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7 Best Skateboards That Are Perfect for Adults

As an adult skateboarder, I see an increase of older skateboarders in the skate parks I visit (which is great!). Sometimes it’s because of an old childhood wish that never came into fruition, and sometimes older skaters just want to pick it up after a big hiatus.

Before I list a bunch of skateboards with specs that mean nothing, I want you to think about what your goals are, what you consider a skateboard or skateboarding.

You don’t have to become a super gnarly geezer. I know many that just want to learn how to ride a skateboard with confidence. While it’s certainly possible, but you’ll need to proper parts for that. It doesn’t even have to be a regular skateboard, a quality cruiser or even a cruiser longboard will make the learning curve less challenging.

Some of you probably want to learn to ollie and even kickflip, but slow down there. The road ahead is challenging and requires patience and perseverence. The best thing is to ride first, and why not on a skateboard that makes that part easier before you move on to the gnarly stuff?

adult man on a skateboard in a skate park

To be honest, there are few skateboards out there that are suitable for adults, mainly because complete skateboards are okay, but need some tweaking. Out of all the skateboards we tested over the years, most have a few issues which you need to fix before you start skateboarding.

So let’s start with a few basic questions you should ask yourself:

  • Just want to learn how to ride a skateboard? Get a cruiser or a wider custom setup.
  • Want to ride and do basic tricks like ollies? Get a skateboard with softer wheels and replace them later on.
  • Getting back into skateboarding and still know the basics? Assemble one yourself (we got you).
  • Are you a tad overweight? Replace the stock bushings!
  • Want to ride skate parks? Assemble your own custom skateboard.

Anyway, I want to start with a few custom setups that work, and suggest a couple of complete skateboards for the lazy, but with upgrade suggestions to get the most out of it.

The Best Skateboards For Adult Beginners

I will not be listing standard skateboards, just a few I know will work, but all the other stuff you see on other websites is nonsense. They don’t skate, and probably never touched a skateboard in their life.

They just list a bunch of crappy amazon skateboards that are not even worth looking at. This list is about you and your needs. Over the years and communication with my readers, I know what you want, or at least have some idea.

It’s a mix of custom setups, stable cruiser skateboards, and trick/cruiser skateboards. We tested these skateboards for stability, responsiveness, safety, and durability. All of them work for specific needs.

  1. Skateboard For Skate Parks: Custom quality board
  2. Versatile Cruiser Skateboard: Cruising and basic tricks
  3. Landyachtz ATV Classic: Master of none
  4. Landyachtz Tugboat: agressive cruiser
  5. Arbor Oso: Perfect adult beginner skateboard
  6. Globe Big Blazer XL: Beginner friendly
  7. Arbor Whiskey: Cheap adult friendly skateboard

1. Custom Park Skateboard

Bowl skateboard setup

You need to gather the parts yourself, but it is exactly what you need. Because you’re a bit older, tricks will be harder to learn and this setup will help you learn how to ride first, but also allows for basic tricks later on. I would pick this setup if you’re not new to skateboarding, but come back from a long break and want to learn tricks again.

This setup comprises an 8.25″ deck, quality trucks, wider wheels for balance, decent bearings and standard bushings. It will allow you to skate your local park, both indoor and outdoor, with some extra grippy wheels that won’t slip unexpectedly.

I recommend buying the following parts:

  • An 8.25″ deck from a decent brand you like
  • Thunder Hollow Lights II 148 or Indy 149 (forged hollow stage 11)
  • Bronson G2 bearings (includes spacers)
  • Spitfire Conical Full wheels 54mm at 97A or 99A
  • Jessup grip tape
  • A skate tool to assemble your board

This setup will also allow you to skate bowls, but loosen your trucks a bit to make the board more responsive and carvy. Both Independent and Thunder trucks are an excellent choice.

What We like About This Skateboard

The great thing about this skateboard setup is the versatility. It has all the parts you need to just ride over obstacles comfortably while offering enough stability beginners need. The 54mm wheel will give you the speed you need and accelerate quickly while keeping your momentum.

This means once you have some speed, you have enough time to adjust your stance and ride over the many obstacles in a skate park. It’s also a great setup for learning how to ride a skateboard without feeling too uncomfortable. It will be a challenge, but the parts work well together.

What We Don’t Like

Depending on if you pick 97A or 99A wheels, it will feel less comfortable on rougher roads. 97A will give you a more comfortable ride, but this setup is not for long distance riding. You could consider getting softer and bigger wheels, or check out my other setups or pre-built cruisers.

The trucks might feel a bit loose at first, make sure to tweak them to your liking. How much tighter or looser depends on your weight. Heavier skateboarders could even consider replacing the bushings with Bones Hardcore Hard bushings.

2. Cruiser Skateboard 8.5″ or 9.0″

custom cruiser trick skateboard setup

Let’s look at a skateboard that will make it a lot easier to learn how to ride. I recommend this setup because it has a wider deck for extra balance, big soft wheels for a smooth ride, and can even serve as a bowl skateboard once you progress.

As for the specific setup, the most important thing here are the wheels. Deck brands don’t matter but wider is better, so go for an 8.5″ or even a 9.0″.

Recommended parts & specifications 8.5″:

  • An 8.5″ with a mellow concave
  • Independent 159 forged hollow stage 11
  • Bronson G3 bearings (includes spacers)
  • Bones ATF 80A 60mm
  • 1 1/8″ hardware from Fireball or Pig
  • 1/8″ riser pads (to prevent wheel bite)
  • Jessup grip tape
  • A skate tool

Recommended part & specifications 9″:

  • An 9″ with a mellow concave
  • Independent 169 forged hollow stage 11 trucks
  • Bronson G3 bearings (includes spacers)
  • Bones ATF 80A 60mm
  • 1 1/8″ hardware from Fireball or Pig
  • 1/8″ riser pads (to prevent wheel bite)
  • Jessup grip tape, or Mob grip
  • A skate tool

What We like About This Skateboard

This skateboard offers a very smooth ride, ignores pebbles and cracks in the pavement, and works well on rough roads. You don’t really have to worry about small objects blocking your wheels all the sudden. It offers a very stable ride and gives you plenty of time to adjust your feet when you are slightly out of stance, or want to take a more aggressive stance when approaching unfamiliar terrain.

Another huge benefit is that you can ride bowls with this setup. The wheels are soft, so it requires you to pump harder, but you’ll have lots of grip. At some point, you can choose to cruise around town to your local bowl, swap the wheels with 99A classics, and drop in.

What We Don’t Like

Because the wheels are quite soft, they can feel bouncy when you want to practice tricks. Even though this setup isn’t designed for that, with some effort you can still do basic ollies and flips. The wider setup also makes this board heavier en less responsive for doing tricks.

3. Landyachtz ATV Classic

Landyachtz ATV skateboard

While there is no ideal skateboard for cruising and tricks, there is a middle ground. Some skateboard setups are better for cruising and other more suitable for tricks. Once you try to assemble a board that can do both, you have to compromise.

For this type of setup, you need a skateboard that offers a smooth ride, but doesn’t feel too bouncy. It will cause a board that can do a little of both, but it won’t be great at anything. Still, a skateboard like this is a lot of fun to ride if you know its limits.

This results in the Landyachtz ATV Classic, the master of none. A fun board but limited in its abilities. Just enough concave to take a bit of a more aggressive stance for tricks, en mellow enough for a smooth cruise. While I already did a full review of the Landyachtz ATV, I’ll give you the lowdown.

What We like About The Landyachtz ATV Classic

This board is buttery smooth and fast. You don’t have to push a lot to keep your momentum, and the wheels are superb. It’s better at cruising than tricks, but an experienced skater will manage.

It deals great with gritty asphalt, is easy to hop curbs, and great for those who want to learn how to ride a classical popsicle shape. I tested it on many types of roads; it performs surprisingly well:

It’s one of the few cruiser popsicles out there, unless you assemble one yourself, which is rather easy and cheaper. Here’s a suggestion:

  • 8.5 Quality maple deck from Thank You: $60 (including grip tape)
  • OJ Super Juice 60mm/78a or Bones Rough Riders 60mm/80a: $40
  • Zealous Classics or Bronson G2: $25 / $20
  • Paris Street trucks (149): $35
  • 1/8″ risers: $5
  • 1 1/8” Hardware: $3

What We Don’t Like

One thing I noticed is how heavy this setup is. It really requires you to pop hard to get it off the ground. Beginners will appreciate the smooth ride but will have a harder time to learn tricks. Once you get better and know how to ride with confidence, you want to learn some tricks.

This is where the Classic ATV falls short, it’s too sluggish and heavy to learn tricks. The wheels are very bouncy, which means when the board lands on the ground, it will bounce back up. It’s hard to make a stable landing this way and makes injury more likely.

4. Landyachtz Tugboat

landyachtz tugboat cruiser skateboard

This is the only board that I haven’t tested but I did test it’s brother which is slightly wider, the Tugboat Captain which is discontinued (check out the review).

The Tugboat is comparable to the Arbor Oso, but it’s more aggressive because of its steep concave. Just like the Oso, it features a huge tail, big soft wheels, but better bushings.

A beginner will have a bit of a harder time learning to ride this board because of the steep curvature of the deck. However, it’s doable because of the wide setup. It carves great and you can really lean into it at quite an angle before it throws you off.

Once you get better at riding, you can take up some challenges by plowing through gravel or patches of grass. The Tugboat can do it if you position your body correctly.

What We Like About The Tugboat

Even though at first it’s a bit of a challenge to ride for beginners, you will learn to appreciate its aggressive character. Those who want to cruise around town and want a super responsive cruiser will love this setup.

It’s pretty tough and can handle abuse and the bushings don’t require much tweaking. I also think this is a great board for someone who’s been out of the game for a while, but wants something fun to cruise.

What We Don’t Like

While we managed to kickflip this board, it isn’t exactly great for tricks. It’s good at one thing, and that’s cruising. There isn’t much else not to like, except the steep concave will feel uncomfortable with those who never stepped on a skateboard before.

5. Arbor Oso

Arbor Oso Foundation bottom view

The Arbor Oso is one of the best boards for those who want to learn to ride. The extremely wide deck (10″) is very forgiving and allows for mistakes. Occidental placing your feet in the wrong position won’t throw you off your board, and you can adjust your stance without losing balance.

I recently was contacted by an older new skateboarder that had a lot of difficulty riding a regular shaped skateboard. He was about to give up and got frustrated from falling and the injuries, so he asked me for advice. I gave him my old Oso with a few adjustments, which was a game changer.

He finally rides a board comfortably and doesn’t fall as much anymore. The Arbor Oso is, in my opinion, your best option to learn how to cruise around town without much risk.

What We Like About the Arbor Oso

This board not only looks great, it rides like a dream. The soft 78A/60mm wheels deal with rougher surfaces, ignore pebbles, and cracks. Even if you position your feet slightly wrong, it’s easy to correct your stance without falling.

The deck doesn’t have much concave, which is great for beginners or those who want a relaxed ride without having to constantly adjust your stance.

What We Don’t Like About the Arbor Oso

There is one problem with the Oso that should be fixed as soon as you receive this cruiser. The bushings are too hard and never really break in. You really need to replace the stock bushings immediately, which pretty is easy. Get some 94A Independent bushings. This makes a huge difference.

Those who want a more aggressive but similar wide setup should look at the Landyachtz ATV-X Ditch Life, or the Tugboat. Because of the very mellow concave, the Oso doesn’t offer much thrill when turning sharp corners or hopping curbs.

6. Globe Big Blazer XL

Globe Big Blazer side

Experienced riders will find the Globe Big Blazer is one of the most boring cruisers. It lacks concave, responds a little slower, and feels sluggish. The funny thing is that this makes a perfect beginner ‘skateboard’ for adults.

This is a great board to learn how to ride because of its predictability. It can do what most cruiser skateboard can, but just slight slower and more relaxed. This way you don’t get unexpected surprises.

It surprised me though. I crashed hard while trying to ride through the grass. It was a pilot error, and the soil was soggy. Check it out:

What We Like About The Globe Big Blazer XL

I think I gave most of it away already, but for a boring board, it’s fast and stable. The harder bushings help to not make any unexpected turns and assist to slowly steer in the desired direction.

It’s also relatively cheap compared to other boards listed here, and it’s got a bottle opener at the bottom! I love the design and overall looks, and recommend this to people who really struggle to learn how to ride properly. It turns okay; the wheels are soft and wide, and overall offers stability an absolute beginner needs.

What We Don’t Like

It’s a very safe board to ride because it is a boring, predictable cruiser. Those who want more thrill or already skated before should stay away. Once you learn how to ride this thing, you probably want something more challenging. That’s fine. You could sell it and use that money to get something more to your liking.

7. Arbor Whiskey Recruit

Arbor Recruit Skateboard

Arbor offers a complete setups with softer wheels and a wider board. Those who want to save some money should consider the Arbor Whiskey Recruit 8.25″ or the 8.5″ version.

This is a great beginner board for adults because of it’s slightly softer wheels and riding comfort. The wider setup makes it easier to balance, and the concave isn’t too challening for new riders. Comparable to the ATV Classic but this on leans more to the trick end of the spectrum, which doesn’t make it a great cruiser.

It’s a versatile board that both responsive, but not in a way that it makes unexpected movements, IF you replace the bushings. A solid choice for those who want to learn how to ride and learn to ollie as soon as possbile. The wheels areen’t too bouncy so you should be able to pull of a few basic tricks.

What We Like About The Recruit

It comes with Ace trucks which are very carvy, and great to learn how to ride and turn. The wheelbase is long enough for new skaters that don’t like surprises. It’s also relatively cheap, great for taller aspiring skateboarders, and deal well with gritty asphalt but still grippy enough on slick concrete.

What We Don’t Like

Even though the wheels are quite soft, they aren’t suitable for long distance riding. However, it works better for this purpose than most of the completes out there. The biggest con are the bushings, you really need to replace them right away because they are too soft for adults. Get some 92A or 94A independent standard bushings instead and tweak the trucks.

If you don’t you will hate this skateboard at first, proper bushings will make a huge difference!

Assembling All the Parts

skateboard parts

If you ever played with Lego, assembling a skateboard is a piece of cake. Make sure to pick the parts I suggested and watch a YouTube video. The most challenging part is applying the grip tape, but even that is less difficult than it looks.

Make sure to use a skate tool if you don’t have a wrench or screwdriver at home. A skate tool is great for tweaking your skateboard while riding though and I absolutely recommend them. You also need a utility knife to cuts the edges of the grip tape.

Recommended Skateboard Size For Adults

You’ll notice that all the boards I listed are wider than average except for the 8.25″ setup. I don’t recommend starting with an 8.0″ wide skateboard because they are harder to balance.

A narrow deck often has a shorter wheelbase, making it even more difficult to control for aspiring skateboarders. Wider decks offer a longer wheelbase, making turning a bit easier. You, as a beginner, need a skateboard that offers stability and safety because recovering from falling takes a longer time. Here’s more about skateboards and wheelbase if you’re interested.

As for length, that’s not something to worry about. The length increases when the width increases and the companies that make the boards know what works by now.

You want enough room to place your feet and be able to correct your stance if you make a mistake. An 8.0″ wide skateboard is way less forgiving than an 8.5″. If you short, like way below average, an 8.0 could work, still you’re better off with a wider setup.

Start with at least an 8.25 wide skateboard, but an 8.5 is even better. Before you get to do hard technical tricks constantly, years may have gone by.

I also don’t want you to feel discouraged. Buying a crappy skateboard or the wrong setup can lead to frustration and quitting. That would be a waste.

Advice From an Old Skater To Adult Skaters

When I was a young skater, I never bothered with protective gear. Knee pads, helmet? That just looks dorky. As I got older and time caught up, I noticed it took a longer time to recover.

As an adult skateboarder, you probably have more responsibilities, be it work or family (or both). The question to ask yourself is, how much do you want to protect yourself? While protective gear can feel constraining at first, you’ll get used to it and the gear gets more flexible and needs some time to break in..

Rule number 1 is a helmet, no matter how awkward it makes you feel. You’re a grownup and probably got responsibilities. The image below shows one of my favorite helmets I wholeheartedly recommend.

Triple 8 Gotham skateboard helmet

Second is knee pads. There are different knee pads available. Some are great for hard impacts, and others will take most of the stress from impacts away. You can always opt-in for elbow pads and wrist guards. Though wrist guards aren’t really needed, some cheap gloves should suffice.

quality knee pads skateboarding

If you’re still halfway in your twenties, you got nothing to worry about though some precautions are recommended. If you just hit 30 or are mid 30s, take note. It will take a longer time to recover from injuries and you aren’t as flexible anymore.

If you’re in your 40s, a single session can cause your feet to hurt and severe soreness depending on your overall physical condition. Heck, I skated bowl the other day and attempted some ollies. Now my left foot hurts from a couple of tries. It is the harsh reality of getting older.

Over 45? Better pad up to the max. This means a helmet, heavy duty knee pads, quality elbow pads, and some glove/wrist guards. Even padded shorts are something to consider. They protect both your hips and butt.

Skateboarding isn’t exactly forgiving on your body, especially when you try some basic tricks. For those who just want to ride, you’re probably safe but still need to go slow at first. You can even injure yourself from just pushing.

Check out my recommended helmets, also take a moment to check the knee pads I recommend. I tried many, and there are a few that really stand out from the rest. Get quality gear. It’s a onetime investment and your body will thank you after a hard slam. Elbow pads are also worth considering.

Old skateboarders in a skatepark

Lastly, if possible find other older skateboarders than can help you out. There are many groups of older beginner skaters you can learn from. It really will make a difference in how quickly you’ll learn.

Start Slow

This isn’t a guide on how to skateboard, just how to take care of yourself, because skateboarding can hurt. Basically (depending on your physical condition) you want to start slow. If skateboarding is new to you, don’t practice for hours on end.

Try for an hour the first time and wait for the next day to learn how you feel. Often minor inconveniences are manageable, but can become worse if you don’t take time to recover.

You’re probably using muscles you usually don’t, and it takes some time to adjust. Painful your feet are normal, and you probably feel sore next day. Take a day or so to recover and pick things up from where you left. Just remember, you are never too old to learn skateboarding.

Bring the Essentials For Your Safety

Essential items to bring when skateboarding

Please bring a phone, some time ago I go contacted by an older skater who took this advice and it saved his life. You need to have some way of communication, especially if you’re out there on your own. Be sure to let your friends or family know about your whereabouts.

Bring a skate tool to adjust your setting and stay hydrated. Skateboarding is pretty intense. Not kidding here, bring a banana for some quick carbs. There is more you can bring to fix common problems without having to prematurely end your session.

Advice to Heavier Older Skaters

Sometimes the years haven’t been kind to your body, and maybe you gained some weight over the years. While skateboarding is a great way to lose weight, it also is riskier when you’re heavy. Check out my guide for heavy skateboarders. It has all the details you need for a setup that is safe.

The most important thing is to replace the stock bushings with after market bushings. Often the bushings on trucks are too soft, which makes the board feel very loose and unstable. Either the bushings are too soft, or you are too heavy. Check out this table to see the bushings you need:

Weight poundsWeight KGFlexyMediumStiff
1758087a90a90a
2009190a90-93a93a
22510293a93-95a95a
25011395a95-97a97a
27512597a97a100a

I recommend Bones Hardcore Bushings, Shorty’s Doh-Doh’s Bushings, or Standard Independent bushings, but with the right durometer. There are many more brands out there that work, just get the right hardness and you should be good.

Conclusion

When you want to learn how to skateboard as an adult, it may feel awkward at first. Go to a skate park early in the morning to avoid peak hours. Alternatively, find a place with smooth asphalt or concrete with hardly anyone around, but make sure to bring a phone.

Start slow, don’t overdo it and realise that you’re not in your twenties anymore. It will take time to learn how to ride a skateboard, and you will fall, fail, get up, and do it all over again. At least wear a helmet and knee pads.

If you still don’t know what you need, check out these related articles. They will help you gain more insight in what works and what doesn’t. From there, you can pick the parts that fit your needs.

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