Do you miss the fun and thrill of playing the game Fingerboard (skateboard) back in your childhood days? Well, many know it by its popular name Tech Deck.
Does it ring a bell now?
You may or may not have played Fingerboard when you were a kid, but I'll bet you've seen Tech Deck. The great finger skateboards gained popularity when they came out in 1994. Back then, we used to call ourselves Fingerboarders.
A fingerboard was a person who played the game exemplary. There used to be these small skateboards that you could pull apart, making them smaller and easier to carry around. They were called the tech decks. If you haven't heard of them, then read on. This post is for you!
The Fingerboarding Nostalgia
What's old is new again! If you are reading this, I assume you either remember or used "Fingerboard" when it was at the height of its popularity in the early 2000s.
While actual skateboarding and surfing are cool, collecting tiny boards with wheels on the hem was even cooler. But like everything, eventually, the fingerboard craze faded out of fashion, regardless of its superior collectability.
At the time, skateboards were simple designs of plastic skateboards with wheels on it and one big metal bolt to click on different ramps or obstacles. They even had a terrain park to purchase where you could build your skateparks.
Around the time when Fingerboarding was becoming a thing, video games like Sega, PlayStation, N64, and many others were also being fitted with advanced tech every day. The competition was rife, and you would be split for choices back then.
Image Source: Georgia State Signal
The Fingerboarding Craze of the '90s and 2000s
When we were young, a few things would hold our attention for more than 10 minutes; video games, TV, and Fingerboarding. Fortunately, Fingerboarding was physical, and it could pass for physical exercise on a smaller scale.
Finger boarding was a thing back then. We were crazy about Fingerboarding. It was our weekend pass time. We went to our local toy store and bought ourselves at least ten different sets of fingerboards. We would try to find the most beautiful one, the coolest one, or even the rarest one.
We would cut out pieces of paper and tape them on top of each other until they were thick enough to make ramps for the wheels on our boards. We were always looking for new stickers or designs on top of those ramps, so they looked cool when we made them into obstacles like stairs or ramps for jumps! Ohh...the good old days!
Fingerboarding is a great way to spend time with your friends or family, especially if you are on a trip. It allows you to bring out your creativity and have fun at the same time. Fingerboards are also very easy to carry around in your backpack or school bag, to play anywhere you want with them!
Indoor Skateboarding Practice
Finger boarding offered a way to practice your skateboarding skills without actually going outside, which was great for those of us who lived in colder regions. It's also a great way to let your creativity flow and see what you can come up with.
Many people who grew up during the 90s likely have some nostalgia for Fingerboarding. It was an important part of my childhood, and I still remember having lots of fun with friends playing tag on our local playground while trying not to fall off our boards This was more than a toy- it was a work of art!
Fingerboarding is a fun way to pass the time, and it's more than just a distraction. People can get really into Fingerboarding, even competing in the world championships.
It can help you practice skateboarding skills, which are useful for many things besides just skateboarding. You can learn a lot of tricks just from Fingerboarding! Even though they're not real boards and your fingers don't have wheels on them yet (I'm sure that will be coming soon), they're still pretty cool.
World Snowboard Fingerboard Championship 1999
The late 90s was the period when people took Fingerboarding seriously. In 1999 there was the world's first ever World Snowbaord Fingerboad Championships with a price of C$ 1,000. This was a huge sum of money back then.
Fingersnowboardig, which was similar to Fignerboarding but uses a smaller snowboard was the kind os snowboarding one just with the fingers. Gravity Fingerboards, Transworld Snowboarding and other publications were among the sponsors of a "fingerboard snowboard park" tournament that had 20 contestants.
Instead of using just your fingers to control the board and do tricks and moves, people on handboards, also known as "fingerskates," use their palms instead of their fingers to control the smaller version of a skateboard.
With its bigger size, handboards more nearly resemble the features of a normal skateboard. It is more likely that a skateboard truck, the wheel structure, would match the real skateboard truck rather than be a cast one-piece construction or otherwise simplified.
For example, Skateboard-like appearances might be achieved if the user desired a particular sort of wood or decorative style.
With events worldwide, there's bound to be one near you! You can even make your own competition if none exist within driving distance of your hometown (or if there isn't enough interest in making one happen). The best part is that this sport is not just limited to kids - adults love it too.
Background History of Fingerboarding
When fingerboards originally appeared in the late 1960s as homemade finger tosy, they were tied to keychains at skate shops as a novelty item.
It is commonly accepted that skateboarder Lance Mountain invented the Fingerboard. Mountain introduced Fingerboarding to the world of skateboarders in the midle 1980s in the Powell-Peralta skating movie called Future Primitive from 1985.
In the same issue of TansWorld SKATEboarding, Mountain wrote an article on how to manufacture fingerboards. Lance mountain rode a home-made fingerboard in double-bine sink in the video. Lance Mountain surfed the board. The ramp in The search for animal Chin was inspured by this.
This is the earliest publicly known fingerboard footage, according to some people. Wood, tubes, and toy trains axles were used to build this DIY Fingerboard.
In Came Somerville Int’l
When Somerville International's Fingerboard brand was founded in 1987, it was a game changer. Frist to mass-produce fingerboards not intended for use with figure or other attachments, they set the standard for the rest of the industry.
With the debut of the Pro-Precision board, they became the first to use licensed graphics from legitimate skateboard manufacturers.
Over time, the brand's naming conventions, product designs, and business alliances have all evolved. As a result of their partnership with McDonald's in the early 2000s, they were able to develop fingerboards for Happy Meal toys.
They designed the "Finger Boy" and "Finger Girl" skateboarding action figures as well as a slew of "finger sport" toys. Their 2nd generation fingerboards were used in the first mass-produced hardwood and aluminum fingerboards, which they are credited with inventing as a byproduct.
Toy maker Spin Master in Canada discovered that fingerboards could be used for products bearing the logos and branding of real skateboarding brands when skateboarding gained global appeal in the late 1990s and launched its Tech Deck brand.
Fingerboards became popular during this time period and have since become a household name in the toy industry. There are currently a wide variety of toy fingerboards on the market, including low-cost novelty toys as well as high-end collectibles, replete with the same accoutrements as skateboards of the same size.
Many people use fingerboards as 3-D models to visualize tricks and maneuvers before they attempt them on their skateboards.
Continued Popularity of Fingerboarding
A growing number of Eastern Europeans are embracing Fingerboarding as a form of transportation. Located in Steyr, Austria, Fingaspeak is said to be the world's first fingerboard store, and is part of a very limited number of fingerboard retailers worldwide.
Fingerboarding, which got its start in the United States almost two decades ago, has recently taken off in Europe. Even though the European Fingerboard scene appears to be more popular than the American one, it is estimated that sales in both countries are equal.
It's possible that this is due to a glut in the market and an abundance of resources in America. Some people's interest in fingerboarding has turned into a full-time job. Competitions, clinics, and other activities are held on a regular basis by fingerboarders. FastFingers and FlatFace Rendezvous are two such examples.
Approximately $120 million was made in 1999 from the sale of fingerboard products, according to industry estimates. Fingerboarding makes a great subject for cinematography since it allows for creative framing and control of the action.
Thousands of finger board and handboard videos are now available on prominent video-sharing sites like YouTube, thanks to the growth of the online video business since early 2006, spurred in part by the feature that allows clips to be e-mailed to friends.
How the Fingerboards are used Worldwide
Skaters and other sports professionals use fingerboards to plan their own and others' skating maneuvers, but fingerboards are also popular among children who use them as toys.
Like model train enthusiasts, many fingerboard hobbyists build and buy smaller-scale models of everyday urban elements like railings, benches, and stairs that they would come across while skating.
Half-pipes, quarter pipes, trick boxes, vert ramps, pyramids and banked ramps are just a few examples of items that may be built or purchased by users. If you like skating tricks or the "flow" between them, these toys can help you visualize them better (colloquially referred to as "lines").
How the Fingerboards are Made
A fingerboard is a working replica (about 1:8 scaled) of a skateboard. It is a small, portable, miniaturized skateboard that you can take anywhere. The deck is the main part of the board and is usually made from wood or plastic material with four wheels attached to it.
It comes with all the parts needed to perform tricks like an actual skateboard such as trucks, wheels, and grip tape just like any other type of skateboard but it's smaller and portable so you don't need to bring along your entire set-up when you're heading out somewhere or going on vacation as long as you have your board in tow!
Fingerboards, like skateboards, have a number of components:
- Plastic or wood are used to make fingerboard decks. Popsicle decks, cruiser decks, and old-school decks are just a few examples. As with a real skateboard, modern and/or higher-quality decks feature a distinct nose and tail. In the past, "Berlin Wood" decks were 29mm broad, however, currently, boards can measure between 32mm and 34mm wide.
- Toy truck manufacturers primarily use metal to mass-produce trucks. Manufacturers who make vehicles for the sport, however, have also emerged in recent years, setting greater requirements for quality in lower quantities.
- Polyurethane (the same material used in skateboard wheels) is the most common type of wheel since it provides a solid grip. Bearings are a standard feature on higher-end wheels. A lathe is used to churn out the parts (or their industrial equivalent).
- Fingerboard wheels employ the same type of bearings as skateboard wheels. They're built of high-quality steel, just like skateboards, to ensure that the wheels go smoothly.
- Rubber, neoprene, or fine-grain skateboard grip tape is used as a grip for improved adhesion to the deck.
- A screw is a fastener that connects the truck to the deck. Nuts: Nuts keep the wheels on the trucks in place. Locknuts, which are less likely to come undone, are widely used.
- Fingerboard trucks, like genuine skateboard trucks, contain two bushings that help make riding the board more comfortable. The fingerboard bushings on some low-cost plastic boards are made of hard plastic, which is more likely to break and make certain tricks more difficult.
It's not strange to see these impediments bulk produced by a variety of brands and companies. Decks and obstacles are similar in that lower grade ramps are typically made of plastic, whilst higher quality ramps are typically constructed of concrete and wood. Most barriers are designed to mimic a real-world challenge.
What a nostalgic journey through Tech Deck's Fingerboarding. I've since moved on to other hobbies, but it is good to see that people are still into Fingerboarding, because it was the best game back then.
I have seen some kits on sale on eBay. For those who missed the experience back then, you still have a chance to enjoy these boards. Nostalgic feelings for this game are all around us, but it's difficult to revive the Fingerboarding craze of the 90s.
Fingerboarding puts people of all ages on a level playing field. You can compete against someone of any age thanks to the simple nature of the game. It's just plain fun to make your own skatepark and rail tricks and show it off to friends.
Fingerboarding is still awesome and you should give it a chance, even if you're too old to play it with friends.
It's probably one of the unique hobbies you'll ever come across, so grab your deck and enjoy it while it lasts—you might just prove everyone wrong and catch 'em all.
And who knows? If some insane success happens, maybe they'll make Fingerboarding a real sport!
What are your Fingerboarding / Tech Deck Memories?
Did you get a chance t play back then?