There are many different kinds of skateboards and skateboarding including Longboard, Classic, Slalom, Street, Pool, Park, Downhill, Cruising, Freestyle, Vert and Off-Road; and new styles are being developed all the time. The type of skateboard you choose to use depends on how you want to use it.
Longboards were designed to be used for downhill skating. These kinds of skateboards are no good if you want to do tricks or ride on ramps. The basics of cruising, pushing and carving ought to be mastered by the skateboarder before attempting any tricks; and there are different kinds of skateboards to cater for the many different kinds of tricks the skateboarder may wish to indulge in.
‘Vert’ is short for Vertical, which refers to the act of riding on completely vertical walls or another type of incline, usually in the form of a skate ramp; in order to perform skateboarding tricks. These tricks involve the rider skateboarding from the horizontal plane to the vertical plane whilst performing tricks. These are the kinds of skateboards you are likely to see being used on the huge, half-pipe ramps in competitions such as the ‘X Games’.
‘Street ‘are the kinds of skateboards used for the style of skateboarding of the same name. The skateboarder focuses on transitions and tricks in public places. Street skateboarders skate in urban streets, plazas or industrial areas. The utilize items which were not originally designed or purpose-built for skateboarding, such asÂ handrails and guard rails, picnic tables, park benches, bins, planter boxes, retaining walls and stairs. Street skateboarding competitions however, take place in purpose-built skate parks, designed to replicate real-world urban environments. They include features such as purpose built rails, stairs and benches, as well as traditional skate park features like fun boxes and vert ramps.
Slalom skateboarding is a form of downhill skateboard racing. Slalom racers skate down a course usually lined with plastic cones. The object is to race through the course; knocking down the fewest number of cones. Each cone knocked over carries a penalty of a fraction of a second which is added to the skater’s time. If too many cones are hit during the run, the racer is disqualified. Although many different kinds of skateboards can be used for slalom, some manufacturers carry products specifically designed and thus more suited to slalom racing.
Some skateboards are bought already made, while others are built from scratch. The skateboard enthusiast can buy the board, or ‘deck’ separately, and build it themselves or have it made by a specialist. Here they have the option of customizing the length and width of the board, as well as specifying their nose, tail and wheelbase requirements.
Certain kinds of skateboards have different designs on them. Some are painted with a cartoon for example, or a skull. Skateboard graphics, also known as ‘deck art’ are often imaginatively designed and beautifully illustrated and can be amazingly creative. Skateboarders may choose to buy the board that their favorite professional rides and the artwork may depict portraits of them.