How to choose a Skate Deck
The first thing you’ll need to consider is the width of your skate deck. Your shoe size, height, personal preference and skateboarding style will help determine this. If your deck is too wide for you it will require additional effort and energy to skate and do tricks, if your deck is too narrow for you it will be difficult to balance. The width of a deck typically ranges from 7.25-10 inches depending on the shape.
7.5" to 8.5" - Suitable deck size for those skating streets and executing technical tricks. Wider decks in this range have great stability for transition skating in parks and bowls while still having the flexibility to execute tricks. This width range is good for a little bit of everything. If you are brand new to skating or unsure of what type of riding you'll be doing, select a deck between 7.75” and 8.25” for the most flexibility while you find your style. If you have a larger shoe size try something on the wider side and if you have a smaller shoe size try something on the narrower side. As you start skating you’ll quickly get an idea of what is most comfortable for you and what suits your style.
8.5" and up - These deck sizes will provide even more stability which is perfect for vert, bowls and cruising. They are generally more difficult to do flip tricks on. Most longboard and old school styles will be wider than 8.5".
You might already know you're looking for a classic popsicle shaped deck, but theres many other shapes that cater to different skating styles.
If you're leaning more towards street and park riding a classic popsicle shape is a good choice for you. This classic skate shape was designed for tricks and getting air.
These are better for transportation and less suited to trick riding, Various styles exist for longboards including some specifically designed for achieving speed downhill. Some are symmetrical and some are asymmetrical.
Cruisers are mid length boards usually with a kicktail that are versatile and maneuverable, designed for cruising the streets.
These decks are typically wider than classic decks ranging from 8.5"-10". They are great for carving through bowls. Many deck shapes born before the 90's have little or no nose at all, a wide section in the center and a squared off tail. These decks are also typically quite flat.
The kick is the curve angle on the nose and tail of your deck. The sharper the angle of the kick the more difficult it is to pop up but the more height you will be able to achieve. Flatter kicks provide less popping potential and require less effort to produce the pop. Generally speaking, a newer rider might be better off with a flatter kick angle.
A classic/popsicle deck has both a curved nose and tail or a double kick, making it ideal for street riding, executing tricks and transition skating in bowls and park. The curved nose and tail make it possible to pop up for ollies and flip tricks as well as dropping into features at the skate park like ramps and bowls. Having a double kick deck is also helpful for making quick, sharp turns and pivots.
Old school boards and some cruisers have a flat nose and a kick tail otherwise known as single-kick. Skateboards with no kick, lacking both a curved nose and tail are suitable for cruising but would be near impossible for street and park skating. This is why you’d typically only see ‘no kick’ designs on longboards.