Skateboard and Longboard Buyers Guide
If you're looking for your first skateboard or you want to dial in your board setup you've come to the right place. Our Team loves shaping you the best so we put our heads together to give you the basics on how to choose the right skateboard deck for the kind of skateboarding you want to do.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Parts of Skateboards and Longboards
- Types of Skateboards and longboards
- Skateboard Deck Size Guide
- Skateboard Deck Construction
- Types of Skateboard Trucks
- Types of Skateboard Wheels
PARTS OF SKATEBOARDS AND LONGBOARDS
Start here to learn all the parts of a skateboard and how they come together to create one of the greatest inventions of all time.
Deck - Is the standing platform, made from layers of laminated wood.
Trucks - Allow the board to turn and provide axles for the wheels.
Wheels - Allow the board to roll and provide housing for the bearings.
Bearings - Fit inside the sides of the wheels and allow them to spin freely.
Grip Tape - Applied to the top of the deck to provide grip for your feet.
Hardware - Nuts and bolts that hold the trucks on the deck.
Wheelbase - The distance between the inside screw hole of one truck to the inside screw hole of the opposing truck. It describes the distance between the front and rear wheels.
TYPES OF SKATEBOARDS AND LONGBOARDS
There are four main types of skateboard decks that are all very fun and functional for different types of riding. Each type of board is shaped with a different purpose in mind and the way you set up your board can be dialed into exactly what you are looking for.
These are the best skateboard decks for beginners because they work well for street skating, skate parks and almost all other styles of skateboarding. Typically ridden with hard wheels, these skateboard decks resemble the shape of a popsicle stick because they feature both a nose and a tail that are exactly or nearly symmetrical.
These boards are usually a similar length to standard decks, but have a large variety of different shapes. These decks are much wider and have longer wheelbases than standard decks, making them stable and great for bowl skating and transportation. Extra width and short noses make old school boards more difficult to flip or ollie, so they are not ideal for street skating.
These boards are larger than a pool board but smaller than a longboard. They are shaped like pool boards but have a larger wheelbase than a pool board. These boards are great options for people looking for small longboards.
If you are a beginner looking for a large stable board that makes it easy to learn to balance, these are the boards for you. They are also ideal for mellow cruising, pushing long distances and skating down hills at high speeds.conquer steep roads and paths while sliding from side to side like a snowboard. They typically have symmetrical shapes with deep concave to lock your feet in place when slashing driveways, performing spins, switch slides and drifting corners.
WHAT SIZE SKATEBOARD DECK SHOULD I GET?
We recommend choosing a deck width that is proportional to your shoe size. If you wear men’s size 6.5 to 9, start out with a deck width of 8 inches. If you wear shoes 9.5 or larger, we recommend getting a deck around 8.5 inches. If your shoe size is under 6.5 we recommend our Mini Street Deck. In general, skaters who like flip tricks, manuals, ledges, flat bars and technical tricks usually prefer boards on the narrower side around 8inches. Those who skate big bowls, handrails, or like to jump down large gaps and stairs are usually more comfortable with a larger board (8.25 – 9.0 inches). Wider boards are also great for transportation because they offer a more stable and comfortable standing platform. Don’t be afraid to try out different sizes to find out what works best for you. There’s no exact science about deck size – only personal preference.
SKATEBOARD DECK CONSTRUCTION
The same trees that bring us maple syrup also have become the proven durable standard for making skateboards. Maple trees from the Great Lakes region of the United States create some of the hardest maple in the world providing our skateboards with great pop and durability. Skateboards are pressed using either 1/16, 1/20in ply or a combination of the two thicknesses to create the durability and feel you are looking for.
The most common skateboard construction consists of seven thin layers of maple wood veneer, which are pressed and glued together with strong adhesives or resin. Maple is a dense hard wood that provides excellent strength and pop, making it the tried and true standard for decades.
For a stronger and more stiff ride eight layers of maple wood veneer are pressed and glued together with strong adhesives or resin. Eight ply construction is typically found in downhill skateboards that require stiff platforms for going very fast.
For an even stronger and more stiff ride nine thin layers of maple wood veneer are pressed and glued together with strong adhesives or resin. Nine ply construction is typically found in downhill skateboards that require stiff platforms and more weight for going very fast.
Finding the right skate trucks can seem confusing, but once you understand a few basic ideas, it’s actually one of the easiest decisions to make when building a complete skateboard.
SKATEBOARD TRUCKS (STANDARD KINGPIN)
Standard kingpin trucks are the most versatile type of trucks and can be used for any type of skateboarding. They are easily adjustable, by tightening or loosening, so you can customize the way your board turns.These are the best skateboard trucks for street skating, bowls and skateparks.
LONGBOARD TRUCKS (REVERSE KINGPIN)
These are the best skateboard trucks for carving and cruising, or skating fast down hills. Reverse kingpin trucks are usually taller and wider than standard kingpin skateboard trucks, but are highly customizable for many types of riding.
TYPES OF WHEELS
There are two main types of skateboard wheels that are fun and functional for different types of riding.
These hard wheels are the best skateboard wheels for street, park and bowl skating because they are lightweight, roll fast on smooth surfaces, and slide easily. This makes it easier to do ollies, flip tricks, power slides, and other technical tricks.
The biggest and softest wheels available, longboard wheels are designed to power through rough surfaces and keep their grip through corners. There's a huge variety of options for everything from carving and cruising to sliding and downhill racing.