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Skateboard Decks for Street, Park, Miniramp and Halfpipe from Blue Tomato

Skateboard Decks: Boards for Street, Park and Pipe

A novice might not know that there major differences between different skateboard decks. Not anymore, we dispel knowledge on vocabularies such as Wheelbase, Concave and Kicktail.

  1. Skateboard Deck Types
  2. Skateboard Deck Construction
  3. The Width of your Board
  4. The Lenght of the Board
  5. The Wheelbase – the Distance Between the Trucks
  6. Nose and Tail
  7. Concave: the Arch Between Nose and Tail
  8. Kicktail: the Pop of Your Board

Skateboard Deck Types

Before you start to look in detail for a new skateboard, you should probably familiarize yourself with the different styles of skateboarding. Every style skateboard has a specific purpose. Starting with the deck you chose all the other component fall into place: trucks, wheels, bearings, riser pads, griptape, bushings and hardware. For beginners knee pads and elbow pads are recommended, as are helmets, as everyone has a brain from beginners to experts.

The different styles of Skateboarding

Shortboard – Between 28” and 33” – The Newschool Skateboard, built for tricks in the park, street, pool and mini-ramp. There is a kicktail both front and back, so you can switch easily. Almost, Element, Flip and Girl are amongst the many brands who make shortboards

Cruiser- These have a wider deck with only one kicktail. They are best for cruising in town because they are particularly maneuverable and versatile. Powell Peralta and Sector 9 are two of the most reputable and well-known manufacturers.

Longboards – Downhill riding, straight and long distances are where Longboards shine. The tend to have a symmetrical shape with a low centre of gravity. You can use especially large wheels because they often have cut outs to accommodate them. Loaded, Elixir and Flying Wheels are core brands for longboarding.

Skateboard Deck Construction

Skateboard Deck from Girl Pro Rider Mike Mo Capaldi Board

Any Skateboard typically consists of seven to nine layers of wood which have been pressed together with a resin adhesive, this is the same for a longboard or shortboard. The most common wood used in the industry is maple as when laminated it is very hard yet light.

Some skateboard manufacturers are working special materials – such as fiberglass, aluminum or carbon into their decks. This can increase the stability and reduce the weight. Commonly the high-tech materials are used in the most sensitive areas of the board, where the trucks attach to the deck. Such materials are used to give your deck longer lasting pop.

The length, Width, Wheelbase, Nose and the tail Tail of your deck

The Width of the Board

When you look for a Skateboard deck, width is the most important determiner. The right size of board for you will depend on;
• Your Height
• Your Shoe Size
• And what you want to ride

• Skateboard decks between 7.75” and 8.25” are great for park and street skating.
• Between 8.25” and 8.5” are good for park and also mini ramp sessions.
• Boards about 8.5” work really well in mini ramps, vert and pool. They are also really good for cruising.

If you have larger shoes (44 and upwards) or are taller than 1.90cm you might want to consider going a bit wider than recommended here. For ramps and bowls wider decks will do better as they offer better balance.

Tipp: Breite deines Decks

“If your deck is too wide, you will need more power for your flip tricks. If your board is too narrow, you will not stand stably on your board.”

The Length of the Board

The length of a skateboard, from nose to tail is between 28” and 33”. Most wider skateboards are also longer, remember the selection of the deck should really be on width rather than length, which has a greater bearing on performance

Tip: Length of your deck

“the bigger you are the longer your deck should be.”

The Wheelbase – The Distance Between the Trucks

The distance between the mounting holes for the trucks, the wheelbase will determine how far your trucks and your wheels will sit apart. This varies with the length of the deck.

Nose and Tail

The nose is the front and the tail is the backside of your board, with an upward curve. In some skateboards, the kicktail is less pronounced than the front of the board. A steeper kick in the nose helps especially with nollie tricks.

Tip: Nollie

“when your prepare to nollie skate as you would for an ollie, but reversed. With your front foot you pop the board, and with your rear, you can drag your foot up the griptape towards the tail.”

Concave: The Arch Between the Nose and Tail

If you look at a deck from scratch, you may recognize an inwards curve between the left and right edges. In technical jargon this curve is known as the concave of the board, it has a considerable impact on the performance of your board.

  • The stronger or higher the edges are bent up, the easier it is to exert pressure on the edges, making technical flip tricks easier. 
  • A more mellow concave is better in the half pipe, mini-ramp and for pool riding. It gives better control when you skate. 

The Concave of your Board from Mellow to Standard to High

Hannes Mautner

Blue Tomato Team Rider
“When buying a new skateboard for Street Skating I only really look at the width and concave. I like a shallow to medium concave."

Kicktail: The Pop of Your Board

The kickers, the upturned ends of your skateboard, allow you to do tricks like of ollies and kickflips. Most skateboards, the so called short boards have a kicker at the nose and the tail. This lets you skate forwards or switch easily and do nollies and other switch tricks.

Skateboard Kicktail on Nose and Tail

With Longboardsand Cruisersthere is only one kicktail at the rear of the board. This allows you better control of your board when going faster and also making faster evasive moves. Downhill and Freeride Longboardsusually have no kicktail.

How do I tell the front from the back of my board?

“the front of the board is ually longer than the back, if your not sure just have a close look!”
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