Our Picks: 2018’s Best Skateboard Decks
1. Element Seal
Which is the best skateboard deck rocking out of the Element factory? The Element Seal is a match made in heaven for any skater craving a little extra pop. Where does that pop come from? Element have gone all out with the materials they’ve used to create the Element Seal. It uses flexible thriftwood, and that’s going to give you all the pop you can handle.Check Price on Amazon
2. Birdhouse Skateboards David Loy
The Birdhouse Skateboards David Loy deck is one that’s great for pop, but it’s also a straight up contender for the Sean Malto. Its 8-ply Canadian maple gives good initial pop, and that pop lasts pretty much until the deck is dead. Birdhouse decks tend to be more stable most other decks, so they’re perfect for high-speed park/vert skating.Check Price on Amazon
3. Girl Skateboards Sean Malto / Stef Mitchell
Why do we like the Sean Malto/Stef Mitchell deck? It’s TOTALLY different to anything else out there. Like all Girl Skateboard decks, you’ll get plenty of flex, so that means pop for the street. But, if your cruising to your local skatepark and riding vert, there’s plenty of stability too. You’ll get pre-drilled truck holes so you’ll be out on board in no time. It’s worth getting the deck/Jessup grip tape bundle rather than buying them separately, as that’s going to save you a few $$$.Check Price on Amazon
4. Toy Machine Fists
Toy Machine Fists is a definite contender for the best deck for pop. It’s not unstable when high speed cruising, but it’s got it’s got the manoeuvrability to pull off tricks on the street and vert. And, it goes without saying, Toy Machine is one of the best skateboard deck brands, so we know their stuff is top notch when it comes to durability. Pretty much all Toy Machine decks offer a perfect middle-ground in terms of stability and pop, so they are great for beginners too.Check Price on Amazon
5. Real Skateboards Low Pro II
OK, which is the best skateboard deck from Real? There’s no doubt, it’s the Low Pro II. It’s a deck that’s perfect for the street. But, that doesn’t mean it’s short of pop, thanks to the fact it’s incredibly lightweight. Our pick on design? The Davis Torgeson Spectrum, but there’s a ton of other designs on offer. The best bit? You’ll get Jessup grip tape included with your purchase.Check Price on Amazon
6. Enjoi Spectrum 8.0
We’re heading straight for the White Spectrum 8.0. It’s sleek, it’s simple and it just stands out. Like the other best skateboard decks on this list, you’ll get pre-drilled holes for your trucks. So, ditch your old deck, switch up your trucks and hardware, and you’ll be out on your new one in a matter of minutes.Check Price on Amazon
7. Baker Logo
We’re loving the Baker Logo deck in red. Of course, if you’re a plain-Jane, you could always grab the black version. Like all Baker decks, the Logo is a true all-rounder, so it’s suitable for park, street and beginners.Check Price on Amazon
8. New York Incentive
If you’re looking for a deck that’s perfect for the street, the Incentive deck from Zoo York is the one for you. Let’s face it. If it’s good enough for Chaz…Check Price on Amazon
9. Santa Cruz Dark Gremlin
We’re a supporter of their Dark Gremlin deck. It’s one of the cheap skateboard decks on our list, so here’s a chance to get a top deck, for bottom dollar. Not only will you get an awesome design with the Gremlin, you’ll get Black Diamond grip tape. And, the fact it’s made from North American Maple means you’ll be getting plenty of pop for the street, but all the stability you need for the vert. The crazy thing is, you can buy a complete skateboard with the Gremlin deck for around $80!Check Price on Amazon
2018’s Best Skateboard Brands
1. Element Skateboards
Remember 11 year old Nyjah Huston? The youngest X-Games competitor in history?
Now 21, he’s one of the most successful skaters in the world.
He crushed the competition over at the Street League Skateboarding (SLS) in 2010, 2012, 2014 and again 2017.
What does that mean for him? Well over $2m in earnings. That’s what.
What skateboard decks does he use? You guessed it. Element.
He’s one of the thousands of skaters that think Element make the best skateboard decks in the world.
Why? Here’s the thing about the deal between Element and Huston.
Did he make it big, then ride with Element simply for a HUGE endorsement deal?
But other action sports pros do that, right?
Huston has been skating with Element since he was 7, and you can bet he wasn’t getting paid more than a few candy bars back then.
The fact he chooses to stay on Element’s team?
If they’re good enough for him, they’re definitely good enough for us too.
2. Birdhouse Skateboards
Heard of Tony Hawk? Of course you have.
Well, Birdhouse is his company. So you can bet your ass that Birdhouse are producing some truly high end skateboard decks.
Need proof? Here’s the man himself (and his crew) shredding it on Birdhouse decks:
What else is cool about Birdhouse? Their decks are thicker than most boards, which will add pop and help with flicks and tricks.
Our favorite Birdhouse Deck? We like the David Loy.
3. Girl Skateboards
Back in 2009, there was a new kid on the block.
Who? Sean Malto.
He went on to grab the Transworld Skateboard Magazine’s “Rookie Of The Year” and has been a big part of big events like the SLS ever since.
Like Nyjah Huston and Element, Malto still uses the same deck brand he was first sponsored by; Girl Skateboards. So, no, they’re not just for girls.
One day he’s rocking round Kansas City. The next he’s sponsored by Nike and getting skateboard decks named after him.
4. Toy Machine
The name says “Toy”, but don’t let that fool you. These are SERIOUS skateboards, endorsed by SERIOUS riders such as Billy Marks, Ed Templeton, and Josh Harmony.
And they’ve been around for a while. Here’s a super retro video from 1996 titled “Welcome To Hell”, which demos some of their boards from back in the day:
Toy Machine boards tend to have simple, vibrant designs that pack a punch. Quite literally in the case of “Toy Machine Fists” (our favorite deck from the brand).
You won’t get too many frills or tech, but what you will get is a solid 7-ply deck with plenty of pop.
Our favorite? As we mentioned above, it’s the Toy Machine Fists.
5. Real Skateboards
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Real Skateboards. Like the Toy Machine, Element and Birdhouse, they’re a big player in the skateboard deck industry.
Here’s the thing about building a professional skateboard team.
You can’t just pay skaters BIG money to use your decks. That paycheck has to be coupled with a deck that they actually like.
And, the list of big names on Real Skateboards pro team that love their decks is HUGE.
- Dennis Busenitz
- Ishod Wair
- Chima Ferguson
- Kyle Walker
Trust us, the list goes on…and on!
Enjoi skateboard decks are the most underrated on our list.
They’ve been handcrafting some of the best skateboard decks in the world, since professional skateboarder Marc Johnson started the company back in the 2000s.
There’s a tonne of pro skaters on their team including:
- Caswell Berry
- Cairo Foster
- Nestor Judkins
- Zack Wallin
- Louie Barletta
- Ben Raemers
- Thaynan Costa
- Clark Hassler
- Jackson Pilz
And, we’re a sucker for their designs.
Want to know what video games looked like back in 1999?
Yup, that’s the ORIGINAL Tony Hawk Pro Skater.
And, it features pro skateboarder Andrew Reynolds, the owner of Baker.
Here’s a thought…
If you’re a pro skater, and you just can’t get a deck that suits you, what do you do?
Build a company that creates skateboard decks, OBVIOUSLY!
That’s what Reynolds did in 1999, and Baker has been killing-it in the skateboard scene ever since.
8. Zoo York
Back in 2012, Chaz Ortiz made history by being the first person to win the Dew Tour.
He started skating back when he was 6 and eventually turned pro at 14 when he official sponsorship from, you guessed it, Zoo York.
And he’s been skating their decks ever since.
9. Santa Cruz Skateboards
So, here we are. The last of the best skateboard brands on our list.
No top skateboarding list is complete with Santa Cruz Skateboards.
It’s the OLDEST skateboarding brand in our list, founded back in 1985.
If you’ve not come across Santa Cruz Skateboards before, know this.
They’re distributed by NHS, who distribute Santa Cruz alongside Independent Trucks; arguably the best skateboard truck brand in the world.
Skateboard Deck Buyer’s Guide
What Happens If You Buy A Cheap Skateboard Deck?
There’s a good chance you’ve been eye-balling cheap skateboard decks. Some are half the price of the 9 best skateboard decks on our list.
So, the question…why would you spend extra cash, rather than just buying a cheap deck?
Cheap and good NEVER go in the same sentence.
If you want to buy something that lasts, and prevents injury, avoid cheap skateboard decks completely…
When you buy a new deck, the pop is how responsive the deck is when you do tricks.
Pop will generally decrease over time. The wood begins to flex, and that’s the main reason to replace a deck.
A bamboo deck will offer the best pop straight out of the box, and the pop will usually last longer too.
What Size Deck Should I Get?
The length of your board affects stability. Most skateboard decks will be 28-32”.
An excellent choice for beginners is a deck hovering around the 31.75” mark.
If you tend to ride at lower speeds (technical street tricks), you can get away with something shorter. But, anything in the 30”-32” is perfect for the average skater that’s over 5 ft 3”.
What Width Deck Do I Need?
You’ll see most decks being offered for sale with widths of 7.5”-8.5” available.
But, which width deck is best?
Generally, you’ll be looking for a skateboard deck that matches the width of your trucks.
Basically, if you’ve got 7.75” trucks, you’ll be wanting a 7.75” deck.
And, if you’ve not purchased your trucks yet, you can jump over to our skateboard trucks guide.
As you’ll see there, the bigger the width your trucks have, the MORE stability you’ll have. So, if you like to cruise to your local park, or tend to do tricks at high speed / ride vert, trucks at the larger end of the spectrum are going to suit you.
However, larger trucks come with a sacrifice. The bigger your trucks are, sure, the more stability you get. But, the maneuverability of your board is affected. That makes doing tricks much HARDER.
Get trucks (and a deck to match) that’s in the middle-ground. 7.75”-8” trucks and deck sizes tend to be the most popular.
Thanks for reading our guide to the best skateboards decks for street skating, pop, and beginners.
If you’re looking for something a bit different you might want to check out our guide to the best electric skateboards in 2018.
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