Why are fingerboards so expensive? A comprehensive teardown
You have probably stumbled across the question, “Why are fingerboards so expensive?” In a
nutshell: all of our products are handmade in Germany guaranteeing 100% high quality
material, craftsmanship and quality control.
Sometimes the price of a fully equipped fingerskateboard outruns the cost of a full size complete skateboard, making them quite pricey. In this article we will show you how our products
are made and what goes into producing a fingerboard.
What does a fingerboard consist of?
Our high-end complete fingerboards consist of a pair of fingerboard trucks, bearing wheels
and a wooden fingerboard deck, all of which are crafted in Germany. Our sets come with a
professional wooden fingerboard deck, a pair of Blackriver fingerboard trucks and a set of
professional bearing wheels.
A professional complete fingerboard including Blackriver Trucks, a Berlinwood deck and bearing wheels.
Why are fingerboard decks so expensive?
Our inhouse brand “Berlinwood” pioneered in manufacturing high quality, state of the art
fingerskateboard decks made from real wood. We are constantly testing new materials, graphics and engravings, as well as widths and shapes.
Like normal skateboard decks, Berlinwood decks consist of a tail, nose, and concaves. The shape and standard form have been optimized specially for fingerboarding and fingerboarding tricks. Each of our decks consist of a five-ply-construction made from high quality wooden veneer. This ensures durability and a long-lasting product.
Before going into final construction we had to choose the proper veneer for the job. It had to be
durable, colorful and thin enough to be pressed into shape. Since then, we have tested and
manufactured decks from maple, bamboo and even plastic compounds. But since wood
allows us to be most creative and flexible in designing new shapes and designs we mainly stick to that.
Over the years we have had several different shapes and styles of fingerboard decks.
Developing fingerboard graphics
We constantly come up with new graphics for our Berlinwood decks, whether a
promodel or a special edition graphic. Each graphic has to be designed and properly laid
out for the right deck sizes, as well as tested for color consistency.
Pressing the decks
Maybe you have tried to craft some fingerboard decks yourself. The most critical part is
pressing the wood into shape whilst ensuring the right amount of pressure is applied to the
deck. During this phase the deck experiences the most force during the whole construction
process. This step has to be repeated for each individual deck.
Refining the Decks
After being formed into the proper shape, each deck has to be cut out, refined and polished
individually by hand. During this procedure we need to make sure all decks are intact and
Once each deck has the right width, tail, nose and shape, the holes for the trucks are drilled by hand. Finally we engrave the Berlinwood logo onto the top-ply and apply the graphics to the bottom.
Berlinwood's colorful wooden plies with vibrant colors.
Why are fingerboard trucks so expensive?
Each of our Blackriver Trucks consists of 12 individual parts that are assembled by hand. The
design was taken right from the real thing – fullsize skateboard trucks. We got together with
engineers and professional fingerboarders to design a durable, long-lasting truck that was
made just for fingerboarding.
Before taking our plans into construction we had to make sure to get the right materials
for each component. A real challenge is the production of locknuts, threaded rods and
hangers. Because we also offer trucks with different colored bases we needed to figure out
the best way of coloring and painting the components.
Golden 34mm Blackriver Trucks on a Berlinwood deck.
First, the kingpin and pivot cup are assembled to the base of each truck. These steps
are all performed by hand to ensure a perfect fit. Next, the hanger is assembled.
During this step a threaded rod is inserted into the hallow hanger, preparing it for further assembly.
The base and hanger are then equipped with a bushing and washer, and attached together. To secure the hanger, a locknut is screwed on top to ensure a sturdy truck. Finally, each truck receives another two lock nuts on the thread for securing your wheels
to the trucks.These steps have to be completed per truck, so for each pair of
trucks, 22 individual pieces have to be put together.
Each pair is individually packed and sealed from its assembler, and made available for purchase. The time and detail oriented work of putting together a pair of Blackriver Trucks, explain why they are so expensive.
Why are fingerboard wheels so expensive?
The fingerboard wheels are probably the most important components of each setup.
Connecting the fingerboard with the ground. To follow the needs of fingerboarders we haveintroduced various shapes and sizes of wheels. Each wheel is assembled by hand and is equipped with a high performance bearing wheel.
Professional fingerboard bearing wheels on Blackriver Trucks.
This step might seem easier than it actually is. After production, each wheel must be checked
for mistakes and imperfections. In order to assure that the bearings fit nicely in the wheels, all ridges have to be smoothened. After that, the bearing is pressed in the plastic and the wheel is finally complete. Depending on the model, prints may be added to the sides of each wheel.
It takes hours just to create one complete fingerboard. From pressing the deck and refining
it, assembling the trucks and wheels and packing each set into its packaging. Each of the
steps are completed by hand to ensure the highest quality products possible. Quality always comes with a certain price-tag. Expensive fingerboards require a lot of attention, which is why you end up with a high quality and long lasting product.