Besides skateboarding gear, choosing the right deck is also very important and there are a lot of things you need to take into consideration. Length, width, materials and type of concave – all of these determine what you can do with your skateboard.
Skateboard Deck Features
If you choose a skate deck that is too wide for your feet, you’ll need to use more power to move it around and are sure to experience more difficulties when doing tricks. On the other hand, if the deck is too narrow, it can cause balance issues. The most commonly used skate width by teen skaters is 7.5” (19.05cm).
Usually, skateboard decks are 28”-32” long (measured from the tip of the nose to the tail). Length only makes a difference for professional skaters, so just pick whatever looks/feels comfortable for you.
The wheelbase is the distance between the mounting holes on your deck and it determines how far apart the wheels will be. The average distance is 15”, but this can be adjusted and can affect your center of gravity when you’re on top of the board. When buying a skateboard deck, keep in mind that the longer the wheelbase, the more stability you will have but you lose maneuverability, and the opposite applies for shorter wheelbase length.
These are pre-drilled holes where the trucks are supposed to be placed. They come in 2 pairs each with 4 holes and are usually placed near both ends of the deck (the nose and the tail).
Nose and Tail
These are the circular ends of the skateboard, usually bent at an angle, it can be difficult to tell them apart, but they have different kick power.
This is the curve between the nose and the tail, and it can affect the quality of riding. They come in a variety of styles, each having their own benefits in sliding, drifting and turning. Some commonly known styles are: Radial, W-Concave, Convex, Flat etc.
The Four Styles
Skateboard decks come in four different styles, each designed for a specific purpose in mind.
The shortest skateboard deck style, designed for performing tricks and getting major airtime. I recommend these if you intend to do a lot of street skating.
Typically used for riding around, or for travelling long distances, cruisers are longer and wider than regular boards. Their purpose is fast speed and sharp turns and they usually have a flat nose.
Designed by the style of the first popular 90’s boards, old-school boards have a flat nose and tail. If you want to ride your board like they did back in the old days, skating half pipes and pools, then definitely go for this board base.
Usually longer than cruisers, longboards are mostly used for races, some designs even feature wheel cut-outs to allow larger wheels to be placed for higher speeds.