by Jessica Gezon
Skateboarding, around since the 1950s when surfers took to the streets, has experienced rises and falls in popularity. While skateboarders used to enjoy an implied sense of danger from their association with the sport, as it has become more mainstream it has become less controversial and also safer. If you want to learn to skateboard, an important first step is choosing the right skateboard deck. A lot of factors go into choosing a skateboard, and picking the right deck will have you on your way to doing ollies in no time.
Take a look at your feet. If they're huge, you'll need a wider skateboard deck than if they're small. The typical skateboard deck is 7.5 inches to 8 inches wide; go wider for big feet and narrower for small feet. Height and weight also figure into the width of the skateboard deck you should choose: if you're tall and heavy, you'll want a wider deck to support you; if you're short or thin, you can get away with a narrower skateboard deck.
Know where you're going to ride. Narrower skateboard decks are better for technical tricks and street riding. The skinnier base allows you to 'pop' the board for big tricks and is easier to flip. A wider skateboard is better for skate parks; the greater stability and higher level of control will be appreciated as you pick up speed. For the skater looking to cruise the streets, consider a longboard. This is a skateboard both longer and wider than a traditional skateboard. A longboard can't be used for tricks but is perfect for cruising from class to class.
Decide how much 'pop' you want. The amount of pop is determined by how concave your skateboard deck is. If you look at a skateboard deck and the tip and tail curve up, then the deck has a concave design. The greater the degree of concavity, or curve, the greater amount of springiness, or pop, you'll experience. Skateboards with pop are great for tricks, while flatter skateboard decks are more stable and better suited to street riding.
Think about decorations. Skateboards are available with fun, exciting graphics. While you should choose a deck you like, the decorations on your skateboard should never be the most important feature. If you simply cannot find a deck you like, then consider purchasing a blank deck and decorating it yourself. Stickers can be easily applied and let you customize the look of any skateboard deck.