Plywood vs Solid wood

What would be the difference between a plywood deck and a solid wood deck? What would be the pros and cons of each? Also, what would be better for an e-board?

A plywood deck will be stronger than a solid wood deck. It’ll feel better too.

The laminations are what give a board it’s life, strength and personality. I’ve never ridden a solid wood deck, but if I had to guess, it would feel dead and eventually disintegrate.

Solidwood can crack and warp much more easily than plywood. Plywood allows you to go thinner, have more even flex and more strength. Solid wood can look really nice.

I’ve never rode plywood, but I can say that my 1.5 inch plank of solid wood feels a lot smoother than my arbor deck ever did, even without any flex.

Haven’t made solid wood decks to start out, I can say @psychotiller hit the nail on the head. You loose the personality and board feel with solid wood decks. Due to the lack of concave, your feet don’t have anything to lock into. When you accelerate, the only thing keeping your feet to the board is the grip tape. You also need way thicker decks with solid wood, as they are weaker.

I’m started laminating boards this past summer, and rhe feeling of a laminated board from veneers feels sooo much better, just night and day. It’s more expensive, time consuming, and work to use veneers. But it is the best way to make a board IMO. You also get a slight flex feeling, which is nice.

1 Like

Sounds great, but isn’t flex not good for electronic longboards?

Depends on the build. If you split your case like Boosted, you’re all good with flex. If your case runs the length of your deck, you generally want a stiff deck, but that also depends on your build. You can use a battery and case that has flex points as well. Even without flex points, with the right case and battery placement, a little flex may be fine.

Which one doesn’t have flex?

I’ve built both Maple ply and solid decks, so I can tell you what’s really up. They are quite responsive, but are more prone to vibrations and road noise. Depends on the wood species characteristics. I have made some 3pc boards for people that are made from solid maple and teak that are fucking awesome. A couple of one piece and a 5 piece one with maple and walnut stripes. for Non-electric application…With a multipiece solid wood board, you can stagger the pieces when you glue them up so that you can get the basic concave effect and clean it up with an angle grinder. Alternate straight and quartersawn grain orientation for strength. Nothing more beautiful than solid wood finished properly. IMO Oh yeah, I also made a couple of pine board prototype for ESK8. Too soft of wood… That said, I’m using multiply maple for ESK8 because you can’t beat the strength to weight ratio. Plus, you can more easily shape the concave without making a mountain of dust. Less of a headache to go with ply. Solid wood is a lot of work for just a single deck. Unless you are not looking for a great fit and finish you will be doing a lot more sanding and shaping with solid wood. I hope that helps! :v:

You can tune either to have zero flex with proper supports or fiberglass, kevlar, or carbon fiber laminations. Overall, good ol’ maple at 8-9ply will get you closer to no flex than an inch to inch and a half of solid. IMO

1 Like

Second that estimate.

I think little to no concave is the most comfortable maybe because I’m flat footed. My board had a lot of concave and feet what be sore and my legs cramped. So I added material to the center and removed heal side edge till it was most comfortable which was basically flat. Now I can ride much longer but the con is I’m more disconnected from the road because I don’t feel the road. Maybe a flat solid piece of wood wouldn’t be so bad.

In a lot of ways I totally agree with you. I’m a size 14 flat footer with mild metatarsalgia, so I feel your pain. Us flat footers go through a lot of pain and fatigue that people don’t realize. LOL My view on flat vs. concave has changed over the years. The big disadvantage for me with flat or no concave is the center of balance. On a flat board it feels more unstable and easy to tip one direction or the other. With a concave there is a slightly lower center of balance, more locked in feel and the concave makes the board structure quite a bit stiffer. From my experience riding different configurations I have found the best fit for a flat footer has to be the W concave. It gives a bit of midfoot support and makes the concave less fatiguing on the feet. With metatarsalgia, I wear inserts in my shoes that have a raised “bump” in the midfoot area that reduces the pressure on my metatarsal bones and keeps the nerves from getting pinched. The W concave serves a similar purpose for me. It gives me a WAY more natural feel and less fatigue. An added plus is that the added curves add even more to the structure/stiffness to the deck. Like ridges on a potato chip or corrugation on cardboard Here’s what I wear in my shoes. Like heaven for a flat footer. :slight_smile: And the W concave looks like a very similar thing.

I got one in the works right now with W concave that I’m experimenting with. Fresh off the presses.

1 Like

I tried different concaves using gorilla tape which works very well actually and even got a “implant” to make a W concave like you pictured that helped some. The thing that that worked for me is removing heel side edge. It’s nearly flat now. I think it works best because all the shocks from the road are distributed across the whole foot. You do loose almost all of the locked in feel but I think it’s a fair trade for being able to walk afterwards. The thing that makes it usable is having a foot stop or in my case a drop deck. Im surprised more people don’t use foot stops actually. you can make one out of a old bushing.

1 Like

For long rides, I prefer a flatter deck or minimal concave. One of my decks is a Landyachtz Switchblade and I had to flatten out the ends a bit to keep my feet from getting sore. My latest deck is a Funbox SuzieSlidethrough and it has a mild concave and no drop. I added a footstop in the back and a Tailbone in the front to lock my feet in. Works nearly as well as a drop.


@Ulfberht Hi! I read your replies and was wondering if there’s any media in which you can answer me some questions about solid wood uses in longboards. Thanks!