When starting skateboard, many beginners have 2 main questions:
"How do I choose the right size skateboard?"
"How do I choose the right type of skateboard deck?"
They're not too difficult questions, but important to answer if you want to enjoy this fun and demanding sport.
A board that's too small or poorly made could break underneath you, potentially leading to injury.
So, follow our guidance below to figure out what size is best for you.
First, let’s talk about the various parts of the skateboard.
The long, flat board on top of the skateboard is known as the deck.
The deck is available in a variety of sizes, weights, and patterns.
The length and width of the deck should be chosen keeping in mind your physical size and skateboarding ability.
Bigger riders and those who like to use skating ramps and vert ramps find a wider and longer deck more useful. The wheelbase is the distance between two pairs of inner mounting holes.
The nose (front) of the skateboard is distinguished from the tail (back) by the fact that the nose has a bigger kick while the tail has a more mellow kick.
Mounting holes refer to the pre-drilled holes where the trucks of the skateboard are attached.
Trucks are the T-shaped metal parts that are fixed along the centerline of the underside of the deck.
The deck is usually made of several layers of plywood and designed to carry a slightly concave curve between the nose and the tail.
This gives the rider greater control and increases the strength of the skateboard.
For a more thorough rundown of this process and choosing the right one for you, check out our best skateboards for beginners guide.
Types of Skateboard Deck
Board Size Categories
Most of the parts of the board that are mentioned above come in a variety of sizes, and special custom-made skateboards can also be ordered whose design is based on your specifications.
If your board is too big, it can be difficult to turn, while a board that is too small makes balancing on top of it difficult.
Here are the 4 general categories of skateboards based on size:
1. Micro Deck
This skateboard size is great for skaters who are below five years of age, or under three and a half feet tall. It has a width between six and seven inches, and length between twenty-seven and twenty-seven and a half inches.
These boards are not designed to go very fast, but are built to ensure a safe riding experience for very young skateboarders.
Micro Deck skateboards are often used inside houses, since they don’t take up a lot of space or go very far, and parents can keep a better eye on their children as they learn to use the skateboard.
2. Mini Deck
The mini deck is for skaters who are slightly older and stand between three and a half to four and a half feet tall.
Shoe sizes between four and six can fit comfortably on the deck and it is usually used by children between the ages of six and eight. It has a width of seven inches and a length of twenty-eight inches.
3. Mid-Size Deck
With a width of seven and point three inches, and a length measuring twenty-nine inches, this size deck is great for skaters in the nine to twelve age category who stand between four and a half feet and five feet tall, with a shoe size between seven to eight.
4. Full-Size Deck
This is the regular deck size which is used by most skateboarding enthusiasts. It has a width of seven and a half inches or larger, and a length longer than twenty-nine inches.
Since this is the main category of skateboard used by the most number of skateboarders, a lot of variations in dimension can exist for skateboarders who want to use their full-size skateboard for different purposes.
Seven and a half to eight inches is a good width for adult riders who skate on the streets or want to try more technical tricks.
For skating pools, ramps and parks, a width of eight to eight and point two five is a better fit.
Finally, you have the longboard. These are similar to regular skateboards, but much larger in size.
The extra size helps give greater balance to the board, but also makes it difficult to make any sudden, sharp turns.
That is why longboards are preferred by skaters who want to travel longer distances on their boards rather than performing fancy moves and tricks.
For instance, one of the most popular uses for longboards is to roll downwards from a steep hill or incline, steadily gathering speed and momentum as you near the bottom.
Longboards can measure between thirty-three to fifty-nine inches in length, and nine to ten inches in width.
If you are a newcomer to skateboarding, using a longboard will give you better balance while you’re still a novice, but it will make it more difficult to learn how to turn or perform any tricks on your board.
You can read our review of our favorite longboard, the Retrospec Zed Longboard Skateboard, HERE.
On the other end of the spectrum you have short boards, which can measure twenty-eight to thirty-two inches in length.
This smaller cousin of the long board is often favoured because of its portability, and the fact that it makes taking sharp turns easier.
Balancing on a short board is more difficult compared to a long board or full-size deck, but you can perform stunts more easily and take part in vert skateboarding with greater ease.
Custom Built Boards
If you truly want a skateboard built to serve your individual needs, you can buy a board custom-made for your use.
The cost of the board will be higher but it will a more perfect match for your needs than anything available on the mass market.
We would like to highlight that each brand has its own way to customize the skateboard and you have better know the characteristics of the one you like. So, it is important to keep in mind the list of top best skateboard brands.
The best thing about getting your board custom made is that you don’t even need to know a great deal about the specifics of the board manufacturing process.
The company which designs your board will send someone to help you pick your favorite design.
That person will help take your measurements and guide you through the process of determining which features of the skateboard best suit your needs, from the size of the deck all the way to the spacing between the wheels.
Thus, we see that there are many options available for those looking buy a new skateboard based on size.
Don’t be in a hurry and take your time while making your decision as it will have a direct effect on how well you are able to skate and the number of tricks you’re able to perform.
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