Best Skateboard Decks & Brands For Street & Cruising (2021)
Considering building your own skateboard instead of settling for an off the rack model? Wise choice, but it’s also important that you pick a deck that is strong, lightweight, and made by one of the best skateboard deck brands in the industry.
Lucky for you, the crew here at Improve Summer can help point you in the right direction here. Check out some of our recommendations below on the best skateboard decks for the money right now.
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Top 10 Skateboard Decks for Beginners
- Powell-Peralta Skateboard Deck Flight 02 247 Glow Pink 8.0″ x 31.45″
- Baker Brand Logo Black / White Skateboard Deck – 8.25″ x 31.875″
- Vision Original Psycho Stick Reissue Skateboard Deck, 10″ x 30″
- Bamboo Skateboards Blank Skateboard Deck – POP – Strength – Sustainability
- Bamboo Skateboards Graphc Decks
- Skateboard Collective Blank Skateboard Deck, Random Top/Natural Bottom Self-Customizable Skateboard
- Toy Machine Skateboards No Scooter Skateboard Deck – 8″ x 31.75″
- Powell-Peralta Skateboard Deck Caballero Ban This White Re-Issue W/Grip
- Powell-Peralta Vallely Elephant Green Skateboard Deck
The Anatomy of a Skateboard Deck
There are several parts to a skateboard — one of the most obvious components is the deck. Even though from afar the deck looks like a platform to stand on, it consists of many parts.
The skateboard deck is also simply called a deck. It is the wooden platform on which trucks are installed to the bottom and tape is applied to the top.
The nose of the skateboard is usually slightly concave and raised to provide a more functional kicktail. The actual platform consists of 7 to 9 layers of wood, with the Maple wood laminated together being the industry standard.
Most technical skateboard decks are between 7.25 to 8.5 inches wide and are 29 inches to 32 inches long. The old school longboards can vary much greater in length and width.
Being made out of wood and aggressively stomped on by skaters will compromise the deck over time. However, there is a litany of options when it comes to purchasing a new deck, which can be intimidating for the uninitiated.
What To Consider When Buying A Skateboard Deck
There are several things that you need to consider when you build your next skateboard or when you want to swap out parts.
Depending on how frequently and how hard you skate, you may want to replace your skateboard every other month, to at least once a year. Once the sides of your skateboard show signs of splitting, it is time to start doing your research for your next fresh board.
Here is what you consider on your next deck:
Width is the most important part of choosing a deck, not the wheelbase. These can be swapped out later. The ideal width will largely be dependent on your height, shoe size, as well as skating preferences and styles.
If you purchase a deck that is too wide, you will need to exert excessive force to compensate while moving. This can make it very difficult to ride.
However, if you choose a skateboard deck that is too small, then you’ll have trouble balancing, especially during acceleration. Most teens and adults are suitable for skateboards that have a 7.5-inch width, while a larger rider will feel comfortable with a wider board.
Choose a skateboard deck between 7.5 and 8 inches if you are into executing technical tricks. Anything between 8 and 8.25 inches is ideal for ramp and skating parks. Anything larger than 8.25 inches is ideal for cruising and commuting.
The style of your skateboard deck. It is also helpful to familiarize yourself with the different styles of skateboard decks and their preferred application. Each deck is designed for certain styles of riding.
- Shortboard. As the name suggests, these are one of the shortest styles of skateboard decks. They are designed to perform tricks and to get air. If you are a frequent visitor to the local skate park, a shortboard will be an ideal match.
- Cruiser. These often have a kick tail and are designed for commuting or cruising. Cruisers are versatile and highly maneuverable, making them ideal for street use.
- “Old school.” These have a flat nose and kicktail. They have a wider nose and are excellent for carving the streets.
- Longboards. If you’re not all that interested in executing tricks and want a skateboard for commuting, then look into a longboard. Some are designed for downhill racing, with the sort of longboard having a symmetrical shape, sitting low to the ground. These are also designed to accommodate larger wheels.
Skateboard Deck Shape
The shape is also a major factor when it comes to performance. Many manufacturers are experimenting with different concave shapes and curvatures.
- Radial concave. This sort of skateboard has a slight indent into it. The subtle shape is the most common type of skateboard deck. This allows for improved foot contact and is useful in almost any style of riding.
- Progressive. This has a similar concave to the radial shape. They are slightly more dramatic, with a steep wall. This allows for enhanced footing, making your feet feel even more connected to the skateboard deck.
- W-concave. The concave does not extend the entire length of the deck, just the area towards the tail. This allows you to shift energy more easily. This provides enhanced precision, allowing skaters to feel more comfortable when making sharper turns.
- Tub concave. Also called a flat cave, this is similar to the radial board. Due to the sudden flareups on the sides of the board, you’re able to make sudden shifts in your weight for enhanced turning.
- Convex. These have an upward arch; the complete opposite of most skateboard deck shapes. While uncommon, convex skateboard decks are popular with downhill skateboarders.
- The flat deck. This skateboard has no curvature. Some old school skateboards feature a flat deck. They allow for additional space for your feet and can be comfortable for occasional riders.
Our Favorite Skateboard Decks Reviewed
Now that you have recognized the different features of the skateboard deck, you will have to pick the right one that is aligned with your skating styles and preferences. Here are some of our top recommended skateboard decks on the market.
1. Powell-Peralta Skateboard Flight Deck
This deck is made by one of our favorite skateboard brands and we think that it’s a high quality deck at an affordable price.
And while the “glove Pink” color is in the image above, you can actually order this one in a few different colors/designs. We’re also big fans of the Caballero Dragon Ball 243 skeleton design.
- Ideal skateboard size for novices as well as professional skaters.
- Stronger, thinner and lighter than a 7-ply deck.
- Has a mellow tail that’s comfortable to skate.
- Edges don’t seem as strong as the center of the board.
- Higher cost than some similar decks.
2. Bamboo Skateboards Blank Skateboard Deck
If you don’t care about a flashy deck but just want something strong and sustainable, then this is it.
We think that this is a great alternative to the traditional Canadian maple decks.
And this bamboo deck is very strong, so you can still nail those tricks.
- Gives you a lot of pop.
- Cheap and affordably priced.
- Lightweight but strong
- It may not be ideal for some skateboarders since it does feel different than the maple decks.
3. Baker Brand Logo Black / White Skateboard Deck
Another of our favorites when it comes to the best skateboard deck brands is Baker. And this logo board is a great choice for beginners.
The skateboard deck measures in at 8.25″ x 31.875″ and is the perfect size for teens and adults.
- Highly affordable skateboard deck ideal for teens, adults, and beginners.
- A bit more expensive than some other models on the market.
How Much Do Skateboard Decks Cost?
As you shop for a new skateboard deck, you’ll notice that you can find them at a variety of prices. Here at Improve Summer, we think that you should be able to find a good quality skateboard deck for under $100.
But if you find something that you really like and want to spend more on it, then go ahead if your budget allows for it.
The important thing is that you’re getting the right deck for you. It’s really a personal decision, so take your time.