DIY Enthusiasts Assemble! Choosing a Deck for Building a Skateboard
If you’ve just decided to build your own skateboard, good for you! I’ve always felt that building a skateboard on your own is much better than buying one from a store, as you put time and effort into the board and develop a personal connection with it. Moreover, you can build it according to your own requirements and specifications and ensure you get the best riding experience possible.
If this is your first time building a skateboard, then there are a few things you should consider. One of the first choices you’ll make is the size of the skate deck. The width, materials, concave and the length of the skate deck are all going to determine how you’re going to perform on the skateboard, and what you’ll be capable of doing altogether.
Contrary to popular belief, length and wheelbase are not the most important aspects of choosing a skateboard deck – it’s width. Typically, skateboard decks can be anywhere from 7.5 to 8.25 inches wide. The ideal width for you depends on your skating style, shoe size, height and of course, personal preference. If you get a board that’s too wide, you’ll need to use excessive power which can make performing tricks and riding difficult. On the other hand, if you choose one that’s too narrow, you won’t feel stable and you’ll have balance issues.
There are 4 basic styles, and each and every one of them is designed for specific kinds of skateboard. So it goes without saying that the style you choose should match your skating style. The 4 basic styles are shortboard, cruiser, old school, and longboard. Shortboards are for performing tricks in skate parks, cruisers are for cruising around the streets. Old school skateboards are ideal for skating on ramps, pools or street carving. And last but not least, the longboards are ideal for downhill racing and general transportation.
Different manufacturers use different construction methods to achieve specific results. The ideal material for skateboards is maple wood, simply because it’s durable, yet flexible. It can easily be shaped without sacrificing strength. However, even within maple decks, the amount of ply can be different. Ply is the amount of veneers or thin sheets of wood the deck is made of. The ply method is used instead of a single plank to ensure the board is strong and flexible.