If your skateboard deck loses pop and hardly has any tail left, it’s time to replace it. At this point tricks takes a lot of effort and your board is hard to control. It also increases the risk of injuries. A functional skateboard deck should have at least a bit of tail and nose left, your miles may vary.
I used to wait to replace my deck until it broke in half, skating a deck with a bit of a tear in the center and your board becoming a bit too flexible. I’m sure you’ve been there, and it isn’t exactly fun when you know you have to buy a new deck, that stuff is expensive. Skateboard decks don’t last forever, at some point, you have to admit to yourself that you need to get a new one.
With time your deck wears out. Often you don’t even notice when you’re struggling with your board. You’ll less likely to notice your deck isn’t responding as well as before and this becomes obvious when you buy a new one.
New decks take time to get used to but you’ll notice how fresh the pop is. Sharp tails, chipped noses, and pressure cracks are signs that your deck has seen its best days. Still no need for a replacement at this point.
How Often Should You Replace Your Skateboard Deck?
It depends on the frequency and type of skater you are. If you only skate mini ramp your deck lasts way longer than when you only skate street. There is no telling on how often because it depends on your style of skating and what you still think is acceptable.
If you want a ballpark answer on how often to replace your deck. If you skate frequently, like a couple of hours a day of gnarly street skating, you need to replace your deck very often. Every 1 or 2 months isn’t uncommon, and skateboarding can be expensive.
Do you only skate a few times a week or are you more of a cruiser type of skateboarder? Your deck could probably last for a couple of years in this case. If you break decks regularly, consider a stronger deck.
If you only skate bowls or half pipes, chances of breaking a deck are slim but it still loses pop and stiffness, a new deck once a year isn’t unheard of.
Also, there is less impact in general, except when you’re at a level you can do some cool flips while landing on the coping. The only time I chip my nose when I skate mini ramps is when my deck flies out of the mini ramp and decides to land on its nose, it sucks.
So like I said, these are just estimates, if you do flips all day you will chip your board sooner. The quality of your board and bad luck really impact the lifespan of your deck. If your deck lasts longer you also could consider replacing your grip tape.
Once your grip becomes slippery you lose eh… grip. Your feet will slide off your deck more often and usually at moments you aren’t prepared for it.
Why Your Skateboard Loses Its Pop
Skateboards decks are made of hardrock maple wood which contracts and expands during skateboarding. Different temperatures and humidity all affect the internal structure of the wood. A new deck has a fresh pop which you can clearly hear when doing an ollie.
Over time the wood gets microscopic tears and over time you see pressure cracks forming. Losing pop isn’t very noticable because it’s a very gradual process. Once you get a new skateboard deck, you notice how soggy the pop on your old deck is.
Pop isn’t just about the deck itself by the way, the angle of your trucks also play a role. A steeper angle will give more air and snap.
Do Skateboards Break Easily?
No, skateboards don’t break easily but landing on the wrong spot can cause a skateboard deck to snap. You should land on the truck bolts and evenly distrubute your weight. Landing in the middle, nose, or tail with full weight will break most skateboards.
Skateboards made of birch will brake faster than bamboo or maple because birch is less durable. Also cheap $30 to $40 USD skateboards will break much sooner than a quality skateboard.
How to Make Your Skateboard Last Longer
Skateboard decks wear and is usually the first thing you need to replace. Taking good care and properly storing a skateboard will make it last longer.
- Don’t skate in the rain or in the wet.
- Don’t step on your deck with wet shoes.
- Stay away from dusty environments
- Avoid extremely high temperatures.
- Push back chips that stick out of the tail or nose.
- Land near the bolts and distrubute your weigh evenly.
How Long Do Skateboard Decks Last?
This is entirely up to you and what you still find acceptable to ride. If you don’t have any tail left and find it hard to pop your deck, you could consider getting a new deck. The best thing is to use common sense, as a skater you will probably know when your deck isn’t responsive anymore.
If you only skate mini ramp a deck can last for years, technical street skaters can destroy a deck within weeks.
Nowadays there are stronger decks available like Lithe, Powell Peralta Flight decks, Dwindle Impact, and Santa Cruz VX. These boards have a carbon or fiberglass layer to increase durability but are a bit more expensive compared to 7ply maple decks.
When there is significantly less pop, or when cracks appear in multiple maple layers. Even if there’s no damage at all, at some point a skateboard deck loses its pop. A chipped nose or tail is very common and not a reason to get a new deck.
How Long Does Pop Last On A Skateboard?
Skateboard deck pop lasts for about 1 or 2 months depending on how often you skate. Secondly your style also makes a difference. If you ollie and flick your board a lot, the pop will go away much faster than someone that is more of into bowl skateboarding.
Skateboard decks that keep pop for the longest time are Santa Cruz VX and Powell Peralta but even those decks lose pop after a few months.
Skateboard decks lose pop over time, the nano tubes in the wood damage causing your deck to pop less. If your skateboard deck is losing pop, meaning you can’t jump as high as before it’s time to get a new deck.
Reduced pop makes it harder to perform tricks. It’s not always easy to notice this because your board loses pop gradually.
Paul Schmitt from PS Stix can tell you all about it, look him up in one of the Nine CLub episoded on youtube.
Why Replacing a Skateboard Deck Is Important
Mainly for safety reasons, there’s a bigger chance of snapping your deck when you land. When for example your tail breaks you can roll your ankle or take a nasty fall. Your deck loses its structural integrity over time so pressure cracks, chips, and sharp edges will start to appear. You don’t replace a deck just for your own safety.
Consider your fellow skaters and bystanders, getting hit can have nasty consequences. It’s usually ankles, Achilles Tendon, and shins that suffer. Now, if the rest of your skateboard is fine you only have to buy a new deck. Your trucks and wheels last way longer than a deck and if you’re on a tight budget consider buying a blank deck.
Blank decks may be a bit boring but they are cheap and just as good as any deck. Besides those fancy graphics won’t last for long if you like to boardslide or tail/noseslides. Of course, it’s up to you if you want to replace your skateboard deck unless you broke it in half or lost your tail.
These are guidelines to prevent injuries and if your budget doesn’t allow it, keep on riding. There’s a couple of things you can do to expand the lifetime of your deck, at least that’s what I did when I was younger. Nowadays I make a random kid happy and giveaway my board.
Do you know why they call it a razor tail? I guess you probably do or you’re going to find out one day. Razor tails can leave nasty cuts and often cause injuries. A minor impact on your ankle can mean your skating day is over. I still have scars on my shins and Achilles Tendons caused by sharp kick tails.
Not only can you hurt yourself, but you also don’t want to hit a bystander, especially small kids. Your tail expands and compresses when you put pressure on it, like any material.
It basically acts like a spring because a deck consists of a couple of layers. You pop it against the ground and the wood compresses, once your release the wood expands. In time the material will lose its structural integrity and your tail will wear down and get sharp. It’s all about nanotubes!
How to Fix the Razor Tail on a Skateboard
You can shave it off a little the get rid of the sharp edges, but the effects are neglectable. If there are cracks you can seal those by applying glue or sealer and put some clamps on it. This will help for a while but eventually, you’ll need to replace your deck. So here’s how you fix your skateboard tail step by step.
- Use a clamp to hold your deck in place.
- Shave off the sharp edges.
- Seal the chips and cracks with wood filler.
- Wait half a day to let the filler dry.
- Apply a clamp in case of delamination.
- Use sandpaper to get rid of the rough patches.
The downside is that if the damage is too severe you’ll lose some tail. This might impact your ability to pop.
If you don’t have the budget to replace your deck you can try to fix your tail if you have the proper tools.
I’ve seen people who almost completely lost their tails and were still wrecking the streets. Your board also loses stiffness in time which is a much bigger factor.
Is a Chipped Skateboard Nose or Tail Bad?
No, this is common. Only if the tail is almost gone and it’s difficult to kick it, you need to replace your deck.
Quite often your nose bounces off the ground and when this happens often, your nose will start chipping. Sometimes it’s a small chip which is no big deal but it will become worse.
Chipped noses can also cause nasty cuts so it’s wise to replace or repair your deck if it gets worse. Like the tail you can also fix your nose, just shave off the edges, glue the chips and put on some clamps and leave it for a day.
For durability, brands like Lithe, Powell-Peralta and Santa Cruz have stepped up which might be worth considering if you often snap your deck. Still, nothing beats a hardrock maple deck. Check out how skateboard decks are made or why hardrock maple is the best wood type for skateboarding.