Story by Kendall Ash
Long before the days of fidget spinners, squishies and slime, we had lots of other cool toys to play with and Tech Decks was one of them.
In the 1970s, fingerboards were first created to be toys and then they were created to be keychains that kids enjoyed collecting.
After a movie called “Future Primitive” showed someone using a fingerboard (or Tech Deck) as part of a major scene in the movie, kids started buying more and more fingerboards.
The first fingerboards that were created were barely “rideable” for your fingers. When “Tech Deck” brand mass-produced the toys they were bigger and became a more “rideable” miniature skateboard.
Bratz Toys started creating licensing brands of Tech Decks using powerful marketing giants like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Speed Race and NASCAR. Suddenly Tech Decks were everywhere. Tech Deck kept producing “collections’ for kids, depending on what movie or brand was in style and they had skater shops producing unique designs for the skate professional to feel a connection to. No matter what your lifestyle was, urban or suburban, there was a Tech Deck board for you.
Tech Deck went on to sell its licensing to major retailers like Walmart, Target, CVS and other major retailers. In 1999, it became trendy to collect one of each design as it was produced and sold in limited quantities.
Today, Tech Decks feature interchangeable wheels and trucks (the flat part of the skateboard) and they are fairly accurate in scale compared to regular skateboards. You can even buy accessories like ramps, half-pipes and grind rails. Everything you could imagine at a skatepark, but finger sized.
There are people who sell Tech Decks and people who keep them and learn new tricks with them. Joe Largura, Clay seventh grader, is someone who sells them and says, “I do it to make money.” Riley Putnam, also in seventh grade says, “I don't own one but I can do tricks with them like an ollie.”
Recently, students from Clay Middle School and around the county are using Tech Decks as well. There are kids who simply love to collect them, there are kids who enjoy designing their own Tech Decks by swapping out the wheels and artwork and there are kids who simply use them for a fidget. Carmel High School just opened a Tech Deck club, they use it to spend time with their friends, learn more about the skateboard industry at a miniature level and practice new tricks with their ramps, rails and miniature skate parks that they create together.
All stories, photos and video footage by the seventh and eighth grade newspaper students.