Is this your first time to pick a skateboard deck? Don’t worry, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed as there are many types of decks to choose from. We’ll help you choose the right skateboard deck to complement your style, level of experience, and size. Here are some techniques to get you started.
Choose the type of skateboard deck
There are four types of skateboard decks made for different types of riders: standard, cruiser, old school, and longboard skateboard decks.
- Standard – these skateboard decks are for street skating and are ideal for beginners. If you prefer to ride in skate parks, on the street, or any other type of surface then these hard-wheeled decks are for you. Standard decks look like popsicle sticks as these come with a nose and a tail.
- Cruiser – if you want to ride your skateboard to school, to work, or anywhere then you need a cruiser deck. These are as long as standard skateboard decks but come in different shapes. Compared to standard decks with hard wheels, cruiser decks come with soft wheels so you can ride faster and smoother even on rough and uneven surfaces. Also, cruiser boards are lighter so you can move through different obstacles.
- Old school – this type of deck is wider and comes with longer wheelbases compared to standard boards. An old school deck is mode stable and thus, perfect for commuting and bowl skating. It is not for street skating as this deck is difficult to ollie or flip.
- Longboard – longboards are stable and large and thus, are easier to balance on. Longboards are perfect for slow and mellow skating and for moving fast downhill.
The right size of a skateboard deck
To choose the right skateboard deck size, it must be proportional to the size of your shoe. If you have a 9.5 or larger shoe size then a deck that’s 8.0 to 8.5 inches is the best choice. Skaters who perform tricks, flips, and other technical movements mostly require a narrower board from 7.75 to 8.25 inches. Skaters who perform on big bowls and handrails will need a larger or wider board at 8.25 to 9 inches. Wider boards are also best for skaters who want to commute with their skateboard as they need a wider platform to safely stand on.
You can also base the size of the board according to your age and shoe size. Kids that are below 5 years old may use a micro skateboard with a width of 6.5 to 6.75 inches. Children from 6 to 8 years old may use a mini skateboard with a width of 6.75 to 7.25 inches. Children from 9 to 12 years old may use a mid-sized skateboard 7.25 to 7.375 inches. Skaters from 13 and above with 8 or higher shoe size may use a full-sized skateboard 7.5 inches and higher.
Skateboard deck material/construction
There are different kinds of skateboard deck materials to choose from. The type of material varies according to the type of skateboard as well.
- 7-ply skateboard – 7-ply skateboards are the most common and are constructed with 7 layers of veneer maple wood. These thin wooden sheets are pressed together using very strong and lasting adhesive. The most common type of wood is maple as this is a very dense wood with enough strength. This is why it’s the most popular skateboard material used.
- Tech construction skateboard – tech skateboard decks are made from many layers of strong fiberglass as well as other materials to enhance the board’s strength and to improve pop. Skaters who jump, perform tricks, and flip their boards prefer a tech construction skateboard because this is the strongest type of skateboard.
- Slick skateboard decks – some skateboard decks come with slick plastic covers on the bottom. This allows you to move smoothly on slides. You won’t have to apply wax for many days if you have slick skateboard decks.
Most skateboarders try different boards before they purchase. They want to personally feel and experience what the deck is like before they purchase. It’s natural to have doubts especially when you’re buying a deck online.
Buying a deck in person also helps you choose the correct size and the right construction material for your skateboarding needs.
But if you can’t buy decks in person, purchasing one online is your best option. To be on the safe side, order decks only from trusted retailers or brands. Never buy cheap decks as these may not be made of strong material or may have defects that can affect the way you skate.
Buy from reliable sites that will give you guarantees for your purchase. Also, if you’re planning to build your own board, purchase durable, high-quality, branded accessories, and parts. Don’t rely on cheap imitations and generic skateboard parts as these may not be as durable. Remember, your safety is the most important thing. You are not safe with cheap, poorly designed decks and accessories.