Which One Should I Buy? - Powell-Peralta Flight Deck or Traditional 7-Ply Maple

Which One Should I Buy? - Powell-Peralta Flight Deck or Traditional 7-Ply Maple

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Powell Peralta Flight decks have become super popular in the last 5 years and for good reason: they're awesome.

Powell Flight Deck Under Truck Load and Not Breaking

We don't recommend getting your skateboard run over by a car. But if you do, you better have a Flight Deck. 

There are many models to choose from in the Powell line up and oftentimes there is a Flight and Maple variety of the same shape/graphic. So which one should you choose? 

Flight Skateboard Decks

The Flight models are 5-10% lighter than maple, retain pop longer, resist dings, and are at least x2 stronger. The deck is also thinner, which is both a pro and con as the thinness+fiberglass means faster and sharper razor tail. The other downside is cost, which is about 10-20% more. 

At the time of this writing, all Flight Decks are manufactured directly by Powell-Peralta in their Santa Barbara factory. For the purist collectors, this can be a huge plus. 

You might be wondering how and why fiberglassed skateboards are stronger. Good question. Maple wood alone is pretty strong, but has a tendency to snap once it gets over extended.

The fiberglass prevents this from happening by creating a wood sandwich. Fiberglass connected to the maple plies with resin flexes under load and prevent the board from snapping. 

When the Powell Flight deck finally does fail, you can see the fiberglass exploding out of the resin.

When the deck finally does fail, you can see the fiberglass fibers bursting out of the resin. Pretty rad. 

Maple Skateboard Decks

Maple skateboard decks are tried and true. They have been around for years and pop/wear in a way that every skater is used to. Some riders actually still prefer maple decks for their feel. Lastly, maple is usually less expensive. 

Also because the maple decks are thicker, it can take longer to get razor tail. In our experience, fiberglass is stronger, but does not have much better abrasion resistant against the street than maple. The thinner Flight decks razor out faster than their maple brethren. 

Powell-Peralta maple decks are being manufactured in two places, either directly by Powell in Santa Barbara or in Mexico through their build partners

Powell Skateboard Guillotine

Despite being easily snapped by Powell's deck guillotine, some riders still like the all maple feel. 

Powell Flight Decks Powell Maple Decks
Construction Fiberglass/Maple 7-Ply Maple
Strength x2 stronger than standard Standard
Weight 5-10% lighter than standard Standard
Cost 10%+ more expensive Standard
Factory Santa Barbara Mexico and/or Santa Barbara


TL;DR If cost is not an issue for you, Flight is the superior skateboard deck. Flight will last longer than maple and retain that new board pop over a longer period of time. 

Got more questions? Talk to one of our skateboard pros by reaching out at help@stokedrideshop.com

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The opinions and views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Stoked Ride Shop. The author makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this work and specifically disclaims any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. The author shall not be liable for any damages, including, but not limited to, direct, indirect, incidental, punitive, special, consequential, or exemplary damages, even if Stoked Ride Shop has been advised of the possibility of such damages. Ride at your own risk and within your own limits.

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