Top 10 Best Skateboard Decks (Oct. 2019) : Review & Buyer’s Guide
The skateboard deck is one of the most critical parts of your skating adventure as it builds a connection with your shoes while bearing your weight. The type of platform you’re using will impact on your overall skills and performance. Thankfully, you now have numerous skateboarding platforms to choose from, but the challenge is in knowing the perfect one for you.
These decks are available in various sizes, shapes, and forms. Before buying, you should know the type that suits your skating style. This buying guide will provide answers to most of the questions you’re already having in mind. We’ll consider the things to look for in the best skateboarding decks and how your body weight can influence your choice. Then you can choose any of our ten top-rated models that suit your preference.
What You Will Get Here
- What to Consider When Buying Skateboard Decks?
- How Did We Pick These Products?
- Our Top 10 Product List
- Editor’s Choice: Bamboo Skateboards Graphc Decks
- Budget Choice: Bamboo Skateboards Blank Skateboard Deck
- Durable Choice: Bamboo Skateboards Blank Skateboard Deck
- Stylish Pick: Bamboo Skateboards Graphic Skateboard Deck
- Moose Blank Skateboard Deck
- Maintenance Tips
What to Consider When Buying Skateboard Decks?
Most decks have diameters ranging from 31 to 33 inches though you may find shorter or longer ones. The deck’s length is also crucial for balance and control. For example, you can perform a lot of tricks on shortboards than you would with the longer ones. However, you’ll enjoy more stability, balance, and speed with more extended platforms.
While they come in different sizes, you’ll likely find those with a diameter ranging from 7.5 to 10 inches.
Everyone has their perfect width, depending on their skateboarding style. For example, if you’re into transition skating, which involves vertical ramps and straight walls, you’ll need a wide and stable skateboard. The full board provides better balance and stability for your vertical ascent and speedy descent.
Street skating is mostly carried out in the open involving benches, stairs, and ledges where you’ll engage in various tricks and maneuvering while in the air. So, you’ll need a lightweight and narrow board for the multiple rotations.
However, if you’re unsure of your ideal skating style, it’s better to choose a mid-range deck since they often offer commendable results. Besides, many of the ones on the market are in this range so you’ll experience less difficulty when buying.
Here are the trendiest deck shapes depending on your preferred skating style.
- Street Decks – As the name implies, it’s more common among park and street skaters. They have a rounded nose and tail, which allows the rider to perform various tricks with ease.
- Bowl and Pool Deck – They’re a little broader than street decks and measures at 8.25 inches.
- Shaped Decks – These have similar features like the bowl and street decks. They have curved tail and nose making it perfect for transitional skaters who’ll want to switch occasionally into street skating.
- Cruiser Decks – These offer superb maneuverability and soft feel. They’re ideal for persons with less interest in flip tricks and are available in diverse dimensions. Cruiser decks are from plastics, maple, and bamboo.
4. Wheel Base
The wheelbase is given by the gap between the two mounting holes on the deck. It’s about a distance of 13 to 15 inches, but your height plays a role in your choice. Short riders prefer a narrow wheelbase, while tall persons prefer the broader base.
Though you’ll get less stability from decks with shorter distances, the smaller radius allows you to turn with perfection. You’ll experience less sharp turns when using packs with ample space.
However, a more extended wheelbase is ideal for transition skaters since it gives you more stability when riding on the walls. Decks with short gaps are more massive, making it difficult to perform tricks.
5. Nose and Tail
The deck’s front is the nose, while the back is the tail. Most newbie skaters experience a hard time identifying these parts by mere inspection.
As mentioned earlier, most decks have a symmetrical design with a rounded nose and tail. You’ll also find ones with fishtails, squared tails, pointy noses, and much more. In each of these designs, your skating purpose will determine the perfect one to buy.
6. Concave shape
Below are the most basic concave shapes on the market.
- Radial – It has a U shape and provides an excellent grip under any skating style.
- Progressive – It’s like radial but with a broader base and a steep wall offering better stability and grip.
- W Concave – The centerline is curved for better transfer of energy from the heel to the toes resulting in fast response and accuracy.
- Flat – It’s completely flat, giving more space to lay your feet for easy tricks and flips.
7. Mounting Holes
The trucks are attached to the deck via the mounting holes. Most floors have one set of drilled points, while others come with many holes.
The edges of the decks are known as rails. Like other features, rails are crucial to your performance. For example, you’ll be able to make twists with rounded ends than you’ll with blunt edges since they provide a halting point for your shoes.
Effective Foot Platform or EFP is the central place where you position your foot on the board. It lies in the middle of the deck, between the front and rear mounting holes.
Most boards have different layers of wood making it stronger and durable than those with a single piece. Decks with seven-ply and above are sturdier and reliable though the weight might increase.
11. Durability & Construction
The most popular material for decks is maple woods and bamboo because of their strength and flexibility. As mentioned earlier, these woods are laid in layers, making them more robust and sturdier.
Construction of skateboarding decks commences with the placement of the plies by their lengths and widths. Then, they’re glued and pressed, holding them together. The next step is the drilling of holes and painting.
12. Other Features
You’ll also ask yourself whether to buy the camber or rocker board. The middle of the former is raised while that of the latter is dropped. However, raised decks offer better flexibility for improved performance. Besides, floors with kicktails at the noses and tails are great for making turns and twists.
How Did We Pick These Products?
Ours was a journey of discovery of products and tests. So, we started by spending about 40 hours on the web, checking the most outstanding products available. Then we listed 20 out of the hundreds we saw.
We bought and tested these products ourselves, though we had help from volunteers since we were limited by time and funding. Our focus was to analyze specific features of these items, which include durability, build, mounting holes, shape, and dimensions. After examining the findings from the tests, we narrowed our list to the top 10.
What’s more, we spent extra hours online checking various consumer reports and ratings for these products to see how they fared with another. After knowing how real-users felt about them, we came up with a comprehensive list and review of the best ten models on sale.
Our Top 10 Product List
Bamboo is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of skateboarding decks with headquarters in San Diego, California. Over the years, it has emphasized on flooding the markets with affordable and eco-friendly floors.
This Graphc type is from bamboo and has seven layers making it light, strong, durable, and resistant to shock. The main difference in this one is the extra durability making it a popular choice among skating lovers.
So far, we’ve observed that the edge of the nose and tail didn’t chip off nor lose form throughout the test.
Also, the tail is pointy, making it easy to scoop on the streets while the rounded nose makes it the ideal option for taking various flips.
You’ll find that its concave is a little deep, resulting in more excellent stability. Besides, it’s available in various designs like green fish, power, Nebula, mountain, forest, diamond, and much more.
However, it took us some time to get used to it since it’s much lighter than the regular maple wood boards. But that’s not a turn-off to us since it already ticked all the points for an awesome deck.
We found that the paint didn’t wear off despite the high frequency of use. It came in sizes of 7.75 x 31.5 inches, 8 x 31.75 inches, and 8.25 x 32 inches. You’ll notice that the holes are precut and will fit all standard skateboard trucks perfectly.
On Amazon, it has received an average score of 4.3 stars, which is highly commendable, considering the 102 customers it had at the time of the research. The price, too, is impressive compared to other models on sale as you’ll get it from $30 to $50 depending on the size.
This is a great board that outweighs our expectations. It feels light and robust, providing the user with much fun. Overall, it’s an excellent option for new skaters who are looking for an affordable and durable board to buy.
If you’re looking for a pocket-friendly deck, this is the perfect choice for you. This Bamboo board differs from our top pick in the sense the top and bottom layers could be natural or with other solid colors making it easy to customize with paints or stickers.
You can choose widths of 8 inches or 7.75 inches depending on your riding style. It’s also a 7-ply deck with a steep concave though it wasn’t as durable as our top choice.
At the time of the research, it was given an average rating of 3.9 stars on Amazon from 339 customers, which is on the positive. It’s sold between $18 to $30, depending on the size you’re selecting. So, it’s pretty cheaper than our first choice.
This is one of the best skating decks for displaying your artistic prowess. It comes in at a low price so; you wouldn’t break the bank before getting one.
For extra strength and durability, here’s a good option for you. Like other models from Bamboo company, this professional deck is made from bamboo wood, making it light, flexible, and secure.
Though it’s a 6-ply deck, it’s a combination of maple and bamboo, which is the reason for its improved strength and sustainability. It has a better shock-absorbing ability than our first choice and can withstand prolonged abuse.
These are better than our second choice since they only come in natural color, so you’ll have a good time displaying your paintings on it. The contours are tremendous and did deliver quality pops.
However, a few users preferred a mellower concave for better power distribution; but it’s not an issue to us since it’s a matter of one’s preference.
Besides, performing various tricks was easier since our users didn’t worry about the deck, losing shape or breaking. It comes in multiple sizes than our first and second models making it an excellent for both pro and beginners skaters.
It wasn’t as trendy as our second pick when we last checked, but a rating of 4.3 stars from 49 users proved that many buyers were impressed. Finally, it comes in between $38 to $40.
This deck is beautiful, durable, and reliable. It’s also inexpensive so you can enjoy its many benefits at any time.
When considering an elegant option, you can’t go wrong with this one. Unlike our third choice, which is blank, this one features different backgrounds like an eclipse, Nebula, Cosmic clouds, Moso, etc. which you can choose depending on your style.
Since it’s made from treated bamboo, you won’t experience much difficulty when using it. It’s available in sizes 7.75 and 8.25 inches. Both the nose and tail are round, making it the perfect choice for any street skater with the desire to display various flip stunts.
Like our No. one pick, this product has pre-drilled mounting holes for your trucks. It’s also healthy, light, and durable, which is what any serious skater wants.
For the price on Amazon, it comes in at a range between $35 to $45, depending on the size. Its rating was also high, having received 4.3 stars from 32 users.
This is a high-quality deck with top-notch graphics that’ll fit your preference. It has received many positive reviews, so it’ll work well for many skaters.
If you’re trying out skateboarding for the first time but don’t want to spend many funds, this might be the one we’ll recommend for you. The board is super flexible, reliable, and affordable.
It’ll last for about five months of consistent use before showing signs of wear and tear. Amazingly, it’s the only item on this list with grip tape.
Both the front and back are clear so you can create your art on it. The mounting holes are pre-drilled, so you wouldn’t experience any issues with alignment when fixing the trucks.
You’ll notice that it has a U-concave, which ensures your stable irrespective of your skateboarding style.
It’s in sizes of 7.25, 7.5, 7.63, 7.75, 8.25, and 8.5 inches making it perfect for persons in different age grades and weight. Besides, it has a standard wheelbase size of 14 inches. However, we don't recommend it for those that are above 250 pounds.
It’s reasonably priced, between $19 to $35, and did receive fantastic reviews from its users though a few had issues with its durability.
This is the perfect product for persons desirous of making their designs on the deck. It might not be as durable as our top choice, but you’ll enjoy the product for long if you’re not putting it through excessive abuse.
Powell-Peralta is the deck beyond our time because of its hi-tech construction and graphics. The layer is stronger and thinner than the regular ones on sale, allowing you to perfect your flipping skills much easier.
This flight deck is infused with epoxy and reinforced with fiber making it much long-lasting and less prone to breaking. It’s much more extensive than the models we’ve listed above, looking at widths ranging from 8 to 9.26 inches.
The graphics here are fantastic, giving you a beautiful reflection of artistic work. In truth, this product is engineered to enhance your skating skills at all angles. However, it’s only drawback is the price which is a little above $80.
It was given a score of 4.5 stars on Amazon from 32 reviews. So, we’re confident that it will always appeal to the needs of its users.
This deck feels light and comfortable for skating on any surface. Great work from Powell, and it’s worth every bit of the money.
Moose always offers durable and eye-catchy decks that’re easy to use while improving your maneuvering skills. This one is made from Canadian Maple woods, which is one of the best materials for the skating deck’s construction.
This deck features seven layers of wood which are held together by a strong glue giving it flexibility while making it robust enough to mount on. You’ll also notice that it has a modern concave making it easy to pop and flip on the streets.
Like other models we’ve got here, this one comes in multiple sizes ranging from 7.5 to 8.25, so you wouldn’t experience a hard time choosing the one that suits your style. Besides, they’re available in the blank (natural), solid colors of blue, black, neon yellow, stained purple, etc.
As far as negatives are concerned, we didn’t have any issue with this item, only that most users were not happy with its level of flexibility. Meanwhile, it did serve the purpose for which it was bought.
This Moose model is one of the least expensive decks available, sold between $18 to $35. It scored an average of 3.7 stars on Amazon, which was also good for us at the time we last checked.
Beautiful deck, sturdy, and perfect for applying your decorations. The pop was good with a decent kick, which was similar to what we got from those expensive pro decks.
Vision deck is unique in a lot of ways considering the color, graphics as well as the fact that it’s made in the USA. So, you can attest to its degree of quality.
It has a wheelbase of 15 inches and overall dimensions of 10 x 30 inches. So, therefore, it's wide enough for any newbie skater to kick off with ease and also maintain balance. However, it’s made for all categories of riders.
You’ll also appreciate its hole pattern, which is perfect for all standard trucks. Besides, it features the latest concave design so you’ll have an easy time performing your best tricks.
It hasn’t gotten many reviews as our first choice on Amazon, but a score of 4.4 stars from 24 buyers was a sign of exceptional quality. It's sold a little below $70. However, we loved everything about this product except the price.
Great board for those intending to experience what’s like to skate again after a long time. Though it’s pretty costlier than our top pick, you can’t beat its durability.
This is one of the latest packs from Baker Skateboards with a black and white baker logo design that’ll let you ride with confidence. It’s super durable, featuring a 7-ply maple wood that won’t break easily under massive rides.
It’s width and length are 8 inches and 32 inches, respectively. So, both new and pro skaters can hit it. It’s grip and feels under the feet was excellent.
However, it didn’t offer many choices by size or color. So, if you’re a picky type, we’ll suggest you looked elsewhere.
After we’d spent several days riding this deck, we can state that it’s almost 100% proof to wear and scratches. This means you can try it in any terrain without fear.
It wasn’t trendy on Amazon at the time of writing but scored pretty high, looking at 4.9 stars from 12 customers. It costs around $50, so it’s still within the mid-range price.
You can’t expect anything less from a Baker board though this one seems to crown it all. It’s the right choice as gifts for your loved ones, and it’s relatively affordable.
Our second product from Vision is the Groholski Frankenstein, which is also a reissue of a previous model. It features a modern concave shape and classy graphics that are second to none, driving you to deliver your best.
It has dimensions of 10.25 x 31.25 inches, making it an excellent choice for cruising the park and street corners. Like our 8th choice, it features a modern truck pattern that is compatible with almost any standard truck. The nose is rounded with a squared tail making it the right option for street freestyle.
It received a 100% score on Amazon, though from only six consumers at the time of the research. So, we’ll not hesitate to recommend it to any prospective buyer. It’s sold around $70! That might be scary, right? Don’t worry; it’s worth the purchase.
This one had the highest rating among the models we’d checked, showing that all buyers were satisfied. Except for its price, we had no issue with it, and we will love to rebuy it.
Your new skateboard has arrived? Not sure how to twist the nuts and keep it in good condition? You’re right there! We’ll provide you with the essential guide.
- Truck Adjustment - The condition of the truck’s assembly can influence your output in a lot of ways. Fresh skaters should go for tighter trucks since they’re easier to turn, but you’ll need to loosen it overtime to get total control of your deck. Making a half quarter-turn of the significant nut using a 9/16 socket wrench will create the change you seek.
- Axle nuts adjustment – Tighten these nuts to the fullest before and after each ride. Ensure that they’re not too tight, so they don’t affect the spinning of the wheels.
- Grip tape air – Push out the bubbles surrounding the grip and the board using a pin or razor. However, the air may go by itself with repeated skating.
- Mounting bolts adjustments – A set of four bolts help to secure the truck to the board. These nuts may loosen by itself, check them regularly, and lock accordingly.
- Bearings cleaning – The bearings on the boards need regular cleaning and lubrication to keep them in good condition. Accumulation of dirt could prevent the wheels from spinning, which is an excellent time to clean. However, if you still have issues with the rotation of the wheels, then it’s time for a bearing replacement.
- Grip tape cleaning – You can remove a stubborn mark with the help of an eraser or soft toothbrush. But if you don’t like the appearance after cleaning, you can opt to replace the grip. We recommend that you visit a local shop for help if you’re not sure about doing this yourself.
We’ve considered the best skateboard decks available on the market, and we believe they’re the perfect option for you.
If you love displaying your creativity, we recommend you pick a blank board so you can customize it to your taste. Or, if you want to boost your morale with graphics, there’s still a model for you.
If you’re buying these boards for the first time, it’s better to research your perfect skating style to know the right size and shape to choose. While your budget is an important consideration, all our decks are great in many ways and will help to boost your overall performance.