A skateboard Deck is a flat board usually made up of Maple wood or Birch. It is the most important part in a skateboard. A skateboarder puts their foot or stand on it while skateboarding.
If you wan't to assemble your own skateboard and cant't decide what type of "Deck" is suitable for you to buy. Then some of the questions might run to your mind, like: What skateboard size do i need?
what material to choose for a skateboard deck?
How to choose a deck according to your riding style?
Here i will try to answer all your questions.
Also if you already have a skateboard, then you might be thinking that When should i replace/change my skate deck? or something like that.
You might also wonder that how often should you change your skateboard? but it is totally up to you, It depends upon your riding style or how hard you skate and in what place you skate.
Lets move on to the guide:
Choose Skateboard deck style first
This is the first thing you should consider before buying a skateboard deck. Skateboard decks come mainly in four shapes.
Each shape has its own style of skateboarding. These Styles of skateboard decks are:
A Shortboard is the smallest type of skateboard. Its shape and size is mainly designed for performing tricks and air tricks. If you want to skate park and or street skating then this kind of skateboard is that you need.
Cruisers are designed for cruising around. It has Kicktails but it's not suitable for Tricks and street skating. There are also Short cruisers available(Like: Penny) but the specially designed for cruising purpose.
Old school boards have asymmetric shape, It have broad & flat nose and kicktails. It is suitable for Carving the streets, Skating Ramps and Pools.
Longboards are the longest among all the boards. It provides great stability. It is suitable for Cruising around and transportation purpose. You can't perform tricks on it. Some Longboards are specially designed for downhill racing,for downhill riding it is made symmetric.
Choosing the right size
What should be the ideal size for me to get a skateboard?
Most people ask this question and they keep unanswered sometimes. Because, there is no exact answer for this.
Deck width is a factor which should be considered while choosing a skateboard deck for you. Length is not a factor that matters much.
A skateboard deck width that you need is based on your height, Age and Shoe size.
Here we have some data regarding size of skateboard according to you Height, Age, Shoe size.
Consider this Skateboard deck Sizing chart:
Remember, these Sizing suggestions are only indicative. you can also ride skateboard larger or smaller than the size which is recommended in this chart. But the Deck of the board must be in good quality.
Skateboard size according to style:
7.5" to 8" - Standard board for adult riders skating streets or doing more technical tricks
8.0" to 8.25" - Skating pool, ramp, rail, and parks
8.25" and larger - Vert, pools, cruising, and just going old school
You should buy your skateboard deck according to it's width, not length. Average size of the decks lie between 7.5" to 8.75". If you ride skate ramp or vert ramp or if your height and shoe size is large then you should go with a wider deck. If you like to perform trick or you are a street rider then you should prefer a narrow deck.
A skateboard deck length is measured from its Nose to its tail. Mostly decks of a traditional skateboard are 28" to 32" long. The longer a board is, the wider it will be. So keep in mind that size is based on its width not its lenght. Except it is a longboard.
Wheelbase is the distance between the inner mounting holes that are drilled on the deck. It's average distance is from 13" to 15". It's distance is determined according to the riders choice or the height of the rider. The Taller a rider is, the broader wheelbase they prefer.
The Nose of the deck is the front end of the deck, it is thicker and a little longer than the tail.
Tail is the Back end of the deck. Some companies stick a sticker to differentiate between the nose and the tail.
There are Various Shapes of Skateboards to choose from. A skateboard Shape is not it's design. It's Deck's Shape is depended on your riding Style- Radial, progressive, w-concave, flat-cave, asymmetric, convex etc. are shapes of skateboard that is helpful for those riders who prefer doing Tricks.
Also Check: Skateboard/Longboard Bearing Buying Guide
Concave improve the riders performance and it also provides the rider more foothold than a flat deck. That's the reason why companies keep experimenting on concave to improve and invent a new kind of concave.
Here are the Main types of concave available these days:
Radial concave Subtle U shaped and most common concave. It provides a better grip to your foot and is suitable for all kind of riding styles.
Similar to the radial concave. The steep wall on the rail combined with the wider base allows more secure footing and a more locked-in feel.
It makes the board more responsive. Helps in making quick and sharp turns easily.
It is somewhat similar to Progressive but the rails extend at a sharp angle instead of gentle curve.
When a skateboard deck rail rise at different angles, it is asymmetric.
An upward arching deck shape is called Convex. These are not common and skaters usually don't prefer it.
Flat deck has no Concave and kicktail. It is rare. Boardwalking and other showy tricks can be performed.
Material and Quality
The material that you choose for your skateboard deck will define the quality of the board. Choosing the right material is very important. Of course, you don't want your skateboard to be broken while you try some tricks, as it may get you injured hard.
Also if the material is not good enough then you would not experience the Stability and smoothness while Cruising around.
If you don't know what materials are ideal for each skateboard part, No worry ! We will provide all information that you need to choose a good quality skateboard.
Most popular and the most common material used to make a skateboard deck is Canadian Maple. Another Popular material used are Bamboo and Baltic Birch Plywood. You can go for any of these material they all are ideal materials for the deck.
The Popularity that maple wood gain is the highest among them, This is because of the stability a experience that it provides.
Plastic is an alternative material that is used these days widely to make short cruisers. Penny started making first Plastic skateboards. Fiberglass and Aluminium deck are also available that works in a similar way.
Don't ever try to buy a cheap skateboard. Never forget that you may showing of tricks on the board. Cheap Skateboards can't handles much weight and stroke.
Never think that if it is Expensive it must be good. No, Sometimes you may get fooled.
Just set a criteria and go for that criteria or you can also take Recommendation from an expert to buy your deck.
To choose a great skateboard deck you have to first know that style of skateboarding you want. Then choose a deck types according to your style.
Know what size is suitable for you. Consider the right shape, the right price and right material.
Once you find your desired deck, Don't think anymore, Go and Buy It.