So Why Is This So Cheap?
Two things! One, that the products, while being made from the same basic materials, won't be made to the same standards. I spoke with an NHS representative, and he explained that they still test all of these products here in the states, and they don't release anything that they know to be made poorly. Also, to make you feel as confident as they do, they offer warranties on all of the parts that make up this skateboard. This doesn't mean that when you break the skateboard by jumping off a 10 stair (along with your breaking your face), that you'll get a new board. It means that if it breaks or delaminates or anything like that, and it's not because you did something crazy, they will replace it.
The second thing this means is that by buying this board, you are encouraging cheap skateboard products to be made. I personally think that if you use this set for it's intended purpose - as an intro skateboard, for a new skater - that this won't be a problem. As the parts wear out (all skateboards wear out - skateboarding is rough on skateboards!), you can replace them with pro-grade parts!
What You Get In This Set
- A complete skateboard, with either a Skateboarding Is Not A Crime or Bullet deck (that's the board part of a skateboard). There are several different styles of graphics that you can choose from, but the board itself is exactly the same whether you pick a Crime or Bullet deck. The Quick Start Set complete skateboard comes with with Crime wheels, Bullet brand hardware, trucks, grip tape and bearings. Like I said, these two brands aren't anything too amazing, but they are good enough for a beginner, and guaranteed. The board is 7.6 inches wide, and 31 inches long (which is close to an average size).
- A pack of 9 stickers, which you can put on the board, your helmet, your cat ... it's up to you, really. The stickers are for Thrasher, Skateboarding Is Not A Crime, Fuel TV, Tech Deck, Bullet, Skull Candy and some others.
- Skateboarding Explained "quick start" instructional DVD. This isn't just a small cookie tossed in, this is actually pretty sweet. This DVD covers the basics of the basics (like the parts of a skateboard, figuring out your stance, how to push and turn). This is like a teaser taste of the bigger Skateboarding Explained DVD, which I think most beginner skaters will get a lot out of. Read the Skateboarding Explained Full DVD Review for more.
How Does The Skateboard Ride?
To get more into it, if an intermediate skateboarder who skates every day used this as their main board, I would expect some problems. Just a few powerslides in, I would expect so see some flatspotting on the wheels (that's tough to avoid with good wheels, but there are some expensive ones out there that handle it better). I'm not sure how well these trucks will hold up to constant rail grind sessions, but I wouldn't trust my crotch to them for too long. The board looks strong and stable and I liked how it felt, but it's of a very generic shape, one that fits most skaters. Personally, I like a wider deck and I like less concave.
But that's if I descided to use this board for all of my skateboarding. I've been skateboarding for well over a decade, so this board isn't MEANT to be for me. And if you get this set, and start to see some of this stuff happening, well then great! That means that you've been skating hard! Parents, don't worry - it takes a long time to get as good as all this. Usually. Not always, but still, better to wear out a cheaper board first, right?
"Crime" Compelte Skateboard Set Review - Final Thoughts
This is why packaging sucks. And this is also why usually you should NOT be buying skateboards at Target! Skateboard shops are the way to go, but this is the ONE time you'll hear me say it might be OK to buy this from someplace like Target. It feels weird to say it, but the point is that this is a beginner set, so it's cheap, affordable, and good enough. I know lots of parents are reluctant to buy a pro grade skateboard for their kid's first skateboard. I understand! This is a great option to save money, and if it gets you into skateboarding, I'm happy to promote it. New skaters won't even understand what they're missing. And as you get better and start to expect more out of your skateboard, you'll be in the perfect spot to go upgrade your board at the local skate shop, one piece at a time (I'd start with the bearings - try Bones Reds!).
So my final advice is that if you are a beginner, this is a great set to buy. It's everything a beginner skater needs, plus a great DVD. But, as you wear it out, please hit up your local skateboard shops for replacement parts. That's where you'll get the best advice and meet other skaters.