Skateboarding damages urban terrain features such as curbs, benches, and ledges when skateboarders perform "grinds" and other tricks on these surfaces. Private industry has responded to this problem by using skate deterrent devices, such as the Skatestopper, in efforts to prevent further damage and to reduce skateboarding on these surfaces.
The wheelbase of a skateboard deck is the distance between the centers of the inner most truck mounting holes. This distance ranges between 13.5 to 16 inches and is generally proportional to the deck length on standard popsicle decks. Some specially shaped boards and cruiser decks have differing length/wheelbase ratios. Wheelbase can impact stability and turning radius, but the effect is often subtle and not a major concern for a beginner.
In the past decade, I have begun seeing the emergence of skate decks being totally or partially made from carbon fiber or other metal materials instead of solely wood. These decks typically last longer than regular wooden decks and aren’t prone to chipping or breaking like most made from wood. The drawback to these materials is that they tend to feel “stiffer” than traditional wooden decks and experienced skaters may feel they are heavier and harder to do tricks on. Carbon fiber decks are also more expensive, but this additional cost may be worth it if you tend to break decks easily. Some brands also offer warranties against breakage under normal conditions for carbon fiber decks if you are worried about breakage.
So now that you have an idea of what size and shape board you like, it’s time to choose a brand. A popular size is an 8.5 skateboard deck. If you were looking for a size 8.5 skateboard deck, you could narrow the decks offered on CCS.com to fit in the 8.25 - 8.5 range. This will show you all the boards in that range, and significantly reduce the boards you have to look through. Now, if you don’t have a preference on board brands, find a graphic you like and you’re all set. If this is your first skateboard or are still learning about what wood and brands you prefer, we recommend checking out a CCS Skateboard. They give you a bang for your buck, that's for sure.
Without good grip tape, skaters have a tough time staying on top of their board. The main complaints about poor grip tape tend to be that it was never very grippy or lost its grip really quickly. Once again, we recommend trusting in name brands with years of experience supporting skateboarders. Unfortunately, if you are buying a pre-made complete skateboard, you probably won't have access to the brand name of the grip.