Why Do Skateboards Have Different Shapes?

Last Updated on November 21, 2022

There are all sorts of different skateboard shapes out there. But why do they have different shapes? Some people might say it’s to make them more aerodynamic, while others might say that it’s just for style.

In reality, the different shapes serve a specific purpose and can be beneficial in ways depending on the rider’s skill level and intended use.

So, in this blog post, we’re going to take a closer look at why skateboards have different shapes, how that can affect your riding experience, and how to choose the right one for your skateboard.

The History of Skateboard Shapes

The history of skateboard shapes is a long and varied one. From the early days of surfing to the more recent developments in street and vert skating, many different types of boards have been used for various purposes. Here is a brief overview of some of the more popular kinds of skateboards throughout history.

Early Skateboards: Surf-Inspired Boards

Some of the earliest skateboards were inspired by surfboards. In the early 1900s, surfers in Hawaii would ride wooden boards with roller skate wheels attached to them. These boards were often crudely made and not very stable or durable.

However, they did allow surfers to ride the waves onshore, which was a novel concept at the time.

The first commercially-available skateboards were introduced in the early 1950s. These boards, known as “sidewalk surfers,” were made of wood and had roller skate wheels attached to them. They were not very stable but inexpensive and easy to use.

These boards quickly became popular with young people, who used them for transportation and recreation.

The Modern Skateboard: Street And Vert Skating

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a new style of skating emerged: street skating. This style was pioneered by Californian skateboarders who started doing tricks on public sidewalks and stairs. They developed a unique repertoire of tricks, many of which are still done today.

To perform those, skateboarders needed a more stable and durable board than the ones that were available at the time. So, they started to experiment with different shapes and sizes of boards. This led to the development of the modern skateboard, designed for street and vert skating.

Different Shapes for Different Skateboarding Styles

If you’re considering taking up skateboarding, you might wonder what kind of board you need. The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Instead, it all depends on the style of skating you want to do.

Street Skating

If you’re planning on doing a lot of street skating, you’ll need a board that’s built for durability and speed. In addition, a good street skateboard should have a smooth surface for easy grinding and maneuverability. You’ll also want to ensure that your board has enough pop to perform tricks like ollies and kickflips.

Most street skateboards are made from seven-ply maple wood, which is strong and flexible. The deck is usually between 7.5 and 8 inches wide, with a concave shape that helps the rider lock their feet in place.

Pool Skating

If you’re interested in skating in pools and other vertical structures, you’ll need a board that’s specifically designed for this type of skating. Pool boards are usually longer than street boards, with a flat or slightly concave surface. This makes them more stable and easier to control when you’re skating in small spaces.

Pool boards are also typically made from seven-ply maple wood, but they may have an additional layer of fiberglass or carbon fiber for extra strength.

Downhill Skating

Downhill skating is all about speed and stability. So when you’re bombing down a hill, you need a board that won’t wobble or flexes too much. They are typically made from nine-ply maple wood, which is very strong and stiff.

The deck is usually between 8 and 10 inches wide, with a small amount of concave to keep your feet locked in place.

You’ll also want to ensure that your downhill board has plenty of grip tape on the top so you don’t slip when you’re going fast.

Freestyle Skating

Freestyle skating is all about doing tricks and combos. So if you’re into this skating style, you’ll need a lightweight and maneuverable board.

Most freestyle boards are made from seven-ply maple wood, with a concave shape that makes it easy to do flip tricks. The deck is usually between 7.5 and 8 inches wide, with plenty of room for your feet.

The Importance of Shape in Skateboarding

When it comes to skateboarding, the shape is everything. The correct one can make a difference in your performance and how well you connect with your board. Here’s a look at the importance of shape in skateboarding and how to find the right one for you.

The Right Shape for Your Style

There are many different shapes of skateboards, and each one is designed for a specific style of skating. Finding a board that matches your skating style is essential if you’re just starting.

For example, you’ll need a light and maneuverable board if you want to do tricks and flips. On the other hand, if you’re more interested in cruising around town, you’ll need a more durable and stable board.

The Right Shape for Your Height and Weight

Another essential factor to consider when choosing a skateboard is your height and weight. A board that is too small or too large can be difficult to control, and it may not perform as you want it to.

If you’re not sure what size board you need, ask a salesperson at your local skate shop. They will be able to help you find the right size for you.

The Right Shape for Your Skill Level

As you progress in your skating skills, you may want to try different shapes of boards. For example, if you’re an experienced skater who is looking for a challenge, you might want to try a smaller or narrower board.

That will help you improve your agility and balance. On the other hand, if you’re a beginner, it’s best to stick with a wider, more stable board. Again, this is better for you to stay safe as you learn the basics of skateboarding.

The shape is an important consideration when choosing a skateboard. Finding a board that matches your skating style, height and weight, and skill level is essential. With so many different shapes available, there’s sure to be one that’s perfect for you. So don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the right one.

How to Choose the Right Shape for Your Skateboard?

The shape of a skateboard is one of the most important aspects to consider when purchasing a new board. The three main shapes are pintail, fishtail, and swallowtail. Each one has unique riding characteristics that make it better suited for certain types of skating. Here is a rundown of each shape and what skating is best for:


Pintail boards are the traditional style of the skateboard. They are long and narrow with rounded ends. They are great for cruising and carving because they are stable at high speeds and provide a good grip for tight turns.


Fishtail boards are shorter and wider than pintails, with squared-off ends. They are great for doing tricks because they are more maneuverable than pintails. Fishtails are also suitable for beginner skaters because they are less likely to “wobble” at slow speeds.


Swallowtail boards are a hybrid of pintail and fishtail shapes. They are shorter than pintails but longer than fishtails, with squared-off ends. Swallowtails offer the best of both worlds – they are stable like a pintail but more maneuverable than a fishtail.

A swallowtail is a good compromise if you can’t decide between a pintail and a fishtail.

How Do the Different Shapes Affect Skating?

Skateboards come in all shapes and sizes, each offering a unique riding experience. While it may not seem like a big deal, it can significantly impact your skating. Here’s a look at some of the most popular skateboard shapes and how they affect your ride.


Miniature skateboards are great for beginners or anyone who wants a more playful ride. These boards are smaller and lighter than traditional boards, making them easier to control. They’re also great for doing tricks and other performances that require a lot of movement.


These are designed for cruising around town or campus. They’re usually longer and wider than other types of boards, making them more stable and comfortable to ride.


Old-school skateboards are the original type of board and are still popular today. These boards are typically shorter and narrower than other types, making them lighter and easier to handle. Old-school boards are also great for doing tricks and other maneuvers that require a lot of movement.


Penny skateboards are named after their size; they’re smaller in size. These boards are designed for cruising around town or campus.


Street skateboards are designed for skating on concrete or asphalt. They’re usually shorter and narrower than other types, making them lighter and easier to ride.


Longboards are the most extended type of skateboard, and they’re designed for cruising around. They’re usually wider than other types of boards, making them more stable and comfortable to ride. They are also great for doing tricks and other performances that require a lot of movement.

Why Do Some Skateboards Have A Concave And Others Have A Convex Shape?

The shape of a skateboard deck can affect how it performs. Skateboard decks can have a concave or convex shape. Convex are more common and are thought to be faster and better for tricks. They are found on more traditional boards and are said to be better for control and stability.

Why Do Some Skateboards Have A Concave Shape?

The main reason why some skateboards have a concave shape is to provide a better grip for the rider’s feet. When performing tricks, it is essential to maintain contact with the board and not slip off.

A concave deck will provide more surface area for the rider’s foot to grip. This can be especially helpful when attempting flips and other tricks that require a lot of balance.

What Are The Benefits of A Convex Skateboard Deck?

A convex skateboard deck is thought to be faster than a concave deck because it has less surface area in contact with the ground. This means less friction, and the board can glide more easily.

They are also believed to be better for performing tricks. In addition, the extra curvature of the deck can make it easier to spin and perform other maneuvers.

Which Is Better, A Concave Or Convex Skateboard Deck?

There is no definitive answer about which type of skateboard deck is better. It depends on what you want to use your skateboard for. A convex deck may be the better choice if you are primarily interested in speed.

On the other hand, a concave deck may be a better option if you want more control and stability. Ultimately, it is up to the rider to decide which type of deck works best for them.

How Do You Care for Your Different-Shaped Skateboard?

  • Clean the board with a damp cloth after each use
  • Apply wax to the deck to help keep it in good condition
  • Check the screws regularly and make sure they are correctly tightened
  • Watch for bearings that may need to be replaced periodically
  • Use caution when riding a skateboard with a kicktail

Now that you know how to care for different-shaped skateboards. Now, get out there and enjoy your ride!

Final Say

So, why do skateboards have different shapes? The answer is simple. It’s all about finding the right board for your skating skills and needs. If you’re an experienced skater looking for a new challenge, try a smaller or narrower board.

But if you’re just starting, it’s best to stick with a broader and more stable one until you develop your skills. Experiment with different types to find your best shape, and always remember to wear protective gear!

Taylor Jensen

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