If you’ve walked around in the sporting and toy departments of stores and malls in Bangkok recently, you may have noticed racks of both cheap and expensive skateboards.
For Bangkok parents who didn’t grow up around a skateboarding culture and whose kids have their eyes on a skateboard, you may be wondering why there is such a difference in prices. After all, it’s just four wheels bolted to a piece of plywood, right? Well, yes and no.
The Lowdown on Skateboard Pricing
Skateboards are like any other piece of sports equipment that people use regularly. Everybody develops their own preferences for the board’s components, and manufacturers are more than happy to charge extra for quality versions of those components.
There really isn’t much to a skateboard. The components consist of a board that is usually made of plywood. More expensive boards are made of carbon fiber and other exotic materials that offer extra durability. Then there is grip tape that covers the top of the board and keeps your feet from sliding around. And underneath, you have the ‘trucks’ (the swivelling axles the wheels are attached to) and the wheels themselves. The way the board is shaped and the quality of the different components determines the price of a skateboard.
How Much Should You Pay for a Beginner’s Skateboard?
Parents, keep in mind that you need to buy knee wrist and elbow pads and a helmet as well as a skateboard. Skateboard injuries, even on level ground at slow speeds, can be serious. You shouldn’t have to spend more than THB 1,000 for a child’s helmet and pads.
And unless you’re made of money and want to get the very best for your child, don’t spend more than around THB 3,000 for a skateboard. This gets you a decent skateboard that you can sell if your child decides the sports isn’t for them. Then find an open carpark or an area away from traffic and let them get used to the skateboard before hitting the skateparks.