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Best Skateboard Setup for Heavy Riders

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Whether you’re a tall guy, heavy boned or a bit overweight, skateboarding is always an option. If you’re a bit on the heavy side (over 230LBS), you probably need a bit of a different setup. No worries I’m here to help. In general, you just need a bit of a wider board, good quality trucks, and bushings that can handle your weight.

The best skateboards for heavy riders should consist of the following components:

  • A wider deck about 8.5 inches wide.
  • Harder bushings that can handle your weight.
  • Quality trucks that can deal with impacts.

That’s basically all there’s to it but let’s dive a bit into the why and how. There are a couple of deck brands and technologies to choose from so let’s see what’s out there currently.

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Skateboards Setups for Heavyweights

skateboard setup for heavy riders

There is no such thing as the best skateboard for bigger skaters, it really depends on the setup. Most complete skateboards, however, aren’t suitable for overweight skaters or extremely tall riders. This is mainly because of the bushings being too soft. If you want to buy a complete skateboard, all you need to do is replace the bushings.

I used to skate 7.5 to 7.75 decks back in the day, anything beyond that seemed ludicrous.

Nowadays, 8.0″/8.25 is the standard but as a heavy rider, you want something that can take a punch.

Go with an 8.5″ or 8.25″deck, this is (in my opinion), the best choice for tall skateboarders or heavy riders. Of course, bigger works as wel.

Do you break decks every other week, or too often that it hurts your wallet? Go with a stronger deck. You have a couple of options here but they are a bit more expensive than average. 

The most expensive one goes for around $200 and the cheapest is about $80 depending on where you shop.

You could also go for a cheaper regular maple deck, they will do fine as long as it’s from a reputable brand.

Mad respect to Joe Wall!

Many of the decks listed here have an extra layer of fiberglass to support extra weight. This has a few advantages but also some rather unpleasant side effects.

Fiberglass can irritate the skin once it starts to wear. Splinters get under your skin which is rather annoying. Anyway, let’s see what’s out there.

Powell-Peralta Flight Deck

powell peralta flight deck construction in different angles

Probably one of the better-known decks that can take a punch. The Powell Peralta Flight deck consists of 7 layers, 5 maple wood, and 2 fiberglass composite layers.

They have great pop and are surprisingly light-weight. The epoxy infusion adds an extra dimension of quality and performance, you will have a hard time breaking this deck.


  • A very lightweight and thin deck
  • Last up to 8 times longer
  • Great rebound, snap and pop
Powell peralta complete skateboard

A complete setup for heavier riders should consist of harder bushings, a strong deck, and wider wheels. An 8.25″, and 8.5″ will work fine. I recommend the following componentst:

  • 8.25″ or 8.5″ flight deck or Santa Cruz VX
  • Spitfire conical full wheels 54mm
  • Bones hardcore Hard bushings
  • Bronson G3 bearings
  • Independent 147 trucks for an 8.25″ deck or Indy 159 for and 8.5″ deck
  • 7/8″ or 1″ hardware
  • Griptape of your choice (it doesn’t matter).

This is a great setup that can hanle a lot of weight. The harder bushings offer more stability and the wider Spitfire wheels offer a bigger riding surface. Just looking for a deck? Check here for prices

Santa Cruz VX

Santa Cruz VX skateboard deck

Not too long ago Santa Cruz released their new VX boards that also consist of 5 layers of maple and 2 layers of fiberglass. These boards are very strong, a bit more flexy than average, and a great choice for big guys/girls.

I really love the designs and it’s one of my favorite boards to ride currently. I picked up a 9.0 and got some wider indy trucks to mainly ride bowls and mini ramps.

Not really what it was intended for but hey, I just love the looks so why not?

If you like to ride parks, pop ollies and flips, boardslides, or anything that might snap your board the Santa Cruz VX decks are up for the job.

They are a bit more expensive obviously but if you’re a board snapper you’ll earn back the extra investment. It won’t hold a 400LBS skaterdoing board slides though.

Cheaper than the Flight deck but just as durable and more concave.

Dwindle Impact

Setup for heavy skateboarders

Dwindle Impact is another creative technology. Dwindle (woodshop) reinforces the area where you attach your trucks.

The basic impact version has two carbon discs at the bottom of the deck which helps to absorb impacts more efficiently.

It is a bit heavier due to the 8 layers of maple wood, regular boards have 7 so this might take some time to get used to.

The light version consists of the regular 7-ply maple wood construction. Another trick to make it stronger is the die-cut carbon fiber laminate which is inserted on top of the deck. The deck in this image is an impact light deck.

Almost impact skateboard deck

Impact plus is reinforces using the carbon fiber discs and an extra carbon fiber layer on top of the deck. It might be worth checking out.

Impact plus features 8-ply of North American Maple and 2 carbon fiber discs at the bottom. The plus has to do with the extra Die-cut carbon fiber laminate inlay top of the deck.

Dwindle decks are totally worth it if you’re a deck breaker. We skated this board for over 100 hours without chips or pressure cracks, great pop by the way!

Brands that use this tech:

  • Almost
  • Dwindle
  • Enjoi

Lithe Slate & Nex

The Lithe Slate 3 skateboard deck is the best board for heavy riders that break decks occasionally. It has about everything you want from a deck. Unfortunately, they are expensive though but the Lithe Nex is half the price of the Slate 3..

  • Razor tail resistant
  • almost unbreakable board
  • No chipping
  • Extremely responsive

Lithe Skateboards uses a unique inlay construction which keeps the deck strong and prevents the (unique blend of) carbon composite from fraying.

No skin irritation or splinters! This keeps the boards strong, but also eliminates sharp dangerous fraying that all other composites boards get. This deck is unmatched but it comes at a price (almost 200 bucks).

Lithe Nex Skateboard deck

Perhaps the Lithe Nex is a better alternative, it’s about 90 bucks cheaper and despite being a bit heavier than regular decks (+180grams), it has a fresh clean pop and a stiffer flex.

I would totally recommend this board to anyone who often breaks decks, hates razor tail, or often chips the nose and or tail.

Lib Tech Skateboard

Lib Tech offers decks with a mix of carbon fiber, fiberglass, and maple wood. What I like about these boards is how they make the sidewalls and tails stronger by applying birch. The center (or core) is laminated vertically and reinforced by fiberglass. Skaters seem to be pretty content and confirm the longevity and surprisingly long-lasting pop.  This is a good option for heavy or tall skaters.

Emillion Fibertech

Another winner, this fiberglass enhanced deck is probably one of the strongest decks available. Now I haven’t been able to test this one out myself but the (real skateboarder) reviews are promising.

It has a medium concave deck and might feel a bit stiff at the beginning, but this will go away once you break it in after a few hours.

Like the other decks mentioned it has great prolonged pop, after a month of intense use it still performs at peak efficiency according to the reviews.

The biggest pro of this deck is its price, it’s about $50, which is way cheaper than the previously mentioned decks.

Its tail and nose don’t chip as much as other decks, still, it can’t beat the Lithe slate 2 or the flight deck in durability.

P2 Technology

P2 decks consist of a thin maple core and are reinforced with Aramid Fiber which is inserted on top. This results in a stiffer and stronger nose and tail and longer-lasting pops. 

Some don’t like the shape of the nose as it deviated from the standard. Don’t expect miracles, the tail can still chip and the board isn’t unbreakable. I have not tested this technology so it’s hard to say if they last longer.

There are a couple of brands that use P2 technology:

  • Creature
  • Flip
  • Plan B
  • Santa Cruz

Wheels For Heavy Skateboarders

spitfire formula four conicall full skateboard wheels

If there is a set of wheels that is great for everything I have to admit, it’s not Bones. Spitfire

Classics and Spitfire Full Conicals are about the best wheels you can get, especially for heavy riders. They perform well in parks, bowls, and street as long as you get the 99A wheels.

Are you a bowl rider? Go with 56mm 99a Full Conical wheels (link to Amazon) or 97A if you want a smoother ride and more grip.

They have a large contact patch for extra stability and really can take a punch. Looking for park and street wheels? Go with the 53-54 mm 99A version.

Super fast, grippy, and forgiving. Even though they are 99A they don’t feel like hard wheels. I can’t really explain this other than Spitfire produces quality wheels and they got their plastic formula down.

Hard Bushings 

hard bushings and quality skateboard trucks

Stock bushings are fine in most cases. When you are a bit heavier you need a set that can handle your weight.

The polyurethane can get damaged if it suffers a lot of impacts or just feels very loose, even though you tightened your trucks to the max. Check out this table below to see the hardness you need according to your weight:

Weight poundsWeight KGFlexyMediumStiff

I recommend Bones hardcore bushings, specifically the Bones Hard bushings. They don’t deform like standard bushings and can handle a heavier person.

The great thing about these bushings is that you don’t have to tweak them all the time. They fit on most skateboard trucks like Thunder, Venture, Independent, and Tensor.

bones hardcore bushings

Trucks for Heavy Skateboarders

Stick with known brands like Independent, Thunder, Venture, Tensor and Grind King. Cheap trucks won’t last long, especially when you’re a bit heavier than your average skater.

Replace the bushings if they feel too loose, but break them in first to be sure.

Everyone prefers their own brand so I’m not going to recommend anything here, just stay away from the cheap stuff!

Deck sizetruck axle widthBearingsWheels sizeSuggested setup (sponsored links)
8.0″139mmbones reds52mm – 54mmIndependent 139 or Thunder 147, Bones or Spitfire Wheels, Bones bearings, and any pro 8.0″ deck you like + griptape
8.25″149mmbones reds52mm – 54mmIndependent 144 or Thunder 148, Bones or Spitfire Wheels, Bones bearings, and any pro 8.25″ deck + griptape
8.5″159mmbones reds52mm – 54mmIndy 149, Thunder 149, Bones or Spitfire Wheels, Bones bearings, and any pro 8.5″ deck + griptape

I’ve selected a setup with parts that can take a beating, note that you can swap components around, this is just a suggestion.

First of all, I recommend going for a Powell Flight deck, as mentioned before these decks are very strong and won’t snap easily. If you’re bigger or heavier than average and want to do tricks, this will be the perfect deck.

I picked 53mm, 99A Spitfire Wheels which are great for street and also allow for transition skateboarding.

Standard Bones bearings which every skateboarder prefers (including spacers) and Independent trucks which are about the toughest trucks on the market. All components are compatible.

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 Polished Standard Skateboard Trucks 149
H Block Skateboard Black Riser Pads 1/8 in & 1 in Phillips Hardware Nuts & Bolts
Spitfire F4 Conical Full Wheels Set White Blue 53mm/99D
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 Polished Standard Skateboard Trucks 149
H Block Skateboard Black Riser Pads 1/8 in & 1 in Phillips Hardware Nuts & Bolts
Spitfire F4 Conical Full Wheels Set White Blue 53mm/99D
Price not available
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"
Price not available
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 Polished Standard Skateboard Trucks 149
INDEPENDENT Stage 11 Polished Standard Skateboard Trucks 149
H Block Skateboard Black Riser Pads 1/8 in & 1 in Phillips Hardware Nuts & Bolts
H Block Skateboard Black Riser Pads 1/8 in & 1 in Phillips Hardware Nuts & Bolts
Spitfire F4 Conical Full Wheels Set White Blue 53mm/99D
Spitfire F4 Conical Full Wheels Set White Blue 53mm/99D
Deck width (Inches)8.0″ – 8.49″8.5″ – 8.99″
CCS Trucks139, 144149, 159
Independent Trucks139, 144149, 159
Thunder Trucks147, 148149, 151
Tensor Trucks5.35, 5.55.75
Venture Trucks5.25.8

Cruiser Skateboards for Heavy Riders

Globe Big Blazer cruiser

In case you’re not looking for a regular skateboard I got a few more boards I can recommend. Personally tested, but not always available.

Let’s start with the beginners. If you are new to skateboarding and just want to ride I can recommend the perfect board. It’s boring, predictable, and forgiving. Just what you need!

Globe Cruiser Longboard from different angles

The Globe Blazer is your guy. Why is it boring? It lacks concave so no weird shapes that make you feel uncomfortable when you first step on this board. The deck is pretty flat and predictable, but it won’t do anything unexpected. When you get a taste for riding you can actually get some speed. Check out my Globe Big blazer review.

By that time you want something else though, for those who want something more aggressive but still something that feels stable.

Arbor Oso Foundation bottom view

I can really recommend the Arbor Oso, but it’s really hard to get. Somehow these boards are always sold out. Such a shame because it’s not only a great board to look at, it really is a super fun ride! Check out my Arbor Oso review if you want to learn more.

Landyachtz Tugboat from different angles

The only alternative is the Landyachts Tugboat Captain, but that one has a lot of concave, just look at the shape. Still a pretty sweet board and lots of room for your feet. Less of a comfy ride but great for those who want to get back into skateboarding without all the technical stuff. I like this board for it’s aggressive shape, check out my Landyachtz Tugboat review.


Heavyweight skateboarders should pay extra attention to the quality and technology used in decks and the hardness of bushings. There’s just one thing you suffer more than those lightweights, it’s called gravity. The heavier you are, the harder you fall.

You don’t need a really expensive board, check out my recommended best skateboards if you don’t want to assemble one yourself. Keep in mind that you probably have to get harder bushings to compensate for the weight.

If you’re a beginner, consider wearing some protective gear that deals with the impacts. A hard slam can mean the end of your skateboarding career or at least sitting on the couch for a couple of weeks.

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