Advice needed - An old, fat guy starting Skateboarding

Hello to all.

My 12 year old daughter has started Skateboarding this week and it is making me want to start as well.

I have never skateboarded before, I am 36 and weigh in at hefty 250 lbs. I am thinking about buying a board but I am not sure how to go about it.

From reading around the net, a normal board should be fine for now (even at my weight) but if I ever get to a point where I want to do Ollie’s and such, I may need to get a fancy board with carbon fiber in it.

Anyway, on to my question, can I get away with buying a complete and maybe just changing the bushings to some which are very hard or should I be buying everything separately?

I can probably afford buying everything separately but I don’t want to waste money if I end up not being able to skate or just too embarrassed to skate anywhere in public. I think the price difference is probably around £60-£100 for a complete vs. £150 for buying separately. Is there benefit to going via the separate route or does anyone have recommendation for boards for fatties?

I think I need a 8.5" deck due to being a fatty.

Sorry for the long post.

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This is awesome.

Brace for advice…

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Rad. I’d get a powel flight deck. You won’t break that no matter how much you try. It’s all I skate as I’m heavy footed when I land tricks and can snap new decks in days. You’ll pay £80-120 depending on who’s got them but you won’t need a new board for a year or 2 and they hold their pop much much longer than standard ply.


They do look nice. I think that would increase by separate approach to £200 as a minimum which I could stretch to but it is a risk that I waste my money. Is it worth the risk and the additional money? If only I could see into the future because if I stick with it, this would probably save me money in the long run.

They last me 3/5 months and at one point I was going through 1 standard board a week. So the savings I make now are worth it.

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Saving money now and buying something that isn’t quite right could ruin skateboarding for you. Spend a bit more and get the best you can, for the most fun potential. If you’ve got a good board and end up loving it you’re sorted, and you’ll be used to the good stuff already.

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You aren’t going to be snapping decks for ages, I’m pretty small and light but most bigger guys seem to look a bit more at home on bigger boards, wider trucks and such like. You want something to learn to just cruise about on.

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this is your single biggest hurdle. You are going to fall down in front of those people.

As above, if you have the monies, buy a decent setup. If you feel you have to hang it up after feeling the gaze of some nondescript normies then you can always come back to it later. A cheapo board will not be as attractive in this situation and you might end up buying twice.

Rolling, turning, smiling - repeat. Tricks will come after you manage these basics.

Get a fat old man board, 8.8"-9", Indy 169s, 60mm wheels, risers… roll, turn, smile.

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I don’t mind falling in front of people if I am trying a trick or some such, it is just the falling over when just trying to move. I just need to find somewhere very quiet to learn the basics.

There should be lots of nice quiet carparks around at the moment. Do you know if you have a local skate shop nearby?


Don’t forget - anything you buy and then decide you don’t want any more can be sold and you’ll get a chunk of your money back. The second hand market is pretty solid in skating. Also, every one had to learn at the beginning and will have fallen over a million times. Also, if they laugh which I doubt they will anyway…fuck em. So what.


Yes, I am sure I will find somewhere and can always go out early in the morning to be safe.

There is a local skateboard shop.

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So, it looks as though I need to chuck some cash money at this.

In regards to decks, I have seen lots of recommendations to use a 8.5" deck but have also seen recommendations for 9". What should I go for? I will obviously just be rolling around slowly for several months but would hope to be able to waddle along to the skate park in the future and do some basic stuff there.

What size wheels should I go for?

My local shop does not have the Flight Deck available so will probably look online. Any places you guys recommend or any I should stay clear of?

I reckon something like this would do which is what I used to get to and from work.

Cost about £130 ish from what I remember.

Krooked zig zagger deck.
No idea what the trucks are. Cheapest ones in the shop. They have risers on too.
Ricta cloud wheels (super smooth. You might want harder wheels) and bones reds bearings I think. Goes like a rocket. They are probably 60mm or something.

Maybe get generic bearings and harder 56mm wheels if you want to do tricks. Soft wheels are a bit too ‘sticky’ in skateparks. You want something with a bit of skid.

The deck feels super comfy to ride and you can still ollie up and down curbs though.

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Speaking as someone who’s only recently got back into it, first thing I would say is forget tricks for a while. Just get out and get used to rolling around. It’ll take you a while, and when you do start trying tricks it’ll come easier because you’re already settled on the board.

Plus just rolling around is fun.

So I’d save the Flight Deck for later - pick up something decent but reasonable (Death maybe?), same for trucks (Film?) and bearings (Bones Red). Maybe get some harder bushings too, and something like 78a 60mm Ricta Clouds wheels. You’ll probably need some risers too.

Then when you get into it and want to do more tricks you can take out the risers if needed and put some harder wheels in.

Wheel hardness is usually on the a scale - 78a is super soft, and really nice for cruising around, especially if it’s a bit rough. Probably 99a - 101a is about right for tricks, but it’ll feel a lot harsher.

A few mm difference in wheel size can make a big difference - a hard 53mm wheel will throw you off at the mere sight of a pebble, a soft 60mm will roll over a lot more.

If you can find an empty car park to just cruise around in, get used to pushing and turning then you’re well away.


It is hard. I know I am along way from tricks but do I try the expensive board that will still be with me when I get there or have to buy another board at that time.

My daughter has skated three times and she is pretty good at pushing and turning. It is annoying to see as I know I will struggle much more.

Just get on it. Many of us here are older than you, it’s definitely not an age thing. Just get to a skatepark or empty car park and start pushing about. Initially, you will feel awkward, but the main thing to remember is that no skater will give you shit for being rubbish. Many will help and point you in the right direction, give you tips, etc. You are going to fall though, can’t do anything about it!

The £60-80 complete deal from a legit skateshop is an entry level, pricepoint board. Everything will do the job for you - it’s only when you’ve been skating a lot for a few years would you notice the small differences between an expensive rig and a beginners.

Main thing to consider is the width of the board - once you go over 8.5", the vast majority of wheelbases seem to get longer, which affects manoueverablity. Width and wheelbase depends on your height too, but you won’t suddenly snap your board due to your weight.

A good skateshop should be able to advise you in the right direction for what’s suitable for a beginner, rather than what’s suitable for their cash drawer.


@Temeura - this is gold. Personally, I’d go for a cheaper board, whatever mid price trucks you can find, Bones Reds bearings (best bang for the buck, as some folks will spend £80 on a premium set) and Ricta Clouds wheels, 56-60mm. Bigger, softer 80a wheel(s ~60mm) handle uneven ground better than smaller, harder 100a ones (~50mm) and I’d say are the better choice for a beginner.

Good luck!

This is the main thing to remember.


You might be surprised at how tough skateboards can be. I’m a bit lighter than you (about 14st, but nearer 16 when I started) an snapping a deck is not the slightest concern, but I’m only really doing little ollies up and down kerbs, trying to slappy and cruising. I’m pretty sure my limbs and joints are more of a limiting factor. I’m more likely to replace a deck due to the tail getting worn (though are Flight Decks better for razor tail too?).

Anyway - if money is no object, by all means buy fancy stuff. Nothing wrong with that at all! But I reckon a decent budget deck (or complete from a decent shop) won’t hold you back at all.

Just don’t lash out a ton on a deck then buy crappy bearings and wheels.

Whereabouts are you? Someone might be able to point you at some spots.