1. Skateboard Decks: General Info
Which skateboard deck is right for me? What should I know before buying a deck? What separates the different types of decks from each other?
What effect does my shoe/body size have? You can find answers to all these questions and more here!
Throughout the history of skateboarding, decks have gone through many phases of development and changes.
Today there are decks suited especially for particular terrains, with specific widths, lengths, shapes and special construction technology.
Most decks are made out of North American maple wood, which due to its slow growth, is particularly durable and stable.
Traditionally, seven layers of maple wood interlaid with a water-based glue or special epoxy resin are pressed together under high pressure in order to create a skateboard deck.
The size of decks is almost always measured in the American unit of inches. One inch corresponds to the European unit of measurement of 1 Zoll, which is 2.54 cm.
1 Inch = 2.54 cm
1.1 Skateboard Decks: Construction & Size
Normally, a skateboard is 28”-33” (70-80 cm) long.
The board is divided into three parts: the nose (front), the wheelbase (between the trucks) and the tail (rear).
o find out which end is the front and which the rear, take a closer look at your deck. The nose is usually slightly wider and steeper than the tail.
Tip: The design of the deck can also help distinguish the nose from the tail end. Most graphics are designed so that the nose is the top, or left, respectively.
The nose and tail are the rounded ends of your deck, which are more or less steeply curved upward. There are also flatter and steeper designs based on the type of board.
The theory is that steeper nose and tail ends lend more pop to your deck because of the increased leverage. In contrast, a flatter nose and tail provide a better board feel.
Pop = the effect of kicking the tail of the board against the ground in order to propel the board upwards and become airborne
The wheelbase is normally 12”-15” long and not only impacts the overall length of the board but also how it handles.
Simply put, the shorter the deck, the agiler it feels, and the longer the deck, the smoother and more stable it feels.
1. Deck Width
1.2 Skateboard Decks: Concave
Concave refers to the longitudinal curvature of the deck.
The higher this curvature, the more pressure you can put on the edges of your deck, which improves the steering and enables you to flip your board more easily.
Skateboard decks are usually distinguished between low, medium, or high concave. You can decide which level is most comfortable for you by trial and error.
We’d recommend beginners to start with a medium concave skateboard deck.
1. Low Concave
2. Medium Concave
3. High Concave
Low concave skateboard decks have just a slight curvature. This allows for a more stable ride, but also hinders agility. Low concave decks are also more difficult to flip.
Medium concave decks provide a compromise between low and high concave decks.
If you’re not sure which concave level would suit you the best, you can’t go wrong with a medium concave.
The majority of skateboard decks are medium concave.
High concave decks have a very pronounced curvature, which makes the board more agile and easy to flip. However, high concave decks aren’t nearly as forgiving of errors as medium or low concave decks.
1.3 Skateboard Decks: Shape
Street skating, bowl, vert, and cruising all place different demands on a skateboard deck.
For this reason, different shapes have been developed to best suit the respective requirements.
1. Classic Popsicle Shape (Street Skateboard Deck)
2. Old School Pool / Bowl Deck
3. Modern Shaped Deck
Street Skateboard Deck
A standard deck shape for street and park skating is the Twin-Tip.
This means that the nose and tail are virtually the same shape so that you can easily ride switch. When it comes to the form of skateboard decks, this so-called “Popsicle Shape” has been the standard for years.
switch = The position when you’re riding forward, but the foot that would normally be on the tail, is on the nose. Essentially, the rider is “switching” his or her stance from regular to goofy (or vice versa), which is not to be confused with riding fakie. Fakie describes riding backwards, with the tail facing the direction of movement while your feet don’t change position.
Pool / Bowl Deck:
Skateboard decks for transition skating are almost always a bit wider.
Here you’ll normally find decks with a width upwards of 8.25”.
In addition to the normal but broader street skateboard shapes, there are also decks reminiscent of old school skateboards.
These are now commonly referred to as “shaped decks.”
Shaped decks have established themselves in recent years as a hybrid form of new school street decks and old school pool decks.
These decks were originally developed for transition skaters who also wanted to enjoy the occasional street session.
Thanks to their pronounced concaves, as well as curved noses and tails, you not only have the perfect transition board, but also the possibility to skate the streets and still do tricks.
Many different types of materials are used to make cruisers. In addition to the traditional pure maple, bamboo can also be combined with maple or even used exclusively.
There’s also the famous cruiser made of plastic, better known by its name “Pennyboard.” Besides the Penny brand boards, Bureo, SK8DLX, Anuell, Globe, and Diamond also make plastic cruisers.
Cruiser skateboards also differ in length, width and shape. The special thing about them is the softer wheels and easy manoeuvrability.
Thus they are perfectly suited for cities, to get you from point A to point B. They typically have a small curved tail and a flat nose.
Cruisers are generally already fully assembled and “Ready to Skate.” If a longboard is too large for you, or just isn’t your cup of tea, then a cruiser is the right choice for you.
2. Skateboard Decks: Size Recommendation
Beginners, in particular, may find it difficult to decide on the perfect deck width.
Because of this, we’ve assembled some tips that should help you find the perfect size.
That being said, the best way to find the right size is simply time.
By trying out different sizes and getting a feel for your board, you’ll find out what’s most comfortable for you.
In addition to your individual preferences, your choice might also differ based on the current zeitgeist.
While a few years ago, the most popular deck width was 7.75 “- 8”, the norm has now shifted toward 8 “- 8.5”.
2.1 Body Size
Initially, the size of your body can be a good guideline to choosing the right width of your deck.
The smaller you are, the narrower and shorter your skateboard should be.
Especially at the beginning, a slightly smaller board can be easier to control and you can get a better feel for the reactions and movements of your deck.
As you grow, you’ll need more space on the board. In which case, we recommend a wider and slightly longer board.
For very young skaters with a height up to 130cm we’d recommend decks with a width up to 7.5″.
For a height up to 160cm, we recommend decks between 7.5” and 7.75”.
At this size though, basically any deck width is possible.
Tip: When shopping for decks in the skatedeluxe Skate Shop, you can easily filter your search for specific deck widths.
2.2 Shoe Size
Another means of finding the correct deck width is by using your shoe size.
Simply put: The bigger your shoes, the wider the board should be.
• Tip: Are you unsure of your US shoe size? Don’t worry! You can use our Size Chart in the skatedeluxe skate shop to find your US, EU, or UK shoe size.
If you fancy skating transitions, bowls, or different ramps, we recommend boards with a width of at least 8.375”.
These decks offer a larger surface area, which gives you more control of the board at higher speeds.
If you don’t want to choose between skating transition and street, we suggest decks with a width of around 8”.
Skateboards with this width may be slower when flipping than their narrower counterparts, but the wide surface area offers a bit more board control.
Narrower boards with a width of up to 8 “can flip easily and are somewhat better for street skating.
Another factor when choosing your deck is your weight. When it comes to skating, there’s no such thing as a maximum weight.
Skateboarding is possible for anyone who wants to move.
However, you should be aware of one thing: the heavier you are, the higher the chances are of your deck breaking if you don’t land your tricks with your feet directly over the trucks.
For big-boned skaters, we recommend deck structures with an 8-ply construction or special impact technologies that make the deck more resilient.
An overview of the various skateboard designs and technologies can be found here in the wiki.
Skateboard Technologies? Take me there!
Still have questions?
If you have any further questions or suggestions, you can leave a comment under this post, send us an email through our contact form, or ask our customer service team for advice in choosing the optimal deck.
You can find other interesting information on skateboard trucks, wheels, bearings, bolts and more in the skatedeluxe Skateboard Wiki.
To ensure that the deck, trucks, and wheels, as well as the bearings and screws, fit together, we have created the skatedeluxe Skateboard Configurator.
This allows you to easily display your individual selections and create a completely customised skateboard in six steps.
Below you can find an overview of the most popular skateboard technologies. Have fun skating!
More interesting pages & links:
TO THE SKATEBOARD DECKS IN THE SKATEDELUXE SKATE SHOP
TO THE SKATEDELUXE SKATEBOARD CONFIGURATOR
Deck construction / Deck technology
Although most decks are made of seven layers of maple wood, there are, of course, a plethora of special deck technologies.
To keep from getting lost in the jungle of wild descriptions and terms for a variety of special constructions, here you’ll find a summary of key skateboard technologies.
3.1 – 7-Ply:
In the classic 7-ply construction, the skateboard consists of seven layers of maple wood. The thin layers are dried and glued together with special adhesive.
This is the most common design you’ll encounter when purchasing a deck. Mob Skateboards refers to this type of construction as “Work Horse.”
3.2 – 8-Ply:
In the 8-ply construction, the deck is comprised of eight layers of maple wood. As with the 7-ply construction, the thin layers of maple wood are dried and glued together with special adhesive. The additional layer makes the board more stable, harder and more rigid.
3.3 – Impact Support:
You can find impact technology in many of the decks from the Dwindle brands Enjoi, Almost Skateboards, Cliché and Zero.
Impact Support decks consist of eight layers of Canadian maple wood glued together with epoxy resin.
Carbon fibre discs are also built into the bottom layer of the deck where the trucks meet the board.
These dampen the impact forces on the deck when landing tricks and thus help prevent the deck from breaking.
3.4 – Impact Light:
The Impact Light design is a modification of the Impact Support construction.
The only difference is that instead of eight layers of Canadian maple wood only seven are used, making the deck extremely light.
3.5 – Impact Plus
The Impact Plus technology is a further development of Impact Support technology and ideal for all skaters who love to skate stairs and gaps.
In this design, eight layers of Canadian maple are combined with carbon elements.
Carbon discs are added to the bottom layer, above the trucks.
Additionally, the top layer of the deck is carbon fibre, which also ensures longevity and more pop.
3.6 – Featherlight:
In the Featherlight construction, the deck is made with thinner layers of wood. However, these are adhered with particularly strong hardening glue, making the deck lighter overall and also increasing the pop.
3.7 – P2:
The construction of P2 skateboard decks includes six layers of traditional maple wood and an oval-shaped Kevlar fibre in the top layer.
Thus P2 decks are stronger, lighter and thinner than conventional decks.
In addition, the Kevlar material ensures a better distribution of the impact forces, which increases the longevity and the pop.
3.9 – Resin-7 Epoxid (R7):
This deck structure is an extension of the classic seven-ply construction. However, in the Resin-7 Epoxy (R7) construction, the individual layers of wood are not bonded with water-based glue, rather with epoxy resin. This makes the deck lighter and more rigid. Mob Skateboards refers to the R7 as their “Toughcats” construction. Aside from the varying names, everything is the same.
3.10 – Resin Hardrock
You can find the Resin Hard Rock design in decks by Darkstar and Blind.
In principle, these use the same technology as in the Resin-7 Epoxy (R7).
In this case, however, seven-ply Canadian “Hard Rock Maple” is used instead of “normal” Canadian maple.
The use of the harder maple wood makes the deck more rigid and durable.
3.11 – Resin Hybrid Maple
If you’re looking for a Resin Hybrid Maple construction, check out the decks by Dwindle brands Almost, Enjoi, Cliché, Zero, Darkstar and Blind.
For these decks, a mixture of “normal” Canadian maple wood and the harder “Hard Rock Maple” is used.
These individually pressed decks are distinguished by their longevity.
3.12 – Twig:
These decks were developed by Element Skateboards specifically for young and lightweight skaters. The The Twig design is an upgrade of the Featherlight technology, which makes the deck lighter and gives you more pop. These decks are the perfect choice for young skaters!
3.13 – Thriftwood:
The Thriftwood construction was developed with the environment in mind. For this deck technology, the layers of wood are not dyed. This reduces the amount of chemicals used, making the recycling process much more environmentally friendly.
3.14 – BLK Ice
The BLK ICE technology from Plan B is essential for all slide-lovers.
The lowest layer of the deck is specially coated to allow for longer and faster slides. Additionally, the BLK ICE decks are lighter and stiffer than conventional 7-ply decks.
3.15 – Pro Spec
Bei der The Pro Spec construction made by Plan B uses layers of maple wood with varied thicknesses. The inner layers are thicker and harder than those in conventional decks and the outer layers are much thinner. This allows for a thinner and lighter deck, and also ensures outstanding board feel. Prolonged pop is also guaranteed!
3.16 – Harter Hund
In Mob Skateboards “Harter Hund” decks, the maple layers are also glued with epoxy. They vary, however, in using two 0.7 mm thick centre veneers instead of a single 1.4 mm thick layer. This creates an additional epoxy resin layer, which makes the deck harder and gives it more pop. To put it in Mob-terms: “It’s harder and poppier than a pit bull on Viagra.”