What’s the Difference in a Professional Skateboard and a Wal-mart Board?

When it comes to buying a skateboard, you’re not alone if you have questions. If you’re a parent looking to buy a board for your child, you may feel even more lost in the world of skateboarding. Maybe your child has told you that he doesn’t want a Wal-mart skateboard but you noticed the prices there are much cheaper than professional boards at the sporting goods store or skate shop.

Or maybe you are looking for a board yourself but you’re new to skateboarding and you don’t know the difference between a professional skateboard and a Wal-mart board but you just want to go cheap since you don’t even know if you will be really into skateboarding.

Whatever your situation, there are some important things to know. First, Wal-mart boards are much better than they used to be in years’ past. In fact, you can even find pro named skaters like Tony Hawk endorsing boards on the Wal-mart shelves. These can run you from $9-60 and just like anything else, the more you pay, the more you get for the price. $9 skateboards serve little more function than decoration.

We bought some before to check them out. They had plastic trucks that broke almost the first time my son skated on it. My younger daughter sat on hers and rolled it around the driveway some and it’s held up ok but if anyone tried to actually skate or trick on it, it will break as well.

Some of the main differences that you will see in a cheaper Wal-mart board are in the deck itself. The deck will usually be thicker, making it heavier. It is usually not made of the same type of wood either and the cheaper wood materials can cause it to react differently when skating or coming in contact with the road and ground during tricks.

Another problem is that they have cheaper trucks that will not turn or flex as well when you lean on one side of the board to make it turn. They will also break more easily, as happened with my son’s cheap board.

The wheels of a Wal-mart board are usually made from plastic or urethane and the board will be slower and get less traction. It’s harder to ride and can create a bumpier ride. The wheels will also break and chip more easily, becoming a safety hazard to the rider.

You can find professional skateboards for as low as $50 in many cases so if you’re concerned about spending too much money before you are sure you will like it, there are other options. In fact, if you’re trying to make sure you or your child will like skateboarding before putting a lot of money into it, it’s highly recommended that you get a professional board. A cheap board will affect the riding experience and can make you want to give up skating before you’ve even really experienced it properly.