5 Best Skateboard Decks in 2020
Do you want to get good pop off your Ollie? Want your deck to dampen vibrations coming off the road? Have a dream that your set-up will last longer than your friends? If your answer to any of these questions is in the affirmative, you need the best skateboard decks.
Called as the most technologically advanced board on the market by Baker, this longboard has been ticking all the right boxes. Will it suit you? We find out in the next section.
Let’s be honest: no matter how good a board looks, none of us will like its beauty if it breaks down within months. So, while the looks of this longboard are average, it is its durability which makes this blank longboard deck a must-have.
For, instead of using one of them, this longboard is a hybrid of fiberglass, carbon fiber and bamboo. Hence, it combines the brilliant strength of bamboo with the high flex of fiberglass and stiffness of carbon fiber to give you a high-quality longboard.
Moreover, Baker has gone for a W-shaped concave in this model. The result is a highly responsive, precise board that is able to turn quickly. Also, due to the extra curve in the center – which distinguishes this board, it allows greater energy transfer from the heel to the toe. Consequently, you can get sudden shifts in energy.
As for the trucks, you’re going to get a cast aluminum material which is nothing flashy. Hence, if you want something that shines from a distance, it won’t. However, if you want a truck that is durable, handles more abuse than most and still strolls forward, the 7’’ trucks of this model are worthy of your attention.
- Sturdy, will last longer than most skateboards
- W-shaped concave provides a precise, responsive board
- Light yet stiff
- Good foot grip
- The wheels are a bit soft
Talking about the best longboard decks, they are durable, have solid trucks and hugely responsive. Since this longboard ticks all three boxes, it is a must-have whether you are a pro looking to bomb hills or an amateur.
When it comes to dropping deck longboards, no brand dominates the market as much as Bamboo Skateboards. It has a history of making the best longboard decks and thankfully, this longboard is no different.
To start off with, this longboard comes in five different models – of which we have selected the bamboo style due to its popularity and good reputation. Made with a maple/bamboo hybrid, this deck will let you reap the dividends of both.
For, while maple provides it with durability, bamboo allows it to absorb road vibrations with aplomb. Hence, whether you want to bomb hills or traverse through your house’s street, this deck can do both without breaking a sweat.
One thing which impressed me the most about this longboard was its grip. Instead of leaving you on your own to find the perfect spot for gripping, it has a coarse 46grit grip just in front of the wheels. As you might guess, this roughness provides your feet with the perfect standing point.
Also, despite the fact that its turning radius is a bit on the wider side, the board is as functional as they come. Since the trucks come too tight, all you have to do is to loose them and you are good to go. Similarly, thanks to the 40degree angle of the baseplate, you get increased stability even at higher speeds.
Finally, taking a cue from its reviews, some users complained that they were concerned with its wheel bite. However, in the same breath, they praised the 78a large wheels which enable this longboard to absorb most of the off-road vibrations.
- Strong and durable
- Absorbs road vibrations
- Provides easy cornering once you loosen the trucks a bit
- Good looks
- Wheel bite may be a concern for some
Although you may be rightly concerned about its wheel bite, let me remind you not all users who used this board complained of this problem. Even if you do, the longboard has so many good features that they would nicely make up for this shortcoming.
Piece of art. These three words came to my mind when I first saw this beautiful deck. However, while I admired its beauty, I also knew that it would be useless if its features don’t complement. Thankfully, they did and that’s why this deck is here.
To justify its considerable price tag, Skateboard Collective – the manufacturer of this longboard, have gone for a hybrid of fiberglass and bamboo. While the former is used to form the upper layer of the deck, the latter has gone underground.
This combination has enabled this deck to give off marvelous curves you’ll ever see, and feel. Placed in all the right places, the curves will not only enhance your riding experience but will also give a highly responsive and high-performance drive. What’s more, you’ll remain more stable on the deck with minimum chances of things going wrong.
While most other boards would have stopped at this, this board has gone one step ahead to dampen vibrations. For, underneath the two layers of fiberglass and bamboo is yet another cork dampening layer. As the name might imply, the only function of this layer is to absorb vibrations coming off the road.
You might ask: does that third layer results in an increased weight? Yes and No. For, this model comes with two options – one with high flex and the other with less flex. Hence, if you don’t want a heavy deck, you can go for the low flex option.
With all these benefits, this model is bound to have a shortcoming. However, that shortcoming is one which you know in advance: it can’t be used on hills. Due to the minimal nose and tail, it is only suitable for either navigating city streets or performing freestyle tricks.
Finally, this is the most expensive deck in this review. Consequently, you might need to have very deep pockets to afford it.
- Provides two-flex options
- Shapely Curves provide rider ergonomics and responsive rides
- More stability due to the dropped deck
- Good flex
- Cannot be used on hills
Talking about the best drop deck longboards, all of them have one thing in common: they are expensive. This board, as you have seen, is nothing different. However, while its price is high, its features have done a very good job to justify it.
In the last few years, many new brands have entered the skateboard market. One of them is Hamboards. What differentiates it from other newcomers is the quality of its boards. Despite being expensive, they have given the company a good name thanks to its features. Can this one do the same? We find out.
If looking at this board doesn’t fill you with a retro feel, nothing ever will. Boasting a bamboo deck, dark brown color and super solid trucks, it will take you back to your childhood skating memories. What’s more, Hamboards recommend that you use it with bare feet! How’s that for a retro feel!
However, while its appearance will take you to the past, its features will get you back in the present. Thanks to the shape of its concave, its pumping is a cinch. If you are fond of transitioning from pumping to carving at a moment’s notice, it’s wide, you’ll fall in love with its wide, punchy format.
As veteran skaters might testify, skateboards which are known for their pumping aren’t typically well balanced. This skateboard, however, is different. By combining the Reverse King Trucks with the unique shape of Hamboards’ decks, it provides a unique mix of flex and weight. So, if you want to turn every paved surface into a skating playground, you need this skateboard.
Another feature of this board that deserves your attention is its ease of portability. Since it weighs just 10lbs – and measures 3’7’’*14’’, you can take it with you in a tube, on a bicycle, in a car or inside your armpit. It is a cinch to hold.
Finally, there are two features that made me uneasy about this skateboard. First, it has no cut-outs. So if you want to see the wheels, you can’t, meaning you will get more of a surf rather than a skating feel.
Second, as its description might suggest, this board is not built for bumpy roads. So, you need to have a well-paved ground to use it.
- Provides the perfect balance of flex and weight
- Has a UV resistant grip
- Gives a retro feel
- Can be used with bare feet
- Not suitable for bumpy roads
If y ou like schmoozing through the neighborhood or want to impress your friends, both the exterior and interior of this board combine to make it a must-have for you.
To end this article, we have again turned our attention towards Element Section #9. However, before you accuse us of taking a bribe from them, let’s take a look at the features of this longboard which makes it unique.
Tell me: what is the first thing you demand of your drop deck longboard. Yes, competitive pricing. This board provides just that. In addition to being the lightest when it comes to weight – it weighs only 8lbs, it won’t cost much as well. Happy Shopping!
Once again, Element Section #9 has gone for a mix of bamboo and maple, turning this board into a long lasting one. Provided you are willing to pay its price – which, as mentioned above, isn’t huge, this board will give you a good value for your money with its longevity.
Strength and flex are the two cornerstones of this board. Thanks to the seven plies of maple wood, this board oozes strength. As for the two bamboo laminates, they give the board some strength of their own, to give it a unique flex.
As for cornering and maneuvering, this board might take some effort from you to get to its best. For, since it comes mostly assembled, its trucks are seriously tight. Hence, you have to make them loose to get good turning from this board.
Also, while we don’t pay any attention to this aspect, the replicability of the board’s parts is a crucial fixture. For, no board will last forever. It is here that this longboard justifies its inclusion as most of its parts are replaceable, giving you the freedom to give it your desired qualities.
Finally, at10’’ width and 39’’ in length, there is not much this board can have provided more. For, even if you have big feet – or a huge build, the comfortable concave and broad deck of this board will make it suitable for you.
- Replaceable components
- Good ride comfort
- Easy cornering and maneuvering
- Wheels are a bit soft
It isn’t often that a product from a famous brand – despite having all the useful features, has such a competitive price. So, if you want a board that gives you the best of both worlds, go for this one.
And if you want to buy the best longboard decks, you have come to the right place. Having tested various longboard decks from different brands of all shapes and sizes, we have selected the top five of them. Hence, as long as you don’t want to waste your money on cheap skateboard decks, this article will help.
Have doubts about our claim? There’s only one way you can quash them:
Skateboard Deck Buying Guide
Tell me: what, in your opinion, distinguishes the cheap skateboard decks from the best ones? Features. Due to their high build quality, the best skateboard decks have features that their cheap counterparts could only dream of. Keeping this in mind, let’s take a look at those features:
Starting off, the material is the most important consideration when choosing blank longboard decks. We’ve taken a look at three of the most popular materials here:
Visit any shop selling skateboards, and it is likely you’d come across a maple deck. There’s a reason for their popularity. In addition to being sturdy, maple decks are solid and remain enduring over time. So, if you skate long and hard, you need a maple deck.
No other material has as much compressive strength as bamboo. Consequently, it absorbs road vibrations much better to give the skater a comfortable ride. On the flip side, a bamboo board is much likely to be heavy. Consequently, manufacturers either use them in electric skateboards or mix them with Maple to be used in a drop deck longboard.
If you are a cyclist, you might have heard of carbon fiber frames. Despite being extremely strong, carbon fiber is very light, making it an attractive proposition for deck manufacturers. Still, it isn’t without shortcomings, the most glaring of which is its inability to absorb vibrations. Put simply, if you take it on a rough road, it won’t provide much protection to your feet from the vibrations arising out of the road.
Ask experts, and they might tell why it’s important that you pay more attention to a skateboard’s width and not its length. No one can tell you what the right width is, for it depends on your build, your shoe size, and your skateboard style.
If you make the mistake of choosing too wide a deck, you’d have to exert more power than necessary. Conversely, if you have gone for too narrow a size, you might not feel stable. Hence, it is imperative that you choose the width of your skateboard deck wisely.
Generally speaking, most adult riders go for 7.5’’width. However, if you skateboard on ramps, you might need a wider size. Conversely, if you skate only on the street, a smaller deck might merit your attention.
As stated earlier, it should be the width – and not the length of the skateboard which should get maximum attention. It is for this reason that only the most advanced of skaters mull over length.
Generally, a length of a longboard falls between 28’’ -32’’ in size. As you might guess, it is measured from the tip of the tail to the tip of the nose.
If you are an adult, you might need a deck north of 30’’. However, if you want a children sized model, a 28’’ or 30’’model will suffice.
Tail and Nose
Although they are sometimes hard to differentiate, the difference between tail and nose of your deck is that the latter has an upward curve. That said, some skateboard manufacturers make the curve less pronounced, making it difficult for you to determine which is which.
Talking about selection, if you are fond of performing nollie tricks – which means you are an experienced skater, you might want a nose with a steeper kick. As for the beginners, they need not mull too much over the tail and nose selection.
The arch/curve between the nose and tail is known as concave. Since it exists between the extreme edges, your decks’ concave has a vast impact on its performance.
- If you are fond of making technical flips, go for a higher concave. Put simply, the edges should be bent up significantly if you want to perform tricks
- If you are fond of pool riding, a mellower concave will do the job.
The distance between the two trucks of your deck is known as wheelbase. Talking about modern decks, their wheelbase size ranges between 13.5 and 14’’. If you are new to the game – or just unsure, anything belongs to this region would be fine.
That said, if you are a young skater, you might need a smaller wheelbase since it makes the deck easy to control.
Camber & Rocker
While concave is the widthwise curve, the lengthwise curve also plays an important role in the performance of the deck. For, in addition to determining how the deck will feel, it also determines what you can do on it.
As far as camber skateboards are concerned, they are decks that have a raised middle. Conversely, rocker skateboards are those which have a dropped middle.
If you want more flex from your deck, go for a camber skateboard. However, if you want a low center of gravity – and a stable surface to stand on, you need a camber skateboard.
As the name might imply, the Kicktails are raised curves on the edge of your deck. If you want to perform ollies – or have a likening for sharp turns, pivots, and slides, you need a skateboard with a Kicktail. Some of the advanced skateboards have Kicktails on both sides to do next-level tricks.
The description doesn’t mean, however, that Kicktails are only important for performing tricks. Rather, if you want your longboard to stay safe from cracks and debris – you can use the Kicktail to life its front trucks.
Plies are the levels of wood which have been tightly pressed together in the construction of your deck. In most cases, manufacturers use seven plies – all of which are made from maple wood.
In addition to affecting its construction, a ply also affects the performance of a skateboard. For, if you want extreme durability, you may want to go for a 9-ply deck. That said, this increased durability will come at the cost of increased weight, making it difficult for you to perform tricks.
Hence, if you want the best of both worlds – i.e. average durability and average weight, seven-ply skateboards are the best.
Your search for the best skateboard decks ends here. Since you have come this far, you can bear testament to our objectivity throughout the review. Without falling victim to brand names, we tried our best to judge products on their features. Still, if you feel that we missed some of the skateboard decks, please feel free to let us know.