The Best Skateboard Decks (And Brands) In 2020

We shine the spotlight on 9 skateboard brands who are CRUSHING it right now + reveal the 10 best boards on the planet.

Looking for a new skateboard deck? You’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’re going to run through our picks for the best decks in 2020.

And if you’re looking for a bit of extra advice, check out the skateboard deck buyer’s guide at the bottom, or our list of the best skateboard brands.

Build a Custom Skateboard Build

If you’re building a board from scratch, this article has you covered when it comes to the best decks. But you’re going to need some more trick parts, so check out our guides to the best:

Or, check out our FULL guide covering How To Build a Skateboard here.

This Year’s Best Skateboard Decks

Here are our picks for the best skateboard decks in 2020.

1. Bamboo Skateboards

If you’re looking for maximum pop, crazy strength and flex, and a deck that’s eco-friendly, then bamboo skateboards is the brand for you.

  • Features: 6-ply bamboo and maple hybrid. Plenty of pop. Strong, durable, and flexible. Eco-friendly materials. Multiple design and size options.
  • Price: $
  • Recommended for: all skill levels
  • Pros: as the name suggests, these decks are made with bamboo, which is lighter and stronger than maple, with the added bonus of sustainability. Available in multiple sizes and designs to suit all tastes.
  • Cons: this is a ‘deck only’ purchase so you’ll need to assemble the board yourself. See our guide to building your own skateboard for a list of what you need.

2. Pro Skateboards Complete

Looking for your first deck and don’t want to break the bank? Pro skateboards make quality decks at an extremely affordable price point.

  • Features: 8 layer panel with Canadian maple. Solid PU wheel with impact resistant ABS material base. 5 inch Seagull solid aluminum trucks. No assembly required.
  • Price: $
  • Recommended for: beginners
  • Pros: for beginner to intermediate skaters, the solid construction, and impact resistant wheels make this a great deck for cruising and tricks. And for the quality, this deck is ridiculously cheap.
  • Cons: only load bearing to 220lbs, which is on the lighter side.

3. White Fang Complete

Another great board for beginners, White Fang have constructed a skateboard deck that’s both lightweight and durable, for a super smooth ride.

  • Features: 7-layer Canadian maple construction. 5 inch magnesium alloy trucks. ABEC-9 precision bearings. 31.75″ x 7.88″ size. Fully assembled.
  • Price: $
  • Recommended for: beginners
  • Pros: if you’re looking for a no-frills board, which is solidly constructed and ready to ride out the box, the White Fang skateboard deck is a solid choice.
  • Cons: while there are several design options, they’re not the most thrilling.

4. Element Seal

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.

  • Price: $$
  • Recommended for: all skill levels
  • Pros: Element are one of the top brands in skateboarding for a reason: they make great decks.
  • Cons: you’ll get all the parts, but you’ll need to assemble the skateboard yourself.

5. 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.

  • Price: $$
  • Recommended for: all skill levels
  • Pros: Birdhouse decks tend to be more stable most other decks, so they’re perfect for high-speed park/vert skating.
  • Cons: we like them… but the cartoon style designs might not be for everyone.

6. Girl Skateboards Sean Malto

Why do we like the Sean Malto 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 you’re cruising to your local skatepark and riding vert, there’s plenty of stability too.

  • Features: 7-ply maple construction. Signature Sean Malto pro model. Moderate concave.
  • Price: $$
  • Recommended for: all skill levels
  • Pros: You’ll get pre-drilled truck holes so you’ll be out on board in no time. It’s worth getting the deck/Jessup grip tape bundle rather than buying them separately, as that’s going to save you a few $$$.
  • Cons: honestly, the Sean Malto is a classic deck and we really can’t fault it.

7. 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 the manoeuvrability to pull off tricks on the street and vert.

  • Features: 7-ply maple wood construction. Background stains may vary. Pro quality skateboard deck.
  • Price: $$
  • Recommended for: all skill levels
  • Pros: 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.
  • Cons: not a problem for us, but the background stain can vary, which means every deck will be slightly different.

8. 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.

  • Features: 7-Ply Canadian maple construction. Baker O.G. Shape and steep concave.
  • Price: $$
  • Recommended for: all skill levels
  • Pros: Like all Baker decks, the Logo is a true all-rounder, so it’s suitable for park, street and beginners.
  • Cons: a classic deck, that stands on the strength of the brand. But if you’re looking for a little more of a unique design then this is probably not the skateboard deck for you.

9. Zoo York Skateboards Bowery Skateboard Deck

If you’re looking for a deck that’s perfect for the street, the Incentive deck from Zoo York is the one for you.

  • Features: 7-ply Canadian maple construction. Predrilled holes for easy skate truck assembly. Includes grip tape.
  • Price: $$
  • Recommended for: all skill levels
  • Pros: Let’s face it. If it’s good enough for Chaz…
  • Cons: nothing wrong with the deck. But if you’re not a fan of ‘the big apple’, then this probably isn’t the right skateboard for you.

10. Zoo York Skateboards Bowery Skateboard Deck

The twin symmetrical shape makes the CCS skateboard deck perfect for cruising and tricks.

  • Features: Maple wood construction. 32” length. 52mm, 100a Durometer wheels. 139mm trucks. Fully assembled.
  • Price: $$
  • Recommended for: beginners
  • Pros: a high quality deck from a trusted brand that’s pre-assembled and good to go.
  • Cons: several color options, but a little bland.

The Best Skateboards Brands In 2020

There are a ton of great skateboard brands around right now, but with so much choice which brands are the cream of the crop? We considered them all, then whittled down our final list to just 9. We’re confident in saying that these are the top skateboard brands on the planet.

1. Element Skateboards

Element Skateboards

Remember 11 year old Nyjah Huston? The youngest X-Games competitor in history?

Now 25, 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, 2017, and again in 2019.

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?

Nope.

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.

Our favorite deck from Element? Hands down, it’s the Element Seal.

2. Birdhouse Skateboards

Birdhouse Skateboards David LoyHeard 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

Girl Skateboards Sean Malto
The legendary Girl Skateboards Sean Malto deck.

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

Toy Machine FistsThe 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 said above, it’s the Toy Machine Fists.

5. Real Skateboards

Real SkateboardsThere’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.

It includes:

  • Dennis Busenitz
  • Ishod Wair
  • Chima Ferguson
  • Kyle Walker

Trust us, the list goes on…and on!

6. Enjoi

Enjoi SkateboardsEnjoi 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.

And, we’re a sucker for their designs.

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

7. Baker

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

Zoo York SkateboardsBack 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

santa cruz skateboard deckSo, 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

Need some extra help in picking a new skateboard? Here are the answers to some common questions.

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…

PERIOD.

What Is Pop?

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 Skateboard 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.

Our advice?

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.

What’s Next?

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 2020.

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