Skateboards are exposed to excessive amounts of stress and strain, especially the deck itself. Over the years, I’ve owned many brands that offered something special, new, or unique. I’ve broken these boards and realized how upsetting it can be.
What Composes A More Robust Design?
Most skateboard decks are crafted with 7-ply Canadian hard rock maple. They are created by peeling wood into veneers (thin sheets) and storing them in a climate-controlled environment protecting against moisture. Each veneer is glued together with water-based glue. They are then pressed in a machine and left to dry for a few minutes, to a few hours.
Typical Materials Used:
- Canadian Hardrock Maple is the standard.
- Carbon fiber for strength and to maintain shape internally.
- Polymer is added on boards offering slicks
- Fiberglass makes a deck stronger and allows more flex.
Bamboo skateboard decks are new to me. I’ve never skated one, but there are positive reasons why one would choose this. It’s more cost effective, stronger, and it saves trees. It’s a way to sustain an eco-friendly environment for the future and produce more products in less time. Bamboo trees mature between 3-5 years, whereas maple trees take 40-60 years. After reading other’s reviews it seems most people find that it’s just not the same as your typical 7-ply maple.
- They’re quite flexible, not as stiff as Maple.
- Offers a completely different ride quality.
- Steep concave that’s uncomfortable.
- Lighter than your standard deck.
- Stronger than maple.
- A good option for beginners.
Should I Get A Bamboo Skateboard?
I’ve never purchased or skated one, but considering the price, I’d try one. Prices for bamboo decks range from $28-$42 online or check your local shop.
My best friend got his hands on an aluminum skateboard deck years ago. All I have to say, is they don’t break or lose shape. However, they offer none of the benefits of a regular deck. They are more expensive, tail-guards need to be replaced often, and plenty of dents. I did enjoy the concave even though it was extremely stiff.
The use of aluminum diverged towards designing cruiser decks. A company known for its brilliant designs and artwork, Aluminati Skateboards, develops cruisers from recycled aluminum. Not many manufacturers I’ve found that built upon this unique idea.
Brands That Offer Stronger Skateboard Decks
My first alternative to finding a stronger, more durable skateboard was the design by Lib Tech. I’d say they’re still up there as one of the best decks owned. I’ve purchased two of these boards in the past. Lib Tech also manufactures snowboards, surfboards, and skis.
There deck construction is a laminated wood/carbon with fiberglass encasing, with only three thick layers. A decent deck, however it would lose pop, and chipping leads to fiberglass shards embedded in your hands.
Should you get a lib tech skateboard?
I stopped buying these because of the fiberglass, and costs. If you’re not prone to chipping or razor tails, then I’d say go for it. Expect to pay around $60-$75 for one of these bad boys.
Almost Uber-light: “Created by God”
Created by the “God” himself, Rodney Mullen. Delivering the best pop, resilient design, and not to mention the strongest deck available. Inside contains a carbon fiber foam deck, that’s light, and nearly as strong as metal. After reading reviews, and coming to a swift conclusion, it’s the most expensive deck out there.
Canadian maple veneer with specialized epoxy resin glue, unlike water based glue makes the deck lighter and more rigid. One of the most popular, and one I recommend.
A technology marketed as “100 times stronger than conventional wood decks” preventing the nose and tail from snapping. They use a thin reinforced maple core, including a strong fiber insert on the top of the deck. The insert increases length for lasting pop.
- Santa Cruz
- Plan B
These decks are developed with a slick bottom technology assisting in making any obstacle slidable. This allows the board to slide further and faster than traditional skateboards. Unlike most slicks available, black ice is lightweight and stiffer than a regular 7-ply skateboard. This technology is only found in Plan B Skateboards. The purpose of this would get rid of the need to wax ledges constantly.
A technology that consists of eight layers of Canadian maple, glued together with epoxy resin. Carbon fiber discs are built into the bottom layer of the deck where the trucks meet the board. These dampen impact when landing tricks and therefore help prevent snapping.
Designed by REAL skateboards, the standard 2 cross-directional x-band plys and 2 additional thicker x-band plys make a significantly stronger board.
Low Pro 2 deck provides a lower center of gravity, enhanced board control, and quicker pop. REAL also has R1 boards and slicks available as well.
Slick Skateboard Decks
It is not necessarily considered stronger, but another popular technology. Slicks are developed with a plastic or inlay material at the bottom. This allows the board to slide better on rough surfaces like curbs, ledges, and rails. You can purchase blank slicks, or get them from name brand companies. Personally, never have gotten one but It’s something I would buy.
What Skateboard Deck Should I Choose?
Choosing the right deck is based on experience with the product. As a skater, you’ll be snapping, and wearing out decks depending on how hard you skate. No board will feel the same as another. If you’re at a shop, try out decks by standing on them, and moving around from side to side.
The worst mistake you can make is choosing a deck that’s too narrow or too wide. You’ll be stuck with that decision until your next purchase. Spend time developing a sense of what truly feels comfortable.
So, Is There A Difference In The Deck I Choose?
Advanced skaters including myself, have been through many boards and conclude. Skateboard decks provide different levels of pop, some like a steeper concave than others. They also provide different sizes and lengths. Some like a narrow board, others a nice wide board. You’ll eventually find your happy medium, it just takes getting used to. My personal preference is blanks or shop decks, they’re cheap and provide the best value money can buy. Don’t think buying a stronger skateboard deck is the end all solution. I’ve broken boards on the first day of skating! If that happens to you, it’ll be a sad day!