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How To Choose Skateboard Deck Home >> News Center >> How To Choose Skateboard Deck
When choosing your board deck, the first thing you need to do is to just take a look at both the top and bottom sides. This gives an idea of how your board will look like, especially when you’re shopping for it online.

However, that is just the basic stuff…Here is the real deal.

Length

The measure of the length of a skateboard deck is taken from its nose and down to the tail. The normal range is 28” and 32”.

Though there are some longboards that are pretty long in size and usually made for the pro riders only.

If the board is short, it will have a much narrow profile, and contrary to it, a long board tends to be wide.

What’s important to consider here is choosing the length based on your riding needs. You might be a street rider and love to do some tricks. You probably need a short board with a narrow profile. Whereas the longboard is only recommended if you are a professional skateboarded and love to cruise around the town and want to improve your balance and stability.


Width

The width range of most of the decks falls between 7.5” and 8.75”, and as a general rule, wider boards tend to perform better as compared to narrow ones.

Once again it all comes down to your riding style.

Want to do some crazy off ramp tricks or maybe shredding the pool? Go for a wider board for a better and much controlled performance.

Sometimes, you are learning new skills, and a wider deck can offer more room to your feet with a higher center of gravity.

On the other hand, narrow ones can do tricks like kickflips much easier, but they are made for individuals who are more into street riding.


Wheel Base

Wheel base of a skateboard deck is simply defined as the distance between the two sets of mounting holes drilled into the deck for the trucks.
The range falls between 13” to 15”; however, the desired distance is usually set by the rider’s height and personal choice.
If you are a short guy, a narrow wheelbase will feel more comfortable, whereas taller individuals prefer a wider wheelbase for a good stance when skating down the road.
While most of the skateboard decks have only one set of holes, a few may have multiple mounting holes for trucks.
Wheelbase plays a very crucial role in how a rider feels when skating his or her skateboard. Simply by adjusting it, you’ll clearly notice the difference when cruising down the street.

Nose & Tail

The nose is the front of the deck while the tail is the back of it.
If you are new to skateboarding, it can be hard to differentiate just by looking at it.
However, nearly all the decks being sold on the market have graphics that identify this difference.
Another way is to see which side of the deck has a bigger kick. It is usually the nose while the other side will have a mellower kick.

Mounting Holes

The mounting holes of your skateboard deck are where the skateboard’s trucks are attached.  As I mentioned above, most of the decks usually have only one set of holes while a few come with multiple holes.
 

Rails


These are the edges running along the length of the deck.
The shape of rails can make a world of a difference to your riding style.
Most of the decks come with rounded rails and doing some flip tricks is a lot easier, while some rails are sharp and with a blunt edge. These are made to keep your shoes in place while you are sliding.
A new kind of rail found nowadays is known as GPs or Gas Pedal Rails. They have some areas cut to a beveled edge, and it reduces the sharpness of rail and also decreases its concave.
However, the GPs offer more control and comfort when sliding.

EFP

It stands for Effective Foot Platform.
EFP is the area on the top of the deck when you stand to control your board. It is the part between the front and rear trucks. In simple EFP is somewhat the middle area of the board.

Ply

Ply is simply the deck itself which contains multiple layers of woods tightly pressed to make the deck.
While you may think, ‘why not use one solid piece of wood’? Well, board decks created with the cross-grain pattern are extremely strong and durable as compared to the boards which use only a single piece of wood.
Most of the decks are seven plies, but if you spend a little more, you can get a supremely strong nine-ply board.
 
Choosing The Style

Getting familiar with different styles of decks is very important as it will affect your riding experience.
Skateboards usually come in four basic shapes, and each shape is made for a specific style of skateboarding.
Shortboard: These boards are designed for performing skateboard tricks. If you are a frequent street or park skater, a shortboard deck is perfect for you.
Cruiser: These decks have kicktails and are designed for cruising around. They usually have a mid-length but are versatile and maneuverable. If you love cruising around the town, this option is for you.
Old School: These decks come with flat nose and kicktails and have an asymmetrical shape, which means a wider nose. These type of decks are great for skating pools, ramps or carving the streets.
Longboard: This is where the pro class of riders comes in. The longboards are the professional decks and designed typically for downhill racing with a symmetrical shape and a low-to-ground profile.

Understanding Skateboard Concave Shapes

Concave plays a crucial role in the performance of your deck.
Nowadays, there are several different concave shapes being introduced, allowing you a more foothold as compared to a flat skateboard. This, in turn, will help in sliding, drifting and turning.
Below are a few common concave shapes to consider:
 
Radial Concave: This is a common shape which is in the form of a U, and most of the decks use it. This concave ensures better foot grip in nearly all styles of skateboarding
Progressive Concave: It is an upgraded version of radial concave but with a steep wall on the rail blended nicely with a wide base, resulting in secure footing and a locked-in feel
W-Concave: The W-concave features an extra curve in the centerline, allowing you to shift more energy from the heel towards your toe. This way, you’ll get more precision, responsiveness and briskness while skating
Tub: Also known as the flat-cave. It is similar to radial concave but with a sharp angle along the rails of the deck. This keeps the feet flatter and assist you in providing with sudden shifts in energy
Asymmetrical: This concave shape is found in decks with their rails slightly risen at different angles and allowing the rider more power in the heels
Convex: It is opposite to the concave shape. These decks have an upward-arching shape and are only made for pro skaters for downhill rides
Flat: With no concave in shape (very rare), a few cutout and dropdown longboard have this shape. This gives plenty of space for your feet and also allows you to perform some tricks
 
Other Features
Is there anything still left to be discussed a deck?
Yes…Camber & Rocker and Kicktail
 
Camber&Rocker: 



The camber skateboards are the ones with a raised middle while rockers have dropped middle. The angle you get with camber and rocker is pretty mellow. However, the difference in shape dramatically affects the flex of your deck. Since most of the decks come with a neutral deck camber, you can still find some cruisers and longboards who feature a camber—style deck. Needless-to-say, decks having positive camber have more flex because of the higher center of gravity. In case of rocker decks, the center of gravity is low and have a sloped shape which the riders love.
Kicktail: It is the upward curve on the ends of your deck and those of you who love doing tricks and stunts with their skateboards, they probably need a deck with kicktails. Majority of them come with kick on the nose and tail, and it is important to have it for sharp turns, slides and pivots

Construction of Skateboard Deck

Before we finally jump on to the recommendations, it is important to learn how a skateboard deck is constructed.
It varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but the basic steps are the same and have been practiced for years.
The wood ply used in nearly all the decks is maple wood. It is popular for its durability and flexibility so that it can be easily molded into different shapes without compromising on the strength.
However, the ply number can vary as I mentioned early on. Some skateboards have 7-ply maple wood construction while a few have 9-ply construction.
When all the plies are pressed together, it makes a stronger board than a single solid plank.
The basic construction starts with placing veneers on top of one another. To make the deck durable, manufacturers use alternating veneers (lengthwise, widthwise or cross-bearing).
Once glued, they are placed under a hydraulic press, which presses the layers into one. Here, the nose, tail and concave of the deck are also formed by pressing the wood layers.
The deck is then left press so that the glue dries and holds the plies firmly together.
Finally, holes are drilled for trucks, and a band saw is used to cut the deck’s shape from large piece into a rounded and sanded smooth.Varnishing, seal and polishing are done afterwards before the deck is finally sent to the market for sale.

 

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