You’re just looking for a quality skateboard to buy for a beginner (either you or someone you know), but you have no idea where to start. You see bearings, hardware, wheels, decks, and trucks being advertised but don’t want to spend hours researching which individual part to buy. This is how I felt when I was first looking to but a complete skateboard for my nephew for Christmas many years ago. I wanted something that he would love, but also that was safe and would not break the bank. After researching and making a decision I thought it would be useful to share this information with others who may be in a similar situation.
Top Complete Skateboard Comparison Chart
Skateboard Buying Options
The first decision you need to make is how you want to buy the skateboard.
Each Part Individually
This is the way most serious skateboarders buy new skateboards. In some cases they choose different brands for the wheels, bearings, trucks, deck, and hardware and customize it to their own unique style and preferences. The benefit to buying part like this you can replace only certain parts that are worn down and you have more control over each aspect of your skateboard. I recommend this approach to intermediate and advanced skateboarders who want to experiment with different brands and styles. However, if you are looking to try skateboarding for the first time or buy it as a gift for someone else I would recommend buying an already assembled complete skateboard.
Completely Assembled Skateboard
As the name implies, a complete skateboard contains all the parts listed above, but in an already assembled ready-to-ride skateboard. The advantage to buying a complete is it completely eliminates the research and guesswork of buying each product individually and ensures that the skateboard is assembled correctly and safely. This is the approach I used when buying a skateboard for my nephew and what I recommend for people buying a skateboard as a gift or as their very first skateboard for themselves.
Things To Consider When Buying a Complete Board
Since this article is targeted towards buying a complete skateboard for beginners, I’m going to focus on that option for the rest of the article. If you are not interested in buying a complete system, check out these other guides to buying the best decks, trucks, wheels, and bearings.
Skateboard, Longboard, or Cruiser?
This article is about regular street skateboards. They are rounded on both ends and curved upwards. Sometimes beginners are confused by longboards that are much larger and irregularly shaped or cruiser board that can be very small. I just wanted to clarify this point, as this article is very helpful for choosing the best skateboard for beginners, but may provide incorrect or unimportant information if you are actually looking for longboards or cruisers.
Obviously, price is an important consideration for most people when looking to buy anything. For skateboards, the price of the board is generally a good indicator of quality. In general, most pro branded skateboards that are made up of high-quality parts are in the $70-$100 range. You can usually find pro branded decks with average parts for $50-$70, and you can find blank options between $25-$50. I wouldn’t touch anything under $25, as it is likely poor quality and very prone to breakage.
Blank vs Pro Skateboards
You heard me mention the terms “blank” and “pro” decks and skateboards in the previous sections, but what do these terms actually mean? It’s quite simple.
Blank decks have no graphic on them and are typically priced very reasonably. Blank decks are usually colored a solid color or may even be made of unpainted wood. Historically blank decks have gotten a bad reputation for poor quality, however, there are a few brands of blanks today that are very similar in quality to pro boards and much more affordable. The downside to buying a blank complete with all blank parts is the lack of style and customization when compared to a pro deck. Also, blank skateboards may vary in quality from batch to batch, so it may be hard to find the same blank skateboard if you want to buy another one. Overall, blank skateboards can be a solid option if you have a tight budget and the person you are buying for doesn’t really care about the logo and brand.
Pro decks are what most people are familiar with and what is seen most commonly around skateparks and driveways around the US. These decks can have a variety of different logos and images on them and sometimes are a specific professional skater’s pro deck. Pro decks provide skaters a way to support their favorite riders and have the same equipment they see all their favorite pros using. The quality of professional decks and parts are almost always very high as they have a reputable and brand image to uphold. For this higher level of quality and you can expect to pay 2-3x the cost of a blank complete. If you want to save some money and still have a pro look, there are options available that have generic blank parts with a pro deck. This may be a good option for a beginner skater who is not yet doing complex tricks that may break these cheaper parts, but they still want the look and feel of a pro skateboard. As the skater progresses they can then switch out these generic parts for higher-end options as necessary.
Typically when looking at different completes you will see size dimensions in the format of ~7-8 x 31-34″. This measurement is referring to the width and length of the skateboard deck. Typically all other parts are relatively standard and the deck size is the main thing to look for. Standard skateboard widths for beginners are between 7.5-8.25 with smaller boards being better for younger and smaller guys. You don’t really have to worry about length much as long as it’s shaped regularly. You may hear about the concave of the deck or a special type of board construction, but for the most part, it will not matter much to a beginner. If you have no idea what size would be best you will never go wrong with a 7.5 or 7.75.
Best Complete Skateboard For Beginners Reviews
Great option for a beginner who wants a pro deck and doesn’t mind non-pro branded parts. Enjoi is very well known by skateboarders and the panda logo will be recognized everywhere. This particular deck is 7.75″ wide which is why I think it’s the best as it can be skater by any size person comfortably. One slight downside to this setup is that the board comes unassembled, however many skaters enjoy putting together their own skateboards and it can be done in just a few minutes by following a YouTube video. You won’t go wrong with such a well-respected brand and average size, this is actually the exact skateboard I decided to buy for my nephew a few years ago and he absolutely loved it!
Another great pro option, Element is definitely one of the top 3 brands in skateboarding. This deck is also slightly slimmer than the Enjoi deck above so it would be an even better choice for someone with small feet or who is very young. This board has an iconic look that will be recongized by most skaters, and it has the quality to last much longer than most other skateboards on the market.
Well know for their creative cartoon graphics and high quality deck construction, this Toy Machine complete is another great starting skateboard for beginners. This deck is slightly larger than 8″ so it would be perfect for adults or people with larger feet who want a more stable ride. This setup is another good example of a generic parts with a pro quality deck for a very reasonable price. A great option for a beginner who loves the logo and graphic, but wants to save money on the less important parts until they decide they want to take their skating the to next level.
Girl skateboards are know for their witty graphics and high quality canadian maple decks. This specific complete features Mike Carroll’s pro deck and it comes fully assembled directly from the manufacturer (Girl). The reason this is such a great option for beginners is that all parts of this complete are truly pro quality and it’s built to last. The width is also perfect for all ages and shoe sizes at a moderate 7.8″. Definitely a great skateboard for beginners if you like the graphic and logo.
Powell has been producing high quality skateboards for decades and this one is no exception. The best part about this complete is the price. You get a high quality deck and parts all for the price of a blank. Powell also offers many different graphic options if this specific logo isn’t what you are looking for.
POSITIV has begun to gain some serious momentum in the past years. They released an entire line of team completes in sizes ranging from 7.5-8.0″ at very affordable prices. This specific deck is 7.75″ so it is a comfortable size for all ages and weights. The great thing about this board is that it includes MiniLogo bearings and other pro brand parts. The deck also uses a rare waterproof sealant and slide coat to ensure that the deck lasts longer and slides smoother than other skateboards on the market. The overwhelmingly “positive” (no pun intended) reviews speak for themselves with this skateboard.
This is an interesting option because it is basically a hybrid between a blank and pro skateboard deck. It’s like a pro board in that is has a “brand” and logo, but the cost is similar to blanks and they don’t sponsor the same quantity and caliber of professional skaters that other pro brands do. While the logo is really cool and the rest of the parts seem to be high quality, you may not get the same brand recognition with Punisher as you would with other brands like Element or Toy Machine. This deck is also 7.5″ which makes it a great choice for a younger beginner. This is the perfect beginner skateboard for someone who doesn’t really care about the brand name, but still wants the style and performance of an above average professional skateboard.
Similar to the previous skateboard, this Krown Zion complete gives you the look of a pro skateboard deck for a very low price, but without the actual brand reputation. Perfect for someone just starting that doesn’t really know or care much about pro skateboarding, but instead just wants a skateboard that looks cool and works well.
If you decide that you don’t want to spend the money for a pro-quality complete, then this is your best bet for a completely blank skateboard. You’re just not going to find anything else with similar quality anywhere near this price range. This blank skateboard is an even 8″ with 9 layers of plywood in the deck. This makes it ideal for any beginner especially adults or children with large feet. A great option for someone on a budget or if you want to try a no-frills quality skateboard setup, before deciding if you want to invest further on a pro-style skateboard.