Skateboards – One Board, Four Wheels, One Lifestyle
It all began in the late 40s when surfers in California wanted to try out something new when the waves weren’t good. The first prototypes were created from old wooden boxes or planks – whatever they could get a hold of.
Skateboarding has developed a lot since then and it now refers to anything that is made up of four wheels and a board. Blue Tomato has everything you need to get your skate fix.
Skateboards are far more than just a form of transport. In the 80s, Alan Gelfand invented the Ollie. Tony Alva started the first pool sessions and developed many vert tricks that are still prominent on the scene today.
Rodney Mullen continued to improve skateboard shapes. He came up with countless flip tricks and is still known today as the “God of Freestyle”.
How Long, How Wide? Choosing your Skateboard
Regular skateboards are usually about 31,5 inches (approx.. 80 cm) long and only differ in their width, shape and material. There are even shorter, more manoeuvrable 27 inch boards (approx. 66 cm) available for kids under 1,30m.
In terms of size, you will usually choose your board according to width.
7,5“ to 8“ are ideal for street skating because these boards are easier to flip. Technical tricks are simpler, which means less frustration and happy skating!
8“ to 8,25“ boards are meant for pools, miniramps and big airs because they have a larger surface area. Flip tricks are a bit slower with these boards, but you gain more control – which is just what you want while skating a miniramp.
8,25“ and up is suited for big vert ramps and pools, where the larger surface area will work to your advantage. The result: more stability for crazy airs and high speeds.
If you’ve ever stood on a skatedeck before, you’ll know that the board is not completely flat. The concave refers to the arched construction of your deck. It is all up to personal preference whether you prefer an intense high concave or the less prominent arch of a low concave. This allows you to change the board feel of flip tricks. If you’re unsure, it’s best to go for a medium concave.
Plank vs. Skateboard – Horse and Cart vs. Ferrari
You know it – the talk that comes from ignorant people who don’t know a thing about skateboarding: they think it’s just a plank with wheels on it. That may cover the absolute basics, but a closer look shows that there is a lot more to a well-constructed skateboard.
Usually, decks are made up of seven layers of maple wood held together by epoxy resin. Maple wood is very popular in the skate scene because it is so robust and can withstand even the toughest landings.
Skatedecks aren’t always made from wood, however. Many manufacturers such as Almost, Toy Machine and Element use different materials. They strive to continuously improve their boards by using new technologies and materials. Carbon layers, fibreglass and aluminium are commonly used. These special boards are sold under the names of Impact, P2 and Eternal Life. These kind of board constructions significantly increase the durability and stability of the decks.
Trucks – Your Skateboard’s Chassis
Your skateboard would be pretty useless without trucks. Or have you ever seen a car without a chassis? The T-shaped metal pieces are made up of several different components. Each has its own function: the baseplate, hanger, kingpin, bushings, speedrings and self-locking nuts.
Standardised trucks would be boring. You need to choose the width of your trucks to suit your deck in order to prevent annoying wheelbites. Comfort and safety come first!
A further criterion never to underestimate is the height of the trucks. It can be low, mid, or high. This refers to the distance between the hanger and baseplate. Of course there are different standards for different disciplines, but you should choose what feels best to you.
- LOW: perfect for street skating due to more stability in flip tricks.
- Recommended wheel size: 50 mm - 53 mm
- MEDIUM: perfect for almost all disciplines like vert, park or street.
- Recommended wheel size: 53 mm - 56 mm
- HIGH: perfect for cruising and carving and the accompanying low turns and large wheels.
- Recommended wheel size: 56 mm and larger
Four Wheels for a Hallelujah!
Skateboard Wheels are available in all kinds of colours, graphics and levels of hardness. The huge selection may seem overwhelming at first, but don’t worry: we have the right wheels for all kinds of trucks!
The laws of physics determine your wheel size. Large wheels are more difficult to accelerate, but they are generally much faster. It all depends on what you want to use your new wheels for.
Even the best wheels are useless without bearings. The quality of the bearings is expressed in ABEC points (1-9). This only tells you with how much precision the bearings were produced,.
This means that ABEC 5 bearings may well spin just as fast as ABEC 9 bearings. However, they are likely to wear out more quickly.
Top Quality at a Fair Price
Whether you only recently started skating or you have been shredding for years, Blue Tomato has everything you need. Brands like Darkstar and Blind have great value boards that are suitable for beginners. They offer great quality at a low price with their complete decks. But the high-end range is also well equipped with brands like Enjoi and Girl producing great boards for pros and ambitious skaters alike.
If you need more information about skateboards just follow the link to our Buyer's Guide.