5 Of the Best Skateboard Decks in Town
Decks are the backbone of a good skateboard. A deck is part where skaters balance themselves. The ideal deck will depend on the skater’s skills, weight, and height.
Gone are the days when the best skateboard decks were a reserve of the young. Slowly, skateboards are gaining popularity among older people too, especially as a reliable means of transport. If you master the skill,you can balance your body on it to work and say goodbye to traffic jams.
A skateboard deck forms part of a skateboard. It is the upper part on which the skater balances their body. The mid part of a skateboard is concave to give the skater better balance and to enable them to perform heart-stopping tricks.
Usually, you will notice interesting artwork on decks. You may think (and this is probably the case for some) that this is the most important part of the deck.
As much as it plays its role, grip tape is more functional decorative. It keeps your feet firmly planted on the deck to enable you to take flight without fear of toppling over.
So, Why Pay A Skateboard Any Mind?
If you look around, you will see that more people are taking to the streets skateboarding more for transport than for fun. In most parts of the world, they are becoming a popular mode of transportation. Well, with all the traffic jams on the road these days, we might as well learn the art. Actually, Portland, Oregon has recognized skateboarding as a means of transport with same legal rights as those of cyclists.
A Great Cardio Workout
Going to the gym can be boring and routine, which is why most of us fail to follow up with our memberships. Skateboarding is the ideal exercise, the best part of it being the fact that it is as fun as it is effective. As long as you do not mind a few falls here and there, and stiff competition from younger ones with nothing much to do than perfect their skills, you are in for a treat.
Fun Way To Spend Time
If you recently moved to a new neighborhood and have not made any new friends, get on your skateboard and socialize. Your teenage children will find kids their age to talk to, and you will also catch a few friendly stares that could end in friendship.
Make It A Career
If you wonder what else would become of a passionate skater, just look at how Tony Hawks made a career out of it. Athletes are taking home tons of money doing things they love, so why not get yourself paid? Who knows, you could go on and design the world’s best skateboard decks based on experience.
5 Best Skateboard Decks Reviews 2017
Free grip tape
1. Blank Decks - Warning Skateboard Deck
Maple wood the primary raw material on this deck is strong, durable, and smooth to work on when sanded. This deck has been perfected for both art and boarding.
The edges are smooth, and so is the top. The deck is the natural color of wood, but there are variations should you choose.
The top is smooth as you may expect if you have ever bought one, and so you will need grip tape to reinforce the grip. What we like about it though (the surface) is that it is easy to paint on even after the grip tape is applied.
The price range is quite special as not many brands sell decks as low as this company does. It could be for the fact that it is unbranded. It measures the standard 30 inches and weighs a pound. While the weight makes it ideal for stunts and jumps, the manufacturer compromises on weight range. It holds between 150 and 200lbs without a hitch, but anything above this will break it.
The concave is steep, and so it is ideal for advanced riders. While it handles backside 5050, kick flip, and tail slide quite well, it cannot take the more complex rail lines or stairway tricks. The 7-ply coloration has been applied well to create an almost break-proof deck, but only of you use it sparingly.
- Super light.
- Unbranded with a range of color choices.
- Will wear quite fast if used daily.
- The paint job on the entire deck is wanting.
2. Moose - ideal for cruising skateboard deck
Made of Canadian Maple, this blank deck is 31 inches long and 7.5 inches wide. With these dimensions, it will handle simple tricks on a flat surface and even allow enough landing space. It is made of 7 layers of Maple, which makes it quite sturdy. It is light too, at 1lb for easy hauling in crowded places.
As you may have noted from its name, this deck is naturally bland. The fun bit about such is the fact that you can paint and write whatever you wish. You will need to add grip tape to make the surface rough enough for comfortable skateboarding.
Is this deck suited for elaborate tricks on the stairs and rail lines? Not really. 7.5 inches is not thick enough to handle this kind pressure.
This deck is best for cruising and trying your luck with beginner tricks. The center of the maple tends to give in if subjected to too much weight. Anything over 100lbs is too much for this deck.
Other than the weight, the other thing that makes this deck ideal for beginners is its mellow concave. The finishing could do with a little touch-up. That aside, it is worth its value.
- It is a lightweight
- Quite cheap.
- It is 31 inches long, a height ideal for cruising.
- It delaminates with heavy use.
- The grip is terrible and has to be backed up.
3. FORESTONE - Blank Skateboard Deck
From Forestone, this 8 x 31.5'' deck is not your idea of beauty unless you see the potential in blank surfaces. It has a natural wood color, with smooth finishing both on the sides and on the top.
Seeing that it is blank on the top, the grip is not perfect, and it is advisable to back it up with grip tape before taking it home from the shops.
This Canadian Maple deck has a deep concave that is better suited for seasoned skateboarders. The edges are much higher than those of a medium curve, ad so beginners may have a hard time balancing on it. It is a 7-ply board.
As is the case with most Forestone decks, this model is quite heavy. Users prefer a skateboard weighing lower than the 2lbs of this board. The weight, unfortunately, compromises agility, making this board slightly bulky for advanced flips.
The upside to this board’s weight is its sturdiness. It will accommodate a range of 330lb-440lb, a feat that lighter decks cannot achieve.
What we like about this deck, after its sturdiness and ability to hold a lot of weight is multifunction. If you decide to hang your boots, you can always turn it into a canvas and draw beautiful art on it. You can use oil or acrylic paint for lasting impressions.
- It holds between 330lb and 440lb, which is commendable.
- Canadian Maple is durable.
- It is blank so you can write whatever you wish.
- It is heavy for a stunt deck.
- It will need some drilling to get the screws sit flush.
4. SCSK8 - Skateboard Deck Pro Maple
This natural Maple skate deck is made for the seasoned skater, thanks to its deep concave. Nonetheless, it is not to say that intermediary skaters cannot handle the raised edges and deep center. At the bottom, all the necessary holes have been drilled to perfection.
The Maple veneer made of 7 layers of blended wood to ensure the ideal balance for the deck. It's, therefore, neither too heavy nor too light. Additionally, the layers make it possible for the deck to hold up to 300lbs.
The board is not only blank, but it is also plain natural wood color both on top and on the bottom. The manufacturer applies a thin coat of clear varnish to make it smooth for painting. For the art impressions to last, you can use oil paint.
Since the grip on the surface is wanting, we advise you fortify it with grip tape. The good news is that this deck comes with a free grip tape!
- The package comes with free grip tape.
- It is cheap.
- It is natural-colored and blank.
- It is quite heavy at 2.7lbs.
- With its dimensions, it is only ideal for skaters over 5’3 tall.
5. FORESTONE - Blank/Natural Skateboard Deck
Most decks are 8 inches in width to work well for both tall and shorter people. This black skateboard from Forestone measures 0.8 x 8 x 31.5 inches and weighs 2.75lbs fitting ideally in the street skating range. The build is quite simple yet sturdy.
The top is blank, meaning that this deck is not branded. Any art lover will see this as an opportunity to express their personality. You will note that the surface is almost too smooth for effective gripping.
This FORESTONE Blank is 7 Ply Canadian Maple, a number that most manufacturers favor. This number of veneers ensures that your board is not too light nor is it too heavy. Canadian maple is also a manufacturers’ staple for two reasons: it is as light as it is durable.
We would not recommend this deck or a beginner due to the concave. An intermediary skater would be better suited for the medium curve seeing that they have mastered some balance. Applying grip tape will make it slightly rugged and supportive.
This board is great, but it is also on the heavier side at 2.75lbs. Not to say that you actually cannot use it for street stunts, but it will certainly limit the variation of flips. Great thing about a natural, blank canvas is that you can customize it for purposes other than boarding. Some fancy artwork will transform it into a beautiful décor piece.
- It is extensive and long enough for street stunts.
- Blank so that you choose your preferred art.
- The material is durable and strong.
- It is slightly heavier than some brands.
- The surface is coated, and so acrylic may chip if not sealed.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Skateboard Deck
To the untrained eye, a skateboard is all about the graphics and color. As long as the graffiti on your grip tape of choice stands out, you are set to go. Well, that couldn’t further from the truth. While a beautiful skateboard deck is interesting and motivating even, you should check these few other vitals before you take one home.
Street or Vert Skateboarding?
- Short Deck
Your average skateboard measures 28″-33″. One of the most important things to consider is the skating you want to do: street (parking lot) or vert (skating in high altitude). Street skateboarding will call for a short deck.
A shorter deck is much more flexible and faster on the streets than its longer counterpart. It also has more landing space, and in a way, you will be more stable. If you are hoping to use yours on the streets, then go for a short skateboard deck.
Additionally, an advanced street skateboarder will mostly opt for a narrow deck for the same reason as the height. Smaller decks are more flexible and allow for a variation of stunts.
As a rule of thumb, the bigger your feet, the wider your deck will be. The typical range is from 7.25-8.5″, 7.5″, 7.75″, and 8.0″. If you are going to carry your skate in crowded places, you may prefer a small deck for ease of transportation.
- Long Deck
An extended deck is not necessarily slow, but it is not built for movements are swift as those you get from a short one. If you are leaning towards commute and cruising, a long deck will serve you well. Here, we also note that the longer kind is more popular with beginners.
Size It Up!
- Micro Decks
A Micro deck measures 6.5″– 6.75” in width, and 27.2”– 27.6” in length. It is ideally suited for skaters five years or younger, or those standing at under 3’5” tall and wearing size shoes or smaller.
- Mini Decks
They are 7.0″ in width and a length of 28”. The ideal skater for this deck wears size 4-6 shoes, is 6 to 8 years old, 3’5” to 4’4” tall.
- Mid-size Deck
It is for wearers of size 7-8 shoes and taller than 5’3. The dimensions are 7.3” for width and 29” for length.
- Full-Size Deck
You will need to be taller than 5’3 and wear a shoe of size 9 and above. A full-size deck is generally 7.5 inches and over for width, and at least 30 inches long.
The Deck’s Construction
A deck is essentially a board made of several layers, which are laminated together. Usually, makers laminate five to nine plywood boards and not more than that. Why is that so? Because more than nine boards would make the deck too heavy and unfit for street skateboarding. If you want to perform tricks and move fast on your skate, you better look out for this important feature.
Naturally, you would think that the heavier the deck, the longer it lasts. Well, that is true, but a board made of five to nine veneers will last you about a year, which is around the same the time it would take till your deck needs changing.
All matters are important when shopping for a skateboard, but its concave is even more important. The product description will mention the concavity as either mellow, steep or medium. A mellow deck, also known as radial concave is ideal for beginners. It provides excellent support that is perfect for that level of efficiency.
When you master the deck and are more confident, you can move on to a medium concave, which is slightly steeper than a mellow draw. You will find it a bit hard to balance on it for some time, it keeps at it long enough, and you will even manage a few tricks.
A steep deck is the reserve of the advanced skater. Nonetheless, a deck’s concave is a personal choice. Feel free to go for any concave that you are most comfortable with, regardless of the level of experience. As long as you can balance on it, you are ready to go.
Material of the Deck
- Maple Wood
The material will matter for two main reasons; the life of your deck and its weight. Maple has been the most popular material among deck manufacturers for its tenacity and lightweight. It meets the necessary compromise between durability and flexibility.
We mentioned ply earlier, and we revisit it to clarify a point. Even though maple is light, there is an art to how you can use it to suit the preferred weight of a street or park skateboard deck. Ply is essentially the measure of how many veneers make up a deck.
- Bamboo and Carbon Fiber
Some manufacturers swear by bamboo. Although it is a fairly new trend, it is super light and therefore quickly gaining popularity among stunt skaters. Although carbon fiber is durable and strong, most advanced users find it stiff and a tad too heavy.
If you find yourself needing a new skateboard every three months because you broke yours, (yet again), you may want to invest in this material. It is more expensive than wood, though.
The Ideal Ply
The ideal number is 7, as it gives an optimal balance between too light and just heavy enough. The maple wood deck is finished up with a polyurethane coating to perfect sliding.
The top of your deck is everything (at least to most skaters). As much as it will serve as some sort of decoration, it also improves the functionality of the deck. A retailer will apply (at your request) grip tape to increase the deck’s ability while performing stunts.
Those five above skateboards decks have been designed to accommodate skateboarders in all levels.
Best Deck for the Buck
When choosing the skateboard decks to review, we all selected the ones with all the qualities that make a good deck. The truth is, you will never have the perfect deck (or anything else for that matter), but you can have one that captures the most important features.
That said, we found one with great qualities and that slight misgiving that you can live without - Blank Decks Warning Skateboard Deck
Let’s talk about blank surfaces. There is something mysterious about a blank canvas. It gives you the desire to write your name on it. That is the exact feeling we got about this plain deck.
Sturdiness and Ideal Dimensions
Naturally, its material is sturdy and durable. It also flexes easily without giving in, a quality that has made it popular among skateboard manufacturers all over the world. The dimensions of the deck are more or less those of your standard board, taking into consideration the standard-sized board skating enthusiast.
Its weight is the only misgiving we have with this deck. It weighs 2.4lbs, which is a tad too heavy for street stunts. It will comfortably carry you through the easier ones, but difficult tricks will need a lighter board.
Blank Decks skateboard deck has a sorta steep concave ideal for slightly advanced riders, but some beginners have shown an affinity for it. After adding grip tape to the surface, the support improves several times over.
From our evaluation, this deck is good value for money, especially if you are just getting the hang of stunts. It does the basic tricks quite well, and it will take a beating on the track. At the end of it, remember it is wooden, and so it is only natural that the edges chip after a while.
For the money, you will not get a better deal.