The Online Skateboarding School

"No Skateboarder Left Behind"
The Skateboard Equipment Class 101

The Skateboard Deck and Grip Tape
Chapter 2 Objectives
Types and Functions of a Skateboard Deck

Ways to Customize your Grip Tape

How to Put on Grip Tape

Skate Deck Company Reviews

To Explore and Understand:
Section One
The Skateboard Deck 

The person with the highest test grade out of every class will get a free skateboard deck as a prize!
At the bottom of each chapter is a 10 question quiz. So read all of the material, do your homework, and watch the videos!

Today's Homework: Customize your skateboard deck or grip tape to fit your personality.
 A skateboard deck is the wooden part that you stand on. You can find some made from metal, plastic, fiberglass, and other substances. The professional decks are made from nature's wood and that is the kind that we will be discussing. They 

Explanation of the 4 Types of Decks
The Banana Board was named after the bright yellow substance called polypropylene, of which it is made from. They were popular when skateboards first began to be marketed to the public.  Long Boards have bigger and softer wheels and the trucks are spread farther apart.  They are made for transportation and downhill cruising.  The Old School Board was wider and only had one kick tail.  Its primary use was to skate pools and vertical ramps. Street skating become popular during the early 1990's,

     This chart is  a reference point, but it can change according to your personal prefence.  The wider decks give you more balance which helps with fast speeds and gaps. They are used to skate vert ramps and pools. The narrower board allows you to flip the deck over for flip tricks much easier.
     The wheel base is the measurement from the inner bolt holes to the opposite inner bolt holes. On average they are 13" to 15" apart.  The various sizes give the board a bit of a different feel when you skate it. When buying a board you do not need to pay much attention to this because if you pick the right length and width, the wheel base should be right on target.You can use the "Skateboard Size Generating Calculator" to figure out what size you should use found in Chapter One.

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are made from a very hard wood usually cut from maple trees. There are a variety of colors and shapes to choose from.  You can buy a good deck for $30-$60. A blank is cheaper because it has no graphics on it, but will skate just as good!  Below is a time scale of how they have evolved.
Banana Board
1960's-early 1970's
Long Board 1970's to Present
Old School Deck
1980-early 1990's
Late 1990's to Present
Skateboard Deck History Chart
A hand plant with an old school board
which influenced the way skateboards look today. A Modern Skateboard Deck is constructed using 7 layers of maple wood.  They are glued and then pressed together into a mold.  Then they are cut into shape, drilled, sanded, painted, and shipped into the market.  

A Hard Wood Canadian Maple Tree
Watch The 5 Minute Skateboard Factory Tour

Learning the Parts of a Skateboard Deck 
The Concave
The word concave means to curve inward like a sphere. In the picture above the straight metal rod is lying sideways on top of the deck demonstrating how the wood below is not flat, but instead has concave. The purpose of a deck having concave is to allow the skater to have more control while riding. It also makes it easier to flip the board around with your feet, because it gives your feet something to hit against. You can find decks with different degrees of concaveness. Some people believe that more advanced skaters should use decks with lots of concave, but it really just depends on what type of skating you intend to do.
The Length, Height, and Wheel Base

Wheel Base

The nose and kick tail at first glance look identical, but if you take a closer look they are not. In the picture above you can see the bottom line shows the wheels are at the same level and the top line shows how the nose is a bit higher than the tail. The tail does not touch the white line.  The nose of a deck is in most cases larger and rounder than the tail. When riding the skateboard normally the nose always goes in the front of the board in the direction that the arrow is pointing and of course that means the tail is in the back of the board. The best way to remember this is like the picture of the lion walking on the skateboard, his nose leads the way and his tail always follows behind him.
The Nose and Tail

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Interesting Fact:  There are currently over 200 skateboard deck companies in existence today!
Under 5'  29" to 30"
5' to 6'  31" to 32"
6' and above  32" to 34"
The deck length is from one end of the board to the other. The width of the deck is the measurement from side to side of the deck. Use the chart to figure out the right board size.
Size 9 and under  6.5" to 7.5" 
Size 9 to 12  7.5" to 7.75"
Size 13 and up  7.75" to 9"
Your Height     Length of Deck
Shoe Size            Width of Deck