Powell Peralta Flight decks have become super popular in the last 5 years and for good reason: they're awesome.
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 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.
Despite being easily snapped by Powell's deck guillotine, some riders still like the all maple feel.
|Powell Flight Decks||Powell Maple Decks|
|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 firstname.lastname@example.org