The size of your board will effect the way you skate, meaning its important to get the right size for you. They are measured by the width of the board in inches. Smaller boards like the 7.5″ will be lighter so easier to flip and do tricks, however they have less stability. The larger boards like 8.25″ or above will be heavier so harder to flip however they will be more stable. For beginners we recommend between the 7.75″ – 8.125″.
The wheel size for your board is not as important for beginner skaters, however it should not be overlooked. Smaller wheels like the 48-52mm provide more acceleration but less speed, often used by the pros for street skating so require a good amount of practise and skill. Medium sized wheels 52-56mm are best for beginners and most commonly sold. They provide decent speed and acceleration whilst giving you more stability. Larger wheels sized 60mm+ are often used for cruising flat grounds and rough surfaces so not ideal for tricks.
Choosing the correct footwear is important in any sport, particularly skating. Brands such as Vans, Etnies, DC, Nike SB or Adidas are best in providing all round great shoes for skating. However if you are not ready to splash out on these brands, it is important to have shoes with a flat bottom and good sole to grip the board. Some ankle support like the Vans Sk8 Hi’s can help too.
The way you ride your board is important, and the debate between the regular or goofy stance is one often debated between skaters. Some believe it is dependant on your dominant hand however the most important factor is how it feels for you. If you’re unsure the best thing to do is practise on each for a while and see which one ‘clicks’ for you, it should then be easier to decide which stance you find more comfortable to ride.
More tips for beginners
- Bend your knees – Having a low, relaxed stance will help with nearly all tricks as it allows you to adjust your balance in any situation.
- Learn how to fall – Falling is an inevitable part of skating, the most important thing is to minimise injury and keep going.
- Match your gear to your experience level – If you are just starting out try not to focus spending money on the best equipment quite yet, use what you have until you improve and can gradually upgrade your setup.
- Skate with a friend – If its possible to, skating with a friend is often better as it helps you and them improve and motivate each other, whilst being able to check each others form and offer constructive criticism. It also makes it more fun and adds the social aspect to skating.
- Be determined – Practise and dedication are important in every new skill you learn, especially skating. It’s hard to learn so don’t expect to pick up everything right away, it takes time and practise and you’ll get there.