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Skateboard Decks - Background and Construction

Shown in movies and commercials or seen in the side of roads and at skateparks, skateboarding is a rather new sport, which has found its way into mainstream American culture. It was once hard to discover or create areas in which to skate, but now cities are filled with designated skate areas as a way to suit skateboarders. Regardless of the vast amount of skaters and skateboard companies currently, the origins of skateboarding as well as the invention of the skateboard are shrouded in mystery.

It has been argued the first skateboards arose in the 1930's and 40s when kids would ride soapbox carts attached with rollerskates (or planks on roller skates). Both potential origin theories have been argued in historical texts, magazines, and also to the silver screen in documentaries including outside on the road.

It was then massproduced and remodeled in the 1960s. The blank, or deck, was frequently made in the form of the surfboard from wooden or plastic. Some metal boards were produced at the same time. The wheels were often crafted from clay or steel and were less strong than today's variant of wheels.

Built out of 7-ply crosslaminated maple, most decks are secure and will handle daily-use and tough-play. However some decks are made from fibreglass, resin, Kevlar, bamboo, aluminum, or carbon fibre or plastic components also in order to boost rigidity.

The typical size deck is 8-inches wide. Some can be just as little as 7 inches among the others are up-to 10.5 inches. Width depends predominantly on style and taste. Street skating typically requires a deck which is 7.5"-8", while wider decks are used for trick skating. The average amount of the board is 29-33 inches long. However, longer decks are known as longboards and are fairly common. They are much more and usually do not have "kicktails," but instead are aerodynamic and intended for street skating long lengths of road or downhill.

It supplies the skater the ability to "grip" the deck by making friction. On one side of the grip tape is an adhesive, which attaches to the deck. On the other side is a sandpaper-like top. The main difference in boards is situated in the underside of the deck, whilst the contour and general feel of a skateboard is quite common. Decks can vary from solid colours and styles to graffiti covered art.

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