How to Choose the Right Skateboard

There are many different types of skateboards for skaters to choose from. Whether you prefer a street-skating style or spend your time at skateparks, it’s important to select the right board for your skating style.

4 Skateboard Shapes

Skateboard decks—the board in which a skater stands upon—are typically made of seven or nine layers of birch or maple wood that are laminated together and shaped. Boards come in different shapes, and each board type is used for different kinds of skating.

  1. Shortboards: Shortboards are the shortest style board. They are designed and shaped for getting air and performing tricks. These decks usually have a popsicle shape and are used for impressive stunts and aerodynamics.
  2. Cruiser skateboards: Longer than a standard skateboard but shorter than a longboard, cruiser boards often feature kicktails, and are easily maneuverable mid-length boards designed for cruising streets.
  3. Old school skateboards: These old school decks typically have a flat nose, kicktail, and an asymmetrical shape with a wider nose. They work well for skating pools, ramps, or carving the streets.
  4. Longboards: Longboards have wider decks and are longer than regular skateboards, making them more easily maneuverable. Longboarding is best suited for transportation or downhill skateboarding, not for tricks. The longboard’s wheelbase is also wider, giving the skateboarder more control at higher speeds.

How to Choose the Right Skateboard

The right skateboard deck shape for you depends on your size and the style of skateboarding you plan to do. Decks come in many different widths, and you should choose your skateboard based on deck width, not length, according to these general guidelines:

  • Micro deck: Micro decks have a width of six and a half to six and three-quarter inches. If you are under three feet, five inches, and wear a size three shoe or smaller, a micro deck is a good choice for you.
  • Mini deck: Mini decks are the next size up from micro decks, with a width of around seven inches. This board is perfect for skaters that are between three feet five and four feet, four inches, and wear a shoe size between four and six.
  • Mid-size deck: Mid-size decks have a width of seven and a third inches. This deck is best for skaters that are between four feet five and five feet, two inches, and wear a shoe between sizes seven and eight.
  • Full-size deck: Full-size decks are the standard skate deck for most adults, with a width of seven and a half inches or larger. This deck works best for skaters who are five feet, three inches or taller, and wear a size nine shoes or bigger. For street skateboarding and more technical tricks, you’ll need a board width between seven and a half to eight inches. If you want to skate swimming pools, ramps, and parks, you’ll likely need a board width between eight and eight and a quarter inches. For vert skaters, pools, and cruising, a wider board of eight and a quarter inches or above will work.

Want to Learn More About Skateboarding?

Whether you’re just learning how to ollie or ready to tackle a Madonna (the vert trick, not the singer), the MasterClass Annual Membership can help you find confidence on your board with exclusive instructional videos from skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, street skater Riley Hawk, and Olympic hopeful Lizzie Armanto.

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