I started skateboarding in 2007. Back then, the most common skateboard deck sizes were 7.5 inches and 7.75 inches. For my first board width, I chose the latter one. I’ve been skating that size for around eight years up until 2015. During that time, I got into old-school tricks and felt tempted to buy a wider skateboard, which I eventually did. I purchased a 9 inch Welcome Banshee 90 deck and the other parts to complete the setup. I enjoyed that setup and kept skating it for a long time. It wasn’t until November of 2020 when I decided to go for another size again. I bought a Santa Cruz 8.25 deck, and of course, all of the corresponding parts to make it a complete skateboard. Since then, I’ve been enjoying the Santa Cruz, the lightweight, and the nimble movability.
Digging Out The Big Boy
A few days ago, I decided to dig out my old 9-inch setup again and directly compare the two just for fun. I warmed up on my current skateboard, got some tricks in, and then decided to jump on the nine-inch boat. As soon as I stepped on it, I immediately felt the weight. Doing an Ollie on it felt like weightlifting, compared to the cardio-feel of the 8.25. It felt pretty sluggish, especially on flat, and I wondered how I did flip tricks with this board.
However, doing a few Pop Shove-It’s and ’50-’50s made me rediscover the advantages of a wide skateboard. You have so much wood to land on, and the wide trucks make grinding super easy. I could see why I was skating it and what the general appeal of boards like these are.
After spending some time with my old friend, I jumped back on my current setup, and it immediately felt so much better to me. It’s so nimble, the board spins and flips effortlessly, and it just seems much more responsive. While these two skateboards don’t look that different at first sight, skating them makes you feel that they couldn’t be any more different. It’s crazy to think about how the rules of physics apply to skateboarding and how we, as skaters, perceive the world through the piece of wood underneath our feet.
Overall I’m glad that I stepped down to the 8.25 and completely understand why it’s the most common board size these days.
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