Skateboard Deck Buying – A Guide for Parents and New Recruits

This guide is intended for parents buying for their children or beginners with no previous experience of skateboarding.

First off, what is a deck? A deck is a wooden bit you stand on. If you just buy a deck, you don’t get the trucks or wheels – you are not buying a complete skateboard!  If you want to buy a ready-to-ride skateboard, you can see our extensive selection in the Completes section.

At Skateboards of Choice, we don’t sell decks of poor quality, so you can be sure that whatever you plump for, the quality will be good. All our decks are made from 7-ply maple wood – the best and most reliable material for skateboard decks.

The main consideration when buying a deck is the size. Most decks are 31 inches long by 7.75 inches wide. The width is the most important measurement and is often used in the deck name, so if you see a deck called “Element Featherlight 7.75 Logo Deck”, the 7.75 is referring to the width of the deck.

Most decks measure between 7.5 inches and 8.5 inches wide. Which is right for you? Well, the thinner the board, the lighter it is, so a 7.5-inch wide deck is ideal for younger people or people who do lots of technical tricks like ollies or kickflips, which are easier to do if the deck is light. If you are an older skater (with size 8 feet or above) you might want to consider a 7.75-inch wide deck – this is the most popular size. If you are a big fella with big feet, then an 8-inch deck or 8.125 decks could be right for you. Also, skaters who ride pools, bowls and big transitions prefer bigger decks as they give more stability. If you are not sure, just go for a 7.75-inch wide deck – you can’t go far wrong with this.

To shop by deck size, click on the “Skateboards” tab at the top left of the homepage, then click “Skateboard decks” from the resulting dropdown, and then, on the left of the screen below the long list of brand names is a box that says “Deck Width”. Just click on the deck width you want and the website will list all decks in that size – clever eh?

Another major consideration is which brand to go for. We stock decks from over 40 different brands, so the choice is daunting. Let’s break it down into the following categories:

If you are looking for a cheap deck: we sell “Blank decks”. These are decks with no brand name attached. They are often made in the same factories as major brands. The blanks we sell are 7-ply Canadian maple and have proved to be popular with our customers over the years. Fracture and Enuff also make decks for under £30 and these are very reliable.  If you can stretch to £34 for a Jart board, do – they are very tough and reliable and made in the EU.

If you are buying for a young child (junior school age): Fracture and Enuff are popular brands with this age group, as are Blind, Darkstar, Element, Flip, Plan B, and Toy Machine.

If you are buying for a teenager/young adult: 5 Boro, A Third Foot, Alien Workshop, Almost, Anti Hero, Baker, Blueprint, Chocolate, Cliche, Crayon, Creature, Death, Enjoi, Girl, Habitat, Heathen, Heroin, Hook-Ups, Jart, Karma, Krooked, Landscape, Mystery, Real, Santa Cruz, Sk8 Mafia, Stereo, The Harmony, Unabomber, Zero, Zoo York are all popular with this age bracket.

If you want to support UK skateboard brands: The only brand that actually makes decks in the UK is A Third Foot, who make their decks in Birmingham from Canadian maple. But the following brands are all UK companies who either get their decks made in China or the USA: Blueprint, Crayon, Death, Enuff, Fracture, Heathen, Heroin, Karma, Landscape, Motive, the Harmony and Unabomber.  The other brands we sell are all American.

I don’t care about what’s cool, I just want the best: Here at Skateboards of Choice we sponsor a few local riders, and they all like brands distributed by Deluxe distribution, and these include Anti Hero, Real, Krooked, and UK brands Crayon and Witchcraft. But a lot of really experienced riders swear by Element, so it might be worth checking them out. Plus, a few years ago, an independent survey of over 100 skateboard deck brands found that Jart was the most resilient, and they are cheap too, so it’s definitely worth considering Jart.

Here are some other frequently asked questions:

Do I have to buy grip tape as well? No, if you buy any deck, the free grip tape is automatically added to your basket. If you want us to apply the grip tape for you, either tick the “Assembly” box on the deck product page or write “please grip my board” in the Special Instructions box at the end of the checkout process.

What if I want to build my deck up into a complete skateboard? You will need to buy trucks from the Trucks section, and wheels from the Wheels section. Trucks are sold in packs of two, and wheels are sold in packs of four, enough for one skateboard. If the deck you have bought is between 7.5 inches and 7.875 inches, you will need trucks in the 7.75 width category. To view these, click on the “Skateboards” tab at the top left of the homepage, then click on “Skateboard Trucks” from the resulting dropdown, and then below the list of brands you will see a table with “Truck Span” written above it. Click on 7.75 to see all the relevant trucks. For decks between 8 inches and 8.5 inches wide, you should go for trucks with a span of 8 inches.

For wheels, the most popular size is 52mm or 53mm. To view these, click on the “Skateboards” tab at the top left of the homepage, then click on “Skateboard Wheels” from the resulting dropdown, and then below the list of brands you will see a table with “Wheel Size” written above it. Click on 52 or 53 to see all the relevant wheels. The best wheels are Spitfire, Hubba, Pig, Bones, and Autobahn.