An Element Complete Skateboard is a board that comes pre-assembled for a relatively low cost. I got this skateboard on sale for only $40, and I wanted to see if the skateboard was made of the same pro-level quality of the other Element decks I used to skate.
Read on to see my full Element complete skateboard review.
Specs & Highlights of an Element Complete Skateboard
Element complete skateboards are an excellent option for a beginner because of the size of the deck and the quality of the trucks and wheels.
Element has this deck available in an 8.0″, which is the perfect size for most teens and smaller adults. I am 5’6″ tall with a men’s 8.5 sized shoes and found the 8.0″ complete to be perfect for me. If you need a smaller deck, there are a few 7.5″ and 7.75″ complete skateboards available for the same price here.
If you are a beginner looking to keep your first skateboard under $50, you just found it. At this price point, it is a great deal.
- Inexpensive / Still holds up for beginners
- The shape of deck
- Lots of pop
- Lightweight twig board construction
- Softer wood chips easier than other skateboards.
- The trucks are a softer metal and require extra wax to grind on really rough surfaces.
Element skateboard decks are available in the following width dimensions.
7.35″, 7.5″, 7.75″, 8.0″, 8.125″, 8.25″, 8.38″. 8.4″, 8.46″, 8.5″, 8.625″, 8.75″, 8.875″, 9.0″, 9.25″
For this review, I skated a complete with an 8-inch wide by 31.75 inch long deck and a 14-inch wheelbase.
First Impression of Element Complete Skateboards?
When the complete first arrived, I thought it looked like an exceptional value for the money. However, I wound up getting the entire complete for around $49 on clearance at sunandski.com here.
Here is everything that came pre-assembled in this complete skateboard.
- An Element 8″ x 31.75″ deck
- 5.25″ polished Element Raw trucks with white with 90a bushings
- 52mm 99a Element All Terrain wheels
- Element Abec 5 bearings
- Element Rations Hex bolt hardware
The primary detail I noticed was how light it is.
When I held the complete, I noticed it was lighter than the complete I was currently skating. The primary difference is due to the thinner deck and Element Raw tucks. The trucks are noticeably lighter than the Independent Hollow Trucks I’ve been skating on.
After that, I was just excited to skate it because I hadn’t skated an Element skateboard deck since the 90s, and it looked like a nice shape with a mid-concave.
Why Did I Buy an Element Skate Deck?
I bought this because I kept seeing the deal for a $40 complete skateboard pop up on the various review sites. It looked like the same general question kept coming up “is this a pro-quality skateboard?” I wanted to be able to answer that question and feature it in my best beginner skateboards guide.
In all honesty, I didn’t have high hopes because it is the same price as a complete skateboard you would get from Walmart or Target. I figured if it skated a little better than a board you would get from a big retail store, it would be the perfect “beginner skateboard for under $50.”
So How Does an Element Complete Skate?
This complete skated exceptionally well. I was surprised at how well the shape of the deck felt under my feet. It was like being reunited with an old familiar friend.
The trucks were responsive, easy to turn, and felt like a smooth to grind on metal. However, once I went to a street spot, I noticed the trucks were a little slow to grind on rough, chunky ledges. I needed more wax than I would typically use with my Indy Hollow skate trucks. Please keep in mind that those Indy Tucks are nearly double in price of what I paid for this complete.
The wheels felt nearly identical to the Bones STF wheels I bought for $30 a few weeks earlier.
The bearings felt decent. They weren’t the fastest nor the slowest. However, they were smooth enough to have a solid skate session.
After skating it for three hours, I noticed the word chipping a little bit on my tail from catching a sharp corner of my Transformer Rail. It was my first signal that maybe the wood or glue wasn’t as durable as what I have been used to skating compared to some of the strongest skateboards. Either way, I kept skating it because I figured even for $40, the trucks and wheels were a steal of a price.
The deck chipping continued for two weeks until I broke this deck doing a heelflip off a little two-stair ledge. I wound up cracking the board, and two layers lifted up to the point of the board being un-skateable. Altogether, the deck lasted me around 75% as long as another pro-quality deck.
I am still skating the trucks and wheels. They held up nicely, and for the $40 price tag, I feel like even those alone were a phenomenal deal.
I would say the quality I experienced with the deck is close to what the main summary is here. The Element Complete is made of pro-quality components with a slightly lower-quality skateboard deck.
This entire setup is perfect if you are learning to skateboard. However, if you’re an intermediate to an advanced skateboarder, you probably would need to have another deck on hand in case it breaks. All of the other components are pro-level quality that will last you.
Element completed skateboards are perfect for beginners who are just learning their ollies, shuvits, and kickflips. However, if you stay close to the ground, this is a phenomenal deal for a complete skateboard to learn on.
If you are skating off of stairs or high drops, this is probably not the complete skateboard for you anyway.
What do I like about Element Skateboards Decks?
Price and Value
For less than $50, you get a pre-assembled skateboard that comes with everything you need to learn to skateboard. The trucks and wheels alone would normally cost $60. I see this as a deal where you buy those components and get free bearings, hardware, and a deck.
Here is a picture of the wheels after skating this complete for only an hour.
Pop & Shape of the Deck
While the deck lasted me around 15-20 hours, less than a deck I would get from my local skate shop, the shape of it was incredible. It had a steep nose and tail and the perfect level of mid-concave. The deck was made thinner and lighter than most of the other boards I’ve been getting used to riding. It had an incredible pop that helped me get the board off the ground easier. Additionally, the lighter weight helped me get on ledges that were a little higher than I am used to ollieing on to.
Here is a picture of the top of the deck to give you an idea of its shape.
The Element Raw trucks were a highlight for me. They feel similar to my Independent trucks. They turn well, feel stable, and they’re incredibly light. The trucks are the only component of this complete that I am still skating. I swapped the other components out in the complete skateboard that I am riding now.
Here is a picture of skating the trucks after one hour.
What do I dislike about Element Skateboards Decks?
Quality of the Wood Layers Used
Pre-assembled complete skateboards are often made to hit a certain price point. They are made for the type of skater that doesn’t yet know enough about their skate gear preferences to build a custom skateboard for themselves. With the cost being kept low, you get what you pay for with the cost of some of its components. In the Element Completes, that quality seems to come in the wood used in the deck. It was weaker and softer than what I am used to with other pro-quality decks.
Here is an image of some larger gouges the tail of this deck got while doing tailslides. It will give you an idea of the softer nature of the wood used.
Ultimately, I wound up breaking this deck by landing primo (sideways) off a little two stair ledge. It was enough to split the entire side of the deck.
I bought another Element deck to learn if the completes use lower grade materials than a regular Element deck you would buy on its own, and I can confirm that is exactly the case. Complete skateboards are made to hit a certain low price point for beginner skateboarders to learn if they will enjoy skating. If you were to buy an Element deck by itself at a skateshop without the trucks and wheels, you would get a noticeably stronger deck. However, it would cost you $40-60 more.
In the image above, I broke this deck heelflipping off stairs and landed on the deck wrong. A beginner most likely wouldn’t be doing tricks like that for a few months. This complete skateboard is made for cruising around and getting the feel of doing your first ollie or kickflip. It isn’t constructed for taking harder impacts.
The Element decks you can buy on their own without trucks or wheels are currently pressed by the BBS wood shop. This is the same wood shop that makes skateboards for other well know brands like Real, Baker, DGK, Primitive, Polar, and Zero. Saying that differently, an Element Skateboard is pressed to the same standards as a Baker skateboard.
My advice here would be to look at Element’s sale page for discounted decks if you skate regularly. You can find quality boards for around $35 with free shipping.
However, if you’re a beginner, take advantage of the low cost of an Element complete to see if you enjoy skateboarding. If you do, skate the deck as long as it will last you, and then take the tip I just shared and go to Element’s sale page and find your second deck.
The main takeaway is that the decks used in an Element Complete and an Element deck you can buy on its own are not created equal.
The Softer Metal Used In the Trucks
While I like the lightweight feeling of the Element Raw trucks, they require some extra wax if you’re trying to skate rougher ledges. The metal used to keep the truck’s weight down can be tough to grind in less-than-perfect street conditions.
These trucks are typically going to be used by a beginner, so it probably won’t be an issue. When you are just learning to grind, you will probably be learning on angle iron or a metal surface. These trucks will grind perfectly for you on metal.
As long as you keep wax with you, it won’t be much of an issue either way.
Are Element Complete Skateboards Beginner Friendly?
Element pre-assembled skateboards are specifically designed for beginners. So if you are shopping for your first skateboard, this would be the right one to get. You get everything you need to learn for less than half of what the cost would be if you decided to select each component you wanted on your own.
The quality of the components used in this skateboard will be perfect for beginners or anyone who will not be taking large impacts. As you learn to skateboard, you will be relatively close to the ground. This board is perfect for that level of skateboarding.
Overall Rating of Element Skateboard Decks
|Considerations||Rating Out 5|
|Shape & Feel of the Deck||4.8|
|Strength of Skate Deck||3.1|
|Turning / Responsiveness||4.25|
|Feel While Skating||4|
|Price / Value||4.65|
Editor’s Rating: 4.20 out of 5.0 stars
Would You Recommend Element Complete Skateboards?
It depends on who the complete skateboard is for.
If this will be your first complete skateboard, then yes, I recommend an Element complete skateboard. If the same deal that I got is still available, buy it immediately.
If you’ve been skateboarding for a few years, then no. This is not the complete skateboard for you. Instead, check out some of our other reviews below for gear specifically designed to take harder impacts.
Where Can You Buy Element Skateboards
This complete is on sale at Sierra here.
You can also buy it from Sun and Ski here.
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Steve Weber is an avid snowboarder and skateboarder. He has been snowboarding for 26 years, skateboarding for 20, and is always looking for a new board sport to try out. When he is not riding or skating, he runs a marketing agency. Board of the World is Steve’s blog for skateboard and snowboard gear reviews. The blog’s goal is to help people find the right board for them and encourage people to have fun outside.