Its go time! Now that you have decided to get into skateboarding, or even if you are an old legend, it always helps to know how a skateboard is constructed and what all things you should consider when choosing a deck that is right for you. Watch the video or read below.
Size does matter! Well at least when were talking about a skateboard deck. Most skateboard decks range between 7.25” – 8.5” wide. The width of the deck is also the dimension used to identify the size of the board in general. The length of the board is a little more standardized ranging between 31.5” – 32” long. Vert-Ramp riders often use wider decks for better stability and to prevent speed wobbles. Wider boards are also suggested for larger people. Narrow boards are easier to flip and are generally more adopted in street skating. If you are a beginner or like to ride a little of all terrain, you can choose a deck that is somewhere in the middle. Don’t be afraid to experiment; try out different deck sizes over the years.
Most skateboards are made using laminated sheets – or veneers – of hard rock North American maple, a durable and somewhat flexible wood. Typically, decks are formed by pressing 7 of these ply veneers together on a form, then shaping it with a saw and sander. After the glue sets, holes are drilled into the deck for the trucks.
The deck-to-be is shaped using a band saw. The saw cuts the wood into the shape of a skate deck before it’s routed and sanded smooth. Unlike the hydraulic press, which can handle several decks at once, the shaping process takes a little longer because each deck must be dealt with individually. Once the deck is glued, formed and shaped, it is then sealed to protect it from weather damage.
Finally, graphics are added to the underside of the board. Screen-printed skates are most common, but there are boards that are hand painted, too. (Slick-bottom boards are the exception. In this case, manufacturers add a printed sheet of plastic to the bottom ply before it is laminated and glued.) After the graphics are finished, the decks dry completely before getting boxed up and sent into the waiting arms of skaters around the world.
The nose is the front end of your deck and tends to be thicker and a bit longer than the tail.
The tail is the back end of your deck and tends to be thinner and a bit shorter than the deck.
The sunken indentation in the deck’s surface is its concave. The sides of the board between the nose and tail are curved upwards, giving riders more control and stiffening the flex for added durability. The amount of concave that works for you is best determined through trial and error; judge the way it cups your foot and how much control and feel it lends to your riding.
The wheelbase is the measurement of the distance between the two sets of mounting holes drilled into the deck for the trucks. It is usually about 13″ to 15″, with the preferred distance dictated both by the rider’s height and personal preference. Taller people will likely be more comfortable with a wider wheelbase, which lets them widen their stance while skating.
For more info on fitting a deck to the trucks, click here to view the deck to truck sizing chart.