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Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Does anyone here ride a skateboard? I think want to get one to practice stance and balance for surfing but I know nothing about skateboards. I googled something like "how to buy a skateboard" but the options are mind boggling . . . .different shaped decks, wheel placement etc; I have no idea what I should be looking for.
I have no desire to go downhill on the thing, basically just riding on flat pavement so I'm guessing I don't want a longboard?
Any suggestions on what a beginner skateboarder should be looking for? Length or any other parameters?
Personally, no, but my BF recently quit his job and is working on setting up a longboard deck manufacturing factory in our town. I'll ask him. Stay tuned.


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@NewEnglandSkier do you longboard or short board when you surf?

Long board skateboards are easy to ride and you can get more of a carve feeling- shorter skateboards allow you to "tick/tack" - more like a short board feeling
Good question,

There is no direct substitute for surfing; however, there are boards that get close. Many will claim to be the best snowboard or surf cross trainer but that is marketing BS! It all comes down to preference. I would suggest a longboard, with standard longboard trucks. (52 degree 180mm or similar) and any deck of your choice, it really is a preference thing if you are not into doing 113km/hr, and even then beyond the science, there is personal choice and riding style. For a newbie, it really doesn't matter. As for wheels, get longboard wheels not street skate wheels, they ride much smoother and are much grippier. (70 to 80mm would be my suggestion, nothing smaller! 78a or 80a durometer.... which is wheel hardness). If you're a bigger guy [apparently Diva Dude missed the part where you were a Ski Diva and therefore not a big guy], 200lbs plus, I would recommend 10mm axles in your trucks, and then of course 10mm bearings. The standard size is 8mm. The 8mm axles are always bending which make the board less stable. You may never notice if you're just cruising.

Always always always get a helmet and slide gloves!! Slide gloves are a work glove and high density plastic on the palms, ( or mom's old cutting boards ) WHEN you fall, not if... you will put your hands down, the slide gloves will protect your hands, AND will keep your shoulders from dislocating which is a common injury for those you dont wear SLIDE gloves. You can find these at shops, or make them your self..... google it, it's really easy and worth every cent. You will not regret your long board purchase, I have been riding with gents that STARTED once they retired. Its a great way to commute. With all that being said if it's only balance you're looking for, fill a 2 liter pop bottle with water, tighten the cap extra tight and lay it on the floor, then borrow the front of your mom's dresser drawers and dalance on the pop bottle! Any peice of wood will work if your mom is sensitive about her dressers. They are usualy oak and look super cool. This is called a homemade bongo board. They are good in the winter. But so is telemark skiing which is much cooler and life chaging. I recommend that! Good luck!

Ringrat's Diva Dude

[Ringrat doesn't recommend taking apart your dresser to make a bongo board.]


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
WaterGirl- for surfing I longboard. I'm a beginner/advanced beginner surfer. The surf camp I am considering recommends skateboarding as a way to "train" for surfing when not actually able to do so. So I figured I'd try to pick up a skateboard.

Ringrat- thanks so much for this! This is very helpful.

So it sounds like a longboard is what I want after all!


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@NewEnglandSkier - thanks for the update -- here are some thoughts (with some help from DH [a skater and surfer])

There are a few things you can do to help with surf training when there are no waves-- and while skateboarding has its place I guess, the following activities will give you the strength you need in the water -
paddling (if you have access to a surfboard and flat water)
swimming - and more swimming if you are not in the water surfing on a regular basis swim as much as you can (also swim underwater and hold your breath)
practicing your "pop ups" [place two parallel lines of masking tape on the floor approx 22 inches apart - lay on the floor and practice popping up to your surfer stance while staying inside the lines]
burpees - lots of them in a row
mountain climbers
push ups etc-- any core/upper body or lower leg strength training will help.

Skate boarding may help with balance and getting a "carving feel" but honestly, I only use a skateboard specifically for working on my backside muscle memory if I am going to be surfing more left hand breaks - I tick/tac the board to mimic hitting the lip "backside." There are some great skaters who can't surf, and some great surfers who don't skate at all. That being said, movement, balance and a bit of carving is all fun and if you have the time and place to do it ...... here is what DH is suggesting for a good basic board --

The board in the pictures belongs to DH and is 30" by 10." Ringrat's Diva Dude has good points about safety/ gloves; and the size and durometer of the wheels.
board1.jpg board2.jpg

The HOUSE has some good cruiser boards and great prices http://www.the-house.com/skatec.html -- here are 3 suggestions... the Arbor is the skinniest; the red duster is the widest - if you just wanted a basic board to play a round on, really you can't beat prices with the free shipping and a "free gift"

Arbor Pocket Rocket Bamboo Cruiser Complete 26 x 7.75in

Size: 7.75x26in
Our Price:
35% Off
Dusters Bogue Longboard Complete Blue/Yellow

Size: 27 x 9.25in
Reg: $109.95On Sale:
35% Off
Dusters Bogue Longboard Complete Red/Black

Size: 28 x 10.25in
Reg: $109.95On Sale:

******but please skip the balance or indo boards--- your better off in a gym with a bosu balance trainer***** ;)
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Ski Diva Extraordinaire
One thing that helped me alot with stance and balance was actually yoga. The core control combined with the mind body connection has helped me a ton with knowing where I am in space or where I am standing on the board and making adjustments. The hip mobility and flexibitly have made a huge difference in adjusting my weight. What really helps is the gazing though, I can look where I want to go without looking down at my feet and it's amazing what will knock you down when you are looking at it, compared to what you can balance through when you are looking up and can't see it.

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