When it comes to buying a new skateboard, you can either go custom, or go with a ready-to-ride complete skateboard. If you're a total beginner, it probably makes more sense to get a complete skateboard, whereas advanced skaters will want to definitely go the custom route.
Going custom means you'll have to choose the right wheels, trucks, bearings - and possibly even grip tape. A newbie will be totally lost during this process, so we really don't recommend it for beginners. If you go the complete route.
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Pros Of Buying Complete Skateboards
There are many pros to buying a complete skateboard. For starters, all you have to do is open the box and skate.
That's a benefit that is hard to beat. It's also notable that complete skateboards are almost always cheaper.
Meaning that if skateboarding isn't for you - you won't have wasted very much money. This is important for someone starting a new hobby, and who may not be sure if they enjoy it yet.
Another benefit is that there won't be a huge difference in quality, between a complete skateboard and a custom one. While it's certainly true that if you spend more money and trick out a board it will be of better quality - the difference will likely only be noticed by advanced riders.
Unless you're out there grinding rails or riding vert ramps, it's very unlikely you'll notice the difference between a complete board and a custom one. You can also always upgrade from a complete board to a more custom one.
The Cons Of Buying A Complete Skateboard
The real issue here is quality control, as well as potentially having bad parts. Cheap complete boards are especially susceptible to this problem, as they often have cheaper bearings, wheels, or trucks.
Additionally, another issue with complete boards is that you won't have a custom design. You will just have stock bearings, wheels, etc.
For advanced skaters, this is hardly ideal. We offer great custom setups, for affordable prices, right here.
How Much Does A Complete Skateboard Cost?
For $20 to $40 you can get a complete skateboard. Of course, these won't be top quality - but they are more than enough to get you started.
Better complete boards can be had for $100+, but absolute beginners won't necessarily need this level of quality. The wheels, bearings, and trucks will be better than the $20 to $40 models, but the best complete boards will run anywhere from $150 to $300+.
This level of board will have top of the line parts, and will be very well assembled. You should always take into account the level of the rider receiving the board - complete beginners will generally be just fine with a $20 to $40 complete board.
How To Build Your Own Custom Skateboard
If this is the first time building your own board, you'll want to be extra careful to make sure all your components match. This means that the widths of all the parts need to match up, and the wheels shouldn't be too soft or too hard.
The cost of building your own skateboard isn't too high, with each component costing roughly $20, except a deck, which usually will cost more. You don't want to go too low on price, as the quality of parts is likely to be suspect. You get your bang for your buck when it comes to skateboard components.
Cheapest Complete Skateboard - How Much Does It Cost?
Usually $20 is the lowest you'll want to go, as anything lower in price is likely to be a toy - meaning it's not really rideable. The higher you go in price, usually the better quality a board will be.
Meaning - a $100 complete board will to be better quality than a $20 board. However, beginner riders may not really notice the difference.
While more advanced skaters certainly will notice the differences in quality, they are not likely to be buying $20 complete skateboards anyway. We also offer a great complete skateboard, that is perfect for beginners and experts alike.
Are Complete Skateboards Good For Beginners?
Yes, complete skateboards are great for beginners. In fact, we'd recommend that beginners always go with a complete setup.
This will let them start learning how to skateboard - without dealing with any of the annoying details, like trucks, wheels, bearings, etc. As you become more advanced, you can easily start to customize your board, and make it better.
As you start doing complex tricks and really beating up your board, you'll definitely want to invest in higher quality parts. Nice trucks, high quality bearings, and durable wheels - these components will make your board last longer and perform better.
Beginners won't really notice the difference though, so complete packages are usually a better option. If you're grinding rails on the regular though, a complete board won't likely be up to your standards.
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What Does It Mean If A Skateboard Is Complete?
This one is pretty straightforward. A complete skateboard will be fully assembled, as well as have all the necessary parts.
You won't be searching for wheels, bearings, trucks - or putting anything together. A complete board will arrive to you ready to go, right out of the box.
If You Can, It's Better To Build Your Own
While beginners will be fine with a complete setup, if you're serious about boarding, you'll want to spend the extra cash and time - and design your own custom board.
You can pick out your own deck, your own bearings, your own trucks, and more. You can also spend more on parts, meaning you're much more likely to get higher quality gear.
Are All Skateboard Decks The Same Quality?
No, not exactly. While generally skateboard decks serve the same purpose, they can be made from different materials, have different quality, and be made sturdier or thinner.
Additionally, different manufacturers have different standards - so some boards will be much sturdier than others. However, generally speaking - a deck is a deck, and they all serve the same purpose.
What Boards Do Pro Skaters Use?
Most professional skateboarders ride boards that are 8 inches, up to 8.75 inches. This is an ideal size because they can easily flip the board (making it easier to do tricks) - but they will also still have the necessary stability to ride comfortably.
It should come as no surprise that pro skateboarders also always have custom setups. In fact, professional boarders will spend quite a bit getting their boards just right.
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What Skateboard Does Tony Hawk Ride?
Tony Hawk has ridden many different boards, but one of the most famous is a board made by Powell Peralta. A very similar complete board can be found right here.
What Is The Best Skateboard Material?
There are numerous materials that skateboards can be made with. The most common is maple, as traditionally boards were only made with this wood.
Nowadays, there are bamboo boards, carbon boards, fiberglass boards, and even plastic boards. Each type of material has its pluses and minuses.
10 Best Complete Skateboards
This complete skateboard from CCS is a great choice for just about anyone. Great for beginners, teens, or adults - it is the definition of a 'catch all' product.
While experts may want something more advanced, this board comes in a wide variety of colors, and is fully assembled. Hard to beat this one, and easily our top pick for a complete skateboard.
This complete board from Benewell is affordable, and is great for kids, teenagers, or even adults. While it's certainly not the most complex or expensive board on the market - that's sort of the point.
It comes ready to go, and is backed by tons of great reviews. We highly recommend this as a gift for anyone who wants to get into skateboarding - you won't regret it.
This awesome minimalist board comes ready to go, and has a great design. Perfect for experts or beginners, it will have you ready to hit the streets in mere minutes of your package arriving.
We like the panda design the best, but there are also lots of other great choices. Reviewers have noted that it can be a little narrow for some riders, so be sure to take that into consideration.
This beginner's board from WhiteFang may not be great for those very advanced in skateboarding - but it's absolutely perfect for newbies. Backed by a metric ton of five star reviews, it's a great choice for a child or adult.
The price is also right, making this a great gift option for any family or friends. Reviewers have also noted that most deliveries only take 2 days - meaning you'll be up and running in no time.
Okay, this pick may not be for adults, but it was simply too awesome not to include. Spidey has never looked so good, as the bottom of your board will be covered in lots of Marvel goodness.
If you have a little one, this is a perfect way to get them started on a board. Additionally, the price is definitely right - making this a no-brainer for anyone out there.
This affordable board from Jecolos is great for kids, teenagers, and adults. It's also backed by tons of great reviews, meaning you can feel safe making a purchase.
While experts and some more serious skaters may want to opt for more, this choice makes for a great gift. We like the ice and fire design best, but the great thing is - there are plenty of different designs to choose from.
This beginner board from Blind is yet another winner. With lots of color and design options, there is truly something here for everyone.
While not the most affordable option on our list, it is worth the extra cash. This board will last a lot longer than many, and it comes ready to skate on, right out of the box.
This classic board from Santa Cruz comes complete, and totally ready to go. Backed by lots of great reviews, you can feel safe buying this board.
Perfect for youngsters or adults, this board is well-crafted but still affordable. We highly recommend it, and it's a great complete skateboard for any beginner (or even intermediate skaters).
This awesome bamboo skateboard comes complete and ready to go. We love the unique look, especially the orange wheels.
Reviewers have noted how sturdy and flexible this complete board is, so it will be great for beginners, and hold up for a very long time. The only adjustment you may have to make, is to slightly tighten the trucks. Highly recommended.
This one is not a traditional complete skateboard - it's electric! Just like a Tesla, it offers superior performance, while still remaining affordable.
This board comes complete with a wireless LED remote, and can go about 20 miles per hour. Of course, make sure you're careful - but if you are, this board is a total blast!
Other Factors To Consider
Buying a quality skateboard can be easy - whether it’s from your local skate shop, or Amazon. Your first skateboard should be pre-built - a true beginner skateboard.
If you want to do street skateboarding, you will need a specific type of skateboard. However, a beginner skateboard is likely not the right type to be doing street skateboarding with.
Big Brand Stores like Zumiez are big, but a blank deck will be cheaper - so weigh your options carefully. Skateboard wheels, deck size, axles, deck width, skateboard trucks, hard wheels - you’ll have to deal with all of these things if you build a custom board.
A good complete board on the other hand, will come with all you need already assembled. You won’t have to worry about getting a set of wheels, skateboard parts, or what ply wood you need to buy.
A cheap skateboard will break, so don’t go too low on price - you still want good quality. A good skateboard, however, will survive almost anything.
Skateboard brands sometimes make wider decks, but smaller boards are easier for flip tricks and ollies. You can get a skateboard complete almost anywhere - even at Walmart.
However, sometimes these boards aren’t of the highest quality. Make sure you go with good skateboarding companies, and choose a quality board.
[Should you buy a complete or custom skateboard?]
The Bottom Line On Buying A Complete Or Custom Skateboard
The ultimate decision on whether or not a complete or custom board is right for you, depends on what level of rider you are. And it also depends on how easy (or difficult) you want the buying process to be.
If you're looking for a 'plug and play' board, then a complete skateboard is the obvious choice. But if you want the absolute best parts, and personalized settings - a custom board is the only way to go.
Whether you go with a complete or custom board, be sure to invest in quality. You don't want to be on your first ride, and have your new board split in two - that would definitely be a bummer.