I guess by now you know not to buy a Walmart/Target/toy store skateboard as they are likely to break in a week. I picked a few skateboards that are much better than a toy skateboard and probably last for a couple of years at least.
Best quality skateboard on a budget
This is probably the best board for the money. Consider the CCS Logo and Natural Wood Skateboard (link to Amazon) it has a couple of widths you can pick from. If your kid is under the age of 10 select the 7.75″. It will help them find their balance a bit better.
If I didn’t have a setup already I would probably go for this skateboard. The components are pretty decent, the wheels a tad hard and the bearings not that great but in general a really decent setup. You can always change the wheels and bearings to something more suitable, but it really isn’t important at this stage.
From a kids perspective, the only downside is that is doesn’t have a cool print. I just remember that as a kid that I loved shiny colors and awesome graphics. This is something that shouldn’t be ignored and I still get that same feeling whenever I buy a new deck. You could consider adding some graphics yourself or slap on some stickers.
You also get a skate tool as a bonus, which is nice but it’s low quality. Just be careful when you try to turn the trucks tighter or unscrew the wheels from the truck’s axles. I still think this skateboard is better than the Team Positive skateboard.
Decent skateboard with a graphic
So here’s one of the cheaper ones I recommend it’s a maple pre-built skateboard which is pretty cheap and perfect for kids. You won’t get top-quality components, but it’s decent enough. The Positive Team (link to Amazon) skateboard is one of the cheaper starter skateboards and it’s suitable for kids.
It’s actually a Mini logo skateboard but with a different brand name slapped on it. The wheels are 99a, they ride pretty smooth and don’t make a lot of noise. The bearings aren’t the best but they seem to hold out for some time. The maximum width of this skateboard is 8.0″, which it’s fine for any age. It comes with free shipping!
The best one that will last for years
Go for the Santa Cruz Skateboard (Amazon link) if you’re looking for a quality skateboard that will last for years. This is a great skateboard with quality components. The OJ wheels are popular amongst skateboarders. They aren’t too hard or too soft, meaning your kid will be able to ride in skate parks but also on rougher surfaces like asphalt. This skateboard is also more likely to roll over cracks without blocking the wheels. It’s a mid-sized skateboard which is perfect for kids up to 11 years old.
The deck is 7.0″ wide and 29.0″ tall. The trucks are sturdy and the deck is made of quality Canadian maple wood. It’s not the most expensive skateboard out there, but this skateboard has everything a kid needs to start. Quality built components and great graphics, this skateboard will last for many years. Prints may vary but if you get a Santa Cruz, you can’t go wrong. Santa Cruz is the oldest professional skateboard company.
What I like about this skateboard
It comes with top quality components except for the bearings. If the wheels don’t spin well make sure the axle nuts aren’t too tight. I had one faulty bearing that I fixed adding some bones speed cream but other than that this is a perfect board. You can also use some oil if you don’t have silicone lube.
I like the narrow width, it took some time for my kid to get used to it but he’s actually skating better now. Because of its narrow profile, he doesn’t hit the side of the board anymore when he’s pushing. The balance was a bit more difficult at first but after 30 minutes he got used to it.
He also discovered steering which is more difficult on wider decks. The wheels run over rough surfaces without any problems. Here’s a couple of pictures to get an idea about the size, my son is 6 years old, average height.
How to maintain a skateboard
A skateboard doesn’t require a lot of maintenance but you (and your kid) need to take care of it to prolong its lifespan. Store it in a dry place not too cold. don’t leave it outside as moist and rain will damage the bearings. The grip tape will peel off an lose its grip and the deck could get waterlogged causing delamination. Preferably someplace where you won’t step on it by accident. Lastly, don’t leave it in the trunk of your car. As for maintaining the board, you can clean the bearings 2-3 times a year.
Don’t forget about protective gear
This is rather important and overlooked, you don’t just buy a skateboard. I’d rather buy a cheap toy skateboard and some protective gear instead of only a skateboard. I see many kids on skateboard and scooters doing crazy things and their parents are nowhere in sight. It amazes me how they neglect or are just oblivious about what these kids do. They send their kids off with their scooters and skateboards which is convenient, but every time I visit the local skatepark I see kids get hurt.
Lots of these kids just lack fear, they pull their craziest stunts and only realize they can get hurt before it’s too late. I always ask them “why aren’t you wearing any protection”? Usually, they just haven’t thought about it. So get your kid a helmet and a combo pack of protective gear.
Some last tips
Once your child starts to ride a skateboard, consider some proper shoes. A pair of basic sneakers are fine, just don’t let them wear shoes that are too bulky. You need to feel the skateboard to maintain balance. I’ve written a post about how to teach your kid to skateboard, there might be some useful tips in there.