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How Much is a Skateboard (and Other Surprising Costs)?

Skateboard shop with skateboards of all different styles and prices

Hello, fellow skate enthusiasts! Have you ever wondered how much does a good skateboard cost? Or have you considered what hidden expenses might be lurking in the shadows?

Well, buckle up and grab your helmet, because we're about to dive deep into the world of skateboard pricing. We'll explore everything from pre-built setups to custom builds, component costs, apparel, and even some extravagant examples to satisfy your curiosity.

We'll answer the question of how much does a decent skateboard cost and point out all the different factors you should keep in mind.

After reading our in-depth guide, you can roll up to your local skate shop with a good idea of how full your wallet will really need to be. Be sure to stick around until the end where we list out our top recommendations for each category. Let's do this!

Pre-Built vs. Custom Skateboards: Price Comparison

Pre-built Skateboards: Pros, Cons, Price Range

A complete skateboard

Ah, the trusty pre-built skateboard (also known as the "complete skateboard"). Perfect for those who want to hit the ground rolling without worrying about assembling every little piece.

A complete skateboard, which ranges from $60 to $150, is an all-in-one package that includes the deck, trucks, wheels, bearings, grip tape, and hardware. This makes it an ideal choice for beginners who are just starting their skateboarding journey, as they won't need to worry about selecting individual components and assembling the board themselves.

A complete board offers a hassle-free, ready-to-ride solution that enables new skaters to hit the pavement right out of the box. They make great, what we like to call, "beginner skateboards". You get a decent board, at a decent price and get rolling without too much hassle.

However, as skaters become more experienced and develop their skills, they may begin to notice the limitations of complete skateboards. These setups are often geared towards the general market, and while they can provide a decent ride, they may lack the specialized, high-quality components that more advanced skaters desire.

For instance, the trucks on a complete skateboard might not be as responsive as a premium set, or the wheels might wear down more quickly than those made from higher-quality materials.

Experienced skaters often have specific preferences when it comes to their gear, from the size and shape of their deck to the hardness of their wheels. By building a custom skateboard, they can hand-pick each component to create a setup tailored to their unique riding style and needs.

This customization process allows for greater control over the skateboard's performance and feel, which can be crucial for executing more advanced tricks and maneuvers.

Custom Skateboards: Pros, Cons, and Price Range

A custom skateboard

Looking to up your skate game with a ride tailored to your style and preferences? Custom skateboards are where it's at.

These bad boys can range from $100 to $300+, depending on your chosen components. The main advantage of going custom is the ability to handpick each part, allowing you to create a truly personalized setup. Make your own skateboard just the way you like it.

Of course, this comes with a price, both in terms of cash and the effort required to assemble everything. But hey, nothing screams "I'm a skater" more than a custom-built ride.

Follow along as I go deep into the different elements of the custom board and the price range for each.

Detailed Price Breakdown of Skateboard Components

Skateboard Decks: From Basic to Premium

Blank Decks and Shop Decks

The humble blank deck, stripped of any fancy graphics, is the unsung hero of the skateboard world. These no-frills options typically cost between $30 and $40, making them an affordable choice for beginners or anyone on a budget.

Shop decks, featuring a local skate shop's logo, fall within the same price range. They may not be the flashiest option, but they'll get the job done without breaking the bank. If you are someone who tends to break decks frequently, these could be a good option for you.

Branded Decks

Craving some pizzazz on your ride? A branded skateboard deck, featuring artwork and logos from popular skate brands, will set you back anywhere from $50 to $65. Sure, they might be a bit pricier, but who doesn't want to show off their favorite brand while shredding the streets?

Carbon Fiber and High-Tech Decks

For those who demand the very best, a high-tech, high-quality deck, carbon fiber models are the cream of the crop. These lightweight, durable options can cost anywhere from $90 to $120 or more. They're the Ferraris of skateboard decks - sleek, stylish, and bound to turn heads.

Skateboard Trucks: Finding the Right Balance

skateboard trucks

Skateboard trucks are the backbone of your ride, so it's crucial to find a solid pair. Prices range from $20 to $80, depending on brand and quality.

Cheaper trucks may be more budget-friendly, but investing in a quality set will pay off in the long run with improved performance and durability. Remember, you get what you pay for, so don't skimp on the backbone of your board!

Looking for more on skateboard trucks? Check out our in-depth guide here!

Skateboard Wheels: Understanding Your Options

Wheels play a crucial role in your skateboarding experience, affecting everything from speed to grip on different surfaces. They come in various sizes, materials, durometers (hardness), and price points, typically ranging from $15 to $60.

Size is an essential factor to consider, as larger wheels generally provide more speed, while smaller wheels offer better maneuverability. Wheel size is usually measured in millimeters (mm), with common sizes ranging from 50mm to 60mm.

Material-wise, most skateboard wheels are made of polyurethane (PU). However, the quality of the polyurethane can vary, with higher-quality materials generally offering better performance and durability.

The hardness or durometer of a skateboard wheel is another critical aspect to consider. Durometer is measured on the A scale, with ratings usually falling between 75A (soft wheels) and 101A (hard wheels).

Softer wheels (around 75A to 87A) provide more grip and a smoother ride on rough surfaces, making them an excellent choice for cruising and filming. On the other hand, harder wheels (around 88A to 101A) offer more speed and slide capabilities, making them ideal for street skating, skate parks, and technical tricks.

For beginners, choosing a mid-range hardness (around 90A to 99A) can be a great starting point, offering a balance between grip and sliding capabilities. As you progress and develop your skating style, you may want to experiment with softer or harder wheels to find the perfect match for your needs.

Bearings: Making Sense of Prices and Quality

Ah, bearings – the unsung heroes of a skateboard's smooth roll. Prices can vary wildly, from $10 to $70, but here's a little secret: you don't necessarily need the most expensive ones.

Now, I'm not saying go out and buy cheap bearings, as there is always an element of "you get what you pay for" in every product category. But you don't need to break the bank either.

As long as your skateboard bearings are clean and well-maintained, even more affordable options can perform admirably. Of course, if you want to splurge on a high-end set, we won't judge!

Grip Tape: Cost and Varieties

Grip tape on a skateboard

Grip tape is like the cherry on top of your skateboard sundae. It provides traction, keeps your feet in place, and can even add a touch of personal flair.

Prices are generally quite affordable, ranging from $5 to $15. From basic black to funky patterns and colors, grip tape is a low-cost way to make your ride uniquely yours.

Hardware: Affordable Choices

Skateboard hardware, often overlooked, is actually an essential part of your skateboard setup. These small screws (called deck bolts or mounting hardware) and nuts are responsible for attaching your trucks to the deck, ensuring a stable and secure ride. Skateboard hardware may be tiny, but it plays a crucial role in keeping everything together.

When it comes to the cost, skateboard hardware is quite affordable, usually priced between $2 and $5 for a complete set. With such a low price point, there's no reason not to invest in a decent set of hardware to keep your skateboard components securely connected.

You might also come across hardware with Allen or Phillips heads, allowing you to choose based on your personal preference or the tools you have available. Speaking of tools...

Skate Tools and Accessories: Essential Investments

Every skater should have a trusty skate tool on hand for on-the-go adjustments and repairs. These nifty gadgets range from $6 to $30 and are an indispensable part of any skater's arsenal. It's like having a pocket-sized skate shop at your fingertips!

TLDR; A Summary of Costs for a Custom Board

Skateboard Part Low End Mid Level High End
Skateboard Decks $30 $50-$65 $90-$120
Trucks $20 $80
Wheels $15 $60
Bearings $10 $70
Grip Tape $5 $15
Hardware $2 $5
Skate Tools & Accessories $6 $30
Total $88 $50-$65 $350-$380

The Real Cost of Skateboarding: Apparel and Protective Gear

Skate Shoes: Balancing Style and Durability

skate shoes

Skate shoes are more than just a fashion statement; they're an essential piece of gear designed to withstand the rigors of skateboarding. Prices can range from $40 to $100+, but it's crucial to find a balance between style and durability. Trust us; your feet will thank you later.

Pants: Investing in Comfort and Functionality

Skateboarding can be tough on clothing, especially pants. Investing in a durable, comfortable pair designed for skating can save you money in the long run.

Prices can vary, anywhere from $20 to $200+, but it's worth splurging on a quality pair that won't rip apart after a single session. Plus, who doesn't want to look good while shredding?

Helmets, Pads, and Other Protective Gear: Safety First

Safety should never take a backseat in skateboarding. Helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, and other protective gear are vital investments, especially for beginners.

Prices range from around $20 on the low end to $80+ for a top notch set, but the peace of mind that comes with knowing you're protected is priceless. After all, you can't put a price on your noggin!

Check out our guide and reviews on knee pads for kids here!

Hidden and Ongoing Expenses in Skateboarding

Travel Expenses: Gas, Parking, and Public Transportation

Skateboarding isn't always about cruising down the street. Sometimes, you'll need to travel to your favorite skate spots, which can come with additional costs.

Whether it's gas, parking fees, or public transportation fares, these expenses can add up over time. Make sure to budget for these hidden costs, so you're not caught off-guard when it's time to hit the road.

Skatepark Fees and Membership Costs

skate park

While street skating is often free, skatepark sessions can come with a price tag. Day passes, monthly memberships, or annual fees are common at many parks.

These costs can range from a few bucks to a couple of hundred dollars per year, depending on the park's amenities and location. Keep these expenses in mind when planning your skate budget.

Fines and Tickets: Staying Within the Law

No one likes a party pooper, but fines and tickets are a reality for some skaters. Skating in prohibited areas or getting caught damaging property can result in fines or even legal trouble. Stay informed about local laws and regulations to avoid these unwelcome surprises.

Skateboarding at Different Skill Levels: Cost Considerations

Beginner Skateboarders: Getting Started on a Budget

Starting your skate journey doesn't have to break the bank. Beginners can find affordable pre-built setups or budget-friendly custom options to get rolling without emptying their wallet.

Focus on quality essentials like a sturdy deck, trucks, and wheels, and don't worry too much about high-end gear just yet. As your skills progress, you can upgrade your setup piece by piece.

Intermediate Skateboarders: Investing in Progress

As your skills improve, you'll likely want to invest in better gear. This might mean upgrading to a branded deck, higher-quality trucks, or smoother wheels.

While these upgrades can be more expensive, they'll help you push your limits and improve your performance. Just remember to balance your budget with your desire for top-of-the-line gear.

Advanced Skaters: The Cost of Going Pro

For the truly dedicated, the pursuit of skateboarding mastery can come with a hefty price tag. Advanced skaters often invest in the best gear, apparel, and even travel expenses for competitions and events. However, the rewards of pursuing your passion can far outweigh the costs.

The Most Expensive Skateboards Ever Sold

Just for fun, let's dive into the fascinating and somewhat baffling world of ultra-luxe skateboards. These mind-boggling rides showcase the lengths some collectors and enthusiasts will go to own a piece of skateboarding history or make a bold statement.

  1. Louis Vuitton X Supreme - $59,000: The pièce de résistance of luxury skateboards, this jaw-dropping collaboration between iconic fashion house Louis Vuitton and streetwear brand Supreme is a breathtaking testament to high-end design and exclusivity.

  2. The Supreme Mundi Skateboard - $20,000: This limited-edition piece features intricate artwork making it a unique fusion of skate culture and high art.

  3. Blowin' in the Wind Skateboard - $38,000: Featuring stunning artwork inspired by Bob Dylan's classic song, this one-of-a-kind skateboard is a testament to the enduring connection between music and skateboarding culture.

While these extravagant rides may be out of reach for most of us mere mortals, they offer a fascinating glimpse into the upper echelons of skateboard excess. They remind us that skateboarding transcends the streets and skate parks, making its mark in the realms of art, fashion, and even luxury goods.

Budget-friendly Skateboard Recommendations

So, now that we've covered the ins and outs of skateboard pricing, it's time to get down to business. We'll share our top recommendations for budget-friendly skateboards (not "cheap skateboards") that offer a great balance of quality and affordability. Keep an eye out for these gems, and you'll be well on your way to skateboarding bliss without breaking the bank.

CCS Complete
  • A versatile skateboard suitable for ages 5 to 100+ years, featuring a 70 cm long and 7-inch wide wooden deck.
  • Load capacity of 220 pounds, making it suitable for a wide range of skaters.
  • Equipped with 52 mm polyurethane wheels with a durometer hardness of 100A for a smooth and speedy ride.
Element Section Complete Skateboard 7.75
  • Designed for teenagers and adults, with a deck size of 7.7" x 31.5".
  • Lightweight at 5.4 pounds, making it easy to carry and maneuver.
  • Comes as a complete set, including trucks, wheels, bearings, hardware, and grip tape.
SANTA CRUZ Screaming Hand Full Skateboard Complete 8.0
  • Features a medium concave deck with a size of 8.0" x 31.25" and a wheelbase of 13.75".
  • Uses Slime Balls 95a wheels, steel Abec 5 bearings, and 90a bushings for an optimal ride.
  • Renowned for over 40 years of innovative skateboards and artwork, making it one of the best skateboard brands in the world.

The True Cost of Skateboarding: Final Thoughts

In conclusion, good skateboards cost a wide range of amounts, depending greatly on your preferences and needs. Whether you're a beginner seeking an affordable setup or an experienced skater looking to invest in premium gear, understanding the different costs involved will help you make informed decisions.

Don't forget to account for hidden and ongoing expenses, too! Now that you're armed with this knowledge, go forth and conquer the world of skateboarding, one ollie at a time. Happy shredding!

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