The Best Adult Starter Skateboards

Venice Beach Skateboard Girl
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Buying skateboards for adult beginners are easier than it looks. With the rising number of adults just starting out in skateboarding, plenty of companies make starter skateboards that will work well for kids of all ages.

However, it's important to know what to look out for so that you aren't fooled into buying a cheap $20 skateboard from a flea market or Walmart, with Batman on the bottom. Those boards are poorly made and can even be dangerous.

The following suggestions are all built well enough for an adult to learn to ride on them and to have fun while learning.

Components of a Good Skateboard

First thing's first, you want to make sure you get a high-quality skateboard complete with all the necessary components to get you on the way to a professional level. These components include the deck, grip tape, four wheels, two "trucks," and the wheel bearings, all of which affect the overall performance of your board.

The deck is the physical board on which a skateboarder stands to propel the device forward and can be made of any material — though most often pros prefer wooden boards. Equally important to the board's usability is the grip tape — either clear or colored — affixed to the top which allows the skater to grip down on the top of the board and avoid slipping.

The bottom half of the board consists of the trucks, wheels, and bearings, which all affect movement speed and energy needed to move forward. Larger wheels provide more speed but take more effort to move while smaller wheels yield less speed for lower inputs of energy. Depending on the style of the truck, your ride will be smoother or bumpier, and depending on the wheel bearings, your skateboard will either be more or less durable.

Types of Skateboards

Although there are also some skateboards on the market for children and kid beginners, you won't want to select one of these are your first adult board — they're the wrong size for your frame. Instead, you'll want to go with one of five commonly accepted board types, depending on which style you want to learn. Of the most popular styles of skateboards, you might want to choose from either longboards, cruisers, mini cruisers, carve or double kicks. 

Longboards offer perhaps the easiest method for beginners to learn the art of boarding due to their length (over 33 inches) and increased handling. These are great for cruising around on a stable, maneuverable board that rides fairly smoothly even at its fast top speeds.

Cruisers are also a good tool for getting from one place to another, especially in a city, but they don't go very fast and are not very stable or maneuverable for beginners. Still, with the added ability to turn sharply and an even smoother ride, this portable board may be perfect for the casual beginner. Similarly, mini cruisers are great for carrying around but offer even less stability and maneuverability.

Carve boards' front trucks are specially designed to allow the boards to tilt and the front wheels to change direction much more than a regular board, allowing for faster speeds and are typically most popular with surfers hoping to transfer their skills over to the pavement. Named for the carving skill associated with this board, it may not be the best skateboard for beginners unless they have experience on a surf or snowboard first.

Finally, the double kick skateboard offers the most versatile movement for a beginner, though may be a bit too difficult for the average first-time boarder to pick up immediately. Instead, these boards provide the ability to do most tricks you see the pros doing due to its curved ends. If you're willing to sacrifice control and stability for some fancy skills, this might still be the board for you.