Fingerboards - the full story on the sport of fingerboarding
Do you or does your kid fingerboard? Ever wondered where it started? We consolidated a bunch of info to give you an intro in to this underground sport of fingerboarding. Get your fingers limbered...you'll need them for fingerboards!
The concept is pretty simple. Think of how a car might be designed. You don't build a full sized, fully functional auto right out of the gate. You build a model or a replica in miniature form. No different for skateboards. Build something small to get the ideas flowing. And there's the back story for fingerboards.
Basically a fingerboard is a mini replica of a skateboard. Everything from the board to the griptape to the truck to the wheels. Wait! What? Griptape and trucks? What the heck are those? Good questions.
Let's start with the board. And it's just what it sounds like...a small piece of wood (or plastic) shaped like your standard skateboard, uh, board. Only mini. Let's say about 3" (76.2mm) long by roughly 1" (25.4mm) wide.
Some of the original fingerboards were made of plastic, but as the sport grew and became more mainstream, replicas made of wood (like their big brother the skateboard) starting appearing. And what's the board for? That's where you set your fingers as you prepare to start a run or a trick.
How does the fingerboard roll? On wheels of course...just itty bitty wheels. But we get ahead of ourselves here. Wheels need to be connected to the board, hence the introduction of the fingerboard trucks. Check these out!
Lots of mechanics in the mighty truck! They hold the wheels in place but also are the axles so the wheels can spin smoothly. And the trucks allow for the board to lean one way or another without taking the wheels off the ground (or the kitchen counter or your bedroom desk). Neat! You can see the trucks in this shot...
OK, ok. Trucks are cool but let's talk wheels! Don't be fooled by the size (a little bit bigger than a BB from a BB gun). These are legit wheels, made from several materials including urethane, silicon and clay (clay?!?). And yes, these wheels even have ball-bearings. You can find them in just about any color, too. A fingerboard needs four (4) wheels and luckily the wheels are sold in fours. There's no front or back...the wheels fit either. Buy a bunch and mix and match...and have back ups.
Which picture above has a truck in it? (we don't give the answer)
Board, trucks and wheels. That's it, right? Nope, there's more. But not much more. How do you keep your fingers from slipping off the fingerboard?
B: Wear gloves
C: Grip tape
D: Nothing...your fingers just slip off all the time.
If you chose "C: Grip tape" then you are correct! Fingerboard grip tape is your answer. Think of this as sandpaper but steezy griptape! Sticky on one side to adhere to your fingerboard, and non slip surface on the other side to keep your fingers onboard (ha, on board, get it?). Just enough texture to be comfortable but not too much to grind the skin off. Grip tape can come in different thicknesses, too. Just depends on what you (and your fingers) like. Available in uncut (a rectangle shape so you can custom fit) or cut (looks like a standard-sized Band-Aid). Be sure to get the right size to fit your fingerboard.
Are we done yet? Yup, we'll wrap it up there....well...
What about tricks? And ramps and rails? And building an entire fingerboard skatepark in your garage or kitchen or bedroom? YES to all!
Keep an eye out for more on all those questions and more. YouTube videos on the way.
You can find fingerboards of all shapes and sizes and prices! We at the Pro Scooter Shop are going with the Germany-based brands of Berlinwood and Black River. Here's a link to our fingerboards that are for sale.
Now go get to fingerboarding!