Individuality and a self-expressed casual style have always been cultural values for skateboarders, as uniforms and jerseys are not typically worn.[88] This type of personal style for skateboarders is often reflected in the graphical designs illustrated on the bottom of the deck of skateboards, since its initial conception in the mid seventies, when Wes Humpston and Jim Muri first began doing design work for Dogtown Skateboards out of their garage by hand, creating the very first iconic skateboard-deck art with the design of the "Dogtown Cross".[89][90][91]
Ever notice small vertical or horizontal cracks through your grip tape or by the hardware of your trucks?  These are called stress or pressure cracks and are basically mini fractures of your skateboard deck that typically are seen in the areas of the deck that withstand the greatest impact (around the trucks).  A few pressure cracks is generally no big deal and you won’t even notice them while skating, but they can compound and grow larger and make your deck lose “pop” and increase the chance of snapping.  To avoid pressure cracks, you cant use riser pads underneath your trucks to reduce the level of impact your deck takes.  You should also avoid over tightening your hardware and storing your skateboard in a very humid place as both of these practices can also make your board weaker and more susceptible to pressure cracks.
If you are completely new to skateboarding, consider taking a minute to read through the Skateboard Decks Section in our Buyer’s Guide will be helpful, but a good rule of thumb is: the bigger your feet, the wider your board should be. If you wear a size 9 and up, you can’t go wrong with buying an 8” board. Narrow boards are easier to flip while wider boards are more stable, but there are no hard and fast rules to skateboarding. The only way to really find out what you like is by trying new shapes, sizes, and brands. Brands like Welcome, Baker, Chocolate, Deathwish, and Element all have a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and graphics.
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