As we know, the different size skateboards suit skaters of diverse ages and skating styles. And often, only one size fits us best for years of riding. There could be preferential changes, but not quite often.
Two of the most popular skateboard widths today are 8.0 and 8.5 inches. Not only are these sizes balanced, but they are also functional.
But between an 8 VS 8.5 skateboard, which one shall you choose? What significant impact will picking one over the other make? And how do other aspects of the sport differ in these sizes? Keep reading this article as we magnify these differences.
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8 and 8.5 skateboards
The numbers 8 and 8.5 in skateboard size scales represent the skateboard’s width, the most significant dimension when picking decks. Let’s see some of their inherent features.
Skateboard decks sized 8″ are often a top pick for streets and technical skating. In many sizing scales, this size is often in the middle.
Most skaters who use this skateboard width have a foot size of 9-10. In age and height, the 8.0 deck belongs to the taller group of at least 5’3, aged 13 and up.
For many, a half-inch difference in a skateboard deck’s size could already yield a relevant change.
8.5 boards are at the end of the skate deck size chart for boards designed for parks and streets, like the 8.0. In foot size, these boards work well for size 12, often the bigger size among skaters’ feet.
And like the 8.0 decks, these skateboards are for teen to adult users standing at least 5’3 in height.
Differences between 8.0 and 8.5 skateboard decks
We’ll tackle the differences between 8.0 and 8.5 boards through the following aspects.
1. Truck and wheel size
Often, it’s useful to associate the skateboard deck’s size with other parts, like knowing what size wheels for 8.5 deck or 8.0 board to use (the answers are 54 to 58 mm and 52 to 58 mm for those who are curious). But let’s focus on another aspect here, the trucks.
What trucks should we use for 8.0 and 8.5 skateboard decks? As a concept, the truck axle widths should closely match the board.
Specifically, the truck size for 8 inch deck should come with an axle width of 8.25 inches. The same truck size is also amenable for use on 8.5 skateboards.
However, with 8.5 skate decks being significantly broader than 8.0, you can still use trucks of around 8.4 to 8.75 inches for their setup.
2. Body type
We mentioned that 5’3 is the minimum height for skateboarders using 8.0 and 8.5 decks. However, if you’re slightly shorter and want a more maneuverable board, you might as well go for the 8.0.
But is height all we should consider? No.
We should also assess other physical aspects, especially our weight. Like the height considerations, lighter skaters around 100 to 150 pounds prefer the narrower 8.0 skateboard decks. Essentially, heavier riders would pick the broader size 8.5 skateboard.
3. Skating style
Yes, both skateboard deck sizes work well for technical skating. But which of these two specializes in transitions, ramps, and other more specific styles?
Simply put, 8.0 skateboard decks are ideal for street skating. Why? It’s because this deck size offers optimum maneuverability when moving around urban areas. But there are also other factors to consider, such as where you are in your skating journey. Beginners are often better off with an 8-inch deck as the starter, for example.
On the other hand, 8.5 boards are for ramps, transitions, and skate park obstacles. But besides these obstacles, many riders now consider 8.5 inch skateboard decks suitable for all-around skating and professional levels. So, they give off the impression of being more versatile.
Pros and cons
We’ve seen the differences between an 8.0 and 8.5 skateboard deck. Let’s now highlight some of the best things about these skateboard sizes.
- Works well for shorter, lighter skateboarders
- Sufficient maneuverability and control
- Good for beginners
- May not handle heavier riders
- Ideal for transition skating
- More suited for heavier, taller riders
- Regarded as an all-around deck size
- Heavier and less transportable than smaller boards
Which is Better?
We are now down to deciding which one has the upper hand between 8.0 and 8.5 skateboard decks.
In skating styles, 8.5 skateboard decks win it. Why? While it’s best for transition skating, it’s also an all-around board. Realistically, Tony Hawk uses this deck size for vert skating.
For comfort reasons, 8.5 skateboards also have an advantage. They are more stable and can handle speedy skate rides. So, not only are they for transition, but they can also be for cruising in the city.
Not to take anything away from 8 inch skateboard decks, as this size remains more responsive than 8.5-inches ones. However, this dimension requires more precision when used in tricks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is 8.5 too big of a board?
We now know that 8.5 skateboards are naturally versatile. But are these boards too big? It depends on several considerations.
First, 8.5 boards work for heavier and taller skaters. So, given you have a suitable body type for these decks, they’re never too big.
Second, skaters with feet sizes below the ones we specified for 8.5 boards will find it too large because they can’t achieve the ideal feet-to-deck fit.
So, besides the skateboard size calculator, the best way to decide is to try the decks and see where our body type, skating style, and overall performance fit well.
Should I get an 8.5 or 8.25 skateboard?
Let’s first see what an 8.25 skateboard deck offers to help us decide.
8.25 skateboard decks work best for skaters standing 5’6 tall. But you still have to consider your foot size to achieve the appropriate proportion of feet to deck space.
You might only have to choose an 8.5 over an 8.25 when you have slightly longer feet (size 9.5 or higher) and plan to cruise. Why? 8.5 skateboard decks have a wider turning range and more stability.
Notably, few or almost negligible sizing differences impact our skateboarding. By comparing one alternative against the other, we tend to understand the variables more.
In this 8 VS 8.5 skateboard comparison, we learned how 8.0 decks tend to be more maneuverable, and 8.5 ones tend to be more stable. But while these aspects are still subject to other considerations, let’s remember to check our body type and preferred skating styles.
Eventually, we will achieve the best balance among the skateboard sizes, suitability of the board, and overall performance.
Hi, I am Charles Harris. I opened this site to write as much as I can about my biggest passion – skateboarding!
I started as a clumsy yet passionate rookie 10 years ago to now a still passionate yet much better skateboarder! But I have to tell you, the whole journey has always been fun and rewarding, indeed not without hardship.