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A fingerboard 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 fingerskate or fingerskateboard. The device itself is a scaled-down skateboard complete with moving wheels, graphics and trucks. A fingerboard is commonly 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 fingerboard are inspired by tricks done on real skateboards. Cam Fox Bryant is widely credited as making the first fingerboard, and his skit in Powell-Peralta's "Future Primitive" video brought fingerboarding to the skateboarders of the world in the mid-1980s. Around the same time, he wrote an article on how to make fingerboards in TransWorld SKATEboarding magazine.
Although fingerboarding 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 fingerboards 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. Fingerboards are also used by skateboarders as 3-D model visual aids to understand potential tricks and maneuvers; many users make videos to document their efforts.
Similar to fingerboarding, although less popular, handboarding is a scaled-down version of a skateboard that a user controls with their hands.
Fingerboards were first created as homemade toys in the late 1960s and later became a novelty attached to keychains in skate shops (but were also mentioned as a model for a skateboard.) In the 1985 Powell-Peralta skateboarding video "Future Primitive," Lance Mountain rode a homemade fingerboard in a double-bin sink. It is widely accepted that this is where the idea for the Animal Chin ramp came from. Some consider this the earliest fingerboard footage available for public viewing. That homemade fingerboard was built from wood, , and toy train axles.
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