Why is a skateboard deck so expensive?
The deck is responsible for maintaining the balance and stability as well as providing a good flex for doing tricks on your board. Hence, it’s important that you have yourself a high-quality deck that comes with reliable manufacturers.
A good skateboard deck requires a lot of important contributing factors. And to produce a good skateboard deck, the manufacturer must put in a lot of effort and money. For those who still think that skateboard deck is expensive, here are the facts that would make you reconsider.
Follow our post as we show you what are the factors that contribute to the current pricing of skateboard decks.
The construction of the skateboard deck
Most skateboard decks are made of Maple plywood, or which they called “veneer”. While expensive boards use high-quality and 7 standard layer of veneers, most cheap products are made with less than 7 sheets of veneer and low-quality woods. The making skateboard decks involve a lot of handmade processes, thus resulting in a higher price.
Each veneer would receive a coat of glue on one side and the other side would be sanded and smoothed. The veneers are then glued and pressed to each other in a mold to form a solid rectangle board. The Maple plywood must be stick together properly to ensure the deck’s flex and shock absorption.
As a result, the pressing machine must hold the veneers for up to 3 hours for them to be properly glued to each other. And in industrial manufacturing, each second spend would result in higher retail pricing. To reduce the costs, manufacturers usually stack 35 sheets of wood on top of each other, which is equivalent to 5 skateboard decks. To avoid all sheets being glued to each other, the manufacturer places a non-glued sheet on every 7 veneers.
Still, under the pressure, the excess glue is forced outside and make the sheets to form a block of plywood. However, this makes it extremely easy to drill holes on the front and back of the board. These holes would then be used to mount your skateboard trucks on the deck.
The wooden block of veneers is then cut into a rough shape using a template. This would also separate the glued decks which caused by the excess glue.
Each deck is then precisely shaped using a cutting blade to form up the exact shape of a skateboard deck. After that, they sanded the edges of the skateboard deck to smoothen the surfaces. A buffer is used to brush off any remaining rough wood fibers. And the result is a perfectly fined deck.
The final steps involving spraying the deck with colorless primer. And once it’s dried, they move to the finishing lacquer. The deck would then be printed with certain graphics that suit their customer’s style.
And that’s the whole construction of a skateboard deck. With so many stages and sophisticated techniques, no wonder why your skateboard deck is expensive.
The requirements of a skateboard deck
And once the skateboard deck is finished, there is a list of different requirements that a skateboard deck must have.
For example, the skateboard deck must be durable and sturdy while maintaining a relatively good flex. This would be impossible if you’re buying cheap decks that are only made of 3-5 sheets of veneers. They’ll be extremely fragile and can break at any time.
In additions, even if your board has enough 7 sheets of veneer, if they’re made from low-quality woods, chances are that they will not also be durable as expected. Hence, if you want a durable board, you must look for boards that come from a quality manufacturer, and obviously, the pricing must be a little bit higher.
And when it comes to the flex, the board must not only be made from quality materials but also need to be properly pressed so that the glue is evenly spread and there is no gaps or holes between each veneer. To do this, the manufacturer must spend hours on their pressing machine to make sure that their deck is properly constructed. And as we’ve mentioned earlier, longer manufacturing time results in higher retail price.
For the sanding and brushing process, the worker must commit to their job to ensure that the deck stays smooth from top to bottom. Any sharp edge must be smoothening to avoid accidents.
And for the graphics, the workers must wait for at least 2 hours for the colorless primer to dry, and two more for the finishing lacquer to dry. A total of 4 hours before they could even apply graphic painting.
Surprise! Skateboard prices haven’t risen too much for over 30 years
And if you still think that shop owners and manufacturers make a fortune from selling their decks, then you’re wrong. In facts, skateboard prices haven’t risen too much for over 30 years. So there is little profit come from selling skateboard decks.
As a result, most shops owners don’t make money from selling decks. In steads, they make a living by selling soft goods like skateboard shoes, grip tapes, and the likes. They’re selling skateboard decks just to support the community in which you and I are parts of it.
Even the most famous skateboard deck companies are struggling to compensate their pricing with the production costs. It’s difficult for US-based manufacturers to stay competitive when the policies don’t support them anymore. On top of that, many foreign manufacturers are taking their market share thanks to their cheaper pricing.
However, most of these manufacturer comes from China and other countries where labor costs are low and the workers usually have no experiences. As a result, the quality of their products is usually quite bad.
It’s your choices, to support a dedicated community by buying high-quality products that would last for years or buy the $10 skateboard decks which can be found at any local supermarket nearby and have it broken in the next days.
Hope the information provided above is enough to answer your questions about skateboard deck expensive prices. Thanks for reading and we’ll see you in our future posts.