Which Brand of Skateboard Deck Should I Buy?

Young man holds skateboard
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Question: Which Brand of Skateboard Deck Should I Buy?

I get this question a lot - which brand of skateboard deck is the best, or which brand of skateboard deck should I buy? This is different from the board building questions, like what size and shape of skateboard should I get The question we're dealing with here is, what brand of skateboard deck is the best, and which brand of skateboard deck should I get?

Answer: There are a lot of good skateboard brands out there. I have my own Top 10 Skateboard Deck Brands list, and you can start there, but there are piles of other skateboard deck brands out there that are great! There are local brands, brands from other countries, and brands that I might not think are the best but that are actually really great! By no means should you just take my word for it! So, if you have a certain deck brand in mind, here's how to find out if it's good before you buy it. Or, if you just want to be unique, here's how to find other great skateboard deck brands:

First, go to a local skate shop

I'm not talking a mall chain store, like Zumiez. I'm talking a locally owned and operated skateboard shop. You should be able to find one in the phone book, or online (Yellowpages.com is a good place to start your search). Once you've found one, you can look around at what they sell, and ask the person behind the counter for advice.
There are some big-name board brands that should be in most shops, but there are also lots and lots of smaller brands out there who you might like. Maybe there's a local skater making skateboards who you could support. Or, maybe that guy's boards are terrible! The people at the shop (both workers, and other skaters there) should be able to help you out.

Another bonus of shopping at an actual skate shop is that you get to see what the boards look like in person.

Most skate shops will have a cool wall of boards, and it's fun to just stand there and look at all the graphics. If one jumps out and grabs you, then you can ask the shop owner about the brand, and if it's a good one. There's nothing wrong at all with buying a skateboard deck because you like the graphics!

But, what if you live somewhere that doesn't have a local skate shop?

Second, ask around!

You can get a lot of the same advice from fellow skaters. Some of it might not be as informed or educated as shop owners - and some might be flat out bad advice - but it should all be sincere! Most skaters who I've met are actually pretty cool people, and they should be happy to tell you what they think about which skateboard deck you should buy.

If you don't have a local skate park, or are too uncomfortable to walk up to people and ask, you can also ask around on the Skateboarding Forum. People there will be happy to tell you what they think.

Third, check out reviews

Finally, the last suggestion I have is to check out the Skateboards Reviews. There are plenty of decks in there to read about, and to see which ones I've tried and liked. However, the list isn't exhaustive - there are PILES of skateboard decks that I have never ridden, and so don't feel comfortable telling you if they are good or not. Shoot, with all the small up-and-coming skateboard companies out there, there's no way I can know what kind of boards will even be available in your area!

Hopefully, this helps get you on the right track in picking out a skateboard deck. On a basic level, you really can't go too wrong. You might get a board that's not as strong as some other brand, or that turns out isn't quite as well made, but no skateboard lasts forever. By their nature, skate decks are built to be smashed. So, my most valuable piece of advice for you would be to not sweat it - ask around, get a board you like, and go ride it! If you don't like something about it, well, it'll be broken soon enough anyway! Have fun!