Regardless of the length of these boards, they each have several components in common that include a deck, grip tape, trucks, and wheels. The deck is the actual surface piece of the board on which a rider stands to perform tricks or control their degree of motion. Decks range between seven and ten inches in width and although seven-ply wood is the most common material for them, they can also be crafted out of bamboo, carbon fiber, and even plastic. Decks are shaped in several unique concave designs, which include radial, progressive, W-concave, tub, and asymmetric. Radial concave decks have U-shaped curves and are ideal for beginners, as they provide one's feet with a reliable grip.
Canadian maple wood decks are the industry standard and is what the vast majority of decks on this list will be made of. However, is the seller just says “maple” the deck is typically made in China and the wood may be slightly softer and lower quality. This is more common among the lower cost blank decks, and most pro brands or higher end blanks are typically 100% Canadian maple. In my opinion, the difference between Canadian and Chinese maple decks is slight and in many cases, a cheaper Chinese deck may be the better option for you if you have a small budget or tend to go through decks very quickly.
Launched in 1991 by professional skateboarder Mike Ternasky who was killed in a car accident in 1994, Plan B Skateboards was renewed in 2005 by professional skateboarders Danny Way and Colin McKay. The top Skateboards brand, recognized by its unique logo, offers customization, but it also produces skateboards that come already assembled and ready for immediate action with everything a skateboarder needs including the deck, wheels, trucks, and bearings. The decks are made with a durable and thick seven-ply maple. They are also designed for you to make them uniquely yours with cool graphics that reveal your personality. In addition to the decks, Plan B also produces wheels, toolkits, and the kind of hip clothing that every skateboarder wants to be seen wearing. In addition to Way and McKay, the Plan B team consists of pro skateboarders PJ Ladd, Chris Cole, Pat Duffy, Ryan Sheckler, Torey Pudwill, Leticia Bufoni, Chris Joslin, Felipe Gustavo and Sean Sheffey.
From cheap skateboards to high end, custom complete skateboard decks, we have boards for riders of every skill level and tax bracket - we get it, we put skateboarding before everything else first. If you can’t always afford a new board, but go through decks like toilet paper, consider a CCS Skateboard - they cost less, but are manufactured in the same factories as other brands we carry. CCS Skateboards are held to the same standards as every skateboard we sell, but we can sell them for less.
See, not all boards are actually bidirectional. Most have a thick tail and a small nose but not this board. So if you’re a switch skater then this board brand is perfect for you. The urethane wheels are designed for the high stress environments and provide the top speed available. The deck tape provides the perfect grip even for those of us with older shoes that are essentially smooth on the bottom.
If you want to be able to practice your new hobby anywhere and everywhere, the Fade is an excellent choice. This is a short skateboard that measures only 27 inches long, made of lightweight (yet still durable) plastic. That means it’s easy to toss into a backpack and carry with you on your commute, to school, or anywhere. It’ll also fit into a locker at the gym or school quite easily.
Thunder trucks are solid, with some great innovations. Thunder's light truck range claims to be the lightest available, with the quickest turning. Thunder's team is also pretty impressive, with Thomas, Appleyard, Marks, Steamer, Ellington. The list is actually pretty huge. If having a lot of pros ride the same trucks as you is important (which isn't a bad idea - these people are skating in competitions, and want the best!), then take a look at Thunder.
Modern decks are made with a composite of thin layers of either maple or bamboo pressed into a near symmetrical shape with a nose equal to or longer than the tail. The deck should be concave (subtle U shape) along the whole board with both the nose and tail angled upwards (the "kick" of the board). Conceptually while the skateboard is a platform, it also serves to cup the balls of the skater’s feet with rising sides, nose and tail providing the foundation for pretty much all modern skateboard tricks.
Without good grip tape, skaters have a tough time staying on top of their board. The main complaints about poor grip tape tend to be that it was never very grippy or lost its grip really quickly. Once again, we recommend trusting in name brands with years of experience supporting skateboarders. Unfortunately, if you are buying a pre-made complete skateboard, you probably won't have access to the brand name of the grip.