Skateboards are an incredibly popular form of transportation and fun.
They are able to be used to get around town quickly, as well as a way to enjoy outdoor activities like cruising the park or hitting some street spots.
Yet while they provide these amazing benefits, many people find themselves shocked when it comes time to purchase one – then wondering why exactly skateboards are so expensive.
From boards crafted with world-renowned designs, to premium decks and even more specialised tech upgrades – there are multiple factors that go into deciding the price of your ride.
In this guide we will explore what makes up the typical cost of a skateboard, discussing both aesthetics and performance related pieces in detail so you can make an informed decision on your next board purchase.
Why are skateboards so expensive?
Skateboards are often more expensive than other recreational items due to a variety of reasons.
1. Quality Materials –
One of the reasons why skateboards can be costly is because they’re made with high-quality materials like wood, metal, and plastic.
The best skateboard decks are made from 7-ply maple wood, which is strong but still flexible enough to absorb impact when you land tricks.
The wheels are usually made from urethane, which has great grip and helps you roll over obstacles quickly and smoothly.
Metal trucks provide stability and support for riders, while plastic risers help keep your wheels from touching the ground when you turn sharply or jump off ramps or stairs.
All of these materials come together to create a board that’s built to last and perform well for many years.
2. Design –
It takes time and effort to design a quality skateboard deck that looks good and performs well on the street or at the park.
Many companies employ professional designers who spend countless hours creating unique designs using the latest technology in order to make sure their boards stand out from the competition.
This attention to detail often comes at a premium price tag but ensures that you get a top-notch product that will last for many years.
3. Brand Recognition –
Popular brands like Element, Girl, Venture Trucks, Independent Trucks, Bones Bearings, Spitfire Wheels, Nike SB, Zero Skateboards, Santa Cruz Skateboards and others have been around for decades and have developed loyal fan bases over time.
This creates an enormous demand for their products since everyone wants what’s hot right now; this demand drives up prices since there’s only so much of any given product available on the market at any given time.
4. Supply & Demand –
As mentioned above, there’s only so much of any given product available on the market at any given time.
This causes prices to fluctuate depending on availability (or lack thereof) as well as overall demand from consumers.
When certain models become popular or hard to find due to limited production runs or other factors (i.e., limited edition releases), prices tend to increase as people seek out these rare items before they disappear from shelves or online stores completely.
Examine the materials used in skateboard manufacturing:
Skateboard manufacturing is complex and intricate, requiring many different materials to come together for the product to work properly. Let’s take a look at the process and materials used in skateboard manufacturing.
The deck is the most important part of any skateboard, as it is the part that takes all of your weight and needs to be durable enough to stand up to any tricks you may want to do on your board.
The deck typically consists of seven layers of wood, glued together in a specific way that allows for strength and flexibility.
The type of wood chosen depends on the desired outcome; some boards may use maple while others may use balsa.
Trucks act as the axles of your skateboard and are used to connect the wheels.
Skateboard trucks come in two varieties: traditional kingpin trucks, which use a metal kingpin to hold your wheels onto the truck; or reverse kingpin trucks, which use an additional piece called a hanger that is connected to the baseplate.
Trucks are usually made of aluminum, although some companies have started to use steel and titanium as well.
Grip tape is essential for keeping your feet glued firmly in place on the deck.
It also comes in different colors, allowing riders to customize their boards with something other than just black tape.
Many brands have special textures or graphics embedded in their grip tape, allowing riders to create unique designs that show off their personality.
Wheels & Bearings
Wheels are usually made from polyurethane, which provides a softer ride than other materials like rubber or plastic.
Polyurethane also has better grip when riding on slick surfaces like concrete or asphalt. Bearings help keep the wheels spinning freely without friction from outside sources.
High quality bearings can last much longer compared to cheaper models, making them worth the investment if you plan on using your board regularly.
Understand the cost of labor required to create a quality skateboard:
Crafting a skateboard requires countless hours of labor, skill, and attention to detail. Let’s break it down and explore the cost of labor required to create a quality skateboard.
Designing and Building the Board
The design process is arguably the most important part when creating a custom skateboard.
Skateboard designers must consider factors such as board shape and size, concave depth, kicks, cutouts, wheel wells, etc.
The combination of these components affects the skateboard’s performance. Once these elements have been carefully considered and refined, the board can be built by hand using various materials such as wood veneers or fiberglass sheets.
It is not uncommon for experienced skateboard makers to spend up to 10 hours building just one board from scratch.
Gripping and Finishing the Deck
Once the board has been shaped it needs to be gripped with grip tape.
This process involves carefully measuring each piece of grip tape for accuracy before applying it in layers to ensure that there are no bumps or bubbles in the tape that could affect performance or safety on the board.
Afterward, sanding and finishing techniques are used to ensure that everything looks aesthetically pleasing—it’s all about having a nice finish on your custom-made boards.
Wheels and Trucks Assembly
Once the deck is ready to go it’s time to assemble the wheels and trucks (the metal pieces that connect your wheels).
Each axle needs to be measured accurately so that they do not rub against each other when you ride your board.
There are also different types of bearings that need to be taken into consideration depending on your style of riding (i.e., speed bearings vs regular bearings).
Afterward all parts need to be tightened up with tools like wrenches and screwdrivers so they don’t come loose while riding.
Overall, skateboards can be expensive but they come with a range of benefits that often make them worth the price.
They’re great exercise and family activities, as well as modes of transportation. Skateboarding is a sport with an immense amount of freedom—which makes it all the more fulfilling.
Skateboards don’t take up much space, leaving room for adventure and new experiences over spending money on other items.
You get to decide where you want to go and how quickly you want to get there while also experiencing essence culture and camaraderie amongst friends or strangers.
All things considered, investing in a quality skateboard will almost always pay off with its long-term use.
Despite the price tag associated with skateboards, if you enjoy pushing your limits through physical activity combined with the thrill of exploration and excitement, then it’s certainly worth trying out at least once.
Why do skateboard cost so much?
Skateboards are expensive because of the many hours of labor required in building each board as well as the cost of materials such as wood veneers, fiberglass sheets, and bearings. Additionally, higher quality components will also add to the overall cost of a skateboard.
What is polyurethane used for on a skateboard?
Polyurethane is used as a protective coating on skateboard decks. It helps protect the wood from moisture, wear and tear, and other environmental factors. Polyurethane also makes for a smoother ride as it absorbs shock better than most materials.
What is a good price for a skateboard?
The price of a skateboard will depend on its size, components, and quality. Generally speaking, a good all-around setup with decent parts can range anywhere from $80-$150. However, there are more expensive options available if you’re looking for higher quality components.
Are skateboards overpriced?
The price of a skateboard is often relative to the user’s budget and skating needs. While some may consider them overpriced, others have found them to be worth the cost due to their long term use, customizability, and performance. Ultimately it comes down to personal opinion and preference.
Is skateboarding a cheap hobby?
Skateboarding can be a relatively cheap hobby, depending on the type of skateboard you’re purchasing. While some components may be expensive, there are many ways to save money when it comes to skateboarding such as buying second-hand parts or putting together your own custom setup. Skateparks often have free entry so that’s another way to save money while still enjoying the sport.