Your skateboard is not like a backpack of clothes that can be hauled over your back and tossed around with little consideration. It’s delicate, and if you want to avoid damaging it, you need to know how to carry it properly.
How to Carry a Skateboard
Before we look at skateboard bags and travel bags, let’s cover the basics.
The following techniques are used to hold and carry skateboards with your bare hands.
This is probably the easiest way to hold a skateboard. Simply grab the skateboard and hold it horizontally, with your fingers curled around the bottom and your wrist pressed against the skateboard.
It should be held with the graphic facing outward and the grip tape against your hip. It’s how you might hold a laptop or a big book.
The only downside with this method is that the grip tape will be constantly pressed against your clothes and may damage the tape or your clothing.
You can turn it around, with the trucks facing inwards and the grip tape outwards, but it’s a little awkward. It might not sound too weird on paper, but once you try to carry a skateboard in this manner you’ll understand.
Of course, if you don’t have an issue with this method and prefer to carry your skateboard trucks-in, go for it.
The Mall Grab
The most popular way to carry a skateboard is by using something known as a mall grab.
A mall grab is when you grab the board by the trucks with grip tape facing inward. Spread your fingers around the kingpin so that you have a nearly-closed fist.
With a mall grab, you’re not holding the skateboard by any weak points and as it’s fairly close to your body, the risk of damage is low.
Some people consider the mall grab as akin to skating blasphemy. They also argue that there are several issues with this method.
For instance, you’re applying pressure to the trucks and could loosen the bolts. Trucks can also be a little nasty, especially on old skateboards, and the grip tape might be dirty.
In reality, there isn’t much wrong with it, but you might get a few stares if you hold your skateboard this way.
The Shoulder Hold
Also known as the “stocks”, this hold involves holding the deck, as opposed to the trucks.
It’s called the “stocks” because you assume the same position that you would in the stocks. The skateboard goes behind your head and you hook both arms up and over.
The bottom of the skateboard should be pressed against the back of your head while your wrists and arms are against the grip tape on the other side.
It will be a very uncomfortable hold for some, and it’s not a great way to carry your skateboard long distances. But it has its uses. Not only can it look cool, but if you’re out of breath on a hot day, it will open your chest and fill your lungs.
Although this is a popular way to carry your skateboard, it’s also a problematic one.
Simply grab your skateboard with one hand and hold it so that your fingers are spread on one side and your thumb is on the other side. Your trucks and graphics should be facing outward.
This method might look cool and will also show off your graphics, but it could give you hand cramps. You might not feel it now but do this every day for an hour or so at a time and you’ll feel it eventually.
There’s also a higher chance that you will drop your skateboard and potentially damage your deck.
The cramping and risk of damage are just not worth showing off your graphics. You will see a lot of people carrying their skateboards this way, but usually not for long.
What is the Best Way to Hold a Skateboard?
Of the above methods, we like the horizontal hold (trucks-out) the most, but it really all depends on your personal preference. You can even try the pinch grab if you want.
Is There A Wrong Way To Carry a Skateboard?
Unless you’re using your skateboard as a walking stick or swinging it around, there is not really a wrong way. Sure, there are ways that are more comfortable and “cooler”, as well as ones that marginally reduce the risk, but it all comes down to personal preference.
Can I Carry A Skateboard in a Backpack?
A backpack is too small to hold your skateboard and if half the skateboard is sticking out, it’ll become a nuisance. You can try jamming it between the straps of a backpack, but this means the grip tape will either irritate your back and create a rash or you’ll be constantly bumping your elbows off the wheels.
Are There Any Skateboard Bags?
Yes! Not only can you buy a specific skateboard bag, but it’s probably the best way to hold your skateboard.
The simplest bags come with shoulder straps and can be secured with clips or Velcro. They hang over one shoulder and are light and relatively cheap. The best bags, however, are backpacks with added straps on the outside. You can use these bags to carry clothes, electronics, skating gear and more, before hooking your skateboard securely on the outside.
What is the Best Skateboard Bag?
These are some of the best backpacks for skaters currently available on Amazon:
Simbow Skateboarding Backpack
The Simbow skateboarding backpack has 30 liters of space in a surprisingly compact shape. It is water-resistant and features an anti-theft lock, a net for carrying balls, and a mesh shoulder strap. It also has a built-in USB, so if you add a powerbank, you can charge your devices.
The Burton Kilo is perfect for carrying your skateboard, as well as whatever else you need for your ride. It has a hefty size, so it can also be taken to work or school.
There are adjustable straps and a laptop/tablet sleeve, as well as a fleece-lined pocket where you can store your shades/glasses or other small items.
DAKINE URBN Skateboard Backpack
The DAKINE is a tough backpack made from a blend of nylon and polyester. It has a volume of 23 liters and a vertical skateboarding strap.
Its hefty weight, strong body, and comfortable design make it perfect for student skaters—it’ll hold your books and your skateboard.
Everest Grip Tape Skateboard Backpack
A high-quality skateboarding backpack designed from premium polyester and made to last. It comes with padded shoulder straps and dual-zippered pockets on the front.
How to Carry a Skateboard When Traveling
If you’re traveling on a plane, train, or long car journey, you can buy a padded and protective bag for your skateboard or just stuff it into a duffel bag with some clothes. Most skaters recommend taking it as carry-on luggage, but you’ll need to check the airline’s rules in advance to see if this is possible.
Some of the best travel skateboard bags include the THMEX Pro Skateboard Bag (see here) and the Cooplay Skateboard Bag (see here). Both are available from Amazon.
When carrying your skateboard with one of these bags, make sure it’s padded and protected at all times. If possible, place it under your seat instead of in the overhead compartment when flying.
Summary: Carrying Your Skateboard The Proper Way
Whether you’re a skater girl or boy, the way that you carry your skateboard is clearly very important for your style, skateboard, and convenience.
If you’re covering short distances, a simple horizontal hold or mall grab will suffice. If you have a long way to go, look for a lightweight skateboard bag. If you’re taking your skateboard to school or work, pick up one of the aforementioned skateboard backpacks.