Skateboarders come in all shapes and sizes and, of course, they progress through different skill levels. Some consider themselves transition skaters favoring pool bowls, ramps and DIY spots. Some prefer more authentic street terrain, seeking out gaps, ledges and rails. Others prefer the speed and the rush of downhill longboard. Hit a college campus and you’ll see a lot of cruisers — larger than a standard skateboard but not a full longboard; less about tricks or speed and more about easy, affordable transportation. Many skaters do a little of everything.
This skateboarding buyer’s guide will help connect the dots between the type of skater you are and the equipment that is going to make it easier for you to improve your skills and bring your skateboarding to the next level. Beginner skateboarders often start with a “complete” set up, where all the components are pre-selected and assembled. You can check out our selection of skateboard completes, cruiser completes and longboard completes.
Over time every skateboarder develops preferences. Favorite shapes, favorite sizes and favorite brands. Building your own custom ride is all part of the fun. When you’re ready to dig into the individual components, be sure to check out our helpful guides:
When you’ve got all mastered — or you’re just ready to go for it — we make it easy to build your perfect new set up with the Tactics Skateboard Builder tool. First, let’s figure out where you’re at with skateboarding and determine what products are going to best meet your needs.
Your level of experience is an important indicator of the type of skateboard you should consider. Here is a very generalized grouping of ability levels:
BEGINNER You haven’t spent too much time on a skateboard yet, but you’re ready to buy a board and work on the basics. You’re starting to become more comfortable pushing off with your foot and balancing atop your board as you ride, but you still have a ways to go before you’re ready to try anything more technical. Recommendation: Start with an affordable complete skateboard, cruiser or longboard.
INTERMEDIATE You’re comfortable on your skateboard by now and have begun to work on more technical moves. Whether it’s dropping in on a ramp or learning how to ollie, your goal is to master the basic skills that lay the foundation for harder tricks down the line. Recommendation: You’re starting to get it dialed. Take some chances with different trucks or wheels and see how those impact your skating. If you need some advice, give us a call or hit us up on chat — nearly everyone on our crew skates every day and has tried a lot of the stuff we sell.
EXPERT If you’re an expert skater, you probably already know it. You’ve moved beyond the foundational skills and now focus on the bigger, badder tricks. Whether you’re in the park, the pipe, a pool or your favorite skate spots, you find a way to take on the terrain and show it who’s boss. Recommendation: Our Skateboard Builder let’s you customize your perfect set-up right down to the exact hardware, bearings and grip you demand.