Choosing the Right Skateboard
If choosing a skateboard seems a bit daunting, it isn't! We offer a wide range of skateboards, in all shapes and sizes, for beginners, intermediates or pro skaters alike! Our extensive range of Skateboards and Longboards now consists of over 50 different designs, and we offer something for everyone! And with the new Osprey 2016 designs now available, there has never been a better time to buy!
It is advisable to get the best board you can afford. If you are a younger skater it might be worth looking at some of the smaller boards, as smaller children might not get on with a larger size deck.
All our skateboards come set up for use the moment they arrive on your doorstep. This means our boards already come made up complete with deck, grip tape, trucks, and wheels. You can of course customise your set up with new trucks or wheels etc.
- Deck: The plank that you will be riding on usually made of layers of wood (although other materials like plastic can be used).
- Grip tape: The black sandpaper like material on the topside of the deck which provides you with grip when riding the board.
- Trucks: The metal T-shaped components mounted on the underside of the board, which mount the wheels; they come in several parts with a base plate, hanger and axle held together by a kingpin separated by bushings allowing for a smooth ride.
- Wheels: Usually made of polyurethane and come in a variety of sizes and hardness and are generally measured in mm. Bigger wheels offer more speed but an increase in effort from the rider, whilst smaller wheels offer less speed but a lower amount of effort to get up to top speed. Harder wheels slide easier (great for tricks like grinding) whereas softer wheels offer a lot more traction allowing for speed and control wheels are often measure on the durometer scale 'A' and the higher number represents an increasing hardness e.g. 78a is a soft wheel compared to 101a + which offer a pro level hardness.
- Bearings: Bearings are used to mount the wheels to the axle, and are a standard size. However they do vary in quality, most commonly represented by an ABEC rating (1,3,5,7,9) the closer to 9 you go, the faster you will go. (9 tends to be used by downhill skaters).
If you are a complete novice, the best way to choose a board is by deck width. Our range of boards comes in all shapes and sizes, however for riders younger than 5 years old through to 12 years old we would recommend a deck size of 6" and above, as featured on our Retro Plastic Skateboards or our range of Mini Cruisers.
The Retro plastic skateboards are a perfect starter board for young beginners just looking to get to grips with riding a board and perfecting their balance. The 6" plastic deck will suit kids 5 years or younger with a shoe size of around 3 or smaller. The retro boards will also suit experienced riders.
Mini cruiser skateboards like the Osprey Pin Stripe feature a durable 7 ply Canadian maple concave deck measuring 6.25" ideal for youngsters, and large 65 x 51 mm PU cast wheels for added stability. Mini cruisers are also great for older and more experienced riders looking for a different skateboarding style.
Older kids might want to try their hand at a full size Double Kick Skateboard depending on their confidence. They will also come in handy if they want to learn a more technical style of skating and perform tricks! Our range of double kick skateboards are 8 inches in width, which means they may be a bit big for very young children.
For Intermediates / Older Beginner Skaters:
Our range of full size skateboards offer a complete choice for budding concrete shredders and cruisers alike. Decks of 8" and above offer more stability which is great for older riders ages 13 and up.
If it's a more technical style of skating you want to learn i.e. flips and tricks, then a double kick board is definitely what you're after. These decks measure 8" in width and feature two kicks allowing for tricks to be executed from either nose or tail. These boards are great for street skating and work just as well on the park.
If you're looking to carve smooth lines as opposed to doing flip tricks, then a Longboard Cruiser might be better for you. Cruisers are a common shape of deck and feature a single kick tail. They usually feature higher risers, larger wheels and larger decks than double kick boards. This allows for greater stability and better turning. A good example of this is the Osprey Helix Rounded Pin Tail Cruiser, as the pin tail allows the board to minimise wheelbite (the underside of the deck making contact with the wheels whilst in motion).
Longboards are great for simple things and for having fun going fast. Osprey has an extensive range of boards suitable for those looking for a much more relaxed outlook on skating. Some Osprey longboards like the Phoenix Twin Tip Longboard feature drop through trucks, in which the trucks are mounted through the deck, allowing for greater stability at high speeds.