Nowadays, skateboard decks come in many sizes and shapes. This can make the simple fact of picking your first board quite a daunting exercise. Especially if you don’t have a skate shop nearby and don’t have the expertise required to pick one online.
Finally ready to make the big jump into skateboarding but don’t know which size of deck to pick? Don’t worry. We’ve got you.
Keep reading and learn with us everything you need to know in order to select your perfect skateboard deck size through our detailed comprehensive guide.
What Size Skateboard Deck Should I Get?
To find your perfect size of skateboard deck, there are tons of parameters you could choose to consider. However, if it’s your first time picking a deck, we recommend focusing on 4 principal aspects.
- The type of skating you want to do
- The size of your trucks
- Your body type
- Your shoe size (take this with a grain of salt)
Skateboard Deck Size and Type Of Skating
The first question you want to ask yourself when picking a deck is “what do I want to be doing on my skateboard?”
Are you dreaming of doing 360 flips down stairs? Do you see yourself flying over big ramps? Or maybe you want to do it all.
Whether you want to specialize in street, transition or freestyle skating, you need to find the optimal size that will give you the ability to perform at your best in the chosen discipline.
The Size of Your Skateboard Trucks
If you’re looking to buy a complete skateboard, you can skip this step as the truck automatically matches the deck.
If you’ve already got a pair of trucks and just want to replace your deck, you should definitely pick a size that matches with your trucks. To find out the optimal deck size according to your trucks, go to the skateboard deck and truck size section you’ll find below.
Your Body Type
Your body type will greatly influence the size of the deck you choose.
If you’re more of a lightweight, lean towards the thinner sized decks within your skating type. Heavy-weights should take larger and thicker decks that will better sustain their weight.
Aside from your weight, your height will dictate even more your skateboard size. Smaller riders will prefer thinner decks to keep a responsive set-up, while tall skaters will definitely lean towards larger decks to have more stability.
Your Shoe Size
Finally, consider your shoe size when picking a skateboard deck. It’s not a huge factor but when you have really large feet you might want a bit of a wider deck.
Most of the time, you don’t want your feet hanging out of the deck too much as it leads to poor stability. At the opposite end of the spectrum, you don’t want to have too much room for your feet as it makes performing flip tricks way harder.
Keep on reading to find the skateboard deck and shoe size chart we made you at the end.
What Size Skateboard is Best for Beginners?
If you’re thinking about getting into skateboarding, but don’t know which deck size to choose, we recommend starting off with a regular deck that will let you ride every obstacle without hindering your progression.
Usually a deck between 8.0” to 8.5” for adult skaters is a good choice. If you plan on doing more street than transition skating, start with an 8.0”-8.1”. If you’re more eager on skating ramps, then you can’t go wrong picking an 8.5” deck.
But as mentioned above, it will also depend on your morphology, power and age. That’s exactly why kids and small teens should select thinner decks (going from 7.5” to 8.0”).
What Is the Standard Size of a Skateboard?
Despite the wide variety of sizes available, we can see that some deck sizes are way more popular than others:
Standard Skateboard Size for Street Skating :
The preferred deck size of street skateboarders kept growing since its creation. For instance, 10 years ago, it was pretty common to ride a 7.5”-7.75” deck, allowing for optimal maneuverability and control to perform tricks. Any deck over 8.0” would have been automatically regarded as transition set-up.
Today, we can see that most technical skaters ride decks going from 8.0” to 8.25”. Even the pro skaters believe This range of deck width seems to provide the greatest compromise between responsiveness, balance and comfort.
Standard Skateboard Size for Transition Skating
Transition skaters have ridden massive decks since the dawn of time. With all types of shapes, most of the old school decks used to ride backyard pools and cruise down hills were 9 inches and over.
Nowadays though, we’ve seen the opposite of the street phenomenon occurs in park skating. As the level of transition skaters exploded, their needs in a set-up changed drastically.
Scrap the big old boat, and welcome the thinner popsicle shaped deck allowing for doing technical air and grind tricks with less effort. The standard size for transition decks is in the 8.5” to 9.0” range.
Standard Skateboard Size for All Around Skating
As mentioned above, the rise of skateboarding’s level influenced the preferred size of decks—every discipline combined. With it, we saw a new generation of riders emerge. Hybrid skaters. Capable and willing to ride any terrain.
At the intersection of street and transition skateboarding, all around skaters use middle of the road sized decks, usually in the 8.3” – 8.5” range.
What Size do Pro Skateboarders Ride?
Like your average skater, professional skateboarders each have their own favorite size depending on what they skate. If we’d have to take a guess, we could come up with a rough estimate by analyzing the sizes of some pro models across disciplines.
Street Professional Skateboarders: 8.0” – 8.125”
Street skateboarding encompasses a variety of different skating types and needs. However, we can clearly see 2 sizes largely more represented among elite skaters—all disciplines combined. Here is a compilation of some of the top pro skaters and their respective board size.
- Gap skaters: Aurélien Giraud and Chris Joslin, both recognized as the best at throwing hard tricks down huge sets of stairs, ride 8.0” Plan B decks. Dave Bachinski and Tommie Sandoval, two legends known for taking down the heaviest spots, also ride 8.0” deck.
- Rail skaters: Jamie Foy and Yuto Horigome, two of the greatest contest handrail skaters also ride 8.0” decks. Nyjah Huston, number 1 ranked skater in the world for the past decade, chose a slightly thicker deck at 8.125”.
- Flow skaters: Some skaters just look so natural on their board, like they were born to do this. An unmatched style that seems effortless yet so stylish. Most of the time these skaters power through lines and can skate pretty much anything that comes their way. For instance, Louie Lopez and Gustav Tonnesen both flow the best with 8.125” decks. Mark Suciu prefers to float around New York City with an 8.0” deck.
- Technical ledge skaters: Finally, there are the famous tech wizards, capable of doing every trick combination available—even better done than on Skate 3. Among these tech guys, Paul Rodriguez, Gustavo Ribeiro and Shane O’Neill all swear by the 8.0. Only Felipe Gustavo appears as an outlier with his 8.25” deck.
All Around Professional Skateboarders: 8.25” – 8.5”
In the last 10 years, we’ve seen a new generation of skaters appear, capable of ripping as much skating bowls as they would skating 10 stairs handrails or 10 ft drops
Among these guys, Wes Kremer, Skater of the Year 2014, rides flat 8.25” decks. Same goes for Zion Wright, USA contender for a gold medal at the olympics in park skateboarding. Aaron “Jaws” Homoki, famous for jumping down the biggest gaps in history—but also an amazing transition skater; logically has a wider set-up, pointing at 8.38”.
Park Professional Skateboarders: 8.5”+
Transition skaters have by far the most dispersed set of skateboard sizes and shapes. Some pros ride asymmetrical old-school shapes while some prefer the traditional popsicle shape. Some ride gigantic decks, some ride slightly wider skateboards than street skaters would.
Among the two main types of transition skating, here are some sizes of the top pros:
- Bowl skaters: Most of the riders on the professional contest circuit ride decks around the 8.5” mark. Tristan Rennie, Pedro Barros and Jaime Mateu fly all over the place riding 8.5”. Ben Raybourn skates 8.675” to drop down the gnarliest banks.
- Vert skaters: Vert skating is a completely different beast. It requires an extra-comfortable set-up to take in all the speed you get launched at. Among the legends of the discipline, Tony Hawk rides surprisingly thin decks nowadays at only 8.5”, but he used to have 9.0” pro decks released in the past. Mega ramp hot-heads Danny Way and Bob Burnquist both ride 8.625” decks.
Freestyle Professional Skateboarders: 7.25” – 7.5”
Freestyle skateboarding is where it all began. Discipline of birth of the pioneer of modern skateboarding Rodney Mullen, freestyle skaters always rode noticeably small decks with distinguishable rails on the side.
Still today, modern freestyle skaters mostly ride decks going from 7.25” to 7.5”. Kevin Harris has a 7.25” pro-model, Rodney Mullen ends up favoring a 7.375” skateboard and the new heir of the discipline, Andy Anderson skates a 7.49” Powell Peralta deck when he wants to catch a freestyle-heavy session.
Is a Bigger Skateboard Better?
In skateboarding, there really is no best choice when it comes down to sizes. Just different options available. The best size is the one you feel the most comfortable with.
A bigger skateboard will provide more stability and a wider turning range than thinner boards. Ideal to sustain high-speed and grind thick copings, big decks are usually the go to choose if you want to ride pools and transition primarily—or cruise around the city.
On the opposite side, a thinner deck will be more responsive and easier to spin around which makes them better for technical street skating. However, a slim deck will be less stable. It requires a lot more control to land on perfectly.
How long is an 8.0 skateboard?
Most 8.0” decks are 31.75” long. Even though there is no set length for skateboard decks. It’s not rare to find 8.0” that are 31.63” or 31.875” long.
Depending on the brand, shape and concave, some 8.0” decks can even be significantly longer at 32.35” long, whereas some can be significantly shorter at 30.75”.
The reason there’s so much slight variation in length for decks of similar width is that this factor is minor. As I’ve repeated it many times before: “Deck length doesn’t matter. It’s the width that counts.”
The variations of length in decks are hardly ever noticeable, because they don’t change the physics of your set-up that much. In comparison, you can instantly feel when a board is wider or thinner than your usual set-up.
Skateboard Deck Width & Shoe Size
When picking a skateboard deck, select one that matches your shoe size. If your feet dangle around your deck, it’s probably a bad sign. A wrong sized deck could hinder your progression—and even result in injuries.
Do not worry too much about this factor unless you’ve got an uncommon shoe size. If you wear man’s size shoes from 7.5 to 10, be able to skate pretty much any size mentioned all throughout this guide.
Pro tip: If you’re not sure about the optimal size regarding your feet, go to your local skate shop and ask to try out different decks. As long as most of the surface of your foot is on the board, you should be ready to rip.
Skateboard Size & Shoe Size Chart
If you don’t have a skate shop nearby and can’t physically step on a deck before buying it, here’s a quick table to give you some ranges to choose from when picking a deck. Note that I have only made this table to serve as a starting point, and it mainly applies to street skating.
|Deck size||Shoe Size (US men)||Shoe Size (EU men)|
|7.5 inches to 7.75 inches||6 to 7.5||38 to 40|
|7.75 inches to 8.1 inches||7.5 to 8.5||40 to 41.5|
|8.2 inches to 8.5 inches||9 to 10||41.5 to 43.5|
|8.5 inches to 9.0 inches||10.5 to 12||43.5 to 46|
|9.0 inches or more||12 or more||46 or more|
Trucks & Deck Size
This guide couldn’t be complete without going over one of, if not, the main parameter to consider when choosing a board: the truck and deck association.
See, if your trucks don’t match with the width of your deck you could be in all kinds of trouble, such as wheelbite, nut cracks or bad turning radius of only name a few.
To prevent these from happening, follow our chart of the optimal deck, and truck sizes combination.
|Deck size||Axle width||Hangar width|
|7.75 inches to 8.0 inches||7.75 inches / 197 mm||5.0 inches / 129 mm|
|8 inches to 8.5 inches||8.0 inches / 203 mm||5.25 inches / 139 mm|
|8.5 inch to 9.0 inches||8.5 inches / 216 mm||5.75 inches / 149 mm|
|9.0 inches to 10.0 inches||9.0 inches / 229 mm||6.5 inches / 169 mm|
|10 inches or more||10.0 inches / 254 mm||8.5 inches / 215 mm|
Whichever size you went with for your first complete skateboard, don’t stop there. Keep experimenting. You’ll probably end up switching up between sizes quite a lot before finding your go-to set-up.
And because picking a skateboard deck is not all about size, but about loads of other factors as well, check out our review of some of the best skateboard decks where we go over shape, concave, wheelbase and tons of other factors.