Skateboard Deck Buyer's Guide


The skateboard deck is the flat board that you stand on made of either seven-ply wood, bamboo, resin, carbon fibre or plastic. There are four types of board and the board you choose should reflect the type of skateboarding you want to do and your style of skateboarding.

Skateboard decks come in a variety of widths to suit any rider and you can determine the correct width from your size, skateboarding style and personal preferences. We recommend you choose your deck according to the width, not the length or wheelbase.

Your boards life depends on how often or hard you skate, but you’ll want to consider replacing your board once the nose, tail and sides show excessive damage or signs of splitting.

What Type of Skateboard Do I Need?

Standard (Shortboard)
This is the most common, standard skateboard deck for street, park and anything else you want to do. If you're looking to skate and learn tricks, the standard board is for you.

Cruiser
Typically mid-length, versatile, manoeuvrable and usually have a kickball. Cruisers are perfect for cruising the streets.

Old School
Old school boards usually have flat noses and kicktails. Predominately asymmetrical, old school boards will have a wider nose and are a solid choice for skating pools, ramps or carving up the streets.

Longboard
If you’re looking for a board aimed at transportation rather than tricks, the longboard might be the right choice for you. Great for speed, downhill riding and long distance.

What Size Skateboard Should You Skate?

Width
The most important decision when choosing a skateboard deck is the width, not the length or wheelbase. The width you need will depend on your height, shoe size, type of skatebaording and personal preferences. If you choose a board that is too wide, it can make skateboarding and tricks much more difficult as you’ll have to exert more power. Conversely, if you choose a board that is too narrow, balancing won't feel stable. The average width of a skateboard deck is 7.5"- 8.25”.

Teens and adults usually ride at least a 7.5" width skateboard deck, however younger riders would probably be best suited to a narrow board. Ramp and vert riders would suit a wider board.

Deck Width Age and Height
6.5" - 6.75" Ages: 5 or younger. Height: Under 3’4”. Shoe Size: 3 or smaller.
7.0" Ages: 6 to 8. Height: 3’5” and 4’4”. Shoe Size: 4-6.
7.3" Ages: 9 to 12. Height: 4’5” and 5’2”. Shoe Size: 7-8.
7.5" + Ages: 13 or above/Adults. Height: Over 5’3”. Shoe Size: 9 or above.

Type of Skateboarding
7.5”+: Street and technical skateboarding.
8.0” - 8.25": Pools, ramps, rails, skateparks.
8.25"+: Vert, pools, cruising.

More Information About Your Skateboard Deck

Length
Skateboard length is the distance from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. Shortboard length falls between 28"- 32" but only advanced skaters refer to length. Width and wheelbase should be top considerations when building your skateboard, rather than length.

Mounting Holes
Mounting holes are pre-drilled holes on your skateboard which allow you to bolt on your trucks.

Wheelbase
The distance between your skateboard’s inner mounting holes. Wheelbase determines how far apart your front and back wheels will be and is another factor to consider as it effects how your board performs. You’ll learn with time and experience, what wheelbase is right for you.

Nose and Tail
The nose is the front of the skateboard and the tail is the back. With modern skateboards it can be hard to tell which is which, however the direction of your board graphic is an easy way to tell the two apart. Most skateboard decks will also have a bigger kick on the nose and mellower kick on the tail.

Kicktail
The kicktall is the upward curve of your nose or tail and is essential for trick skateboarding as it allows you to ollie and helps with sharp turns, pivots, slides and general manoeuvring. Most decks have a kickball on both the nose and tail and come in different angles to suit rider preference.

Ply
Ply are thin layers of wood pressed together to make your skateboard deck. Most skateboards are made from seven plys of wood in a cross-grain pattern to create an incredibly strong board.

Concave
The concave is how the wood curves between the nose and tail of your board. Concaves allow for stronger skateboards and provide you with a more controlled ride. The benefit of a concave board over a flat board is that it allows you more foothold and better sliding, drifting and turning.

There are many different concave shapes, with manufacturers creating and tweaking concave regularly, with each concave having its own benefits and trade-offs. Below are the most common concave as a guide to help better understand what impact concave has on your board.

  • Low Concave
    Low concaves are better for halfpipe, mini-ramp and pool riding and has the most stability when riding larger obstacles such as a halfpipe.
  • Medium Concave
    A medium concave is the sweet spot for most riders as it is more stable for mini ramp and vert skating and easier to flip.
  • High Concave
    A high concave a more aggressive curve making it easier to perform technical flip tricks.

EFP
Effective Foot Platform is the area on the topside of your board (between the front and rear trucks) that you stand on to control your board.

Rails
The rails are the edges along the length of your skateboard. Different rail shapes will effect how your board rides. There are different specialist rails, however, the most common shape is rounded, which is ideal for flip tricks and general skateboarding.

You can check out our huge range of skateboards here.