Cruisin City Skateboard Guide

. Choosing a skateboard deck

. Choosing skateboard trucks

. Choosing skateboard wheels

. Choosing skateboard bearings

. Choosing skateboard hardware

. Choosing a complete skateboard

Choosing a Skateboard Deck

What Kinds of Skateboard Decks Are There?

Popsicle Skateboard Decks

A standard skateboard deck is often referred to as a ‘popsicle deck’. As the name implies, their shape resembles a popsicle stick.

This is the most common skateboard deck shape for modern street skateboarding.

A popsicle deck is versatile and can be used for tricks on many different skate terrains.

Shaped Decks/Old-School Skateboard Decks

In the 1970’s and 80’s, many skateboard decks resembled something like a fish.

These decks had a tail for your back foot, but often little to no ‘nose’ in comparison to popsicle decks.

At the time, most technical street skateboarding tricks had not been developed, and these deck shapes worked for the transition, pool, and half pipe skating that was common for the era. 

These shaped skateboard decks saw a drastic decrease in popularity in the early 1990’s during the emergence of street skating.

It wasn’t until the early-mid 2000’s that shaped decks began to return.

Nowadays, skaters increasingly appreciate these decks for both their historical value and for the fun of using them for modern skate tricks and cruising. 

At Cruisin City, shaped decks and cruiser decks are our specialty!

We’re proud of our curated selection of specialty boards.

Be sure to check out our deck selection!

Skateboard Deck Constructions

Skateboard decks almost always have a seven-ply maple construction.

That is, seven thin plies of maple wood pressed together with an adhesive between each ply.

This is a time-tested construction that’s durable and long-lasting. 

Some decks may have a birch wood construction, which is lighter but not as strong as maple, making birch decks suitable for children.

Several deck companies such as Powell-Peralta and Santa Cruz have developed special deck constructions.

For example, the deck will be reinforced with a thin layer of fiberglass.

These decks are generally longer-lasting, lighter, and offer more pop than a standard maple deck.

However, they are also usually more expensive.

If you’re interested in learning more about the latest and greatest deck constructions, check out our article Special Skateboard Deck Constructions Explained!

How to Choose a Skateboard Deck Size

The size of your skateboard deck is the most important part of choosing a skateboard.

Generally, skateboard deck widths range from 7” to 10” wide.

The length of the deck generally corresponds closely to the width. 

Here’s a basic chart to understand skateboard deck widths:

7” – 7.5” – Children’s skateboards for skaters 3 to 10 years old

7.5” – 7.75” – Smaller skaters or technical street skateboarders

8” – Standard adult skateboard width for street and transition skating

8.25” – 8.5” – Street and transition skaters who prefer a wider deck

8.5” – 9” – Large adult skaters and transition skaters

9” and up – Large adult transition/vert skaters

Old-school/shaped/cruiser decks – Can be any width that sounds fun to skate or authentic to the original design from back in the day!

While shoe size and body size can give you an idea of which deck is right for you, there is no size ‘rule’ for skateboard decks.

A small skater can skate a wide deck and vice versa.

In fact, sizes get increasingly ‘lenient’ when it comes to old-school and shaped decks

Many old-school decks are around the 10” wide range, much larger than modern popsicle decks.

This is part of their vintage appeal, and no, you don’t need to have huge feet to skate them!

Their purpose is to be fun and take you back to earlier days of skateboarding.

Choosing Skateboard Trucks

What are the Parts of a Skateboard Truck?

A complete skateboard truck consists of a baseplate, hanger, kingpin, bushings, pivot cup, axle washers, and axle nuts.

Lucky for us, all skateboard trucks are sold fully assembled, so you don’t need to order these parts individually! 

Skateboard trucks differ in looks and features between brands.

However, all skateboard trucks serve the same purpose – to make your skateboard turn

How to Choose Skateboard Trucks

The most important factor in selecting a skateboard truck is its axle width.

Ideally, the axle width of your trucks should match the width of your deck as closely as possible.

For example, an 8” wide deck should have trucks with an 8” wide axle.

The most complicated aspect of truck sizing is that not all brands use the same model numbers to designate truck sizes

For example:

Thunder Truck with an 8” axle = Thunder ‘147’ Truck

Independent Truck with an 8” axle = Independent ‘139’ Truck

Krux Truck with an 8” axle = Krux ‘8.0’ Truck

Therefore, be sure not to confuse a truck’s model number with the axle width that you need.

In the Cruisin City online shop, the axle width of a truck should always be stated in the truck’s product description.

You can see our full offering in our skateboard truck category.

Skateboard Truck Heights

Skateboard trucks are classified as having a low, mid, or high ride height. 

Low – More stability and control but less turning radius and leverage for pop. Often preferred by technical street skaters.

Mid – Ride height between a low and high truck

High – Greater turning radius and leverage for pop but less stability and precision control. Often preferred by transition skaters.

Skateboard Truck Features

The most common ‘upgrade’ that you will find among skateboard trucks are weight reduction features. Some trucks have a hollow kingpin bolt, some have a hollow axle, and some have both. In addition, premium trucks may have a strong and lightweight titanium axle

Choosing Skateboard Wheels

What are Skateboard Wheels Made From?

All skateboard wheels are made from a plastic compound called urethane.

However, not all wheels are created equal.

Each wheel company has their own urethane formula.

In addition to their standard wheel models, top brands like Bones, Spitfire, and OJ Wheels offer ‘high-end’ wheel formulas that promise improved wheel longevity or resilience to slides.

How to Choose a Skateboard Wheel Size

Even a small difference in wheel size can make an impact on the way your skateboard rides. 

Here’s a basic chart to understand skateboard wheel sizes:

50mm-52mm – ‘small’ wheels ideal for technical street skating

53mm-54mm – ‘standard’ wheels ideal for street and transition skating

55mm-56mm – somewhat larger wheels for street and transition skating

57mm-58mm – ‘large’ wheels for transition skating or cruiser skateboards

59mm and larger – wheels for cruiser skateboards and longboards

Skateboard Wheel Hardness/Durometer

Wheel hardness or ‘durometer’ is very important when selecting a set of skateboard wheels.

Soft wheels offer outstanding grip and a quiet, comfortable ride.

Hard wheels are faster and offer slide-ability and quick response for tricks.

Wheel hardness is measured on a rating system, or, durometer scale. 

Here’s a basic chart to understand skateboard wheel durometers:

78a – 87a – Soft and grippy (ideal for cruiser skateboards and longboards)

88a – 95a – Harder and faster but still grippy and ideal for cruising

96a – 101a – Hard and fast (ideal for street skating and tricks)

83b – 84b – Very hard (ideal for skateparks and experienced skaters)

Skateboard wheel durometers are generally stated on the wheel itself or in the wheel’s product description in the Cruisin City online shop.

Because this is Cruisin City, we have an especially large assortment of cruiser skateboard wheels with a soft durometer. You can see all our wheels in our skateboard wheels category.

Choosing Skateboard Bearings

How Do Skateboard Bearings Work?

Skateboard bearings are built on the same concept of a typical ball bearing.

They have an inner ring and an outer ring, a plastic or nylon cage between the rings, and generally 6 or 7 steel or ceramic balls that rotate inside when the bearing rolls.

How are Skateboard Bearings Rated?

Skateboard bearings have long used the ABEC rating system to rate the bearing’s tolerance and RPM capability.

Skate bearings generally have a 3, 5, or 7 ABEC rating.

The higher the rating, the higher the bearing’s tolerance. 

However, some skateboard bearing manufacturers will argue that the ABEC system is not so relevant for skateboarding. Skaters generally do not reach the speeds at which these ratings become applicable. Instead, they have developed their own rating systems such as Skate-Rated or Pro-Rated.

These bearings are specifically designed by the manufacturers to withstand impact forces, side loading, etc. that takes place when skating.

How to Choose Skateboard Bearings

All skateboard bearings are universal. All skate bearings will fit in all skate wheels and on all skate trucks.

In general, we believe in the idea that you get what you pay for when it comes to skateboard bearings.

The market prices of bearings can be a pretty good determining factor for a bearing’s quality, speed, and longevity.

You can compare bearings from many top brands in our skateboard bearings category.

All bearings we offer will provide an awesome and lasting skate experience.

No matter what bearings you have, you can significantly increase the life and performance of your bearings by cleaning them!

Please see our article Keep on Cruising: How to Clean Skateboard Bearings for more information.

Choosing Skateboard Hardware

How to Choose Skateboard Hardware

Skateboard hardware refers to the nuts and bolts that hold your trucks onto your deck.

The standard skateboard hardware size is 7/8”.

Therefore, 7/8” hardware is the ideal length to attach trucks to a deck without risers or shock pads between your trucks and the board.

From 7/8” hardware, you will adjust your hardware length accordingly for any riser pads you may use. 

If you add 1/8” riser pads, then you will need 1” hardware instead of 7/8” hardware.

Your ideal hardware measurement will continue up from there based on the size of your risers.

There are many cool hardware companies out there.

Most skateboard truck companies also offer packs of hardware.

Check out our hardware selection to see our latest offerings!

Choosing a Complete Skateboard

What is a Complete Skateboard?

Complete skateboards are skateboards that come professionally pre-assembled and ready-to-skate with all the necessary components.

Often referred to simply as “completes”, complete skateboards are a great option for beginners that do not currently have a skateboard.

Once you have your first complete, you can then use it to replace certain parts only as necessary, such as buying just a new deck or wheels. 

How to Choose a Complete Skateboard Size

It’s easy to choose a complete skateboard size!

That’s part of what makes completes so great. To choose a complete, all you need to worry about is the width of the deck

Please follow this chart (It’s the same chart shown above for skateboard decks!)

Chart to understand skateboard deck widths:

7” – 7.5” – Children’s skateboards for skaters 3 to 10 years old

7.5” – 7.75” – Smaller skaters or technical street skateboarders

8” – Standard adult skateboard width for street and transition skating

8.25” – 8.5” – Street and transition skaters who prefer a wider deck

8.5” – 9” – Large adult skaters and transition skaters

9” and up – Large adult transition/vert skaters

Old-school/shaped/cruiser decks – Can be any width that sounds fun to skate or authentic to the original design from back in the day!

Once you’ve chosen the right deck width, complete skateboards will include perfectly matching components.

So, you don’t have to worry about choosing the right size trucks or wheels, all sizes will already be perfect for the board!

What’s the Best Complete Skateboard for Me?

For years, quality, name-brand skateboard companies have been competing with knock-off and mass market skateboard manufacturers.

It’s easy to find cheap skateboards at department stores or online.

Exactly like the price of these boards, what you’ll get is a cheaply made piece of junk.

Sorry for the bad language, but cheap, off-brand skateboards will not provide the true experience of skateboarding.

We absolutely promise we are not just saying this. 

A proper introduction to skateboarding is best done with a proper complete skateboard.

Not only are they safer, they’re actually easier to learn on and massively more fun. 

What you’ll want to look for is whether the complete skateboard comes from an established, quality skateboard brand.

Look up their brand online.

Have they been around a while? Do they have a professional skate team? Do they seem involved in the skateboard community?

Things like this can help you understand whether they are respectable and care for the quality of their product.

Of course, as you can probably imagine by the tone of this text, Cruisin City only supplies complete skateboards and cruiser completes from quality, reputable skateboard brands.

All skate products we offer are 100% authentic and made to provide you with the best possible experience of skateboarding!