Sunday, May 31, 2015
Finding the Right Deck
Size matters. There has been a lot written about the importance of choosing the right sized deck. I personally buy into the whole philosophy of buying a deck according to your stature. I say this because I stand at just over 6 feet tall and of all of the different boards I own, I am typically most comfortable on a 9.5" x 36" board with an 18" wheelbase. The shortest wheel base on any board I own is 14.5". I feel that a 15" to 16" wheelbase is ideal for me, but keep in mind this is subjective data that will vary from skater to skater. Recently I set up and rode a 10" x 30.5" fish deck and found it be too short in length and an awkward ride. 31.5" to 33" is an ideal length for me these days.
The shape of things. Finding a deck with shape today is no problem. There a punk points, blunt noses, shovels, pops, early '90s style tapered football and cigar shapes, fish tails, hammerheads, stingers, money bumps, and pigs. Finding the shape suited to your liking and your riding style is crucial but don't be afraid to try different things. If you have always ridden a pop for example, then try a square tail board. Remember that Jason Lee was doing 360 kickflips on a fish shaped square tail board long ago and that Mark Gonzales can be found riding an assortment of boards of different shapes and sizes (12" wide BDS for example) even to this very day. Challenge yourself and have fun.
Application is a somewhat important factor. How will I ride this board? Park set up, street, cruiser, pool? How and where the board will be used is always something to consider. Or you may do what I have done in the past and have one board with two or three different sets of wheels in varying durometers for various terrain.
The last two factors, functionality and practicality overlap to a degree, but are equally important in the overall equation of what skateboard deck you want under your feet. Most all boards on the market are functional for the most part, even the ones shaped like pizza slices, cartoon characters, and malt liquor bottles, but they may not seem practical. If you are looking for a solid every day rider, then you may want to steer clear of the gimmicky side of shop. Find what works for you and go from there. Regardless of what you do, it's skateboarding. And it should be fun and not frustrating, which is where I am today, frustrated as the search for a good deck to pair with my set of 169mm trucks continues. In the meantime, I'm lucky to have a few other solid set ups that I can ride, which is why we do this thing to begin with, right?