Believe it or not, there is a slightly different best skateboard setup for parks. This setup will be slightly different than what you'd ride on the street, though it's not totally foreign either.
Today we'll go over what size board you need, what else needs to be different about your setup, and what you may need to look out for. So without any further ado, let's dive into it. 🛹 🤙
[Check out the best shortboard skateboard, if you need a new ride.]
10 Best Skateboards For Parks
- Why it's rad: We may be a little biased, but we love riding our board in any skatepark.
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Santa Cruz Screaming Hand Board
- Why it's rad: Santa Cruz always makes perfect boards for skateparks.
- Buy at Amazon
Element Hatched Board
- Why it's rad: This is a solid board, and it should handle very well in any skatepark.
- Buy at Amazon
We may be a little biased, but we love our awesome complete skateboard. It's perfect for beginners, and you'll be able to ride in style at your favorite park, in no time.
The price point is also good, and you'll love being able to get going right out of the box. This is easily our top pick.
Santa Cruz is well known for making awesome boards, and this one is no exception. It's backed by a ton of great reviews, and comes it at a good price point.
We also love the design of the board, as it really stands out. Another highly recommended product.
This is another great board, from another great brand. Element is well known for making quality skate gear, and this board proves why.
It's moderately priced, but it offers exceptional quality. You can also use this board right out of the box, so you can get up and running in no time.
This slickly designed board has graphics we absolutely love, as well as good performance. You may want to soup it up a little, if you're an advanced rider, but for beginners this is a perfect choice.
The price point is also good, and you'll turn heads with the cool design. If you need a complete board to hop on right away, this is another perfect choice.
This is another great selection, with a cool design, and excellent price point. We also love that it's backed by a ton of great reviews.
Enjoi has a great reputation for being a solid brand, and we loved how durable this board was. Another great choice, and highly recommended.
This super cool board not only has a great design, it's backed by a ton of excellent reviews. We love the old school look, and think you'll like it too.
While it's not the most inexpensive item on our list, it's certainly worth the extra cash. Another great recommendation.
This is another awesome pick. It has lots of great reviews, and a good price point.
We like the old school look, and also like how durable the board is. Another killer selection.
This budget pick offers killer performance. This complete board is also backed by lots of stellar reviews.
We loved how easily it handled, though some expert boarders may want something a little more expensive. Highly recommended, and another great choice.
This is another great budget pick, with tons of killer reviews. While not the most expensive choice, it will be more than enough for most beginners.
If you're an expert, you may want to spend a little more. However, we love this board for any beginners or novice skateboarders.
This board has a rad design, and comes it at an excellent price point. It's also backed by lots of great reviews.
If you don't care that much about expensive gear, and just want to ride - this is an excellent choice for you. Another great pick for beginners.
[If you want to upgrade your ride, check out these awesome Gullwing trucks.]
What Is A Skatepark?
Back in the day, skateparks used to be non-existent. Originally, skateboarders had to skate in someone's drained pool, or along the actual streets, in order to go over ramps and other obstacles.
Nowadays, there are skateparks everywhere. In southern California alone, there are over 270 skateparks to choose from.
Skateparks will typically have features like ramps, guardrails, and other obstacles. They are meant to mimic the real life street environment, though they are not always perfectly accurate.
Obviously, you won't have real obstructions, people, or construction happening in a skatepark - which is probably a good thing. However, besides these obvious oversights, skateparks are usually very true-to-life, in terms of replicating the street skating environment.
What Makes Riding In A Skatepark Different?
Skateparks are different in a number of key ways. For starters, they don't have any obstructions, so you won't have to worry about running into glass, pebbles, trash, or old cans.
Secondly, skateparks usually have mini ramps, rails, and bowls - which means you can use a wider deck, harder wheels, and also larger wheels. This will provide you with a great flow, as you skate.
The wider deck will help you keep your stability, and the larger and harder wheels will make it easier to ride. You will also be able to get more speed, and a wider deck will allow you to stay on the board easier, when you do tight carving turns.
Ultimately, what you'll be doing in a skatepark will be less technical than other types of riding. This also means you'll need trucks that are slightly different.
For skatepark riding, you'll want high trucks. This will allow you to turn better.
You'll be carving with more precision and ease in no time. This is because there will be a bigger space between your trucks and your deck.
High trucks are also needed to get bigger wheels on the board. You'll want to make sure the width of the board and the wheels match, of course.
You also don't want your trucks too tight, so make sure they are plenty loose. This will also aid in turning easier.
You should also make sure you have very high quality bearings. Our friends at Fireball have great bearings, so be sure and check them out.
When it comes to your overall setup for a skatepark, think of a street setup. From there, we will make a few minor modifications, but nothing too crazy.
[Find the best skate board park, so you can shred comfortably.]
How Wide Should My Skateboard Deck Be For A Skatepark?
There is no one answer to this question. However, there are some guidelines.
Wider boards will have more balance, but they won't allow for the same skating experience in a pool, for example. Narrower boards will have less balance, but will be much more responsive.
Narrower boards will allow you to be more technical, perhaps, but you're also much more likely to fall off. We recommend a wider board, for beginners, so they can get used to skating in a park.
For more technical skating in a skatepark, an 8" width (which is more narrow) is ideal. Wider than this can be useful, if you're not an expert, or you want to simply get your feet wet.
If you want to do technical stuff at the park, wheel size can be a bit difficult to determine. You should go with hard wheels, and not something too small or too big.
What Is Skatepark Riding?
Skateparks generally aren't that huge, so there are a lot of transitions to ride. You can also go into full bowls, half pipes, mini ramps, or even grind on rails.
Street skating is a good precursor to skatepark riding, but parks will involve more than this. They generally have vert elements, so be prepared to get some air. 🛹
[See the best women skateboarders, that are tearing it up right now.]
What Are The Different Elements Of A Skatepark?
There are many different parts of a skatepark. There are bowls, vert ramps, mini ramps, snake runs, rails, and transitions.
Overall, there are a ton of different elements at a skatepark, and bigger ones will have even more variety. This is part of why it's so great to practice in a skatepark - you'll get great at lots of different things, quickly.
A transition can best be thought of, as an angled slope. This can be a quarter pipe, a snake run, a bowl, or something else entirely.
There are small transitions (usually about 2 feet), and there are monster transitions (about 10 feet, or more). Make sure you work your way up to the big ones, and don't try anything you're not completely comfortable with.
Half Pipes, Pools, And Bowls
These vert elements make for insane air - and also insane crashes. Don't start skating vert until you feel very comfortable on every other type of element.
Vert is the most rewarding form of skating - but we also happen to think it's the hardest. A bowl is usually shaped like a kidney, but there are also other types.
They are essentially a smaller version of a pool, which will instead have higher walls (the deep end, of course), and be even steeper. Bowls are a good way to work up to pools, and then of course the half pipe.
Anyone who has ever watched the X Games, has undoubtedly seen the half pipe in action. This awesome structure allows you to get a ton of air, and makes for really fun tricks.
However, just as gnarly - are the crashes and bails that happen on the half pipe. Don't even YouTube these - trust us, you don't want to see them.
It's important to be confident by the time you work your way up to the half pipe, but you also don't want to be overconfident. Have a plan on what you're going to do, and don't go beyond your skill level - or you'll eat it, hard.
[Check out why bearing spacers make a big difference for your board.]
Dropping In, And Other Skills
Believe it or not, there are other skills to learn for a skatepark, too. The simple act of dropping in on a ramp or half pipe, is not as easy as it seems.
You'll need to practice this, and be prepared to fall the first 100 or so times, as well. Once you've got it down though, it is a little easier, and you're pretty unlikely to fall.
You'll also want to master the art of maintaining your speed in a skatepark, which means hitting the right objects at the right time, and not going too fast either. Once you can do these two things, tricks are the next natural position.
Other Factors To Consider
Skaters will need a specific setup to maximize a skatepark, so you shouldn’t just ride a cheap, complete skateboard from Amazon. You’ll want to look at the skateboard wheels you’re using, possibly consider a narrower deck, look at your shoe size, check your wheels with a durometer - and so much more.
While some things will come down to personal preference, if you’re going to be doing flip tricks and using a popsicle board - you’ll want to look at possibly getting smaller wheels, and consider your riser pads, grip tape, deck size, and even deck width.
Street skaters will want a specific type of skateboard, so make sure that you have the right bushings, and aren’t riding longboards at the skatepark. Cruiser skateboards can be fun, but they aren’t meant to be used in skateparks - at least not for tricks.
Brands like Santa Cruz and Powell Peralta make great decks and boards for skateparks, but the old school wide boards are no longer ideal. You may need to look at the kingpin on your board, as well as the wheelbase, and consider softer wheels.
Even small things, like your skateboard bearings, can have an impact on the more technical tricks. Truck size can have an impact, as well as wheel bite, and brands like Tensor do a good job at making parts specifically geared towards riding in skateparks.
Park skating is a different animal, and different sizes of parts will have a big impact on your street skateboarding. Different skateboard brands will offer different skateboard trucks, and since skateparks are all about transition skating, you should master the art of smaller tricks, like kickflips.
Boards with a good kicktail may be useful to you, and if you want to have a local skate shop adjust your setup first, that will also probably help. We hope you found some of this information useful, as you head out into the park.
[Try these easy skateboard tricks, and up your game.]
The Bottom Line On The Best Skateboard Setup For Parks
There you have it - all the facts on the best skateboard setup for parks. While it's not that different than a setup for the street or a vert ramp, you'll want to slightly tweak your board and deck setup for skateparks.
[Longboard vs skateboard - which is better?]
These days, skateparks are more popular than ever, so it doesn't take much to find one. Back in the day, it was almost impossible, and we would be lucky if we lived within 100 miles of any halfway decent skatepark.