Thanks to the wide trucks, the board is steady during turns. Besides, these trucks are made of aluminium, so they are very durable and can handle impressive load.
Speeding up on a bumpy road is not recommended.
Penny Classics are skateboards equally good for beginners and experienced users. They are durable, have a non-skid surface, and are able to reach decent speeds, enough to be used as the means of transportation. Small size and weight allow hiding one in a backpack or carrying in hand.
56 x 15 cm | 1.9 kg
68.6 x 15 cm | 2.72 kg
Soft, 59 mm
Lifetime manufacturer’s warranty
Moderately soft wheels feel good on a city road—soft enough to dampen the vibration of small road bumps but not too soft to get in the way of decent adhesion, which makes for good speeding and timely stopping.
Bearings need lubrication from time to time to not squeak.
Designed after a famous Makaha board from the 1970s, this model has superb stability, is very durable and exceptionally easy to learn skateboarding with. Perfect for speedy city riding, commuting, and doing small simple tricks a cruiser design allows.
56 x 15 cm | 1.89 kg
Soft, 59 mm
Amazon's 30-day return policy
The 7 ply maple wood deck is strong and durable, able to hold weight adequately, just what you need to learn your first tricks. The board will be with you for years.
Scratches might appear on the paint after some time.
A top choice among beginners looking for a skateboard to learn tricks. Easy to control both on-land and mid-air, the concaved deck helps with easier landing and a double-kick design allows doing flips from both tail and nose parts.
Double Kick Trick Skateboard
79 x 20 cm | 2.18 kg
7 ply maple wood
Soft, 54 mm
Amazon's 30-day return policy
The plastic the deck is made from is highly strong and durable, the skateboard can be used by kids as well as adults whose weight is up to 100 kg.
Not good with rain and puddles.
The ENKEEO skateboards allow the user to speed up fast and manoeuvre with ease. The vibration from small jumps is dampened owing to very soft PU wheels. The polypropylene deck is light enough for kids to carry around yet highly durable.
56 x 15 cm | 1.6 kg
Soft, 59 mm
Amazon's 30-day return policy
The wider deck compared to similar models make this board more stable and comfortable for the rider to control.
A bit heavy for kids.
A perfect choice for city riding and as the means of transportation, especially for teens and adults: rides fast and controlling it is a breeze, little to no vibration is felt.
68.6 x 19 cm | 2.5 kg
Soft, 59 mm
Amazon's 30-day return policy
Penny 22 inch
Penny Skateboards have grown so famous since their first appearance in 2010 that the name has become a blanket term when it comes to any plastic short cruiser. Rest assured, though, this one is a genuine Penny board sold by the brand. The deck here is 15 cm wide regardless of length (of which there are two options, 56 cm and 68.6 cm), which is considered pretty narrow. By the size of it, you can probably tell that this is a board for kids and teens, or not very tall adults. It can actually handle quite a weight, up to 110 kg, which makes it a perfect skateboard for beginners regardless of their age.
As most Penny models, it is a cruiser. Cruisers are skateboards intended mostly for, well, cruising around your neighbourhood, commuting to school and work, things like that. Doing tricks is not exactly comfortable, in part due to the deck shape, it is not symmetrical. There is a number of simple tricks you can do but they are few and far between. The board does, however, allow you to develop a decent speed, which can be impressive in its own way.
Strong and Durable
This Penny board has 59 mm wheels, which is neither exceptionally big nor really small but somewhere in-between. The wheels are 83A soft ones, designed, like this whole Nickel board, for smooth cruising without feeling the bumps on the road too much. The 4" A-grade cast aluminium powder-coated trucks are strong and durable, with them, the skateboard will serve your kids for years flawlessly.
The Penny Classics has the same quality bearings as most manufacturers prefer today with their complete models—the ABEC 7 stainless steel bearings offer the perfect price-and-quality ratio, they are rigorously tested for durability yet cost within the affordable range, thus not making the board itself too expensive.
As for the design, the Penny board is very basic, it is offered in four plain colours without any graphics (red, purple, black, and blue) as well as a glow-in-the-dark white. Most plastic skateboards come in plain colours, which can be a turn-off for some, but on the other hand, the plainness means you can paint your deck whatever you want.
Ridge 22 INCH
Native to the UK
Ridge is a United Kingdom-based company that makes skateboards, their products are designed, manufactured, and assembled by hand in England. This model is their take on the mini cruiser board.
The Ridge 22" board is an attempt to replicate the skateboard manufactured in the 1970s (hence the Retro name) by the Makaha company but with a more contemporary touch and using the more advanced technology available today. The deck here is made from plastic and it nicely balances flex with strength, making it durable and long-living. The width of the board is 15 cm, narrow enough to make some simple tricks easier to learn, though, being a cruiser, the board is not really made for flashy performance on the ramp.
The overall strength of these skateboards is ensured with quality materials in all parts, from the special plastic used on the deck to the die-cast 3" aluminium trucks and quality ABEC 7 bearings that, coupled with soft 59 mm 78A PU rubber wheels, ensure a smooth ride over roads and pavement even if you do that at a considerable speed.
Bright Colours Perfect for Instagramming
Being a really small model, only 56 cm long, and lightweight, Ridge Retro is easily one of the most portable skateboards. Kids will be able to go to school with it and put it in their locker without trouble. Going to the beach or for a trip, even abroad, causes little to no inconvenience.
Ridge offers their skateboards in a variety of colour combinations so wide one can get lost for a minute. Though they are mostly just plain colours with a different colour of wheels, the selection of those colours, both for the deck and for the wheels, is really impressive; you can even get a glow-in-the-dark deck with, say, semi-transparent green wheels. Now, how cool is that? At the same time, if you wish to have something more intricate, the Ridge skateboards are easily customized using either spray paint to make something of your own or with some pre-painted grip tape.
For those looking for a cute and high-quality cruiser and founding Penny boards a tad too expensive, Ridge is the coolest option.
Osprey 31 Inches
Good Skateboards to Learn Tricks on
Having started as manufacturers of wetsuits in 1994, today the range of Oster products is much more diverse and includes surfboards, scooters, quad and in-line roller skates and, of course, all kinds of skateboards, from short- to longboards, cruisers, and trick boards. The model in our review is the latter. It is a 31" (79 cm) long double kick trick board, one of the best skateboards to learn flips and kicks, partially due to its low price—nobody likes ruining expensive things, and, when starting an extreme sport like skateboarding, with tricks no less, some amount of falls and bumps are inevitable, pushing future skateboarders towards cheaper models.
At the same time, cheaper price does not always mean bad quality. Oster makes their skateboards quite durable. The deck here is wooden, made from 7 thin layers of maple wood glued together. 7 layers, or 7-ply, are the most common when it comes to wooden decks designed for tricks, this number makes the skateboard quite durable without making it too heavy to flip quickly.
The wheels on this model are smaller than those on cruisers (which is obvious since it's not a cruiser). Smaller wheels make it easier to do tricks since they are lighter and do not get in the way. The ones here are 54 mm PVC wheels. They are pretty soft and, while pro skaters tend to choose harder wheels, it might be more comfortable for a beginner to start with softer options to make landings less straining and the rolling smoother.
It is a double kick model, meaning you can learn to perform kicks from both nose and tail. A slight concave adds to the deck's durability, allowing you to perform more daring flips and tricks. The sturdy aluminium trucks with polyurethane bushings make the board sturdier yet so that you need not worry about breaking it.
Those choosing trick boards are usually up for a challenge and ready to attract eyes so the look of the deck's bottom is of importance. Osprey deliver these skateboards in four designs, all of them bright and easily spotted from the other side of the street when you jump and make a flip.
ENKEEO 22 inch
The Coolest Cruiser
Though it can be used by adults, too, the ENKEEO 22" cruiser is one of the coolest skateboards for kids first. What makes it so? Well, first and foremost, it is very lightweight—at the standard 56 x 15 cm size, its weight is only 1.6 kg; it might not be much of a difference for an adult, but for children, the 300 grammes difference between this model and a 1.9 kg Penny board gets at least a little sway. Despite being light, it is still quite durable, able to hold the weight of up to 90 kg—basically, a grown-up person with some muscle mass on them. The combination of durability and lightness is achieved owing to the polypropylene deck, the material is long lasting and comfortable to ride on.
Another feature that can make this model attractive for kids and teens is its design. There are three colour options offered—Space, Ocean, and Joker—all of them bright and eye-catching, just like what many kids love. Clear wheels are made in the colour that matches the deck. In case you do not like the offered design, though, the company has a plain black deck that you can leave as it is or redecorate with a paint spray, for example.
Top Kids Choice
Since it is a cruiser, it has moderately large wheels, 59 mm in diameter, and those wheels are made of polyurethane soft enough so that when you ride to school or down to the beach, in a park or on paved road, you do not feel every tiny bump vibrating through you. If you need to slightly adjust the trucks, it is easily accomplished, too.
The board has passed the CE certification test and is deemed good enough for riders of any level. Even if it's your first ever skateboard, it is a good one, you will feel comfortable making first attempts at riding. If you do have some experience, you will find this model quite flexible and easy to control even at high speeds.
Being compact and light, the ENKEEO are good skateboards to carry around between rides—even a 5-year old child can carry one in hands or in a backpack. We do recommend little kids to ride only with adults supervising them, though. Aside from that, there is nothing to warn about.
Ridge 27 Inch Big Brother Retro
Big Brother to a Classic Shortboard
This one is the same as the classic Ridge board in most ways, except it is bigger. That's why it's called the Big Brother. Bigger than the classic Ridge means bigger than an average cruiser in general, of course. And while, for example, the bigger modification of a Penny board is the same length as this Ridge, 68.6 cm, its width is the same as the short version, 15 cm, while here we have a shortboard with the width of 19 cm. A bit more length and width are good for a cruiser, this way, it is more comfortable to stand on the deck, especially when you ride at a speed—you have more space and, hence, better stability. It does make sharp turns a little harder to do, though, due to the larger turning circle.
Despite larger deck, the wheels of this skateboard are the same as on most cruisers—59 mm. Well, these are considered large wheels, so they fit nicely here even with a bigger deck. They are also soft 78A polyurethane wheels, good with dampening the vibration during your ride. Add here quality trucks and high-speed ABEC 7 bearings and you have a perfect cruiser for that will accompany you for years or your kids as they grow up.
All Colours of the Rainbow and Beyound
Back to the deck. The material it is made of is high-quality hard plastic. While plastic is not the best choice when it comes to doing tricks—multilayered maple handles landings and flips better—for cruising around, plastic is just as good as wood can be. Better, even, since it is more flexible.
The Ridge Big Brother is bigger in size, therefore, it is also heavier. At 2.5 kg, it is still light enough to carry with you wherever you go, however, it is too heavy and too large for kids under 8 years old. These are good skateboards for teens and adults—they offer more space to place bigger feet and require more strength to control as well as carry.
Finally, Ridge is well known for the designs of their skateboards. The selection of colours for deck and wheels is astonishing, there are over a hundred combinations there, it is nearly impossible to not find the one you want. So grab it and go for a ride around your neighbourhood!
What Is a Skateboard?
Well, one needs to be really old or very, very young to not know what a skateboard is, considering these things go back to 1958 at the very least and are still a favourite among kids, tweens, teens, and adults alike.
Skateboarding is an extreme sport that involves a board on wheels, or skates (hence the name) and, preferably, some protective gear like a helmet and kneepads. It is so popular that the Olympic committee has agreed to include it as a "guest" competition for the 2020 Games.
Skateboards are constantly in trend, have been for years, and their fan base is steadily growing while everything else is in and then out of trend. There are times where skateboards seem to be temporarily "overthrown" when some new tech comes out, like with the so-called hoverboards in 2014, but they always come back, and for a reason. A simple deck with wheels propelled forward with your own power instead of that of a motor, it is a transportation method as well as an exercise, and an opportunity to show off your skills with style yet for much less money and hassle, generally. There are longboards that are mostly used for commute purposes due to their lower manoeuvrability, and there are actual skateboards, or shortboards, on which it is easier to do tricks.
What Features to Compare
Pro boarders usually prefer making their skateboards from individually bought parts for the most comfortable ride. Hobbyists, though, make do with pre-assembled models since it is less hassle and more often than not cheaper. If you're looking for a skateboard for beginners, your very first board, or you're just not too savvy a hobbyist, you might need some advice as to how to proceed. Here's what you need to consider besides the design, which can totally be anything.
The deck is the biggest part of the skateboard so, naturally, it is important. It is also the part that receives the most load and therefore, it is prone to breakage if it is of low quality or chosen wrongly.
The first thing to consider when it comes to the deck would be the width. Some first-time skaters try to decide on the width by the shoe size but that is not exactly correct. Well, it is in a way that you should get the board on which it is comfortable to stand, of course, but there's more to the width. Wider decks are heavier and slower when it comes to flipping so if you want a fast flipper you should go for a bit thinner board. Wide decks are good to land on, both on the ground and mid-air, they are steadier. For kids and teens, about 15 cm is optimal though taller and heavier riders will need wider boards. When undecided, go for the more comfortable feel.
When it comes to materials, the maple wood and plastic are the options prefered by most. There are also aluminium and fibreglass skateboards as well, however, they cost a lot and are fairly difficult to master. Maple is more durable, especially if the deck has 7–8 layers, but also quite a bit more expensive. Quality plastic will also live through all kinds of abuse and it is a good choice for your first board as they are flexible in use; plastic is also good in case you are not sure the hobby will stick and don't want to pay too much.
The wheel size selection is similar to that of a deck size. Smaller wheels are lighter and they rotate faster, they are good for all kinds of tricks. Bigger wheels are perfect for cruiser skateboards and when you primarily use the board for commuting. Then, there is hardness. Hard wheels are good for tricks since they allow more slide while softer ones are good for riding on rough terrains and cruising. It is possible to do tricks on soft wheels, of course, but it is easier on hard ones.
The ball bearings are all of the same sizes but they can be of different tolerance and precision decided according to the Annular Bearing Engineering Committee (ABEC) requirements. The lowest tolerance would be ABEC 1 and the highest ABEC 9 (they only go by odd numbers, too, so it's ABEC 1–3–5–7–9). The ABEC 11 name is going around but these are ABEC 9 bearings that can handle intense side loads and they are used in longboards, it is not a tolerance or precision. We suggest you go for the middle ground with your first board, like 6 or 7, they are not too pricey but offer nice quality.
How to Care For Your Skateboards
It seems unimportant, maybe. Some beginner riders might sometimes think that nothing grave can happen to a piece of wood with wheels. Even less when your board is plastic. We kind of got used to plastic requiring little to no maintenance at all aside from occasional wiping. Well, that is not exactly true, skateboards do need some specific care if you want to ride them for years to come. Admittedly, models with wooden decks need more maintenance than plastic ones. Here are some tips.
Don't Leave It Outside
This is not even about it being stolen—if that's the case with your neighbourhood, you probably already know to never leave anything valuable unattended. But there's more to it. Even if you have a high fence around your house or apartment building, leaving your board outside is not a good idea. While the myth about constant raining all over the UK is just that, a myth, the truth is that in some areas, the amount of rain per year is quite high indeed. A wooden deck will see hell if left in the rain, what with wood absorbing the moisture like a sponge. And when it's not raining, it can be the sun, which is as bad for plastic as it is for wood. Basically, any extreme temperature can be the death of your board. Also, dust can get between the parts and make manoeuvring a challenge. Animals are also a threat. Take your skateboard inside, most of them do not require that much space.
Clean the Bearings Regularly
Bearings are the most important part of your skateboard. And you will need to take them out to clean them. It is not too difficult to do but might be a bit scary for a beginner. Don't let that stop you, though. You'll have to take off the wheels to get to the bearings. Keep in mind that simply washing the bearings with water is not sufficient, you will most probably cause them to rust sooner than later. You can use WD-40, though some frown upon that and say olive or sunflower oil is better for greasing. Well, WD-40 is okay for quick cleaning but you'll need to do thorough one from time to time. We'd like to agree. Soak the bearings in oil, then wipe them and put them back into wheels. Check the screws and the kingpin while you're on it.
Take Care of the Deck
Decks are expensive. If you don't have a constant free supply of them, you'd want yours to last. Besides the weather, which we've covered already, there is the damage you do to the deck when you skate. Improper feet placing is nearly inevitable when you are a newbie and can cause splitting or cracking, the tricks you perform cause a physical shock, and nothing is indestructible. Check your deck for splits and grip for tears after each riding, don't skid on the tail—it will scuff, become sharp and hurt you. If you see some damage, try to fix it, don't write it off as something small. See your local shop for advice and check up.
The better care you take after your board, the longer it will be with you.
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