Complete skateboards: the ultimate buying guide

December 7, 2020 | Skateboarding
Complete skateboards: pre-built skateboards are an excellent option for beginner skaters | Photo: Shutterstock

Here's everything you need to know about complete skateboards.

They provide stability, good responsiveness, average quality materials, and an overall smooth riding experience.

In other words, pre-built setups are a great option for beginners and novice skateboarders, as they come with all-around components.

Most complete skateboards deliver everything you need to start sidewalk surfing from the get-go.

You'll probably struggle to find a pre-assembled kit that comes with the strongest and most durable components, but that's not what's at stake.

Nevertheless, in many cases, parts come from trusted brands, so you'll definitely end up getting a decent setup.

There are custom complete skateboards with high-quality components that will suit first-timers and intermediate skaters alike.

Let's take a look at what makes the best and cheapest complete skateboards on the market.

Remember that, in the end, you can always replace parts with better quality wheels, trucks, decks, and bearings.

Complete skateboards: pre-assembled skateboards are cheaper than custom-built kits | Photo: Shutterstock

What Are Complete Skateboards?

A complete skateboard is a skateboard that is fully assembled with all the necessary parts and components and is ready to be ridden.

It features a deck with grip tape and two trucks attached to it, and two sets of four wheels installed and ready to roll.

They're sold in all shapes and sizes, from the standard street skateboard to cruisers and longboards, and they're ready to ride right out of the package.

Pre-assembled skateboards are a value-for-money, all-around beginner setup.

In skate culture, complete skateboards have often been associated with beginners who do not have the knowledge to choose the different parts separately.

An experienced skateboarder always chooses his or her favorite decks, grip tape, trucks, bearings, and wheels, and rarely buys a non-customized set.

It's like buying a fully decorated house. However, complete skateboards can be extremely useful.

A carefully curated complete skateboard is a great way of getting new people into the sport and also a go-to option for hardcore sidewalk surfers who, in an emergency, need a sidewalk surfing vehicle.

For the purists, the complete skateboard will never be a valid option, though.

Complete skateboards: pre-assembled setups are ready to be ridden | Photo: Shutterstock

The Disadvantages of Complete Skateboards

The quality of the materials is always an issue when buying a complete skateboard.

When it comes to the quality of the deck, not all pre-built setups feature a high-quality hard maple wood deck for ideal flexibility, resistance to impact, and durability.

Trucks are frequently the Achilles' heel of complete skateboards.

They're traditionally made of aluminum, steel, brass, and other metals, but there's a massive difference in quality between all commercial models available.

Wheels may also be an issue - polyurethane materials vary from brand to brand, so rebound characteristics, and weight always play a critical role.

Cheap, cost-effective skateboard wheels are many times included in pre-assembled skateboards, resulting in early chips and flat spots.

Inexpensive bearings will also hinder wheels from spinning fast.

But all the potential alerts and considerations identified above may be overcome with a little bit of research and a chat with your local skate shop clerk.

So, if you're planning on making a medium-to-long-term investment, think about spending a bit more on individually picked components and parts.

Complete skateboards: pre-built with an average quality deck, trucks, and wheels | Photo: Shutterstock

Why Should You Buy a Complete Skateboard?

If you're getting into skateboarding or need an option for a quick or unexpected ride abroad, get a complete skateboard.

A pre-assembled skateboard is a great option for learning skateboarding's basic tricks and techniques.

A complete skateboard should be a decent starter board for all-around riding styles.

It is not supposed to be the weapon of choice for professional contests and highly technical street skateboarding.

However, if you spend time searching for the best pre-assembled skateboards and analyzing its parts individually, you'll find several premium setups with an excellent value for money.

Are skateboard completes good?

The correct answer is, yes, they can be as long as you get additional information on each component assembled in the setup.

Complete skateboards: skate shops sell quality pre-assembled skateboards | Photo: Shutterstock

How Much Do Complete Skateboards cost?

You can buy a standard complete skateboard for between $50 and $150.

The price depends on the quality of the deck, trucks, and wheels.

If you're buying your first skateboard and you really want to save money, check the right size, and get a complete skateboard with a blank deck.

It'll be as good and rideable as a deck with stunning graphics, and you can always buy another one, with printed graphics and logos, later on.

The more branding and customization, the more expensive the kit.

Where to Buy Complete Skateboards

Several famous skate companies sell complete skateboards directly through their online platforms.

Alien Workshop, Almost, Birdhouse, Blind, Carver, Chocolate, Creature, Darkstar, Element, Enjoi, Enuff, Flip, Girl, Globe, Jart, Lost, Plan B, Powell Peralta, Primitive, Santa Cruz, Sk8Mafia, SkateHut, Sushi, The Rad Board Co., Tony Hawk Signature, Toy Machine, Welcome, and Zoo York are some of the brands selling quality complete skateboards.

But these ready-to-ride skateboards are also available at specialized stores.

Skate shops and surf shops often showcase a large collection of pre-built setups. All you have to do is choose the size and skate away.

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