Scooter Gift Buying Guide
Pro Scooter Gift Buying Guide
Last updated: 10/22/2016
Pro Scooter Shop
14750 NE 95th St
Redmond, WA 98052
Parents, does this sound familiar?
Kid: Mom (or Dad), I want a new scooter.
Parent: You already have a scooter.
Kid: (exasperated sigh). That’s a Razor. It’s for little kids. And it rattles.
Parent: Are there other kinds of scooters?
Kid: Pro scooters, Mom. Pro scooters. Don’t you know anything? Sheesh.
If, so we are here to help! Pro Scooters are all we do, so our pro scooter buying guide will give you the 411 on all the pro scooters, kick scooters, trick scooters, freestyle scooters, or whatever you like to call them. We simply refer to them as Pro Scooters.
If you want to skip right the buying guide details, scroll down to the Buying Guide section. Otherwise, feel free to keep reading to learn more about pro scooters, the lingo, parts of a scooter, brands.
Just like other action sports, there are different riding styles or types in scootering, they are usually referred to as park, street, and dirt. Some companies build and optimize their scooters for performance based on the type of terrain or type of tricks that are going to be thrown down.
Aside from the Dirt Scooter category, almost all scooters out of the box will work for park or street; a few factors go into what your shredder is looking for. Before we do into too much detail, just like your favorite jeans or favorite pair of shoes, at some point it comes done to personal preference. Color, style, brand, size, weight and uniqueness, but much is the feel of the rider and the way they like their setup for their Pro Scooter.
First some lingo (like shredder) and basics about scooters and parts, then we’ll get into scooter buying guide. Finally, we’ll include some info on scooter companies and online resources. Let’s start with some terms.
The scooter world, like most sports or hobbies, has its own language. And while some of it is ‘colorful’, here are some you may hear you son/daughter throw down.
- Comp – short for competition. Events where scooter riders compete for prizes, usually based upon quality and complexity of tricks.
- Complete scooters – refers to a ready to ride scooter from one of the manufactures. Differs from a custom scooter in that the scooter is pre-built by the manufacturer.
- Custom scooters – this is scooter built with parts selected by the rider. Traditionally the parts are from different manufacturers.
- Dialed – a term that describes has ‘well built’ a scooter is. Sometimes it means if a scooter makes any noise or ‘rattles’ if dropped from a few inches from the ground onto its wheels. A ‘dialed’ scooter has no rattles.
- Grind – when a rider slides or grinds on a surface and the wheels are not touching. Usually performed on a stair rail or corners of short, benches or along curbs.
- Sesh – short for session. What a rider calls the time he/she spent riding his or her scooter. As in ‘I had a great sesh at Sammamish skate park today’.
- Sick – a noun to describe awesomeness. ‘dude, sick bri flip today at the park’. Sick is a good thing.
- Sled – slang for either a scooter or just the deck. ‘put a new set of bars on my sled’.
Now let’s talk about pro scooters and parts. Scooters have a few more parts and skateboards, but not near as many as bikes. We’re going to talk about the key components to a sled; decks, bars, wheels, forks and clamps. The other parts are important and we’ll cover those in a later post. These include grips, axles, headsets and brakes. Here we go:
Scooter Decks – for the feet, right? Right. The part from whence all other parts connect. Made from high grade alloy metal, usually ranging from 4” to 5” wide, 19” – 24” long, and weighing 2-3.5lbs. All this matters when it comes to the size and strength of the rider. Also larger feet like larger decks. Here’s a picture of Trick Scooters International, or TSI, and their hep Greg deck, ridden by Pro Scooter Shop riders Ryan and Patrick.
The deck has the head tube, the roundish, tube-shape. Weird, huh? Top of the head tube is where the headset sits.
Note about decks, and scooters in general. Scootering can be an intense sport. Scooters take a beating so they are built to withstand quite a bit. The deck will take a majority of the punishment, but rest assured, they can handle it.
Scooter wheels – two per scooter. Exactly the same for the front and back. The rim or core is the center and usually make of aluminum. Some are plastic but you should stay away from those; they usually squeak and won’t withstand much abuse. The outside of the wheel is polyurethane, a hard rubber substance. Most wheels will have diameter of 100mm, 110mm or 125mm. The larger and harder the wheel, the faster the scooter will go. Softer wheels will grip better, allowing the rider to perform better where traction is important. Softer wheels also allow for a slightly softer landing. Wheels come in many colors and styles (like solid core, spoked). Here are Lucky Scooters 110mm NeoChrome Toasters.
Note about wheels. These will take a beating, and just like the tires on your car, they will wear. Most riders carry an extra wheel or two in their backpack, just in case a wheel needs to be replaced.
Scooter Bars – the handle bars that the rider holds on to. Size, color and style are what set bars apart. All of them are made from extra strong steel (commonly referred to as chromoly steel) and thermal treated welds. Makes the bars extremely durable. Bars are probably the most ‘personal preference’ part of the scooter. Some riders like taller and wider bars, some like a ‘swoop’ in the design, versus a straight ‘T’ shape. Chrome and black are very popular, but you can get most bars in a wide variety of colors. Here are the 'Made in the USA' Classic XL bars from Affinity:
Scooter Forks – the fork holds the front wheel in place, and slides up into the deck’s head tube where it is securely tightened by the clamp. As are the bars, forks are made of strong steel, and come in a variety of colors and styles. Pro Scooter Shop carries one of the industry's leading forks, the Tilt Nimbus.
Scooter clamps – the part that tightens and holds the bars to the forks, allow the bar/fork/front wheel to all turn in unison. Super strong and durable. These are usually measured by the number of bolts; double has two bolts, triple/3 and quad has four. The larger the clamp, the stronger the holding power. The industry standard clamp is referred to as SCS, or Standard Compression System. Pictured is the very popular and rugged Tilt Scooters SCS clamp.
Remember the mock conversations that we started with….’Mom/Dad, I want a new scooter’? We’ll guide you through the learning and buying process right here. Some questions to ask yourself (or your rider):
Do you want to buy a complete scooter, or build your own custom pro scooter?
Many manufacturers provide a ready-to-rider scooter, often referred to as a ‘complete’. The only assembly needed is to secure the bars to the fork with the clamp. At our shop, we have completes on the show room floor, as well as new, unassembled completes in the back. We’ll install the bars at no additional cost.
Do you have a particular brand in mind?
Quite a few manufacturers around the world. While we don’t carry every brand, we do have in the shop some of the more popular ones, and can order just about any other one. Brands like Lucky Scooters, Grit Scooters, Madd Gear Pro, Sacrifice Scooters, District Scooters, Urban Artt, Ethic, Envy Scooters.
How much allowance do you have saved up? Pro scooters range from $100 to $500.
Ah, yes, cost is important. Luckily there is a wide range of quality pro scooters for everyone’s budget. We’ve organized the completes on our site to make it easier to see your options if price is important. Prices do not include taxes and/or shipping.
Pro scooters around $100 – Dominator, Grit
Targeted at the younger shredders moving up from their Razor, it just entering the scooter world for the first time. Fun colors and designs. Great pro scooters that look and perform just like the pros!
Pro scooters between $100 and $149 – Grit, 5Starr, AO Scooters, Madd Gear
Still targeting the younger shredders but built with for a slightly larger kid, but only a few dollars more. Definitely differentiates the rider from the young crowd and shows that they’re serious about their scooter.
Pro scooters between $150 and $199 – Envy, Lucky, Madd Gear, AO Scooters, Dominator, Grit, Crisp, Phoenix
Built with strength and designs for the intermediate riders. Larger decks, and taller/wider bars lend these scooters to the park riders ready to improve on tricks.
Pro scooters between $200 and $249 – Envy, Crisp, Sacrifice, Phoenix, Lucky
Intermediate and advanced crowd that handle the tricks and push their scooters to the limits. A large selection of high quality pro scooters, with sick designs. The largest range of scooters.
Pro Scooters $250 and up – Lucky Scooters Strata and Clover and Kota Signature, Phoenix Session 4.5, District, Sacrifice Flyte 110 and 115, Madd Gear Nitro, Grit Invader, Envy KOS, Ethic
If you’re browsing here, you have elite taste and understand the scooter world. Intense designs with extra machining, oversized bars for stability and handling, giant and versatile decks for grinding and absorbing big air. These are the sleds that the pros ride.
What type of riding do you want to do? Street riding, or park riding and working on tricks and jumps?
Younger or first-time riders usually start with riding in the driveway or on the street, but not doing many tricks or jumps (yet). This type of riding can be done on any scooter, but doesn’t put much stress or punishment. These riders also start with simple lines at the park, but again not putting much pressure on their sleds.
As riders gain more confidence and start working on tricks and jumps, the demands of the scooter increase. Larger wheels, stronger decks and clamps will benefit the rider here.
Street riders often stay away from parks, and do most of their tricks and jumps at various locations like parking lots, schools, open lots. Much more punishment is placed on these types of riders and locations, so look for the bigger, stronger scooters.
How tall or big is your rider?
Younger, smaller shredders won’t be performing the tricks and jumps that the larger, more experience riders will, so larger, heavier scooters won’t be needed by this younger crowd. Shorter bars, 100mm wheels, smaller decks – these are the scooters that fit the smaller and/or first time riders. Grit Atom, Dominator Trooper and the new Grit Fluxx are great for this group. Although higher priced, the Lucky Crew is a great scooter for a smaller but aggressive rider, like Pro Scooter Shop’s own Zach Shaw. He rides the Crew!
Intermediate, early-teen, and larger riders like the 110mm wheels, the taller and wider bars and the slightly bigger decks. They also tend to like less bling and stickers on their scooters. This is the typical target audience for pro scooters, and the sleds over the $200 mark all appeal to this group. A couple very popular scooters include the Envy Prodigy, Lucky Crew, Phoenix Session and the Madd Gear Team edition.
Larger riders and aggressive riders will want big wheels, large decks, and large, oversized T bars. These scooters are made to withstand more punishment. In this group of riders, too, they start customizing their scooters. Either they build them from the ground up using a variety of parts from various manufacturers, or they buy these higher end completes. Lucky’s Crew and Covenant, Madd Gear VX6 Team are in this group. You will pay a little more, but these riders are serious about the sport so the money is well spent.
A couple of personas (or types of riders)
We’ve thrown a lot of info at you. Let’s put it to the test. Here are a couple of personas, hopefully one resembles your rider.
Josh – 10
Has a Razor but stopped riding because he’s seen other pro scooters at the park and in his neighborhood. He loves to scooter but is embarrassed because his Razor isn’t dialed. Josh is average size, a little over 4’ tall, 55 pounds. Josh isn’t a super aggressive or physical kid, but is ready to try a few tricks.
What are good scooters for Josh?
- AO Disciple
- Madd Gear Pro
- Why? These are well built, well priced and dialed (or should be dialed by your scooter shop). They look like pro scooters, and even come with stickers to design yourself. If treated well and maintained, could last a couple years depending on how the scooter is treated.
Kayden – 13
Has been scootering for a couple years, has taken good care of his scooter but ready to hit the park hard with big drop ins and tricks with big air. He’s taller for his age, 5’4” but average weight 105 pounds.
What are good scooters for Kayden?
- Madd Gear Team
- Lucky Covenant
- Envy Prodigy pro scooter
- Why these? Scooters in this range have bigger wheels (110mm) and taller, wider bars (23” tall, 22” wide). Being a little taller, Kayden will like the taller bars, and being able to have a wider grip on the bars for stability in his tricks and jumps.
Drake – 15 (but week away from 16th bday)
Been scootering since birth, rocks he park and street, defies gravity with what he can do. And he’s punished his sled…deck, wheels, bars, grips all beaten to heck. He still into scootering just as much as ever. Drake is normal sized 16 year old.
What are good scooters for Drake?
- Lucky Evo Pro Scooters
- AO Stealth
- Madd Gear Extreme pro scooters
- But best of all...custom scooters!
- Custom scooter ($?) – Why? Why not a complete, you ask? Drake knows what he wants and most likely already has a custom. He’ll be super happy with dollars to go buy the parts he wants, so a gift card or cash would be great. How much? $300 would get him set up nicely. $400 would allow him to get a sick deck, oversized bars and sweet set of wheels. Maybe even a little left for a pair of ODI softies.