How Skateboard Decks Are Made

How Skateboard Decks Are Made
How Skateboard Decks Are Made

From a piece of flat wood to your shaped skateboard deck, ever wondered how skateboard decks are made?

Whether you’re just beginning to balance on your new skateboard or you have been grinding rails for a long time, learning the manufacturing process of skateboard decks can be a huge benefit to your performance.

Understanding how your board is put together and what the differences are between types of manufacturing processes used by manufacturers can help you choose one that’s better quality and great durability. Here is a quick peek at the process of making premium-grade skateboard decks.

Table of Contents

Wood treatment

1. Wood treatment

The most common construction material used for skateboard decks is maple wood from the Great Lakes area of the U.S. and Canada. These cold-weather maple woods are used because of short growing seasons and top-notch quality wood density. The higher the density is, the more durable the deck will be. During log-harvesting season, logs are sent to the mill and will be stored for three months before being treated. The stored logs are soaked in water for hours to soften them for more efficient and accurate slicing. Once the logs reach about 50% in moisture, they are then spun at high speeds against a blade to create thin veneers that are already dried up before being sent to our manufacturing facilities.
Veener Assembly

2. Veneer Assembly

The strength and stiffness of a skateboard deck come from the layering of multiple plywoods that are glued together. The same principle can be demonstrated by a bullet-proof laminated window, constructed with multiple layers of glass and plastic glued together. Maple logs that are kept at optimal humidity and moisture content are first sent to the sawmill for processing. The bark is stripped removed and the log is halved or quartered, depending on its diameter. The divided logs are called “bucks”, thus, the process is called “bucking”. The bucked logs heated at around 200 degrees Fahrenheit to soften the fibers, which will result in easier slicing in the lathe. The heating is done by either a hot water bath, spraying with hot water, or by steaming. After being heated, the bucks are immediately sliced using a lathe about 1/16th of an inch. The veneers are then dried to approximately 8% moisture in order to apply the epoxy properly. Most epoxies used to glue veneers require different moisture levels. There are three different structures of veneers used in each deck.

1. Face veneer

Face veneers are the top and bottom layers of the deck. These layers should be free of any blemishes and lumps, and they are always going through a long-grain direction (vertical).

Any face veneer with lumps can be used for another section of the deck.

2. Core veneer.

Core veneers are also vertically sliced and along the long-grain direction. However, these pieces often have blemishes and knots that would look deformed if used for the face veneers of the deck.

3. Cross-grain veneers

As the name suggests, the cross-grain veneers have the grain facing sideways. They are usually cut sections of longer veneers glued together to form alternating long-grain and cross-grain layers.

Decks are gourd in a way so that their grains cross at each layer, which greatly improves the overall strength.

The veneers can come in their natural color or stained with colors. The staining is done under high pressure in a pressure chamber. The color then travels right through the nooks and crannies of the veneer, giving it longer color retention.

The staining process cannot be done either by hand or by soaking. If a stain were simply painted onto the veneer, the color would easily scratch off.

The top and bottom sides of the veneers are sanded on one side while the remaining sides are coated with special glue. This glue is specially formulated to withstand the repeated shocks of the board smacking the pavement and obstacles without cracking or separating.

VZG uses a non-toxic, water-based adhesive in gluing the veneers together. Once the glue is worked in the veneers, they are layered, and several decks’ worth of layers are stacked and placed together in a mold to be simultaneously pressed and shaped.

Shaping the deck

3. Shaping the Deck

Once the veneers and epoxy are laminated, the stack of decks is then placed in a mold to form the shape of the deck, concave and upturned on the tail and the nose.

The stack of the deck undergoes hot presses with 40 tons of pressure. The hot press will hold the deck together for several hours to completely dry out the adhesive. Once dried, the shaped deck is then sawed to the desired shape.

Holes are then drilled where trucks will be attached. Finally, the decks will undergo sanding to smoothen the surface.

Adding Graphics

4. Adding the Graphics

Skateboard decks can come in a variety of graphic designs on the underside. The graphics are often added through the process of heat transfer.

Each graphic is printed on a sheet of plastic. This plastic sheet is fastened to the bottom of the deck and is run through a machine that simultaneously applies heat and pressure. The heat melts the ink on the plastic sheet, transferring it permanently to the bottom of the deck.


As you can see in the whole process, a skateboard deck goes through a lot of processes: from cutting the trees to the transferring of the graphic design. Thanks to the innovations and process improvements, we can guarantee that we can provide premium-grade skateboards and decks that you will be able to use for a long time.     

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