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How to Choose a Skateboard Deck: 9 Key Factors to Consider

how to choose a skateboard deck
Written by Colin Kint

Skateboard consists of different parts, but the deck stands to be one of the important parts. The deck is known as part of the skateboard you stand on while skating. The shortboard which is the opposite of a cruiser or a longboard serves perfectly when you go on vert skateboarding or street skateboarding. It’s one of the top-rated boards use for stunt and tricks, either by pro or beginners.

If you want to make a standard skateboard deck, there are few factors you will need to put in place. Using good veneers should be first in your list of priorities. Choosing the right shape you want is also an important factor. The width, materials, length, and concave of the board will be determined by what you intend to use the skateboard for.

It all depends on how often you use the skateboard, you will need to replace the deck in a few months or within a year. It depends on the product, how often you use the skateboard, and how you hang skateboard decks. Once you observe splitting signs on the tail or nose of the deck, then it’s time to consider the use of a new board. Cruising on cold and wet areas can also affect the shape of the deck and make your wheels uneven. If you come across any of these signs, it’s time to replace the deck.

How to Choose a Skateboard Deck: Things to Consider

How to Choose a Skateboard Deck

The width of a skateboard is one of the significant factors to consider when you’re in search of the best skateboard deck, wheelbase and length are second features to focus on. The width of a deck can range from 7.5 inches to 8.25 inches. You will need to consider your height, skating style, personal preference, and shoe size before choosing a deck.

If your board has a width that is a bit larger than your preferred size, then skating will exert excessive energy form you. And this will reduce the fun and make the entire riding process difficult. If the deck has a small width maintaining stability and balance becomes difficult too.  So if you a teen or an adult, we recommend cruising on a width of 7.5 inches. Although wider boards produce more stability, it all depends on shoe size and body size.

If you are a beginner, the right choice of a deck will help you familiarize varieties of styles, tricks, and stunts that are done by pro skateboarders. Skateboards are created into four basic shapes and each deck style is designed for a specific style of skateboarding, so your choice of a skateboard goes a long way to suit your skating style. From that point, you can build your customized brand using parts that suit the skating style and skateboard.


Shortboards are designed for stunt and tricks. If you are leaning toward the park or skating, then using a shortboard will be the best match.


This is often designed with a kicktail, but are more suitable for cruising around. The decks are mid-length. They are maneuverable and very versatile, this feature makes the board outstanding for streets.

Old School

The old school board is designed with a kicktail and a flat nose. The boards are asymmetrical with a wider nose. They are perfect for ramps skating pool and street roll.


If you’re a stunt freak and desire a skateboard you use for both trick and transportation, then the cruisers which are also known as the longboard will be a better option. Some longboards are designed specifically to race downhill. Longboards that are meant to race downhill are symmetrical in shape, down to earth and their wheels have cutout attachment, this gives room for larger wheels.


Features of Skateboard Decks

The deck comes in different sizes but most often, they range between 7 inches to 10 inches and are often made from the combination of seven plywoods, which are; resin, carbon fiber, bamboo, or plastic. The choice of which board is most suitable depends on wholly on the style you want to skate and your personal preference.  We share some factors to look out for when you intend to purchase a skateboard.


You will need to choose a deck considering the size of its width. And the average width is around 7.5 inches to 8.25 inches. This can vary a bit for electric skateboards. The style of the skateboard longs a long way to influence the width. Using a deck that is wider than the size of your shoe and body height then you will need to apply more force than usual and this can limit your fun and cause you to dispense more energy. If your board is narrow compared to the size of your shoe and body height, then striking a balance becomes a bit of a challenge. We recommend an approximate width of 7-5 inches, for both adults and teens, for skateboarders a wider deck and for street skaters, the use of a smaller deck is recommended.


The length of a skateboard is the measured distance that ranges from the tip of the tail to the tip of the nose. And the length of a shortboard range between 28 inches to 32 inches. Most times length is most preferred by advanced skaters. Your priority should be the wheelbase and width of the deck, give less attention to the length since it has a lesser impact on speed.


Wheelbase shows the distance within the inner holes that are made for mounting.  The distance that exists between the holes explains how to further apart the rear and front wheel should be. The wheelbase is determined where holes are drilled and the surface of the deck. The average size of a wheelbase is between 13 inches to 15 inches.  Though there are decks that support only a single hole set. And there are other skateboards with multiple holes for mount trucks.  An adjustment on the wheelbase can affect the performance of the board dramatically. So you choose a wheelbase base on your level of experience.

Nose and Tail

The tail is the rear part of the skateboard while the nose is the front of the skateboard. Oftentimes margining the difference between this point can be difficult. Although most contemporary decks are accompanied by design to specify the end of the board.

Mounting Holes

The mounting holes are drilled for attachment of the skateboard. the mounting holes are arranged in two pairs; one of the pair is located close to the nose while the other is located close to the tail.


This is a different thin leveled wood that is compressed tightly to form a skateboard deck. Instead of using a deck craft from a wood piece, most skateboard manufacturers prefer to use a wood layer arranged cross-grain style to get a stronger board. A typical skateboard is made up of seven sets of plywoods joint together.


Concave is the curves that exist between the tail and the nose of the board. The curves allow the skateboard the opportunity for sufficient control and at large make the skateboard stronger.


This acronym stands for Effective Foot Platform. Different from the wheelbase, the EFP shows the area located at the upper side of the deck that allows riders to stand and gain perfect control of the board. EFP shows the points of the deck that exist between the rear and front parts of the trucks. EFP in a layman’s explanation is the part of the deck that isn’t the tail nor the nose.


This is the edges that exist along with your board, and the space they create can often make a huge difference in how the board is cruised. Most skater use boards with rounded rails thought the board appears perfect and suitable for flip stunts and tricks. If you have a board with sharp rails than the edges of the board will be blunt, this will help ensure your shoes are secured while sliding on the board.  The GPS, also known as gas pedal rails are specific rail shape that explains points on the rails that were cut to form a beveled edge. The gas pedal is known to reduce the sharpness of the edge and also reduce its concaveness. It provides room for comfort and control while sliding on the skateboard. The performance of the rails depends on the board’s concaveness.

Skateboard Size Chart

Skateboard Size Chart

Concave affects the performance of the board. Most skateboard manufacturers are consistently experimenting with concave shapes that can accommodate a new skateboarding style. Concave is known to allow more foothold then when it compared with a skateboard. Which can increase the rate of sliding, turning, and drifting. Below is a shortlist of the most popular type of deck concave.

Micro Deck
  • Width: 6.5 inches – 6.75 inches, length: 27.2 inches” – 27.6 inches.
  • This is very suitable for skaters within the age of 5 or younger. Whose shoe’s size is 3 and is not more than 3 inches to 5 inches tall.
Mini Deck
  • Width: 7.0 inches, length: 28 inches. The size of the deck is suitable for skaters within the age of 6 to 8 years and whose shoe size range from size 4 to size 6. And are between 3 inches to 5 inches.
Mid-size Deck
  • Width: 7.3 inches, length: 29inches. This deck size is suitable for skaters within the ages of 9 – 12 who are within 4-5 inches to 5-2 inches tall, and wear a shoe size 7-8.


Full-Size Deck
  •  7.5 inches or larger, width: suitable for skaters that are above age 13 that are taller than 5’3 inches with a shoe size that range from 9 and up. Though, individual skating pattern has a lot to determine the size of the deck they use.
    • 7.5? to 8? – Normal board for adult skating performing technical or doing a normal street skating.
    • 8.0? to 8.25? – Skating pools, parks, and ramps.
    • 8.25? and larger – Vert, cruising pools, and going old-school.



Q. 1: What type of skateboard is best for beginners?

A. Powell Golden Dragon Flying Dragon Complete Skateboard is the best starter skateboard as per our experience.

Q. 2: What is the best size skateboard deck?


  • 5″ to 8″ – Average board for adult and teen riders skating technical or streets
  • 0″ to 8.25″ – Skating pools, parks and ramps.
  • 25″ and larger – Vert, cruising, pools, and swinging old school.

Q. 3: What size wheels & trucks should I get for an 8.0 deck?


Size  Axle Length Deck Size
129 7.75? 7.4? – 7.75?
139 8? 7.75? – 8.25?
149 8.5? 8.25? – 8.75?

About the author

Colin Kint

I’m a professional skateboarder and have participated in most skateboarding competitions in San Francisco. I believe my innate passion for the sport drove me to pursue my career as a professional skateboarder.

Another reason I’ve got so good at it is because of my relentless practice sessions with my friends. As an environmental activist with an undergraduate law degree, I volunteer in different community awareness programs. I’m also into photography and do most of the photography for this site.

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