skateboard recommendations and guidance for adult beginner

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by aikiMac, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    I never had a skateboard as a kid. My son has an interest in skateboarding (and two boards now) and likes to do things with me, so I'm thinking about taking it up myself. Maybe I can learn to skate a little as he learns to skate a lot, the two of us together. Maybe.

    What do you skaters think? Should a 40-year-old get a board for the very first time, and try to learn? Or is that stupid? All I have in mind is "cruising" -- ride to the library and the grocery store and the park and so on. Transportation, not X-Sport tricks. I don't really want to slide down the banister of any stairs. I'm too old for that. I just want to get from point A to point B.

    If it's not stupid, what should I look for in a deck, wheels, trucks, and such? I know wheels come in various widths as well as hardness ratings. I know bearings come in different ratings. Boards come in various lengths as well as widths. I do not have a good understand of what it all means. Can you make recommendations, or tell me what some of that stuff means so I can figure out what's right for me?

    Fortunately the local skate shop does not seem to be ripping me off with my son's boards, and yes the clerks have made some suggestions, but I thought it wise to ask here too.

  2. Seventh

    Seventh Super Sexy Sushi Time

    Go ahead. Great way for the two of you to spend time together and you guys get some exercise to which is a nice little bonus.

    I'm no medical professional, but in my opinion, you should be fine. As long as you don't have any sort of joint problems, especially around the ankle and knee areas, you should be fine. As long as you're not doing double kick-flips off a fountain or something like that you should be fine. It is going to take practice so I would wear the appropriate gear especially if I had the chance of falling onto hard concrete. Besides that, there isn't much I can think of. If you still aren't sure safety wise, you can always consult a medical professional.

    Above link covers both pre-assembled and custom skateboards, as well as terminology and measurement guides.

    I think you should go for it. A 40-year old man on a skateboard with his son sounds quite awesome.
  3. jkd_si

    jkd_si Valued Member

    hi there, I skated for around 10 years until an unrelated accident stopped me, I broke my ankle, and my brother still does. Some reccomendations for a setup for just transport would be IMO : an 8" wide deck, this will give you a good sized platform to start on but not be a major hiderance if you wanted to learn some tricks. Wheels : I'd go for bigish ones 60-65mm, and soft that'll absorb the rough surfaces you find on the streets. As for trucks if you're not doing tricks then it doesn't really matter so long as they recharge the edge if your board ie 8" trucks with an 8" deck. You'll want to learn to ollie if you want to get around without constantly pickint your board up
  4. jkd_si

    jkd_si Valued Member

    also make sure you get some decent skate brand shoes, adios, emericas, DC, globe etc... Avoid adidas trainers that look like skate shoes and others because they aren't made for skating and your griptape will shred them in a matter of weeks.
  5. Llamageddon

    Llamageddon MAP's weird cousin Supporter

    As an ex skater I agree with jkd. I'd also add though that as a beginner you might want to stay away from faster bearings. For now don't go any higher than ABEC 4 or 5 (to be fair, I think 5 or 6 was the highest I ever went). Power wobbling down a hill, especially if you prefer your trucks a bit looser, is not particularly fun if you're not ready for it!

    If you're just looking for cruising, you might also want to check out longboards. Or if you want to be proper old skool, get yourself an 80s trick deck ;) just leave the bermuda shorts in the cupboard...

    (as an aside, I used to swear blind by Emerica shoes. But only the higher range ones. The cheaper ones are more for fashion - my friends had some of the lower range ones and they still got shredded too quickly)
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
  6. jkd_si

    jkd_si Valued Member

    yeah llamageddon is right about the bearings, abec 5 will be fast enough. I personally wouldn't reccomend a long board for general transport, you can't ollie up kerbs on them and you can't turn quickly which is a boon in built up areas with loads of pedestrians about. But the old 80's style trick boards are great, not much good for flip tricks but you can ollie on them no problem so long as they've got the concaves. another tip on shoes, avoid airwalks, although they're a skate brand they've really gone downhill in recent years
  7. jumpfor joy

    jumpfor joy Valued Member

    My ex husband was a pro sk8'er. I can forward this onto him and see what he says. Get great protective gear and carry big bandaids you are going to get busted up, but you will have fun lol.
  8. jkd_si

    jkd_si Valued Member

    seconded jumpforjoy lol
    Make sure you've got dettol, bandages, guaze and steri-strips in the house and if you don't know what you're doing with it you might want to take a 1st aid course,
    I've personally had to steri-strip my shin back together before and strapped up countless sprained ankles and wrists. The injuries I've had from skating makes sparring full power seem like a walk in the park lol

    As the saying goes : if you're gonna be dumb then you gotta be tough
  9. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Yah, I can't offer any constructive advice. So I'm just gonna spam.

  10. Llamageddon

    Llamageddon MAP's weird cousin Supporter

    This is actually incredibly useful for the beginner.

    AikiMac - Don't do that. ^^^
  11. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    Thanks guys. :)

    Ya, I did something like that picture on my bicycle when I was 19. I healed quickly enough, but I don't heal quickly anymore. I lost my bullet-proofness somewhere a few years ago. That's what I was worried about.

    Dude in the shop was saying something about "old school" boards and recommending something that probably is 8 inches wide, as I picture it in my head now. We didn't talk about bearings, though. He showed me wheels in several widths and recommended one of them, but I didn't catch which were which size.

    Good info. Thanks.
  12. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    Why not?

    Question: I read that link in post #2. It says, quote, "If you are a beginner, choose your deck according to the width not the length or wheelbase."

    Why is that? Why should I not consider the length?
  13. Llamageddon

    Llamageddon MAP's weird cousin Supporter

    I'd say it's probably mainly because when you first get on a skateboard balancing is hard enough. A wider deck lets you mess around with foot positions and lets you move them round on the board more without slipping off. A wider deck also usually means it takes a bit more effort to turn, which is a good thing because turning is then a deliberate thing and not a mistake from shifting your feet
  14. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    What's "old school" ?

    What is "old school" ? Yes yes, I've tried google, but all I'm getting are pictures of boards for sale and youtube video of people skating. I'm not getting a description or definition of what "old school skating" is.


    I ask because I just measured my son's new board. It's 10 inches wide, which by that link in the earlier post puts it in the "old school" category. That width is pretty comfortable to me. Both of us like it better than the 7 inch width of his old board.
  15. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    Visited a skateboard/surfing shop today. The teenage clerk said "old school" is just the shape of the board. He pointed out different shapes on the walls (mostly the sell custom boards). I tried a few decks but none of them felt right. I'll visit another store tomorrow.
  16. Kurai

    Kurai Valued Member

    I'm a little late to this thread. I'm 41. I skateboard. Did in my younger years and a few years back caught the bug again (damn X-games). I tend to be more of a bowl/park skater but have a few street tricks in my repertoire.

    Couple of recommendations. Gear!!! Helmet, knee and elbow pads, and possibly wrist guards. Couple of years back, pads saved me from a shattered elbow. Took a nasty bail on a layback slide in a bowl. Pads did their job. My elbow hurt for a solid week. No fracture, just one mean bruise. Without pads against concrete, it would have shattered. Us old guys don't heal as fast as we did in our teens.

    Not too old. Caught a bowl competition on Fuse that Chris Miller placed very well. Chris Miller was a pro skater from back in the day to speak. In my teens I even rode on of his signature models. Still riding. Even though they don't compete anymore, Hawk, Cab, etc. still skate to this day. They are in the same age range.

    You can find plenty of sites for basics on how to balance, etc. Depending on your weight you might need stiffer bushings. They're the rubber pieces that are in between your trucks baseplate and hanger. If you find yourself having balance issues (board hard to stay on, turns too quick), cheap fix. Check your local skate shop and they can hook you up.

    As for "old school" boards....The are wider (typically 9 or 10 inches) and longer (31 to 33 inches). Street/vert boards from back in the day usually fit these measurements. Easier to ride/carve. Heavier though. IMHO more comfortable. The 7 or 8 inch decks are really geared to flip tricks. Nobody appreciates a good line/carve or grind/rail/lipslide anymore.

    Take things at your own pace. Enjoy the time with your son. It's absolutely priceless.
  17. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    Skate shoes?

    :) Thanks. I was planning to buy and wear pads right away. I have a bike helmet that I can use.

    How soon should I get skate shoes? Do I need skate shoes? What makes them different from other shoes?
  18. Kurai

    Kurai Valued Member

    Not a fan of bike helmets. They tend not to cover the back lower portion of your skull. Whereas skateboard helmets do. Helmet shouldn't set you back more than $20 bucks or so.

    As for shoes, I think skate shoes make a difference. Thinner soles allow for better feel of the board beneath your feet. Comes down to personal choice though. Some people like thicker soles. Some like thinner soles, Chuck Taylor Converse for instance.
  19. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    True, my bicycle helmet covers only the top of my head. Hmm... I'll take that into consideration. I wouldn't have thought of that on my own.
  20. jumpfor joy

    jumpfor joy Valued Member

    old school

    rofl ! Ha ha

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