how to measure a skateboard

Which one is it?

how to measure a skateboard deck

The deck can be measured with following ways

  • Straight across the top of the deck
  • On grip side with contour
  • On graphic side with contour

By measuring the same deck with the three different measuring ways, we got dimensions of 32″, 32.625″ and 32.875″. But which one is the right way? There’s no such thing as the right way to measure your board. Board companies use one of the three methods to measure their deck dimensions. Too bad that they mostly never tell us which method they have used.

If we use the first method to announce the dimensions, we get dimensions that are easily measurable and the truck width can be adjusted to skateboard width easily. Drawback of this method is that 33″ long griptape does not fit to 33″ board.

We at the Napalm Custom use the second method. We think this is a good way, because your shoe is bending with the concave. And of course, you can order 9″ wide griptape to our 9″ wide board.

Deck dimensions and how it affects on your skating

Wheelbase

Most of the people think that deck width is the most important dimension. We don’t. We think that half inch difference in wheelbase feels a lot more than half inch difference on width. But how to measure skateboard wheelbase? The wheelbase is measured between the center points of the front and back truck holes closer to the middle of the deck. If we measure the wheelbase from edge of the hole, we get it wrong by 0.125″, that feels like riding 8.25″ instead of 8.5″. The larger wheelbases makes the skateboard more stable. Many tall street skaters or pool skaters prefer slightly larger wheelbase. On the other hand, the board is a lot more agile with shorter wheelbase, which can make the flip tricks feel lighter. The 14.2″ wheelbase is pretty common on popsicle boards and it is a great starting point for experiencing different deck dimension. In contrast of the regular wheelbase, our vert boards have 15″ wheelbase which is considered as a long wheelbase.

Tail/Nose

Tail and nose lengths are important as the pop angle depends on those. If you have high trucks, riser pads and a short tail, your tail is hitting the ground very late. The longer tail also lasts longer before becoming too small. We have both twin tip shapes, with 2 tails and with 2 noses. The tail and nose lengths should be decided mostly by the personal preference with respect to the other parts of the skateboard. The tail and nose is measured between the center point of the outer truck hole and the tip of the board. We measure within the deck surface, but not all manufacturers use this way.

Length

The length is calculated by tail plus two times the truck hole distance (2 x 0.125″) plus wheelbase plus nose. The deck length has similar but not so huge effects on skateboard agility as the wheelbase.

Width

The deck width is the measurement that is always mentioned. Because of this, most people think that deck width is the most important one. If we measure popsicle deck width within the deck surface, the deck is wider at the center than it is at the point of the trucks because of the concave. We measure our widths at the widest point of the deck.

Concave

The deck concave is a lot of personal preference. With high concave the feet can be adjusted better without looking at the board. Some skaters find high concave decks feeling too uncomfortable.

We encourage you to experiment and find out which board will be the perfect board for you. We manufacture boards that has custom dimensions on all the above properties. Contact us for customized orders via email info@napalmcustom.com.