Testriding SkateXS Skateboards With A Beginner Kid

For some time now I really wanted to get my hands on a SkateXS skateboard because they configure skateboards the way I think kids’ skateboards should be designed. Many skateboard brands offer smaller kid-sized skateboard but usually don’t have much more to offer. Some are even dangerous to ride.

SkateXS skateboards are of the highest quality and offer kid friendly graphics, improved turning, and softer wheels that handle rougher surfaces well. The maple/bamboo decks are durable and can withstand hard impacts making it a very safe skateboard.

boy and girl riding a SkateXS skateboard

The SkateXS beginner skateboard is the budget version without sacrificing much quality. It’s rather lightweight, which makes it easy for small kids to carry around and offers a stable and smooth ride. You can pick the color of the wheels, grip tape (sand paper like material on top), and graphic.

The Experience of An Absolute Beginner

I had a great opportunity to test this board with an absolute beginner: my niece is who was 6 years old at the time.

She never skated before, but I could tell she loved the experience. She also is a little obsessed with unicorns and when I showed her this skateboard, her eyes became visibly larger. She absolutely adored the graphic and immediately wanted to skate.

SkateXS unicorn

I got her a spare helmet first (slightly too big; it was unplanned) and elbow, knee pads, and wrist guards once she started skateboarding without someone holding her hand. She picked it up quite fast, which is also because of the softer wheels and responsiveness of the skateboard.

first time skateboarding little girl (copyright skateboardersHQ)

The softer wheels offer a smooth ride even on some rougher parts of the street. It offers noticeably more stability than any of the other boards we tested.

Turning was still a bit difficult for her at first but she managed to pull it off in the end. Overall, she had a great experience and I gave her the same board for her birthday (and a proper helmet).

A year passed and she still enjoys riding the board and only the bearings start to wear slightly, which is normal.

Available at SkateXS

The beginner version is currently $117,95.

Diving Into The Specifics

Let’s look at the individual components, and why they work well for kids. To make it comprehensible I’ll briefly explain the jargon:

A Skateboard deck is the flat wooden board that the rider stands on and performs tricks with.

Skateboard trucks are the T-shaped components that attach to the underside of the skateboard deck and enable the rider to turn and pivot.

Skateboard bushings are the small rubber or urethane rings that fit inside the skateboard trucks and allow for smooth turning.

The shore durometer scale is a measurement system used to determine the hardness of the wheels.

Skateboard bearings are small, circular metal components that fit inside the skateboard wheels and allow them to spin around the axle.

Skateboard grip tape is a rough, sandpaper-like adhesive sheet that is applied to the top surface of the skateboard deck to provide traction and grip for the rider’s feet.

Bamboo/maple Deck

SkateXS skateboard up close

The deck feels stiff and wear resistant. It doesn’t flex like cheaper deck brands which makes it easier to maintain balance.

After a year there are no signs of chipping or delamination, also no pressure cracks or warping of the board.

It comes with graphics for both boys and girls to make it more appealing. The deck construction contains 2 ply’s of bamboo and 5 ply’s of hard rock maple, making it last a lot longer compared to birch.

Kid Friendly Graphics

SkateXS skateboard and graphics

What I really like about these skateboards is the kid friendly graphics. Pirates, unicorns, dragons, to name a few without being over the top. Often overlooked, but graphics play a huge part in getting stoked to skateboard.

Obviously it’s a matter of preference, but I often hear parents mentioning not liking the graphics of certain brands because of the skulls or scary artwork. The quality of the graphics is great and doesn’t peel off after a few times of skating, nor does it fade it you take proper care of the board.

Here are the ones we tested. Including the beginner, advanced, and pro version (from left to right). Honestly the beginner version is just fine.

skateXS skateboards

Softer Wheels

I picked the colorful SkateXS branded wheels that provide enough grip and stability for younger riders. The swirl mix wheels look amazing and work well with the colorful grip tape and deck graphics. The softer wheels handle small cracks and pebbles well.

You need softer wheels that don’t get easily blocked by small obstacles you might not see until it’s too late.

This makes them very versatile, meaning you can skate on rougher surfaces (not too rough), are great for cruising, but they also perform well in parks and streets.

Keep in mind that softer wheels bounce more compared to harder wheels, which makes it harder to land and control a trick. Not something to worry about because most kids just want to learn how to ride. You can always replace the wheels once a kid is ready to learn basic tricks.

The graphics will wear and fade over time, which is common.

Strong Lightweight Trucks

I am pleasantly surprised by the SkateXS trucks. Rarely do you get lightweight trucks like this on a complete setup. Most of the completes you can buy on Amazon come with very heavy trucks that hardly turn and make the overall setup rather heavy.

SkateXS trucks

They are as good as many of the more popular brands and even come with a hollow kingpin. They turn great because they specifically picked the bushings for kids. Bushings are urethane (plastic) rings that fit inside the skateboard trucks.

The most common problem with skateboards is that the bushings are too hard, even if they are labeled as a kid skateboard. Softer bushings respond better and allow for more control when turning.

The bushings also snap back into position quickly, which means it’s easier to go back to riding in a straight line without having to overcompensate. You also have the option to upgrade the bushings to Bones bushings which offer more stability and control.

skateboard bushings on a truck

SkateXS Bearings

The basic version comes with SkateXS bearings, which perform well. They keep rolling for quite some time and don’t require kids to push as often.

This also gives them more time to become comfortable with their skateboard. As I don’t expect kids at such a young age to do high-impact skateboarding, they do the job just fine.

Grip Tape

The grip tape comes in many colors and isn’t too gritty. While grip tape is supposed to offer grip, too much can make it difficult to adjust your stance. Ideally, you want grip tape to keep your feet on the board, but also being able to quickly adjust your feet.

SkateXS skateboard grip tape

The grip tape offers both, and I didn’t notice my son nor my niece having trouble adjusting their stance. Another feature is that you can opt for adding a name to the skateboard to make it more personal.

SkateXS Compared to Other Skateboard Brands

My son and I tried a lot of kids skateboards over the years and after some time you notice most boards are exactly the same with a different graphic. Cutting costs left and right and the most dangerous boards are from unknown brands you over see on Amazon.

5 kids skateboards laying on the ground

SkateXS is the only brand that offers custom skateboards designed for kids. Most kids skateboards are of much lower quality and mass produced. The great thing about these boards is that they are custom assembled by picking the right parts suitable for kids depending on their age/size.

Often skateboards come with wheels that are of low quality, bearings that hardly spin, or bushings that are too hard and make turning difficult. Nowadays, many are made of birch to cut costs, which tends to chip and splinter.

You could assemble your own skateboard by picking the parts yourself, but you need to know what works and what doesn’t. You’ll probably end up paying more and it also requires time.

If the price is an issue, consider the Powell Peralta Golden Dragon (read about our experience) or a rather overpriced Santa Cruz Skateboard.


There are no cons to this skateboard which is a first for me, that’s why we consider it the best skateboard for kids. You could argue that $120 USD is a lot for a kids skateboard which is true, but considering the parts you get and how well it’s put together, it really isn’t something to discredit this setup for.

Most decent skateboards these days go for around 100 to 120 bucks and they aren’t even customized like this. Sure, you could buy a $30 USD Amazon skateboard, but they are unsafe, don’t ride well, and mass produced. I actually bought a bunch of cheap skateboards and the experience was just terrible.

This skateboard offers a lot. Easier to control, more predictable, better stability, and looks pretty rad.

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.