Good morning, eager readers! We’re kicking off a new site with a fresh topic that has all kinds of varied answers–if you’ve been curious about how much a skateboard is going to cost you at any different level of skill and price point, the How Much Guide has you covered. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re trying to price out a new deck as a reward for your hard work (and bruises, cuts, each of them earned), read on to learn the details that you need to know in order to become a smarter shopper!
Like any other sporting activity, the market for skateboards and appropriate parts can be a confusing place to navigate without a hefty amount of research. Brands are going to through hugely disparate prices at you, and equipment that’s designed for young, learning skaters is going to be quite a lot different than what a long-time skater or a pro is going to require. Because of that, the information in our brief guide is potentially invaluable if you want to find the right board for your needs.
As we proceed, we’re going to assume some prior knowledge about the components that go into a complete skateboard, but nothing is going to be left uncovered. We also know that our readers are going to be living all over the place, and many of you are going to have wildly differing local resources from each other. Maybe you have a local skate shop. Maybe you have several. In the case that you have none, we’ll be referencing several online resources that you can use, too, because nothing it’s the pits to realize that your hobby is being limited by what you can buy within a reasonable driving distance.
It should also be said outright that we are talking boards in this guide. You have other equipment to buy if you’re a skater, but the nuance of that is meant for a different time, a different place. We’re all skateboards, right here.
Lastly, if you feel that we’ve missed any critical step or consumer trick, hit us up in the comments below! Skate culture takes different shapes depending on where you live, and our readers might have very different ideas about those best practice than we’re going to embrace, here. Like any avid researchers should be, we’re eager to learn!
We can approximate your costs before diving into the specifics, by revealing some of the costs that are out there. You can buy an exceptionally cheap board–fully assembled and ready to ride–at as low as $60. However, I would definitely recommend investing a little bit more, if only for the sake of your own happiness and safety. A midrange beginner board can be bought assembled for $80 to $100. At the end of this article (in the “Online” section), we’ll list a couple of 5-star boards. Your best bet, however, is going to be to source all of yours parts individually and have them assembled in a professional skate shop. Board, wheels, trucks, bearings. You can have it all built custom based on what you want, and it can be had for $150 and lower!
As you might have guessed, there’s one big qualifier that’s going to separate not only how you choose to shop for a skateboard, but how much your skateboard is going to cost–whether you can buy it locally, or you have to source it online.
There’s something to be said for shopping local as often as you can, but for sporting goods it’s damn near essential. Your skateboard is going to be an extension of your own body, and you owe it to yourself to get a feel for the board and all of its components before it ever hits the street. The only place that you’re going to be able to do this is a skate shop, or if you’re very lucky, a sporting goods store that has the expertise to build a board for you.
Regardless of where you end up, the component pieces are going to be the same. You’ll need a deck, which is the primary component of the entire build. It’s what you’re riding on, and it’s going to carry the flash and flair that you want to be seen with–pick something that looks good, but make sure it’s damn sturdy, too. A good board is going to run you anywhere between $40 and $70, according to the Evo guide to quality skateboard decks.
You’re also going to need a good set of trucks, but don’t balk at the price I’m about to toss at you–they’re important! The trucks attach your wheels to your deck and are also responsible for your skateboards handling. How tight or loose the turning and maneuvering are on your particular board are going to be primarily controlled by your truck choice, which is something that your local skate shop can help you out with. Typically, well-built trucks are going to range between $20 and $45, according to current listings.
Next, you’re going to need a set of wheels. These can vary quite a bit too based on how you want to skate–something which a consultant in a skate or sporting goods shop can definitely tell you. Based on our research, we’ll make a middle-of-the-road recommendation that will suit beginners to your average, everyday skateboarder. You’ll probably be aiming for a set of wheels with a 54-56mm diameter–said to be ideal for riding on your average street. Durometer–the other measurement that skateboard wheels are measured by–can be trickier to estimate. It’s a measure of the wheel’s hardness, which ranges from 1-100A. It’s going to determine how well your board rides on specific terrain.
Based on an expert’s opinion on Evo, a durometer measurement of 88-95A is going to ride well on your average street, handling rocks, cracks, and other debris with minimal shock. A good set of wheels will range from $30 to $35, on average.
You’re going to need wheel bearings to put it all together, too. These little bits will fit inside of the wheel, allowing them to keep spinning smoothly and at an even rate. Thankfully, there isn’t a wide-ranging measurement scale for this particular component, which means that the decision making is largely over. The majority of your attention should be devoted to the parts listed above. Typically, you can get a set of bearings for $20 or less. If you want to perform your own maintenance, pick up a good lubricant to apply to the bearings from time to time.
The grip tape and other hardware that you’ll need to complete your board can be purchased on the cheap, and if you’re having your board assembled by a skate shop, there’s a chance that they might even throw these in for free. If they don’t, the combined cost probably won’t run you more than $10.
How does this all add up? The end cost is going to be a bit higher than what you’ll pay for a pre-assembled board, and if a skate shop is putting it all together (we will always recommend this), you’ll probably want to tack on a few extra bucks for labor fees. In total, you’re probably going to be looking at a total cost between $120 and $200 for a finished skateboard, but the end result is going to be a deck that you’ll keep for years, tailor-made to your own specifications.
Let’s get one thing out of the way–shopping online for a skateboard is damned hard. You’re not going to be able to touch, feel, and see the board or its component parts before you order it, and you’re not going to have the benefit of a consultant in a skate shop to help you pick something out. Therefore, if it can be helped, I hugely recommend hitting up a local store. Trust me, friend. I’m saying this more for your own benefit than the skate shop owners that could use your dollars. Not only will have you to deal with shipping times and costs if you order online, there’s a very real chance that you could end up with a board that isn’t right for you, from the size down to the way that it feels beneath your feet.
However, sometimes you just don’t have a choice. Maybe there’s no skate shop close to where you live, and you don’t have a way to reach one that’s actually feasible. This is okay! Plenty of people buy skateboards online all of the time, even if the preferred method of shopping is in a physical retail store.
Your purchasing choice comes down to how much assembly you want to handle on your own. If you feel comfortable building your board from the ground up, you can follow the parts guide above to source each piece of your board based on what you want. However, if you’re just getting started and want a good beginner board, it’s definitely recommended to pick one up that’s pre-assembled.
The Skate Boarder has a comprehensive list of the best 100 skateboards and board parts that you can find in 2016. Keep in mind that not everything on this list is going to be a pre-assembled board; there are quite a few deck-only listings, but it’s a great place to start if you need to shop online, and every deck mentioned has received high review scores.
If you’ve found yourself curious about how much the average skateboard is going to cost you, then hopefully our guide has been enlightening! Hit us with your questions and suggestions in the comments below, and consider sharing this article on Facebook and Twitter!