First off, it’s important to decide what you will be using your skateboard for and what you will be doing with it. That’s why it’s important to ask a few key questions: Are you going to be using it every day? Is it for a new hobby? Is it for competition practice? What surface will you be skating on? Will you be partaking in park skating, or street skating?
In the skateboarding industry, brands tend to come and go with ease. It’s rare for them to stay in the spotlight for any substantial amount of time. But the constant reshuffling of the deck (pun not intended) allows for a rotation of new brands to make a name for themselves. Whether they’re known primarily for their skateboarding parts essential to the craft (like decks, trucks, wheels, and shoes) or for their apparel and accessories, the skateboarding universe has been expanding ever since the sport caught the attention of the mainstream in the late ‘90s. Everyone may remember exactly where they were when Tony Hawk landed the 900° on national television, but the world of skateboarding brands is much larger than just that and more expansive than you may realize.
Many cities also began implementing recreation plans and statutes during this time period, as part of their vision for local parks and communities to make public lands more available, in particular, for skateboarding, inviting skateboarders to come in off of the city streets and into organized skateboarding activity areas. By 2006 there were over 2,400 skateparks worldwide and the design of skateparks themselves had made a transition, as skaters turned designers. Many new places to skateboard designed specifically for street skaters, such as the "Safe Spot Skate Spot" program, first initiated by professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek throughout many cities, allowed for the creation of smaller alternative safe skate plazas to be built at a lower cost. One of the largest locations ever built to skateboard in the world, SMP Skatepark in China, at 12,000 square meters in size, was built complete with a 5,000-seat stadium.
Decks come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can choose a mini-board, a cruiser, a drop-through, or a standard deck for your favorite set of wheels and hardware. Widths range too from a few inches with a 22-inch board to the wide size of a true cruiser. Some decks are flat as possible while others are significantly concave for optimized turning. You can buy a deck with artwork and grip tape already attached for a quick install or you can get a bare-bones wooden deck to truly customize.