A finger skateboard is a working replica (about 1:8 scaled) of a skateboard that a person “rides” by replicating skateboarding maneuvers with their hand. It can also be referred to as a finger skate or finger skateboard. The device itself is a scaled-down skateboard complete with graphics, moving wheels, and trucks. The first finger skateboards were created as home-made toys in the late 1960s and later became a novelty attached to key chains in skate shops.
A finger skateboard is usually around 10 centimeters long, and can have a variety of widths going from 29 to 33mm or more. Skateboarding tricks may be performed using fingers instead of feet. Tricks done on a finger skateboard are inspired by tricks done on real skateboards. Cam Fox Bryant is widely credited as making the first finger skateboard, and his skit in Powell-Peralta’s “Future Primitive” video brought finger skateboarding to the skateboarders of the world in the mid-1980s. Around the same time, he wrote an article on how to make finger skateboards in TransWorld SKATEboarding magazine.
Although finger skateboarding was a novelty within the skateboarding industry for years, as skateboarding reached enormous and widespread popularity in the late 1990s, the folks at toymaker Spin Master realized the potential for the toys, and specifically for products bearing the logos and branding of real skateboarding brands. Their Tech Deck brand caught on during this period and has grown into a widely recognized brand itself in the toy business. Toy finger skateboards like the ones Tech Deck manufactures are now available as inexpensive novelty toys as well as high-end collectibles, complete with accessories one would find in use with standard-size skateboards. Finger skateboards are also used by skateboarders as 3-D models to understand potential tricks and maneuvers; many users make videos to document their efforts.
Similar to finger skateboarding, although less popular, handboarding is a scaled-down version of a skateboard that a user controls with their hands.