Choosing a skateboard deck can be approached in a few different ways: you can choose your board based off the graphic, the brand, the shape, the width, or even the color. For most skateboarders, it’s a combination of all these factors, but if you’ve never skateboarded before, you may not know what shape, width, or brand you like best. In this case, choosing your favorite graphic would make total sense.
If you are completely new to skateboarding, consider taking a minute to read through the Skateboard Decks Section in our Buyer’s Guide will be helpful, but a good rule of thumb is: the bigger your feet, the wider your board should be. If you wear a size 9 and up, you can’t go wrong with buying an 8” board. Narrow boards are easier to flip while wider boards are more stable, but there are no hard and fast rules to skateboarding. The only way to really find out what you like is by trying new shapes, sizes, and brands. Brands like Welcome, Baker, Chocolate, Deathwish, and Element all have a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and graphics.
Almost every skate shop will have a wall of boards that is either organized by brand, size, or alphabetically. At our CCS skate shop, we have multiple walls of boards that we try and keep ordered alphabetically. A wall of skateboards, at first glance, can be overwhelming, but if you know what size and roughly what brands you like, it should be fairly easy for you to figure out what board you want. Now would be a good time to mention our CCS Skateboard Buyer’s Guide, specifically the Decks Guide. In the CCS Decks Guide, you’ll find all the information you need to gain a basic understanding of skateboard decks.
As you jump into the air, your front foot needs to roll slightly inward, and with the outside of your foot, you want to guide the skateboard as it flies into the air. Some people describe this as dragging the side of your front foot up the skateboard – that’s more or less what is happening, but what you are doing is using your shoe and the grip tape on the board to pull the skateboard higher into the air with you, and guiding the skateboard to where you want it.
My son seems to have a lot of fun riding this skateboard. He will be out there doing tricks for hours. One evening when he took a break, I decided to see if I could still ride. When I took off down the driveway, I could feel how smoothly the wheels rolled. I used to have to pay extra for wheels like this when I was his age. Lost in thought, I coasted faster, and my neighbour didn't see me when I shot out of the driveway. Even though this thing flew several feet in the air, bounced, and came to rest more than 20 feet away, it had no visible damage! Not so for me. I loved the skateboard, but am now recovering from two broken ribs, torn neck cartilage, and a cracked pelvis. Still, this board rides like a dream!
Mini Cruisers have exploded in popularity in recent years. These short and skinny boards are may not have the versatility of a standard skateboard, allowing for a full range of tricks and travel. However, these compact boards are ideal for urban and college living where space for storage and riding are both minimal. If you want to ride a mini-cruiser, but you hate the plastic decks or you want to build your own, check out the Bamboo Skateboard mini cruiser deck.
Plan B sells boards with overall reliable attributes. They offer decks made from seven-ply wood. Powell is a longstanding company that founded the legendary Bones Brigade team, which kick-started Tony Hawk's career. Their skateboard designs change annually, but always look cool. Tony Hawk’s skate company is called Birdhouse. Their decks feature bird themes and have a thicker sixth layer of wood that makes it easier to jump and do flip tricks, which is ideal for vertical-style skateboarding. For environmentally-conscious skaters and fans of Bam Margera, buy a board from Element. They have variety on the technical side with their seven-ply boards and Helium decks. Their skateboards are made with an air pocket to be lightweight.
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The Fakie is almost the same thing as a regular ollie-pop, but instead of going forward, the skater is going backwards when they pop the board up in the air, usually performed when you’re in a switch stance. A switch stance is when your feet are in the opposite stance of how you normally would stand, like when you write with your left hand instead of your right (if you’re right-handed).