When you are looking for a skateboard, your first decision is choosing a deck. Choosing the right skateboard deck is essential for any skateboarding you are planning to do. Different types of skateboard decks are functional for different types of riding. Decks come in different sizes, and you should select one proportional to your shoe size. Wider boards are good when using it for transportation because they have a comfortable standing platform. Try out different sizes and select the one that works best for you. Though a skateboard has many parts, the deck decides your riding style and the obstacles you can skate.
Essential Parts of a Skateboard
Deck: Good skateboard decks are made of bamboo and maple. The layers are pressed into a symmetrical shape with the nose equal to or longer than the tail. It should have the right combination of rigidity and flexibility to respond well while performing tricks.
Wheels: Skateboard wheels are made of polyurethane with minimal additives. The hardness of the wheels is measured in durometers. Hard wheels are for street skating, and soft wheels suit cruising and longboarding. Wheels with a medium durometer are great for skating on rough surfaces.
Bearings: Bearings allow the wheels to spin freely on the axle of the skateboard. High-quality bearings spin well and get better with regular use. They can be removed easily and cleaned when they get dirty. Lower quality bearings will not allow the wheels to spin well and affect the performance.
Trucks: The way the skateboard feels, turns, and responds depends on the truck. They should be sized correctly with the deck to allow the wheel’s outer edge to align with the outer edge of the deck. Trucks directly affect your performance and stability. Keep your trucks loose or tight depending upon the way you prefer to skate.
Characteristics of a Deck
The width of the deck decides whether you can do transition or street skateboarding. In transition skating, you can ride up and around vertical walls and ramps. Speed is necessary to climb up and drop vertically, and to do it, you need a skateboard of 8.38” or wider. Transition skating is done in vertical ramps, skate parks, and pools. Street skating is done on decks of 7.5” to 8.25”. Street skaters do many tricks by rotating the board horizontally and vertically when they are airborne. They skate on benches, stair sets, and ledges.
Generally, skate decks are 31” – 33” long.
Decks longer than 33” have a longer wheelbase which can increase your stability and turning radius. The shorter wheelbase in decks shorter than 33” is less stable but has a smaller turning radius and responds quickly to your movements. Stability is not necessary for street skating, but you need it to charge up a vertical wall.
The shape of a skating deck depends upon the shape of its nose and tail. Popsicle shape is the standard shape where the nose and tail are rounded. There are other shapes like squared noses and tails, tapered noses, and fishtails, but the popsicle shape is the best to perform a variety of flip tricks. Skateboard decks without a curved nose and tail are great for cruising but not favourable for street and transition skating.
Concave of Deck
The technical variable in the shape of a skateboard deck is the concave of the deck. The upward and downward curvature across the surface and edge, seen in the deck’s profile, is the concave of a deck. It affects the feel of the deck under your feet and the way it responds to your movements. Different styles of riding depend upon the degree of concave of the deck. Transition skaters prefer more pronounced concave, and street skaters need a mild concave for optimum foot placement.
Finding a good skateboard is not rocket science. Many brands focus on producing skateboards for beginners. Skating is not just fun but a great way to burn calories, lose weight and stay healthy.