By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
By now you should already be familiar with the different skateboarding styles and disciplines, but we bet that in the park you regularly go you have seen different kinds of boards doing the same tricks! Or people riding all kinds of boards in the streets. Remember the first time you went to your local skate shop and you saw a crazy amount of shapes and they even asked what size of board you wanted to get and you just didn’t know what to answer? Yeah! We’ve been there too! But don’t worry my dude or dudette, with this brief guide you will be able to tell apart the difference between skateboarding decks and now exactly what you are going to get next time you hit the skate shop (link to our products section) and remove that rookie label of your forehead!
The deck you choose is very important since this will basically determine your skateboarding style and the capability of tricks you will be able to perform, let’s take a look at the most common kinds of decks!
Photo by SHIT® Magazine
These babies are designed for air and performing tricks, they are the most regular type of board you are going to see in the skatepark since they are designed for street and park skating, the most recommended size for this kind of discipline is from 7.5” and 8” which will give you more stability while performing technical tricks.
These are typically mid-length, so about 16 inches shorter than a regular board, they are very maneuverable and are not as heavy as regular decks, these boards only have a tail and a flat nose! This will allow you to pop the tail to get off curves and maybe go up on one but any other tricks will be difficult, if not impossible to achieve given the fact that these decks do not have a nose and some are even made out of plastic and don’t even have a grip tape!! These boards are used (as their name describes) mainly for cruising around.
These were very popular in the ’80s and they also typically have a flat nose and tail. One of the most particular things about this kind of deck is that it is asymmetrical and is wider on the nose of the board! These boards were and keep being used for pool riding or just cruising the streets.
As their name describes it, these could even double the size of a regular street skateboard and could be 3 times bigger than a cruiser or a penny board. These are usually used by college kids for transportation purposes, however, there are professional skaters that focus on the downhill (link) discipline, one of the most dangerous and demanding in skateboarding.
Longboard decks are probably the ones with the most variety in shapes, and some even have wheel cut-outs since they use bigger wheels and wider trucks.
Concave Shapes in Decks
Skateboarding deck manufacturers have experimented a lot with concave shapes to improve performance on the board, this kinds of shapes will be of benefit for drifting, sliding, and turning the board, as opposed to a flat board in which you can still do them but not as smoothly as with concave shaped boards. They go anywhere from radial to w-concave shape, these features are mostly used for longboard decks, so just stick to your regular skateboard if you are looking to make tricks since these shapes might make the process more difficult for you.
The Construction of a Skateboarding Deck
Another main factor to keep in mind while getting a skateboard and also the reason why skateboard decks vary in price is the quality of the deck itself! So don’t go around buying the cheapest board you find online, trust us, it could be dangerous and it will eventually cost you more than buying a beginner board at your local skate shop or in our online store (link)!
Maple wood is one of the favorites among manufacturers due to its durability and flexibility, the strength of the board can vary in the amount of ply (sheets of wood used to build the deck) used for its construction which will have a major influence on the strength, weight and even the pop you get from your board.
We bet that there are some people out there that could think that it is just a single piece of wood, it is NOT! And it’s one of the main factors that will determine the quality of the deck! So once again, don’t go around buying some cheap boards on Amazon, it won’t last more than a couple months and you can really get hurt! Check out our amazing SHIT® deck catalog and find some of the best quality boards in the market!
Read also: How To Assemble Your Own Skateboard
Read also: How a Skateboard is Made