Let's Choose a Skate Deck!
So you are browsing online and your head has just been blown by the sheer number of choice and sizes in skateboards.
So, obviously you want to know, how do I know what size skateboard to buy? Your size, ability and style of skating are all factors in making the correct choice.
Street/Park Skating – Technical style
Transition/Bowl Skating – Flowing style
What's My Size?
Now this is a general starting out guide and as you get more advanced you will want to try multiple sizes and shapes.
Well let's sort out the first timers with a few details that other skaters will throw at you when choosing a board.
Firstly, a skateboard deck is the base you stand on. They are generally made of 7 ply Maple with some companies using Bamboo, fiberglass, plastics and resin glues. Some cheaper ready made completes will have Birch instead of Maple. Generally sizes vary between 6 ½” and 10” and a variety of brands and artwork.
Most skaters refer to the size they ride as the width. The average width of a skateboard in our shop varies between 7.75″- 8.5″. Width depends on the size of the rider and the type of riding. Bigger riders and those skating Bowl and Vert ramps typically prefer a wider deck. Street skaters usually choose a smaller deck. Choose your skateboard deck according to the width, not length.
Nose and Tail
Now you may look at this and be totally confused as the nose and tail are very similar. The nose is the front, which is generally bigger; the tail is the back and normally smaller. Most companies will have the artwork arranged so you can tell them apart. Like this Rip N Dip deck. Also one coloured deck bolt is helpful. Like these from Thunder.
Length and Wheelbase
The length of the skateboard is measured from the nose to the tail. Board length varies between 27″- 33″. The wheelbase is the distance from one pair of inner mounting holes to the other. The average wheelbase is between 13″-15″. So unless you skate like Eric Koston, ignore length and wheelbase for now. As with width, you will find your sweet spot eventually.
I mentioned 7 ply a bit earlier. When you look at the side of the deck, you will see, thin layers of maple veneers glued in a crossing pattern. Sometimes these layers are coloured to help see the layers and this method of laminating makes a stronger deck.
Every skater out there should know about concave. This is a judgement call for each rider as some like it mellow (flatter) and others like it standard (deeper). More concave conceivably gives the rider more control and increases the skateboard’s strength. Again, try them all eventually.
Ok we are now ready to look at some sizes.
For skaters 5 years or younger, under 3’5" tall who wear a size 3 shoe or smaller
Micro Deck width: 6.5" – 6.75"
For skaters 6 to 8 years old between 3'5" and 4'4" tall who wear size 4-6 shoe
Mini Deck : 7.0"-7.25"
For skaters 9 to 12 years old between 4'5" and 5'2" tall who wear size 7-8 shoes
Mid-size Deck width: 7.3"-7.5"
For all skaters over age 13, taller than 5'3" with a shoe size of 9 and up. Remember we are generalizing here. As you improve you will find your faves.
Decks widths 7.5" or larger
7.5″ to 8″ – Riders skating streets or doing more technical tricks
8.0″ to 8.25″ – Skating pools, street, ramps and parks
8.25″ and larger – Park, Vert, pools, cruising and Old school
The Low down
So you have all the info you need to make a decision. If this doesn't help sort out your choice, we are happy to send you an email with some suggestions for a quality deck.
Not Enough? We we also do entry level completes for the first time or budget conscious skater. Hit us up anytime and we will point you in the right direction. Or check out our Blog all about your first complete.