The skateboard deck is without question an important part of your skateboard. It is the board that you stand on and it bears all your weight. If you are deciding to build your own skateboard, the first thing you will need is a good quality deck. Even with a complete board, you will have to replace the deck depending on how much you use it.
Decks may seem simple but they come in a variety of styles and sizes. For making the best buying decision, you should know which size and style is suitable for what kind of skateboarding style. It will determine what your skateboard will be capable of doing.
10 Best Skateboard Decks For The Money
Blank Decks Warning Skateboard Deck
Getting your hands on a good blank skating deck is perfect for all sorts of reasons. Artists love to draw or paint on them, some people like to place pre-made labels and stickers on them, and some of us even like to leave it blank. The Blank Decks Warning Skateboard Deck is a blank slate for your own personal designing.
Made out of maple wood, this deck has several layers to prevent it from breaking. Put your favorite grip tape or sandpaper to get a custom fit. While you’ll like all of the features of this blank skating deck, you’ll love the budget-friendly price.
+ Comes without any labels, sandpaper, or wheels
+ Perfect for artists or custom skaters
+ Made with several layers of maple wood
Why We Like It – We like this blank skateboard deck because it’s an empty slate to create your own unique experience.
Bamboo Skateboards Graphic Skateboard Deck
Bamboo has long been known to be one of the best materials for skateboard decks. The Bamboo Skateboards Graphic Skateboard Deck is a classic example of this statement. It’s flexible to add natural suspension, but you’ll also avoid bumps and annoying debris in your path.
Choose from Red World Peace, Nebula, Cosmic Clouds, Blue Moon, and all sorts of other unique designs and color combinations. Either way, you can select from multiple sizes ranging between 7.75” and 8.25”. Drops, bumps, and other damaging mishaps won’t affect the integrity of this well-constructed skateboarding deck.
+ Comes in a wide variety of unique designs
+ Choose from several sizes to fit your preferences
+ Made out of long-lasting, durable bamboo
Why We Like It – We like this bamboo deck because it’s flexible, the longevity is as good as you can find, and the design patterns are out of this world!
Vision Original Psycho Stick Reissue Skateboard Deck
Ever since Vison sold 45,000 copies of the kaleidoscope twirl Gator deck back in 1985, it has been a classic company that holds a special place inside every skateboarder’s hearts. This is an awesome deck that was first produced back in the 80s too.
It is a reissue, but all the original specifications have been kept too, and the old-school image looks just as cool as it did when it first came out. It has a 15-inch wheelbase and a modern truck-hole pattern. All Vision decks are made in the USA, just like they always have been. This one is also 10-inches wide and 30-inches long.
+ Old-School, Classic Deck
+ Made in the USA by Vision
+ 15-Inch Wheelbase
+ 10” by 30”
+ Durable and Long-Lasting
Why We Liked It – It’s a classic, Vision deck that is just as cool as it was when it was first released back in the 1980s.
Baker Brand Logo Deck-8.0
If you are looking for something a tad bit simpler, this black and white deck could make the cut. It does, however, boast a larger than life Baker logo. Baker is a well-known name in the world of skateboards, so essentially the deck is top quality. Independent trucks can go well with this deck. At 8 inch width, it is a wide deck suitable for teenagers and adults. It is also not so expensive so definitely good value.
Cal 7 Blank Skateboard Decks
Getting a new blank skateboard deck is like a breath of fresh air. The blank slate is perfect for artists and builders alike. The Cal 7 Blank Skateboard Decks are a top-notch choice for people who want unique colors and reliable durability. It’s made out of 7 layers of maple wood, one of the best choices for any skateboard.
Choose from colors like Light Blue & White, Black, Natural, and more. There are also quite a few packs with multiple boards to customize several unique appearances. You’ll even be able to choose from five different widths to fit your personal preference.
+ Comes in all sorts of color combinations
+ Made out of 7 layers of solid maple wood
+ Blank slate for artists and custom skateboard builders
Why We Like It – We like these blank decks because they’re a perfect slate for a new skateboard. The durable and construction and unique colors are a huge benefit.
Element Section #9 Skateboard Deck
Element is a classic skateboarding deck company. They use durable materials that don’t run prices out the roof. The Element Section #9 Skateboard Deck is a great example of the reliability produced by the brand. It runs in at 31.25” x 7.75”, fitting the correct dimensions preferred by the average skater.
Using eco-friendly materials, Element created this deck out of their own Thriftwood. It’s incredibly tough, so you don’t have to worry about it becoming damaged. Weighing only 2.7 pounds, you can carry it with you wherever you go. The stylish Element logo can be found on the underside.
+ Made out of Thriftwood for environmental purposes
+ Lightweight and easy to carry
+ Stylish design on the underside of the deck
Why We Like It – We like this deck by Element because it’s lightweight, stylish, comfortable to use, and as durable as we could find.
DGK Skateboard Deck
If you are a girl skateboarder looking for a deck that represents all the colors inside you, this would be it. Although, even guys can use this deck with tie and dye panel and a big slanting DGK logo.
Combining quality and style, this board brings the best possible skateboarding experience. It is lightweight as well weighing 2.7 pounds. DGK skateboard decks are pretty common and come in myriads of colors and styles, so you will definitely look trendy.
Baker Skateboard Deck Kader Sylla Logo
Getting a customized skateboard might be a challenge, but we found the perfect deck for you. The Baker Skateboard Deck Kader Sylla Logo is colorful and artistic while also remaining completely comfortable to ride. It even has the classic concave design for easier control.
This deck is made out of 100% maple wood, one of the most durable, long-lasting choices for skating. It uses the original Kader Sylla logo created many years ago. Whether you’ve been skating for years or only a few months, this deck is definitely worth getting your hands (and feet) on.
+ Comes with a unique logo by Kader Sylla
+ Made out 100% solid maple wood
+ Concave design that’s similar to old skateboards
Why We Like It – We like this skateboard because the logo, concave design, and maple wood construction are as good as we could find.
CCS Logo Blank Skateboard Deck
Another great blank deck with a comfortable concave design is the CCS Logo Blank Skateboard Deck. Whether you’re getting it for the familiar feeling or the blank artistic canvas, this is a great choice for any and all skaters. It comes in Mint, Evergreen, Blue, Black and more. All colors come with the CCS logo.
The sizes of this skateboard deck range from 7” to 8.5”, meaning that you can buy it for kids, teens, and adults. The length goes from 27.75 inches all the way up to 32 inches long. It’s also designed to flex a bit without sacrificing durability.
+ Good amount of colors to look through
+ Made for people of all ages
+ Crafted with durable, flexible maple wood
Why We Like It – We like this skateboard deck because the logo is actually a nice look on top of the blank board. It’s also perfect to get kids into skating or adults who want a new custom skateboard.
Alien Workshop OG Halftone Assorted Veneer Deck
This deck includes a Jess up die grip tape too so you can add more support into your skateboard. With easy assembly and good quality, it is designed to be used by beginner and professionals both. No matter what style of ride you have, it should be suitable for you. The panel is not too loud so best suitable for those who like things rather simpler. Durability is a given thanks to its 7 ply maple construction using North American wood.
Definitive Skateboard Deck Buyers Guide
Skateboard decks come in various lengths but width is generally between 7-10 inches. The size you choose also depends on what kind of surface you will be skating on. Here are the general features of a deck:
Length of the skateboard deck is the vertical distance between the two tips, the nose and the tail. The length varies for different kinds of skateboards. For example, Penny boards come in 22” and 27” and a short board can have a length anywhere from 28” to 32”. One common mistake that skateboarders make is to choose skateboard depending on length only. While length is important, width is equally important if you want a good skateboarding experience.
The width of the board will determine how smooth your skateboarding is and what your style is. Average width of a skateboard deck is 7.5” to 8.25”. If it is too wide for your feet and height, you will not have a stable ride. If it is too narrow, it will be hard to balance the skateboard. For late teenagers and adults, 7.5” width is fine. For street skateboarders, a smaller width will do whereas for professionals who skate on ramps and pipes a wider width is better.
On your deck you can see the holes on either side which are called mounting holes. The distance between these holes on each side is called the wheelbase. In other words, it is the distance between the two sets of wheels on your skateboard. The average wheelbase is 13-15 inches. Usually there is only one wheelbase length, but on some boards there are multiple truck holes so you get varied wheelbase. Again, this distance will be determined by your experience and can greatly affect your performance.
Nose and Tip
The two ends of the deck are dubbed as the nose and tip. There is no definite way to distinguish the two but the nose tends to have a bigger kick.
The curve between the nose and tail is called the concave. There are several kinds of concaves in skateboard decks and determine the control of your ride.
The edges of the deck along the length are called the rails and are of high importance as they can affect your ride. The rounded rails are the most common and are good for doing tricks. The sharp rails are good for providing grip to your shoes. There is a third type as well called the gas pedal rails. These are special kind of rails that are not do sharp and
reduce the concave of the board. These give more control to the rider with the help of the concave of the deck.
The heightened curve at the tail or nose of the deck is called the kicktail. This kicktail is your ultimate weapon to all the tricks in the world of skateboarding. Not just tricks, even sharp turns, slides and pivots can be aided by these. These help you do ollies which is like the most basic skateboarding trick. Longboards usually have subtle kicktails as opposed to short boards. See some awesome electric longboards here!
Different Concave Shapes
The concave of the deck can determine how much control you have during your rides. The purpose of the concave is to provide more foot hold which a flat board cannot provide. Here are the different kinds of deck concaves:
This is the most common concave you will find in most decks. It can be considered as an arc of very big circle or a subtle U shape. It provides better grip to your feet which is essential whether you are just riding or performing tricks.
This concave is similar to radial but the central part is more flat and the edges higher so as to provide a better locking position for your feet.
This curve resembles the letter W and it does not extend to the entire length, only towards the tail. The extra curve allows a smoother energy shift from heel to toes which helps in turning the skateboard.
Flat decks are very rare and they are usually part of old school styled longboards. These decks, however, provide a lot of room for feet.
Camber V/S Rocker
There is another curve in the deck you should know about which is the curve along the length. The camber is raised in the middle whereas the rocker is steep in the middle. Most skateboards tend to be very subtle in both these curves but they affect the flex of your ride. The rocker, for instance, are better for rides on hilly surfaces as the center of gravity is lower. On the other hand, camber has higher center of gravity which is great for some cruise boards. It depends on your use, which provides better support for your needs and the terrain you will ride it on.
Understanding and choosing the different Styles
Now that you know about the different parts of the skateboard deck, you should know about the styles of skateboards. These styles determine the kind of skateboarding style you will have. You should choose the style you want to do and have the experience for. Here is everything you need to know:
These boards as the names suggests are shorter in length and generally good for doing tricks. These get a lot more air
than other kinds of boards. If you are into street or park skateboarding styles, then this is the skateboard for you. Choose the deck that is short in length and provides support for tricks.
Cruiser boards have kicktails but they are optimized for riding only. Again these boards are not too long length wise. They are easy to maneuver and are generally used by both kids and adults.
These skateboards have decks with longer lengths. You can consider them as a skateboard designed for transportation only. Longboards are not good for performing ricks because they tend to be heavier and not easily managed.
This kind of skateboard does not have a kicktail and sometimes has a plain flat deck. If you are looking to get an old school just for riding around, a flat deck or a deck with low or no kicktail should be used. These are also good for skating over ramps.
Materials Used in Skateboard Decks
Where shapes and size determine different riding styles, the material from which the deck is made from determines the quality and life of it. They are generally made from maple, plywood, bamboo, carbon fiber or plastic.
Maple wood is a good material for decks because it is flexible and can easily be molded into the desired shape without compromising on quality. It is also one of the most commonly used materials in this regard. The ply or amount of sheets varies for different boards. All these layers come together and make a strong 7 ply deck. The weight depends on the number of these layers. It is constructed in layers instead of a whole piece of wood to provide extra strength which obviously is necessary.
The carbon fiber and plastic decks are relatively newer and are common for cruise and shortboards. Longboards commonly have wooden boards. The molded plastic is no less strong than wooden boards. Another advantage of plastic is that the skateboard is lightweight which is ideal for kids and skateboarders who want to do tricks. If you want more control and will be carrying around your skateboard a lot, then plastic will make a better choice.
The manufacturing process has refined over the years but the process at its root is essentially the same as it was in the early days, especially for maple board construction. Now newer technologies are being used to make the process easier and the product much stronger and stable.
Pricing & Brands
Decks vary in prices depending on different brands but are generally affordable. You can find a decent quality one in under $100. The important part in choosing the right one for yourself is determining your style and needs and the corresponding size and shape that will best support it. Brand can be a personal preference as long as you are getting the right thing for yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will the deck last?
Durability is a big concern in any purchase and if you are wondering about the deck’s life, you should know it depends on both the quality of it and your use. Generally speaking, you will have to replace it anywhere between a few months to two years. It depends on the strength of the deck as to how much weight it can bear and how frequently you use it.
If you are someone who uses skateboards as a mode of transportation, and uses it a lot, for example at a college campus, then buy a deck that is more suitable for riding. That product is made with the prolong use of riding in mind. Penny and cruise boards although short are better for riding purposes as compared with others that are designed for doing tricks. Longboards too can make a good choice, provided you are able to handle them. On the other hand, learning and performing tricks can take a toll on the board too if you are not too experienced.
As for materials, both plywood and plastic are strong and there is no winner here. At some point they will have to be replaced because after repeated use you will feel that your ride is not as smooth as it was on day one. It is a good idea to replace the deck every year so that your performance stays the same.
Kicktail or no kicktail?
Having a kicktail in your board will not affect your ride in a negative way. In fact, with a kicktail it is much easier to make sharp turns and if you are ever going to learn any tricks then this is essential for you. If you are a beginner, you are probably not going to use this part in particular. But as your ride gets stable, you would want the kicktail to play around.
Almost every deck has a kicktail; some have it more prominent and higher than others. If you are really all about tricks and flips then you should get a deck with a proper kicktail. It will help a lot in raising the board to avoid cracks or rocks.
How to maintain the deck?
The life of this crucial component of the skateboard also depends on how good you take care of it. If you maintain it well, chances are it might last longer. For starters, use a cloth to clean it from time to time. You can use a grip tape to decorate it and provide more support. Also, the panel can always be replaced so your board will look as good as new.
It is never a good idea to use the skateboard during rain. If you really must use it in rain or if it comes in contact with water somehow, make sure you dry it just as you get a chance. This is even more crucial for wooden boards because they will soak up water and bend, eventually losing all the strength.