29 Nov Everything You Need to Know About Complete Skateboards
If you’re looking to get into skateboarding – you’re in the right place!
Whether you saw a cool skate video online or you were inspired by a skater rolling down your street, it’s awesome that you’re interested in skateboarding.
We firmly believe that skateboarding is for everyone.
Skateboarding has something to offer you regardless of your age, gender, race, location, or anything! It’s like a global community, filled with different people, places, and things for you to discover.
You’ve probably noticed that skateboards themselves are made up of quite a lot of unique components, most of which have equally unique names.
When it comes to skateboards, a “deck” is not a place where you have a BBQ with your friends in the summer and “trucks” are not like a semi-truck that you see driving down the road!
Luckily, buying a skateboard doesn’t have to be complicated, but there are a few things you should know.
As a beginner, it’s almost always recommended that you start with a complete skateboard.
What Is a Complete Skateboard?
Complete skateboards, also referred to as “completes”, are entire skateboards sold pre-assembled.
Instead of purchasing each of the components separately and building the skateboard yourself, completes make it easy to buy a whole skateboard that’s ready-to-skate.
A complete skateboard from Almost Skateboards
Completes are a popular option among new and beginner skaters because they are very practical and give you a good “base” skateboard to start from.
For example, over time, the different components of your skateboard will wear out more quickly than others. Trucks usually last longer than components like decks and wheels.
Therefore, it’s economical to start with a complete and then replace individual components as they wear out.
Building a Skateboard Vs. Buying a Complete
You may be wondering, “Is it cheaper to build a skateboard or buy a complete?”.
The short answer, it’s usually cheaper to buy a complete.
However, there are pros and cons to both custom-built skateboards and completes. You’ll want to consider more than just the price of each option.
As you would expect, building your own skateboard gives you the ability to specifically choose all the components that make up your board.
Not only does this allow you to make it look exactly how you envision with the colors, graphics, etc., but it allows you to design the board for specialized performance.
Building your own skateboard is highly recommended if you want a skateboard made specifically for a certain type of skating.
The same applies to technical street skateboarding, where you may want the board set up for faster flips, quicker pop, etc.
For some, you may even be interested in building your own old-school skateboard, for which we have created a handy guide.
Complete skateboards will usually lack this “specialization” as they are designed for more “general” use.
Complete skateboards are designed for new skaters whose focus is on getting acquainted with skateboarding and learning the basics.
Completes are made for all-around performance for street skating, skateparks, ramps, etc., so you can try and learn on many different terrains.
From there, if you see that you love skating a certain type of terrain, you can easily upgrade your complete with components that best suit your skate style.
Not All Completes are Created Equal: Big Retailers Vs. Skate Shops
By now, you’ve probably seen skateboards for sale at big retailers like Amazon, Wal-Mart, Decathlon, and the like.
Buying a skateboard from these places is enticing to beginners for three reasons:
– Their skateboards are cheaper than at skate shops
– You know the store and are used to buying things there
– You don’t yet understand the difference between skateboards at these places and those at skate shops
Let’s talk about the third point above.
Imagine you are looking to buy a piece of jewelry. You head to the nearest big store and find a case of earrings and necklaces. For most of them, the prices are low, anywhere from $5-$20. However, you’ve never heard of any of the jewelry brands and more importantly, they are made from very flimsy materials, sometimes even with plastic imitation jewels.
A quick look at this cheap jewelry and you can immediately tell that it wouldn’t last long, probably wouldn’t fit right, and is most likely just a waste of money for how much use you would get out of it.
Skateboards Are Like Jewelry…
Complete skateboards are like jewelry in more ways than one.
Skateboards sold at big retailers are usually mass-produced, no-name skateboards made in factories with the cheapest materials possible.
Instead of quality maple wood, their decks are often made of softer variants of cheap wood or scraps, giving the board a heavy, soggy feel when skating.
Instead of a smooth urethane wheel formula, these boards may simply have hard plastic wheels that chip apart when skating.
However, possibly the most annoying aspect of all is the bearings used in cheap skateboards.
Never underestimate the importance of quality skate bearings.
Unfortunately, most cheap skate manufacturers certainly do, as they often use low-quality generic wheel bearings, sometimes even packed with thick grease as if they were an automotive wheel bearing.
Long story short – skateboards with cheap bearings won’t roll.
Trust us, skateboarding sucks when your board doesn’t roll.
Why Should I Buy a Complete Skateboard from a Skate Shop?
Please understand, it’s not that we’re against you getting a skateboard at an affordable price.
What just we want you to know is that cheap skateboards sold at big retailers will not offer the same experience as a skateboard sold at a real skate shop.
There’s a huge difference between cheap, mass-produced skateboards and those made by established skateboarding brands, sold exclusively through skate shops.
Basically, established skate brands care about quality!
The quality of your skateboard should never hold back your ability to progress.
As a beginner, skateboarding is all about progression. If your wheels hardly roll and your deck is soft and heavy with the griptape falling off, you just won’t progress and enjoy what makes skateboarding so great.
Choosing a quality skateboard will make all the difference in how you experience skateboarding as it was meant to be.
As you can probably expect, shops like Cruisin City only sell complete skateboards from trusted, quality skateboarding companies.
Unlike big retailers, we’re also always here to answer any questions you have about your skateboard or skateboarding.
Just contact us! Cruisin City is owned and operated by passionate skateboarders.
We source all our skate products from official skateboard suppliers. All our skate products are guaranteed authentic and we’re always updating the site with new stuff!
Please see our complete skateboards page to check out all the boards we currently have in stock.
Finally, for all the new skaters out there, you may like our article 5 Tips to Start Skateboarding (and Why You Should Start with a Cruiser)!
How to Choose a Complete Skateboard Size
Choosing the correct complete skateboard size for you is simple!
Especially because we’ve already created a chart for you to find exactly what you need.
Text by Skatetexter