How much does a good skateboard cost?
Buying a skateboard can be tough, especially when it comes to cost. With cost, it’s hard to know if you’re getting your money’s worth or are buying something cheap.
In today’s article, I talk about how much a skateboard should cost. I also talk about how much the individual parts cost on their own.
How much does it cost to actually make a skateboard?
Skateboards and their components aren’t actually very expensive. You’ll find this to be true when you look at their actual production costs. Where the costs start to add up is when you start to account for profit at each level of distribution.
At the most basic level, a high-quality skateboard costs about $10 to make. But to make a profit, each distribution point needs to add about $10 to the skateboard before selling it. This is so they can survive as a business and continue operating. Here are how the costs add up:
- The company sells a board to the distributor for $20, actual manufacturing cost – $10,
- The distributor sells to the board shop for about $30, received cost – $20,
- Board shop sells to you for $50-$75, received cost – $30.
The same process happens to trucks and wheels. They aren’t too expensive to make but end up costing you a lot.
It seems crappy, but this is how most products are sold and distributed in the world. So naturally, the same goes for skate gear.
How much does a high-quality skateboard cost?
A high-quality skateboard costs about $170 on average. This is when you pay full price for high-quality components, name brand wheels, trucks, and bearings. But if you’re smart with money, you can get that down to around $120.
You can also get a good deal on a complete and not have to spend as much. Finally, if you look around online you can find better deals. Skate shops usually have prices that are much higher, but their main benefit is that you can ask employees and get first-hand advice.
This Almost skateboard complete is a good example of a high-quality complete that is affordable. Because you buy it as one package, you get it at a lower price than buying everything individually. The complete comes with an Almost Skateboard deck, Tensor trucks, 52mm Spitfire wheels, and Amphetamine bearings. It cost less than $150 and you can check it out here on Amazon.com.
If you were to buy everything individually, you would be looking at paying $180.
Should you buy a Walmart/Target board?
The short answer is no. Skateboard completes from these shops are often cheap and low-quality. They are more like toys than actual equipment you can use for skating.
I’ve even heard stories of these things breaking within a few hours of riding. You can’t compare to good skateboard decks.
But why are they so bad?
Walmart boards are bad because they primarily use cheap components that have undergone a poor manufacturing process. The decks, the griptape, bearings, and trucks are all cheap and often made with inappropriate materials.
For example, most skateboard trucks are made from cast Aluminum. Aluminum allows them to be lightweight but strong enough to stand up to the abuse of skating. Walmart boards have trucks made either from cast iron or plastic. The cast iron trucks break within a few sessions and the plastic trucks bend underweight and feel soggy.
Finally, Walmart’s decks don’t feel right for skating. They don’t have the right shape and cradle the foot awkwardly. They also don’t have the right pop, so it’s uncomfortable to do tricks on them.
How to put together a high-quality board for yourself
If you don’t want to buy a complete, you can always put one together yourself. This is the option most experienced skaters go for and with a bit of information, anyone can too.
You simply need to figure out which decks, wheels, trucks, etc. are good quality and which aren’t. I’ve selected a few and explained why they’re good to help you below.
Choosing the deck
Some goods brands to choose from are Toy Machine, Chocolate, Girl, Almost Skateboards, Baker, Element, Powell Peralta, Santa Cruz, etc.
A deck should cost you around $50 to $80.
An example of a good deck is this Toy Machine deck. It is made from 7plys of maple, comes with Mob grip, and has a width of 8inches. Finally, it comes from a reputable brand. Check it out here on Amazon.com.
How to pick the trucks
Skate trucks are the next important thing to choose. They dictate how you will turn, lean and how your board will feel when skating. Getting bad trucks can really hold back your skating. They can make setting up and landing tricks feel really uncomfortable so it’s important you get the right ones.
Good trucks are primarily made from cast Aluminum and come with high-quality bushings and pivot cups.
Some brands with good trucks are Tensor, Independent, Thunder, Royal, Theeve, Krux, Venture, Silver, and Destructo.
They should cost between $30 and $60. Be sure to pick trucks that will match the width of your board.
An example of a good truck is the Independent. These trucks are arguably the most popular on the market. They have a good turn, are easy to skate, and are durable too. Most skaters would recommend them. Check them out here on Amazon.com.
How to pick skate wheels
The type of skating you do will determine the wheel you pick. If you’re doing street skating, you want a smaller wheel around 53mm in size. If you’re doing transition cruising and vert, a bigger wheel around 59mm in size will be better.
Some good brands to choose from are: Ricta, Spitfire, Bones, Powell Peralta, Element, etc.
Skate wheels should cost you between $30 and $50.
A good skate wheel would be the Spitfire Bigheads. They roll fast, roll smooth and last a long time. They are the choice for many skaters. You can pick between a few sizes to get the right ones for the skating you want to do. Check out the Spitfire wheels here on Amazon.com.
How to choose bearings
Personally, I don’t think bearings are that important, but a good pair can certainly make a difference.
Some good brands are Bones, Fireball, Bronson, Seismic, Spitfire, Oust, Zealous, etc.
Bearings can cost you between $10 to $30.
The Bones Red is a decent set of bearings. They come with high-quality rubber shields, a nylon retainer, and racers that have tight tolerances. It’s hard to go wrong with them. Check them out here on Amazon.com.
What of the grip tape?
Griptape is the stuff that keeps you from sliding off your board when you are riding and doing tricks. The differences between brands aren’t so much, so you’re really ok with any. However, the more your ride, the more you’ll find subtle differences between them. You will naturally develop a preference.
Some good griptape brands are Shake Junt, Grizzly, Mob, Jessup, Black Diamond, etc.
You can expect to spend between $5 to $15 on griptape.
Check out the Black Diamond grip here on Amazon.com. They have many colors to choose from and they really allow you to customize how your skateboard looks.
Your turn! Do you now feel confident in choosing a board?
Apart from actually skating, the hardest part of skateboarding is learning about what each component does. It isn’t nearly as exciting as actually skating and can feel like a pain sometimes. However, it is well worth the effort as you can find gear that really works for you.
If you’ve read this far and still aren’t sure about what board you want, the Almost Skateboards complete should work well for you.