The strongest skateboard decks

The Strongest Skateboards: Comparison Review of the Best Skate Deck Technology

Here is a comparison review of all of the new carbon fiber skateboard decks. Brands like Powell Peralta, Santa Cruz, Almost, Girl, and Lithe have started to add carbon fiber layers along with the normal maple plys that skateboards are traditionally made with. I bought all of these decks to test them out. If you’re wondering which is the best carbon fiber skate deck, you’re in the right place.

So let’s get right to it.

The Best Carbon Fiber Skateboards Are:

  1. The Santa Cruz VX Skateboard Deck: My top choice / Best overall / Nice concave
  2. The Powell Flight Skateboard Deck: Best for slide tricks
  3. The Almost Impact Light Skateboard Deck: Best on a budget
  4. The Girl Pop Secret Skateboard Deck: Best value / Nice pop
  5. The Enjoi Impact Light Skateboard Deck: Feels like a normal deck. It’s just stronger.
  6. The Blind R7 Skateboard Deck: Excellent shape / Stayed Strong / Feels exactly like the VX deck and around $20 cheaper
  7. The Lithe Slate & Nex Skateboard Decks: Best for reducing razor tail / Keeps its shape

Santa Cruz VX Deck

Santa Cruz VX Deck


  • The Strongest Skate Deck – 2 Special / Carbon Fiber Layers with 5 Maple Ply Layers
  • Excellent shape – Concave is perfection
  • It doesn’t get soft or soggy overtime. This feels the same on day one and day fifty one.


  • It gets razor tail like any other wood deck.
  • It is about $15 – $20 more than a seven-ply normal skate deck.


The vx Deck comes in a variety of widths. 7.75″, 8″, 8.25″, 8.38″, 8.5″ and 8.8″

Powell Flight Deck

Powell Flight Deck


  • One of the strongest skateboard decks you can buy.
  • Holds its shape the same on the first and last day you skate it.
  • Excellent pop – The carbon in this makes the board retain its shape and it gives it a dream level of pop
  • Mellow concave
  • Slides well
  • Made in America


  • The maple on the sides of the deck chips easily.
  • The shape took some getting used to. It runs a bit wider than advertised right over the trucks.


It is available in 8.0″ x 31.45″, 8.25″ x 31.95″, 8.5″ x 32.08″, 8.75″ x 32.95″, 9.0″ x 32.95″ sizes. It is also available in two concave shapes. One is traditional and there other is symmetrical.

Girl Pop Secret Skate Deck

Girl Pop Secret Deck


  • One of the strongest maple and carbon fiber skateboard decks you can buy.
  • Gets razor tail slower than Santa Cruz VX or Powell Flight – due to their being more maple plys in the deck.
  • Doesn’t get that soggy used feeling of a traditional seven-ply deck
  • The coating used over the graphic makes it slide nicely and preserves the graphic
  • The shape of the deck is awesome.
  • It is cheaper than a VX or Flight deck.


  • It is still prone to chipping
  • It is more expensive than a wooden deck by $10 – $15 (and it sells out fast)
  • It does get pressure cracks – This didn’t start until around 30 days into the review.
  • It still gets razor tail just like the other carbon fiber skate decks.
  • It feels heavier than other comparable decks.


The vx Deck comes in a variety of widths. It is available in 8″, 8.25″, 8.375″, 8.5″, and 8.6″ widths.

For this review, I skate the 8″ x 31.83″ G008 shape.

Enjoi Impact Light Skateboard Deck

Blind R7 Super Sap Skateboard Decks

The Enjoi Impact Light is nearly identical to the Almost Impact Light deck. The main difference is that it has a little more concave. The deck itself is still made with 7 maple plies, like a traditional skateboard deck, with a section of carbon fiber designed into its top layer. The interesting part about the top layer’s carbon fiber is that it makes up the center of the top layer. However, there is still maple used in its perimeter, allowing the pop, feel, and overall weight of the deck to feel exactly like any other regular skateboard deck.

The deck itself lasted me around 30 days, and its best attribute was its pop. It felt like it had the same rigidity to it every single day I stood on it. However, the wood itself just seemed to chip more than a standard skateboard deck would. The chipping is ultimately why I swapped it out for another deck. Check out our Enjoi Impact Light deck review.


  • Stronger than a normal deck – It has 7 maple plys with carbon fiber in its top layer
  • 30 day warranty against breakage
  • Medium concave shape
  • A ton of pop / Steeper nose and tail
  • Priced only $5-10 more than a normal deck / About $15 cheaper than a VX or Flight deck


  • The wood chips easily.
  • Gets razor tail just like any maple deck


These decks are available in a variety of sizes. Currently you can get 8.0, 8.125, 8.25, or 8.375 R7 decks.

Blind R7 Skateboard Deck

Blind R7 Super Sap Skateboard Decks

The Blind R7 Decks feel very similar to the Santa Cruz VX deck. However, they are around $20 less expensive. These decks are guaranteed against breaking for 30 days. They are made with an epoxy based glue that makes them feel stiffer and stronger than a traditional maple skateboard. If you’re looking for one of the strongest skateboards you can get without spending a lot, definitely try a Blind R7 Deck. Check out our Blind R7 Skate deck review.


  • Strong decks that are made of 7 maple plys reinforced with epoxy resin
  • 30 day warranty against breakage
  • Medium concave
  • A ton of pop / Steeper nose and tail
  • Priced the same as a standard skate deck / About $20 cheaper than a carbon fiber skate deck (and skates just as well)


  • Gets razor tail just like any maple deck


These decks are available in a variety of sizes. Currently you can get 8.0, 8.125, 8.25, or 8.375 R7 decks.

Pro Tip: Use coupon code SHOPTYS10 to get 10% off and free shipping.

Let’s get into the more in depth information of how each of these actually skate.

The Santa Cruz VX Skateboard Deck

Santa Cruz VX Dot Carbon Fiber Deck

Size I Skated:

8.0″ x 31.67″

Price paid:

$83 shipped with griptape here.


The Santa Cruz VX Skateboard is a 5 ply Canadian maple deck that has two proprietary layers, which are likely carbon fiber based. I am a 40 year old skateboarder that is not throwing myself down large stair sets. However, I can still understand the appeal of getting this deck as I really wanted a deck that held its rigid pop a little longer than a standard 7 ply maple deck. That is exactly what I got. Reading other reviews online, one said that older skateboarders should avoid this like the plague as it was “unforgiving” due to it holding its shape so well. I don’t necessarily agree, and that unforgiveness is the whole feature I bought this deck around. I wanted a deck that felt the same at week two as it did from the moment I stepped on it.

At the time of writing, I was at week two, and it is still holding its shape other than for the razor tail due to me relearning manuals and setting my tail down way too much. This board is not razor tail resistant. No wooden deck is, so you can follow these steps to prevent razor tail and get a few more weeks out of this deck. I land hard on rails and flat ground tricks. Within the first few minutes of riding a deck, I will flip it over and see pressure cracks. I’ve been this way with every board I have ever ridden. This is the first deck where there is not a single pressure crack. I feel the results of that when I pop off the nose or tail, and it still feels solid. If that sounds appealing to you, that is the real reason you should get this board. I would encourage you to look at the specs and pictures here. If you are still psyched to try it, I would encourage you to get it as its only $20 more than the other deck you would likely buy.

The halfway mark – As I write this paragraph, I am about three weeks into skating this deck and it still has no pressure cracks. From just getting back into skating, I bail a lot, and the toe side of my nose is starting to splinter. I can tell I am going to trade out this board due to razor tail long before it breaks.

How long did it last?

I am now 45 days in, and I am going to move on to another deck. This deck is still skateable, so I will save it and take it out again in a few months.

Reason stopped skating:

The shape of the tail became challenging to continue using. Razor tail that was sharp enough to cut my ankle was ultimately the reason I stopped skating this.

Santa Cruz VX Deck Razor Tail after 45 days

Would I buy another one?

Hell, yes. I actually did. This was a fun deck to ride and helped me rekindle my love for skateboarding.

I look forward to skating more of these. The extra $20 wound up being worth it. It kept the deck strong, and I didn’t ever have a worry of not doing a trick because it would break the board. The way I see it, I paid 50% more for this deck and got more than that out of this deck.

My synopsis:

For a late 30s skater under 145 lbs, I probably didn’t need the vx deck. However, I am glad I got it. For relearning to skate, I felt that having a tail that kept its poppiness the entire time I rode it helped me progress immensely.

Days Skated:

45 days – That is about 15-20 more than a normal deck for me. I am estimating it around 108 hours of skating for me. I am estimating that this deck lasted me 45%-50% longer than a normal 7-ply deck.

Update: I actually wound getting another Santa Cruz VX deck because I enjoyed riding it more than the others, and during this pandemic, it was really challenging to buy boards that would fit this review. I do have some more coming. However, at the moment, I am back on a VX deck.

The Cons:

  1. $20 – $30 more than a standard deck.
  2. It will get a razor tail just like every other deck that has maple layers. This is the reason I stopped skating it.
  3. Splintering on the sides of the nose and tail – Pro tip: Gorilla glue’s gel helps slow this down.

The Pros:

  1. It is much stronger than a normal maple deck.
  2. No pressure cracks. (Just like the Flight deck.)
  3. It keeps its pop longer than the standard deck.
  4. It is noticeably stronger, so you will try tricks you were hesitant to try.
  5. I was able to skate twice as long as a normal deck.

Here is a picture of the deck at 45 days once I took the trucks off. There were no pressure cracks whatsoever.

Santa Cruz VX Deck no Pressure Cracks

Here is a picture of what the splintering looked like at 45 days. Please keep in mind that I am a 37 year old skater just getting back into this. My flip tricks smacked off the ground quite a bit.

Santa Cruz vx splintering

Overall Rating of the Santa Cruz VX Skateboard Deck

Considerations Rating Out 5
Strength of Skate Deck 4.6
Wood Quality (Chips / Splinters / Breaks) 4.3
Pop 4.6
Shape & Feel of the Deck 4.7
Overall Quality 4.6

Editor’s Rating:  out of 5 stars 4.56 out of 5 stars

I liked this deck so much that I wrote a Full Santa Cruz VX Deck Review too. Read that review to see more info and images.

To Buy a Santa Cruz VX Deck

Or you can sometimes find these at Amazon too.
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The Almost Impact Light Skateboard Deck

Almost Impact Light Deck

Size I Skated:

8.0″ x 31.67″

Price paid:

$59 shipped with griptape here.


The Almost skateboards Impact Light is a 7-ply American maple deck with a carbon fiber insert added into the top layer. The idea behind the impact light is that it is stronger than a normal 7-ply skate deck while still remaining light with only one carbon fiber insert. Almost have a different line called the Impact plus that has carbon fiber inserts around the truck-mounting holes too. I still have yet to try that one. I chose the impact light because it was cheaper than the VX deck and said to have a 30 day breakage guarantee. I am learning that if these boards last 45 days, that is probably good enough for me as I give up on them due to razor tail more than breakage.

The first thing I noticed about the Almost Impact Light was its shape and overall lightness of this deck. The nose and tail are steep, while the actual concave felt oddly flat to me. Within about two hours of skating, I got used to the shape. Eventually, I grew to enjoy the pop and lightness enough to ignore its more flat shape.

I was really interested to see if the Almost Impact Light deck would hold its shape as well as the other decks with two carbon fiber layers. Since this deck only has a carbon layer as the top sheet, I found that it did start to feel like a normal skate deck that gradually lost its pop. The most notable detail about it being closer to a normal deck was that it started to get pressure cracks by my trucks within an hour of skating it.

It is a light deck and cheaper than some of the other options mentioned in this post.

Reason stopped skating:

I stopped skating this due to its razor tail and gradual loss of shape.

Almost Impact Light Razor Tail

This skateboard deck didn’t break, so I am going to leave it in my car for someone who might want to continue skating it.

Would I buy another one?

I’d probably just buy a standard almost deck without the carbon fiber to save a few bucks.

My synopsis:

This deck is not as strong as some of the other decks I rode for this project. It is less expensive, and its main appeal is its lightness. If you’re looking for a carbon fiber deck specifically for its strength, buy a different deck. If you want a stronger deck that is lighter than a normal deck, then this is the skateboard for you.

Days Skated:

35 days – That is about 5 days more than a normal deck for me. I am estimating it around 85 hours of skating in total. That is 27% less skate time than the Santa Cruz VX deck. That said, it lasted me around 16% longer than a normal skateboard deck.

I don’t anticipate breaking this board with the way that I skate. Lately, I’ve been perfecting a line where I 360 flip and then frontside bluntslide the Element flat bar. I land hard on some 360 flips, so it has been a good test for the board.

The Cons:

  1. $5 – $10 more than a standard deck.
  2. Razor tail
  3. Pressure cracks within the first hour

The Pros:

  1. Cheaper than a Santa Cruz VX or Powell Flight deck
  2. Lighter than a normal deck
  3. Lasted 5% longer than a normal 7-ply deck

Here is a picture of the long pressure crack. This was taken on day 35 when I took my trucks off to set up the next board.

Almost impact light skateboard deck long pressure crack

Here is a picture of chip out of my nose looked like at 35 days right before I stopped skating it. This is from learning blunt slides to shuv it. My board kept smacking against the leg of the rail I was trying it on.

Almost Impact Light Skate Deck Chipped on its nose

Overall Rating of the Almost Impact Light Skateboard Deck

Considerations Rating Out 5
Strength of Skate Deck 4
Wood Quality (Chips / Splinters / Breaks) 3.9
Pop 4.5
Shape & Feel of the Deck 4.4
Overall Quality 4.5

Editor’s Rating:  out of 5 stars 4.26 out of 5 stars

To Buy an Almost Impact Light Deck

Also check out our review of the Blind R7 Skate Decks too. They are incredibly strong and less expensive than most of the decks on this list.

The Powell Flight Skateboard Deck

Flight Deck

Size I Skated:

8.0″ x 31.45″
The 242 shape.

Price paid:

$83.95 shipped with grip tape here.


The first detail I noticed about the Powell Flight deck is that the shape of the board is different than anything I’ve ever skated before. It was more oval shaped than what I am used to. I kept double-checking the Flight Deck size chart to see if I was really sent a 247 shape instead of the more common 242 shape which I ordered.

Here is an image of my deck that was marked with the 242 retail stickers against Powell’s Flight Deck size chart.

pp flight shape comparison page
The Powell Flight Deck Size Chart Next to my deck which was labeled with the 242 stickers.

Based on the clarity of my tails’ dimension, it looks to really be the 242 that it was marked to be.

The strange part is that the 242’s contact points where the deck meets the nose and tail get wider than they were marked. Some feedback for Powell would be to indicate which is the more common shape and then to note the potential wider size.

I really noticed the wider-oval shape while doing flip tricks. The part of the deck where you will flick your tricks is wider. Mine measured 8.1 inches instead of the 8.0 inches it was marked to be.

So the first takeaway is the Powell flight deck is slightly larger (.1″) than the other comparable decks. Its carbon layers might make you overlook that small detail, though.

I got used to its shape within two hours of skating it. The wider size offers a larger nose and tail. I started to like that because it made tail and bluntslides easier, thanks to having more surface to slide on. It will give you an extra split second to lock your trucks into the trick.

The next detail I noticed about this board was that it chipped more than the other boards I reviewed above. The carbon layers are strong. However, the wood in between those layers seemed weaker than usual (or, in my case, defective). In the first few hours of skating, I got a small chip in my nose that ultimately became this 1.5 inch vertical crack that split through all 5 maple layers of the deck.

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Powell Peralta wound up seeing this picture and warrantied this deck. They let me know that my experience with the vertical cracking was not normal, and they sent me a brand new Flight Deck to cover it.

Outside of the vertical cracking, this deck did eventually get razor tail, just like the other decks I reviewed on this list.

The wood was weak enough where my razor tail began to get chips in it. With the other skateboard decks, I didn’t get that as much. Here is a picture of the razor tail showing that it started to chip away.

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Ultimately, it is a deck that doesn’t get pressure cracks, and it holds its firmness. The drawback is that the wood used in between the carbon fiber layers is weaker than what the other carbon fiber decks use.

Reason stopped skating:

Its razor tail and the giant vertical crack between all of the wood layers. The carbon fiber layers were great. However, the wood used in this deck was brittle. It chipped and flaked away every time it hit the ground. Ultimately, it lost its shape, and I traded it out for another Santa Cruz VX deck.

I have one massive update to share about the vertical crack, though. I wrote Powell to see if it was normal that a Flight Deck would crack vertically in under 30 days. Without any further questioning, they sent a brand new Flight Deck out to me.

Their customer service has been phenomenal. If you run into any issues with your Flight Deck, reach out to them here.

Would I buy another one?

Originally, my answer to this was “no.” However, Powell’s customer service was excellent to me and the decks really do skate well, so I am updating it with a “when I can afford it, yes.”

My synopsis:

I expected more from the Powell Flight Deck.

It didn’t last me as long as the two-carbon fiber layer Santa Cruz VX deck or even the one-carbon fiber layer Almost Impact Light deck. That said, it did last me about 15% longer than a regular maple skateboard deck would have. It is entirely possible my deck had a defect.

Within the first four hours of skating the Powell Flight deck, my nose chipped. I actually went out to fill it will Gorilla Glue’s Gel to prevent it from chipping more. Ultimately, it didn’t work. That small chip became the large vertical crack that I shared a picture of above. The crack, flakes, and chips became the reasons I stopped skating this deck.

Days Skated:

35 days altogether it was 68.5 hours. I thought this deck would have got me closer to the 45 days or 108 hour mark and compare closer to the Santa Cruz VX deck. It didn’t.

I was able to skate the VX deck 37% longer than the flight deck.
I was even able to skate the Almost Impact light slightly longer than the Powell Flight deck, and it was around $20 cheaper.

The Cons:

  1.  The deck is .1 inches wider than how it was marked right over the trucks. I ordered an 8.0″ deck and it is 8.1″ right over the trucks. That makes getting used to flip tricks more challenging.
  2. Its tail wears like every other wooden deck. It is eventually going to get razor tail.
  3. It is about $25-$30 more expensive than a traditional 7-ply maple deck.
  4. The wood in the center between the carbon layers was weak enough to crack vertically.

The Pros:

  1. It is much stronger than a normal maple deck.
  2. No pressure cracks.
  3. It is a strong skateboard deck that will hold its shape for you as long as it doesnt chip or cracks vertically first.

Overall Rating of the Powell Peralta Flight Skateboard Deck

Considerations Rating Out 5
Strength of Skate Deck 4.4
Wood Quality (Chips / Splinters / Breaks) 3.8
Pop 4.5
Shape & Feel of the Deck 4.6
Overall Quality 4.5

Editor’s Rating:  out of 5 stars 4.36 out of 5 stars

I wrote a full Powell Flight Deck Review too. If you want to learn more about the deck, I recommend you check that out too.

To Buy a Powell Flight Deck

These are often out of stock, so please make sure the product’s title says the word flight in it. It is easy to wind up on a non-flight deck Powell board’s product page instead.

Or you can also find these at Amazon too.
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The Girl Pop Secret Deck

Girl Pop Secret Strong Skateboard Deck

Size I Skated:

8″ x 31.875″ The Girl G008 shape. “Round nose and tail, straight rail. The go-to 8″ shape since 2000.”

Price paid:

$71 shipped without grip tape here.


The Girl Pop Secret Deck has one carbon fiber layer with seven thinner plies of North American maple.  

My first impression of the deck was that it was slightly heavier than the Santa Cruz VX deck I skated right before it. This is because of the extra two maple plys the Pop Secret has that the VX does not. The overall feel between the two decks was very similar, though. 

The Girl Pop Secret feels firm while still being forgiving when you stand on it. It feels like a normal skate deck that has that crispy new feeling every time you stand on it. True to its title, this deck has loads of pop. At one point skating this, I popped onto a high picnic table. For a 38-year-old skateboarder who is only 5′ 6″, we will chalk that up to this board gives you a springboard level of additional pop. 

Prior to skating this, I haven’t skated a Girl deck since 1997. This felt excellent underfoot. The shape was the stand-out feature for me. I got an 8.0″ x 31.8″ deck with the G008 shape. It was .2 of an inch longer than what I was used to. The nose and tail feel wider / more rounded. It is perfect for doing nose and tailslides. I enjoy concave in my skate decks. The concave of the Girl Pop Secret felt a little more mellow than the Santa Cruz VX deck.  

With only having one carbon fiber layer, I thought this would have been comparable to the Almost Impact Light Deck, and it wound up lasting me far beyond that deck before I swapped it out. 

This was insanely fun to skate, though. 

If you’re looking for one of the strongest skateboard decks and need a little extra pop, check out the Girl Pop Secret.

It looks like Girl and Chocolate have some Pop Secret skateboard decks back in stock here. These go fast, so scoop one up while they are in stock. From the review so far, I think you’ll like it.

How long did it last?

Forty-two days and it could have kept going. This means I swapped three days before I swapped out my VX deck. The VX lasted only a few hours longer.

Reason stopped skating:

The main reason I stopped skating this was due to a chip on my tail. I got the chip in the first five days of skating the deck. I went to do a frontside bluntslide on my element Flat Bar and must have hit the tail right on the edge of the rail. It was enough to do this to my board.

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I managed to use gorilla glue gel to put that chip back together, and I was fine for a few weeks. Then, it fell out again, and I wasn’t able to reattach the chip. The result was that the deck would catch when I tailslide, and the pop felt off for 360 flips. It started to get to me. Other than that, the board has razor tail. The excellent part is that it didn’t razor as fast as the others. The extra wood layers made the razor tail process slower than the other boards on the list.

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Would I buy another one?

Absolutely. This wound up being my second favorite deck on the list. The shape of the Girl Pop Secret is awesome, and at some point soon, I’ll get a Chocolate Pop Secret and see if there is any difference. This was a fun one to skate, though.

My synopsis:

The Girl Pop Secret is a composite/carbon fiber skateboard deck that adds more pop and resilience to a traditional 7-ply. This feels like skating the traditional deck with just that little something extra to it. It remains firm and feels the same every time you step on it for about the first month (it doesn’t get soggy or bounce when you stand on it).

Days Skated:

42 days. That makes it the board that lasted me the second-longest right behind the Santa Cruz VX deck. In terms of hours, that is about 52 hours I skated this board. It is still going strong. However, I am just ready to skate a new deck.

The Cons:

  • The wood base layer chipped easily.
  • It is about $10 – $15 more than a seven-ply normal skate deck. (and often sold out)
  • It does get pressure cracks and get the soggy feeling. However, it took over one month of steady skating for that to even begin. This is a firm deck that will feel consistent.
  • It does razor tail just like the others.
  • The extra plys make this heavier than the others.

The Pros:

  • Stronger than a traditional 7 ply maple deck
  • The razor tail process was slower than other decks reviewed due to there being more wood layers in this deck
  • It stayed firm longer than a traditional board
  • The coating they put over the graphic preserves it longer than most other decks. At times it felt like I had a slick.
  • The shape felt awesome

Overall Rating of the Girl Pop Secret Skateboard Deck

Considerations Rating Out 5
Strength of Skate Deck 4
Wood Quality (Chips / Splinters / Breaks) 3.9
Pop 4.8
Shape & Feel of the Deck 4.7
Overall Quality 4.5

Editor’s Rating:  out of 5 stars 4.4 out of 5 stars

Also check out my full Girl Pop Secret Skate Deck review

To Buy a Girl Pop Secret Deck

Lithe Nex & Slate Skateboard Decks

lithe nex skateboard deck

Size I Skated:

8.0″ x 32.09″ 

Price paid:

$109 shipped without grip tape.


The Lithe Nex Skateboard deck is a 5-ply Canadian maple deck reinforced with triaxial carbon. The part that I am not sure about is if that means that it has one or two carbon fiber layers. 

I am going to say that it only has one for the simple fact that this deck feels bouncier, by a long shot than the other skateboard decks listed above, which only have one carbon fiber layer. So, if it does have two carbon layers, it is far from feeling as stiff as the Powell Flight deck or Santa Cruz VX deck.

That is the entire challenge with Lithe decks. The stiffness is one of the primary reasons you would buy one of these decks. You buy it because you want the board to feel the same as the first day you step on it, and these decks arrive feeling soggy.

According to this other review, that is the same for the Slate decks, too. That review brought up a good point. It is probably more about the shape of the concave, feeling bouncy rather than the resilience of the materials used. Either way, it felt like I was stepping on a longboard and not a street deck. That is how noticeable the bounciness was for me.

My honest take on these decks is that I didn’t like how it felt under my feet. Now, in fairness to Lithe, I bought the less expensive Lithe Nex deck when I really wanted to try the Slate 3 deck. I did this purposely to see if I could first get used to the shape and tech used in their boards. I couldn’t, so I will not be reviewing the Lithe Slate 3 deck, which they promote as the strongest deck in their line. 

At the moment, Lithe only has one board press, so their boards all share the same length and wheelbase dimensions. It doesn’t matter if you buy the Nex or Slate 3 deck; both share these dimensions. 

Lithe Skate Deck length and width

The part I wish I paid more attention to was the shape of the concave and length of these skateboard decks.

I usually would ride an 8.0″ x 31.6″ with around a 14.22″ wheelbase. With how bouncy it is, it felt like I was riding a longboard-street board hybrid. The deck I got was a 8.0″ x 32.09″ with a 14.38″ wheelbase. While that doesn’t sound like much, it is with the shape of the deck. 

While it does have carbon fiber in it, this deck still chips. I was practicing my flip tricks and managed to get chips on the sides of my nose and tail. Lithe purposely made the perimeter of the deck wood so you don’t get carbon splinters. I think this takes away from the deck because it makes it more prone to chipping. 

Now all that aside, this deck has one giant selling feature going for it that I love. In every other carbon fiber skate deck that I’ve reviewed, they all ended the same way. I got an extreme razor tail and had to swap out the skate deck for another one. With the Lithe deck, I am about 30 days in, and my tail has so much life still left in it. 

If I could get used to the shape and bounciness of this board, it probably would have been the longest-lasting board on the list. 

That said, just because this board didn’t suite my taste, doesn’t mean it won’t be great for you.

Here are some images and details to know.

The technology to reduce razor tail works. Here is a deck after 30 days (compare it to the Powell or Almost deck’s tails above because they were also skated for just as long).

Lithe Decks Razor Tail

The Nex deck chipped rather easily. This might be a case to try the Slate 3 deck instead. The green polymer technology runs 360 around the entire edge of that deck.

As for the Nex, the wood after the reinforced polymer nose or tail chipped away.

Lithe Nex Deck Chipping

Reason stopped skating:

I just couldn’t get used to it. I skated it for one month (about 30 hours), and I felt like I didn’t have the control I needed to skate safely.  

The chipping still wouldn’t be enough to stop another skater from riding this deck for months. I threw Gorilla Glue Gel in it, and it stayed down.

Would I buy another one?

No, the shape of these decks just isn’t for me. 

My synopsis:

I would only recommend Lithe skate decks if you are confident you can skate the board dimensions they offer and are open to a deck that does not feel stiff underfoot. 

The main benefit here is Lithe’s technology to reduce razor tail. It is fantastic! If Lithe cannot make other board dimensions, they should consider selling or sharing that patent with other board manufacturers. I can’t even imagine how long a Santa Cruz VX deck that didn’t get razor tail would last me. 

Until then, I would consider another board on this list. 

Days Skated:

Thirty days, and it still has a lot of days still left in it. I stopped skating it because I don’t like the way it feels.  

The Cons:

  1. It is double the price of a normal seven-ply maple skate deck.
  2. The decks do not offer a wide variety of dimensions.
  3. It is noticeably bouncy. It does not have the stiffness feel any of the other carbon fiber skateboard decks have.
  4. It will take a lot more time to get used to. Tricks I am confident with doing nearly every time became frustrating to do on this deck. 

The Pros:

  1. The technology used in the tail is to slow down the razor tail.  
  2. These decks have really good pop. 

Overall Rating of the Lithe Nex Skateboard Deck

Considerations Rating Out 5
Strength of Skate Deck 3.2
Wood Quality (Chips / Splinters / Breaks) 4
Pop 5
Shape & Feel of the Deck 3
Overall Quality 4.1

Editor’s Rating:  out of 5 stars 3.86 out of 5 stars

To Buy a Lithe Deck

Carbon Fiber Skateboard Considerations

Which is the strongest skateboard deck? (The conclusion)
Comparison: Santa Cruz VX Deck Vs. Powell Flight Deck
Are carbon fiber skateboard decks worth the money?
How do I prevent my skateboard deck from breaking?
Do carbon fiber skateboard decks get razor tail?
How do I prevent my skate deck from getting razor tail?

Comparing: Santa Cruz VX Deck Vs. Powell Flight Deck

Powell Flight Deck Santa Cruz VX Deck
Average Cost $80-$90 With Grip $80-90 With Grip
Composite / Has Carbon Layers 2 Composite / Carbon Layers + 5 Maple Layers 2 Composite / Carbon Layers + 5 Maple Layers
Stays Firm / Always Feels New X X
Chips and Splinters X X
Slides Well X X
Gets Razor Tail X X
Has Nice Pop X X
Gets Pressure Cracks
Is Durable / Won’t Break X (Mine Cracked Vertically, Though) X
Has the Better Shape X
Which Lasted Longest X
Which Would You Buy Again X
Has the Better Quality Wood X
Made in the USA X
Sells Out Quickly X X
Where to Buy Buy Now Buy Now

So what is the strongest skateboard deck?

The Santa Cruz VX deck is the strongest skate deck with the best shape. Out of this entire review, the VX deck lasted me the longest.

The Girl Pop Secret skate deck was a close runner up lasting me a mere three days less than VX deck.

So do you need a carbon fiber skateboard?

Deck companies are adding in carbon and other propriety layers along with maple now. The Santa Cruz VX or Powell Flight Deck are the strongest. The Santa Cruz VX was my favorite of the decks I reviewed because it lasted me significantly longer, and I liked the shape enough to buy two of them. Beyond being the strongest skateboard deck, there are few other things you will need to consider, though. While you might have a strong deck to minimize the likelihood that you will break it, these boards still get normal wear of their shape and are prone to razor tail, just like a traditional maple ply skateboard.

On a side note, if you are just learning to skateboard, you might not need one these reinforced decks as they are $20 to $30 more expensive, and you won’t be landing that hard on your deck. Check out our best skateboards for beginners guide to find some less expensive options that are beginner-friendly.

Now get out there and go skate!

Are carbon fiber skateboard decks worth the money?

Yes. Skateboards with reinforced carbon fiber layers cost around $20 more than a normal maple ply skateboard deck, and they will last you twenty to fifty percent longer than a normal skateboard deck.

Carbon fiber skateboard decks are worth the money because they retain their shape and pop much longer than normal skateboard decks. Additionally, they are ten to twenty times more unlikely to break if you land directly on the board’s tail or in the center of the deck.

How do I prevent my skateboard deck from breaking?

The best way to prevent any skateboard from breaking is to land directly over the bolts that mount your trucks to your deck. As you land, make sure your feet are over the bolts of your trucks.

That can take some practice, so before you ollie off something that is high off the ground, take some time to get familiar with where your feet should be while you practice landing over your bolts. Do your tricks on flat ground and pay close attention to landing with your feet over the bolts of your trucks as you land. Practice landing over your bolts until it feels natural, and then you are ready to take the impacts of a higher drop without your board breaking.

Do carbon fiber skateboard decks get razor tail?

Yes. All skateboards that wooden layers will get razor tail naturally when your tail hits the ground to pop your tricks. These carbon fiber decks like the Powell Flight or Santa Cruz VX deck still have more wooden layers than carbon fiber layers, so they still get razor tail. You can slow the process of getting razor tail down by being mindful of how often your scrape your tail against the ground. Don’t let your nose or tail drag against the ground for extended periods.

How do I prevent razor tail?

You can prevent razor tail by not dragging your tail against the ground as you skate. Don’t drag your tail to stop moving. Instead, poot your shoe down to slow yourself. When practicing manuals, if your tail starts to scrape against the ground, step off your board.

Santa Cruz VX Skate DeckSanta Cruz VX Strongest Skate DeckSee Sale Price
Almost Impact Light Skateboard DeckAlmost Impact Light SkateboardSee Sale Price
Powell-Peralta Flight DeckPowell Flight skate deckSee Sale Price
Girl Pop Secret Skateboard DeckGirl Skateboards Pop Secret DeckSee Sale Price

Last Updated:
5/22/2024 at 7:23 AM – I added the Enjoi Impact Light skate deck to the list.