How to pick your first pro scooter
Andrew Musico on Jun 8th 2022
Whether you are buying a scooter for your child or are a beginner rider yourself, it can be overwhelming choosing your first pro scooter. There are a growing amount of options in the pro scooter world and the choices may leave you with more questions than answers. How tall should my scooter be? What kind of deck should I get? Should I go with a complete scooter or customize my own?
Pro scooters come in many shapes and sizes, and it’s important to make sure that your scooter is the right fit for you. In this guide, we’ll go over some basics to get you riding comfortably on your first brand new scooter.
What is the difference between a pro scooter and a traditional scooter?
Pro scooters are the upgraded version of the traditional kick scooters. They have all the same fundamental parts (handlebar, deck, wheels, and fork) but with the added durability to withstand stunts and tricks. This results in a few key features. Pro scooters DO NOT fold and the bars DO NOT adjust. The wheels are generally smaller and usually made with a metal core for durability and maneuverability. The decks are made with lightweight and highly durable metals and alloys like aluminum and titanium. And lastly, they are generally made without additional elements to reduce weight and bulk. Where traditional scooters come with features meant for convenience and longer distance city riding such as lights and hand brakes, or the ability to fold for storage, pro scooters omit these parts.
What should I look for in my first pro scooter?
Now that you know how to identify between your pro scooter and traditional kick scooter, what exactly should you look for? As always, we are available for contact and our info is at the bottom of this page if you have any questions. In the meantime, let’s go over some of the key features you should look for in your first scooter.
Complete vs Custom
It may be tempting to put together your own flashy custom scooter, but as a beginner we would suggest purchasing a complete scooter setup to start. Even inexpensive completes will be park or street ready for most stunts. Not only are they ready to go, many can be further customized aftermarket. We carry a great variety of completes for whatever your budget.
The bar refers to the handle bars or what you use to steer your scooter. When deciding on the bars of a starter scooter, we focus on height, width, and material. It is important to choose the correct height because the bars on a pro scooter are not adjustable. Bars should sit around hip level, somewhere between your belly button and the bottom of your pocket. This allows the most comfort, best balance, and allows you to maneuver the handle bar up for jumps and tricks. Beginners and kids should start with wider bars but the bar width should be no wider than your shoulders. As you grow more comfortable as a rider you may prefer narrower bars for tricks but your sweet spot may vary depending on your comfort and preference. Material preference can depend on other aspects of your scooter including compatibility and weight, but as long as your bar is made of aluminum, titanium, or steel, you’re probably on the right track.
The deck is where your feet go when riding a scooter. When it comes to decks, we say size matters. In the general sense, if you are a taller, larger rider, you would pick a larger deck with proportionally larger wheels. If you’re below 5’0” you’ll probably want to ride in the smaller range of 4 to 4.5 inches wide and 19 to 20 inches long decks. If you're between 5'0” and 6'0” tall, we would probably recommend 4.5 to 5 inch wide and 20 to 22 inches long. If you’re over 6’0” you're going to want the largest available deck, up to 6 inches wide and around 23 inches long. However, certain decks are manufactured for different aspects of riding. There are two main options meant for two styles of riding, park decks and street decks. Street decks are usually larger, more squared off, and generally more robust. Designed to take on long grinds and clear big jumps, street decks are built for durability. Park decks tend to be ultra lightweight, more tapered on either end, shorter, and thinner than their street counterparts. You can find out more about park scooters vs street scooters in our previous blog post.
Other scooter parts and accessories
Having a properly sized scooter will take care of the major aspects of the selection of your first scooter, but there are still a few other things you may consider to choose one over another. Purchasing a complete scooter does not mean that it cannot later be further customized so knowing what parts are compatible is important.
Larger wheels mean more speed, but as a beginner rider, you may not notice differences in your ride due to wheel size. We do recommend starting out with metal core wheels however. If you are looking to upgrade your wheels later, then compatibility may end up an issue. Note the wheel size of your scooter as wheel size ranges from 24mm by 100mm to 30mm by 125mm and there are two different bearing and corresponding axle sizes as well.
The main types of compression used in pro scooters are ICS, HIC, IHC, and SCS. Again, as a first time rider, the type of compression may not matter to you right away. It is important to note that not all compression systems are compatible with all bars or forks, and some may need conversion kits while some may not be compatible at all.
Prices vary in complete scooters ranging anywhere from $120-$550 depending on the quality of parts as well as the manufacturer. But don’t be discouraged, an inexpensive scooter does not necessarily mean an unreliable one. As we said before, even inexpensive complete pro scooters can handle much of the same tricks as your high end ones. The difference then comes to riding preference, looks, and in some cases durability.