01 January 2009

Fingerboard Guide (Part 1)

Let's start at the very basics. A fingerboard, quite simply, is a miniature skateboard that is meant to be used with someone's fingers rather than their feet. A lot of people, myself included, use the term 'Tech Deck' interchangabely with the term 'Fingerboard', because of the amount of popularity that 'Tech Deck' brought to the scene.

Where can I purchase a fingerboard? What type of fingerboard should I buy? Is Brand X better than Brand Y? Hopefully I can help you figure out these questions!

Parts of Fingerboard:
Tuning (Hardware, and grip/riptape)

Plastic deck vs Wooden deck
A plastic deck is usually cheaper. They also have a very solid pop that last forever.
However, they are factory made, and don't have the variance of shape that wood has. Also, they usually are much heavier than wooden decks as well.

+ Cheap
+ Widely Available
+ Long lasting pop
- Lack of shapes
- Heavy

+ Widely Available
+ Typically lighter
+ Variety of shapes
- Cost

Ready to Ride Fingerboards:
Well if you want a new complete fingerboard setup that is ready to ride out of the packaging, you can check out Tech Deck and Closeup. Tech Deck is great because of its availability and price. For about $4 and a quick trip to Wal-Mart, you can be fingerboarding right away! Closeup, on the other hand, is not as available. But you can pick Closeups up from the Flatface Fingerboard distribution website! The advantages they have over Techdecks is that they are wooden decks versus plastic.

I have only used three wooden decks
Berlinwood - Probably the largest producer of wooden decks in the world. Berlinwood's have a wide variety of shapes ranging from regular width decks to extra wide decks which give the rider a variety of choices so they can have the best ride possible. Not as available as they used to be, but definitely some of the best decks around!
Prete - I love Prete's. Peter Ringel, the owner of Prete, sure knows how to make great fingerboard decks! Highly sought, Pretes do live up to their reputation as one of the best fingerboard decks you can buy. I highly reccomend getting one if you can find one!
Evolve - Evolves are great fingerboards from the country of Brazil. They have a very steep concave, and a huge amount of pop. Very good fingerboard decks!

Other high quality deck companies that I haven't tried are Homewood, No-Comply, Absolute, Morningwood, and much more!

Flatface - In my opinon, the best fingerboard wheels I have ever used. Widely available, and spin like a dream!
Nollie Wheels - I had a pair of Nollie Metals and they were really good wheels for outdoor fingerboarding. Heavy, but a solid ride when riding on rough surfaces.
Substance - I haven't had the pleasure of using Substance wheels, so I will try to get the opinion of someone who has! I hear they are very good wheels!
Winkler Wheels - I had a pair of the D-Rex's and they were excellent wheels. Very smooth and fast!

The best part about the fingerboard scene today is the availability of obstacles that there was not in the past.

Blackriver Ramps - The most influential and highly respected obstacle company. Based in Germany, BlackRiver has provided the fingerboard scene with the highest quality ramps since 1999. They have a huge variety of obstacles, which include ramps, and rails, and are also one of the largest distributors of other fingerboarding products! They are my own personal favorite ramp company, and I highly reccomend you purchase from them!

Where can I buy fingerboards and fingerboarding obstacles?
Tech Deck fingerboards are the most widely available fingerboard. They can be bought at stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, and Toys-R-Us.

Wooden fingerboards, on the other hand, are not available to purchase from traditional retailers, and have to be purchased online.

Some Major Online Distributors

You can also buy fingerboards off of Ebay as well. The pros to Ebay are you can get decks that are not available at the moment on other distributors. However, there are many negatives to this. Scamming and price gouging run rampant on this medium, so I wouldn't reccomend buying fingerboards off of Ebay.

I'll add another part soon!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Close Ups also have single axle trucks and urethane wheels :P

January 4, 2009 at 10:35 AM  
Anonymous Munster Toys said...

You can also purchase Tech Decks, Tech Deck Ramps, and CloseUp Fingerboards at www.munstertoys.com

January 9, 2009 at 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can you give a couple of truck distributors?
thanks man
oo and check out yellowwood decks
suchh nice decks
have been sold out forever though

January 12, 2009 at 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry, just saw a tab on yellowood
ha my bad

January 12, 2009 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger Sabogo said...

how can I get in contact with Tech Deck??? please help...

April 2, 2009 at 1:01 PM  
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