop offers in my opinion the best complete cruiser you can get under 120 bucks. Looking for a skateboard for cruising and tricks? Go for this cruiser/ street hybrid.

The Fireball Tinder wheels are 81A/60mm and provide a smooth and stable ride. Very forgiving on rough asphalt and pebbles, twigs, or cracks are not an issue.

I am a bit on the fence when it comes to blank skateboards but as long as you get them from a trusted seller it’s all good. You have these websites that sell them in bulk for $15 a pop which may seem cheap, but often they are deformed and pressed a dozen at a time.

Not this one though, this is a quality blank board and Stoked stands behind their products. It’s exactly the same board as the Stoked complete on top of this page but without different wheels. Just a standard 7-ply maple deck with medium concave and lots of pop. 

The wheels are 81A and 60mm which means they can be used for both cruising and basic tricks. They are rather big and soft so skating a mini ramp will require you to push harder. The trucks are also made by Paris which are fine for beginners and will hold out for a while.

You can always upgrade along the way, but many skaters started out skating a blank complete on a budget. Consider some stickers to make it look fancier but place them near the trucks, not on the nose and tail (hard to slide on stickers).

Check prices on Stoked Ride Shop.


  • Width: 7.75, 8.0″.
  • Length: 28.5″.
  • Wheelbase: 14.6″
  • Four Fireball Tinder wheels size 60mm with a durometer of 81A
  • Eight fast Fireball Dragon bearings with spacers
  • Paris Street Trucks

5. Santa Cruz Flame Dot

Santa Cruz Complete Skateboard

Santa Cruz complete skateboards are pretty decent. What I like about this complete are the forgiving wheels, the ‘pop’ of the deck, and the medium-hard bushings. They are great for learning how to ride because of the 95A OJ wheels, not too soft, not too hard, perfect for beginners.

You’re able to hop a curb without problems and the wheels won’t block easily when you hit a pebble or encounter a crack. The bushings are 90A which means they turn well but depending on your weight you might want to tweak them a little to your liking.

I would recommend this board if you’re a beginner and like to learn how to ride and ollie. Bullet trucks are decent, not top of the line but will hold up fine. Once you start grinding rails or curbs they will wear down quickly. This is a really great board and you get a lot of value for money.

Santa Cruz Complete skateboard classic dot

Santa Cruz decks are great but the completes are made of birch wood these days which provides less pop. You get quality wheels and trucks but the deck is of lesser quality.

Go for an 7.75″ or 8.0″ if you want to do lots of flips and aren’t too tall. An 8.25″ provides more stability and is great for both street and skate parks.

Amazon currently offers the exact 8.25″ (flame dot) board as seen in the video just under 100 bucks (link to Amazon) which is an amazing deal.


  • Deck width – varies
  • Deck length – varies
  • Wheelbase – varies
  • Bullet Trucks with 90A bushings
  • 7-ply maple birch deck (graphics vary)
  • 54mm 95A wheels (good size for street skating, skate parks)
  • The shielded bearings are okay

6. Globe Complete Skateboard

Globe skateboard

Can’t leave a reputable brand like Globe out of this I love their decks for their durability, shape, and pop. You get Tensor trucks (Rodney Mullen’s company), and 99a-52mm wheels. Good choice for riders that want to do technical stuff like flip tricks, ollies, slides, and grinds.

The Globe complete skateboard is great for anyone who’s looking for a poppy pro deck and get quality trucks for a fair price. This board is suitable for tricks but less so for commuting because of the harder 99a wheels.

You can adjust the setup to your liking and swap the wheels for Bones or Spitfire once you progress. You also won’t have any trouble skating street and parks with this setup.

The Tensor Alloy Standard Trucks are one of the better budget trucks and come with a lifetime guarantee. The bushings are soft and I advise to tighten the trucks before you ride.

Amazon offers a this quality Globe G1 skateboard (affiliate link), same board as we tested but different graphics.


  • Deck width:  7.75, 8.0, 8.125, and 8.25
  • Tensor trucks
  • Standard ABEC 7 bearings
  • 99a-52mm wheels
  • Deck average length: 31.6″
  • Wheelbase: 14

7. Arbor Whiskey Recruit (Best Beginner Skateboard)

Arbor Recruit Skateboard

Arbor to my surprise offers a few completes and this board is perfect for both beginners and more experienced riders. This is a street setup with 54mm 90A wheels which offer a comfortable ride. You’ll still be able to ride both park and street and the softer wheels deal well with cracks and pebbles.

The softer wheels will help you to maintain stability and don’t make much noise. The Ace trucks are very turny and one of the best trucks you can get on a complete, decent turning abilities and can handle grinds and ollies.

Asphalt, concrete, and wood won’t be a problem and at 90A you can even take it for a short commute. Like the others, the deck is made of quality 7-ply maple wood and a decent setup overall. Arbor is reliable and one of the more popular brands wheit comes to cruisingcane quickly made a name for itself.

This is a great skateboard for those who want something stable, and softer wheels that can deal with rough terrain. The low/medium concave makes it easier to place your feet but kickflips require you to kick a bit harder. Great all around board for a very good price ($120)!

The bushings are rather soft so you might want to tighten the trucks on your first ride. 8.25″ is about the perfect size and in my opinion this is the best beginner board for anyone over 14 years old.

Available at Stoked Ride Shop


  • Width: 8.25″
  • Length: 31.75″
  • Wheelbase: – varies
  • 7-ply maple deck
  • Ace Classic Trucks
  • 90a/54mm wheels
  • Shielded standard bearings

8. Arbor Pilsner Cruiser

Arbor Pilsner deck top view

I couldn’t leave out this cruiser and the Arbor Pilsner is one of my favorites. I felt great from the first time I stepped on and the bushings and trucks are perfect for carving.

The amber-colored wheels are not only great looking, but they seem to be made for this deck and trucks.  Lots of concave for more aggressive sessions and super responsive.

Arbor Pilsner mini cruiser

The Paris Trucks are awesome, so much better than what you get on other complete cruisers. Here’s a test ride I quickly put together which is part of an in-depth review I wrote some time ago. 

Usually, bearings from completes suck, but not these. I don’t know where Arbor gets them but they are super quiet and fast.  This is the ultimate cruiser and definitely worth considering if you just want to cruise and hop a few curbs.

The Pilsner is the perfect mini cruiser with top-quality components, it even outperforms the Landyachtz Dinghy. Read my review and watch a test ride, or check if the Pilsner (affiliate link) is available on Amazon.

Pilsner Features:

  • 129mm Paris street trucks, top-mounted
  • 7 Ply Canadian Maple with a Premium Palisander Wood Finish
  • Wheels: 61mm/78A, 36mm contact patch
  • ABEC 5 Bearings with Spacers
  • 1/8″ Hard Risers
  • Glass Re-Grit grip tape (recycled) 

9. Enjoi Complete

Enjoy kids skateboard

This complete comes with standard Tensor trucks which are great all-around trucks (not top of the line). It comes with small 52mm 99A street wheels that are suitable for street and parks. Not great for cruising though.

The Enjoi deck consists of 7-plys and has a medium concave which makes it easier to keep your balance. The standard bearings aren’t the best but beginners won’t notice anyway. You can always lube them a bit to make them spin faster.

This version (7.625″ wide) is great for kids under 10 but enjoy offers lots of skateboards in different sizes. Also make sure to check my best kids skateboard article. If you are looking for a quality skateboard or cruiser it’s definitely worth a read.

8.0″ to 8.25″ is a great size for technical tricks and 8.5″ is great for transition (bowl, mini ramp). Remember that this is a budget board so you won’t get top-notch components but it’s a decent starter board, especially considering the price. Once you get the hang of it you can always upgrade the bearings.

Check Amazon to compare prices (affiliate link).

  • Deck width: 7.625″ to 8.25″
  • Deck length: varies
  • Wheelbase: varies
  • Enjoi 7-ply maple deck
  • Tensor Trucks
  • 52mm Enjoi street wheels

10. Birdhouse Complete

Birdhouse complete skateboard

I was a bit on the fence about this skateboard when I saw it listed on Amazon. Being the skeptic that I am I browsed the reviews and people seem to really enjoy this board. The problem with reviews is they are often written by parents or grandparents who gifted a skateboard. You don’t really get to find out if it’s truly a decent setup.

I decided to just buy one and see if it holds up, and so far I think it’s a fine board considering the price. It’s not a board for hardcore skateboarders but great for kids and beginners. one of my local skateboarders has been riding it for almost a year and it still works great. Just a small chip which is pretty normal.

The wheels seem to be made of decent urethane and the trucks hold up fine as and even can take on 6 stairs. You get a decent complete which can deal with abuse for a really solid price. Compared to the other completes from reputable brands, this is one of the better performing boards.

The wheels are not too hard and not too soft, 100a to be specific, which means they can be used on the street and in parks but not for cruising.

The trucks are strong, even after grinding them for days they still won’t budge. We’ve upgraded the wheels which made it perform even better! Don’t forget to tweak the trucks as they may feel loose, which is easy to fix.

Currently Available on Stoked Ride Shop or check availability on Amazon (affiliate link).


  • Length: 31.75 inches
  • Width: 8.0 inches
  • 52mm/100a wheels
  • Truck Width: 8.0
  • 7-ply maple deck
  • Bearings are ok, not the best

11. Powell Peralta Flight Construction (Best Quality)

Powell peralta complete skateboard

This Powell-Peralta Flight Deck setup comes with Independent trucks (or Paris, up to you). This is the best complete skateboard you can get! Stoked Ride Shop now offers a complete with quality indy trucks!

For now, you only get blank wheels but they are fine for beginners and I personally tested them, just don’t do any power slides and you won’t flat spot the wheels.

I own this exact setup and tested the wheels, trucks, bearings, and deck. Superb quality that will last for a very long time.

The deck is super poppy and consists of maple with a mix of fiberglass. Super strong and almost unbreakable. Powell Flight decks are hard to snap and great for heavy riders or those who often break boards. This is the strongest setup on this list, but it’s a bit more expensive (around 165 bucks).

This is a great street skateboard but also one you can take to your local skate park, it’s less suitable for cruising but rolls fine on slick surfaces.

You can either pick Paris Trucks, or Independent trucks (+ $10) and this is rather unique. You will have a hard time finding a complete that comes with the strongest and most durable trucks out there. Independent trucks are the best you can get.

Indy’s are my favorite because they last forever, are great at turning, and perform well in street and parks. On top of that, you get super-fast Fireball Dragon bearings that are way better than that no-name stuff you often get.

If you go for the Paris trucks, you won’t be disappointed. Paris Street Trucks are solid, can take abuse, and are great for both park and street skating.

It comes with 53mm wheels with a hardness of 99A. This will be a bit less comfortable on rougher surfaces but hits the sweet spot for technical park skating. Comes in sizes 8.0″, 8.25″,  8.5″ and 8.75″. 8.0 and 8.25 are great for street, 8.5″ for people with large feet or transition skateboarding. 

Only Available at Stoked Ride Shop

  • Deck width: 7.75″,8.0″, 8.25″, 8.5″, 8.75″
  • Powell Peralta Flight Deck
  • Paris Street trucks/ Independent Trucks (the choice is up to you, but for 10 bucks more you get a superb setup)
  • 53mm/99A wheels
  • Fireball Dragon bearings

If you don’t want an expensive flight deck, check out the regular Powell Setup, it’s $25 cheaper.

12. Landyachtz ATV

Landyachtz ATV skateboard

If you are into cruising and want to practice basic tricks, consider the Landyachtz ATV. This board offers a very smooth ride and the wide 8.5″ decks is gresat for those who want to learn how to ride.

If you are getting back into skateboarding and just want to ride, hop a few curbs, Landyachtz designed a great board. It doesn’t have flex and feels rather stiff, and the bushings are a bit soft which require some adjustments.

The overal setup is rather heavy and technical tricks require a lot of effort, but its fast, stable, and great for rought roads.

Even though the ATV is a master of none, it still a very decent beginner setup for those who want to learn how to ride first, and slowly learn tricks at some point. CURRENTLY 15% OFF at Stoked Ride Shop.

13. Alien Workshop Full Spectrum

Alien workshop skateboard

Alien workshop offers one of the best skateboards you can get for street and park, but it’s not for everyone. The 97A/52mm wheels feel very smooth and grippy, and not too bouncy. They are a bit softer compared to most standard skateboards and more forgiving on gritty asphalt and rougher surfaces.

It comes with Xenia trucks which are fine for beginners but you want to tighten the trucks a few times because of the super soft bushings. No worries, you won’t be jumping 7-stairs anytime soon so they are perfectly fine.

Don’t get this board if you’re a bit taller or heavier, this one is made for kids up to 14 years old. They come in sizes 7.75″ and 8.0″.

Still available on Amazon

  • Width: 7.75″ or 8.0″
  • Length: 31.5″.
  • Wheelbase: 14.25″
  • 52mm/97A wheels
  • Basic bearings
  • Xenia Trucks

14. Powell Peralta Golden Dragon

Powell peralta golden dragon skateboard for kids

Powell Peralta offers in my opinion one of the the best kids skateboard you can get, just under 80 bucks. Looking for a decent skateboard for a kid under 10 years old? This is probably the best choice.

The Powell Peralta wheels are quite soft and forgiving resulting in a smooth and stable ride. Very forgiving on rough asphalt and pebbles, twigs, or cracks are not an issue.

I am a bit on the fence when it comes to kids skateboards, but so long as you get them from a trusted brand there’s nothing to worry about. Way better than those cheap $30 Amazon skateboards which may seem cheap, but they are often deformed and break after a few weeks.

Not this one, this is a quality board and of decent quality.  You get a standard 7-ply maple deck with medium concave around 7.6″wide with a graphic. 

The wheels are 90A and 54mm which means they can be used for both cruising and basic tricks. They are rather big and soft, so skating a mini ramp will require more effort.

You can always upgrade along the way, but many skaters started out skating a cheaper skateboard on a budget.

For less than 80 bucks you get decent wheels, reliable trucks, okay bearings, and a decent deck. Check for availability on Amazon or check Stoked Ride Shop.

  • Strong 7-ply maple deck
  • The trucks deal well with impacts
  • Softer wheels that work well in parks and concrete, less so on rougher surfaces
  • The bearings okay but I would apply some silicon lube to make the ride a bit smoother.
  • Great for kids under the age of 10
  • The trucks might feel a bit tight at first, it will go away in time and you can tweak them using a skate tool

Our Top 3 Recommendation

Lots of choice but which one should you pick? From a budget perspective these are the boards that stand out from the rest:

Stoked Ride Shop Complete: Best Skateboard Under $120

Stoked Complete Skateboard Street
  • Very durable maple deck, lots of pop
  • Indy trucks with life time guarantee or Paris trucks which are durbale but a bit cheaper
  • Great for technical skating
  • Cruiser version available

Long story short, best skateboard for tricks under 120. Poppy deck with decent concave, harder wheels that don’t bounce much. Overal great skateboard for riding in skate parks and street. Available at Stoked Ride Shop.

Santa Cruz Complete: Best Skateboard Under $100

Santa Cruz Complete skateboard classic dot
  • Comes with the best wheels which are great for kids.
  • Quality trucks that last a long time.
  • Deck made from birch which is les durable compared to maple.
  • Offers a comfortable ride, deals well with pebbles and cracks.

One of the few that rides great straight out of the box. Trucks aren’t too loose (depending on your weight), stable ride and easy to upgrade. Check Amazon for availability (affiliate link)

CCS Complete: Best Skateboard Under $80

CCS complete deck side view
  • Great for technical tricks or just learning how to ride.
  • Durable maple deck and quality trucks
  • Less suitable for rough roads but great for skate parks or smooth surfaces.

Cheapest quality skateboard you can buy, can deal with sever abuse but less comfortable on gritty asphalt because of the hard wheels. Honestly the best choice on a budget and lots of colors available. Check Amazon for availability (affiliate link)

Pros and Cons of Buying a Complete Skateboard

Buying a complete is a good option for beginners or if you really are intimidated with all the options available. The biggest issue with completes is quality. The ones I listed here are fine but for a bit more you can get better parts.

At the bottom of this page are a few suggested custom setups with high-quality components. Most of them are better than the competes that are listed on top of this page but you have to assemble your own board.

Completes usually have top quality decks but the rest of the parts are of lesser quality. Often the trucks come from unknown brands and don’t last very long once you start to do some more advanced stuff.

Wheels are often made of low-quality polyurethane and may flat spot more easily. Higher quality wheels sometimes cost twice as much but last 4 times longer.

Bearings are often cheap and most complaints with completes have to do with the wheels not spinning properly or blocking, it’s because of cheap bearings. Good bearings aren’t even that expensive.

Don’t get a complete skateboard when you seriously think you’re going to skate for a long time. You’ll get a pro deck but the rest of the parts are usually not the best. It won’t be long until you have to upgrade parts and you’ll end up paying more in the end. Here are some of the other issues people experience.

  • Problem: Trucks to loose or too tight. Solution: Tighten or loosen the nut on the kingpin.
  • Problem: Wheels not spinning or blocking. Solution: Take out the bearing and see if it’s damaged. Apply Bones speed cream.
  • Problem: Twisted deck. Solution: Return it

In order to get the most out of your skateboard check out my post on how to keep it in good condition. One thing to remember is to store it in a dry place and never ever leave it out in the rain.

How to Pick the Right Skateboard Parts

Not happy with the top 10? Fear not!  For this, you need to educate you a little so you can get the best compatible parts at a decent price. 

Sure, assembling yourself is usually more expensive but when it comes to quality you get the best stuff. Also, you need to put them all together but I’ve got you covered, it’s really not that hard. Check my post on how to assemble a skateboard once you picked all the right parts.

I always advise to go to your local skate shop (not Zumiez) and ask for help. They love giving advice according to your budget. There’s nothing wrong with asking and they can go on and on about wheels, trucks, bearings, and boards.

If you don’t have a skate shop nearby, buying online is a good option. It’s important that think about what you’re going to use your skateboard for so you can pick the right parts. Mainly wheels are the culprit here, but let me break it down for you.

Step 1. Pick a Style

Make sure you know what you want to ride and where. There are different setups available for different styles. Check out one of these posts that fit your style to make the right choice.

Step 2. Picking the Right Size Skateboard Deck

different skateboard shapes and sizes

All these boards and brands and often awesome prints, what’s the difference? The truth is many skateboard decks come from the same manufacturers. There’s a difference in how some of them are pressed but the most important thing is to get a board that isn’t pressed in large quantities at the same time. Sometimes decks are pressed 10 at a time which causes inconsistencies in the concave, you don’t want that!

Blank decks are a good example, many claim their blanks are quality Canadian maple wood but be careful here. Sure shipping wood to China and having them pressed a dozen at a time makes them real maple wood skateboards. Even if that were the case, shipping causes the boards to damage because of heat and moisture. Avoid these if you don’t know what and where to buy (again, visit your local skate shop).

Alright enough talk, let’s get to the decks which are made of the good stuff. The only thing you need to know is that 8.0″ is the standard for street skating and you need trucks that fit. Wider decks between 8.25″ and 8.5″ are better for transition skateboarding (parks and ramps) because they provide more stability. This doesn’t mean you can’t skate street on an 8.5″, actually a wider deck is great for beginners!

I’ll leave that up to you. If you’re still confused, don’t worry I’ll list a few setups at the end which fit exactly what you need.

Step 3. Trucks That Match the Width of Your Deck

skateboard trucks width compatibility example illustrated

Trucks are the most vital parts of your setup. I’m going into a couple of reputable brands here which all are great choices. Sure there are differences between Venture, Independent, and Thunder trucks but all of them are great! Also Tensor is a great brand to pick and the actually have the record for the lightest trucks.

Ventures provide stability, Indys are a bit more carvy and Thunder is a good choice for street because they are a bit more responsive. I skated transition on Thunders for years before I moved on to Independent and I do like them.

Still, it’s all about personal preference, though Independent trucks are more durable. So economically that would be the best choice. Sure you pay a little extra but they outlast cheap trucks by a factor of 5. I recently got Indy titaniums, and my age I probably don’t have to buy new trucks ever again (sigh).

As for the fancy stuff like titanium, it really doesn’t matter. Some trucks have titanium editions but it’s just the axle and kingpin. The rest of the trucks are still made of a mix of composites. If you want to know more about trucks check out my extensive guide.

Skateboard deck widthTruck axle width
7.75 inch to 8.0 inch7.75 inch / 197 mm
8 inch to 8.5 inch8.0 inch / 203 mm
8.5 inch to 9.0 inch8.5 inch / 216 mm
9.0 inch to 10.0 inch9.0 inch / 229 mm
10 inch or more10.0 inch / 254 mm

Step 4. Picking the Right Wheels

skateboard wheels differrent sizes

So many wheels, it’s intimidating when you browse for and see what’s out there. Again, not a big deal as long as you know what you want to do and where you ride the choice is pretty easy. Spitfire classics are a great choice, Bones wheels are on par and for just cruising and tricks 54mm – 96A Ricta Clouds are a great choice.

I happen to have used all of these wheels and they are great, but designed for different purposes. It gets a bit more tricky here because you have to pick the right hardness (durometer) but this isn’t really difficult so bear with me.

Durometer A and BStyle
100A – 85B Hard, great for skate parks and ramps/verts. less grip
95A/96A – 81B/82B:A solid option for cruising and tricks, a bit more grip
90A/92A – 76B/78BGreat for cruising, bouncy for tricks, more grip
85A – 71B:Just cruising, more grip
80A – 66BToo soft for regular skateboards

As for size up to 56mm is fine. get 52-53mm wheels if you want to skate street and do tricks. 54mm to 56mm is great for transition skateboarding. That’s the gist but there is so much more to it that I covered this in another article.

Step 5. The Right Bearings

Bones Reds standard bearings

There’s still only one brand that manufactures the best bearings for skateboarding, and they have a great reputation in the skateboarding community. Bones bearings come in different price ranges but as long as you’re not planning on extreme speed dow hill, all you need is the Swiss steal types. Get the Bones Reds Swiss package but be careful not to buy any fake China crap!

If you hear anyone talk about ABEC ratings ignore that, the ABEC rating has nothing to do with skateboarding, it’s for machines that need to be able to run 24/7 and should be ignored.

You can go for the cheapest Bones red bearings if budget is tight or go for a higher grade and they’ll last you for 5-10 years. Make sure to clean them 2x a year to get the most out of them. Proper maintenance can triple their life span, oh and don’t skate in the rain. It will kill your bearings.

Step 6. Grip Tap, Hardware, and a Skate Tool

Most shops will apply grip tape and you get free grip tape as a bonus. Standard grip tape is fine but fancy prints aren’t always the best. Some tape will come off because of poor quality so don’t go shopping for fancy stuff unless you don’t mind replacing it when it peels off.

Applying grip tape yourself is a bit tricky but using the right tools makes it a lot easier. Check out my post on how to assemble a skateboard.

You need hardware for your trucks and they need to be the right size. It’s not complicated. The bolts and nuts to attach your trucks come in sets of 8. If you don’t plan on buying riser pads or shock pads go with 7/8”. Get 1” if you want  1/8” risers/shock pads.

Make sure to get the right size hardware, it’s quite frustrating to get all parts and you totally forgot to order hardware. If they’re too tall you could shorten them, but it will leave sharp edges, don’t do that.

Setups for All Styles

skateboard brands decks trucks wheels

As promised here are a couple of setups to choose from. You can pick your own stuff of course but at least it will give you an idea of what works together. You can pick different wheels, trucks and pick a deck of a brand you like but just make sure they are the right size. If you don’t have the right tools at home, consider a skate tool to assemble the parts. 

All-Around Beginner setup

If you don’t know what style you prefer, are new to skateboarding or just want something that works for all styles, go with this setup. The You can go for either Spitfire or Bones wheels between 52 and 54mm, Thunder or Indy trucks that match an 8.0″ wider deck (indy 139, Thunder 147).

The deck is 8″ wide which is about the average width people skate and Indy trucks will last forever. Standard Bones reds including spacers, grip tape, and hardware to attach the trucks. Note that the links direct you to Amazon and can earn me a small commission.

Want something wider, an 8.25 is also a great option. It offers more stability and you’ll still be able to flip your board once you’re ready to get gnarly. The only thing you need is an 8.25 deck and trucks that fit.

8.25″ beginner setup:

Street Setup (Technical Skating)

This setup is for skateboarders that like to ride streets and do gnarly stuff. Wheels suggestions: Spitfire Classics 52 mm-54 mm/99D, Bones STF. These are the most common (high-quality) wheels every street skater likes.

Any reliable brand B deck with matching Thunder trucks, Venture, Royal or Indy trucks.  Standard bones Reds bearings, and 7/8 hardware to attach your trucks. Don’t forget to pick grip tape.

8.0″ street setup:

8.25″ street setup:

Skate Park Setup

This is a bit of a wider setup that is excellent for parks and transition skateboarding. The wider deck provides lots of stability and the Indy trucks are great for turning. The larger Bones Skate Park Formula wheels are the best wheels for parks, I personally love them and so do most of the pros. You can also go for Venture Lo trucks instead.

8.0″ park setup:

8.25″ park setup:

8.5″ park setup:

Cruiser Boards

best mini cruiser skateboards

A selection of cruiser skateboards if you want a calm and comfortable ride and don’t want to do any technical tricks. You could also consider buying a regular setup and slap some large 6omm wheels and 1/4″ riser pads on them.

As for complete cruisers, anything from Arbor, Globe, or Landyachtz is fine. They offer top quality cruisers at a fair price. If you’re completely new to cruising I recommend the Globe Big Blazer because it’s very stable.

Arbor Skateboard - OSO Foundation
Arbor Pilsner Solstice 2017 Mini Longboard Skateboard New
Landyachtz Dinghy 28" Complete Skateboard (28" - Burning Sky)
Arbor Skateboard - OSO Foundation
Arbor Pilsner Solstice 2017 Mini Longboard Skateboard New
Landyachtz Dinghy 28" Complete Skateboard (28" - Burning Sky)
Price not available
Price not available
Price not available
Arbor Skateboard - OSO Foundation
Arbor Skateboard - OSO Foundation
Price not available
Arbor Pilsner Solstice 2017 Mini Longboard Skateboard New
Arbor Pilsner Solstice 2017 Mini Longboard Skateboard New
Price not available
Landyachtz Dinghy 28" Complete Skateboard (28" - Burning Sky)
Landyachtz Dinghy 28" Complete Skateboard (28" - Burning Sky)
Price not available

Heavy Riders Setup

If you’re bit heavier or taller this is a setup that can take an impact. I picked one of the strongest boards available and top-notch trucks that can handle more weight. 

Powell Peralta Skateboard Deck Biss Leaf Grashopper Flight 8.5" x 32.08"
Jessup Griptape (9 x 33)
Bones Bearings Reds Bearings Including Spacers
Independent [Stage-11] 149mm Raw Skateboard Trucks (Set Of 2)
Spitfire Skateboard Wheels - Spitfire Formula F...
Powell Peralta Skateboard Deck Biss Leaf Grashopper Flight 8.5" x 32.08"
Jessup Griptape (9 x 33)
Bones Bearings Reds Bearings Including Spacers
Independent [Stage-11] 149mm Raw Skateboard Trucks (Set Of 2)
Spitfire Skateboard Wheels - Spitfire Formula F...
Powell Peralta Skateboard Deck Biss Leaf Grashopper Flight 8.5" x 32.08"
Powell Peralta Skateboard Deck Biss Leaf Grashopper Flight 8.5" x 32.08"
Jessup Griptape (9 x 33)
Jessup Griptape (9 x 33)
Bones Bearings Reds Bearings Including Spacers
Bones Bearings Reds Bearings Including Spacers
Independent [Stage-11] 149mm Raw Skateboard Trucks (Set Of 2)
Independent [Stage-11] 149mm Raw Skateboard Trucks (Set Of 2)
Spitfire Skateboard Wheels - Spitfire Formula F...
Spitfire Skateboard Wheels - Spitfire Formula F...

Mini Ramp Setup

Great setup for mini ramps, you can either go with 58mm wheels or 56mm. This is the setup I ride when I’m at my local mini ramp.

Plan B Team Global Skateboard Deck - 8.50"
Bones Spines SPF 84B P5 Sidecut Skateboard Wheels - 56mm
Independent [Stage-11] 149mm Raw Skateboard Trucks (Set Of 2)
Bones Bearings Reds Bearings (8 pack W/Spacers and Washers)
Independent Cross Phillips Head Black / Gold Standard Skateboard Hardware Sets - 1"
Plan B Team Global Skateboard Deck - 8.50"
Bones Spines SPF 84B P5 Sidecut Skateboard Wheels - 56mm
Independent [Stage-11] 149mm Raw Skateboard Trucks (Set Of 2)
Bones Bearings Reds Bearings (8 pack W/Spacers and Washers)
Independent Cross Phillips Head Black / Gold Standard Skateboard Hardware Sets - 1"
Price not available
Plan B Team Global Skateboard Deck - 8.50"
Plan B Team Global Skateboard Deck - 8.50"
Bones Spines SPF 84B P5 Sidecut Skateboard Wheels - 56mm
Bones Spines SPF 84B P5 Sidecut Skateboard Wheels - 56mm
Independent [Stage-11] 149mm Raw Skateboard Trucks (Set Of 2)
Independent [Stage-11] 149mm Raw Skateboard Trucks (Set Of 2)
Bones Bearings Reds Bearings (8 pack W/Spacers and Washers)
Bones Bearings Reds Bearings (8 pack W/Spacers and Washers)
Independent Cross Phillips Head Black / Gold Standard Skateboard Hardware Sets - 1"
Independent Cross Phillips Head Black / Gold Standard Skateboard Hardware Sets - 1"
Price not available

Related questions

Q: Do all bearings fit all skateboard wheels? A: Yes, it’s all standard sizing so don’t worry about that.

Q: Why do different skateboard truck brands classify sizes differently? A: There isn’t any standard unfortunately but the axle widths are always mentioned so check if that matches your deck.

Q: Does it matter if my trucks don’t align perfectly with my deck? A: No, it really doesn’t matter just don’t go overboard. It looks a bit strange if your trucks are way wider or shorter. That’s all, nothing to worry about as a beginner.

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Ruben Vee

I'm an aged skateboarder, but I still shred responsibly. I started skateboarding 25 years ago and I'm out there whenever I can.

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