Buying a complete skateboard for the first time can seem a little daunting, but like most things in life, once you break it into parts, it’s pretty simple. A complete skateboard includes a skateboard deck, grip tape, wheels, bearings, trucks, and the necessary hardware to attach the trucks to the board.
If you are new to skateboarding, the best place to start is with the deck. While not all boards are created equal, newbies will do well on any brand’s skateboard. So your focus should primarily be on finding the right deck width, board graphic, and brand that resonates with you or the rider.
The type of skating the rider wants to do will inform the board choice, which sometimes involves skating a non-popsicle shaped board. But if you are just starting out, you can simply start with the traditional popsicle shaped deck that you probably recognize. As you skate more and get to know what shapes you like or what kind of skateboarding you enjoy best, your decisions will take into account for company, shape, width, and style of riding. Until then, choosing a board by its graphic is totally acceptable. For an overview on types of skateboard decks and riding styles, check out our Skateboard Decks Section in our Buyer’s Guide. Once you find a deck you like, you can simply select the default wheels, trucks, bearings and grip tape or you have the option to make it a complete.
Skateboarding is all about creativity and finding new challenges. A great way to explore skateboarding is to ride different shaped boards, wider trucks, and different size wheels. As you progress and start to ride new terrain and skate different kinds of spots, you may find one wheel size or board shape works better for you than another. There’s no wrong or right anything. There are no rules. Except for maybe one, and that is to keep skating. Skate as often as you can. Never is this more true than in the beginning while you’re developing your style and fundamentals.