Skateboard Deck Sizes Explained
How do I know what size skateboard I need
There are many factors that will come into play when you are deciding the deck for your skateboard. You want to start by considering your height, weight, and shoe size.
This is important because you want to pick something that will be easy for you to control and balance on, as well as something that will support you. If you pick something too wide, learning technical tricks and potentially even controlling your board will be much more difficult than having the appropriate size deck.
On the latter, having a board that is too narrow might make an individual feel uncomfortable and create a difficulty maintaining balance because of the smaller surface of the deck. Have you ever stood comfortably on a tightrope?
Not only is it important to consider the height, weight, and shoe size of an individual, but also the style of riding they desire to pursue. Are you looking for a mode of transportation that is not as bulky as a bicycle? Or do you want to learn some jaw-dropping tricks? Whether you want to rip it hella gnar in the streets or stroll by the strand, Stix is here to help!
Skateboard Deck Width
The standard width of most decks will run between 7” and 10.5”. For street and park style skating, you generally want to choose a deck that is slightly narrower than the length of your foot. This will give you a great edge when learning to pop, flick, grab, and grind. These boards are usually between 7” and 8.5” in width and would be matched up depending on your height and shoe size.
A child between the ages 3 and 13, anywhere under 4’ 5”, and with shoes ranging in size 8 and smaller would find themselves on decks between 7” and 8” wide. Most teenagers and adults are in the 8” to 8.5” size range. But since skateboarding is truly for everyone, what if you want to build yourself something to just cruise on? This actually widens your options, as it becomes less crucial for the deck to follow the foot to surface area ratio.
When choosing a cruiser deck you want the board to feel comfortable. So with this in mind, you might find more comfort on a wider deck. Or you might want to be able to pop your cruiser as well, in which you will refer back to the foot to surface area ratio.
Also keep in mind that you will be taking your new ride with you everywhere, but you can’t always skateboard everywhere. So you will want to pick a deck that won’t be too burdeness when you are carrying it around. These are all things to keep in mind when considering your optimal skateboard deck sizes.
Skateboard Deck Length
The standard length of most trick decks will run between 28” and 33”. The same range applies to cruisers as well, with an addition of decks as short as 24” and up to 59” when considering longboards.
The length is less relevant when looking at trick boards since most are between 31” and 33” long. However, when dealing with younger riders between the ages of 3 and up to about 7, you might want to consider finding a board with a shorter length. Something in between 28” and 30” long. This is because these younger riders are substantially shorter.
The general rule of thumb is to have a board long enough for the rider’s stance to be shoulder’s length apart when standing over the mounting holes. This is something you will want to play by ear.
While it is considered helpful to keep the board length within the parameters mentioned above, it is not a necessary factor when choosing a deck. If you see a deck you like or your child likes that is closer to the standard length of a deck (31”-32”), ask the shop employee if they can stand on the board to feel it out. They might be comfortable with the length and can always grow in to it.
When choosing a cruiser or longboard, the desired length is more so based on the comfort the rider feels when standing on their deck as well as what they are willing and able to carry. Some are able to balance on short decks, while others require a larger surface area to balance on.
Some skaters have no preference on length and are open to any and all possibilities. Some, however, are commuting and have a very particular goal in terms of what they are willing to carry on their commute.
All these things considered, the most important factor when choosing a deck is always the feeling of the board.
Finding The Perfect Wheelbase
The wheelbase is the distance in between the two inside mounting holes. The standard wheelbase for a trick board is between 13.5” and 14”. This distance is less relevant when choosing a trick board and more relevant when choosing longboards or cruisers. This length determines the turning radius of your deck.
A shorter wheelbase will have a shorter turning radius and a longer wheelbase will have a wider turning radius. So what that means is that boards with a smaller wheelbase will make their turns tighter and quicker than a board with a longer wheelbase.
The Right Nose For Your Liking
The nose is located at the front end of the board. The standard length of most noses will run between 6.25” and 7” long. Finding a nose that is more to your liking is something that can only be discovered through experience.
I wouldn’t use it as a deciding factor when choosing your first board, but I would definitely take mental notes afterwards and use that experience when considering your next board.
Don’t Forget Tail Length
The tail is located at the back end of the board. Most tails are between 5.5” and 6.5” in length. The same as discovering your ideal nose, finding a tail that is to your liking can only come through experience.
Concave is described as the curve that runs through the middle of your deck. Between every single brand of skateboards you’ll find that they each offer their own unique concave.
This is very beneficial for experienced skaters who want to perform certain tricks better, but not very important when considering your first board.
The best way to familiarize yourself with these shapes is to simply stand on them and feel them out. You will start to notice what works better for you after a few rides.
Deck Mounting Holes
The mounting holes are the two sets of four holes used to mount the trucks to the bottom of your skateboard. There are two kinds of mounting holes.
The old school mounting holes are 2.5” L x 1.635” W and the new school mounting holes are 2.125”L x 1.625” W. Most skateboard decks use the new school mounting holes, but should you find yourself with an old school set of mounting holes, certain truck companies offer both old school and new school mounting holes.
What Size Wheels Do I Need For My Skateboard?
Depending on the style of skateboarding you wish to partake in, you might want a larger or smaller wheel. Most beginners should start with a wheel no smaller than 53mm in diameter. Smaller wheels will cover less ground and will ultimately require more effort.
The larger your wheels get, the more ground they will cover. However, they will also become closer to the deck and this might increase your chance of wheel bite.
Wheel bite is when the wheel comes into contact with your board and comes to a catapulting hault. This is something we would all like to avoid. So when considering wheels 56mm and above, also consider a riser pad.
The riser pad is a thin, hard plastic pad that goes in between your truck and the deck. This provides an added amount of space when trying to avoid wheel bite. Smaller wheels are better when learning technical tricks and larger wheels are better when learning transition style (half-pipes, pools, bowls) skateboarding.
Another aspect you’ll want to consider is the durometer. The durometer is the hardness or softness of a wheel.
Trick skating will require a hard wheel, anywhere between 99a durometer and 103a durometer. However, those hard wheels can create a shaky and uncomfortable ride for beginners.
If you’d like to smoothen out that ride, I would recommend finding a softer wheel anywhere between 80a durometer and 90a durometer. These smaller, softer wheels are usually referred to as “all around wheels” or “filmer wheels”.
Ask your local shop dude for insight as to which might work best for you.
What’s a good beginner skateboard for kids?
The best skateboard for a child just beginning is a deck between 7.5” to 8” in width depending on their height and shoe size. This is the best size range for them to control the board.
Secondly you’ll want to equip your beginner’s skateboard with some softer wheels as to ensure they get the smoothest ride while they are gaining experience and confidence.
These two factors are the most important things to consider when purchasing a deck for a child novice.
What’s a good beginner skateboard for adults?
Depending on your ability to balance, you will want to pick a board that is comfortable for you. This means picking something large enough for you to comfortably stand and balance on.
For trick skating I would suggest boards between 8” and 8.75” in width depending on your height and shoe size. I would also recommend rolling on softer wheels to smoothen out your ride until you feel more confident and comfortable. This is a recommendation, but not a requirement.
If you feel like heading straight to the park or streets and working on those sweet maneuvers, then grab yourself some harder wheels. They are much lighter in weight which is ideal for learning pops and flips. The added hardness also makes for a better slide when locking into obstacles or powersliding.