Are Target Skateboards Good?

by Ben Smith | Last Updated: June 17, 2022

As a novice skateboarder, it can be hard to source a good board or found out what makes a board good or bad. So you mosey on down to your local Target and pick up a board, hop on it for your first trial run and think, “Wow, skateboarding is really hard.”

Well, yes, it is. But you may also be holding yourself back with a cheap board.

Target skateboards are referred to as toy boards by the community and aren’t suitable quality for anyone looking to get into skateboarding seriously. The best brand you can buy at a big store is Braille, which you can find at Walmart.

There’s a lot that goes into picking out a good skateboard, and if you’re enjoying the sport and want to take it seriously, then a cheap toy deck is only going to hold you back and make everything more difficult.

The rest of this article will walk you through why Target skateboards aren’t good, why you should shop local, and how to source a good board for skating.

Why Aren’t Target Skateboards Good?

Whether you’re a parent with a kid who’s interested in skating or a newbie skater looking to enjoy the sport, your first inclination is probably to visit Target and pick up your first board from there.

It is, after all, where you’ve probably seen boards on your shopping trips all the time.

All in all, it’s fine to use a Target board as a starter―just know that there’s a reason they’re referred to as toy skateboards.

They aren’t designed with longevity in mind, they won’t roll straight, the grip tape won’t be firm, and the wheels will be made of low-quality plastic or polyurethane.

While a Target board is a cheap way (about $20) to see if you even like a sport, it’s not going to serve you well if you want to learn any tricks or go skating for any length of time.

The poor quality is going to make learning everything a lot harder and increase your risk of injury.

Imagine what happens to those cheap wheels after a few uses; they get brittle, tear, or crack, making the board volatile and more likely to toss you off.

If you’re buying your first cool superhero themed board for your child to see if this skating obsession they have is just a phase, then a Target board isn’t a bad option to test the waters before investing in a more expensive board.

If you or your child are looking to get deeper into the skate community, learn a trick or two maybe, then you’ll need to invest in a better board.

Why Buying a High-Quality Board Is Better

Beyond the risk of injury or immediately breaking a cheap Target board, there are plenty of other reasons to invest in a good board. The first is that a good board will perform better when it comes to tricks.

Check out pros trying to do tricks on cheap boards, and you’ll understand exactly why a good board is necessary, not just preferable for serious skaters.

In addition, buying a high-quality board from your local skate shop ensures that you’ll get someone behind the counter who actually knows what they’re talking about.

Target employees most likely won’t have any answers for you about skateboarding―it’s just one product in a whole slue of items they sell.

For the local skate shop employees, skating is life, and they’re equipped to inform you exactly what you’re buying, how you can expect it to perform based on your skill level, and what brand is best for your needs.

This knowledge goes a long way in helping you as a skater identify the style and quality that you prefer in the future. You can also rest assured that you’re supporting the skate community in your efforts.

A lot of local skate shops give back to the community and support the advancement of skate culture, something that Target just can’t do effectively.

Warning Signs of a Cheap Target Board

The first thing you should be on the lookout for in a quality board is the trucks. If they are made of plastic, do not buy that board.

Plastic trucks are incredibly dangerous and hazardous to your health. Obviously, they’re also going to make skating much more difficult.

Cheap plastic or low-quality polyurethane wheels are another big no-no. They perform poorly and pose a greater risk to your health.

A good indicator that you’ve got garbage wheels is that when you spin them by hand, they won’t stay spinning for longer than two seconds.

Low-quality bearings are another sign of poor quality and tend to not spin well and fall apart easily. Their low-quality lubricant stinks, so if you can smell something unpleasant around your bearings, they’re probably not great.

The grip tape, feeling something like sandpaper, is important for skating techniques. On toy boards, it’ll come off quickly and lose it’s grip, making you more likely to slip off the board.

Lastly, pay attention to the deck. Toy decks are usually made from birch or other low-quality woods. Even a full ollie can break a toy deck in one go, while professionally made boards are designed to withstand high-impact tricks for years.

Final Thoughts

Target skateboards aren’t good. There’s no easy way around that; however, if you’re a beginner looking to test out a new hobby, a Target skateboard isn’t a bad option to drop $20 just to make sure you enjoy this new sport you’re trying out.

No one will judge you for using a low-quality board to get started. Everyone starts somewhere, after all! But if you’re looking to improve at skating, learn some tricks, and hit the skate park more often, you should go local and buy your skateboards from a local skate shop.

Not only do you get the benefit of the employee’s experience, but you also get to give back to the skating community by supporting local skating businesses.

Ben is the owner of and has been skateboarding on and off for around 15 years now. It is on this site where he documents what he learns in hopes that others will be able to benefit from it. In his free time, he is skating, watching UFC, or just hanging out with the fam.