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
1. Wood treatment
2. Veneer Assembly
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.
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.
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.