Buying cheap skateboards doesn't mean that you need to also be buying low quality. This is a list of skateboards that are cheap, but aren't necessarily cheaply made. When it comes to skateboards, there can be some pretty harsh consequences to buying too cheap. the biggest one is, of course, having a board that's so cheap that it breaks right in the middle of doing something dangerous, and so you end up lying on the pavement with a broken skateboard jutting out of your face. The boards listed here are lower quality, but for casual or new skaters these cheap skateboards should work just fine.
A Quick Word on Buying CheapAs you shop around, you'll run across all kinds of cheap skateboards that might not be listed here. If you are wondering if a brand is good or not, and it's not on this list, read "Are Cheap Skateboards Ok?" That article goes through several things you can take a look at when thinking about a certain cheap skateboard, to help you see if it's good or not.
And in a more global sense, there are other consequences to buying cheap skateboards. Check out The High Cost of Cheap Skateboards to get a sense of what happens to skateboarding in general when we all buy cheap skateboards.
You can also check out the Worst Skateboards article, where people just like you post their opinions, and see if the brand you are looking at is mentioned there.
Blank skateboards and skateboard gear are mostly wheels and decks that are made without any company name attached to them. They are generic, usually just a simple one color, and cheap! The problem with blank skateboard gear is that there isn't just one company who makes them. Most are made in bulk in China, and because it's tough to tell which ones are ok quality, and which ones aren't, normally I would say to avoid them.
However, blank skateboards are cheaper, and there are some out there that are good enough! For example, TGM Skateboards makes blank decks that are 100% Rock Hard Canadian Maple. Ask the owner of the shop you are buying the blank deck from, and make sure it is made of good wood. Read more about blank skate gear.
Powell's Golden Dragon skateboards are complete boards (that means they have trucks, wheels, griptape, everything) that cost only a little bit more than just a regular skateboard deck.
The problem with Golden Dragon skateboards is that they are mass produced in China. There are some complicated reasons why buying boards like this can be a bad idea for the future of skateboarding. But for most of you out there, you are more concerned with saving money now. Golden Dragon skateboards are still good enough quality, I liked them when I tried them out, and the graphics are pretty cool. If you don't worry about the global economic issues that might plague your children's children, then try Golden Dragon!
World Industries used to be a hardcore brand, with rough and raucous graphics, but then they started making kid's boards, too! It's odd, but the World Industries cute little characters Flameboy and Wet Willy just caught on with the younger skaters. But, they are pretty good and trustworthy completes - they aren't as good as a pro-grade skateboard, but for a new skater or a skater who's really trying to save money, they will work. If you skate much though, you will probably end up wanting to upgrade later - and that's a good thing! World skateboards are available at a lot of sporting goods stores, and you can get them for $50 to $60 online.
Positiv Skateboards is headed up by Andy Macdonald, and are basicaly the exact same boards as Golden Dragons. The team consists of Andy, Sandro Dias, Rodney Jones and Carlos de Andrade. Their mission is to make high quality skateboards available to skaters of all levels, especially skaters who are looking for a great value on their first skateboard. Positiv skateboards are designed and manufactured by Skate One, a company with over 30 years experience in building top quality skateboards. A compelte Positiv skateboard will run around $75.
The trick with shop skateboards is that you have to actually go to a shop to get one! Some shops sell their boards online, but it's best to go to a shop and ask them about their boards. Ask the same sort of questions you'd ask for blank boards.
There are companies out there who help you make your own custom skateboard decks. Most of these are a little cheaper than pro skateboard decks, plus you get to design your own picture! I tried out Board Pusher, and I liked them a lot.
These boards are fairly good quality, but they aren't necessarily a lot cheaper than regular skateboard decks.
MiniLogo Complete Skateboards are high quality decks and parts marked down in price for their lack of graphics. You know the cool picture on the bottom of your skateboard? Well, having that cool art and a pro skater's name on the board means it costs a little more. Minilogo skateboards are still quality parts, but they are just one color, with a small logo (that's where they get the name). This means that with Minilogo, you get a great skateboard for less money. Minilogo boards are made by Powell, and are the same quality as regular Powell decks.
As far as quality vs price, Minilogo isn't the cheapest, but the quality is higher than other boards on this list.