A Beginner’s Guide to Tech Deck Fingerboards

tech deck

So you’re interested in the nostalgic 90s trend that’s making a comeback in a big way.Tech Deck, those miniature skateboards you once shredded in the schoolyard, are popular again and more advanced than ever. Maybe you’re curious about the hobby but don’t know where to start or think it’s only for kids. Well, think again. Fingerboarding has evolved into an exciting skill toy and art form for all ages. Whether you’re looking to relive the glory days of your youth or pick up an entertaining new habit, this guide will teach you everything you need to know to get started with Tech Decks. From finding the right deck and wheels to mastering flip tricks, we’ve got you covered.Your friends might laugh now, but once they see your sweet fingerboard skills, they’ll be begging you to teach them how to ollie.

What Are Tech Deck?

Tech Decks are miniature skateboards that you maneuver with just your fingers. They’re plastic replicas of real skateboards, complete with graphics, wheels, and realistic parts. If you’ve always wanted to try skateboarding but were intimidated by the real thing, Tech Decks are a great way to start.

What Can You Do With Tech Decks?

You can do all kinds of skateboarding tricks with Tech Decks, like ollies, kickflips, heelflips, and more. The key is practicing and developing finger dexterity and hand-eye coordination. Start with the basics, like sliding the board on a tabletop or other smooth surface. Once you get the hang of it, move on to small jumps and other beginner tricks.

The more you practice, the more advanced tricks you’ll be able to pull off. You can find tutorial videos online to help you learn new skills. Some people get really good at stringing multiple tricks together in a fluid run.

Where Can You Ride Tech Decks?

Tech Decks are meant for riding on small, smooth surfaces, like desktops, countertops, and textbooks. As you improve, you can try riding them on handrails, edges, and corners to simulate skating on real-world obstacles. Some people build their own Tech Deck skate parks using materials like Popsicle sticks, LEGOs, and cardboard. Get creative!

With some practice, Tech Decks can provide hours of fun and challenging entertainment. Give it a try—you might just get hooked!

A Brief History of Fingerboarding

Tech Decks started it all. These miniature skateboards took the world by storm in the late 90s and early 2000s, launching a global fingerboarding craze.

The Early Days

In the beginning, Tech Decks were simple – just a miniature skateboard deck with plastic wheels. But they were a hit, and the first official Tech Deck competition launched in 1999. Newer models featured more realistic graphics and components like real wood decks, metal trucks, and urethane wheels.

Growth and Evolution

As fingerboarding grew into a full-on sport, other brands entered the scene. Companies like Blackriver, Flatface, and Yellowood started producing high-quality wooden decks, trucks, and wheels. The evolution of gear drove the progression of tricks and styles.

A Thriving Subculture

Today, fingerboarding has evolved into a thriving subculture. There are fingerboard contests, video competitions, brands, sponsors, and professional fingerboarders. The community is also active on Instagram, YouTube, and dedicated forums.

While Tech Decks introduced most of us to the joy of mini skateboarding, the options now go way beyond those original plastic boards. Whether you’re just starting out or ready to go pro, there’s a whole world of fingerboards and gear waiting to be shredded. The only limit is your imagination!

Getting Started With Tech Deck

So you’ve got your first Tech Deck fingerboard and you’re eager to start shredding, but not sure where to begin. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are the basics to get started with your new fingerboard.

Find a spot to shred

The first step is finding a suitable surface for fingerboarding. A desk, tabletop, or counter are ideal. Make sure the area is clear of any breakable objects in case you start busting out kickflips or varial heels. You’ll want a smooth surface without a rough texture, so avoid carpeted areas.

Practice the basics

Start with the fundamental tricks:

  • Ollie: Sliding your front finger up and popping the tail to get airborne. This is the foundation for all other flip tricks.
  • Kickflip: Flicking your front finger off the nose to make the board spin.
  • Heelflip: Flicking your front finger off the heel side of the nose to spin the board the opposite direction of a kickflip.
  • Pop shove-it: Scooping your back finger under the tail to spin the board 180 degrees.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can start combining and modifying tricks, like kickflip shove-its, varial heels, and 360 flips.

Customize your setup

You can customize your Tech Deck with different grip tape, trucks (the metal axles), wheels, and tuning to match your style. Softer, wider wheels are ideal for cruising and carving, while harder, smaller wheels are better for technical flip tricks. Loosening the kingpin on your trucks will make turning easier for a surfy feel. Play around with different setups to find what feels right under your fingers!

The key is practice and patience. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t land a tre flip on your first try. Keep at it and have fun. Before you know it, you’ll be fingerboarding like a pro! Let the shredding commence!

Customizing Your Tech Deck

Once you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to start customizing your Tech Deck to make it uniquely your own. Here are some of the most popular ways fingerboarders mod their Tech Decks:

Change the wheels

The stock wheels that come with Tech Decks are small and hard, not ideal for many tricks. Upgrade to wider, softer wheels for better grip and control. Some top brands are Oaks, Flatface, and Joycult. Softer wheels in the 90A to 101A range are good for beginners.

Swap the trucks

The trucks are the axles that connect the wheels to the deck. Stock Tech Deck trucks are narrow and unstable. Wider trucks around 34mm to 38mm give you more stability for flip tricks and grinds. Independent, Venture and Tensor make quality trucks sized for fingerboards.

Upgrade the bearings

High-performance bearings reduce friction for faster spins and longer roll. Look for bearings rated ABEC 7 or higher from brands like Bones Redz or Oust. Ceramic bearings are even faster but more expensive.

Change the grip tape

The grip tape on Tech Decks is very basic. For more traction, you can replace it with custom grip tape that comes in different colors, widths and grits. Mob, FBS and Fingerboard Store all offer grip tape kits for fingerboards.

Add obstacles

What’s a skateboard without obstacles? You can find grind boxes, kickers, ramps and rails scaled for fingerboarding online or at some skate shops. Build your own DIY park at home! Ramps and boxes let you practice aerials and grinds.

With some new gear and a skatepark setup, you’ll be busting out kickflips and boardslides in no time. Customizing your Tech Deck is all about experimenting to find what works for your riding style and skill level. Don’t be afraid to swap out different parts to optimize your performance and keep progressing your fingerboarding skills.

Top Tech Deck Tricks for Beginners

Once you’ve mastered the basics of Tech Deck fingerboarding, it’s time to start practicing some simple tricks. Here are a few top tricks that even beginners can pick up quickly:

Ollie

The ollie is the foundation for many other tricks. Pop your fingerboard up into the air by sliding your middle finger up and snapping down with your index finger. This takes some practice to get right, so be patient and keep at it. With regular practice, you’ll be ollie-ing in no time!

Kickflip

Building on the ollie, the kickflip adds a flip to the board while it’s in the air. As you ollie, slide your middle finger off the edge of the tail to flip the board. Catch it with your fingers as it comes back around. Start with a half kickflip, just flipping the board 90 degrees, before moving on to a full kickflip.

Heelflip

Instead of flipping off the tail, the heelflip flips off the nose of the board. As you ollie, slide your middle finger off the nose edge to flip the board in the opposite direction of a kickflip. This trick also takes a lot of practice to master. Start with a half heelflip before progressing to a full rotation.

Shove-it

For a shove-it, pop the tail of the board to get it off the ground and use your fingers to spin it 90 or 180 degrees while sliding it under your hand. Catch the board and land with your fingers placed for balanced riding. The shove-it is a easier trick to start with since it doesn’t require catching the board in the air.

Practice makes perfect. Keep at it and stay patient – you’ll get the feel of these beginner tricks in no time. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can start combining tricks or move on to more advanced techniques. The possibilities are endless with Tech Deck fingerboards!

Conclusion

So there you have it, everything you need to know to get started with Tech Deck fingerboards. Now it’s time to go pick out your first board and start practicing those tricks. Once you get the hang of the basics, start adding in ramps, rails and other obstacles to keep progressing your skills. The key is just to have fun with it. Don’t get too caught up in competing with others or feeling pressure to land the hardest tricks right away. Take your time and enjoy the process of learning. Tech Deck fingerboarding is meant to be a fun hobby, so grab some friends and start shredding! The more you practice the better you’ll get. Before you know it, you’ll be busting kickflips, varials and 360 flips like it’s second nature.

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