When you’re hurtling downhill, shredding a pool or grinding curbs, the only thing between you and disaster is your skateboard deck. That deck holds everything in place. The trucks, the risers, the wheels, and you. Everything that matters, everything a skateboard is, is held together by its deck. When you’re skating, your deck is your protector, your closest ally, and the one thing that gives you the confidence to push yourself harder, further, and faster than you ever thought possible.
Decks matter. More than anything else on a skateboard, the right deck is essential. It’s the beating heart of your board, the platform that lets you find your skating feet and encourages you to find, and develop your own style. As individual as it’s rider, a deck is the canvas you stamp your identity on to show the rest of the skating world who you are.
Your deck is your ride or die companion that sticks with you until the bitter end. It won’t let you down and the only time it’ll quit is when it breaks or you give up. Decks matter.
It was the deck that gave skateboarding its name. It put the board in skating, turned a legion of surfers into concrete riding maniacs and generations of bored, disenfranchised teenagers into world-conquering athletes. Without decks, there wouldn’t be skateboards and that’s why choosing the right deck is so important. In skating circles, your deck and your board are who you are.
But picking which deck suits you best isn’t exactly a stroll in the park. With so many different options to choose from, trying to find the right deck can drive you around the bend. That’s why we’ve taken that particular headache out of the deck equation and found five of the best, most reliable, dependable, and safest decks from the best deck makers in the skating universe to help you make a stress free choice and get on with doing makes you happiest. Skating.
Skating time is being wasted, so let’s get right down to it, The five skateboard decks that we recommend are…
Top 5 Best Skateboard Decks
OUR TOP PICK
Bambo Skateboards are the socially conscious ecologically friendly face of skateboarding. Realizing the destructive impact that the demand for wholely maple boards and decks was having on forests all over the globe, they were determined to find an alternative that would work just as well. And that’s exactly what they did.
This San Diego based company makes their decks out of bamboo, which as fate would have it, is the perfect wood to make decks from. Stronger and lighter than maple, bamboo is also more shock absorbent which helps to prevent decks cracking and greatly increases their lifespan.
You know we mentioned that bamboo was stronger and lighter than it’s traditional counterpart? Well, both of those things make a deck easier to handle and control, which means that you’ll be able to get to grips with all of those tricks you’ve been wanting to learn in less time than it takes Tony Hawke to pop an ollie.
And for every board and deck that they sell, Bamboo Skateboards will plant a tree. Working in conjunction with a non-profit organization called One Tree Planted, Bamboo Skateboards give back what they take. You won’t just be buying a deck, you’ll be helping to save the planet.
- While it’s usually a little more costly to be ecologically friendly, that isn’t the case with Bamboo Skateboards’ decks. They don’t cost the Earth and by laying your money down with these guys, you’ll also be giving something back to Mother Nature. That will earn you some additional points on the Karma-meter which means you’ll have a little extra luck when attempting those particularly difficult tricks. At least it will if you believe in that sort of stuff.
- Have you seen how cool some of Bamboo’s graphics are? Great decks that also look good? What’s not to love!
- Flexible, light, and strong these decks have got the right combination of factors in all of the right proportions to make mastering stunts that little bit easier.
- Oh, and the way Bamboo design their decks? They shape them that way to give you greater control and make your ride that little bit safer.
- While Bambook decks usually last way longer than a Grateful Dead set, some hardcore skaters have complained about the durability of the boards. If they’re pushed over the edge in an attempt to get “extra gnarly” then just like other decks, there’s a chance that they’ll break
- Those insanely cool graphics that Bamboo use? They’re on the underside of their decks, so the only way anyone is going to see them is when you’re grabbing some air or flying through the sky.
Another bamboo deck manufacturer, Black Decks make, as their name suggests, completely blank decks. There’s no warpaint, no decorations, no graphics, or any discernible markings on their decks. They’re completely blank. Which is incredibly cool if you’re slightly more artistic or looking to make your deck in your own image. You can pour your heart and soul into the Blank Decks board and transform it into that one of a kind ride that you always wanted.
Being made of bamboo, Blank Decks are also strong, light, and flexible, making them a great vessel to increase your trick portfolio with. And because they’re made from bamboo they’re incredibly shock absorbent and more resistant to every day skating wear and tear.
We’re going to push the fact that bamboo is a sustainable wood and that decks made out of it are more ecologically friendly than their maple counterparts again. Given the times that we live in, every little step toward carbon neutrality helps, and riding a bamboo deck is a great way to begin that journey.
However, the best thing about this deck is the price. At less than half the cost of the Bamboo Skateboards model, Blank Decks are charging a no-frills sum for their blank deck, Sure, it’s just a deck, but at that price, it’s a deck that isn’t going to hurt anyone’s pocketbook.
- It’s an eco-friendly deck that’ll do just about anything that you want it to. The Warning should acquiesce to all of your skate demands and be ready to do it all over again as soon as you are.
- The Warning is a blank canvas. It’s ready and waiting for you to make it your own and add your own identity to it.
- And we’re back to how much it costs. Honesty, it’s an astonishing price for an astonishing deck. We figured a bamboo deck was an affordable alternative at twice the price, so we’re more than happy to see a great deck at a price point that’ll make everyone do a double-take. And then check it again to make sure they weren’t hallucinating.
- Again, some of the more demanding skaters have complained that when they thrash Blank Decks too hard, they crack under the pressure. Bamboo may be tough, but it would seem that the most determined and demanding skaters are even tougher.
- We’re back to the price again. Yes, Blank Decks are unbelievably inexpensive, especially when compared to the Bamboo Skateboards alternative, but as a brand, they don’t have the same ecological drive that Bamboo Skateboards do. They don’t operate a one for one policy and they’re not trying to make the world a better place. It’s a question of conscience - do you want to pay less for your deck or pay more and know that you’re making a small difference by helping to make tomorrow better than today?
A built to grind and go deck that has also adopted the blank persona so that you can add your own stamp to it, the Cal 7 is a hard-wearing, seven-layer (which is where we assume the company took its name from) Chinese maple deck that can tangle with the toughest skate session and roll away relatively unscathed.
Unlike it’s Blank Decks bamboo cousin, the Cal 7 is available in a myriad of different colors, so if you don’t want to decorate it, you can choose your favorite shade and you’re good to go. And, unlike the bamboo alternatives, the Cal 7 is supplied with grip tape so that you don’t have to fork out an extra few bucks on it and waste time waiting for it to arrive before you can start putting your board together.
The Cal 7 is also available in various sizes, so you can stick with the length of deck that you’re used to, or try something new and maybe up your skating ante. Whatever you need from a deck, Cal 7 has got it covered.
We’re suckers for a bargain, and the Cla 7 is an incredibly competitive deck that you won’t have to break into your piggy bank for. And it comes with grip tape. Which is an unexpected, and a more than welcome, bonus.
- Variety is the spice of skating life as far as Cal 7 is concerned - with multiple lengths of deck and colors available, you’ll be spoiled for choice if this deck has stolen your heart.
- Made from seven separate layers of Chinese maple wood, this deck isn’t messing around. It’s a hardy beast that should be able to keep up with even the hardest of hard skaters.
- It’s always about the price, isn’t it? Of course, it is, as we all love a great deal and for you get for your dollar, the Cal 7 isn’t just a great deal. It’s a fantastic one.
- It’s over to those ambitious exacting and critical elite skaters for the final word on the board’s durability and they seem to think that the Cal 7 is okay for a couple of sessions, but as soon as you head into difficult skating waters, it can give up the ghost remarkably quickly. It seems that the old misnomer about getting what you pay for applies to every part of life. Even skating.
If you’re serious about skating, then the deck you’re going to want should come with an authentic skateboarding seal of approval. Which is why you won’t go far wrong with a deck from Baker Skateboards, the skateboard brand started and still run by professional skater Andrew “The Boss” Reynolds. After all, who knows more about decks and skating than someone who has been riding high at the pinnacle of the skateboarding world for more than twenty years?
“The Boss” founded Baker at the beginning of the millennium and they’ve been making sturdy, long-lasting decks ever since. Made the traditional way, from seven layers of Canadian maple wood, Baker decks are designed with every type of skater in mind, from the rawest newbie to the most grizzled vert veteran, and are made to be the best that they can be, regardless of who’s riding them.
It’s a full package deal with this gorgeous deck and even though it arrives unassembled, it comes with everything that you’ll need to put your own skateboard together. Deck, wheels, risers, trucks, the whole shebang. And if you want to use your own parts to build your board, at least you’ll have spares in case you need them.
- Baker decks come straight from the brain of a professional skateboarder, so any concerns about build quality and durability you might be plagued by, you can forget all about them. Put your faith in Baker. They won’t let you down.
- They’re a one size fits all deck made to bring out the absolute best in every skater who rides them.
- That logo, on this deck? It’ll give you automatic bragging rights the minute you roll into the skatepark.
- It’s the most expensive option on the list. That said, it comes with everything that you need to make a ready to roll skateboard, so when you think about it, instead of being the most expensive, it’s actually the most cost-effective. It is, as some wise man once said, all a matter of perspective.
For our final choice, we’ve gone with another brand of deck that sprang straight from the fevered imaginations of professional skateboarders, Enjoi. Known for their distinctive Panda logo, and the fact that they were founded by original Bones Brigade member Rodney Mullen and professional skater extraordinaire Marc Johnson, Enjoi make their decks for everyone to, well, enjoy.
Strong, reliable and extraordinarily dependable, Enjoi decks are made from seven layers of maple and designed to be light and tough so that every single skater can get the most out of riding them. Whatever your level of ability, you’ll feel right at home on an Enjoi deck.
As you’d expect from Johnson and Mullen, Enjoi decks aren’t just harder than Rocky Balboa, they’re also drop-dead gorgeous. Seeing that panda logo makes you want to skate, and knowing that the deck comes in four different styles means the only problem you’re going to face as far as this deck is concerned, is choosing which of the four has your name on it.
- Enjoi decks possess a rare stability that few of their competitors can even come close to matching. If you want the smoothest of smooth rides, you’ll need an Enjoi deck.
- They love technology. Enjoi have always been at the forefront of skateboard design and it shows in their decks. Their decks are strong and light, but most of all, they’re made to suffer at the hand at the hardest skaters.
- Enjoi decks don’t come cheap. You get what you pay for. If you want an Enjoi deck, then you’ll have to pay for the privilege of owning one.
- That sweet, beautiful panda logo? It fades over time, Enjoi’s graphics don’t luxuriate in the greatest of reputations. The deck will last but the panda will slowly, but surely, disappear.
Best Skateboard Decks Buyers Guide
Before thinking about buying a deck, it might be wise to consider what type of skateboard deck you’re actually looking for, or want. Broadly speaking, there are four loose categories of skateboard deck and your preferred skate style should determine which deck suits you best.
Old School Decks
Made famous by the professional skateboards who rose to prominence in the nineteen-eighties, old school decks don’t conform to the usual deck paradigm. Broader and longer, they sometimes feature a kick plate at the tail end of the deck and are best suited to ramp, park and pool skating
Designed first and foremost for riding down hills, Longboards aren’t built or made for stunts or trick skating. They’re a cruisers board and are primarily for the skater who just wants to look good and get from A to B completely hassle-free
The trickster’s deck, shortboards are all about stunts, getting airborne, and pulling off as many tricks as possible in the shortest amount of time. They’re made to take a pounding and are more than happy to do just that.
Street / Cruisers
They’re all about the street and skating it. Made for speed and maneuverability, street decks are the workhorse of the skating world and the deck of choice for most skaters.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Kind of Deck Do I Need?
Having read the buyers guide, you’ll know what kind of deck is most suited to your skating style, and having also read our list of preferred decks, you’ve probably already made your mind up and are already imagining customizing your new deck.
But if you haven’t already fixated on a deck, go back and read the list again, because we guarantee you, hand on skating heart, that the right deck for you is on there and it’s probably wearing the Baker or Enjoi logo.
Which means that there’s only one thing left to do. Skate….