If you love the outdoors, traveling in style, and prefer to have as much control over your mode of transportation as possible, a skateboard is just what you need. Not just for high school kids or sports celebrities like Tony Hawk, the skateboard can be a useful and fun tool that can take you wherever you need to go, while also being a great outlet for the release of energy.
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You can get a lot of advice (and maybe too many opinions) from fellow skaters. Some of it might not be as informed or educated as a shop owner's (and some might be flat-out bad advice), but it should at least be sincere! If you don't have a local skate park, or are too uncomfortable to walk up to people and ask, you can also ask around on a skateboarding forum. People there will be more than happy to tell you what they think about deck brands.
As the name implies, pro skateboard decks are decks made by well-known skateboard brands that typically feature graphics or logos related to a specific team rider. Usually, pro decks are more expensive than team decks of the brand and much more expensive than blank decks. The increased cost goes to the pro skater and it’s a way for the buyer to support their favorite skaters and brands. Pro street decks are almost always Canadian maple, besides a few carbon fiber exceptions and they are the most commonly purchased decks see in skateparks and on the streets worldwide.
Skateboard decks width is probably one of the most important factors to consider when buying a deck. Decks typically range from 7.25-8.5″. 7.5″,7.75″, and 8.0″ tend to be the standard widths if most decks and the general rule is that the bigger your feet are the wider the deck you should get. Thinner decks are slightly easier to flip, however they are harder to land on due to the decreased surface area. This is a tradeoff you have to consider, but the typical rule of thumb for younger guys is that you get wider decks the more advanced and larger you get. Street skaters typically also like smaller decks as they are easier to navigate and carry around in crowded cities and areas.
Whilst early skateboarders generally rode barefoot, preferring direct foot-to-board contact, and some skaters continue to do so, one of the early leading trends associated with the sub-culture of skateboarding itself, was the sticky-soled slip-on skate shoe, most popularized by Sean Penn's skateboarding character from the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Because early skateboarders were actually surfers trying to emulate the sport of surfing, at the time when skateboards first came out on the market, many skateboarded barefoot. But skaters often lacked traction, which led to foot injuries. This necessitated the need for a shoe that was specifically designed and marketed for skateboarding, such as the Randy "720", manufactured by the Randolph Rubber Company, and Vans sneakers, which eventually became cultural iconic signifiers for skateboarders during the 1970s and '80s as skateboarding became more widespread.