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What are Different Types of Skateboards?

A girl with a longboard, one of the different types of skateboards.
A skateboarder performs a jump.
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  • Written By: J.Gunsch
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 16 April 2014
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Professional skateboarders know that for optimum performance, aside from their skill level, the type of skateboard they use makes all the difference. For amateurs, all boards may appear to be created equal, but there are a few different options to choose from. They basically differ in their various lengths and concave depths.

There are two main types of skateboard: long and short. Each length is available in different shapes as well. For expert tricks, the board must be concave, which refers to the curve of the board in relation to the raised nose and tail. A concave board is especially important for performing difficult tricks, such as an ollie. An ollie is a jump that begins by tapping the tail of the skateboard and sliding the foot to the front of the board in the air.

Skateboards consist of three main parts: the deck, which is the part that a person stands on, and the wheels and the truck, which are located on the underside of the deck. The two most common models, called the traditional and the longboard, differ in the length of the deck. Traditional skateboards, the most common type used for tricks, are generally shorter than 33 inches (84 cm). Longboards are usually over 35 inches (89 cm) and are mainly used for cruising only.

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The concavity of various boards ranges from shallow to deep. Certain longboards designed only for cruising may not have any significant concavity. The depth of the curve is important for mastering tricks and ramps, and a deeper curve allows for more precision tricks. Beginners should always start out with shallower models for safety reasons and ease of learning. Deeply concave skateboards tend to be more expensive, harder to master and more easily damaged.

A less important difference between skateboards is the materials that they are made from. Wood is the most common material, but also the most easily damaged. Most experienced skateboarders prefer their boards be made of wood because of the responsiveness that it offers. Less expensive models may be made of plastic, fiberglass or aluminum.

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Discuss this Article

anon167758
Post 10

to the Australasian, that was a freeboard.

anon152469
Post 9

Hey a few years back i met some guys from America that were travelling through Australia.

They had skateboards that looked like a long board but in the middle it had two separate wheels so that when you leaned sideways they would touch the ground so you could ride it almost exactly like a snowboard.

Anyway, i think they were called inline skateboards but I'm not sure. Does anyone know what they are?

anon140239
Post 8

There are also many different types of the shorter version as well as the long board. These are general stereotypical terms. Also types of boards are often named after the era that they were popular in.

bigblind
Post 6

@rjohnson – A friend of mine has one of those things. They’re really, really fun. They almost feel like you’re riding on a snowboard, it’s bizarre. However, they’re a little dangerous as well because it’s really easy to turn too much and fall over. As you would probably expect, this can hurt a lot, especially if one is going at high speeds down a steep hill.

lori43
Post 5

@rjohnson – Flowboards are a bit of a confusing misnomer. Flowboarding is a recent sport where water current is cycled around a platform. Athletes ride a board on this fake current. It ends up seeming like a cross between surfing and skateboarding. The technology required to create this current for the sport is owned exclusively by Wave Loch, inc. What you’re thinking of however, is also called a flowboard, or sometimes a carveboard. Carveboards however, also refer to a type of board with large wheels that have deep traction like mountain bike tires. Alternative board sports should be a little more clear about their names!

rjohnson
Post 3

Have you seen those skateboards with a ton of wheels on them? I think they have something like 14 wheels -- 7 sets!! I think they're called flowboards. Pretty cool looking. I wonder how they ride?!

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