Choosing a Skateboard Deck

It is a given that a skateboard deck plays a huge role in the way you skate. From the way the road feels under your feet, to how much pop you get performing an ollie, and even how long your set-up will last.

If you are putting together you own skateboard there are a few things to consider. Picking the right size skateboard is the really the first decision you should make. However, Choosing board shape is important as well, from the length, materials,

width, and the concave of your board all determine what you will be able to do on your board. As well, to a degree how you will perform.

With this knowledge in hand lets go through the basics of choosing a board.

How Decks Are Made

Skateboards are typically formed using a 7-ply construction, with a veneer of seven layers are placed on top of another. However, there are many companies that offer more or less piles to strength or increase weight. 

The veneers are stacked on top of one another with the grains running lengthwise. However , sometimes a few of the veneers may be turned so that the grains run widthwise, which is known as cross beaming and is done to give the board more strength. Decks are glued into place before going under a hydraulic press to be formed. By applying pressure it structures the seven layers of the maple sheets into a single dense strip with a concave center and an upturned nose. When the glue sets, holes are drilled into the deck for the trucks and the wood is ready to be shaped. 

By using a band saw the deck can be shaped. After the deck is shaped it can then be routed and sanded smooth. The shaping process takes much longer than the hydraulic press process due to the fact that each board must be pressed individually. When the deck is formed, glued, and shaped it is then sealed to protect it from weather damage.

The final step is to add graphics to the underside of the board. At times boards are hand painted, but Screen-printed skates are most common.  When the graphic is finished, the deck dries completely before getting boxed up or placed in a store front.

Sizing

Length

When measuring the length of a skate deck you start from the nose to the tail of the board. Longer boards tend to be wider while shorter boards tend to be a little more narrower. The length of a skateboard deck is usually between 28 in and 32in. A important thing to keep in mind is your overall goal when choosing a board. Do you want to perform more technical street tricks? A smaller board will be more so what you are looking for.  Are you more interested in diving in on ramps or performing on other inclines? Then a bigger board will better serve your vert needs. However, if you are more interested in cruising place to place, you might consider getting a longboard.

Width

Again to choose the best deck size, you have to consider your own stature and the type of skating you would like to do most. The width of most skate decks falls between 7.5 in and 8.75 in . If you are interested in shredding in pools or going off ramps, then a wider board will perform better. This can also be the case if you are a larger skater, who may need more surface area for their feet and to counteract their higher center of gravity. Boards with a more narrower width are better for performing tricks such as, kick flips, heel flip, and ollie’s.

Tail & Nose

 The back end of your board is the tail of your deck. It tends to be thinner and a bit shorter than the nose. While the nose of your board tends to be thicker and a bit longer.

Wheelbase

The distance between your board’s inner mounting holes is your wheelbase. The distance between the mounting holes determine how far apart your front and back wheels will be. The mountings are usually about 13in to 15in. Something to note is that the preferred mounting distance has to do with the rider’s height and personal preference. For example, taller riders might be more comfortable with a wider wheelbase, since it’s lets them widen their stance while skating.

 Concave

In the decks surface there is a dip or sunken indentation, that is the concave. The sides of the board are curved upwards between the nose and the tail. It takes trial and error to determine what is the best concave for you. Judge the way the concave lends to your riding, the amount of control it gives, and the way it cups to your foot when looking for a concave.

Those are the basics of choosing a skateboard. Pop into our store to see what type of boards we offer!