If you're a skateboarder, then surely by now you have at least heard of blank skate decks. Boards that are sold are made by big name companies like Element, Zero, Plan B, Almost, and Baker all have appealing graphics and sometimes intricate artwork, but you'd be hard-pressed to find any of these brands making blank skate decks. This is mainly because the designs on the bottoms of boards are a big part of the skateboarding culture. Most enthusiasts of this sport won't fully appreciate their favorite hobby unless it can somehow reflect their personal taste, in this case with graphics that attract certain types of people.
What are Blank Skate Decks?
Just in case you aren't familiar with them, let's take a moment to go over what they are. As mentioned before, most skateboards have their own unique artwork and designs, whether it's a weird looking character surrounded by a vibrant background, or something as simple as the brand's logo. Blank skate decks are just how they sound; they're skateboards with a plain bottom that can either be colored or not.
There are only a few companies to choose from if you're looking for these. Most of the other big brand names get the majority of their sales based on the graphics themselves and not so much the performance of the boards. Moose and CCS are the two top dogs when it comes to blank skate decks, but there are numerous other lesser-known companies out there as well. A lot of times, skateparks will have blank skate decks for sale if you happen to snap the one you're riding while you're there. These can be made either by the skateparks or from other sources.
Advantages of Buying Blank Skate Decks
So what's the point of buying a board that looks so basic, boring and plain? Well, what's the point of buying a board solely on its looks when you know the graphics are eventually going to fade away anyway? Whether you're riding blank skate decks, or one with the most amazing artwork ever displayed on a piece of wood with wheels, the only thing you should be worried about is the performance and durability aspects.
Having fantastic designs on the bottom of your board doesn't make it better by any means. One advantage of buying the plain old boring ones is that you don't have to pay that extra $20 to $30 for that fancy design that's only going to last a month or two if you're lucky. The best part of all is that as long as you buy from a reputable company like CCS or Moose for instance, blank skate decks perform just as well or better than any brand-name product no matter how awesome it looks. So essentially you're getting the same performance and durability for almost half the price. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
Another great thing about blank skate decks is that if you're an artist--hell, even if you're not--you can create and customize the bottom of it to your liking. All you need is some acrylic paint and some clear coat enamel if you want to freehand it, or you could use transfer paper like graphite to trace another design onto the blank skate decks and then color it in later. How many other people do you know have their own personalized skateboard?
If you find out you have a knack for designing graphics on blank skate decks, you could easily make a profitable little business out of it, especially if you live in an area with a lot of other skateboarders. Make up a bunch of amazing designs and show everyone around town and start taking requests and charging people. You could charge $50 per board, which is pretty cheap compared to the popular brands, and still make a $20 to $30 profit on each sale. After you start getting good at that, you can increase your income by creating an eBay account and selling blank skate decks online.
Disadvantages of Blank Skate Decks
There really aren't too many significant disadvantages to list, surprisingly. The main thing is that there is no feeling of brand loyalty with these plain, boring boards. I myself have been an avid skateboarder for over 10 years, and I know a thing or two about brand loyalty. Ever since I picked up the sport, I have ridden Black Label. For some reason I was attracted to their graphics from Day One. It's odd, but it happens to nearly everyone.
For me, it's a little bit of an extreme case. While I have had other kinds such as blank skate decks and even a Blind Eternal Life, my loyalty for Black Label is so deep that I even have the flame logos tattooed on the insides of each of my wrists. Does this sound like something that someone would do if they preferred blank skate decks? Of course not, but I'm not even sure if this should be listed as a disadvantage. The tattoos do make me happy because I am always reminded of my roots, even during the busiest parts of my life. However, this is all relative, and may not be as big of a deal in some people's eyes.
Where to Buy Blank Skate Decks
Earlier in this article I mention that skateparks often sell these for when you snap yours, although there are many more places to buy blank skate decks than this. Skateshops are also a great place to check, but the best way of finding the biggest selection for the cheapest prices is to look online.
CCS is not only one of the best companies that make these kinds of boards, they're also one of the best online skateshops to buy from. They have an impressive array of cheap blank skate decks on sale all the time. With a fantastic history of customer service, competitive prices, and awesome sales like free shipping, CCS is definitely getting a recommendation from me.
There are literally dozens of other online stores that sell blank skate decks and they all have different prices, selections, and sales, so be sure to shop around and take a few minutes to compare so you know you're getting the best deal. It's better than driving around town shopping and comparing all day, anyway!