If there’s one part of the skateboard that’s crucial in holding all the components together, it’ll be the deck. Skateboard decks are more than their overall shape. On their stepping surface is a layer of grip tape holding the rider, and below are the wheels that let you move.
You might have asked some shop workers about the best skateboard deck brands. Most of them will suggest Antihero, Santa Cruz, Baker, and Real. See why they’re the best deck brands in this article.
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Top Skateboard Deck Brands
1. Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz skateboards are probably the oldest-existing boards, having existed since the sport arose. But the good thing about this brand is it rides the trend of innovation through the years.
A classic example of this is the VX Series composition. Like many skateboard brands, Santa Cruz uses five layers of maple wood and makes its decks in standard sizes. What sets it apart is that it added two layers of patented Quad X Technology.
This technology allows the board to retain its shape for longer and be more responsive to the rider’s movements.
On the downside, these decks might be pricey. But rest assured, they’ll be worth your money.
Different skateboards fit specific riding styles and set-ups. And Baker is one of the best skateboard brands for street skating.
Baker decks have a flatter stepping surface, improving the rider’s stepping platform. Not only that, but these parts also come with a mellow concave shape, helping the user obtain better control of the skateboard.
Besides street skating, these deck features also make the brand suited for park skating. You can perform flips, carve with a smoother transition, and even dodge some ramps with ease.
Like Baker skate decks, Antihero also works best for doing carves and technical skating in general.
These decks come in a concave shape, enhancing the board’s overall maneuverability. What makes this brand stand out is its high-quality construction that keeps the board intact and steady during rides.
On top of these, you need not worry about sizing issues because Antihero has a wide size range. Also, the boards come with different graphics to match your aesthetic preferences.
If there is a deck brand that embodies sustainability, it’ll be Real.
Real skateboards feature a unique combination of new maple and recycled wood, like that of the Real Renewal Doves. This feature makes the skateboard exceptionally affordable and environment-friendly.
Skateboards are susceptible to wear over time. That said, Real decks will work well for a long time if given proper care.
Aside from the general top brands, let’s see some good skateboard deck brands for specific considerations.
Best Deck for Young Skateboarders
Like its adult deck counterpart, this Baker came up with a mellow board for flip tricks as well as regular skating routines.
But what makes this design ideal for young users is its 7.3″ width. This figure fits riders with shoe sizes ranging from 6 to 8. Also, it has this twin popsicle shape designed for better comfort, whether learning tricks or merely riding the board.
Best Deck for Bigger Riders
Known for its Malt Sliquor Everslick model, Creature is one of the few brands that incorporate all of their great ideas into one deck.
Performance-wise, Creature came up with a uniquely squared tail and a nose that’s more pointed than any other decks. These attributes make this brand work well for stunts.
The deck wood is dense and tough, ensuring longevity and freedom in terrain choice. There are also different widths to choose from, so riders won’t find it difficult to get the right size.
Best Deck for Value
Element skateboards are famous for their complete-package skateboard kits.
It’s one of the brands that give great attention to detail. For years, Element has created solid technical skateboard components such as wheels, decks, and other accessories.
These parts are pretty decent, and several skateboarders on Reddit could attest to it. What’s more, these skateboards only cost less than $100, so they’re not much of a burden.
What to Look for From Skateboard Decks
Some brands specialize in a few aspects, while others try to create decks that are good regardless of criteria. Let’s see what sets skateboard decks apart from another.
Perhaps, the shape of the deck is what makes it suited for various riding styles. Let’s get to each one of them.
- Single kicktail – Works well for casual rides but not technical
- Double kicktail – Double kicktail decks come with upward-sloping ends. Through these features, the deck becomes more maneuverable during tricks and stunts.
Some brands, like Creature, may produce other unique deck shapes to give users a personalized or advanced riding experience. Therefore, it’s best to associate brands with the best deck shapes they create.
Looking from the side of the deck, you will see it’s not a straight line from end to end. See how manufacturers classify these curves.
- Deep – Deep concave decks work best on bowls and steep trails. This feature gives the rider a better feel of the board. As a result, the user gets to perform transitions with more ease.
- Mellow – Mellow decks are less steep in shape than the former. Most users prefer this style to perform a more varied array of tricks.
There is no single deck that fits all riding styles. Check out the list below to know what suits your style.
- Popsicle deck – These decks are mostly for professional skaters. They come with an upward curving nose and tail, letting you do tricks conveniently.
- Longboard – Most riders use longboards for transportation purposes. With their exceptionally long bodies of around 34″ and up, these decks help stabilize skateboarders and perform pop tricks.
- Cruiser – This deck is a crossover between longboards and popsicles or pro decks. It’s not as trick-friendly as a popsicle. Most cruiser decks have broad bodies, and this aspect gives the rider an ample stepping surface to stand on during long rides.
For most skateboarders, the skateboard’s life and performance depend on the deck composition.
- Solid maple – Maple wood is the most common deck material manufacturers use. Most skateboards come with at least 5-7 layers of it, enough to give some pop to the skateboard and hold a reasonable weight.
- Others – Skateboard brands today, like Santa Cruz with their Quad X, are into incorporating maple wood with other materials. Some of them include bamboo, aluminum, carbon fiber, and more.
While this aspect is pretty standard for most brands, it’s still best to ensure that your brand choice has the exact figures you need.
- Width – On average, skateboard widths go around 8″ to 8.5″. Most professional skateboarders opt for these numbers because they have the right balance of broadness. Skateboard decks can also be as narrow as 7″ or wide as 9″. As a rule, pick the width that matches your foot size.
- Length – This aspect is not as significant as the former, but you’ll not lose anything if you give it as much attention. Deck lengths range from 30″ to 33″. They can go higher or lower, but skateboards within these sizes are the most maneuverable.
- Wheelbase – Specifically, this aspect has a size range of around 13″ to 15″. If you want more stability, go for longer wheelbases. On the other hand, if you plan to do tricks more efficiently, pick the deck with a shorter wheelbase.
Generally, skate decks cost around $30 to $90. We know that’s a pretty broad range, so let’s get into detail.
- Blank decks – These boards do not come with the aesthetic prints we see in the ads. They are the cheapest decks we can get for around $35.
- Branded – At $50 to $65, you’re more likely to avail of decent, branded skate deck brands. A deck at this price range may not be advanced as the higher-priced boards, but it will already be a safe choice.
- Advanced – These decks are the most durable yet the most costly ones. Brands like Santa Cruz use some unique technology on their decks, and that causes their prices to go around $90 to $200.
The competition in the skateboarding industry does not only rest on the skateboarders. Manufacturers also have their share of rivalry in the market by incorporating innovation with quality skate parts.
With Santa Cruz, Antihero, Real, and Baker as the best skateboard deck brands, you now know what to pick for your next purchase. So, remember the guide I shared with you to see which brand meets your needs.
Ready to customize your skateboard? Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments section.
Hi, I am Charles Harris. I opened this site to write as much as I can about my biggest passion – skateboarding!
I started as a clumsy yet passionate rookie 10 years ago to now a still passionate yet much better skateboarder! But I have to tell you, the whole journey has always been fun and rewarding, indeed not without hardship.