Skateboard Configurator – Build Your Ideal Tailored Setup


skateboard configurator beta

This skateboard configurator is a guideline and not hard science. Make sure to read the rest of the article to make an informed decision. In order to get the right setup, you need to think about where and what you want to skate. A cruiser setup requires different parts than a street setup, but it’s not that complicated.

How to use the skateboard configurator:

Depending on your style preference, size preference, and environment you skate most you get different results. You can swap between styles, width, trucks & wheels to see what works best for you.

Pricing really depends on what and where you buy your stuff, this configurator only gives you a couple of suggestions. Any selection you make is supported by a detailed explanation, this way you can make an informed decision. Note it’s still a work in progress.

  1. Select your preferred style
  2. Select your preferred deck width
  3. Select your preferred trucks
  4. Select the wheels that go well with your choices
  5. Send some feedback if you want to help me to improve the tool. (The form will reset!)
  6. Mail your configuration to your inbox
Bearings, spacers, griptape, and hardware aren’t part of the configurator (yet). Standard Bones Reds are fine, get Bronson Raws if you want to cruise. Adding images later!

Configure Your Skateboard Setup

Alright, carry on then.

While you don't have to worry about being too heavy, you will need to replace the stock truck bushings. 

  • 91A hardness if you want to cruise or still want some flexible trucks
  • 93A/94A for medium stiff bushings
  • 97A+ for stiff bushings

Cruising

Cruising is a great way to learn how to ride without having to worry about technical tricks. You can either pick a complete cruiser or assemble one yourself.

  • Pick either Venture, Ace, Independent trucks or Paris Trucks, these are very carvy trucks.
  • Not sure what to pick? Select complete cruisers.

I Have No Idea

Well than it's time to read through this post. You could also consider to buy a complete skateboard though I recommend picking the parts yourself.

Bowl/Pool Setup

A bowl or pool setup requires again a wider deck, around 8.5" and big hard wheels (56mm or 58mm). You want turny trucks preferably independent and tweak them so they are able to carve.

Vert Setup

Vert decks require lots of stability so you better pick at least an 8.5 deck, 8.75 isn't even unheard of. You want fast bearings and large hard 58mm wheels.

Mini Ramp Setup

Mini ramp setups require quality bearings and bigger wheels. I recommend picking a board between 8.25" and 8.5". Venture and Independent are a great choice because of their turny and stable nature.

Cruising & Tricks Setup

This is a hard one, now you can easily add some bigger softer wheels to a regular setup but if you go over 59mm you might want to add riser pads to prevent wheel bite. The softer the wheels you pick the bouncier they behave.

Skate Park Setup

So you want to hit the skate parks? you can't go wrong with an 8.0" wide deck. It allows for technical stuff and enough stability for transition type objects such as mini ramps, fun boxes, rails, etc

Transition Skateboarding Setup

Transition skateboarding, also called tranny skating, is where you make use of (curved) object in parks but also like to do a bit of technical stuff. Similar to a skate park setup but a bit of a wider board makes it easier to keep your balance.

Street Skating Setup

Street skating is rather technical and a smaller board will make it easier to do tricks like kick flips and heel flips. Since you probably looking to grind curbs or rails you'll want trucks that can deal with impacts.

Indys have more meat to grind through and are very durable. Thunder, Venture and Grind King also offer excellent street trucks. Go with low trucks if available.

8.5" Deck

8.5" is a good size for a custom cruiser. Enough stability and still pretty responsive when you hop on and off curbs. 

8.75" Deck

8.75" offers even more stability but will be less responsive. Not really an issue though, you want to cruise and experience a comfy ride, not ollie 7-stairs.

9.0" Plus Deck

This will offer a very stable ride and you might want to look at those old school decks like Santa Cruz offers.

Complete Cruiser Suggestions

I own a lot of cruisers and here are the ones I can recommend:

  • Arbor Pilsner: small, fast, and nimble board, great cruiser wheels and high-quality trucks. This is my personal favorite.
  • Arbor Oso Foundation/Artist: Very wide stable board but harder to carve. Might want to replace the stock bushings for softer ones. The Foundation's wheels are harder the deck looks better. The Artis has the same wheels as the Pilsner (very smooth ride).
  • Globe Big Blazer: Perfect beginner board, it's longer than a regular skateboard, nice Tensor trucks and great cruiser wheels.
  • Landyachtz Dinghy: Another great nimble cruiser slightly cheaper than the Arbor Pilsner.

I tested and reviewed all of them so you can make an informed decision.

8.0 Deck

8.0" is about the sweet spot and pretty standard these days. Great for  flip tricks and provides enough balance to grind ledges an rails. You also won't have any trouble skating ramps.

8.25 Deck

8.25" is a great choice if you like flip tricks but also want a bit more balance when shredding mini ramps and bowls.

8.5" Deck

8.5" is rather wide for a dedicated park deck but if you're skilled enough you won't have much trouble performing flips. It comes down to personal preference but 8.5" is great when you also like to ride mini ramps and bowl/pools

8.0" Deck

8.0" is ok for transition skateboarding if you also like to skate other object in your local park or street. If you really only want to ride bowls, mini ramps, or vert go with a wider setup.

8.25" Deck

8.25" provides more balance when skating tranny and still allows for the occasional flip trick.

8.5" Deck

8.5" and up is my preferred choice for transition skateboarding. I went from an 8.0 to an 8.5 and it really makes a huge difference. Want to dedicate yourself to bowls/pools, mini ramps and perhaps vert? Go with an 8.5" wide deck.

Make sure to pick a deck with a lenght between 31.5" to 32.25". Want more pop, get a longer wheelbase but don't pick any over 14.5".

7.75" Deck

a 7.75" is more for experienced riders who love to do lots of technical tricks. Easier to flip and pop and very responsive, less balance overall. Make sure that the deck you pick doesn't have a mellow concave.

8.0" Deck

8.0" is pretty much the standard nowadays. Easy to flip and pop and a bit more balance compared to smaller sized boards. You also have more options to choose from when it comes to trucks.

8.25" Deck

8.25" give you a bit more stability and is great for beginners, older skaters and people who like to ride mini ramps and pools once every while.

8.5" Deck

An 8.5" deck is usually not the first choice of street skaters, but it all depends on your preference. I know street skaters who love to ride 8.5" decks but in general a smaller deck is advised. This doesn't mean an 8.5" is a bad choice, not at all.

Beginners probably have more difficulty learning tricks but on the other hand, it will help you to learn to ride properly. Though one.

If you only want to skate mini ramp I strongly advise you to pick a wider deck. If you also like to hit the park now and then an 8.0" wide deck is a good choice. You want balance and an 8.0" provides less compared to an 8.25" or an 8.5" deck.

8.0" Deck

An 8.0 is a fine but it's just a bit less stable when skating mini ramps. If you also like to skate street and parks and do a lot of flip tricks, you could consider and 8.0.

8.25" Deck

An 8.25 is a good choice if you came from a smaller board like 7.75 and think riding an 8.5" is just too much. Your board will be more responsive and still fine to hit the park now and then. Just make sure the pick great wheels and bearings.

8.5" Deck

8.5" is in my opinion the perfect width for a mini ramp setup. It will take some time to get used to if you come from an 7.75 or 8.0. Once you get the hang of it you don't want to go back. A very stable size and it makes skating mini ramps much more fun.

8.5" Deck

8.5" is the minimum width to pick if you decide to go into full vert mode. You need stabilty and a wider deck will help you to stay on your board.

8.75" Deck

8.75" provides even more stability and is a size many vert skaters ride.

9.0" Deck

9.0" or above isn't for anyone but it sure provides a stable ride. Less suitable for the rest of the park, but dedicated vert skaters probably won't mind.

You can consider to get a board up to 33" in length.

8.25" Deck 

8.25" is a good choice if you want a nimble, more responsive deck that still performs well outside of your local bowl. If you want a deck just for riding bowls, get a wider size.

8.5" Deck 

8.5" is a great choice for riding bowls. Lots of stability and lots of choices when you also decide to pick a pair of trucks.

8.75" Deck 

8.75" is even more stable but you'll have less truck brands to pick from. Don't worry though, the top brands got you covered.

9.0" Deck 

9.0" is about as stable as it gets, great for carving your local bowl but pretty bulky. A lot harder to do flips and stuff but who needs flips when you can carve a bowl like a king.

8.25 Deck

8.25" will give you a more responsive board suitable for tricks but less cruising experience. Still this size works really well.

8.5 Deck

At 8.5" you still can nail technical tricks but flipping might become more difficult for the less experienced skateboarder.

8.75 Deck

8.75" no issues hopping curbs or doing a few slappies, kickflips are harder though.

All of the trucks here match a 7.75 deck.

All of the trucks here match  8.0" wide decks.

All of the trucks here match  8.25" wide decks.

All of the trucks here match  8.5" wide decks.

All of the trucks here match a 8.75 deck.

All of the trucks here match a 8.75 deck.

Independent Trucks

Independent trucks are the most durable skateboard trucks you can buy. They have a lot of metal to grind through but are also slightly heavier compared to the competition. This does not matter at all as it's your technique that makes you pop higher.

Indys are great for transition skating, mini ramps, bowls, verts because of their curvy nature. I also know many street skater who prefer independent trucks. The metal somehow feels a bit softer compared to other trucks and they are great for grinding. It's a great investment and should be considered as one of the top picks.

  • Great for transition and street
  • Must have for mini ramp, bowl/pool
  • Very turny trucks
  • Most durable trucks

Thunder trucks

Thunder trucks are street skaters favorite trucks. Very responsive, lightweight, and durable. I think I only grinded through one pair in my life, but I'm more of a transition skater. Solid choice for gnarly technical stuff, you won't regret buying them.

  • Great choice choice for flip tricks
  • Very versatile, if you like parks, street and tranny just go for them

Krux

Krux is a good choice for street skating, lighter than indys. Very slight camber to the hanger and shaved off baseplates to make them lighter. Very recognizable by the hole which exposes the kingpin an bushings. Not recommended for transition, mini ramps, bowls, vert or anyone that likes to ride loose trucks.

  • Decent manual feeling
  • Adequate for flip tricks
  • Very stiff, they don't turn really well

Ace trucks

Ace trucks are very carvy trucks and could be considered for bowl skating or cruising. The stock bushings are fine but it's hard to replace them, only Krux bushings seem compatible.

Less suitable for technical grinds as they are harder to lock-in. Kingpin clearance is minimal and they tend to wobble at greater speeds. Not for skaters who like to ride their trucks tights.

  • No need to break in
  • Good choice for a cruiser

Venture Trucks

Venture are about the most stable trucks you can get. The lows are great for street skating and the highs perform really well in bowl, pool, mini ramp, and vert.

Even though they are less turny compared to Indys, the offer a lot of balance which means they are also great for beginners.

The bushings take about 20 to 30 minutes to break in, overall these are very snappy trucks and provide great pop givin that you ride a medium kicktail deck.

pros:

  • Great lock-in on transition
  • Very decent grinding on flat bars and rounded ledges
  • Perform well on flip tricks
  • The metal is very hard resulting in a slower grind on concrete

 

Tensor Trucks

Tensor is Rodney Mullen's company. The magnesium tend to break faster so if you want a more sturdy truck, avoid those. The benefit is that it doesn't hurt as much when they hit your shins.

The geometry of the baseplates makes grinding and slides easier. Tensors are rather low which can be a problem with bigger wheels but it also makes them very st.able trucks. Tensors wear faster and might not be great if your budget is tight.

  • Not great at turning because they're very low
  • Very lightweight
  • Great for grinding and technical tricks
  •  

Grind King

GrindKing trucks are very well designed. The inverted kingpin provides a lot of clearance and the metal is of great quality. The bushings (with built in washers) aren't for everyone so you might want to replace them if you like loose trucks.

  • Long stable grinds, great for smiths and feebles because of the inverted kingpin
  • Great manual balance
  • Great pop feel
  • Not very turny (like indys)
  • Great for medium to steep concave decks, those will provide the most pop.
  • Can be noisy, put some wax in the pivot cups to solve this.

Wheel size should be between 52mm and 54mm and 95a to 101a on the durometer scale. Harder wheels make it easier to land tricks as they won't bounce as much as softer wheels. Some brands like Bones off wheels on the more accurate durometer B-scale. 80B would translate to 100A. 

  • Bones offer the Street Tech Formula V1 to V5. Check out these wheels to see what the difference is. Some provide better lock-in, others more stability.
  • Spitfire Classics are very popular street wheels, they also wheels under 50mm.

Bones STF

Bones offer variety of wheels and depending on the surface you skate you have a few options:

  • Go with Bones STF between 52mm and 54mm. 99A is a safe choice, go with harder 103a wheels if you're more experienced.
  • Go for Bones ATF is you are in doubt about what you want to skate. All terrain Formula is a compromise but perform well in many circumstances. They are also a great choice if the terrain you ride is rather rough. Easier to keep your balance on rough roads. ATF's are 80A and come in many sized. 52mm to 54mm is fine for street.

Bones ATF

Bones offer variety of wheels and depending on the surface you skate you have a few options:

  •  

Spitfire

Spitfire wheels are still the number one choice for many street skaters. They are about the best wheels you can get and people swear by their classic wheels.

  • Spitfire Classics are great all around street wheels, you want them small and 52mm is a good choice.
  • Larger wheels like 54mm make it easier to skate transition and parks

Mini Logo

If you're on a budget you should consider mini logo. Not the best wheels but fine for beginners. Anything between 52mm and 54mm and 95Ato 100A will be fine. Go with softer wheels if you're a beginner.

Skate park wheels require a size should between 52mm-54mm and 99a to 104a on the durometer scale.

Bones SPF

Bones SkatePark Formula are about the best wheels you can get for parks.

  • Go with 54mm Bones SPF P5 or P6, this is a popular size that allows for longer grinds and more stability.
  • Anything over 54mm is personal preference. 

Spitfire

Spitfire wheels are still the number one choice for many skaters. They are about the best wheels you can get and people swear by their classic wheels.

  • Spitfire Fomula Four are great park wheels, you want them around  54mm.
  • Larger wheels like 54mm make it easier to skate transition and parks

Mini Logo

If you're on a budget you should consider mini logo. Not the best wheels but fine for beginners. Anything between 52mm and 54mm and 95Ato 100A will be fine. Go with softer wheels if you're a beginner.

Wheel size should be between 58mm and 60mm and about the hardest possible. 84B or 82D.  You need speed and grip, Bones tend to be a bit more grippy.

Bones

Bones Skate Park Formula wheels are about the best you can get for vert skating. Go for the Bones SPF p5, 58mm/84B. Super hard wheels, very grippy, lots of speed.

  • 58mm is a good size
  • Get 60mm if you want to go faster

Spitfire

Spitfire Formula Four Classic 99D/58mm are a great option for vert skating.  These wheels are super hard and big enough to give you the speed you need. They save you from pumping a lot and helps you to maintain stability.

  • 58mm is a good size
  • Get 60mm if you want to go faster

Wheel size should be between 54mm and 58mm and 99a to 104a/84B/82D on the durometer scale. Ideally you want 56mm wheels at 84B/104A. You can skate smaller wheels but it's just less efficient.

Bones

Bones Skate Park Formula wheels are about the best you can get for vert skating. Go for the Bones SPF p5, 58mm/84B. Super hard wheels, very grippy, lots of speed.

  • 58mm is a good size
  • Get 60mm if you want to go faster

Spitfire

Spitfire Formula Four Classic 99D/58mm are a great option for vert skating.  These wheels are super hard and big enough to give you the speed you need. They save you from pumping a lot and helps you to maintain stability.

  • 58mm is a good size
  • Get 60mm if you want to go faster

Wheel size should be between 54mm and 58mm and 99a to 104a/84B/82D on the durometer scale. Ideally you want 56mm wheels at 84B/104A. You can skate smaller wheels but it's just less efficient.

Bones

Bones Skate Park Formula wheels are about the best you can get for vert skating. Go for the Bones SPF p5, 58mm/84B. Super hard wheels, very grippy, lots of speed.

  • 58mm is a good size
  • Get 60mm if you want to go faster

Spitfire

Spitfire Formula Four Classic 99D/58mm are a great option for vert skating.  These wheels are super hard and big enough to give you the speed you need. They save you from pumping a lot and helps you to maintain stability.

  • 58mm is a good size
  • Get 60mm if you want to go faster

Cruiser wheels should be big and soft and 60mm+ anything around 78A is very comfortable to ride. Add riser pads to prevent wheel bite!

OJ Super juice

Still working on the description, OJ's are excellent cruiser wheels though.

 

Orangatang Fat Free

Working on a description, these are my favorite cruiser wheels!

 

Cloud Ride

Woeking on a description, these are wheels are great for cruising but you need some clearance because they are big.

 

Powell Peralta Snakes

Great for sliding and speed, more info soon.

 

If you just want o hop a few curbs bit still want a comfy ride you should consider wheels between 55mm and 60mm. The Durometer depends on how comfortable you want your ride to be. Anything under 80A will be very smooth but bouncy for tricks.

Ricta Clouds

Ricta offers filmer wheels that are great for cruising and tricks. They aren't suitable for hardcore technical tricks but just a few ollies and flips are certainly possible.

  • Go for ricta 56mm 

Powell Peralta Bombers

These wheels are 60mm and 85A which is great for cruising and tricks. Sure you have to push a little harder compared to super soft wheels but they pull it off.

Some might think they are a bit too big for tricks but they are fine for  ollies, shuvits and a bit of grinding. Get riser pads!

 

Wheel size should be between 52mm and 56mm and between 99A- 104A on the durometer scale. Harder wheels make it easier to land tricks as they won't bounce as much as softer wheels. Some brands like Bones off wheels on the more accurate durometer B-scale. 80B would translate to 100A. 

Step 1. Picking the Right Style

3 types of skateboard and styles

The skateboard builders’ first question is what style you prefer. If you have no idea, select that option. It’s usually a good idea to start with a basic setup like an 8.0″ wide deck, standard trucks (if you’re on a budget, and small wheels between 95a and 99a.

1.1 Street Skating

Street skating is often quite technical so you need a deck around 8.0″ with a mellow to steep concave. A steeper concave will give you more trick control but less stability. Often overlooked but rather important is the wheelbase.

A longer wheelbase will improve stability, and increases the turning radius but you get less pop which is probably most beneficial to beginners. You could also say that taller skaters would benefit more from a longer wheelbase because you can put a bit more distance between your feet.

More experienced skaters that want more pop need a shorter wheelbase. This is less stable, but makes your board turn faster (smaller radius) and more responsive. Just remember than anything between 14.125 and 14.375 is a good choice for technical skating.

You can pick a deck between 7.75″ wide for the smaller skater and max 8.25 if you’re a big guy. A narrow board will be easier to flip compared to a wider board but this also depends on your skill level and personal experience.

You’ll want some quality trucks, many street skaters prefer Thunder Trucks but you got a lot of options here. Get small hard wheels depending on the roughness of the surface. Go with softer wheels if you ride on rough asphalt or are a beginner. It’s easier to control your board on softer wheels.

Recommended setup 8.0″:

  • 8.0″ deck
  • Thunder 147 / Independent 139 / Venture – 5.2 / Grind King 5.5
  • Bones Street Tech Formula / Spitfire Classics or Formula 4
  • Bones Reds bearings
  • Bones hardcore bushings

Recommended setup 8.25″:

  • 8.25″ deck from a reputable brand
  • Venture – 5.2 / Thunder 147 / Ace 44 Classic or 03 Low / Indy Stage 11 144
  • Bones SPF5 84B between 52 and 54mm or Spitfire F4 99D between 52 and 54mm
  • Bones Reds bearings
  • Bones hardcore bushings
  • Cheaper wheels from a brand such as mini logo is an option but not recommended

1.2 Cruising

best mini cruiser skateboards

If you just want to ride around your local town, campus or urban areas a cruiser is a great choice. Cruisers are great for shorter commutes, very portable and agile. If you want to ride long distances you better pick a longboard. I can’t advise you on longboards because that’s not what this website is about.

You have two options here, either go for a complete or assemble your own custom cruiser.

There are some really great cruisers out there that offer a very comfortable ride, my personal favorite is the Arbor Pilsner, second is the Landyachtz Dinghy. These boards do have a bit of a learning curve and are rather small. A more stable cruiser that’s great for beginners is the Globe Big Blazer.

It really isn’t that hard to build your own cruiser. The most important here is the wheels and bearings. You need soft big wheels, around 60mm and some quality bearings like Bronson Raws.

If you want a stable ride I suggest going with an 8.5″ deck and Independent or Venture trucks. You also need to add some riser pads to prevent the wheels from coming into contact with your deck when you make sharp turns.

I tested a number of wheels that are great for cruising, you can check them out here.

1.3 Cruising and Tricks

If just cruising isn’t enough and you want to learn how to ollie, hop curbs and do a few slappies you need sort of a hybrid cruising/trick setup. This means smaller wheels but a bit harder compared to OJ Super Juice wheels for example.

You have many options when it comes to wheels but be sure to check out OJ wheels or Ricta Clouds. Often these wheels are filmer wheels and not suitable for gnarly stuff but the right ones will get you a long way.

A skateboard for cruising and tricks is a compromise, it won’t excel at any discipline but you can still do tricks and have a comfortable ride. Select this option in the configurator and see what your options are.

Recommended setup:

  • 8.5″ deck
  • Venture – 5.2 /  Indy Stage 11 – 149
  • OJ – Super Juice 60MM 78A / Orangatang – Fat Free 65mm 77A
  • Bronson Raw Bearings (get 4 spacers separately)
  • Riser pads

1.4 Skate Park Setup

This a tough one because it really depends on what you want to do. The safest choice here is to get an 8.0 deck or an 8.25 when you’re a large person. Because skateparks often have hard and smooth surfaces like wood, concrete, and asphalt you need to pick very hard wheels.

On the durometer scale, you should look for wheels between 99A and 104A, or the more accurate B-scale. Bones offers 84B wheels which are perfect for parks. Spitfire Classics or Formula Four wheels are also a great option.

These two brands offer the best wheels on the market. If you don’t have the cash available check for Mini Logo wheels, you can always upgrade once you got the funds available.

Anything between 52mm and 54mm will be great for skate parks. Smaller means you have to push harder and pump harder in ramps and bowls but they do make your board more responsive. Here are two recommended setups, there are more suggestions in the configurator.

Recommended setup 8.0″:

  • 8.0″ deck
  • Thunder 147 / Ace 33 Classic / Venture – 5.2
  • Bones SPF5 84B between 52 and 54mm or Spitfire F4 99D between 52 and 54mm
  • Bones Reds bearings
  • Bones hardcore bushings
  • I don’t recommend this but you can save money and get mini logo wheels

Recommended setup 8.25″:

  • 8.25″ deck from a reputable brand
  • Venture – 5.2 / Thunder 147 / Ace 44 Classic or 03 Low
  • Bones SPF5 84B between 52 and 54mm or Spitfire F4 99D between 52 and 54mm
  • Bones Reds bearings
  • Bones hardcore bushings
  • Cheaper wheels from a brand such as mini logo is an option but not recommended

1.5 Bowl And Pool Skating

skateboard in a skatepark

This discipline requires a wider board and trucks that offer lots of stability. I think an 8.5″ wide deck hits the sweet spot and trucks like Venture, Independent, and Ace are your best options.

Make sure you don’t ride your trucks too tight, you need to be able to carve. Either get softer bushings (depending on your weight) or loosen the kingpin nut a little until it feels right.

As for wheels, you need bigger and harder wheels. Go for wheels around 56mm and 58mm max, you want ridiculous hard wheels for extra speeds. Check Bones Skate Park Formula 5 wheels, they are super hard (84b) don’t flat spot and really fast. Some better bearings than standard Bones Reds are advised but it’s not required.

Faster bearings just means less pushing but quality wheels are more important. It really depends on your budget, if you’re used to smaller wheels with lesser bearings, it’s going to be a huge change. Takes some time to adjust but in the end, you never want to go back.

Recommended setup 8.5″:

  • 8.5″ deck from a reputable brand
  • Independent Stage 11 – 149 / Venture trucks – 5.8
  • Bones SPF5 84B – 56mm or 58mm
  • Spitfire F4 99D – 56mm or 58mm
  • Bronson Raw bearings / Bones Super Reds

1.6 Transition Skating

Transition skating is when you want to hit bowls, verts, mini ramps, quarter pipes, basically everything that’s curved. You can either go with a wider setup that offers more balance or a smaller board for the technical stuff. Size depends on preference so I’ll let you decide, an 8.25″ would be a good choice though.

Again you want hard wheels around 56mm or 54mm is you also like to hit the rest of the park occasionally. As for trucks, can’t go wrong with Independent Trucks, Venture Trucks, or Thunder trucks.

Recommended setup 8.0″:

  • 8.0″ deck from a reputable brand
  • Indy Stage 11 – 139 / Venture – 5.2 / Thunder 147 / Ace 33 Classic
  • Bones SPF5 84B between 54 and 56mm
  • Spitfire F4 99D between 54 and 56mm
  • Bones Reds or Bronson Raw bearings

Recommended setup 8.25″:

  • 8.25″ deck from a reputable brand
  • Indy Stage 11 – 144  / Venture – 5.2 / Thunder 147 / Ace 44 Classic
  • Bones SPF5 84B between 54 and 56mm
  • Bones Reds or Bronson Raw bearings

1.7 Mini Ramp

Shredding mini ramps is a ton of fun with the right setups. A dedicated mini ramp setup requires a board of at least 8.25″ wide, or even better 8.5″. You won’t have issues riding a mini ramp on a 7.75″ or 8.9″ but bigger makes the ride more stable and much more enjoyable.

You’ll want trucks that are turny like Independent Stage 11 trucks, Ace trucks, or Venture trucks. Any truck will do but these will get you the most out of mini ramp skateboarding.

Go with hard wheels around 56mm, the hardest you can get so 100A+, 84B, or 99D on the durometer scale. Recommended top wheels are Spitfire Formula Four (99D) and Bones Skate Park Formula 5 (82B).

Recommended setup 8.25″:

  • 8.25″ deck from a reputable brand
  • Independent Stage 11 – 144
  • Venture trucks – 5.6
  • Bones SPF5 84B/56mm
  • Spitfire F4 99D/56mm

Recommended setup 8.5″:

  • 8.5″ deck from a reputable brand
  • Independent Stage 11 – 149
  • Venture trucks – 5.8
  • Bones SPF5 84B/56mm
  • Spitfire F4 99D/56mm

1.8 Vert

I think most vert skaters already know what they need but it can’t hurt to dive a bit into this topic. Balance and stability is the most important factor as you will be going fast and there is no room for error. Most Vert skaters ride 8.5″+ decks, large wheels with grippy contact patches and stable, tight trucks. Depending on your

Recommended setup 8.5″:

  • 8.5″ deck from a reputable brand
  • Independent Stage 11 – 149 or Venture trucks – 5.8
  • Bones SPF5 84B/58mm or even bigger

2. Picking the Right Deck Size

Setup for heavy skateboarders

There are a lot of misconceptions about deck size. Often websites tell you to pick a deck according to your shoe size but this is just nonsense. As you probably know by now, it’s about personal preference. Let’s have a look at common sizes and less common sizes sometimes truck axles don’t match deck sizes perfectly but this isn’t always necessary.

The only time you should really get a deck that fits your truck is when you grind rails. As long as the difference isn’t too big, an 8.125″ deck, for example, is compatible with for Independent Stage 11 144 trucks, Thunder 147, Ace 33 Classic, or Venture – 5.2.

2.1 Deck size 7.75″

A 7.75 deck is quite small and only a specific type of skater loves to rides these narrow boards. While this size was pretty common in the late 90s and 2000s, nowadays it’s less popular.

These decks are very responsive but don’t offer much stability. Great for the technical skater but even they often prefer a wider deck. Beginners should consider a wider deck, though kids between 11 and 13 won’t have any problems riding a narrow deck.

2.2 Deck Size 8.0″

These days 8.0″ is the standard, it’s a safe choice for almost every discipline. Depending on the concave (steep or mellow) it offers enough stability to get you going. If you are in doubt about size or have no idea, an 8.0″ deck is a perfect choice. You can either go up or down from there once you get the hang of it.

2.3 Deck Size 8.125″

Some people feel like an 8.0 is too small and a 8.25″ is just too wide. This is only after you’ve skated for years and you learned which board fits your personal preference. There aren’t any trucks (yet) for this size so as long as you go with trucks that it an 8.0″ you are fine.

2.4 Deck Size 8.25″

8.25″ is great for transition, park, and mini ramp skating. It provides a bit more balance and many brands offer trucks that fit this size perfectly.

2.5 Deck Size 8.375″

Often used for transition skating and even cruising. This size is for people who can’t get used to an 8.5″ wide deck but want something wider than 8.25″. You also see sizes like 8.41″ or 8.39″, make sure you get trucks that are made for 8.5″ decks.

2.6 Deck Size 8.5″

A deck of 8.5″ is perfect for vert, bowl, pool, mini ramp, and transition skateboarding. Of course there are many street skaters that also sized up over the years and love these boards. It’s also a great size for older beginners or heavy riders because of the stability they offer.

2.8 Deck Size 8.75″+

8.75″ and over is where it gets too wide for street skating. Some love to ride these in bowls because of the flowy feeling and stability and others use them for a custom cruiser setup.

If you just want to ride and eventually flow through parks and bowls, this could be an option. Less choice in trucks and you might have to look at longboard brands like Paris trucks.

3. Choosing the Right Trucks

Thunder trucks

I already wrote a huge guide about skateboard trucks so you might want to dive in that one first, this will be a shorter version about picking the right skateboard trucks.

Trucks are the soul of a skateboard and I guess they make up for about 80% how your board feels and behaves. There are many truck brands but only a few really stand out, if there’s one thing you should invest in, it’s trucks.

Trucks come in high, mid an lows though nowadays it’s mainly high or low. Low is often better for technical street skating but most skaters won’t really notice a lot of difference.

Another fun fact is that there’s no standard. Some trucks that are described as highs are the same height as other brands mids. It’s confusing, but I wouldn’t really worry about it.

Another thing is weight, some trucks are heavier (Indys) than others (Tensor) but a couple of grams really won’t make you ollie any higher. Don’t buy into that, it’s nonsense.

3.1 Street Trucks

For street skating, you want trucks that can deal with abuse. Grinding curbs will take its toll and the cheaper brands won’t hold out for long. Recommended brands are Thunder Trucks, Venture trucks, Grind King trucks, and even Independent trucks. Most of the time street skaters prefer Thunder trucks.

3.2 Transition Trucks

You need trucks that are carvy like Ace or Independent trucks. Many also prefer Venture or Thunder trucks.

3.3 Mini Ramp & Bowl/Pool Trucks

Independent and Venture are probably the best brands to pick here. Indys are great for this type of discipline but so are Venture trucks because they offer a lot of stability.

Indys are more durable than Ventures but both can last a lifetime if you skate minis or bowls all the time. The bushings might need replacement once every while. You also want to ride your trucks rather loose if you ride bowls in order to improve turning.

3.4 Vert Trucks

Again it’s Independent and Venture, the difference here is that you need to ride your trucks tight to keep your balance. Go for wide trucks and consider replacing the stock bushings. Vert skaters probably already know what they need because it isn’t exactly for beginners.

3.5 Trucks for Cruising

I think any truck will do as long as they snap back into position quickly after making a turn and are a bit wider. Bushings are quite important here so consider replacing the stock bushings for something that matches your weight. Don’t forget to add riser pads if you get big soft wheels (60mm+).

3.6 Trucks for Cruising & Tricks

Again, any brand will do but you want something more reliable when performing tricks. Go for the top brands mentioned and don’t forget to check out Paris trucks. They offer trucks for cruising and street skating.

4. Selecting Wheels

different types of skateboard wheels

The type of wheel you need depends on what you want to do, your skill level, and the surface you skate. If you want to skate street but the asphalt is really rough you better get some softer wheels. Hard wheels on rough surfaces are very uncomfortable. Lots of noise and vibration which is seriously an issue if you’re a beginner.

4.1 Wheels for Rough Terrain

Street skaters that ride rough asphalt should consider getting wheels around between 80A and 96A, size should be between 52mm and 54mm. Check out OJ, Bones all Terrain or Ricta Clouds. If you’re more into cruising get big soft wheels around 60mm and 78A.

4. Wheels for Street Skating

You want hard wheels of at least 99A on the durometer scale. If your local streets are slick you can safely pick harder wheels like 101A to 104A or 84B. Recommended brands are Bones and Spitfire wheels. Size matters, you want smaller wheels between 52mm and 54mm.

4. Wheels for Mini Ramp/Bowl/Pool

You need speed and grip so get either Bones or Spitfire wheels. I personally recommend Bones because they offer a bit more grip in my opinion. Go for Bones SPF P5, 56mm or 58mm (84B hardness) if you want more speed.

4. Wheels for Skate Parks

Again, Spitfire or bones but you want hard wheels (at least 99A) for speed and the size should be between 52mm and 54mm.

4. Wheels for Cruising

Cruising requires big soft wheels, 78A or 77A is perfect but make sure they are at least 60mm. This will provide a very smooth and stable ride, don’t forget to add riser pads. Recommended brands: OJ, Cloud Ride, Orangatang. Check out some cruiser wheels I tested to get a better idea of what you need.

4. Wheels for Cruising and tricks

You need wheels that are not too big and not too small, the same goes for the durometer. As I said, the wheels will be a trade-off. Not great for tricks and not great for cruising. Don’t go bigger than 58mm and make sure the durometer is between 8oA and 92A.

5. Bearings

I almost forgot but this is pretty straight forwards, standard Bones Reds are fine for most skateboard setup. The only time when you want higher quality bearings is if you want to cruise or bomb the hills. Get Bronson Raws for cruising, ceramics for extreme speeds and just Bones Reds for everything else.

6. Bushings (optional)

bones hardcore bushings

Not everyone is a fan of the stock bushings on trucks and ideally, you want bushings that match your weight. I’m going to keep this short, for all the details you should check out my bushings guide. Here’s a weight guide to help you on your way, also consider Bones Hardcore bushings (they are awesome).

Weight and bushings durometer for popsicle skateboards
Weight (lbs) Weight (kg) Flexible Medium Hard (stiff)
50 – 100 22.5 – 45 65a 78a 81a
75 – 125 34 –  56 80a 83a 85a
100 – 145 45 – 66 85a 87a 88a
125 – 175 56 – 79 88a 90a 93a
145 – 195 66 – 88.5 90a 93a 94a
175 – 220+ 79 – 100+ 91a 93a 100a

Frequently Asked Questions

To end this article I want to address a few questions that get asked a lot. I think the best advice I can give is not to overthink things, especially as a beginner.

Does Griptape Matter?

it really doesn’t matter, go with whatever. You might want to sand it down a little if it feels to grippy at first.

Heavy Riders Over 230LBS

If you are a bigger person or a bit fat a wider board might be a good idea. You can still get an 8.0 but wider boards will help you keep your balance.

If you worry about breaking your deck you for a deck that has some extra reinforcements to prevent it from snapping. Think of Powell Peralta Flight Decks, Dwindle Impact, or the unbreakable Lithe Slate 3.

If you just want to ride and aren’t planning on doing flips or 3-stairs ollies go with any size you prefer. Your deck won’t succumb under your weight by just riding it.

Does Shoe Size Matter?

I really don’t get why so many websites take this into consideration, IMO they are parroting each other because it really doesn’t matter unless you have feet like Shaq. I know tall skaters with large feet that skate 7.75 decks and short people with small feet who ride 8.5″.

Does my Height Matter?

No! Again this is another example of people writing about skateboarding but not actually know their stuff. It’s all personal preference and it will take some time before you will find your ideal skateboard size/length. Beginners should absolutely not worry about this stuff

High tier woodshops

  • P.S. Stix
  • BBS
  • Pennswood
  • South Central
  • Chapman
  • Watson

How Long Does it Take to Learn Skateboarding?

This depends on how often, how long, and where you skate. Some learn faster than others. In order to speed things up you really need to stick to the basics. Knowing how a skateboard behaves and knowing how to ride will give you a great advantage. Don’t go popping ollies right away, learn how to ride first and the rest will follow.

Do You Really Need A kid Sized Skateboard?

No, but it makes learning to control a board a bit easier. Kids adjust though, they just bend their knees in an almost crouch like position. Kids can learn to skateboard on any type of board, just make sure you buy something that is safe.

Conclusion

Here’s a summary of this post in bullet points:

  • Cruising requires big soft wheels, a wider deck, and turny trucks. You could also go for a dedicated cruiser.
  • Street style is the more technical part of skateboarding, smaller wheels and a smaller deck are generally advised.
  • Vert are those scary half-pipes, you need a wide deck, tight trucks, and large hard wheels. Quality bearings are needed to keep your speed.
  • Bowl and pool also require wider decks and large wheels but more turny trucks.
  • Mini ramp requires a bit wider deck but you can also do this on a street setup. Bigger wheels help to keep momentum and speed and decent bearings.
  • Transition is a bit of a combination of park styles so 54mm wheels and a deck between 8.0 and 8.5 will do.
  • Cruising and tricks require wheels that are a bit softer but not too bouncy, any deck will do as long as you pick the right wheels.
  • If you only plan on visiting skate parks go for a deck between 7.75 and 8.25 with hard wheels.
  • If you have no idea what to pick go for a generic setup. Select the option to get a couple of suggestions.

 

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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