Last updated: August 9, 2021

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The success story of skateboarding began in the 60s. Today, skateboarding is still one of the most popular leisure activities. However, a lot has changed in the last 50 years. Find out here what types of rollerboard there are and whether skateboarding is an Olympic discipline.

In our skateboard test 2021 we show you the best and latest models from the respective categories. We also give you tips and tricks on skateboarding. Whether it's a cruiser, classic skateboard or longboard, you'll find the best rollerboards on the market here.




Summary

  • Skateboards have been around for about 50 years. Over time, many different riding styles have developed, and with them different boards. A distinction is made between skateboards, longboards and cruisers.
  • Which board is right for you depends on your preferences. Do you prefer to teach yourself tricks with a skateboard, ride down a slope with a longboard or roll through the city with a cruiser?
  • On this page, you will mainly find complete boards from 50 to 200 euros, which are suitable for beginners as well as for somewhat more experienced boarders.

The Best Skateboard: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a skateboard

Should I rather assemble my own board or buy a ready-made board?

Do you want to buy a complete ready-made board or would you rather assemble your own board? For cruisers and longboards, we recommend that beginners buy a complete board. Especially with longboards, it is only worth building your own if you are prepared to spend a little more money.

Skateboarding is more of a recreational sport. Anyone who enjoys skateboards can practice with them and thus enjoy their time. (Photo: JESHOOTS.com / pexels.com)

A complete board is cheaper than a homemade board and you can start riding immediately. A homemade board is more customisable to your individual preferences.

A self-made skateboard can also be more expensive than a complete board. However, in order to be able to teach yourself tricks as easily as possible, your board should be well suited to your preferences. With a self-assembled skateboard, you can build your board according to your individual wishes.

How much does a skateboard cost?

You can find a good cruiser for around 50 euros. For a classic skateboard, you have to be prepared to pay a little more. A good complete board costs around 100 euros, while a board you put together yourself costs between 30 and 100 euros.

For a high-quality longboard, you should expect to pay at least 150 euros. This makes the longboard more expensive than a cruiser or a classic skateboard, but you can use it longer.

Board type Price range
Cruiser ca. 30-150 €
Classic skateboard ca. 50-200 €
Longboard ca. 70-300 €

If you are still a beginner, we advise you to buy a cheaper skateboard. These are somewhat inferior in terms of workmanship, but are completely sufficient to make your first experiences.

Decision: What types of skateboards are there and which is the right one for you?

Skateboards can be divided into three types:

  • Cruiser
  • Classic skateboard
  • Longboard

Which skateboard is right for you depends on the intended use of your board. For example, do you want to ride through the city or learn new tricks in the park? In the following section, we will briefly introduce all types so that you can better assess which board best suits your preferences.

What is a cruiser and what are the advantages and disadvantages of this skateboard?

A cruiser is exactly the right thing for you if you want to get from A to B quickly with an inexpensive board. The design of cruisers is based on oldschool boards and surfboards.

They have an angular back and are strongly rounded on the front. The back is also curved upwards so that the rider can perform simple tricks such as an ollie.

Since cruisers are relatively small and light, they are perfect for riding around town. If you have to ride over rough terrain, you can simply hang the board on your backpack.

Advantages
  • Very easy to transport
  • Great for the halfpipe
  • Perfect for the city
  • Cheap
Disadvantages
  • Unsuitable for high speeds
  • Unsuitable for flip tricks and grinds

However, cruisers are difficult to keep under control at high speeds because their small size makes them very unsteady on the road. The execution of flip tricks is theoretically possible with a cruiser, but it is much more difficult than with a normal skateboard.

You can use the pool or the half pipe with the cruiser without hesitation. Cruisers are perfect for use in the city and are also the cheapest skateboards.

What is a classic skateboard and what are its strengths and weaknesses?

If you want to add tricks to your skate portfolio instead of using your board purely as a means of transport, we can recommend a classic skateboard.

A classic skateboard is the type of board used by professionals such as Tony Hawk or Nyjah Huston.

They are bent upwards on the front and back and curved upwards on both sides. Thanks to this unique shape, these skateboards are perfect for performing flip tricks.

With the help of controlled movements of your feet, you can control the board both on the ground and in the air.

Advantages
  • Perfect for tricks
  • Suitable for the street, the pool and the halfpipe
  • Very large selection
Disadvantages
  • Not very suitable as a means of transport
  • Relatively loud

The skateboard is not very suitable as a means of transport for longer distances. The relatively small and hard wheels make riding on uneven ground very uncomfortable.

At high speeds, even a small stone on the road can bring you down. Especially in city centres with cobblestone streets, this can be a problem.

What is a longboard and what are its strengths and weaknesses?

Do you want to ride down a slope as fast as possible or cover long distances with your board? Then a longboard is best suited for you. Longboards come in different versions that can differ slightly.

Most models look like large cruisers. They are wide in the middle and taper towards the front and back. Unlike a skateboard or cruiser, however, they are rarely curved.

Advantages
  • Suitable for high speeds
  • Long-lasting
Disadvantages
  • Relatively expensive
  • Unsuitable for conventional tricks

The long design and large wheels make a longboard easier to keep under control at high speeds than a cruiser or skateboard.

For this reason, longboards are often used for downhill riding. We recommend that you buy protective clothing, as even a small fall can be very painful and dangerous.

Simple tricks are difficult to perform due to the size and weight of the longboard. It takes a lot of strength just to get the board in the air.

A longboard is also poorly suited for pools or half pipes. Since a larger board also requires more material, the longboard is by far the most expensive of the variants presented.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate skateboards

In the following section, we want to show you which criteria you can use to compare and evaluate the different boards. This should make it easier for you to decide which board is right for you.

We have established the following criteria:

  • Maximum load weight
  • Deck dimensions
  • Deck material
  • Axle height
  • Axle width
  • Roll size
  • Wheel hardness
  • Riser pads
  • Ball bearing
  • Experience

Below you can read what each criterion is about and find out how they can influence your purchase decision.

Maximum load weight

The maximum load weight indicates the recommended maximum weight of the rider. If the weight is too high, the board can no longer be controlled properly.

So-called wheelbites, the contact of the wheels with the deck, can occur more frequently if the maximum load weight is not observed. Especially during jumps, your deck can break in the worst case.

Fuß auf Skateboard

Skateboarding can be a good balancing activity. Just like any other sport, you need training and time. (Photo: MESSALA CIULLA / pexels.com)

Most skateboards can withstand a weight of up to 100 kilograms. Boards that can withstand even more are relatively hard to find. A longboard can also help, as the wider wheels and large deck can distribute the weight better.

Longboards and cruisers often have a so-called flex rating. It indicates how much your deck can flex with certain weights. The length and material of the deck are the most important factors.

Basically, a softer flex is best for cruising and carving, while a board with a harder flex is better for fast speeds, such as downhill riding.

Unfortunately, the flex values are not standardised. This means that the values can differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. The following table should help you to find an approximate value for your weight class.

Flex rating Maximum weight class
Flex I (Hard) approx. 80-120 kg
Flex II (Medium) approx. 60-90 kg
Flex III (Soft) approx. 40-75 kg

Deck dimensions

The size of the deck is the most important factor. However, the length of the board is less important than its width. A decisive guideline is your shoe size. It also depends on whether you want to ride on the street or in the halfpipe.

A smaller board is better for the street because you will find it easier to perform most flip tricks. On the other hand, a wide skateboard is better for the halfpipe because it gives you a better stance.

The deck dimensions can be assigned to certain riding styles or riders. A board with 7.5 inches or smaller is especially suitable for children. Boards between 7.75 and 8.25 inches are best suited for the street. If you are interested in skating in pools or half pipes, or if you have a shoe size of 44 or more, you should go for a board with dimensions of more than 8.25 inches.

Longboards and cruisers have different types of decks that support different riding styles. Examples are carver or downhill decks. The shape also depends on the curvature of the board. Jumps are possible on skateboards with curved backs. Skateboards with curved sides are easier to turn in the air.

Since most board manufacturers come from America, the deck dimensions are often only given in inches. That is why we have also decided to give the deck dimensions in inches.

Deck material

Besides the size of a deck, the material the board is made of is also very important. Normally, decks consist of several layers of wood that are glued together beforehand.

In order to prevent the deck from breaking, mainly very resilient types of wood are used. Canadian maple is considered by many riders to be one of the best materials. Occasionally, other types of wood, such as bamboo, are used for the production.

For cruisers and longboards, decks are also made of resilient plastic. This makes the board very difficult to break, but easier to bend after a longer period of use.

The grip tape is attached to the top of the deck and ensures that the rider stands securely on the board. On classic skateboards, this tape consists of simple sandpaper; on longboards, it is often sprayed sand.

Griptape is especially helpful for flip tricks, as it makes the board easier to control.

Axle height

The axles of a skateboard (also called trucks) are available in three types: low, high and mid. Low axles are lighter and offer a more secure stance. High axles make the skateboard easier to steer. They also allow for higher jumps.

If you are putting together your own board and are not quite sure which axles are best for you, we recommend trying out mid axles. Longboards and cruisers usually have high axles because of the larger tyres.

Axle width

The axle width is the distance between the two inner sides of the opposite rollers. When building your own board, make sure that the axles are not wider than the deck. Ideally, the axle width should be a few inches smaller than the width of the deck.

With a complete board, you don't need to worry about the axle width, as the distance is normally always maintained by the manufacturer. If this is not the case, we advise you to buy a skateboard from another manufacturer.

Wheel size

The size of the wheels largely determines the weight and top speed of your skateboard. Skateboard wheels usually have a diameter of 49 to 65 mm, while cruiser and longboard wheels are available with a diameter of 59 to 76 mm.

Smaller wheels are more suitable for tricks, as you can jump better with a light board. With large wheels, your skateboard will grip the road better and you will be able to reach higher speeds. If you ride downhill more often, you should put bigger wheels on your board.

Wheel hardness

The wheel hardness determines how your board behaves on different surfaces. It is given in a scale from 78A to 101A. The higher the number, the harder the tyres.

Softer wheels have a better grip on the asphalt. This means that the skateboard is easier to steer and control with them. They also behave better on uneven terrain, as bumps in the ground are better cushioned.

On smooth terrain, you can reach higher speeds with harder wheels because they create less resistance. For this reason, the rider can also drift better with these wheels.

Hand mit Skateboard

There are a lot of criteria you can look at to find a suitable skateboard for you. (Photo: Austin Guevara / pexels.com)

While harder wheels are better for skating on asphalt such as in the park, softer wheels are best for riding over uneven terrain such as brick pavement.

The wheels of cruisers and longboards are therefore also softer than those of a skateboard. By the way, for heavier loads, it's better to use harder wheels.

Riser pads

Most boards have a riser or shock pad between the deck and the axles. The higher stand prevents wheelbites and makes it easier to steer the skateboard.

When jumping, they act as a kind of shock absorber and cushion the impact. This makes longer rides much more comfortable because your joints are less stressed.

Ball bearings

The bearings are the ball bearings of the board. The most important thing to look for in bearings is the ABEC rating. This is between one and 15, whereby a higher rating is usually better.

You need a total of eight of these, i.e. two for each wheel. Bearings are rated according to the ABEC dimension. Bearings with a high ABEC rating turn better because the rolling elements in these ball bearings are used very precisely.

For a skateboard, we recommend ball bearings with an ABEC rating of three to seven. Bearings with this rating are still relatively cheap and can be classified as high quality.

The surcharge for bearings with a higher rating is not really worth it, as they wear down very quickly to a lower ABEC dimension due to tricks.

For cruisers and longboards, the ABEC grade of the ball bearings should be at least seven. Especially for downhill riding, high-quality ball bearings are extremely important because they allow better control at higher speeds.

But be careful: The material is also crucial for a ball bearing. It can happen that bearings with a high ABEC rating wear out faster because the material wear is much higher. Therefore, you should not rely on the ABEC rating alone.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsNjU_wBs4P/

When buying a complete board, the ball bearings are a rather unimportant criterion. High-quality ball bearings are already available for about five euros and can be easily replaced due to the simple installation.

Experience

Skateboards that are only suitable for professionals do not exist. The only big difference between a board for beginners and a professional skateboard is the price and the quality of workmanship.

If you are looking for a new skateboard and have already gained enough experience, you should opt for a more professional model.

Especially as a beginner, you probably won't notice the difference between an expensive and a cheap skateboard. In this case, it is worthwhile to go for a cheaper model.

If you want to buy your child a skateboard, we recommend a cruiser or classic skateboard. We do not recommend longboards, as most models are much too big for children.

Facts worth knowing about skateboards

At what age can I start skateboarding?

As with many other sports, there is no set age at which children should start skateboarding. However, the child should already be able to ride a bike in order to have a feeling for the speed on the road.

In addition, smaller children should practice in car parks and be constantly observed in skate parks. Knee pads, as with inline skating or cycling, are never a disadvantage, especially when starting skateboarding.

How do I learn to skateboard?

Practice makes perfect. Especially in the beginning, skateboarding can quickly lead to frustration. It's best to have an experienced skateboarder teach you a few tricks for riding. On youtube.de you can also find numerous videos about skateboarding that can help you with the learning process.

For some time now, there have even been skate schools where you can be taught by a professional. You can also teach yourself to skateboard at a skate park or car park near you.

Where can I skateboard?

Large flat areas, such as a car park, are best for learning your first tricks. As soon as you are confident enough to stand and ride a skateboard, you should first practice in a skate park with other riders before riding around town.

With a little practice, you can also ride on small ramps and half pipes in a skate park.

With the skate map, you can quickly find places and parks all over Europe where you can let off steam.

Who invented the skateboard?

The skateboard has been around for more than 50 years. The first commercially sold skateboards came on the market in the 1960s and were originally intended as an alternative to the surfboard. Surfers could thus practice with the board on the street even when the waves were low.

Since then, the sport has been taken in new directions, mostly by some young and talented riders. One example is Alan "Ollie" Gelfand, who invented what is probably the most influential skateboard trick of all time at the end of the 1970s: the ollie.

The skateboard spread very quickly in Europe in the 1970s through American soldiers stationed in Germany. Titus Dittman in particular helped the sport to gain a foothold in Germany. His company is now the market leader in the trade of skateboards throughout Europe.

Did you know that Norway banned skateboarding for 11 years?

From 1978 to 1989 it was forbidden to skateboard in Norway. The reason for this was not to endanger the safety of the riders themselves, as well as the safety of pedestrians. When the ban was in place, skateboarders carried out their sport "underground", so to speak. When the ban was lifted, skate sports boomed. Norway even became the host of the X Games for skateboarding.

Is skateboarding an Olympic discipline?

In summer 2016, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) announced that baseball, softball, karate, sport climbing, surfing and skateboarding were included in the programme of Olympic sports.

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will thus be the first opportunity for skateboarders from all over the world to compete at the Olympic Games.

However, the fear of many well-known skateboarders is that the strict rules of the IOC cannot be reconciled with the lifestyle of the relaxed sport. As skateboarding is still a popular subculture today, there is a fear that this decision could damage the sport.

Image source: pixabay.com / Free-Photos

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