Everyone loves the feel of a new board – the pristine graphics, razor-sharp griptape and silky smooth trucks – it looks so pretty you almost don’t want to scratch it up by skating it.
Almost inevitably though, your new board will get messed up sooner or later.
“These decks that are so darn pretty they’re practically works of art.”
This can be a good thing – the chipped maple wood and scuffed tape start to remind you of past adventures and your deck becomes comfortable like an old pair of skate trainers.
But there is still something about that new board feel isn’t there? Which is probably why some people put a lot of time and effort into creating decks that are so darn pretty they’re practically works of art.
Here are some of the more out there examples:
Skating, now in 3D!
Imagined by Holland based designer Sam Abbott and manufactured by 3D Print UK, the board was actually too large to print as a single piece and had to be created in three sections which were then slotted and glued together.
The 3D printed board also raises some interesting possibilities, how about printing wheels when you need new ones or even designing your own deck from scratch?
I mean despite the fact that it’s basically a giant model kit it’s still apparently strong enough to ride… just about.
As the disclaimer says, don’t be in a hurry to drop any stair sets just yet!
The Gold Standard
Back in 2011 French designers BKRW and Domeau & Pérès joined forces to produce a limited edition deck from premium leather. Yes, leather.
Yet however novel the idea, not even the ‘free’ bag could really justify its ridiculous £800 price tag. There weren’t even trucks or wheels ffs!
But the French “artistes” didn’t stop there and went on to create an even pricier model.
Greg Hervieux co-founder of BKRW decided to team up with l’Atelier Antoine Palomares to create this ridiculous 22-carat gold leaf deck – costing just over £1370.
Unfortunately we’re guessing that even if you can afford to splash the cash on decks like these they’re probably the sort of thing that’s going to sit safely on a shelf at home.
Which is a shame cos we’d love to see Mike Valelly take one out for a thrash and see how long it lasts
The Recyclable Fish Decks
American artist Corby Baker, has put his own spin on the skateboard creating insanely-shaped decks which are also apparently built to last.
Fashioned out of aluminium, Corby’s organic designs take inspiration from the natural world featuring shapes including snakes, fish and seahorses and cost around £110.
Which compared to a lot of the boards on this list, is pretty reasonable really.
Admittedly there’s no way to guess how these decks will handle and although the metal is both flexible and light it seems unlikely that they’ll be as poppy and responsive as good old fashioned maple.
Still, Corby creates designs in wood too and if an aluminium deck doesn’t work out for you, we’re sure the local recycling centre will be happy to take it off your hands.
The Porcelain Boards
How about a deck that looks good enough to eat your dinner off? Ceramicist Charles Krafft creates porcelain boards one at a time from his studio in Seattle.
Each one of these ceramic pieces are made to order and feature bespoke art created by Charles.
They cost a pretty penny, coming in at £1600 – and you can’t even ride them!
But while you might not have a working skateboard at least you’re getting one of the most expensive dinner plates around… so that’s something right?
Back In Black
Finally a board that has style and substance. Carbon fibre is used in everything form top end bikes to sports cars so why not skateboards too?
It’s light, strong, flexible and can definitely take punishment.
There are several carbon fibre deck models out there but standardly, it’s a group of Germans who’ve done it the most efficiently: We Funk Skateboards use the design and technical expertise of former Formula 1 composite technician Alex Luxat to give their boards an edge.
The boards apparently mix carbon fibre, ash, poplar, zebrano and an airex foam-core with a “zebra wood” veneer that has a special heat-coat treatment making it heat resistant and lightweight.
According to We Funk’s Facebook page the company aims not to create toys but rather “calibrated sporting equipment”. Only the Germans could take having fun so seriously…
The Light Up Tron Boards
Looking like a cross between the light bikes from Tron and Japanese street racers these light-up boards are pretty over the top.
Over at Flexdex skateboards you can grab a clear board with LED lights built right into it.
These knock out at around £130 for most models with a custom lit option available too for £160, and despite the cheesy ad they look like they might actually work…
If you like the idea of a sci-fi board but don’t want to lose the handling of your favourite deck then there are also light kits available from Third Kind which you can strap on to any skateboard of your choice for just £25.
With a battery pack designed to fit neatly under your trucks like a riser plate, these lights are officially “designed for skaters by skaters” and there’s evidence that they can stand up to lip tricks too.
But while I’m sure some skate photographer somewhere is already dreaming up some interesting long-exposure ideas, we have to say, we can’t see these catching on with the general public.