If you want to do tricks and flips on your board, obviously you’ll do the best with trick skateboards. We took a deep dive, and researched tons of options, to bring you the best trick skateboards on the market today - so let’s begin.
[See these rad wheels from Orangatang.]
3 best trick skateboards
Tony Hawk Trick Skateboard
- Why it's rad: This board has an awesome design, and it's also very affordable.
- Buy at Amazon
Stoked Complete Skateboard
- Why it's rad: Our board is very reliable, very affordable, and comes with free stickers.
- Buy at Amazon
Santa Cruz Screaming Hand
- Why it's rad: This classic design from Santa Cruz is a perfect board, and it's darn near indestructible.
- Buy at Amazon
What Is A Trick Skateboard?
Trick skateboards are boards that are designed with competitions and trick riding in mind. That means they’re decidedly not cruiser boards, or long boards - and will instead be short, light, and easy to pop.
Beyond this, it also helps to have harder wheels, believe it or not. The pro skaters you love and idolize will almost always be rocking very hard wheels, when they skate.
While 1980s skateboards were bigger, with different tails, by the 1990s, the small popsicle board became the de facto choice for nearly every single skater. However, the downside to trick skateboards is that they will not be as easy to ride, if you’re a beginner.
You’ll bounce off and fall way easier, and the harder wheels won’t do you any favors. If you’re looking at getting a trick skateboard, it’s important that you are already pretty good on a board.
What Is The Difference Between A Trick Skateboard And A Regular Skateboard?
Well the real difference here is between a short board, and a long board. Long boards are for cruising, you’ll often see casual riders cruising around aimlessly on them.
Whereas short boards are great for popping ollies, and doing lots of tricks. A trick skateboard will also have harder wheels generally, and be lighter and shorter.
[Learn all about Spitfire Wheels.]
Wheels For Trick Skateboards
When it comes to a trick skateboard - the wheels are actually pretty darn important. Skateboard wheels are made from a blend of plastics, called polyurethane.
The longer a brand has been in business, generally speaking, the better wheel quality they tend to have. This is because they have refined their formula over decades, leaving only what works - and discarding the rest.
Brands like Spitfire and Bones offer great wheels, and are well worth the money. It doesn’t matter if they cost a little more - trust us, it’s worth it.
While it may seem like a good idea to buy cheap wheels - it usually is not worth it in the long run. They will crack, or cause a myriad of other issues.
Saving a few bucks here, is not worth it. Well-known, established brands will almost always be best. Deck width is also important, but wheels are a crucial part in choosing the best skateboard for you.
Diameter Of Wheels For Trick Skateboards
When it comes to wheels for skateboard tricks, we recommend a size of 52 mm. This is because you’ll have an easier time grinding rails, the wheels will be more responsive, you’ll go faster, and your board will also pop (and flip) far easier.
We’re of course referring to street skating here, as well as skating in skateparks. Choosing a skateboard for vert ramps and bowls means you’ll actually want to chooser large wheels - so make sure you factor in what your overall goal is.
Brands like Enjoi make great decks, and with your front foot in the right position, and your back foot hitting the kicktail - you’ll be able to pop ollies in no time. If you want to mod your board, make sure you grab a skate tool, as well.
[One of our favorite brands - Landyachtz.]
Bounce And Rebound Of Skateboard Wheels
The diameter is not the only thing that matters, when it comes to skateboard wheels for trick boards. Bounce and rebound are actually a big part of why harder wheels are a better choice for trick skating.
Hard wheels have a low bounce rate and lower rebound, meaning they will almost immediately snap back into shape, after landing on the ground (or an obstacle). As you might expect, soft wheels take longer, which makes them easier to ride, but worse for doing fast tricks.
In fact, you are more likely to crash with soft wheels, since there is a higher rebound and bounce rate. You will often land primo if you try to do tricks with soft wheels - which means you’ll land on the edge of the board (never a good thing).
Trick Skateboards - Does Wheel Shape Matter?
Believe it or not, even the shape of your wheels can play a part in your trick boarding. Classic wheels, radial, or conical wheels are best for skate parks and street skating.
This is because they lock in great, and also make getting off a rail super easy. Conical and full conical are probably best overall, when it comes to trick skateboarding.
Classic shaped wheels are another good option for trick skateboards, as they will be very responsive. Wide wheels are usually the worst choice you can make, as their responsive time will be much worse.
[Learn everything there is to know, about a longboard.]
What About Contact Patch?
Diving really into the nitty gritty, the area that makes contact with the road or concrete on the wheel is called the contact patch. A narrower contact patch is ideal, even though you’ll be sacrificing some grip.
What About Trucks For Trick Skateboards?
This is an area that is more subjective than objective. Some riders prefer low trucks, whereas other skaters like higher trucks.
If you want to pop your board, and do lots of flip tricks, low tricks will offer an advantage. But the truth is, you should skate on whatever you feel comfortable with.
Make sure you invest in quality trucks, and you should be just fine. However, when it comes to trucks, there is always a debate in the skateboarding community.
Some skaters prefer Independent Trucks, whereas others prefer Thunder Trucks. Independent definitely wins when it comes to longevity, but Thunder Trucks are a little lower, and probably have a small advantage when it comes to technical skating.
Many skaters argues that Independent Trucks are better for transition skating, whereas Thunder Trucks may be better for street skating. Really, there is no definitive answer here - just personal preference.
We just recommend not buying cheap trucks, as they will greatly hinder your handling. Digging even deeper, if you change the bushings, your trucks will become more responsive, as well.
[Learn these easy skateboard tricks.]
10 Best Trick Skateboards
1. Tony Hawk Signature Series 3
Tony Hawk has had a number of boards out there with his endorsement, and this is another great entry. It has lots of great reviews, and it’s very affordable.
While experts may want something else, this is a perfect board for beginners. Overall, we couldn’t recommend this board more highly.
2. Stoked Ride Shop Skateboard Complete
We may be a little bit biased, but this awesome board is a great option. It’s affordable, comes complete, and has great reviews.
It also comes in multiple colors, so there is something here for everyone. Our boards will also last a long time, so you won’t need to replace this one anytime soon.
3. Santa Cruz Skateboard Complete (Screaming Hand)
This well loved board from Santa Cruz is a great choice. We love the graphics, plus the board handles tremendously well.
It also comes in at a very affordable price point, meaning anyone can grab this excellent board. Highly recommended, and it will last forever.
4. Toy Machine Skateboard Complete Monster Face
Toy Machine has been around for a long time, and it’s easy to see why, with this board. Not only is it well constructed, it’s affordably and stylish.
The mellow concave of this board will help with your pops and snaps, which we also loved. There’s nothing better than riding on a monster face, so we absolutely think this board is essential for any serious skateboarder.
5. Element Section Complete Skateboard
This board is another great way to go. You can get a solid, complete board - for a very affordable price.
This board also has a ton of stellar reviews, making it a smart choice. While you can certainly choose something flashier, this is a great choice for most skaters.
6. Sector 9 Barrel Hopper Complete Skateboard
Sector 9 always makes great boards. This complete board is no different, we absolutely loved it.
While this deck may need some adjustments to be an absolutely optimal street skating machine, we think the investment is well worth it. Another stellar board to try.
7. Alien Workshop Believe Skateboard Complete
Alien Workshop is a very famous brand, and they’ve been around since all the way back in 1990. This complete board rides great, and will be ready to go right out of the box.
This is a great choice for anyone who wants to get their first board. While you can certainly spend more, this is a fine choice for beginners and novices.
8. Enjoi Complete Skateboard
Enjoi is a brand with a tremendous reputation. We loved this complete board, and recommend it to anyone who wants to do some trick skating.
If you are a very advanced skater, you may want to make some tweaks to this setup - but otherwise it’s ready to go. Another excellent choice, and one that is also very well reviewed.
9. CCS Skateboard Complete
This complete board has tremendous reviews, and it’s very affordable. We like the color options, as well as the overall construction.
The wheels are hard, which will be great for street skating. Overall, we can’t say enough good things about this board - definitely recommended.
10. Santa Cruz Carver Skateboard Complete
Santa Cruz is one of the oldest brands in skateboarding. This awesome collab with Carver shows just why the brand has had such longevity.
This board is extremely well crafted, and it also has great reviews. Another excellent pick.
[Check out the best skate board park.]
Other Factors To Consider
If you just want to do kickflips, a beginner skateboard is probably okay an okay choice for your first skateboard. However, if you want to do more advanced tricks, you probably need a trick skateboard.
A longboard is not going to be sufficient, when it comes to doing tricks - nor will cruiser skateboards. You will want a trick skateboard, that has nice grip tape, ABEC 7 bearings, a Canadian maple deck, and a skateboard deck that can easily frontside grind curbs.
Tony Hawk wouldn’t ride a lame board, he’d need a pro complete skateboard - one that can do heelflips, nollies, pop shove-its, and one he can easily ride fakie on. Your first board can be a trick skateboard, especially if you’re one of a group of surfers who just picked up skating too.
Trick skateboards are super fun, but you do need to be an expert rider first, before you hop on a board. You should also always wear pads, a helmet, and be safe.
Don’t do any tricks you’re not comfortable with, or go beyond your skill level. You shouldn’t hit the vert ramp if you’re not well versed in grabbing air, for example.
It’s also important to remember that not all trick skateboards are created equally. Opt for a well known brand, that has been around for a while.
This helps guarantee quality craftsmanship, and will also make sure that the wheels, bearings, and trucks are all of the highest standard. We can’t control low quality manufacturers and brands - but we can pass on giving them any of our hard earned money.
[Look at this rad guide, and discover the best rideshop.]
The Bottom Line On Trick Skateboards
There you have it - all the info on trick skateboards. If you head to your local skate shop, you can grab a 7-ply maple wood street skateboard - meaning you’ll be pretty ready for the skatepark.
Here at Stoked, we love Braille boards, as well as stylish camo style boards. We went all in on trick skateboarding a long time ago, so we know this topic pretty well.
No matter what board you go with, make sure you get a solid setup. And if you liked this article, be sure to check out some of our other comprehensive guides.