22 Best Skateboard Decks in 2021 (That are Lightweight & Strong)
A lot of people give up on skating, not because it’s hard, but because they picked the wrong tool for the job. Picking the right skateboard is a critical part to starting your ‘skate career’ off the right foot.
With those difficulties in mind, I’ve written an extensive review of the best skateboard deck brands, and I’ve also included a buying guide to help you out.
Whether you are an adult, are buying a deck for a kid, or are simply a heavier skater. After you read my guide, you’ll know what type of board will be best for you.
As the first option on my list, this deck is affordable and appropriately built for both beginners and skaters with larger feet. It features the basic 7-ply of Canadian maple but comes in a wider width of 8.25in. This width allows for beginners to skate comfortably on this deck as they figure out and improve their balance for skating. It’s more comfortable if you have large feet and won’t make your feet hurt as a narrow deck will.
It also comes with a sheet of Black Jessup griptape, making it a smidge more economical, as you can save the extra $5 you would spend on griptape. (Update: I wasn’t able to find this deck on Amazon.com anymore, so this is a good alternative.)
The board is fairly basic and comes with a simple graffiti design. It’s a good option when you’re on a budget.
21. Toy Machine Monster Skateboard
The monster skateboard is one of Toy machines best sellers. This is simply because it is a high-quality skate deck and performs well.
The deck comes made with 7 plys of Canadian maple and is cut out to 7.75in in width and 31.5in in length. This width makes it suitable for smaller kids and more advanced skaters. It means it will be easier to control, turn and it will be slightly lighter so tricks will be easier.
The graphic is simple but features the iconic Toy machine monster logo on it.
Finally, this deck doesn’t come with griptape, so you’ll still have to account for that cost as you buy the rest of the gear to complete your skateboard.
I recommend this board for small kids and slightly more advanced riders. You can check it out here on Amazon.com.
20. Plan B Team OG Logo Skate
The OG logo deck is a great all-rounder deck for a skater at any skill level and will suit a variety of needs. This is mainly because of its 8in width – perfect middle ground for all styles and skaters. A beginner will be able to manage the width with ease and an advance skater won’t find it too wide or too narrow.
The deck itself is made with high-quality North American maple – different to the Canadian maple you usually get with skate decks. Finally, the deck comes included with high-quality mob grip. You can take a good look at this deck here on Amazon.com.
The logo is fairly simple and features the Plan B logo, nothing fancy. It may not suit all tastes, especially if you want a nicer graphic under your board.
19. Baker Brand Black/White Skateboard Deck
The deck itself comes in at 8.25in in width and 31.875in in length. The length is fairly standard but the width is wider than most decks. It’s great for older beginners like adults and anyone with larger feet. Some younger/smaller skaters may even enjoy how comfortable the wide deck will be. Though younger skaters should look at decks smaller than 8in like the Toy Machine monster above.
With the strong construction of 7plys of maple, this deck will be durable and will last your average skater a long time. Find out more about it in Amazon.com.
The graphic is a simple black and white rendition of the Baker logo and the deck doesn’t come with any skate grip. It is fairly basic but is high quality where it counts most.
18. CCS Blank Skateboard Deck
One of the most affordable decks on my list. This is one of the best blank skateboard decks you can buy. It will fit all budgets and leave you with enough money to comfortably afford grip and other accessories.
The deck comes in a variety of sizes, from 7.75in, 8in, and 8.25in so it’s easy to pick what works best for you and your needs. It also made with the traditional maple construction, so it is built to last.
There is no graphic on the bottom of the deck. If you want a skateboard that is a bit more flashy, this one may not be for you. However, you can always fill the blank with loads of stickers or simply use paint over it with a design. Check out this cheap deck on Amazon.com.
17. Chocolate Raven Tershy Nickname
This deck is one of the widest and one of the best pool skateboards on my list. Also, if you have big feet, it might be the right pick for you. Because of its 8.5in width, the deck will be comfortable to skate. It will also be stable and easy to skate, especially if you are mostly going to be doing any pool or vert skating. The deck comes at the standard length of 32in.
The graphic on the bottom is fairly minimalistic, in a similar style to the other Chocolate skate decks you’ll find. Find out more about this deck here on Amazon.com.
Whilst the deck is high quality and great for pool and vert skating, I would recommend a smaller 8in board for kids if they want to do vert and pool. Check out the Plan B deck for something smaller.
16. Flip Hkd Rwb Skateboard
Another great deck for pool skating. This board comes in at 8.25in in width and at the standard skateboard length of 31.75in.
The deck is made with 7 plys of maple with a medium concave. The concave is ideal for pool and vert skating as it locks you into your board and keeps you from sliding off it. This might also be nice if you are doing tricks off stairs and ramps. However, though it locks you in, the concave can start to feel uncomfortable especially after hours of skating.
The deck has a fairly basic flip graphic on the bottom, nothing special or too exotic.
Finally, the deck doesn’t come with any griptape so you will have to buy some to grip your board. Check out this board here on Amazon.com.
I recommend the deck for people with large feet and anyone who wants to do pool skating. If you want a wider board, the Chocolate Raven above is a good option.
15. Real Skateboards Crossfade Renewal
This mid-size skateboard comes in at 8.25in in width and 32in in length. Like the Flip Hkd skateboard and Chocolate Raven, this board is great for pool, vert and for skaters with larger feet. The deck comes with high-quality mob griptape. And a light blue graphic on the bottom featuring the brand’s simple logo.
Though the design is simple, the construction of the deck is where this skateboard shines. It features a stiffer and stronger construction (thicker x-band strength) than you’d find on most skateboards. This makes it a bit heavier but makes the skateboard last much longer than other ones. You can say it is one of the strongest skateboard decks.
If you are looking durability, this is the board for you. Find out more about it on Amazon.com.
14. Sk8 Mafia Skateboard
The Sk8 Mafia deck comes in at a mid-sized 8in. A perfect all-rounder board for all skaters. Kids will love this comfortability of this deck. For bigger skaters, it will provide a nice middle ground for technical tricks and comfort.
The graphic is a controversial picture of two-girls skating. Whilst it isn’t a big deal, this might not be the best deck for kids or anyone not looking to draw unnecessary attention to themselves. Check out the Plan B skateboard for a similar deck in an 8in width.
Otherwise, the deck itself features a high-quality construction of 7plys of maple, and it comes with high-quality Black Diamond grip tape with a skull graphic on it. Check it out here on Amazon.com.
13. Powell-Peralta Skateboard Flight Deck
One of the original skate brands, Powell-Peralta needs no introduction. They’ve been around since the 70s and have been pushing the progression of skating and skate technology.
Coming through with one of highest quality skateboard decks, the Flight deck is the thinnest, lightest and strongest deck on my list. In the construction, they use a special epoxy in combination with maple and strong fiberglass. That said, all these features come at a price and it costs more than other decks.
The deck will definitely last a long time and help you push your progression. It’s also a great option if you are a heavier rider.
The deck comes in a variety of lengths and widths, you can definitely find the shape for you – but that might complicate things if you are a beginner.
Find out more about it here on Amazon.com and see all the options you can choose from.
Though it is high quality, not everyone might be able to afford it. The Real skateboards deck above is both strong, affordable and a good alternate option.
12. Element Section #9 Skateboard Deck
This deck comes in at 7.75in in width and 32.25in in length. It features Elements ‘Thriftwood construction’. Meaning the deck is durable, lightweight and very strong. The Thriftwood construction is similar to the classic 7plys of maple, but it features slightly thicker plys of wood for added strength. This also makes it slightly stiffer and it doesn’t flex much. Surprisingly it doesn’t add too much weight.
The size of the deck makes it suitable for advanced skaters, especially if they are looking for a board to do more technical tricks on. Kids and skaters with smaller feet will also find the board to be more manageable for tricks.
The deck itself is fairly affordable, even with the Thriftwood construction. You can find out more about it here on Amazon.com.
11. Enjoi White Spectrum 8.0 Skateboard Deck
The White Spectrum board comes at 8in wide. It features the Enjoi construction which is stronger than the industry standard. They are made with North American maple and glued together with epoxy resin, as opposed to the normal waterbased PVA glues used. The skateboard plys and resin bond a lot stronger, which adds to the durability and performance of their decks. Check it out here on Amazon.com.
This board is a good all-round option. The width can work for everyone and its price is pretty good too. But it should be noted that it doesn’t come with griptape – which you’ll have to get separately. If it doesn’t match up to your taste, the Powell Peralta is a similarly great deck with a few more options.
10. Rayne Longboards Otherside V1 Longboard
Coming out of Canada, Rayne is one of the top longboard companies. They are known for producing high-end, high-quality decks and pushing skate technology forward.
The Otherwise v1 is a hybrid longboard that incorporates both skate and longboard parts. It means you have the board length of a longboard but also a kicktail so you can do kick turns, ollies, and even kickflips if you’re skilled enough.
The board features a construction that Rayne is known for, which is a vertically laminated deck with a bamboo core. This makes it both stiff but also very light and strong. Though it also makes it a bit more expensive than boards constructed traditionally.
The above said this deck isn’t for everyone. But if you are in the market for something comfortable to cruise on but that you can also do tricks on, this is the one for you. Check it out here on Amazon.com.
9. Santa Cruz Natas Panther 3 Glow Reissue Skateboard
Santa Cruz is another really old, OG skate brand. They almost need no introduction. You’ve definitely come across one or two of their products out in the world.
The Natas Panther is a simple cruiser deck. It comes in at 10.538in in width at its widest point, and 30.14in in length. It is basically much wider than your normal skateboard but slightly shorter.
The huge 10in+ width makes it really comfortable for cruising. The width allows you to comfortably balance on the deck and allows your feet to relax. Narrower decks are the opposite of this and make your feet hurt from trying to stay balanced, they require more skill.
If you are looking for a cruiser and aren’t really fussed about tricks, this is the deck for you. Just make sure you get cruiser wheels and appropriately wide trucks. The deck will work well for all types of riders.
8. Fireball Arbor x Supply Co. Longboard
Arbor and Fireball came together to build some longboards with a purpose in mind – beautiful cruisers that will fit a variety of peoples needs. The first option is a simple cruiser that comes in at 27in in length. It is similar and comparable to a Penny board, but better in every way. Though plastic is durable and can take more of a beating than wood, it can’t beat the way wood performs for skating. The Arbor decks all feature the basic 7plys of maple with a premium wood top sheet. They also feature environmentally friendly glues and manufacturing processes, unlike the toxic PVA glues used on some boards.
The deck makes for a great cruiser that looks good when you aren’t skating it. There are also a few other options you can choose from, so can look through to find the best one for you. Check it out here on Amazon.com.
7. Vision Original Reissue Skateboard Deck
Another cruiser board. This one is very similar to the Santa Cruz board above. It comes in at 10in in width and 30in in length. Meaning it will skate comfortably and fit all types of riders needs. Especially for beginners simply learning to cruise and the other fundamentals of skating.
The graphic on the bottom looks pretty good and features a timeless kaleidoscope green and black design. For ‘old heads’, this deck would be a nice refresher of old skate days. They can skate it or simply hang it up as a reminder of those days.
For other skaters, this is simply a high-quality deck that will skate well and rides smooth. Check it out here on Amazon.com.
6. Loaded Boards Tesseract
The Loaded Tesseract is one of the best all-around longboards you can get. Its good for cruising, dancing, freestyle, freeride and downhill. This is because it is made with two kicktails and features concave built to lock you in during slides.
If you are looking for a board you can try out downhill and slides with, this is the one. That said, it’s not the best for cruising for long distances as the W concave can get uncomfortable and make your feet hurt. The Rayne Otherside above is a good alternate option.
The deck is built with bamboo, cork, and fiberglass. This combination keeps the deck lightweight but makes it strong and durable. This is a high-end, high-quality board and its price is a reflection of that. Find out more about the board and check out its price on Amazon.com.
5. Blind Skateboard Deck Danny CEREZINI Postcard
Another narrow skateboard. This board comes from the brand Blind skateboards. This brand started out making jeans and skateboards back in 1989. As they got more popular, they expanded and started making other gear too.
The deck measures up at 7.6in in width. A perfect width if you are an advanced skater looking to get a bit more technical, or if you are simply buying the deck for a small kid.
Blind decks are made with 8plys instead of the traditional 7. This means their decks are strong as f*ck and are more durable against hits on curbs, razor tail etc. Perfect for heavier riders.
That said, you can expect it to be a bit heavier than a deck with 7plys. Alternatively, you can get the Element for a lighter board that is almost as strong.
Finally, it features a cool postcard graphic on the bottom and it comes with quality Grizzly griptape as a package. Click here to find out more information about it on Amazon.com.
4. Creature Space Horrors Skateboard
The Space Horrors skateboard is a simple 7.75in wide skateboard. Perfect for skaters with small feet, kids and advanced boarders who want a more technical board.
Being from a brand under NHS, you know these decks are going to be high quality and durable. They are made from 7plys of North American maple. In fact, they believe so much in their decks that they have a 120-day manufacturer guarantee against defects.
For me, what stands out is the cool graphics a deck like this has. It’s really unique, eye-catching and not something you would see in a lot of other skateboards. Check out its graphics and find out more about it on Amazon.com.
3. Hook-Ups Shower Girl Skateboard
The Hooks-up deck itself comes in at 8.25in. This width is great if you want a board you can use for vert, pool or cruising more than doing technical tricks. I would recommend it if you have bigger feet or if you’re simply looking for a more comfortable board.
The graphic may be a bit inappropriate for kids and won’t suit all skaters tastes. It features an anime girl with soap foam covering her nude parts. In fact, you can even say that only bravest skaters would ride this board haha.
For a more conservative board, check out the Flip Hkd Rwb or Almost skateboard below for a something with a similar width and construction. You can also find out more about the Hook-ups board here on Amazon.com
2. Almost Skateboard Deck Clean Rings
This deck might be one of the most unique ones on my list. It features technology that acts as impact support and absorbs the force you’d get from heavy and harsh landings.
It does this by using composite carbon fiber discs placed inside the deck. These discs absorb impacts and basically increase the tolerance of the deck. This means it can take more abuse than normal decks without worry of you breaking it.
Even with all this technology, the board remains reasonably priced. That said, not all skaters may like this construction. It may affect how the deck pops and performs, even making it feel a bit different from your normal deck. For a deck that is similar but feels more like a normal skateboard, check out the Powell Peralta above.
Finally, this deck comes in at 8.25in in width. Making it perfect if you have bigger feet. Find out more about it here on Amazon.com.
1. Jart Skateboards Classic Red
Jart skateboards is an environmentally conscious skate company. They only purchase wood from controlled forests and practice environmentally safe methods of producing and recycling decks. If you want to support a company that cares about the environment, this deck might be for you.
This skateboard isn’t your run of the mill deck. It comes in at 7.75in in width and 31.7in in length. It features the Jart low concave which is designed specifically for easy riding. Basically, the concave isn’t restrictive and allows a rider to move their feet around easily. It also means the deck will be really comfortable and easy to skate.
The graphic on the deck is the iconic Jart logo and the board comes with Mob Perforated griptape when you purchase it.
The board is affordable and will fit most budgets with ease. Check it out on Amazon.com for more info.
How to pick the best skateboard deck for your needs?
As I mentioned earlier, if you want to get the best board for yourself, you need to understand what would work best for you.
For example, the size of the deck matters in accordance with the size of your body. A kid with a small body will struggle on a large deck and vice versa for an adult on a small one. You need the right one for you. Check out my guide, I explain everything below.
How much should a deck cost?
Starting off with one of the most important factors – the cost of a deck is one of the first things that determine whether you can buy it or not. At least this is the case for the majority of people.
- A deck shouldn’t break your budget. In most cases, you will also be buying trucks, wheels, bearings, and bolts. So you need to have enough money left over so you can buy those.
- Most decks cost between $50-70. These decks are pretty decent quality and should work well for a majority of skaters needs. They are the best option, especially if you will actually put your deck through abuse. If you need to eventually replace it, it won’t be too heavy on your wallet.
- Anything cheaper than $50 can be reasonable, but you would have to be careful the brand you are buying it from. You have to research their background and some reviews to ensure you are getting something high quality.
- Decks costing more than $70 usually have some innovative technology or are designed to be durable cruisers. These decks are suited for people who won’t really abuse them and want their decks to last a long time. Their cost will pay itself off down the line.
Durability. To what extent does it matter?
Durability is important to all skaters. However, you will be putting your decks through a lot of stress by popping ollies, doing board slides and landing hard. It’s unreasonable to think they would last forever. That said, some skateboards will last longer than others, and this is primarily determined by construction and materials used.
- A skater should look for a board that will stay together until it fails. By this, I mean a board that won’t start delaminating (the plys begin unsticking), before it breaks or becomes unusable for tricks.
- Some brands use different glues from one another. Some use experimental glues (like Arbor). Most will work perfectly, but you might need to check out some reviews for a board you want to buy.
- You should look for boards made with maple, especially if you’ll be doing tricks. Maple is the best wood for skateboards because it is durable, strong and flexible enough to be bent into shape. It’s affordable, doesn’t break easily and it provides a nice pop. There is a reason 99% of trick boards are made out of it. It is simply the best material you can get.
- For people primarily doing cruising; a board made from a variety of materials will work well for them. These boards can be made from maple, fiberglass, carbon or a different combinations of materials and composites.
- It is okay to use different materials from maple because you won’t be putting the board through as much abuse. You also don’t need the ‘pop’ and feel maple provides for doing tricks.
- These materials can make the board more durable, lighter, stronger, but also more expensive. You have to factor in the cost when you are thinking of buying them as they can become quite expensive.
- The most durable composite boards will be made with carbon and fiberglass. They will be very strong. That said, these materials make the board very stiff and it can feel very rough when you are cruising or doing tricks. They reflect every tiny bit of road vibration and it can make your feet hurt. They also tend to be very expensive like the Loaded Tesseract.
Simply put, they don’t make the best cruisers or even skateboards. They do make great downhill skateboards though.
In summary, durability is important but getting a material solely because it is durable will negatively affect the performance of your skateboard. Most skateboards made from basic maple will suit most people’s needs – given they are constructed properly.
Which sizes are best for you?
As mentioned in the buying guide intro, size will matter. This is primarily determined by your body size and weight.
When it comes to longboards, boards between 9.5in to 10in in width tend to work for everybody (expect kids who should get smaller cruisers instead).
As a rule of thumb, smaller skateboards are best for kids. These are skateboards under the 8in width up to around 7in, like the Blind skateboard deck.
The narrow width means the balls of their feet are placed closer to the rails of the board. This makes it easier for them to turn left or right without having to shift their feet from one side of the board to another. Having to shift your feet can be cumbersome, make it hard to control your board. That said, wide boards tend to be more comfortable.
A narrow board is also slightly lighter and it is easier to push around and do ollies on.
For really small kids, boards smaller than 7in might work even better.
Adult skateboards should generally be around 8in to 8.5in in width like the Flip Hwd. These boards will accommodate their larger feet better than narrower boards.
If someone with larger feet goes for a narrow board, it can feel like their skating on a tightrope. This can make your feet hurt and makes skating an uncomfortable experience.
Advanced skaters can basically pick whichever boards they want to ride. If you have been skating for a while, you know what you prefer. Whether it is a wider but comfortable deck or a narrow, nimble deck you can do technical tricks on.
Finally, my guide is simply a … guide. Feel free to experiment with different widths. You never know, one type of board might suit your riding better.
What type of riding will you be doing?
If you are going to be cruising then a board of whatever width should work well for you. That said, wide 9in to 10in boards tend to be the best and most comfortable for cruising.
If you are doing pool and vert skating, wider 8in+ boards like the Hook-Ups shower girl tend to be best. They allow you to plant your feet on your board and stay in control as you pump around the bowl or come down the ramp.
Concaves? Big deal or no …
Concave doesn’t matter too much when it comes to most skate decks. Especially if you are doing trick skating and will be skating in the park. Some boards will have slightly different concave but it won’t matter soo much.
But when it comes to pool and vert skating, concave can help you. You’ll encounter decks with different types of it, some steeper some mellower. You’ll even get decks that have raised wheel wells and flares.
In short, the concave keeps you locked in when you do tricks and as you skate around the bowl. It keeps you from sliding off your board.
If your board has wheel flares, it can even help tell you where your feet are without looking down. This is key if you are doing technical tricks and need to know where your feet are when you quickly do them back to back.
It might be best that you go down to a skate shop and check out some decks with concave for yourself. They should allow you to get a good idea of what concave feels like. That said, only skating a deck with it will allow you to see how it affect your skating.
Maintenance – what you should expect from your deck?
Skateboards don’t require as much maintenance. You simply have to avoid doing a few things:
- Don’t step on mud and then step on your griptape. This will make it cake on the griptape and it won’t be able to perform as it should.
If that happens, you can clean it with a toothbrush and some water to get the mud out from between the grit.
- Don’t skate in the rain as it can make your board soggy and affect how it pops. It could even delaminate it in some extreme cases.
- You shouldn’t leave your deck out in the sun or in your car. The direct sunlight (or heat) could melt the glue and cause your deck to delaminate.
Are you ready to get out and shred?
Picking a skateboard deck shouldn’t be too hard, but it can be. Coming to the end of my guide you should now have a few ideas of what boards work best for you. If not, you can pick any of the 8in wide boards on my list and call it a day.
If you aren’t too sure if you’ll be popping ollies and doing kickflips, one of the longboards or the Santa Cruz cruiser will be best for you.