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How to Choose a Skateboard

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Published on Mar 24, 2008

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Watch more Beginner Skateboarding videos: http://www.howcast.com/videos/2606-Ho...

As early as the 1930s, kids were attaching roller skates to two-by-fours and calling them skateboards, but oh, how times have changed.

Step 1: Know your boards
Knowing the basic components of a skateboard is key to finding the right board for you. They are: the skateboard deck (the board itself), the trucks (the metal mounts that attach to the wheels), and the wheels.

Step 2: Choose the width
Begin by choosing the width of your deck. Most measure between 7½' to 8¼' wide. Decks wider than 8' offer good stability and control for ramps, half pipes, and pools. Narrower decks offer better maneuverability for tricks and flips.

Tip
If you want to do a bit of both, an 8' deck is a nice compromise.

Step 3: Choose the length
Select the length of the deck, which is usually between 31' and 33'. Any longer, and the board is meant for cruising. Shorter boards are easier to control--perfect for beginners, children, and petite riders.

Step 4: Choose the material
Decide on the material of the deck. Wood is the most common, with Canadian Maple being the most popular. Plastic is cheaper and more durable, though it’s less responsive. Aluminum and fiberglass decks are also alternatives, but they’re pricey.

Tip
While you can buy cheap skateboards, it’s better to invest in reputable brands--it’s cheaper than paying for an injury.

Step 5: Choose the concavity
Choose the concavity of the deck, which has a raised nose, tail, and sides. The flatter the board, the easier it is to ride, making that the best choice for novice skaters.

Step 6: Choose the trucks
Choose the trucks. Trucks generally range between 4¾' and 5½'. A wider truck will offer a more stable landing platform and a smaller turning radius.

Step 7: Choose the wheels
Select the wheels. Nearly all are made from polyurethane and vary in size from 52 to 60 mm. Smaller wheels are usually lighter and easier to control. All wheels should be smooth and free of irregularities.

Tip
Every rider is different, so test several combinations of decks, trucks, and wheels to find the most comfortable fit.

Step 8: Decorate
Decorate your new board with stickers that express your personality and style. The most important thing is what your board looks like anyway, right?

Did You Know?
The modern skateboard was invented in 1958 as a way to practice surfing out of water.

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