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20 Awesome & 10 Terrible Skateboarding Gift Ideas

Skateboarders are very picky about their gear and like to stick to their favorite brands, board sizes or even the skate store they prefer. There is a big chance you’re buying the wrong stuff, even if you think it’s cool.

Looking for a birthday present, a holiday gift or just want to buy a skateboarder something nice? Well, as a skateboarder, I think I can help you out here. Usually it’s a good idea to talk to the person and learn about what they like.

Buying shoes is risky, helmets aren’t cool, and wheels may be too big/small/hard/soft. Any change to a skaters gear is a bad idea. Skateboarders don’t want to change anything because it might mean they can’t do a certain trick anymore or they have to relearn. Therefore, I added a terrible gift idea section.

Let’s look at a couple of gifts ranging from $5 to $100 every skater appreciates. I’ll also cover a few things you should definitely NOT buy.

gifts on a skateboard
  1. Skate Wax
  2. Skate tool
  3. Visit to a skate shop or Skate Gift Card
  4. Backpack
  5. Skateboard Lights
  6. Bearings
  7. Skate Socks
  8. Shoe Goo & RipCare
  9. Insoles
  10. Sticker Packs
  11. Spare Parts
  12. Grip tape
  13. Paint Pens
  14. Fingerboard or Handboard
  15. Skate Park Tickets
  16. Knick Knacks
  17. Etsie Skateboard Artwork
  18. Spotify or Apple Music Subscription
  19. Thrasher Magazin Subscription
  20. Laces & TrickTape

Best Skateboard Gifts

You’re in luck. These gifts aren’t very expensive and you can even combine them. I don’t recommend buying decks, wheels, trucks or any of that, unless you know what to look for. You’ll likely buy the wrong stuff! Check out the worst skateboard gifts section to see why. I also added a few tips to minimize the risk of buying the wrong stuff.

It’s the thought that counts, but why not buy something every skater will appreciate. The right gift also depends on your budget, the age of the skater and their preferred style. Street skaters require different gear and appreciate the right shoes more than bowl skaters, for example.

Wheels also can be challenging and I listed those in my worst section. Only gift wheels if you really know what they like to skate. Same goes for shoes and skateboard decks. Maybe it will be less of a surprise if you ask upfront, but it will be very much appreciated. This way, you don’t get the wrong size, shape, or brand.

If you really get stuck, offer to take them to a local skate shop and pick something they like. Put a custom or real voucher in a small box with a fingerboard on top, for example, and wrap it in grip tape.

This post contains affiliate links which could earn me a small commision at no additional cost to you.

1. Skate Wax

skateboard wax and grip tape

Wax is a skateboarding must have, especially if they like to skate on streets. Wax helps to make rough surface slick and allows for grinding and sliding on obstacles.

It’s an essential and cheap gift and they come in many shapes and colors (affiliate link to Amazon). There is difference in quality, but crappy wax is always better than no wax at all.

  • Price range: $3 to $10.
  • Age: All.
  • Type of skater: Skaters that like to grind their trucks on curbs or slide rails.

2. Skate Tool

tools for skateboarding

Another gift that a skateboarder will really appreciate is a skate tool. Skate tools range from $6 to $30. Both will do the job, but the latter lasts longer. My advice is to get a skate tool with a re-threader to fix the axle threads (the second one is left is a good choice).

Often skateboards land on the side, resulting in crushed axle nuts. This damages the axle thread and makes it sometimes hard to replace the axle nuts.

A quality tool is something every skater will love and often use. One of the common question in skate parks is ‘bro, do you have a skate tool?’.

If you want to buy a cheap skate tool check out the Zeato skate tool, it’s not the best but it gets the job done. The Silver Skate Tool on the left is awesome and high-quality. The Pig Skate Tool comes with an additional threader which is very useful for street skaters.

  • Price range: $6 to $30.
  • Age: All.
  • Type of skater: All styles, even longboarders.

3. A Visit to a Local Skate Shop or Gift Card

As a kid, I was always super stoked to visit a skate shop. There is something magical about seeing all those decks with awesome graphics, colorful wheels, and gimmicky stuff on the counter.

To make this more exciting, you could personalise this gift. Buy a bunch of stickers, add some socks, create your own custom gift card and wrap it in a gift.

It’s not just the gift, visiting a skate shop is just awesome and a fun activity.

4. Skateboard Lights

board blazers skateboard lights

For the younger ones boardblazers offers awesome lights which you can attach to the bottom of a skateboard. Not only do they look amazing, it also makes kids visible if they happen to ride in the dark.

The Skateboard Lights come in all sorts of colors, and even a Crazy Color Changing version. Kids seem to LOVE them and they aren’t even that expensive. Check out Boardblazers Skateboard Lights on Amazon.

  • Price range: $20
  • Age: 6-12 ( I admit, I have a set on my cruiser)
  • Great for: Younger skaters

5. Backpack for Skateboarding

Not essential, but very handy. A skateboard backpack has two straps on the front, which can carry a skateboard. This way, the gritty grip tape from a skateboard deck won’t come into contact with anything.

The better quality backpacks can be used for both work and school and have a special laptop compartment.

Make sure to get a backpack with lots of compartments so there room for storing wax, bearings, hardware, change, a phone, etc. I personally use a Dakine backpack (affiliate link) which is still holding up fine after years of use.

  • Price range: $35-$70
  • Age: All
  • Skateboard style: All styles

6. Bearings

Bones & Reds

You can’t go wrong with bearings. It’s always something a skater needs an appreciates. Make sure to buy the right bearings. Bones Reds and Bronson Speed Co. G2 are the ones we recommend. They aren’t the most expensive bearings, but last for quite some time.

Bronson is a bit more expensive, but last longer. Reds are cheaper and no skater dares to say they’re crap. Check and compare prices (affiliate link) on Amazon.

Skaters love new bearings, one of the few gifts that will positively affect their skating abilities.

  • Price range: $15-$20
  • Age: All
  • Style: All styles.

7. Skate Socks

Socks? Really? Yes, really! Skateboarders love comfy skate socks from their favorite brand. I always wear skate socks when I skate. Not only because they feel comfortable but also because it looks nice. Even though skateboarding isn’t a fashion show, it doesn’t hurt to look good when you ride around a skate park.

Some of the more expensive brands like Huff offer awesome socks but are a bit overpriced. Usually you can get a value pack of Independent socks or Element for the same price.

8. Shoe Goo & RipCare

shoe goe and rip care glue

Skateboarding is an expensive activity and shoes are one of the biggest reasons. Shoes wear from pushing and suede rips from friction with grip tape. This is where Shoe Goo and RipCare come in. They allow you to fix your shoes and skate them for another good 20 to 40 hours.

It’s inexpensive and works like a charm (Amazon affiliate link), something every technical skater needs and appreciates.

  • Price range: $5-$10
  • Age: 10+
  • Great for: Street Skateboarding, Skate park

9. Insoles

dr scholls insoles

Often overlooked, but insoles make a huge difference. Skating involves lots of impacts, especially when jumping off huge stairs. Proper insoles prevent injuries and strain.

Skateboard brand insoles are often overpriced, so I recommend Dr. Scholes insoles. It comes with gel pads that absorb shocks and plastic on the side that reduces impacts when landing with both on your feet on the side of a skateboard (primo).

You can cut them according to size and adjust the shape a little so they fit the shoes. Dr. Scholes insoles work with all skate shoes and are cheaper and better than skate brand insoles.

  • Price range: $20-$25
  • Age: 15+
  • Great for: All styles.

10. Stickers

skateboard stickers

I don’t know what the deal is with stickers, but most skateboarders love stickers! I have a bit of an obsession with them myself since I was a kid. They just look awesome and I have a huge box full of ‘m. There are some vintage stickers on eBay are listed for ridiculous prices.

Some skates love to decorate their board or helmet with stickers and others (like me) like to collect them. When I buy a new deck, I make sure that there is a free sticker inside, without a stick it’s just not the same.

Make sure to get stickers that actually represent real skateboard brands, like this 100-sticker value pack (affiliate link).

  • Price range: $5-15
  • Age: 9-99
  • Great for: All types of skaters

11. Spare Parts

skateboard hardware

Hardware (bolts & nuts) and especially axle nuts are a cheap and useful gift. Axle nuts wear quite fast because of impacts and once you remove them, it’s hard to get them back on. I always carry an extra set of 1″ hardware and a couple of axle nuts, just in case.

Buy 1″ Allen hardware. They will fit every skateboard setup. Maybe combine spare parts with other gifts if you really can’t afford much. It still will be a very useful gift (affiliate link to Amazon).

  • Price range: $3-$9
  • Age: 12-99
  • Great for: All types of skaters

12. Griptape

grizzly grip tape color

Grip tape is the sandpaper-like material that makes your feet stick to your skateboard. It also allows for those rad tricks. I know the kids at my local skate park appreciate a sheet of colorful griptape.

Older skaters usually like plain black griptape, but the younger ones LOVE themed prints. Jessup is the cheapest of them all, but one of the most popular griptape out there.

Don’t forget to look at Mob grip tape and Grizzly, they offer a wide selection of different designs (Amazon affiliate link).

  • Price range: $6-$15
  • Age: 12+
  • Great for: All types of skaters

13. Paint Pens

Some skaters love to customize their grip tape and cut the sheets in all kind of shapes, use different colors or get creative with paint pens.

Paint pens: paint pens are effective but should be applied carefully. The grip tape can damage the pens, but it’s certainly doable. Look for brands like Testors or any brand that offers quality paint pens.

Not a great gift for skateboarders older than 16.

  • Price range: $8-$12
  • Age: 9-16
  • Great for: All types of skaters

14. Fingerboard or Handboard

hand and finger skateboards

There is something magical about fingerboards and handboards. Great to theorize about the next tricks you want to learn, or just to pass some time. I personally dig my handboard just sitting on my desk. I don’t play with it, but it just makes a great prop.

Even fingerboards quality varies greatly. Tech Deck is great for beginners but it’s still just plastic. Only buy expensive wooden fingerboards if you know someone is really into fingerboarding! 70 bucks for a fingerboard is really just a waste of money.

I got this Tech deck value pack that comes with a pre-assembles board, and parts to assemble two other fingerboards. Lots of wheels, tiny screws and nuts, and a skate tool for smurfs. Pretty rad and not too expensive and pretty frustrating to assemble. Check prices on Amazon (afflilate link).

  • Price: $5 – $25
  • Age: 5+
  • Style: All

15. Skate Park Tickets

If there is an skate park in your area which requires an entrance fee, this could be a rad gift. Skateboarding is a great exercise and good for your mental health. Basically you give them a really healthy present which they actually enjoy.

  • Price range: check your local park
  • Age: 9-99
  • Great for: All types of skaters

16. Box of Whatever

various small skateboard gifts

A bag or box with small stuff every skater loves. A cheaper skate tool, 1″ hardware, axle nuts, stickers, a gift card. Something with a personal touch and lots of goodies are awesome to get. A mixed bag with small gifts is great for smaller budgets. Grab a few items from this blog until you hit your budget.

  • a skate tool
  • Stickers
  • Thrasher Magazine
  • Skate Wax
  • Stickers
  • etc
skateboard gift wrapped in grip tape and laces

Wrap it in grip tape and laces and make it stand out. You might want to glue the grip tape, I could have done a better job. It’s the idea that counts.

  • Price range: $5-$30
  • Age: 9-99
  • Great for: All types of skaters

17. Recycled Skateboard Coasters

recycled skateboard coasters and thee

Let’s have some tea and biscuits, cheerio! These are great for the aged skateboarder and I often get questions from guests where I got these coasters.

I love my coasters. Etsy is full of crafty people that create rad art and woodwork from recycled skateboards.

Keep in mind that working old skateboards requires a huge amount of time and effort, not to mention skills. This is expensive stuff, perhaps great for older skaters, not so much for kids.

I got these coasters from Focused and they weren’t even that expensive, relatively. Focused also offers coffee tables up to $6000, probably a bit excessive for a gift. Check out Etsy or use Google if you want something specific. Keep in mind that the bigger the project, the longer it takes. Amazon also offers affordable coasters.

  • Price range: $15 – Your limit
  • Age: 25-50+
  • Great for: Older skaters

18. Spotify, Apple Music Subscription

Skaters are humans just like you and me, and we all love music! I see many skaters wearing air pods and listening to music while skateboarding.

I don’t wear my Air pods during a sesh because it’s too distracting and I want to make it out in one piece. It really depends on the person. Check out some of the Spotify Subscriptions on Amazon.

  • Price range: Subscription based
  • Age: All ages
  • Great for: All types of skaters

19. Thrasher Magazine Subscription

thrasher magazine & handboard

While magazines may seem like a relic from the past, Thrasher Magazine lits up skaters’ eyes. I recently organised a skateboarding contest and handed out prizes. There was a Thrasher magazine left, so I gave it to a random skater. The look on his face was priceless, ‘Really? Can I have this? Wow, that’s awesome. Thanks so much!’.

If you buy an annual subscription, it often comes with some goodies.

  • Price: $8 for a single issue
  • Age: 9-99
  • Great for: All types of skaters

20. Laces & Tricktape

An extra pair of laces is always appreciated and one of the cheapest gifts you can buy a skateboarder. Perhaps combining laces with Trick tape (suede patches) and other small gifts might be an idea. A sheet of grip tape, Shoe Goo, suede patches and laces will are really useful.

  • Price range: $2 – $10
  • Age: 10 – 20
  • Great for: Street skateboarders

10 Terrible Skateboard Gifts

minority skateboards suck

Some products may seem like a good idea, but skateboarders usually have a strong preference when it comes to gear. Buying a set of trucks, for example, may please some, but others won’t appreciate them because they require a long time to break in.

Same goes for decks. Skaters usually prefer a shape or brand and stick to it. Only buy these gifts when you’re absolutely sure. Another idea is to check out what they are skating and see if some parts need replacement. In that case, a new deck or a set of trucks is a great gift.

The age also plays a part. An older skater, let’s say 30+, will appreciate a re-issue old school deck but a 16-year-old usually can’t relate.

Buying a helmet can be a good idea, and wearing one is always recommended. Few skaters will actually wear them. If you bought a QUALITY skateboard and are looking for a complimentary gift for a kid, please do buy a helmet.

Let’s look at a few gifts that might or might not be a good idea. Sometimes you can get away with it but you need to know exactly what to buy.

  1. Amazon skateboards
  2. Penny boards
  3. Scooters
  4. Trucks
  5. Wheels
  6. Shoes
  7. Skater trainers
  8. Helmet
  9. Pads
  10. Ceramic bearings

1. Amazon, Walmart, & Toy Skateboard Skateboards

By Amazon skateboards, I mean unknown brands. These are often mass produced in China and very cheap. You can recognize them by their overwhelmingly positive reviews and often are listed as Amazon’s Choice.

The reviews are fake and when you take a closer look, you will see lots of complaints buried by 5 star bot reviews.

Not all Amazon skateboards are bad, just make sure to buy from a reputable skateboard brand like Birdhouse, Santa Cruz, Flip, etc.

Avoid Amazon skateboard ‘brands’ like:

  • Minority
  • White fang
  • Merkapa
  • Hikole
  • Puente
  • Cal 7
  • Krown (wolf)
  • KPC Pro
  • Beleeve
  • Yohaner

A moment of silence for all the kids that get a crappy skateboard from their parents….

Moving on.

2. Penny Boards

Penny Board is a brand, and while real penny boards are okay, there are many rip offs. A plastic skateboard isn’t great for tricks and often very uncomfortable to ride. Recently one of these sellers on Amazon contacted me asking me to promote their crappy boards for a fee. I politely declined their offer.

3. Skateboard Trucks

This is a tricky one. Experienced skateboarders don’t like new trucks because it takes a long time to get used to them. Skaters are very dogmatic about gear and new trucks are probably not on their wish list.

The only time it’s safe to buy skateboard trucks is when you know the exact size they need, someone just started skateboarding (under a year) or when their trucks are actually broken. This is the only time a skateboarder replaces their trucks.

4. Skateboard Wheels

Another tricky gift that could go very right or very wrong. Skateboard wheels come in lots of sizes and shapes. Not to mention the variations in hardness (durometer). If you don’t know what type of skateboarder they are, there is a big chance you’re buying the wrong wheels.

Check out their current skateboard wheels before you buy something that is useless.

Gifting a scooter to a skateboarder is like giving an Apple fan an Android phone. Don’t buy scooter brand stuff, or worse, an actual scooter. The thing is, many skateboarders dislike scooters for many reasons. Don’t want to go into it too much, but something you should be aware of.

Well, actually, Brad loves skateboarding. Maybe he also likes a scooter!‘. Could be, but the chances are slim.

Only recommended when you really dislike a person and don’t want to be invited to the next birthday party.

6. Skate Shoes

Often skaters like a brand or shoe type that is just right for them. There are many types of shoes for skateboarding and you probably will buy the wrong pair. If you really want to buy skate shoes, make sure you know what they currently skate and find out if they like their shoes.

My advice would be to buy the exact same skate shoes they are currently skating to avoid buying the wrong pair.

Some skaters love shoes that offer lots of support and other like flexible shoes, less durable shoes. Proper skate shoes are made of quality suede, so avoid canvas shoes, they are gone in a day.

duct tape to repair skate shoes
This is fine, no need for new shoes!

7. Skater Trainers

Skater trainers are advertised as tools to help you learn tricks. In reality, they don’t offer real value and are a waste of money.

8. Skateboard Helmet

I wish skaters would appreciate helmets and it would keep many out of the ER. The truth is, most skateboarders don’t like helmets, mainly because they feel it makes them look like a dork.

I would advise only buying a helmet is someone is just starting out, or as an additional gift if you bought them a skateboard. Young kids should always wear a helmet!

9. Knee Pads / Elbow Pads

Many skaters don’t like to pad up and finding protective gear that fits properly isn’t easy. This would require to measure the limbs and I’m not sure how you would do this unnoticed. Again, if it’s a young child, please go buy protective gear, but a 16-year-old probably will frown upon pads.

10. Ceramic Bearings

Ceramic bearings are a waste of money, cheaper bearings work just as well, and you’re just flushing money down the drain. Get a set of Bones Reds or Bronson G2 and leave the rest of the money for another gift.

Pay Attention When You Want to Gift a Skateboard

All skateboards look alike to the untrained eye, but there is a huge difference in quality and performance. A $40 Amazon skateboard seems appealing, but the reality is these boards are unsafe.

Buy a complete skateboard from a reputable brand, and even those have their cons. The best skateboard is the one you assemble yourself. Custom quality parts that work well together.

Check out my skateboard configurator and guide if you want to give something special but have no idea where to start.

Create your Own Custom Skateboard Gift

Without too much effort, you could create a skateboarding survival kit, or perhaps a gift card from a local skate shop with a few stickers and some wax.

Gift cards may seem boring, but skaters LOVE to visit skate shops and pick out items. Perhaps you could go together and have a nice day out. And while you’re at it, get yourself a quality skateboard!

Final Thoughts

So here a list of the best and worst skateboard gifts imaginable. There is this saying ‘never look a horse in the mouth’ and after all, it’s the thought that counts when it comes to gifts. Often you want to gift something you personally like, but I think this list will help you on your way.

Skaters aren’t easy to please, they rather skate their worn shoes and chipped decks, replacing gear is something a skater does a a last resort.

Skaters are used to their shoes and skateboards and changing something requires them to adjust to their new gear. Make sure to ask them, some would love a new deck or shoes. But picking the right brand, size, or even where to shop can lead to buying the wrong gift.

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