So you’ve decided to get into skateboarding. That may be one of the best ideas you’ve ever had. The first big decision to make before you pick out your youth skate clothing fits and which tricks you want to master is choosing your first skateboard.

This decision can be an overwhelming one. There are so many options to choose from and so many different things to consider. To make things easier, we have put together a guide to help you select the right skateboard for you.

First Skateboard

(MESSALA CIULLA/pexels)

Pre-Built, Kit, or DIY?

When picking out a skateboard there is one major decision to make: do you want to build the board yourself, or do you want one that is pre-built?

For beginners, buying a pre-built, complete board takes the stress out of finding parts and assembling everything. You can be confident that your board has everything that you need, and you don’t need to have any special skills and tools to put it together.

Another option that is a bit more involved is buying a complete skateboard kit. This is like a Lego set, but for skaters. The board will come to you disassembled, but with all of the essential pieces you need. This is a great choice if you like a good do-it-yourself project but are new to skateboarding.

As you get further along on your skateboarding journey, there are options to buy pieces bit by bit and assemble your own custom board. We definitely recommend this for more experienced skaters. If you do venture down this path, remember that local skate shops are often more than ready to answer any questions you may have.

Different Types of Skating Mean Different Boards

What style of skateboarding you want to do can help narrow down some of the decisions on choosing your first board. Different skating styles often call for different deck styles.

If you are looking for a cool way to ride around town and get from one place to another, a cruiser board or longboard are great choices. Both offer a smooth, comfortable ride, but a longboard has a broader deck so that you can ride with a wider stance.

If skateparks, halfpipes, and tricks are more your style, the street deck is an excellent choice. This deck is what you probably think of when picturing a classic skateboard. Street decks are best for street skating and tricks and are widely available.

Deck Size

After deciding what type of skating, you want to get into and what kind of skateboard you want to try, next you need to pick your deck size. This question can be a bit tricky, but here are a few things to keep in mind:

If you are under five feet tall, a junior board is probably best suited for you. It will be easier to maneuver and give you better opportunities to improve your skills. Now, just because it’s called a junior board doesn’t mean it’s any more or less legit than other boards. It’s still a real skateboard, and it likely doesn’t say “junior” on it or have little kid cartoon characters on it–unless that’s what you want, in which case, go for it.

If you are over five feet tall, a standard skateboard deck will do. These come in a range of sizes, and there is no right or wrong size for you. Some people base it off of shoe size or height. The taller you are or the larger your shoe, the wider and longer your board should be. This is a good place to start.

Designs and Details

Having a good-looking board will make you want to ride more often. While it may not be the most important thing to consider, what your board looks like is still something to think about. If you totally love a design on a deck it gets you more excited to skate. Remember that stickers can add even more style and personality to your board.

Not sure what style to choose? Think about the vibe going on in your closet. Is there a cool design that would match your favorite oversized skater hoodies? What’s the color palette on your collection of baggy skater t shirts? Try to match your personal style to your board.

Budget

Your first skateboard probably shouldn’t be a massive investment and it’s important to keep your budget in mind. Choose something that is a good quality build, not a luxury piece with tons of fancy bells and whistles. A standard skateboard will do the job–save money for when you level up to your next one. Picking your first skateboard is exciting, but it probably won’t be the last board you ever buy.