If you’re new to skateboarding, this post is for you. Some of the most common questions we’ve been asked by new skateboarders (and their parents) involve how to measure a skateboard deck. How do I measure the width? How do I properly measure the length? The wheelbase? What do these measurements mean? The big one: What size deck should I ride?
Fortunately, these simple questions have simple answers. Watch the video below, featuring our very own deck destroyer Adam Ottenberg going over the basics of how to measure a skateboard deck. You’ll quickly understand and be on your way to sizing up the perfect board.
How to Measure a Skateboard Deck:
There are 3 basic measurements to consider when choosing your skateboard deck: the width, the length, and the wheelbase.
A deck labeled 8″ x 32″ means that it is 8 inches wide by 32 inches long. The wheelbase is typically between 13″ and 15″. The wheelbase is not commonly listed when shopping for a skateboard deck, however, you can always call customer service and we’ll happily measure it for you. Let’s go over these measurements one by one.
Before we get started – you’re going to need a measuring tape. Any kind will do. A 12″ ruler will work if you’re just measuring the width, but you’ll need a cloth or regular measuring tape for the length and the wheelbase.
How to Measure a Skateboard Deck: The Width
Let’s start with the most common board measurement: the width. Find the widest point of the board and measure from rail to rail (one side to the other). As you can see in the screenshot, this deck clearly measures 8″ wide. Nice and easy.
Most skateboard decks range between 7.5″ and 8.5″ in width. Nowadays, an 8″ wide board is a very common size. For those of you looking to get a faster flick, you might want to go down to a 7.75″ or below. Those looking for a bit more surface area to land on, try bumping it up to 8.5″ or maybe closer to 9″ board. In the end, it’s all personal preference and whatever you feel comfortable skating. An 8″ board is a good place to start but experimenting with a few different sizes is truly the only way to be sure that you’ve found the board that fits you best.
How to Measure a Skateboard Deck: The Length
The next measurement Adam goes over in the video is deck length. The length of your board starts at the tip of the nose and ends at the tip of the tail. Take your measuring tape, stretch it across the length of the board and make sure to hold it taught. Don’t let the measuring tape dip into the concave, as this will give you an incorrect measurement.
As you can see in the screen shot below, this board clearly measures 31.75″ in length.
Typically, the length of the board will increase or decrease with the width so you can apply the same guidelines as above. A smaller board flicks faster, a larger board gives you more surface to land on. Generally, a smaller board lends itself more to technical street skating, whereas a larger board is more ideal for vert and ramp skating. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. In the end, it’s all personal preference and you may find an unconventional setup to be ideal. Experiment!
How to Measure a Skateboard Deck: The Wheelbase
The final measurement to consider when choosing your skateboard is the wheelbase. The wheelbase is the distance between the inner bolts of your front truck and the inner bolts of your back truck.
Here’s how to measure the wheelbase of your deck. Take your tape measure, start your measurement at the center of the front truck’s inner bolt holes. End your measurement at the center of the back truck’s inner bolt holes. As you can see in the screenshot below, this deck clearly has a 14.25″ wheelbase.
The wheelbase is actually a key measurement to consider. The deck in our example is 14.25″ which is a little bit smaller than average wheelbase. For those that are a little bit taller you might want to look for something that’s a bit longer.
There is no precise formula for determining the perfect size board. In the end, it’s all personal preference and you’ll have to try out a few different measurements to be sure.
And there you have it, the basics for how to measure a skateboard deck. From here we could talk about deck construction, board assembly, how to choose skateboard parts, the difference between tight trucks and loose trucks and a lot more. However, we’ll save those for future posts.
Now that you know how to measure your board, check out our massive selection of decks available at Skate Warehouse and find one that’s right for you!