You've been looking to buy a new skateboard deck but have yet to decide what style you want. We're here to help you. We'll talk about the different kinds of skateboard decks and how they differ, so you can pick the one that's best for you.
Choosing the right skateboard deck
Skateboarding is an exhilarating sport. It's the ultimate form of freedom, which is why skateboarding has become popular among teenagers worldwide. Skateboarding has changed over the years, and there are many kinds of boards to choose from. Knowing what's out there is essential to ensure you buy the right board.
When deciding to buy a skateboard deck, there are several variables to consider.
- your skill and experience level,
- personal preference,
- the type of skateboarding you plan to do,
- the area where you want to skate.
All these factors come into play when deciding the best deck for you. You'll discover what goes into different skateboard decks and which ones are best for you. We'll also go over the advantages and disadvantages of each skateboard deck style so you can make an informed decision.
Type of Skateboard Decks
Skateboard decks come in four different types, and each is best for a particular purpose. Here's a look at the four deck categories:
Standard skate decks: The standard skate deck is the most common skateboard deck on the market. These decks are suitable for beginners and people getting into skateboarding. They are perfect for street and park skating. They are combined with a hard set of wheels, and their nose and tail are symmetrical.
Cruiser and shaped decks: The cruiser and shaped skateboard decks are great if you want to use a skateboard to get around. They have a similar length as the standard skate deck and are paired with a soft set of wheels that give smooth, fast rolls on rough surfaces. They are lighter, more agile, and allow you to maneuver around obstacles in city streets.
Old School Decks: These decks are not called "old school" for nothing. They pay homage to the retro style of the 1980s. Compared to standard decks, this category's wheelbase is longer and broader, making old-school decks a good choice when bowl skating or travelling around your area.
Longboard Decks: We recommend this type of deck for beginners looking for an easy-to-balance and more stable board. It performs well if you are into slow cruising, long-distance runs, and downhill skating.
Skateboard Deck Size
Now that we've discussed the types of skateboard decks, let's choose the right size for your skating goals.
Choosing a skateboard deck is influenced by three basic factors. You need to take a look at (a) your age, riding style, and skating location; (b) your body height and weight; (c) your shoe size; and (d) your board length (wheelbase).
Age, Riding Style and Skating Location
Your age, riding style, and where you plan to skate dictate the board size you need to use. If you have a short stature, it's best to start with a small skateboard deck, whereas a tall rider needs a bigger deck to support their weight.
7 inches to 7.5 inches
Kids, Basic Skating
7.5 inches to 8.0 inches
Teen/Young Adults, Street skating and some technical tricks
8.0 inches to 8.5 inches
Best for street and transition terrain, parks, pools, rails, and stairs,
8.50 inches and up
Great for transition skating, street tricks, pools, or chill skating
Height and Weight
Consider your body height and weight when choosing the perfect skateboard deck. For example, if you have short stature and a slim body, it is best to go with a small board, as this will help you control speed and balance. If you are tall, you'll need a big deck to increase your stability and reduce the chances of falling. Here is a closer look at the recommended board size for your height:
Recommended Board Size
5 feet 6 inches (or taller)
8 inches - 8.50 inches
4 feet 6 inches - 5 feet 6 inches
5.75 inches - 8.00 inches
4 feet 6 inches or shorter
7.25 inches - 7.75 inches
Your shoe size is critical if you plan to be a competitive or technical skater. As such, your shoes and the board's width need to be the same size so that you can do better turns, ollies, and complicated technical moves.
Board Length (Wheelbase)
A wheelbase is a measurement between the front and rear wheels' axles, called the "TRUE wheelbase." But most skate shops do not consider your truck when measuring the wheelbase.
Skateboard shapes: do they matter?
Skateboards have changed over time, from the simple wooden board to the shapes of the longboard, the vert skateboard, and more. The question is, do deck shapes make any difference? The short answer is yes. Let's take a look at the three common deck shapes.
1. The Popsicle
The popsicle shape is the standard for street and park decks. It has a double-kick nose and tail designed to match each other for better pop and spin. This type of deck is excellent for downhill and all-around skateboarding because it lets you make 360-degree turns in the air.
2. The Old School / Fishtail
This board has an oblong nose and a fishtail at the rear. It's best for transition and pool skating. It's great for carving, has effortless lean on wide turns, and is ultra-smooth.
Because of its low flex and concave shape, a fishtail board usually gives you better heel and toe control when skating.
3. The Modern Shape
Any street or park deck made today that doesn't resemble the popsicle skate deck is considered modern-shaped. Although the nose and the tail both taper, their size and shape differ. Modern skateboards have a low center of gravity, making tricks more stable and easier.
Skateboard Deck Concave
A skateboard's concave refers to how the board curves up on its edges, nose, and tail. This curve is what makes the board strong and easier to control.
The skateboard curve is created by pressing and molding thin sheets of wood (aka veneers) into the shape of the decks. The concave has three levels based on how pronounced the curve is:
1. The Flat Concave.
This design is flat, which results in a lower center of gravity and improved stability. The only disadvantage is that it's a little harder to control. Also, a flat deck is prone to wheel bite. So, be careful if you are using this type of deck and are new to skateboarding.
2. Medium Concave.
It is best to have a skateboard with a medium concave, which is the "sweet spot" because it is neither too flat nor too steep. Medium concave decks are easier to flick with your feet, which is why they are often used in street skating and flip tricks.
3. Deep Concave.
As the name suggests, this type of concave is steep. You will recognize a deep concave board because your feet immediately sink into it and grab onto it as soon as you step on them.
The main benefit of a deep concave is that it makes the board stiffer and easier to do flip tricks and turns because the nose and tail have a firm grip. Because of this, the board is best for transition skaters and when better control is required.
What skateboard is best for you?
Let's use your experience level and the skating you want to do to decide which deck is the best for you.
If you're buying a new skateboard for the first time, think about your budget and the skating you want to do.
Many different types of decks are available that work well with various skateboards. You can go with a double-kick, longboard, or cruiser-type board.
Consider stability when buying your first skateboard. Go for the deck with a decent width, as it will give your feet that much-needed play space.
Mini cruisers are the best option for kids under five with three (or smaller) shoe sizes. This skateboard allows kids to learn balance and control while having fun zooming around. Older kids with skating experience looking for a bigger challenge can try a full-sized skateboard.
Freedare offers a full range of skateboards for intermediate and advanced skaters. The boards come in cruiser and freestyle decks and are designed for tricks, speed, and ground games. So, whether you're grinding rails, stairs, or a handrail, the Freedare skateboards have the perfect shape and wheel size for the job.
A double kickboard is excellent for technical skating (e.g., flips and tricks). This type of deck is 8" wide and comes with two kicks, which allow you to perform tricks by flipping the nose or the tail. Besides tricks, this board is also great for street and park skating.
If you're cruising, a smooth and stable ride and the ability to store the board if necessary are what you need. A cruiser has a single kicktail with a high riser, large wheels, and larger decks. With this skateboard setup, you can ride smoothly and turn with a lot of stability.
Skating As Transportation
A longboard is for you if you want a fun way to move around the city while carving deep turns and moving fast. Longboards have become a popular way to get to work or school because they are bigger than regular skateboards and can carry more weight. For example, taking your books to school or groceries to your home can be a lot easier on a longboard
Finding the right skateboard deck for you is only difficult at the start. In this case, consider the purpose and the budget and focus your search. As you improve at skating through practice and experience, you'll want to try out different boards, surfaces, and even the most complicated technical tricks.
Whatever board you choose for the skating you want to do, don't forget to wear the right gear. This includes helmets, elbow pads, wrist pads, knee pads, and footwear for both streets and parks. You must have the right safety gear to avoid getting badly hurt while skateboarding.
We hope this article guided you toward picking the right skateboard deck. If you're still unsure which skateboard is best for you, you might want to try a few different decks to see which fits your skating style the best.