If you are for the best wood for skateboards. Let me tell you the type of wood that you choose for your skateboard is very important. You want to make sure you choose the right one for your needs, whether it’s durability or lightness in weight.
The different types of woods used for making decks are maple, bamboo, mahogany, and birch. All these woods have their own unique properties which will help determine what you need from a skateboard deck.
For example, Maple can be a really good Wood For Skateboards. If you’re looking for something durable and strong but not so great. If you’re trying to go fast or do tricks because it is heavy and stiff.
Whereas Bamboo would be better suited as a lighter alternative with more flex. Which makes it perfect when doing tricks at high speed such as ollies, kickflips, and speed checks.
Mahogany and birch are well known in the skateboard industry for their lightweight and strength making them ideal. If you’re trying to perform high-speed tricks, such as ollies, kickflips, and flips.
However, they can be more expensive than maple or bamboo. So if you aren’t specifically looking for these qualities. Then it would be worth choosing something cheaper like maple or bamboo.
The Best Wood for Skateboards – Complete Guide
Most manufacturers commonly use birchwood and maple for making skateboards. However, bamboo has gained great attention in recent years. There are two main types of wood that are used to make skateboards. One is plank wood and the other is plywood.
The plywood is covered with veneer and the more layers there are in a skateboard, the better it will be. The more layers there are on board. The lighter it is and the better it would be able to absorb impact with a hard surface.
Its properties make it ideal for skateboarding. But this type of wood is not as durable as others, so if you are looking for something more sustainable. Then perhaps go with maple or bamboo which are both good alternatives.
In most cases, manufacturers use Maple or Birch because they offer great strength and durability at low costs. However, if weight is your main concern definitely go with a bamboo board. Since it’s lighter than maple but still keeps its strength. Hence that’s why many professional skateboarders choose this type of wood.
There are many different types of plywoods and they all vary in their strength and durability. The hardest to find is the one that has seven layers, which ensures maximum strength and durability. You will find that some boards that use plywood have only two or three layers. Because it’s easier to work with, especially for beginners.
Plywood is largely used by manufacturers since it’s strong and light. But at a low cost so this makes them ideal. If you’re looking for something light and easy to carry around but not so good if you want something stronger.
An average skateboard has about 8 or 9 plys in the deck. Hence the more layers there are the lighter a board gets making it easier for doing tricks such as ollies and kickflips.
Canadian Maple Wood.
This type of wood is the most commonly used by skateboard manufacturers because it’s durable, flexible, and has high strength. It also absorbs impact well which makes for a much faster board.
Canadian maple boards are very popular in the skateboarding world. Because they are stronger than American Maple but at the same time more durable when compared to bamboos.
This type of wood is advantageous to the skateboarder. Because it has high speed which helps when doing tricks like an ollie, kickflip, and speed check.
Many professional skaters choose this type of wood. Because It provides them with the strength needed to take the impact from landing their tricks on solid ground or pavement. Hence protecting both themselves and their equipment.
When buying a Canadian Maple board you should be aware that these boards are usually much more expensive than bamboo or plywood decks since they are made using higher quality material and hence last longer without breaking.
Bamboo boards are made with thin strips of bamboo that are glued together to form a smooth surface. Many people prefer this type of wood because it has similar properties to plywood hence suitable for making skateboards. It’s strong, flexible, and light so ideal for doing tricks such as ollie and kickflip.
Just like Canadian Maple, the more layers of bamboo you have on your board the better it will be since they improve its strength and durability but at the same time makes it heavier than maple or plywood which is not appealing if you’re looking for something lightweight.
Many beginners opt for bamboo decks because they offer a great balance between quality and durability and most brands offer an average one-year warranty on their boards against manufacturer defects.
Birchwood is known as ‘the poor man’s maple’ because it’s less expensive than Maple yet still durable hence many pro skateboarders choose them over Canadian Maple.
It has similar properties to plywood and since it comes from the birch tree, which is lighter than maple thus makes the board lighter so you can carry it around more easily.
Also, you should take note that birchwood boards will usually have a glossy finish since they’re made using lower-quality materials hence don’t last as long as Maple or Bamboo boards without breaking.
Most beginners opt for Birchwood decks because they offer high durability and flexibility for an affordable price but remember if weight is your main concern then you should choose one of the other two types.
This means that when buying a skateboard you should take into consideration the type of material it’s made with so as to get maximum strength and durability especially if you’re planning on landing tricks like an ollie, kickflip, and speed check because when you do these tricks your board will take a lot of impacts.
What to Look for When Choosing a Board?
There are five main factors you should take into consideration when buying a skateboard.
- The deck
- The wheels
- The bearings
- The Trucks:
- The Grip tape:
1. The Deck.
This is the most important part of any skateboard because it’s what you stand on. The deck should be made using Canadian Maple or Bamboo because they are stronger than Birchwood when compared to plywood.
Just like all other types of wood. Maple and bamboo boards absorb impact well when doing tricks like an ollie, kickflip, and speed check due to their flex.
But remember that flex doesn’t necessarily mean weaker it simply allows for more board control which in turn makes skateboarding much easier.
Having said that, if weight is your main concern. Then you might want to consider getting a deck with birch wood ply. Since they’re lighter than maple or bamboo decks hence making the board feel lighter in your hands.
However, as mentioned above birchwood decks won’t last as long as maple or bamboo because they come from low-quality materials.
Most Canadian Maple and Bamboo boards don’t have a glossy finish. Because they’re made using higher quality material. So that the board’s lifespan increases but remember that you’ll be paying more for maple and bamboo than Birchwood. Since it’s harder to find and uses higher quality material.
2. The Wheels:
This is what gives your skateboard movement so this is another important factor you should consider when buying one. Usually, most skateboards brands will give each wheel its own pros and con’s which makes choosing much easier.
Skateboard wheels usually range in size from 50mm – 90mm and this number represents the diameter of the wheel in millimeters. The larger the wheel, the faster it will be because it has more ground contact.
This means more speed and momentum but at the same time, large wheels are harder to control. Beginners should opt for a smaller one that allows for easier control since they’re not very experienced yet.
Just like tennis balls, skateboard wheels have different degrees of hardness from 78A – 101A with each number representing their approximate durometer (the higher the number, the softer the wheel).
78A-101A Anything above 80a is considered soft while anything below that is hard. Just like maple decks, hard wheels offer more speed than soft ones while absorbing impact and rough surfaces well but on the other hand, they don’t grip as much.
77A-78A Anything below 77a is considered soft for this reason; these wheels are best used in skateparks and smooth surfaces because they offer great speed while also having a lot of traction (grip) which means you go faster without falling off that easily.
76A-77A These wheels fall in the middle so therefore they’re known as “all-around” wheels because they have a medium level of speed along with maximum grip making them perfect for skateboarding no matter what type of surface you’re skating on even though they don’t have a lot of speed when compared to hard or soft wheels.
3. The Trucks:
This is what holds your wheels together and the main purpose of the truck is to keep your wheels parallel with each other so that you have a smooth ride.
There are three types of trucks: Standard, Reverse, and Independent. But the majority of skateboarders prefer standard trucks because they’re the simplest yet most versatile out of all three.
This is probably the most complicated type of truck because it has two separate hangers; one attached to each wheel hence creating more space between the deck and wheels which means better stability at high speeds but on the other hand, they don’t turn easily.
This type of truck gives your board more stability when doing tricks like tailslides, nose slides, and pop shuvits because they’re angled in an opposite direction compared to standard trucks (one bent up & one bent down) due to its unique design which also creates a lower center of gravity hence making you feel more stable while skating even though it’s harder to control.
This is what most types of trucks look like and they’re the easiest ones to control although they don’t offer as much stability as reverse or independent trucks what makes them great is that they make turning a lot easier.
4. The Bearings:
Bearings are what make a wheel spin and therefore they’re the second most important part of your skateboard after the deck.
Most bearings, depending on their quality can last from one to three years. If you take proper care of them which means you’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of spending that extra few dollars.
However, even with proper maintenance, some bearings might get dirty. Thus slowing down so if this is the case then you can clean them. Use rubbing alcohol and an old toothbrush to restore them back to their normal speed.
There are two types of bearings shielded and unsealed. Although both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Beginners should always go for a shield bearing because they’re safer than unsealed bearings since they’re better protected against the elements.
Shield bearings are also easier to maintain since all you need to do is apply some lightweight-bearing grease on them after about ten to fifteen uses which will increase the speed of your board significantly along with its lifespan.
On the other hand, unsealed bearings can get wet and dirty thus decreasing their speed so it’s important that you clean them using rubbing alcohol every two weeks to avoid this problem.
5. The Grip tape:
This is basically what makes it possible for you to stay on your board but just like everything else, there are different types of grip tape both in terms of quality and price so if budget is an issue then go for a cheaper one that still gets the job done.
On the other hand, you can also consider spending a little more for one that’s made of better quality material (leaves less residue).
But is still affordable since grip tape can wear out pretty fast. If it’s not good quality thus leave your skateboard wobbly every time you go over cracks and pebbles.
Thank you for reading the article (Best Wood For Skateboards). Now you know what’s the best wood for making skateboards and how they’re made. If you learned anything, don’t forget to tell us in the comments below.
Thank You! And enjoy your new board.