A skateboard consists of multiple ply wooden deck which can vary in length and width according to the type of skateboard. The deck is mounted on two axle mechanisms called trucks. Attached to both sides of each truck is a wheel that is generally made of polyurethane and varies in size and texture. Inside of each wheel are two bearings which are crucial to the mobility of the skateboard. The skateboarding community began to flourish between the 1940's and the 1970's when surfers began to look for ways to surf when the waves did not permit their hobby of choice. Early skateboard-like devices were created by dismantling roller blade wheels and attaching them to wooden planks. These wooden planks with wheels would later develop into different types of skateboards.
Cruiser boards are a type of skateboard that generally range between 10-30 inches in length. Boards of this length typically need medium-larger components in order to perform properly. Compared to standard "trick boards," cruiser boards have generally larger and softer wheels, looser trucks, and have different board shapes with only a tail-fin. Compared to long boards, they cannot handle as high of speeds, but have more maneuverability. Typically, riders use Cruiser Boards for transportation and can handle small-medium size hills.
Long boards are a type of skateboard that generally range 35-55 inches in length. These boards generally have similar components to the cruiser boards and their components are generally on the largest side of the spectrum. The length of these boards allows them to maintain their momentum, coast more easily, and reduce loss of control at high speeds. However in certain cases this length can compromise their maneuverability. Riders generally use long boards for transportation and handling medium-large sized hills.
Trick boards are typically 30-35 inches in length. These boards are popular for their basic shape which is optimum for performing creative maneuvers. The components for these boards will typically be on the smaller side of the spectrum making them lighter and easier to perform tricks on. The wheels are generally smaller and harder reducing bulkiness. There is a relatively standard shape that has been developed for these boards as well. Riders will normally use these for transportation, but these boards are mainly known for their recreational use.
If you are having any problems with your skateboard, consult the Skateboard Troubleshooting page.
If you are looking to purchase equipment or tools for your skateboard you may visit the following sources.
CCS Skateboards is known for carrying a variety of skateboard equipment and accessories.
Zumiez Skateboards has a limited selection of skateboarding equipment.
Skate Warehouse has a very wide variety of skateboarding equipment and accessories at a very reasonable price.