My Experience When I Gained Weight as A Skateboarder

There was a period in my life where I wasn’t in a great place, resulting in overeating and just being miserable. But no worries, it will make you less agile but doesn’t mean you can’t learn skateboarding. I am at a better place now but I learned a few things.

Whether you’re a tall guy, heavy boned or a bit overweight, skateboarding is always an option. If you’re a bit on the heavy side (over 230LBS), you probably need a bit of a different setup. In general, you just need a bit of a wider board, good quality trucks, and bushings that can handle your weight. It’s mainly the bushings you should be worried about, the rest is optional.

If you’re heavy or taller consider of the following components:

  • A wider deck about 8.5 inches wide.
  • Harder bushings that can handle your weight.

It’s All About The Bushings 

hard bushings and quality skateboard trucks

Stock bushings are fine in most cases. When you are a bit heavier you need a set that can handle your weight.

The polyurethane can get damaged if it suffers a lot of impacts or just feels very loose, even though you tightened your trucks to the max. Check out this table below to see the hardness you need according to your weight:

Weight poundsWeight KGFlexyMediumStiff

Bones hardcore bushings work, specifically the Bones Hard bushings. They don’t deform like standard bushings as much and can handle a heavier person. Note that once you do some impact skateboarding, they can crack.

The great thing about these bushings is that you don’t have to tweak them all the time. They fit on most skateboard truck brands like Thunder, Venture, Independent, and Tensor.

bones hardcore bushings

Skateboards Setups When You Like Food

skateboard setup for heavy riders

There is no such thing as the best skateboard for heavy skaters, it really depends on the setup. Most complete skateboards, however, aren’t suitable for overweight skaters or extremely tall riders. This is mainly because of the bushings being too soft. If you want to buy a complete skateboard, all you need to do is replace the bushings.

Deck sizetruck axle widthBearingsWheels sizeSuggested setup (sponsored links)
8.0″139mmbones reds52mm – 54mmIndependent 139 or Thunder 147, Bones or Spitfire Wheels, Bones bearings, and any decent 8.0″ deck you like + griptape
8.25″149mmbones reds52mm – 54mmIndependent 144 or Thunder 148, Bones or Spitfire Wheels, Bones bearings, and any pro 8.25″ deck + griptape
8.5″159mmbones reds52mm – 54mmIndy 149, Thunder 149, Bones or Spitfire Wheels, Bones bearings, and any pro 8.5″ deck + griptape
Do not forget to buy hard bushings as I mentioned before!

I’ve selected a setup with parts that can take a beating, note that you can swap components around, this is just a suggestion.

First of all, I recommend going for a Powell Flight deck, as mentioned before these decks are very strong and won’t snap easily. If you’re bigger or heavier than average and want to do tricks, this will be the perfect deck.

I picked 53mm, 99A Spitfire Wheels which are great for street and also allow for transition skateboarding.

Standard Bones bearings which every skateboarder prefers (including spacers) and Independent trucks which are about the toughest trucks on the market. All components are compatible.

Deck width (Inches)8.0″ – 8.49″8.5″ – 8.99″
CCS Trucks139, 144149, 159
Independent Trucks139, 144149, 159
Thunder Trucks147, 148149, 151
Tensor Trucks5.35, 5.55.75
Venture Trucks5.25.8

I used to skate 7.5 to 7.75 decks back in the day, anything beyond that seemed ludicrous.

Nowadays, 8.0″/8.25 is the standard but as a heavy rider, you want something that can take a punch.

Go with an 8.5″ or 8.25″deck, this is (in my opinion), the best choice for taller skateboarders or heavy riders. Of course, bigger works as wel.

Do you break decks every other week, or too often that it hurts your wallet? Go with a stronger deck. You have a couple of options here but they are a bit more expensive than average. 

The most expensive one goes for around $200 and the cheapest is about $80 depending on where you shop.

You could also go for a cheaper regular maple deck, they will do fine as long as it’s from a reputable brand.

Mad respect to Joe Wall!

Many of the decks listed here have an extra layer of fiberglass to support extra weight. This has a few advantages but also some rather unpleasant side effects.

Fiberglass can irritate the skin once it starts to wear. Splinters get under your skin which is rather annoying. Anyway, let’s see what’s out there.

Decks That Support More Weight But You Don’t Really Need

So here are a couple of decks that can take a beating, but a maple deck will work just fine as long as you’re not doing anything extreme. I recommend Impact decks as they are cheaper and don’t cause skin irritation.

Powell-Peralta Flight Deck

powell peralta flight deck construction in different angles

Probably one of the better-known decks that can take a punch. The Powell Peralta Flight deck consists of 7 layers, 5 maple wood, and 2 fiberglass composite layers.

They have great pop and are surprisingly light-weight. The epoxy infusion adds an extra dimension of quality and performance, you will have a hard time breaking this deck.


  • A very lightweight and thin deck
  • Last up to 8 times longer
  • Great rebound, snap and pop
Powell peralta complete skateboard

A complete setup for heavier riders should consist of harder bushings, a strong deck, and wider wheels. An 8.25″, and 8.5″ will work fine. I recommend the following componentst:

  • 8.25″ or 8.5″ flight deck or Santa Cruz VX
  • Spitfire conical full wheels 54mm
  • Bones hardcore Hard bushings
  • Bronson G3 bearings
  • Independent 147 trucks for an 8.25″ deck or Indy 159 for and 8.5″ deck
  • 7/8″ or 1″ hardware
  • Griptape of your choice (it doesn’t matter).

This is a great setup that can hanle a lot of weight. The harder bushings offer more stability and the wider Spitfire wheels offer a bigger riding surface.

Santa Cruz VX

Santa Cruz VX skateboard deck

Not too long ago Santa Cruz released their new VX boards that also consist of 5 layers of maple and 2 layers of fiberglass. These boards are very strong, a bit more flexy than average, and a great choice for big guys/girls.

I really love the designs and it’s one of my favorite boards to ride currently. I picked up a 9.0 and got some wider indy trucks to mainly ride bowls and mini ramps.

Not really what it was intended for but hey, I just love the looks so why not?

If you like to ride parks, pop ollies and flips, boardslides, or anything that might snap your board the Santa Cruz VX decks are up for the job.

They are a bit more expensive obviously but if you’re a board snapper you’ll earn back the extra investment. It won’t hold a 400LBS skaterdoing board slides though.

Cheaper than the Flight deck but just as durable and more concave.

Dwindle Impact

Setup for heavy skateboarders

Dwindle Impact is another creative technology. Dwindle (woodshop) reinforces the area where you attach your trucks.

The basic impact version has two carbon discs at the bottom of the deck which helps to absorb impacts more efficiently.

It is a bit heavier due to the 8 layers of maple wood, regular boards have 7 so this might take some time to get used to.

The light version consists of the regular 7-ply maple wood construction. Another trick to make it stronger is the die-cut carbon fiber laminate which is inserted on top of the deck. The deck in this image is an impact light deck.

Almost impact skateboard deck

Impact plus is reinforces using the carbon fiber discs and an extra carbon fiber layer on top of the deck. It might be worth checking out.

Impact plus features 8-ply of North American Maple and 2 carbon fiber discs at the bottom. The plus has to do with the extra Die-cut carbon fiber laminate inlay top of the deck.

Dwindle decks are totally worth it if you’re a deck breaker. We skated this board for over 100 hours without chips or pressure cracks, great pop by the way!

Brands that use this tech:

  • Almost
  • Dwindle
  • Enjoi

Lithe Slate & Nex

The Lithe Slate 3 skateboard deck is the best board for heavy riders that break decks occasionally. It has about everything you want from a deck. Unfortunately, they are expensive though but the Lithe Nex is half the price of the Slate 3..

  • Razor tail resistant
  • almost unbreakable board
  • No chipping
  • Extremely responsive

Lithe Skateboards uses a unique inlay construction which keeps the deck strong and prevents the (unique blend of) carbon composite from fraying.

No skin irritation or splinters! This keeps the boards strong, but also eliminates sharp dangerous fraying that all other composites boards get. This deck is unmatched but it comes at a price (almost 200 bucks).

Perhaps the Lithe Nex is a better alternative, it’s about 90 bucks cheaper and despite being a bit heavier than regular decks (+180grams), it has a fresh clean pop and a stiffer flex.

I would totally recommend this board to anyone who often breaks decks, hates razor tail, or often chips the nose and or tail.


Heavyweight skateboarders should pay extra attention to the quality and technology used in decks and the hardness of bushings.

You don’t need a really expensive board, just harder bushings to compensate for the weight.

If you’re a beginner, consider wearing some protective gear that deals with the impacts. A hard slam can mean the end of your skateboarding ‘career’ or at least sitting on the couch for a couple of weeks.

Photo of author

Ruben Vee

I love skateboarding but my age is catching up. I decided to use my experience to skate less and write more. 20 years of skateboarding allows me to offer original and unique insights for many styles of skateboarding.