Kid skateboards can be hard to shop for. They come in a dizzying array of shapes, sizes, styles, and price points. Wide and short? Wide and long? Plastic or wood? Do you buy something cheap in case your kid doesn’t stick with it, or do you invest in a high-quality board to facilitate the learning process? Is it possible to find the best beginner skateboard for kids that’s both high quality and comes at an affordable price?
Of all the boards we tested, the Beleev 27-inch Complete Skateboard for Beginners(available at Amazon) rises to the top of the list as the Best Skateboard for Beginners for the quality of its design and materials. Also ranking high is our choice for the Best Board for Little Kids, the Ookkie Kids’ Learner Board (available at Amazon), an ingenious beginner skateboard that offers the best mix of stability, safety, customizability, and fun.
Here are the Best skateboards for beginners, ranked in order:
Beleev 27-inch Complete Skateboard for Beginners
Ookkie Kids' Learner Skateboard
Skitch Mini Cruiser Board
Brgood 22-inch Mini Cruiser
Muévelo 27-inch Cruiser
Fish Mini Longboard Cruiser
Rude Boyz 24-inch Mini Cruiser
Rude Boyz Kids 17-inch Beginner Skateboard
Beleev 27" Complete Skateboard for Beginners
Materials: 7-ply Canadian maple deck, Polyurethane wheels
Length: 27 inches
Wheel size: 60 mm
The Beleev is a well-priced, legit board. The conventional cruiser design makes it easy to learn on, and easy for kids to ride on well into their teens. I mean, I’d ride this thing!
The quality of construction, and the combination of a concave deck, sticky grip, and good wheels, make this an awesome beginner skateboard for kids to learn on.
Made of seven-ply Canadian maple wood, the 10-millimeter-thick skateboard deck is tough and can handle 220 pounds, which means some adults can actually stand on it with their small child to help them learn.
Best of all is this board’s shape: Kids’ feet will nest comfortably on the Beleev’s concave deck, so they can get acclimated to the subtle topography of standard boards, and the width will keep them steady. Smooth polyurethane wheels and the trucks that are well-positioned for beginner boarders make this board one that’s stable enough to both learn to ride and to graduate to tricks on.
This well-made cruiser is easy to maneuver. If your kid falls in love with skating, this board has the kind of medium size they can keep riding for years, and it will ready them to graduate from a learner board to a standard size board.
The bearings on the Beleev are a bit tight, but you can replace those and adjustments are easy with the accompanying tool and manual.
At $43 dollars, this was the most cost-effective bargain in this test, providing the best quality for the price and the best combination of features for older and younger kids. We recommend this high-quality and affordable board for street skating, the skate park, or wherever you board takes you.
Ookkie looks like a mix of a skateboard, a scooter, and those plastic Red Flyer tricycles with the handle that parents push before their kids can fully peddle. So is the Ookkie really a skateboard? Or is it a scooter that turns into a skateboard? Doesn’t matter—if you want your kid to learn to skate, get this.
Ookkie is smart. They know young skaters need different kinds of boards as they grow, so Ookkie designed theirs for skaters between ages 2 and 6 to use during different early stages of development.
The Ookkie is three boards in one. It starts as a two-handle board where the teacher can push and steer the board while the kid learns to balance by holding a separate handle to steady themselves. It then converts to a confidence-boosting one-handle board for kids to hone their skills with a bit more independence. Finally, when they’re ready to ride completely on their own, it converts into a standalone deck and wheels for them to shred to their little heart’s content.
Considering what kids need in their first board—balance, safety, fun, some mix of assistance and independence—Ookkie gives them everything.
In the plastic banana board market, where all boards seemed identical in material and dimensions, Skitch stands out. It looks like other plastic skateboards, but it comes with a skate key, starter instructions, and a carry bag that allows you to wear it like a backpack.
This board is a great size for kids. Skitch’s sturdy board can support up to 200 pounds, has a nice stiff tail for balance, and the trucks and wheels set it high off the ground, making kids feel confident but not perched scary high like a monster truck.
Skitch’s wheels are on the larger side, but have a nice tacky surface to grip concrete and are hard enough to handle wear and tear yet soft enough to provide a smooth ride. The bearings spin far longer than most beginner skateboards I tested, and kids will love the cool galaxy design on top and outer space on the bottom.
What the Brgood lacks in accessories it makes up for in its cool LED wheels! After seeing their lights cut circular tracers down the street, I wanted to transfer these wheels to my board.
For a kid who’s confident enough to stand on their board without assistance but may never care enough about skating to learn tricks, Brgood provides enough basic features and stability.
As much as plastic decks conjure memories of painful childhood falls, as an adult, I could actually ride this board at great speed, jump off curbs, dart down our driveway, and not wipe out. I even ollied on it. That impressed me. It’d be easier to ride if my feet were as small as my daughter’s feet, but when you loosen the trucks, this can actually be a cruiser, letting short, confident riders safely carve wide angles back-and-forth like vintage sidewalk surfers.
You’ll never skate ramps or do tricks on this, but it will appeal to basic “weekend” skaters and those who will never get too serious about skating ramps and bowls.
This board is playful. It’s bright. It rolls well, and with a few adjustments, the trucks will let you carve. Sometimes basic and beautiful are enough.
The first thing I did on this board was fall backward. My daughter is smaller so she could keep her weight more centered, but when she moved back, she tipped, too. While this board’s vintage, 1970s style makes it better looking than most beginner skateboards, this is a case where style overrides function.
While this classic cruiser deck has a look that oozes cool kid style, the location of the trucks in relation to the long, narrow, flat tail creates an unstable surface that tips back too easily—and that’s no good for anyone.
That instability is the dealbreaker for the Muévelo. Otherwise, its design, graphics, wheels, and dimensions would work well for a beginner who doesn’t mind bunching their feet in the board’s center and leaving the tail alone.
My daughter and I wanted to love this board. Unfortunately, these boards are best for more experienced riders, not beginners.
This skateboard has no tail, which is a no-go for beginners. No tail means no launching, no breaking, and no learning to turn, pivot, or stop. If your kids want to skate standard boards one day, they need the features of a standard board, and Fish’s tail is just too short.
Ultimately, this wasn’t the worst board we tried, but as far as beginner skateboards go, this is one to skip.
At first glance, the Rude Boyz 17-inch seems a wise choice: It’s as small as your rider. Even as the smallest board in this lineup, it supports up to 112 pounds. Unfortunately, this board is too small.
Length affects riders’ center of gravity and their ability to turn, skateboard width can affect stability, and this board is too small on both counts. It was too small for my 4-year-old daughter. No matter how small your kid’s feet are, it’s too small to steer by shifting your weight. That’s a deal-breaker.
The second lethal design flaw is that the wheels are cheap and hard, and the bearings roll like they’re rusted shut. My daughter loved it at first sight but got frustrated when trying to ride. No matter how much I encouraged her and held her hands, it took too much pushing to barely make it move, and she couldn’t turn by leaning.
Like its 24-inch board, Rude Boyz calls this board a cruiser. This is not a cruiser. A cruiser refers to a board that carves and rolls well when skating long distances and casual commutes, rather than doing tricks or skating transition. You can’t even push this board down the street.
If you want your kids to learn to skate, give them wheels that roll. The colorful deck looks cool, but it’ll work best as a decoration in your kid’s room. If Barbie needs a board, she can ride this.
The Rude Boyz’s graphics rule. There’s nothing “rude” about rainbow unicorn faces next to the words “Caring,” “Bright,” and “Magical.” The old “skate and destroy” motto of my ’80s youth needed replacement, and today's kids’ board graphics often empower young skaters to shred and have inclusive messaging about loving other people and themselves.
Modeled after a standard adult board, the Rude Boyz 24-inch mini cruiser deck has cool graphics, nice grip tape, and is made from solid enough wood.
Its width and length would fit a 3-year-old very well, but these features aren’t enough to compensate for its hard wheels and frozen bearings, which make for a rough ride with too much resistance. This board barely rolls, and beginners’ feet can’t push hard enough to make it roll for long. For a board marketed as a “cruiser,” you won’t get to cruise. You won't even skate down the sidewalk.
A skateboard with hard wheels that barely rolls hardly counts as a skateboard. It’s decoration.
The other major problem with this board is the flat deck. There’s no contour to its surface, so it’s like riding a two-by-four with rounded edges and a fun paint job.
Hi, I’m Aaron Gilbreath. I started skating in fifth grade. Although I never surpassed a mediocre level doing street tricks, I excelled at skating sloped surfaces like pools and concrete banks. At age 46, I have over 35 years of skating under my belt.
Over the years I’ve developed opinions about which skateboard features help me improve, and which don’t matter as much as a rider’s determination. I’m not hung up on gear or appearances: I ride big beat-up boards wearing beat-up shoes, so fancy equipment doesn’t make or break my sessions. But I do insist on having bearings that propel me, grip tape that holds my feet, and a tail that lets me stop and steer.
It’s hard to know where to start and it’s especially hard to shop for young riders if you don’t skate yourself. My 4-year-old daughter and I spent three weeks testing eight kid-focused beginner skateboards to find the most important features that will make learning to skate easier, safer, and more fun.
While I’ve learned that equipment isn’t everything and that learning depends primarily on practice and will, gear will influence a beginner’s experience, especially before they develop their own force of will and pain tolerance.
We tested these boards through a three-fold process.
First, I skated each board by myself, as an experienced rider. I skated downhill and on flat streets and sidewalks of varying textures in both light rain and dry conditions. That gave me a sense of each board’s features, construction, and quality, how those affected my subjective experience riding it and how I imagined a kid would ride it.
Next my 4-year-old daughter skated each board with me over the course of a few sessions. She’s inexperienced and uncomfortable on skateboards, so I held her hand on every board but the Ookkie.
I noted which boards gave her a fun experience and which boards caused frustration, due to their design and construction. When she got bored, we did another session the following day.
Finally, I ranked the boards on a spreadsheet, according to numerical rankings based on features.
What You Should Know About Skateboards for Beginners
Shopping for equipment that you don’t have experience with is, understandably, difficult. Our best advice is to rely on experts, ask questions, and look beyond the painted skulls and rainbows to focus on the features that matter. While board shopping, it helps to know skateboards’ basic parts.
And remember: Beginners will eventually get hurt, so spend money on safety pads and a helmet, and always wear them. I do.
The deck is the part of the board you skate on. There are many different deck sizes and shapes. The deck’s front is called the nose. The back is the tail. You use the tail to ollie and do other tricks. And you use the pocket, where the tail and the flat board meet, to nest your foot to control your board.
The surface of your deck should provide traction. The best way to do that is to either buy a board that has a rough, textured surface or apply grip tape to reduce slippage. Many plastic decks include plastic cross-hatching to provide a textured grippy surface. That works for basic dry weather riding, but grip tape is necessary for all-weather riding.
Given the choice, many skaters advise you get a concave deck with a tail and grip tape. It will give your kid the right sort of surface area and structure to improve their balance and confidence, and eventually let them rip.
Good wheels and wheel equipment will make for a smoother ride. You want to look for softer wheels, ideally made from polyurethane. Soft wheels allow you to move with ease and not absorb all of the bumps and gravel in the road,
The wheels attach to the deck with metal pieces called skateboard trucks. Trucks’ tightness determines how stiff or wobbly the board is, and how wide a berth the rider can cut by simply leaning.
Trucks are easily tightened with a tool called a skate key. Some kid’s boards come with skate keys, though most don’t. Inside the wheels are bearings, which help the board roll—or slow its roll if they’re cheap or rusted shut.
Prices in this set range from $25 to $139, but the top-ranked beginner boards range from $43 to $139, and they’re worth it. You should be able to find a board for under $70 that has quality features and materials. The three least expensive boards in this list are also our last picks and, arguably, the least safe. It’s worth paying a bit more money in the long run to get a fun board that will encourage your kid to practice and ride.
On the flip side, don’t spend more than $80 on a beginner skateboard. Spend that on a standard, full-length board for a serious skater. The Ookkie costs $139, but you can think of it as two or three boards in one because you modify it as your kid advances.
Skateboarding is inherently risky. While some injuries are all part of the process, remember to invest in a good skateboarding-specific helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards. Do not attempt to skate without them.
Aaron Gilbreath has written for Harper's, The Atlantic, The New York Times, Slate, Kenyon Review, and The Dublin Review, and is the author of three books, most recently, The Heart of California: Exploring the San Joaquin Valley. His work has been nominated for a James Beard Award, nominated for the Oregon Book Award, and named a notable in Best American Essays, Best American Travel Writing, and Best American Sports Writing. Check out his serialized book about the overlooked cult classic album from the 1990s, Deconstruction.
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