There’s something extremely liberating about cruising on a skateboard around town and feeling the wheels roll under your feet. But if you’re new to the skateboarding world, and are just looking to buy your first board, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Choosing a skateboard is actually pretty simple, as long as you become familiar with the basics. The most important thing to consider when buying a skateboard is the deck size as it impacts how your skateboard rides. The right deck size is determined by your size and your preferred skating style.
Skateboard Deck Width
Contrary to popular belief, width is the most important part of choosing a skateboard deck, not length. Skate decks vary in width from 7.5inches to 8.25inches for adults and 7.5inches to 6.5inches for younger people. The ideal deck width for you depends on your height, skating style, personal preference and shoe size. If the deck you choose is too wide for you, you’ll have to use excess power, which can make performing tricks and cruising much more difficult. An 8 inch complete skateboard deck will generally fit most adults who just want to commute or ride in the park. Narrower decks are better for skaters who are into performing tricks in the skate park. But tricksters can also perform tricks on an 8 inch complete skateboard deck, so there aren’t really any strict rules, it’s mostly up to personal preference.
Skateboard Deck Length
Most decks range between 28 to 32inches. Generally, narrower boards are also shorter, but there are exceptions. Once you figure out the ideal width, you’ll see that the length doesn’t vary much from board to board, maybe an inch at most. Narrower, shorter decks are better for performing tricks and technical skating, while longer boards are more stable and better for cruising.
Skateboard Deck Style
Lastly, you need to get familiar with the different styles of decks. There are four basic shapes, and each is designed for a specific riding style. That being said, the deck you choose should match the riding style you’ll most commonly be doing. The 4 styles include shortboards, cruisers, old school boards and longboards. Shortboards are great for performing tricks and getting air in skate parks. Cruisers are designed for cruising around, and they usually feature kicktails. These decks are maneuverable and versatile. Old school decks usually feature kicktails and a flat nose. They’re typically asymmetrical, making them ideal for carving the streets, skating ramps and empty pools. Lastly, longboards are great for transportation and downhill racing. They are symmetrical, have wheel cutouts which allow for larger wheels to be used, and sit low to the ground.