When most people think of bamboo, they know it as the reedy plant pandas—or the expensive, decorative flare suburb moms use to decorate their screened-in porches. That’s why it’s been so crazy to see the rise in popularity for skateboards made of bamboo! Bamboo is both a brand and a material and we’re gonna give you the run down on how it all works.
Most skateboards are made from Canadian maple trees. However, in recent years the trend to make skateboards out of the strong, reed has become really popular! There’s a bunch of benefits bamboo has over wood. First, it’s more eco-friendly. It takes a lot less time for bamboo to grow (a year) than it does for a tree to reach maturity (15 years). Bamboo decks are lighter, yet in some respects, they’re sturdier. They last longer than maple decks and they’re more durable to punishment of grinds and tricks. They’re also great for composite materials, so a lot of bamboo decks are made from a mixture of bamboo and fiberglass.
The disadvantages of a bamboo deck are the “flex” riders experience in the center of the deck. People describe this as a trampoline like feeling that make the deck bend strangely in the middle. Some riders actually prefer this feeling, however, and think that it lends itself to getting more air when doing tricks. It’s all up to personal preference. The other disadvantage bamboo has over maple is that bamboo decks are a little bit more expensive. Since they’re more durable, though, this isn’t the worst tradeoff.
We picked our favorite bamboo decks so you can get your own and try it out. If you like these better, you’ll be riding the wave of the future as raw maple prices increase while raw bamboo prices decrease.
Bamboo Skateboards Hard Good Blank Short Board, 8, Natural
This is the basic model of a Bamboo deck, without any graphic, components, or even grip tape. It has everything you want from a bamboo board though, and the coolest thing about the Bamboo brand is they offer this vanilla deck in literally every size manufactured. It’s got 6 ply bamboo and maple hybrid so you get the positives of bamboo without the negatives, and it’s shaped in a deep concave for the best control while riding and taking hard turns. If you’re new to the bamboo game, this is the one to get!
Bamboo Skateboards Diamond Graphic Skateboard Deck with a 6 Ply Bamboo and Maple Hybrid Build
The step above the basic is the Diamond Graphic models. You get the bamboo and the maple hybrid for the most pop possible. You’ll be able to the hardest tricks and get as much air as possible using this deck. It’s also a really affordable pro-deck that allows riders to get the best skateboarding experience without breaking the bank. Plus, the graphic is the Bamboo label—a newcomer to skateboarding brands, but sure to be a classic in the years to come.
Bamboo Skateboards Hard Good Blank Long Board
If you prefer longboards, don’t worry about getting left out. Bamboo makes longboards too! This model in particular earned an award in 2012 as the best longboard available because it’s so top notch. It has the strength and flex of bamboo as this deck is 100% bamboo and fiberglass. You’ll have to supply your own trucks, wheels and bearings, but once you get the deck set up you’ll be cruising all over town. It’s got almost entirely positive reviews on Amazon and customers are happy with how great this deck performs long after purchase.
As the industry starts dealing with the rising price of Canadian maple trees, there will need to be an alternative material for making boards. Bamboo seems to be that alternative. It’s easy to grow, relatively cheap to manufacture, and works great with other materials for composite decks. The Bamboo brand is leading the charge in building quality decks made out of this reed. They have the plain, blank shortboard model that’s the perfect option for trying out a deck. They have a variety of higher-priced graphic decks that still look cool while maintaining the bamboo/maple hybrid composition. Finally, the Bamboo longboards are quickly becoming the industry standard, as one of the best decks for speed, weight, durability, and cost. Try out a Bamboo deck for yourself and see if you like the new way it feels! You’ll be as cool as a panda!