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.
I'm not talking about mall chain stores, like Zumiez; I mean a locally owned and operated skateboard shop. Look around at what they sell, and talk to the staff about the different brands. Of course, they may be biased toward the brands they carry, but chances are you'll learn something that will help you make a decision. There are some big-name board brands that you'll find in most shops, but there should also be some smaller brands you may not have heard or seen around town. There might even be a a local skater or manufacturer that you could support. 
Destructo has some fancy skateboarding trucks. The Destructo raw series skate trucks come in low, medium and high designs and look oddly skinny. The Limited and Pro series trucks just look awesome, with simple pro signatures on the front and great color schemes. That's not to mention Destructo's "Rail Killer" series - these light trucks have extended baseplates to reduce wheelbite, and come in some incredible color schemes (including one using 24 karat gold!).
Ridge Skateboards For Beginners are a UK Brand and have taken over Europe. Now it is available in the U.S.A. exclusively through Amazon. The Deck measures 27″ long x 7.5″ wide (69cm x 19cm). It features 4″ wide high-performance trucks with 87A super soft yellow bushings. It is made of high quality secret plastic formula. It has a rating of 4.8 on Amazon.

Taotao Girls Skateboards comply to United State Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Standard.  It has a 24″ X 6″ Maple Double Kickside Deck. It features 608Z Bearings, 3.5″ Plastic Truck & Base, and 50 x 30 mm PVC Wheels.  The Safety helmet, Knee and  Elbow Pads also comply to CPSC Standard.  It has a Cool Pink Aloha Graphic Design with an Amazon rating of 4.3.
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. 
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