Shopping for a new skateboard can be tricky because there are so many different-sized decks available. Does a 1/4″ or more or less in deck width really make that big of a difference?
The best size for you depends on what type of skating you want to do, your height, weight, shoe size.
A bit of it is up to personal preference, too. We have the answers you’re seeking so you can confidently purchase a new board.
What size skateboard should you get?
There are three main sizes categories of skateboards out there.
A small skateboard is 7.5 to 8 inches wide, a mid-size is 8 to 8.5 inches wide, and a large-size is 8.5 inches wide or more.
Generally speaking, a deck between 8 to 8.5 inches is great for beginner skaters.
However, the right size for you will depend on many factors, including your body type and the different specs of the board.
As a general rule of thumb, a wider deck is going to be more stable to ride than a more narrow deck.
Wheelbase, wheel size, and the overall length of the deck will also factor into how the board rides.
Learn more below.
Factors to Consider when Picking a Deck Size
Get familiar with each of these specs to confidently choose the right board for you.
1. Overall Length and Width of Board
When looking at a new skateboard, the first decision to make is what skating style you’re after.
Transition skaters (those skating vert, parks, and pools) should seek wider decks (think 8.38-8.5 inch+ width) for stability. They’re easier to balance on and carve than narrow decks but can be slightly more difficult for performing flip tricks.
Street skaters looking to practice tricks should go for a shorter, lighter, narrower board (think 8 to 8.5-inch width). They have high maneuverability and are slightly easier to flip. However, they can be more difficult to balance and are less stable when going fast. These won’t be the best choice if you are looking to cruise around town or go down big hills.
Another thing you should think about is how much travel you plan to do with your board. A shorter board tends to be lighter and easier to carry, while longer boards are heavier and more cumbersome.
If you’re planning to walk a decent amount with your board in hand, a shorter board may be the way to go.
Length and width are just two of many factors you should consider in picking out a board.
2. Wheel Size
While many complete boards will come with a standard deck and wheel size, this is a component that you can customize if you’d like to.
The size of the wheels will have a significant effect on how your skateboard performs.
Larger wheels (60 millimeters or more) allow you to skate fast, but you will accelerate at a slower rate. Larger wheels will also typically provide you with a smoother ride on a variety of surfaces.
Smaller wheels (50-54 millimeters) accelerate quickly, but won’t reach as high of a speed.
Mid-size wheels (55-59 millimeters) are versatile because they give you speed at skateparks and are a great tool for tricks.
Generally speaking, street skaters seek smaller wheels as they are good for flip tricks. Transition skaters go for larger wheels to achieve higher speeds in the park and more control over their board.
3. Your Height and Weight
Another big factor in considering what board size is best for you is your body height and weight. Check out the recommended board sizes for basic height measurements.
Mini: This board is best for kids and small adults who are 4′ 6″ or shorter.
Mid-Size: These are best for people who are anywhere between 4′ 6″ to 5′ 6″ in height.
Full-Size: This size board is generally best for taller people who are 5′ 6″ or above.
Weight is another factor to consider. If you’re on the skinnier side, seek out a thinner deck. If you’re heavy-weight, look for a larger and thicker deck. Below is a general guide for weight.
Less than 80 pounds: mini skateboard
Between 80 to 120 pounds: mid-size skateboard
Over 120 pounds: full-size skateboard
All of these general guidelines to get started and should be taken with a grain of salt.
You can play around with different deck sizes and see what you prefer.
4. Your Shoe Size
Shoe size matters when it comes to picking a board because you’ll want a deck that is neither too wide nor too narrow for your foot.
The goal is to be able to stand shoulder-width apart with neither of your feet sticking out off of the deck too much, as this will affect your stability.
However, if you have too much board under your feet, performing certain tricks will be harder.
Follow the recommendations below to help match a deck width to your shoe size.
But, remember there’s no exact science. If you get a chance to try out different deck sizes and like one more than the other, go for it. There are no rules against experimenting!
- Men’s shoe size 6.5 to 9: Go for a deck between 7.5 and 8 inches.
- Men’s shoe size 9.5 to 11.5: Go for a deck between 8 to 8.5 inches.
- Men’s shoe size 12 or higher: Go for a deck 8.75 inches or more.