For some time now I really wanted to get my hands on a SkateXS skateboard because they configure skateboards the way I think kids’ skateboards should be designed. Many skateboard brands offer smaller kid-sized skateboard but usually don’t have much more to offer.
SkateXS skateboards are of the highest quality and offer kid friendly graphics, improved turning, and softer wheels that handle rougher surfaces well. The maple/bamboo decks are durable and can withstand hard impacts making it a very safe skateboard.
Let’s get down to examining their skateboards and see what they’re made off. SkateXS offers 3 boards for different levels and I’m reviewing them individually. Before we start with the most basic skateboard, I’d like to explain some jargon so you don’t get confused.
A Skateboard deck is the flat wooden board that the rider stands on and performs tricks with.
Skateboard trucks are the T-shaped components that attach to the underside of the skateboard deck and enable the rider to turn and pivot.
Skateboard bushings are the small rubber or urethane rings that fit inside the skateboard trucks and allow for smooth turning.
The shore durometer scale is a measurement system used to determine the hardness of the wheels.
Skateboard bearings are small, circular metal components that fit inside the skateboard wheels and allow them to spin around the axle.
Skateboard grip tape is a rough, sandpaper-like adhesive sheet that is applied to the top surface of the skateboard deck to provide traction and grip for the rider’s feet.
Let’s start with the most beginner friendly skateboard, which is suitable for most kids aged 5 to 12.
- SkateXS Beginner Skateboard Review
- SkateXS Advanced Skateboard Review
- SkateXS Pro Skateboard Review
- How do They Compare to other Skateboard Brands?
- Don’t Forget to Buy A Helmet
- Maintaining and Taking Care of a Skateboard
- Review Transparency
SkateXS Beginner Skateboard Review
The SkateXS beginner skateboard is the budget version without sacrificing much quality. It’s rather lightweight, which makes it easy for small kids to carry around and offers a stable and smooth ride. You can pick the color of the wheels, grip tape (sand paper like material on top), and graphic.
I had a great opportunity to test this board with an absolute beginner; my niece is who is 6 years old.
We got the one with the unicorn, and my niece tried it out during Easter. My niece never skated before, but I could tell she loved the experience. She also is a little obsessed about unicorns and when I showed her this skateboard, her eyes became visibly larger. She absolutely adored the graphic and immediately wanted to learn how to ride a skateboard.
I got her a spare helmet first (slightly too big; it was unplanned) and elbow, knee pads, and wrist guards once she started skateboarding without someone holding her hand. She picked it up quite fast, which is also because of the softer wheels and responsiveness of the skateboard.
The softer wheels offer a smooth ride even on some rougher parts of the street, and the board was noticeably stable. Turning was still a bit difficult for her but she managed to pull it off in the end. Overall, she had a great experience and now wants a skateboard for her birthday (say no more!). I’m getting her a proper fitting helmet as well.
In short: the SkateXS beginner skateboard is perfect for kids who want to learn to ride but is less suitable for tricks. The softer wheels won’t get blocked by smaller obstacles easily and offer a comfortable ride. It’s great for riding around the neighborhood or cruising in skate parks.
Let’s look at the individual components, and why they work well for kids.
SkateXS Kids Skateboard
Performs great on sidewalks, concrete, and asphalt. Offers a smooth and reliable ride straight out of the box.
- Custom Designed for kids
- Can handle pebbles and cracks
- High-quality Parts
- Excellent customer support
- Safest skateboard we tested
For one, I’m was a bit skeptical about the combination of bamboo and hard rock maple, but it turns out to work well. I also had some reservations about the quality of the wheels, which also turned out to be wrong.
I tested them on a sunny day with my niece and my son. Perfect because my son didn’t really feel like riding a skateboard with a unicorn (he gave me some very disapproving looks when I showed him this board).
We’ve skated this board for some time now and the deck keeps its pop and feels very sturdy. No signs of chipping or delamination, also no pressure cracks or warping of the board. It can even handle an adult, though it’s a bit too small (I tried a few tricks and hurt myself in the process).
It comes with graphics for both boys and girls to make it more appealing. The construction comprises 2 ply’s of bamboo and 5 ply’s of hard rock maple, making it last longer compared to birch or only hard rock maple.
What I really like about these skateboards is the kid friendly graphics. Pirates, unicorns, dragons, to name a few without being over the top. Often overlooked, but graphics play a huge part in getting stoked to skateboard. As an adult, I still experience this feeling and was reconfirmed when my niece got all excited.
Obviously it’s a matter of preference, but I often hear parents mentioning not liking the graphics of certain brands because of the skulls or scary artwork. I think SkateXS solved this well by using kid-friendly graphics. The quality of the graphics is great and doesn’t come off after a few times of skating, nor does it fade it you take proper care of the board.
Our setup consists of colorful SkateXS branded wheels that provide enough grip and stability for younger riders. The swirl mix wheels look amazing and work well with the colorful grip tape and deck graphics. The softer wheels handle small cracks and pebbles well.
As most beginners will ride in a neighborhood without a smooth surface, you need softer wheels that don’t get easily blocked by small obstacles you might not see until it’s too late.
This makes them very versatile, meaning you can skate on rougher surfaces (not too rough), are great for cruising, but they also perform well in parks and streets. The dimension of the wheels are 53 millimeter and 90A on the Shore durometer scale (100A is the max).
When a kid also wants to do tricks, softer wheels might not be the right choice. Softer wheels bounce more compared to harder wheels, which makes it harder to land and control a trick. Not something to worry about because most kids just want to learn how to ride. You can always replace the wheels once a kid is ready to learn basic tricks.
I am pleasantly surprised by the SkateXS trucks. Rarely do you get lightweight trucks like this on a complete setup. Most of the completes you can buy on amazon come with very heavy trucks that hardly turn and make the overall setup rather heavy.
They are as good as many of the more popular brands and even come with a hollow kingpin. They turn great because they specifically picked the bushings for kids. Bushings are urethane (plastic) rings that fit inside the skateboard trucks.
One of the most common problem with skateboards is that the bushings are too hard, even if they are labeled as a kid skateboard. Because they are softer, they respond better and allow for more control when turning.
The bushings also snap back into position quickly, which means it’s easier to go back to riding in a straight line without having to overcompensate. You also have the option to upgrade the bushings to Bones bushings which offer more stability and control.
The basic version comes with SkateXS bearings, which perform well. They keep rolling for quite some time and don’t require kids to push as often. This also gives them more time to become comfortable with their skateboard. As I don’t expect kids at such a young age to do high-impact skateboarding, they do the job just fine.
The grip tape comes in many colors and isn’t too gritty. While grip tape is supposed to offer grip, too much can make it difficult to adjust your stance. Ideally, you want grip tape to keep your feet on the board, but also being able to quickly adjust your feet.
The grip tape offers both, and I didn’t notice my son nor my niece having trouble adjusting their stance. Another feature is that you can opt for adding a name to the skateboard to make it more personal, which costs $10 USD.
SkateXS offers upgrades like Ricta Cloud wheels which handle rougher surfaces even better. You also have the option to upgrade the bushings to Bones Bushings. They offer a smoother and more stable turn making it easier to control the skateboard.
There are no cons to this skateboard which is a first for me, that’s why we consider it the best skateboard for kids. You could argue that $120 USD is a lot for a skateboard, but considering the parts you get and how well it’s put together, it really isn’t something to discredit this setup for.
Most decent skateboards these days go for around 100 to 120 bucks and they aren’t even customized like this. Sure, you could buy a $30 USD Amazon skateboard, but they are unsafe, don’t ride well, and mass produced.
This skateboard offers a lot to kids. Easier to control, more predictable, offer better stability and look rad. Check out their beginner skateboard over at SkateXS, you might also want to consider a helmet and protective gear.
SkateXS Advanced Skateboard Review
The advanced version is for kids who know how to ride a skateboard and want to learn tricks. It’s a step up from the basic version and comes with Bones 100’s wheels, Bones Bushings, Mini Logo Bearings, and Thunder trucks. The deck is the same on all versions which is already covered.
While this probably doesn’t mean much to you, it comes down to the setup being more suitable for skate parks and skating obstacles. The trucks are more durable; the wheels offer more speed on slicker surfaces but are less suitable for a smooth ride on rougher surfaces.
In short: this is a great skateboard for park skateboarding and basic tricks. It’s great for kids that can already ride and want to learn tricks. It comes with higher quality components but is less suitable for riding rougher surfaces.
Bones 100 Wheels
Bones 100’s offer lots of grip on slicker surfaces but also allow for sliding tricks. They are harder compared to the SkateXS wheels, meaning they are less suitable for riding on gritty asphalt. Bones 100s perform great in concrete skate parks and are much more reliable when doing basic tricks.
Harder wheels like the 100s don’t bounce like softer wheels. Let’s say your kid wants to do an ollie. This is more challenging on softer wheels because they tend to bounce back up. Harder wheels don’t bounce that much, making it easier to land a trick.
Just like a bouncing ball, the skateboard will come back up, harder wheels don’t have this problem, giving a skateboarder more time to properly land. This also reduces the chance of landing prime (landing both feet on the side of the deck).
An ollie is a skateboarding trick where the rider pops the board with their back foot while sliding their front foot up towards the nose to make the board jump into the air.
In short, Bones wheels are excellent for learning basic tricks and great for skate parks. Less suitable for kids who just want to ride around their neighborhood because the terrain is often rougher compared to skate parks.
Mini Logo Bearings
The advanced SkateXS skateboard comes with Mini Logo bearings. These are budget bearings that are close in performance compared to more expensive bearings. They are fast, can handle low impact skateboarding and work well in skate parks.
I wouldn’t recommend them for high-impact skateboarding because they won’t last very long. 99 percent of younger kids don’t do any high-impact skateboarding, which makes them an excellent choice for the advanced setup.
Thunder trucks are popular skateboard trucks that are great for technical skateboarding in parks and on the street. They are extremely, reliable, and never let you down. Thunder Trucks is a top brand loved by skateboarders around the globe.
They are known for their lightweight and durable construction, as well as their responsive turning ability because of their low profile design. Often favored by skaters who prefer a more technical style of skating, such as street skating or skateboarding in skate parks.
The advanced version comes with stock bushings, which sometimes require a little tweaking depending on the weight of the rider. This means finding the right balance between the responsiveness of the board.
By turning the kingpin nut tighter it will become less turny, loosening the kingpin nut will make the board turn faster. Some prefer tight skateboard trucks and other prefer loose trucks. It takes some trial and error to find the sweet spot.
If you kid has trouble going straight and keeping their balance, it might be an idea to slightly tighten the trucks and see what happens. If a kid has trouble turning, consider loosening them a bit.
The SkateXS Advanced skateboard is great for those who live near a skate park or smooth surface areas without traffic. It’s great for kids who want to learn basic tricks or just flow through skate parks and carve over and around obstacles.
It’s less suitable for riding around the typical neighborhood because often you’ll encounter cracked and rough pavements which make the ride less comfortable. Keep in mind that it’s easy to upgrade the basic version by replacing the wheels. Once a kid knows how to ride well and is ready to learn some tricks, replacing the wheels is a good start. Available at SkateXS.
SkateXS Pro Skateboard Review
Last but not least is the Pro version. This is a skateboard that is great for street and park skateboarding. The differences between the advanced version are minimal but notable.
It comes with Spitfire wheels that are slightly wider, offering more grip and balance. The stock bushings are replaced by Bones hardcore bushings. Instead of Mini Logo bearings, you get Bones Reds bearings which are the most popular bearings because of their price/performance ratio.
I won’t go into the deck or trucks. The deck and trucks are the same as the advanced version but with custom bushings.
In short: The Pro version is made of the highest quality parts which can withstand high impacts and last the longest. This is a dedicated trick skateboard for both street and skate parks but less suitable for comfortable cruising.
We’ve tested the Spitfire Bighead wheels because they are extremely durable, have a wider contact patch (the part of the wheel that touches the ground) and offer the needed grip when riding in skate parks. You also have the option to pick more colorful Spitfire wheels (not much difference or something to worry about).
Spitfire wheels are the best skateboard wheels for technical skateboarding. Just like Bones 100’s they are great at skate parks and smooth surfaces. The main difference is the hardness (99A VS 100A on the Shore durometer scale) and durability.
Spitfires Bighead wheels offer a little more grip compared to the Bones wheels on the advanced setup. They also are made of a higher quality mix of polyurethane (plastic) making them last longer. They also ride great on not too gritty asphalt.
Bones Hardcore Bushings
The trucks’ stock bushings are replaced by Bones Hardcore Bushings. I love Bones hardcore bushings because they are very predictable and are less likely to deform. I do a lot of bowl skating which requires lots of carving and turning and use these bushings myself. When turning on (or riding) a skateboard, you want a skateboard to feel predictable.
Bones bushings keep their shape for a long time and don’t deform like many stock bushings. This means you don’t have to tighten or loosen the truck nuts often. Because most parents know little about how skateboards work, not having to worry about adjusting the setup is a big plus.
This is the best skateboard for more technical skateboarding (tricks) on the streets or in skateparks. It’s a great option or kids who already know how to ride and want to take it to the next level. If you happen to live near a skate park, this board would be the best choice.
The harder wheels just work better on smooth concrete and it is more agile because of the aftermarket bushings. Top-notch skateboard that outperforms all the skateboards that bigger brands offer in this category. Available on SkateXS.
How do They Compare to other Skateboard Brands?
As far as I know, SkateXS is the only one that offers these custom skateboards. Most kids skateboards are of much lower quality and mass produced. The great thing about these boards is that they are custom assembled by picking the right parts suitable for kids.
Often skateboards come with wheels that are of low quality, bearings that hardly spin, or bushings that are too hard and make turning difficult. Nowadays, many are made of birch, which tends to chip and splinter.
You could build your own skateboard by picking the parts yourself, but you need to know what works and what doesn’t. You’ll probably end up paying more and it also requires time.
Don’t Forget to Buy A Helmet
SkateXS also offers helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards from Triple 8. This brand offers high-quality protective gear which helps kids to stay in one piece. Many kids give up once they hurt themselves after a fall, which is a shame and preventable.
Decent protective gear absorbs impacts and your kid will hardly feel anything. If you are on a tight budget, you could look for lower quality gear, but investing in a good helmet is really something to think about.
Easy to overlook but consider skate shoes. Skate shoe make riding a skateboard a lot easier. The thinner outsoles make skateboarders feel more connected to the board, resulting in more control.
Maintaining and Taking Care of a Skateboard
Never leave a skateboard outside and store in a dry place, preferably not on the ground, so you don’t accidentally step on it. Water is the number 1 enemy of a skateboard as the fibers suck up moisture, which leads to the wood expanding.
Maintenance is quite simple and only takes a minute or two. Usually after a couple of months of skateboarding, some part might need a little tweaking. This depends on the frequency and intensity but it’s pretty easy (righty-tighty-lefty-loosey).
In time, parts like the truck bolts and axle nuts can get looser because of vibrations. Trucks could feel too loose, or the wheels didn’t spin very well.
- A 9/16” wrench/socket wrench to adjust the turning ability of the trucks (the nut on top of the bushings).
- A 1/2” wrench/socket wrench to adjust the axle nuts (the one on the wheels)
- A 3/8” wrench/socket wrench and A Phillips head screwdriver for the screws and nuts that attach the trucks)
Or get a skate tool which has everything you need to make adjustments.
We have tested many (kids) skateboards over the years, starting when my son was 6 years old. SkateboardersHQ is the only website that actually buys and tests skateboard gear, usually out of our own pocket. Here’s the little dude back then and now (2023).
Some time ago I contacted SkateXS because they had such rad skateboards, and I really wanted to get them shipped over here (The Netherlands). Because it was a bit expensive, as customs charges outrageous fees, I decided to postpone it for a while. Some time later Bryan offered to ship me 2 skateboards to try out for free. I want to be upfront about this because you, as a reader, should get the entire picture.
I usually don’t take free products because it’s a slippery slope. Once you start taking free stuff, it becomes harder to be objective. However, because I know a thing or two about skateboards, and considering the parts SkateXS use for their setups are how I would setup a skateboard, I decided to make an exception.
By clicking a link and purchasing a skateboard from SkateXS I also make a small commission without any additional cost to you. This is not a sponsored post, meaning I didn’t get paid for it. I wrote it because I fully support this product and think it’s a real gem. SkateXS never asked me to write a positive review.