A fingerboard (often called a "boards") is basically a practical working replica of an electric skateboard which a person "rides" using their fingers. The device itself is usually a plastic-or metal-shaped board with protruding wheels and graphic trucks. It replicates the feel and maneuverability of an actual skateboard. A fingerboard is usually at least 100mm long with maximum width ranging from 26 - 55mm. Usually boards have multiple decks which each hold different shapes, sizes and designs.
Fingerboards come in different sizes depending on what you're looking for. The most common size is either made to fit between your thumb and forefinger or between your pinky and middle finger. The advantage of having a larger board is that you can easily make up for lack of finger strength with your other fingers.
Some of the most popular tricks and games played with fingerboards are: "spot jumping" or "stacking". As the name implies, "spot jumping" is done while jumping from one foot to another. This can be performed when skating on flat ground, rails or skate ramps. Stacking is similar in that you must jump, then land on top of your hand without leaving it. Both tricks require great hand strength to pull off and are relatively easy to master. These two popular fingerboarding tricks are often taught to beginner fingerboarders.
Other popular games played on fingerboards are "dingaling" and "tapping". As the name suggests, "dingaling" is done when moving between two wheels without letting the board touch the ground. Tapping involves making repetitive hammer-ons with the board on various shapes, usually generated by tapping with your fingers.
Fingerboards are designed to be played quickly and intuitively. Typically, the most natural movement with a fingerboard is to turn the board toward the player, similar to playing a tabletop board game. The majority of modern fingerboards, however, feature an easy to use onboard computer. The onboard computer serves several purposes including controlling the speed and direction of the board. Most decks have at least two decks, usually with additional "depth" on each deck so that multiple players can play at once (usually four players).
There are a few advantages to playing a high-quality, fully functioning electronic fingerboard. One advantage is that the onboard computer prevents friction that frequently occurs when skateboards and fingerboards are used with normal skateboards or ordinary fingerboards. Another advantage is the convenience provided by the onboard computer. A simple click of the button will display information regarding your score, tricks that you are currently practicing or other features. Some advanced fingerboards may even include a LCD screen that displays information about other aspects of your skateboard such as tricks and the vertical launch.
Most professional skateboarders prefer to avoid the use of electronic devices, even though they may be a great accessory to have. They feel that electronic devices detract from their ability to perform certain tricks. They also believe that the electronic components are not safe and do not provide the same feeling of "being one with the deck" as when using a traditional skateboard. While professional skaters prefer mini skateboards with built-in electronic components, many amateur skateboarders have discovered that it is possible to practice tricks without using electronic devices such as a fingerboard.
The trickiest part about fingerboarding, in my opinion, is holding onto the fingerboard. I have found that my best tricks are performed when I have full control of my hand, rather than when my fingers are holding onto the grip. Holding on to the grip, while standing on the board with my feet on the tail is very hard to do. I have also found that standing with my feet on the tail makes me lose control more easily. If you have difficulty holding onto the fingerboard, it may be worth your effort to purchase a wrist strap, which attaches to the wrist and helps to keep the fingers from slipping off the grip.