WHICH DECK IS THE RIGHT ONE FOR ME?
Wide or narrow? Deep or mellow concave? Old school or new school? How about a shaped deck? You’ll get the answers to all these questions in the first part of our setup section.
Construction and design
In general, the deck (> Fig. 03), as we know it today consists of seven plies of maple wood – usually Canadian – which are glued and pressed together. The several layers make the deck very sturdy and at the same time flexible.
A skateboard deck can be partitioned into three parts: the curved part in the front is called the nose; the one in the back is called the tail. The difference between nose and tail (> Fig. 01)is, in most cases, only minimal. The nose is slightly longer than the tail. The middle part in between the nose and tail is called the wheelbase (> Fig. 01). This is where the trucks are attached to the board.
The bottom ply of a deck is where things get a little more creative. The board graphic not only provides you with information on the manufacturer and the series, but it often depicts funny situations or covers important topics and manages to put a smile on your face in the process.
Size and Concave
As a general rule, commercial decks are measured in inches instead of in centimeters (1 inch = 2.54 cm). They are somewhere between 28" and 33" long and between 7" and 10" wide.
In any case: size matters! Nowadays, 8" decks are the ones which are passed over the counters of skate shops the most. Narrower decks are easier to flip, but they also need smaller trucks, which, in comparison to wide boards with wide trucks, can result in less stability.
When you purchase a deck, simply make sure that you and your feet are comfortable on it.
Concave (> Fig. 02) – the degree of the inward curve – is available in various versions. A deep concave means that the sides of the deck point upwards in a higher angle, which allows you to flip the board more easily and have more feel and control of the board. The most common version of concave – the medium concave – has a rather mellow inward curve, and the mellow concave has an almost flat profile, which leads to more stability, but less maneuverability.
Since a deck is made out of pressed wood, it has a certain wear limit. For the pros, a broken deck can be a daily occurrence, due to the extreme stress on the board or due to poor positioning of the feet.
Usually, a deck can withstand weeks if not months of skating. You should protect the deck from water/rain – after all, it is made out of wood.
Old school and shaped decks
For nostalgia addicts, as well as more and more skateboarders in general, old school shapes are a real alternative – even 40 years later. Anyone who can't decide between old school and new school shapes is well-advised to check out the numerous shaped decks. These types of decks usually have a concave just like the current classically-shaped decks, and have a tapered nose and square tails like old school boards.
Try them out and see what you prefer.
TITUS T-Fiber is a high-quality layer of fiberglass which is glued to the top deck layer with epoxy. This process is electrostatically charged for extra adhesion, helping to prevent breakage in the nose and tail. The tensile strength of the fiberglass web ensures a longer-lasting pop.
Black Ice is a construction process developed by Plan B Skateboards which makes sliding easier. Thanks to this special construction, your deck slides far more easily on most terrains, meaning that you sometimes don’t even to wax specific obstacles before sliding.
The Double Impact construction replaces the top wood veneer with a carbon layer, making the deck lighter and practically unbreakable. Two carbon discs are worked into one of the six maple wood plies and placed at the level of the trucks. This gives you more breakage resistance in the truck area during landings.
A fiberglass layer is placed on top of seven maple plies, providing the deck with more stiffness and tension. The extra reinforcement on top gives Fibertech decks increased resistance to wear and tear and thereby a longer skate life. The board retains its excellent pop far longer than competing boards which are made out of seven maple plies.
In this construction, the seven layers of American maple wood are bonded together with epoxy-based glue and therefore have far more pop. The top layer of maple wood also has a fiberglass mat embedded in it, giving Impact Light Decks a higher resistance to breakage. The carbon inlay creates more tension than conventional decks and a noticeably longer-lasting pop as a result.
Eight layers of American maple wood are glued together with epoxy for more pop. Extra fiberglass reinforcements make the boards significantly more stable and durable than classic decks. The carbon fiber in the top wood layer and carbon discs located at the trucks in the bottom wood layer make the pop way crisper and longer-lasting. You can have way more fun with this solid construction that you could with a conventional deck!
Ligament Technology Decks are made up of seven plies of maple wood and include a wide polymer band worked into the middle of the deck. This flexible band increases the stiffness of the deck, which makes it for all intents and purposes totally indestructible!
“Harter Hund” literally means “hard dog” in German and roughly translates as “tough cookie”. Decks made with the aptly-named Harter Hund construction include two 0.7 mm middle veneers which have an extra layer of epoxy, giving the deck more snap and an increased hardness. That also means that the deck has as an 8-ply build but a normal, 7-ply thickness.
Instead of the usual seven-layer maple build, P2 decks have a layer of Kevlar-reinforced maple and six additional maple plies. P2 Decks are thinner and lighter than conventional boards and have more pop and stability. The Kevlar reinforcement disperses impact shocks, increasing the P2’s skate life dramatically.
A Resin-7 deck has seven wood layers which are bonded together with epoxy, making the deck noticeably stiffer. That also means that the board is lighter and more stable than normal decks, which are usually are bonded together with a water-based wood glue according to industry standards.