The Ultimate Guide to Popsicle Skateboard Decks: 10 Things You NEED to Know [2024] 🛹

Video: What Board Shape should you get?

Remember those first days on a skateboard, feeling like you were balancing on a plank of wood? Back then, the popsicle deck shape was a game-changer! This iconic, symmetrical design revolutionized skateboarding, making flip tricks and technical maneuvers accessible to everyone. But with so many different decks out there, how do you choose the right one for your style? We’ll dive deep into the secrets behind these legendary decks, explore materials, shapes, and pros/cons, and even shed light on some amazing alternatives you might not have considered!

Quick Answer:

Looking to find the perfect popsicle skateboard deck? Here’s what you need to know:

  • The popsicle shape is the most popular skateboard deck choice for a reason – it’s versatile and designed for tricks! 💪
  • Get familiar with different deck sizes (width) and concave (shape) to find what suits your riding style and skill level.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with various brands and shapes!
  • Check out our Skateboard Brand Guides for recommendations on top brands like Powell Peralta and Santa Cruz.
  • 👉 Shop for popsicle skateboard decks at Amazon and Walmart.

Table of Contents

Quick Tips and Facts

  • Fact: The popsicle shape is the most popular skateboard deck shape in the world. 🤯
  • Tip: When choosing a popsicle deck, consider your height, weight, and skating style.
  • Fact: Most popsicle decks are made from 7-ply Canadian maple. 🍁
  • Tip: Don’t be afraid to try different deck sizes and shapes to find what works best for you!
  • Fact: Almost 80 million people skateboard worldwide. 🛹

The History of Popsicle Skateboard Decks

grayscale photo of three women standing and sitting on rocks

Remember the days of clay wheels and boards that felt like they weighed a ton? Thankfully, those days are long gone! The evolution of the skateboard deck has been a wild ride, and the popsicle shape marks a turning point in skate history.

From Clay to Concave

Before the popsicle, skateboard decks came in various shapes and sizes, often influenced by surfing designs. These early decks were often wider, longer, and lacked the concave we know and love today.

The Birth of the Popsicle

Pinpointing the exact origin of the popsicle shape is like trying to land a cab flip off El Toro – tough! Some say the shape evolved gradually throughout the 80s, while others credit specific companies like Powell Peralta with pioneering the design. Whatever its genesis, the popsicle shape exploded in popularity in the late 80s and early 90s, thanks in part to the rise of street skating and the X Games. This symmetrical shape with its kicked nose and tail allowed for greater control and opened a whole new world of flip tricks and technical maneuvers.

Check out our Skateboard Culture category to learn more about skateboarding history.

The Evolution of Popsicle Skateboard Decks

Video: Old School Shaped board vs Popsicle Deck.

While the basic popsicle shape has remained relatively consistent, there have been subtle but important evolutions in design:

  • Concave: From mellow to deep, concave affects how the board responds to your weight and foot placement. Deeper concave generally provides more leverage for popping ollies and flip tricks.
  • Width: Decks now come in a variety of widths, typically ranging from 7.5″ to 8.5″ or wider. Wider decks offer more foot space, while narrower decks can be more responsive for flip tricks.
  • Wheelbases: The distance between your trucks affects how the board turns. Shorter wheelbases are more maneuverable, while longer wheelbases provide more stability at higher speeds.
  • Materials & Construction: While 7-ply Canadian maple still reigns supreme, we’re seeing more innovation with materials like bamboo, fiberglass, and even carbon fiber for added strength, flex, or weight reduction.

Check out our Skateboard Gear category to discover the latest in skateboard tech.

Popsicle Skateboard Deck Construction

Video: I bought a 9.25 deck to solve my skateboarding crisis.

Ever wonder what goes into making a popsicle deck? Let’s break it down:


  • Canadian Maple: The gold standard, known for its strength-to-weight ratio and snappy pop.
  • Bamboo: A sustainable and increasingly popular alternative, known for its durability and unique flex.
  • Fiberglass/Carbon Fiber: Often added as layers to increase strength, stiffness, or reduce weight.

Construction Process:

  1. Plywood Layers: Thin sheets of wood (typically maple) are glued together with the grain running in alternating directions for strength.
  2. Cold Pressing: The layers are stacked in a mold with the desired concave and pressed together under immense pressure.
  3. Cutting & Shaping: The pressed deck is cut into the popsicle shape, holes are drilled for the trucks, and the edges are rounded for comfort.
  4. Graphics & Finish: Designs are applied either through screen printing or heat transfer. A clear grip tape or a separate sheet of grip tape is applied to the top for traction.

The manufacturing process can influence the board’s feel, durability, and pop. Do some research on different brands and their construction methods to find the right deck for you.

The Pros and Cons of Popsicle Skateboard Decks

Video: SHAPED SKATEBOARD REVIEW! Pros and Cons of Shaped Skateboards | Madness Impact Light Skateboard.

Let’s weigh the advantages and disadvantages of these iconic decks:


Versatility: Designed for both street skating and park skating.
Trick Potential: The shape is optimized for flip tricks, grinds, and technical maneuvers.
Wide Range of Options: Tons of brands, sizes, shapes, and designs to choose from.
Relatively Affordable: You can find a decent popsicle deck without breaking the bank.


Not Ideal for Long Distances: The smaller size and harder wheels aren’t as comfortable for cruising long distances.
Less Stable at High Speeds: Compared to longboards, popsicle decks can feel less stable at higher speeds.
Can Be Difficult for Beginners: The focus on technical tricks can make it challenging for those brand new to skateboarding.

Need help choosing the right deck? Our article on How do I choose a good skateboard deck? is here to help!

Choosing the Right Popsicle Skateboard Deck

Video: What Size Skateboard Should I Get? | Skateboard Buying Guide | Tactics.

Ready to find your perfect popsicle deck? Here’s what to keep in mind:

1. Deck Size (Width):

  • Narrower Decks (7.5″ – 8″): Better for smaller riders, those with smaller feet, or those who prioritize flip tricks and technical maneuvers.
  • Mid-Width Decks (8″ – 8.25″): A good all-around choice for many skaters, offering a balance of stability and maneuverability.
  • Wider Decks (8.25″ and Up): Suitable for larger riders, those with bigger feet, or those who prioritize transition skating, gaps, and rails.

2. Deck Shape (Concave):

  • Mellow Concave: Offers a more stable and predictable feel, good for beginners or those who prefer a looser feel.
  • Medium Concave: A good all-around choice for many, providing a good balance of control and board feel.
  • Steep Concave: Offers the most leverage and pop, preferred by experienced skaters who do a lot of flip tricks.

3. Your Riding Style and Skill Level:

  • Beginners: Consider starting with a wider, mid-width deck with a mellow concave to get comfortable.
  • Street Skaters: Look for decks with steeper concave and features that enhance durability for grinds and flip tricks.
  • Park Skaters: Opt for decks that offer a balance of stability and pop, allowing for transitions, airs, and lip tricks.

Beyond these basics, you’ll find decks with variations in wheelbase, nose/tail shape, and construction. Don’t hesitate to experiment and find what feels best for your unique style.

Popsicle Skateboard Deck Maintenance

Video: Why Old school skateboards are better than popsicle boards.

Keep your popsicle deck in tip-top shape with these care tips:

1. Clean Your Deck:

  • Regularly wipe down your deck with a damp cloth to remove dirt, grime, and grip tape debris.
  • For tougher stains, use a mild soap solution and a soft-bristled brush. Avoid harsh chemicals that could damage the wood or graphics.

2. Protect Your Deck:

  • Grip Tape: Replace your grip tape when it starts to wear down. Not only will this give you better grip, but it can also protect the deck from scratches and dings.
  • Wax: Apply wax to ledges, rails, and curbs to reduce friction and prevent your deck from getting chipped or damaged during grinds.

3. Inspect for Damage:

  • Regularly check your deck for cracks, splinters, or any signs of stress. Small cracks can often be repaired with wood glue and clamps, but if the damage is severe, it’s time for a new deck.

4. Store Your Deck Properly:

  • Avoid storing your deck in extreme temperatures or humidity.
  • Keep it in a dry place where it won’t get stepped on or crushed by heavier objects. A skateboard rack can be a great investment to keep your setup organized and protected.

By following these simple maintenance tips, you can extend the life of your popsicle deck and enjoy countless hours of shredding! 🛹

Popsicle Skateboard Deck Alternatives

Video: HOCKEY VS POLAR (steep vs mellow skate deck).

While the popsicle reigns supreme, there’s a whole world of alternative deck shapes to explore:

  • Old School/Shaped Decks: Inspired by designs from the 70s and 80s, these decks often feature wider tails, unique shapes, and provide a surfy feel. They can be a blast for cruising, carving, and throwing a nostalgic vibe into your skating.
  • Cruiser Decks: Designed for easy rolling and comfortable commuting, cruiser decks are typically wider and longer than popsicle decks and often feature softer wheels for a smoother ride.
  • Longboards: If speed, distance, and carving are your priorities, then a longboard is worth considering. These decks come in various shapes and sizes and are designed to handle hills, carve turns, and cruise effortlessly.

The best deck ultimately depends on your individual skating style, preferences, and goals. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try out different shapes – you might be surprised at what you discover!


Love What You Do and Do What You Love poster

Popsicle skateboard decks have stood the test of time for a reason – they’re versatile, durable, and offer limitless trick potential. Whether you’re a seasoned shredder or just starting out, a popsicle deck is a solid choice for pushing your skateboarding skills and enjoying the ride. Remember, the perfect deck is the one that feels right for you. Experiment with different shapes, sizes, and concave to discover what fits your unique style and goals.

Don’t forget to maintain your deck properly to keep it in tip-top shape and maximize its lifespan. Happy skateboarding! 🛹

👉 Shop Popsicle Decks on:

Books on Skateboarding:

  • The Complete Illustrated Book of Skateboarding Amazon
  • Skateboarding: The Ultimate Guide to Tricks, Techniques, and Styles Amazon


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What is a popsicle deck?

A popsicle deck is the most popular skateboard shape. It’s the symmetrical, narrow, and concave design that we see on most contemporary street and park skateboards. It’s known for its maneuverability, making it perfect for flip tricks, grinds, and technical skating.

Read more about “🛹 Unlock Your Skateboarding Potential: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Skateboard Deck …”

What is a popsicle skateboard term?

“Popsicle skateboard” typically refers to a complete skateboard with a popsicle-shaped deck. This shape is so widespread, it’s often simply called a “skateboard” without needing further clarification.

Why is it called a popsicle deck?

The name “popsicle” comes from the shape’s resemblance to a classic popsicle treat, with its narrower waist and rounded ends at the nose and tail.

What is a shaped board?

A shaped board refers to any skateboard deck that deviates from the standard popsicle shape. They often feature unique contours, wider tails, and custom designs to create a distinct riding experience.

Read more about “Skateboard Deck Shapes Decoded: 10 Unique Profiles and Their Impact … 🛹”

What is a slick deck skateboard?

While there’s no formal definition of “slick deck skateboard,” it’s likely referring to a deck without grip tape. This uncommon setup is used for specific tricks, like sliding or grinding, and might be done temporarily on a normal deck or as a unique build for a more advanced skater.

Read more about “How do I Choose a Skateboard Design? … 🛹”

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