When it first got started, all it had was a flat wood deck and four metal wheels taken from old roller skates. In today’s skateboarding world, there are a variety of skateboards.
As skateboarding evolved, different styles of skateboard decks evolved.
Each was designed to suit different riding conditions, such as performing tricks, cruising down the street, dropping into a bowl or half-pipe, or speeding down hills.
For example, With concave bends and kick tails, the deck was reinforced and became more versatile.
In terms of size and shape, skateboards can be classified under longboards or shortboards.
In general, short skateboards are used for tricks, and long skateboards are used for cruising.
Before arriving at the most popular modern skateboard designs, skateboard design has gone through various eras, phases, and periods.
Later in this article I will show you the most widely used, famous, and popular skateboard types out there.
What Is a Skateboard?
An skateboard is a piece of wood or composite material attached to two pairs of axles with four wheels that skaters use for transportation or tricks.
Although skating requires foot power, there are also electric skateboards that don’t require kicking or pumping.
The components of a skateboard
Skateboards are made up of three basic components:
Decks are the wooden or composite material platforms on which skateboard trucks mount, and where your feet land. In order to prevent your shoes from sliding off the board, the top side of the deck is usually covered in grip tape, which is applied in a variety of styles depending on the skater’s preference.
Typically, the bottom of a skateboard has a design that is either artwork or plain. Skaters’ deck sizes vary depending on their height, weight, and shoe size, as well as their style of riding.
The axles that hold the wheels are called trucks and are secured to the board with four bolts per truck. You can adjust how loose or tight the trucks move by adjusting the kingpin and bushings. A board’s ability to turn is determined by this, which is adjusted based on the board, rider, and usage of the board.
The width of your skateboard should be roughly the same as the width of your trucks. In order to determine the height of your trucks, you need to know the diameter of your wheels, and how you plan on riding them.
On every skateboard, there are four wheels, and on each truck, there are two wheels.
There are different diameters of wheels, each with different uses: Smaller wheels (50-53 mm) work best for street skaters and trick scooter riders; average wheels (54-59 mm) work well for vertical (vert) ramps; and large wheels (60 mm or more) are for longboards and rough terrains.
The wheels are driven by bearings (two per wheel, for a total of eight wheels per board) and are rated using the ABEC (Annular Bearing Engineering Committee) system, with the higher numbers being of better quality and precision.
As well as hardness ratings, wheels have different hardness ratings, with soft wheels ideal for higher speeds and downhill skateboarding, while hard wheels are more suitable for doing tricks.
A Brief Overview of Skateboard Types
Generally, skateboards can be divided into two categories: longboards and shortboards. Each category has multiple sub-styles based on length, width, wheel style, and application(s).
Even though most skateboards are manual, meaning you have to kick off the pavement to move forward, But there are also electric models as well.
The term longboard refers to any board longer than 33 inches. In addition, longboards have a longer wheelbase than traditional skateboards.
Longboards are generally used for traversing long distances, cruising, slaloming, and downhill longboarding, a form of downhill skateboard racing that takes the rider to extremely high speeds. Due to their size, these boards do not make for convenient travel.
In skateparks and other locations, skaters commonly use shortboards for general street skating, bowls, copings, the half pipe, and handrails. Most beginners ride these boards as their first boards. Skateboards of this size are also available for off-road use.
There are 4 types of longboard skateboards
Depending on their use, design, and appearance, longboard skateboards come in many different styles. These are some of the subcategories of longboard skateboards:
1. Classic longboards
It has a wider deck and is longer than 33 inches. It’s not good for doing tricks, but longboards handle wide turns more easily and are better for carving on the roads.
2. Downhill longboards
Downhill longboards have the same width and length as traditional longboards, but the deck height is lower. These boards have notches to accommodate taller wheels that go above the deck height and use shorter trucks as well.
A drop-through deck lets the truck sit higher than the deck, lowering the overall height even further. In a downhill track, this keeps it low to the ground, which allows you to reach 45 mph.
3. Pintail longboards
The longboards look traditional, but they have a pointed oval shape that lets the wheels sit outside the deck. As a result, you are able to go faster and carved turns more easily.
4. Twin tip longboards
Downhill longboards and twin tip longboards are virtually identical. They both have cutouts for the wheels and a low stance. A twin tip board has identical sides, whereas a downhill board may have a nose or tail that is different from the other side.
8 Types of Shortboard Skateboards
There are more types of shortboard skateboards than longboards, so it is important to choose the right one depending on your style. A shortboard skateboard can be divided into the following subcategories:
1. Cruiser skateboards
The cruiser skateboard is a good option if you want to use it for transportation. Skateboards like these have thicker decks and larger, softer wheels, making them better for faster speeds and rough terrain.
A cruiser’s tail can also be a kick tail, allowing you to perform tricks like ollies and kickflips to pop off the ground around obstacles.
2. Double kick skateboards
The double kick skateboard features the popsicle design of the street board, but both the front (nose) and rear (tail) are tilted up to make performing tricks and freestyle easier.
In order to handle the hard impact when you jump into the air and land, these boards have thicker decks and harder wheels.
3. Mini skateboards
As these are the smallest skateboards, they are often used by young beginners. It is also interesting to note that some older and more experienced skaters also prefer mini boards due to their portability, especially if they are used while traveling or when there is little space available.
4. Mini cruiser skateboards
Mini cruiser boards combine the benefits of a cruiser board and a mini board, offering larger, softer wheels and narrower decks. Also, the larger wheels offer stability and the size is perfect for beginners, especially children.
5. Old-school skateboards
Old-school skateboards look like surfboards-their tails are flat, and their noses are pointed.
6. Penny or nickle skateboards
Unlike traditional shortboards, these plastic boards are lightweight, short, and easy to carry. The most common shape is that of an old school board, but there are also streetboards and mini cruisers available.
7. Steep kick skateboards
A steep kick skateboard has a taller and steeper end, making it easier for riders with more experience to perform tricks that require a higher lift when jumping off the ground.
8. Street skateboards
There is a lot of versatility in these skateboards. Since they are easy to ride in bowls and while skating on the street, skaters take them to and from the skatepark.
Although there are variations on that theme, they typically have rounded noses and tails, like popsicle sticks. Additionally, these boards are thinner than other models of skateboards.
A Guide to Skateboard Selection
Skateboards come in many different types and styles, so there are many factors to consider. When choosing the right skateboard, you should consider the following:
1. Riding style
Depending on your skating style, you will need different boards. If you like doing tricks at the skatepark with your friends, then you should start with a shortboard.
Otherwise, You might prefer a longboard if you want to cruising long distances and doing more street carving.
2. Shoe size
If you wear an adult shoe size 9.5 or larger, choose a deck that’s 8–8.5 inches wide.
For people with adult shoe sizes of at least 8, full-sized standard skateboards with 7.5-inch decks will work perfectly.
Those wearing shoe sizes 6-8 can handle a deck measuring 7.25–7.375 inches wide.
For shoe sizes 2–5, a 7-inch-wide deck can be used. If size 1 or smaller, you should use a deck that’s 6.5-6.75 inches wide.
In order to find the right skateboard for you, you need to consider how often and where you plan to use your skateboard.
If you’re traveling, and want a skateboard to ride at your destination, consider a mini board or something similar that will fit in your luggage.
Conversely, if you have plenty of space, you can get a longboard so you can cruise or slaloming.
4. Your height
The full-sized regular skateboard is perfect for anyone taller than 5 feet, 3 inches.
An individual who measures between 4 feet, 5 inches tall and 5 feet, 2 inches tall should choose a mid-sized skateboard with a deck width between 7.25 – 7.375 inches.
If you are between 3′ 5′′ and 4′ 4′′ tall, you can get a mini-sized skateboard with a 7′′ width, while if you are shorter, you should get a micro-sized board that has a deck width of 6.5–6.75′′.
It is not uncommon for skate shop professionals to be experienced skateboarders themselves.
Depending on your location, your local skate shop can likely recommend the right board width, wheel size, and other features for you.