For those of us who can't skateboard, there's always fingerboarding. Introduced back in the mid-1980's, the fingerboard has gone from keychain to cheap plastic boards to the highly detailed realistic wood boards described in this here review. The Paris-based Close Up has been producing fingerboards since 2006, and they tout some of the finest products available.
Their latest release is the Generation 4 Complete Set. Available in various designs, the Gen 4 offers collectors a wider board and wider trucks than previous releases. The Close Up set includes everything you need to build your own fingerboard: the board; 4 bearing wheels; 2 trucks; 4 printed wheels; riptape; griptape; nuts, screws, and washers; tool; stickers.
Close Up Fingerboard Gen 4
Manufacturer: Close Up Fingerskate
Material: No mention, but feels like balsa wood
Dimensions: 3.75” long by .75” tall
Points of Articulation: 4 (the wheels)
Designs: Antiz Owl and Skull Wood reviewed (more available)
Pricing: $30.00 (or €22.00)
The Fingerboard set comes packaged in a zippered plastic bag. It's split into two pockets, one for the deck and tapes and the other for the tools, parts and directions. There's also some printed graphics on the exterior of the bag, including the CloseUp logo and some legal language.
The Close Up Fingerboard comes shipped entirely unassembled. But that's where the fun begins. You have to put the board together using the miniature parts and tool (screwdriver/wrench) that are included. A number of the pieces, especially the washers and nuts, are extremely small. Luckily, Close Up packages several extras – just in case you lose them.
It takes around 15 minutes to complete the building process. I guess the biggest decision you'll have to make when putting the fingerboard together is whether you go with the griptape or the riptape. It's obviously a personal preference, since one feels like sandpaper and the other feels like foam (I have no idea which is which). I'm not sure how the two materials differ in the realm of fingerboard performance...since I appear to have no skills in that area.
In the mid-to-late 1980's, I picked up my first fingerboard at the local skate/bike shop. I wasn't very good at it, although the double sided tape I used made some of the tricks a little easier to accomplish. In those days, a quality fingerboard was made out of plastic. This set from Close Up is like someone hit an actual skateboard with a shrink-ray. It's that type of high quality.
Of course, with that quality comes a slightly higher price tag. The sets shown in this review retail around $30.00. But Close Up is like the Aston Martin of fingerboards, so these might be for the more experienced finger-boarder. Like this guy...
For wholesale inquiries, contact DKE Toys.
You can pick one up at the following:
Close Up: €22.00 per set (or $29.50)