Skateboards were invented sometime in the late 1940s or early 1950s when surfers in California wanted to feel the sensation of surfing while on land. It was then called “sidewalk surfing”, a new twist in surfing that does not need waves to enjoy.
From the early years of skateboards, it has gone through several periods and phases before arriving at the modern deck designs we see today. Each one was designed to cater to the demands of different riding conditions from performing tricks, cruising down the street, dropping in on a bowl or half-pipe, or speeding down a hill.
Learning the diverse kinds of skateboards will help you decide which one fits your needs. Let’s take a look at the most popular and widely used different types of skateboards that can be found rolling out on the streets.
Table of Contents
1. Freestyle skateboard
If it is your first time buying a skateboard, it is recommended to get a freestyle board. This kind of board allows amateurs to learn how to balance and to practice and execute basic tricks.
Freestyling is the oldest skateboarding style that mainly focuses on performing technical skills on flat ground. There is also a variation of freestyle longboards that are best used while cruising on flat and smooth surfaces as it allows the rider to maneuver easily.
When picking a freestyle skateboard, choose a board that will suit your size. A large board is perfect for beginners for better stability and easier balancing. Once you are ready to try our tricks, it is time to transition to a narrower and shorter freestyle board.
Most beginners assume that using small boards will be easier to control when doing aerial tricks due to its lightweight but keep in mind that the smaller the board is, the less stable it is.
2. Slalom skateboard
During the 1960s to 1970s, downhill skateboard racing was the rave. A special kind of skateboard was modified to accommodate the speed needed while zooming downhill. In the 2000s, modern-day slalom boards were out in the market, which also means the revival of downhill skateboard racing.
To be able to win this kind of race, you need a skateboard made to reach top performance. A slalom skateboard is built to run fast and increase your traction and versatility when turning. They have larger and softer wheels compared to an average skateboard. The boards are also made stronger and more receptive to foam plus carbon-fiber cores.
Slalom racing is more than just reaching the finish line first. The course is marked with neon-colored plastic cones and the rider with the least cones knocked down with the fastest time wins. Each knocked down cone represents a time penalty and this will be deducted from the total runtime.
3. Downhill skateboards
Downhill skateboard racing does not only use slalom boards but can also be done with a special kind of board known as a downhill-oriented skateboard.
It focuses on performing at faster speeds with precision and skill. Downhill skateboards are specifically made to have a top mount, drop-through, and drop-platform designs for a faster and more maneuverable ride.
The decks of downhill skateboards are very stiff and come with a wheelbase with sizes of 29 to 32 inches. It has a concave portion on the deck to keep your feet from slipping backward or forwards.
4. Street skateboards
One of the most commonly used nowadays are street skateboards, especially in urban areas. It lets you move more efficiently through the streets and on the sidewalk.
Aside from being a form of transportation, this kind of skateboard can also execute stunts on different obstacles found on the streets such as speed bumps, handrails, plant boxes and sidewalk railings. If you want to show off your skills on the streets, then you should get this board.
Typically, you can see lots of street skateboard users in plazas, parking lots, and alleyways. Its wheels are as big as 48 to 55mm and have a narrower deck. This wheel size will allow its rider to make slips and turns quickly and easily.
The deck is usually made from polyurethane so expect it to be very stiff and hard but still being lightweight, perfect for grinding and kickflips. You need a light yet stiff board because it’s highly likely you’ll be banging it on the streets as you move about.
When buying a street skateboard, you also have to consider boards with smaller wheels in order to reduce the overall weight. Smaller wheels will ensure that inertia takes control quicker, therefore, performing different tricks will be much easier.
Street skateboards look similar to freestyle boards but are narrower and have a symmetrical shape.
5. Vertical skateboard
If you want to feel like Spiderman and show off tricks on vertical surfaces like walls, slides, and pools, then a vertical skateboard is your go-to board.
As the name implies, it performs well on vertical and inclined surfaces such as on-ramps and railings. It has a wider deck that gives your feet more surface to grip and a comfortable position when performing vertical tricks.
It has wheels that are around 55mm large that provide great stability and control. With a vertical skateboard, you can master impressive techniques such as pushing, carving, and cruising that will be beneficial before trying out vertical tricks.
6. Park skateboards
Skateboarding parks are a skateboarders’ paradise. It has half pipes, quarter pipes, and walls for vertical skateboarding as well as the addition of street structures such as stairs, rails, and benches – a true concrete jungle of obstacles.
All these elements make skateboarding more challenging and a lot more fun. And of course, with all these obstacles, you will also need a specially-designed skateboard, a park skateboard.
Before getting a park skateboard, you have to keep in mind that it should be perfect for your height. If your height is below 5’4” then you get a board with a length that’s 29” and below. If you are 5’4”and taller, then you need a board with a length of 32”.
Some park skateboarders prefer a wider board because of better stability. And to provide more room for your feet to position and land safely.
Park skateboards’ wheels have 51 to 55mm. Smaller wheels can help you perform tricks easily and quickly. Wheels that roll fast lets you enhance your air and speed so you can successfully execute tricks and stunts.
7. Pool skateboards
Got a nearby abandoned, empty pool? Then get a pool skateboard. It will let you ride on bowls, pools, and vertical ramps safely and effectively.
The skateboard for this sport has a wider deck because you must have a lot of room for your feet to hold on to and to gain more stability and control.
Wider boards are better when it comes to pool skateboarding because it will ensure you that your board will last longer. Remember that you’ll be landing hard on the ground during vertical stunts so you need a board that can handle your weight and the pressure of a jump.
It is recommended to invest in very stiff boards made of strong material like carbon. The truck must be between 15” to 18” to accommodate changes in wheels if needed.
8. Off-road skateboards
Off-road skateboards can be compared to the off-road vehicle of the skateboarding world.
They are the exact opposite of street skateboarding as it needs a special kind of board with specialized wheels and accessories.
Usually, off-road skateboarders modify their street skateboards to endure off-road environments such as sand and gravel.
Off-road skateboards are born when the wheels of an ordinary skateboard are replaced with larger rubber ones so that the board can have more grip over rough roads and grass. Another important feature installed in most off-road skateboards is modified decks with straps for your feet.
Another unique feature of an off-road skateboard is the brake. This addition is important as you might need to stop quickly to avoid dangerous terrain conditions, such as a tree stump, a large stone, and the likes.
9. Cruising skateboard
If you want to stroll around your streets, then get a cruising skateboard. It lets you travel as fast as you can without doing any trick or touching the ground. Cruising skateboards are ideal for moving quickly and must have durable rubber wheels since it will be touching the ground constantly.
10. Electric skateboards
Combining the innovations of modern technology and purpose of traditional skateboarding, electric skateboards are gaining popularity because it gives its users a commute like no other.
The electric skateboard comes with an electric motor, battery pack, and improved trucks that will carry all the electrical components. Unlike traditional skateboards, you do not need to push your board using your feet as the motor will to the motion for you.
Obviously, electric skateboards are not made for performing tricks and stunts as heavy impacts can damage the motor and battery pack, which can be heartbreaking.
Most electric skateboard users often carry spare battery packs in case they run out of juice while in the middle of a stroll.
Skateboarding has been through lots of changes and evolution but one thing is for sure, the fun and thrill remained the same.
Knowing exactly what you want to accomplish will give you a better decision-making process when buying a skateboard, and we’re here to help you.
It is essential to have the best-quality skateboard that you can use for a long time. Check out our large collection of skateboards to start your riding journey!