Best beginner skateboards 2024: We break down the very best skateboards to get you shredding

Whether you're a first-time skater or you're looking to get back on a deck after a mid-life hiatus, Red Bull, Sidewalk and World Skate contributor Niall Neeson has compiled this guide to the best beginner skateboards, whether you want to cruise the strip or hit the lip. And with the Paris Olympic Games about to once again explode the energy of skateboarding into worldwide public consciousness this summer, there’s never been a better time to get involved. 

Why is a site like Louder covering skating, you may ask? Well, skateboarding and music have a long and overlapping history, sharing much of the same DNA in terms of fashion, attitude and energy. Many skaters found their musical identity through the punk and hip-hop infused skate videos of the '90s and 2000s and the Tony Hawk video game soundtracks, while there are many skateboarding musicians who choose to express themselves in the skatepark as well as on stage, including J Mascis, Rob Trujillo, Jeff Ament, and many more.

Just remember: falling is inevitable. Get up and go again - a metaphor for life, in many regards!

Best beginner skateboards: Quick list

Best on a budget

Best beginner skateboards: Fracture All-Over Comic

(Image credit: Fracture)

1. Fracture All-Over Comic

As far as pricepoint completes go, this takes some beating


Width: 8.0 inches
Trucks: 8.0” Fracture wings with embossed logo
Wheel size: 50mm (Durometer 100a)

Reasons to buy

Componentry is better than average for the price
Wheels and deck are industry-standard materials

Reasons to avoid

Wheels are tiny- 50 millimetre diameter is the bottom end of the scale. While that makes them responsive, they will also stick on little stones
Graphics are somewhat subdued- but you can spruce that up with stickers or customisation

Fracture have low-key cornered the market in entry-level completes by using scale to buy all componentry in bulk and thereby drive down the cost at point of sale. 

As sponsors of Skateboard GB, the brand, which was founded in 2002, clearly understands their emerging market of new skateboarders and spec-for-spec their complete skateboards take some beating at the price. 

Fracture boards are 100% Canadian Maple- similarly-priced boards from other manufacturers substitute Canadian maple with Chinese Maple which is grown at different altitudes and therefore more prone to splitting, or sometimes even birch which is more brittle and prone to breakage upon sudden impact.

Similarly, Fracture completes come with Urethane wheels where others in the category offer Polyurethane wheels only, which is a more plastic sensation to ride and lasts a fraction of the time before blowing out under centrifugal force. Although they tend to be pre-assembled to ride quite rigidly by novices, loosening everything off half-a-turn will give you a more carve-y, free-flowing ride - and one of the best skateboards for beginners. 

Best for small feet

Best beginner skateboards: Birdhouse B Logo Stage 3 Factory Complete

(Image credit: Birdhouse)

2. Birdhouse B Logo Stage 3 Factory Complete

Tony Hawk’s iconic Birdhouse brand’s entry-level skateboard


Width: 7.75 inches
Trucks: Laser Logo Powdercoat Trucks 5″
Wheel size: 52mm

Reasons to buy

Best for small feet
Best logo in the game!

Reasons to avoid

Aimed toward teen and young adults size-wise
If you don’t have a nearby skatepark to learn on with small wheels

Having already done pretty much everything of note in terms of propelling skateboarding into the world’s awareness, Tony Hawk also owns Birdhouse Skateboards. Realising that cost can be an impediment to people first getting the skateboarding bug, these Birdhouse completes certainly represent value for money in that regard.

With perfectly well-made American 7-ply maple construction and the iconic logo made famous by his era-defining video game, this is a board which benefits from the fact that it will still look good even when it has been thrashed.

The 7.75-inch width is quite narrow by today’s standards and 52 millimetre-diameter wheels require better than average surfaces to roll on, so expect to upgrade parts over time with this one. Nonetheless, perfectly functional and the first board of many established pros of today and easily one of the best skateboards for beginners who want the name recognition of one of the greatest riders of all time. 

Best cruiser board

Best beginner skateboards: Globe Zuma Onshore Cruiser

(Image credit: Globe)

3. Globe Zuma Onshore Cruiser

For those who know their own mind, and it is drifting


Width: 9.7 inches
Trucks: 175mm Revenge Alpha II
Wheel size: 70mm 83a

Reasons to buy

Last word in cruiser badassery
Timeless rootsy stylings

Reasons to avoid

Riding on transitions unless you are very confident in your abilities- the steering geometry on cruisers takes learning!
If you want to learn tricks - this is primarily about movement!

Truthfully, this is kind of specialist equipment because it can be a very different ride. We have chosen the Zuma Onshore Cruiser not just for the bamboo construction but also for the innovative design of their ‘Revenge’ trucks, which allow for dreamy, surf-like turns.

At a durometer of 83a, these are among the softest wheels in our selection and will ride over even the most chewed, weathered surfaces of the built environment, which gives you access to terrain that other skateboards can’t reach - which is particularly useful if you live near coastal defences like sea walls.

At nearly 10 inches wide, it is quite a beast, but the reversed truck geometry gives it a fluidity of carve that purists will love. Perhaps not as versatile as some of the other selections listed here, it does, however, have ‘beer run’ written all over it.

Best all-terrain skateboard

Best beginner skateboards: Arbor Complete Legacy Cucharon Multi Cruiser

(Image credit: Arbor Complete)

4. Arbor Complete Legacy Cucharon Multi Cruiser

A stealth entrant that the marketplace hasn’t yet grasped the impact of


Width: 8.75 inches
Trucks: Ace 55 classic 9.0"
Wheel size: 56mm (durometer: 92a)

Reasons to buy

One-and-done lifetime purchase
Never replace a component

Reasons to avoid

Wider than average so hard for small feet to steer
There are cheaper complete skateboards available if you just want to dip your toes!

There are two reasons why this complete represents something of a steal: one is that Arbor is a relatively recent entrant into the skateboarding world and has done so with a focus on the base product itself. Their sustainable Maple programme and dedication to making premium-quality but tastefully understated skateboards mean they produce things like this beauty. Positioned as a Cruiser, this is actually a straight-up old-school mid-nineties shape, a time before symmetry became ubiquitous and skateboards had direction and character.

These come complete with Ace trucks. Ace Trucks is a brand that has shaken up the skateboard truck industry in recent years. Owned by the Tershay brothers, who were responsible for the industry-standard Independent Stage 4 (think the Fender, Zildjian, Technics of skateboarding), Ace has produced a truck with a steering geometry that grown adults rave about. 

With soft but not sluggish 92A wheels to round out the deal, this is a pro-standard set-up no part of which you would never have to replace other than through choice. 

Plus, since the shape is not symmetrical, you get to learn every trick two ways. Perfect.

Best old-school board

Best beginner skateboards: YOW Skalle

(Image credit: YOW)

5. YOW Skalle

For getting low into the corners


Width: 10 inches
Trucks: YOW 9.0″ Standard/Silver
Wheel size: YOW URA 66x51mm MAYO 78A

Reasons to buy

The ne-plus-ultra of carvers for those who want to connect with skateboarding’s surfing roots!
Your ride-or-die Surfskate for life!

Reasons to avoid

Not the most versatile due to the unique front truck steering
Most expensive board in our edit by some distance

YOW (an acronym for Your Own Wave) is a specialist Surfskate offshoot of HLC, a skateboard manufacturing empire based in the Basque Country and owned by the three irascible Iraola brothers Igor, Iban and Ander. Through the innovative use of precision Japanese robotic technology (like you see putting passenger doors onto cars), these three siblings have been able to upscale skateboard production within Europe to include any design a computer can generate. 

The result has been the myriad shapes of their YOW and Cruzade divisions, and the pick of the bunch for us shape-wise is this mighty 34-inch long Skalle model by renowned shaper Chris Christenson. What you get for your not inconsiderable outlay is this stylish, practical, easy to strap away old-school riding companion.

It is worth either pointing out or bearing in mind here that Surfskates have a unique front truck configuration which make them able to turn on a dime- but this has caught the unwary novice out from time to time. Be sure this is the kind of carving experience you want before committing to buying one, because this is a particluar type of ride!

Best lightweight skateboard

Best beginner skateboards: Osprey Double Kick

(Image credit: Osprey)

6. Osprey Double Kick

British-based budget complete specialists


Width: 8.15 inches
Trucks: Aluminium 5-inch
Wheel size: 50mm/ (Durometer 99A-Polyureathane)

Reasons to buy

Simple design and geometry will feel familiar to newcomers
Pronounced deck shape has plenty of contours to help shape movement

Reasons to avoid

Small wheels can prove challenging to beginners
Not the cheapest in its competitive category

The Osprey Candy Skull 31” skateboard takes inspiration from the intricate designs of Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’ sugar skulls. Uniquely among the deck constructions in our guide, Osprey’s construction features a mix of Canadian veneers on the outside skins with five plys of Chinese maple in between. This provides protection from cracking in the two places where it is most likely to occur - on the bottom ply through downward force and the top one through rebound force.

The Devon, UK-based distributor, keeps their set-ups light by using aluminium trucks and comparatively small wheels, which give the sensation of precision and accuracy in response to trick attempts.

The symmetrical ‘popsicle’ shape allows you to learn tricks both in your natural stance and in reverse (‘switchstance’).

Best longboard

Best beginner skateboards: GLOBE Byron Bay Ebony/Nightshade

(Image credit: Globe)

7. Globe Byron Bay Ebony/Nightshade

Let your mind go and your body will follow


Width: 9.5 inches
Trucks: 150MM slant reverse kingpin
Wheel size: 70MM (78A durometer)

Reasons to buy

It’s your very own love-missile
If you like to experience skateboarding in its most rudimentary, untouched form 

Reasons to avoid

Impossible to Ollie!
Not very skatepark-friendly

The thing about Longboarding is that you are either in or you’re out. Some skateboarders find the long wheelbase and flexible construction impossible to ride, whereas others wax lyrical about the purity of the endless carving experience. 

If you are a fan, then this is the skateboard which defines the genre: aluminum trucks with reversible 50/54 degree hangers and grade-8 kingpins come configured at 50 degrees for stability at high speeds, but you can flip the truck hanger over to 54 degrees for even tighter turn should you so desire. With huge, pillow-soft wheels and deep wheelwells cut into the underside of the deck to avoid wheelbite, this is a promenader’s dream- and like all Globe’s specialist boards, it looks great, too.

Best mid-priced board

Best beginner skateboards: Element Motif

(Image credit: Element)

8. Element Motif

Smart, tidy complete from an industry giant


Width: 8 inches
Trucks: 5.0” Element Raw
Wheel size: Element 52mm (Durometer 99a)

Reasons to buy

One of the skate industry’s best-established brands
The board shapes are generic copies from their pro range

Reasons to avoid

Wheels are diamond-hard and unforgiving
There are cheaper options with similar componentry from less well-known competitors!

Element Skateboards have a long bloodline. Originally called Underworld Element, the Element Skateboards brand began life at a low point for skateboarding generally but emerged onto the market with a strong aesthetic that embraced the hip hop influenced skate scene of the early 1990’s.

Having become stratospherically-huge thanks to sponsoring MTV superstar Bam Margera, Element have sharpened their focus in recent years to making high-standard beginner’s set-ups with an emphasis on boards which look and last well enough to see beginners through those first decisive years.

With their 30 years of experience drawn down from the professional skateboards market, Element can guarantee that the shapes and componentry of their entry-level offerings borrow heavily from their elite programme. That’s what makes the Element Motif complete a clever and good-looking mid-range beginner’s buy.

Buying advice

Laughing young female skateboarders hanging out together during summer camp

(Image credit: Getty/Thomas M Barwick INC)

Part of the skateboard’s beauty is the simplicity of its design. Like the BMX bike, it is at a utilitarian end-point where design might be refined but not at this point re-invented.

As a result, almost all skateboards manufactured today comprise a deck – the bit you stand on – comprised of 7 rectangular veneers of Canadian maple, cross-laminated for strength and glued together with epoxy resin before being shaped for weeks under thousands of pounds per square inch of steam pressure and being cut into the desired shape.

The trucks underneath operate as steering axles, and on those trucks, there are a total of four wheels, each with a pair of 8-ballbearing races countersunk into the core of the wheels. 

Different brands of truck have different steering geometry which is a matter of taste, but all are forged with high-strength axles to prevent snappage; steering response is down to by the durometer of the cushioned bushings (known as ‘rubbers’) in the offset vertical steering column of each: softer rubbers provide a looser steer and therefore tighter turns whereas stiff rubbers offer stability for beginners and reduce the chance of ‘wheelbite’ on the deck underside during high- impact landings. You will notice some of our choices have ‘wheelwells’ cut out of the underside of the deck for this reason, also.

Skateboard wheels are almost always made from Urethane these days, a polymer developed by the DuPont company which has a density measured on a durometer scale peaking at 100a. What makes urethane perfect as a skateboard wheel is the fact that the heat generated by skating does not degrade the polymer. Generally speaking, skateparks with their perfect surfaces make super hard wheels ideal for energy transfer, whereas asphalt, tarmac and brick all feel less bone-shaking with soft wheels (low '90s for general skating, getting down into the '70s for Cruisers and Surfskates).

That final point nicely brings us to the biggest question you should ask yourself before you begin shopping for your beginner skateboard: What do you primarily want your new skateboard for? 

If it is to learn tricks at the skatepark with a view to becoming the next Olympic champion, a duo-directional ‘popsicle’ shape is what most professionals ride. If you want to replicate skateboarding’s surfing roots, then one of the short, broad Surfskates or perhaps a stubby Cruiser might be more your thing. If you want to cover distance while feeling the slender sweeps of silent promenade cruising then the subculture of Longboards might be just your thing.

As mentioned earlier, however- skateboarding’s simplicity is part of its beauty so always remember that, like the metaphorical Philosopher’s Axe, you can swap out componentry and adjust all the parts to experiment or expand your taste and still be a skateboarder regardless. Join us!

What safety gear do I need to get started?

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Like any sport, skateboarding can be dangerous. That's why we advise all newbie skaters to take precautions and always wear helmets to protect against serious head injuries. 

Knee and elbow pads, as well as wrist guards, are also a good idea to protect you in the beginning as you are likely to fall a lot - it's part of the process. Yes, you may feel like the pads and protective gear are restrictive, but you'll be happy you are wearing them when you inevitably take a tumble - trust us. 

How we choose skateboards

Beginner skateboarder at a skatepark

(Image credit: Getty/CasarsaGuru)

Here at Louder, we love skating - but we'll be the first to admit that we needed a hand from an industry professional to get the inside scoop on the very best beginner skateboards on the market right now. 

Red Bull, Sidewalk, Kingpin, and Nike contributor Niall Neeson is a leading voice in the wonderful world of skateboarding and has curated this guide on our behalf. Niall has made sure to cover the various styles of boards available, from inexpensive first-time decks to cruisers and longboards. 

This comprehensive list of the greatest beginner-friendly boards from a wide variety of well-known brands pays careful attention to comfort, skating style, and price. Each deck is accessible, well-made, and, in our opinion, offers superb value for money. 

So whether you're looking to pop your first Ollie or dive head first into a slalom, you'll be able to do it with one of these boards. 

Read more about how we test and rate products at Louder

Check out more of our skateboard content

Niall Neeson

Niall Neeson is one of the most widely read voices in skateboarding, having written for magazines such as Sidewalk, Kingpin, Slap, Focus and Color as well as working as an editor on projects for Nike, Red Bull, World Skate and more.