Warning for online shoppers and those looking for their 1st board

“It was on the internet, so it MUST be true!”

Below is a critique we put together of all of the online “help” you can expect to find from online skate shops in putting your first or second good board together or buying parts from them. Written by a 25+ year veteran of the skate industry. We hope this illustrates how basically irresponsible buying any part of a skateboard online is. (We will write a similar article on shoes in the coming weeks.)

What follows are snippets from “How to buy a board” sections posted on a few online retailer sites with illustrations and summations of the disinformation contained within them.

how to buy a board bs

Article above tells you nothing. Actually it tells you less than nothing, it tells you to feel comfortable buying basically ANY size board they carry. Not that the sizing of boards is true or consistent at all. We have to remeasure every board that comes in to Ruin and 25-40% aren’t the size the little sticker says (and not the size the manufacturer intended). Whenever you’re dealing with a natural material, you’re going to have to deal with natural variances. Some boards will warp, some will be steeper, some flatter, some will be stiffer, some more flexible. Please don’t allow anyone give you an illusion that these things are either consistent, or that these things don’t matter. They do.

how to buy a board bs3

Seems pretty obvious all of these mailorder sites just copy each others articles even though it’s incorrect information.

how to buy a board bs2

Strange, don’t you think, that someone wearing a shoe size below 9 could skate 7.5″, 7.6″, 7.75″, 7.8″ or 8″ boards, but suddenly if you’re a 9.5 or bigger shoe you suddenly can only skate any board 8″, 8.1″, 8.25″, 8.3″, 8.5″? What would it be with going from specifically 9 to 9.5 shoes? I know what it is! The writer doesn’t know what he or she’s talking about, which is why they contradict their own guidance later on in the article.

On a side note, please go into a skateshop and get your foot measured! I see so many people at parks who are wearing gigantic sized shoes. A good rule of thumb is that if the eye stays of your shoes are parallel or curving inward (something skaters call “footballing” or “toebock”), your shoes are way too big. Shoe wearing out super fast? Never been able to kickflip well no matter how hard you try? This could be your real problem. There really is no-such-thing as a shoes size, and until they standardize feet, you’re going to just have to try these things on.

how to buy a board bs6

Firstly, “trucks brand”? Truck should be singular not plural. I know it’s a little petty, but if we’re being thorough…

Secondly, (highlighted orange) “Any truck will do” is awful. If it doesn’t matter, why have a selection at all?! Or you can read this as “Buy a bunch of trucks until you make us money because we don’t know or care what you buy.” It matters. Trucks are the most important, and longest lasting part of any board. Trucks no good, board no work.

Finally, (highlighted red) read this as “Stop asking us questions and buy something, just anything, we don’t care we’re just trying to get you to feel comfortable ordering something your not sure of”.

how to buy a board bs5

This is the opposite of good guidance, it flatly opposite of the truth! If you ask any skater (who’s been skating for more than 5 years) they will tell you they can only skate ONE brand of trucks. But when it comes to any other part (board, wheels, bearings) they’ll at least give you a few companies they can skate and think are good. Trucks are that important, ESPECIALLY for a beginner! Why are cheapo $60 complete boards terrible? It’s the trucks! Well that’s MOST of the problem at least…

This is one of the reasons you should never buy a pre-made complete (except some longboards are better with this issue). Basically saving $20-30 buying a pre-made complete falls down when you end up circling back and spend a minimum of $40 on a set of new trucks. (plus, it saves landfill by just buying something right the first time)

how to buy a board bs7

Wheels are important, 2mm is a big difference! There’s sooo much more to getting a set of wheels!

how to buy a board bs4

They’re right! the feel of a board is a real thing, and pretty important, but to keep suggesting you should buy random boards based on the pictures/names on the bottom is getting to the point of obviously, “Order more stuff from us, and you’ll figure it out… one day… maybe..?”

In short, we hope since you’ve read this, that it’s a little more clear that online wants to sell you on a few unverified measurements and mention some brand names so you feel very comfortable buying online, they’re strictly trying to convince you “it’s easy” or “it doesn’t really matter”. It does. A skateboard is something you really should be going to a real place to go and get, from someone who knows how to get everything right, and balanced the first time. Really being able to see something & ask “will getting this work for what I’m trying to do?” from someone who knows, is a very good idea.