Are Zumiez Skateboards Good?

by Ben Smith | Last Updated: June 17, 2022

For many people, skateboarding isn’t just a hobby―it’s a way of life. Getting the right parts, the right build, and the right feel on your skateboard is the best part of having a great experience.

Having a high-quality build that fits your specifications and requirements can help you get the most out of the skateboarding experience.

Zumiez, a company that comes up a lot when talking about where to buy or build your skateboard, offers a wide variety of skateboarding options, but are they any good?

Zumiez is a great brand for people who want to design their skateboard à la carte with all the modifications and styles you want.

It’s a great place to shop if you want to see everything in person and pick out exactly how you want your skateboard to look. They offer parts from high-quality manufacturers and are a good store for serious skateboarders.

There’s a lot that goes into making a great skateboard, and the best part about Zumiez is that you get to pick out all the parts you want and design your skateboard piece by piece.

The rest of this article will discuss the quality of Zumiez products and determine whether their skateboards are worth the price.

What Is Zumiez?

Zumiez is an American clothing retailer that sells clothes that are more ‘cutting edge,’ with fancy graffiti-like logos, quirky quotes, and modern styles. The subject of contention among skateboarders, however, isn’t with their choice of clothing stock; rather, it’s their skateboard brand.

Mention Zumiez at a skate park and you’re bound to meet with mixed reactions, but what’s all the controversy about? Zumiez sells highly customizable skateboards made from parts that are professional grade.

If you’ve been skating for a while, then you’ll know exactly what the difference between a cheap skateboard from Walmart and a professional skateboard is by feel alone.

Zumiez allows you to build a skateboard from the ground up, designing it how you please, sourcing their parts from high-end professional brands, but vocal Zumiez critics have a lot of complaints to level against the company.

Zumiez Isn’t Actually Professional Grade

While on paper, everything Zumiez offers sounds great, there are many skaters who believe Zumiez isn’t a good brand to choose for a variety of reasons. The customization is nice, they say, but you don’t have as wide a selection as your local skate shop.

Zumiez only sources from a few major manufacturers and don’t offer the same kind of professional quality as other skateboards.

Yes, they’re better than your average Walmart or Target skateboard, but Zumiez skateboards are still considered to be a tier below professional grade, at least in the eyes of some Zumiez critics.

Zumiez Doesn’t Employ Real Skaters

One of the biggest and most legitimate complains levied against the Zumiez company is that, despite labeling themselves as a skate shop, they don’t employ enough actual skateboarders who know what they’re talking about.

Especially when it comes to newbies and kids, it’s not helpful if the person behind the counter doesn’t have a clue what they’re selling.

Local dedicated skate shops always have someone on hand who has experience with the products in their store, can tell you exactly what kind of quality you’re getting, and how you can expect the brand of skateboard you’re buying to behave at the skate park.

Experience matters, especially for people just getting introduced to the skating scene who have no clue what they’re doing. Zumiez just doesn’t offer that kind of service.

Zumiez Doesn’t Advance Skate Culture

Zumiez as a brand may offer a wide variety of customization, but they aren’t known for giving back to the skateboarding community. As you’ll know if you’ve been hanging around skate parks for a while, community is everything to skateboarders.

They are unashamedly a for-profit company that doesn’t exclusively sell skateboards. While that’s perfectly fine, some Zumiez critics argue that it’s better to support brands and local shops that give back to the community.

Critics claim that Zumiez also misrepresents skate culture, giving off a nonsensical airy-fairy vibe that doesn’t accurately reflect the true skate experience. They’re only in it for the profit, not giving people a valuable and real skating experience.

Is Zumiez Right for You?

With all of the pros and cons out of the way, it’s worth considering whether Zumiez is the right brand for you. It’s certainly a step up from a Target or Walmart skateboard, but Zumiez does offer competitive prices for decent brands.

Although they don’t offer as great a value as other local skate shops or brands that give back to the community, there’s nothing wrong with picking up a Zumiez skateboard. It’s a great starter skateboard in all fairness.

The community driven focus of the skating community, however, would suggest that if you want to support your local skate park and be engaged in real skate culture, Zumiez might not be the best brand to support that goal.

If you’re just looking to get some exercise and hop on a skateboard every now and then, Zumiez might be the perfect brand for you; even if you’re an experienced skater, Zumiez has some decent selections.

On the other hand, if you want to immerse yourself in skate culture and are truly passionate about supporting local skate shops, it’s better to source your boards and parts from there instead to help keep good quality products on the shelves.

Final Thoughts

Zumiez is a clothing retailer that also markets itself as a skate shop. They offer a decent selection of good quality skateboards and parts that you can use to customize your very own skateboarder.

This appealing upside is countered by some skating enthusiasts who argue that Zumiez goes against skate culture and is creating a washed-out, diluted new wave of skaters.

Local shops are, by anyone’s honest opinion, the best place to get a fair deal, high-quality products, and an experienced skater to help you out at the start of your skateboarding journey, but Zumiez does offer value for their customizations regardless of whether you’re a newbie or seaoned vet.

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.