The Best Skateboard Decks Money Can Buy in 2017

Skateboard decks come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, and picking out the right one requires some research. This list can help you pick out a brand you can trust -- there are a lot of cheap skateboards out there that are also cheaply made. All of these are good quality skateboard brands. To get help in picking out the size and shape, read about building your own skateboard

Plan B is a relatively newer skateboard deck company, and it has made its name with quality skate decks and by putting together a respectable skateboarding team. Plan B decks are high-grade seven-ply skate decks with nothing really special about them besides being well made of wood and reliable. Plan B's graphics tend to be simple. The Plan B team features skaters like Danny Way, Colin McKay (those two took over the team in 1994, and eventually the company), Ryan Sheckler,  Jereme Rogers ... seriously, it's an all-star team, which is how Plan B originally started. 

George Powell teamed up with Stacey Peralta back in the stone ages of skateboarding and created Powell Peralta, the company that founded the legendary Bones Brigade. Powell skateboards have been well-built now for decades. They're made in California from rock-hard American maple. Powell even brags about having a unique AirLam press for the boards. The bottom line is that Powell skateboards are well made and good to ride. The style of Powell graphics varies quite a bit—it really depends on the year.

Birdhouse is Tony Hawk's company, and he has made sure that his skateboards are good quality. Birdhouse also has its Black 6 technology—this is a sixth thicker ply in the skateboard deck's construction that is supposed to add pop and help with flicks. Tony Hawk has assembled a pretty impressive skateboarding team that includes himself and Shaun White, among many others.

Birdhouse is part of Blitz, which also distributes Flip, Baker, and Hook-Ups. These are good brands, too—nothing really fancy, just good quality seven-ply skateboard decks.

Zero has always had a strong, gritty image, with plenty of blood and skulls. When pro skater Jamie Thomas took over the company, Zero kept the same feel but added an even stronger Gothic tone, sprinkled with punk. Zero decks are well made. The Zero team features skaters like Jamie Thomas, Chris Cole, and Elissa Steamer. Mystery is another Jamie Thomas company, and Mystery decks are made exactly like Zero boards.

Habitat is a skate deck company with a calm, earthy, stylish feel. It's sort of like Element, but without trying to appeal to the kinds of skaters who like Bam Margera. That means that Habitat might be less well-known, but their boards are still high quality, and their graphics are artistic and iconic. Habitat has a few board styles other than the usual seven ply—they include the Skylite lighter skate deck, corrugated bottom ply decks, and Terralone Earth-tone decks.

Element skateboards have been among the top quality skateboard brands for a long time. Element is an environmentally conscious company, with boards like Triftwood decks, which are seven-ply skateboards that sell for a lower price than their lighter, higher tech Fiberlight, and Featherlight boards. Element also has a Helium line of skate decks that have air chambers inside that make them stiff and light. Element's graphic style is generally simple, with crisp, clean imagery and complementary colors. The most famous rider on the Element team is Bam Margera.

Blind's skateboard decks are good quality, and they have several unique skate deck technologies: an eight-ply board, a lighter seven-ply board, boards with a vertically laminated core and decks with Texalium (aluminum and epoxy glass) inside. That might seem like too much to choose from, but it's not, really—just get the deck you like in terms of the look, weight, and shape. Blind's graphics tend to be very dark, gritty, violent, and death-filled. 

Girl and Chocolate are two totally different skateboard brands, but they are made the same way and are both under Crailtap. Both are great boards, solid, American-made seven-ply skateboard decks that you can ride on. Both companies have good teams (riders like Eric Koston and Devine Calloway).

Toy Machine makes good 7-ply skateboard decks. It doesn't offer many new technologies or anything in their decks, but Toy Machine's decks are good quality overall and well made. A lot of their graphics feature cartoon monsters. The Toy Machine skateboarding team features riders like Billy Marks, Ed Templeton, and Josh Harmony.

Alien Workshop makes highly artistic and unique skate deck designs. It crafts traditional 7-ply skateboards, some corrugated technology decks, and the Ultralight, along with "Nice Price" decks that feature less ink and untreated veneers so they cost less. 

Lib Tech skateboard decks are a little offbeat—they are well-built and always feature some new technology that puts them in a league of their own. But, they tend to not be seen as often as regular seven-ply wood decks. But they do tend to work very well, so if you are into trying something unique, check out Lib Tech boards. Lib Tech is also well-known for its snowboards. 

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Cave, Steve. "The Best Skateboard Decks Money Can Buy in 2017." ThoughtCo, Aug. 2, 2017, thoughtco.com/top-skateboard-deck-brands-3002225. Cave, Steve. (2017, August 2). The Best Skateboard Decks Money Can Buy in 2017. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/top-skateboard-deck-brands-3002225 Cave, Steve. "The Best Skateboard Decks Money Can Buy in 2017." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/top-skateboard-deck-brands-3002225 (accessed November 24, 2017).