With the increasing popularity of skateboarding, the demand for high-quality skateboards has also increased. Two popular materials used to make skateboards are bamboo and maple. Both materials have their own advantages and disadvantages. But, which type of skateboard is right for you?
If you are looking for a durable and flexible skateboard that is easy to carry around, then bamboo is the best choice. And, if a sturdy skateboard is your priority that can perform tricks, then maple is the best choice.
Do you want to know more about these two materials? keep reading! I’ll provide a more in-depth comparison of bamboo and maple skateboards. I’ll also discuss why people might choose one material over the other.
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- Bamboo Skateboards
- Maple Skateboards
- Differences Between Bamboo vs. Maple Skateboard
- Comparison Table
- Bamboo Skateboard vs Maple Skateboard: Insights from Manufacturers
- Is Chinese Maple Good for Skateboards?
- Popular Maple Skateboard Brands
- Popular Bamboo Skateboard Brands
Bamboo skateboards are becoming increasingly popular as people become more aware of the environmental impact of traditional skateboards.
Bamboo is a fast-growing plant that is known for its strength and flexibility. Skateboard manufacturers have taken advantage of these properties to create high-quality skateboards.
They’re crafted using various types of bamboo, each with its own personality. The most common type is Moso bamboo, which is known for its strength and durability. Another type of bamboo that is sometimes used in skateboards is Guadua bamboo, which is known for its flexibility and shock absorption.
Some manufacturers also use hybrid bamboo, a delightful concoction of bamboo and other sturdy materials, striking a balance between durability and performance. It could be either fiberglass or maple wood.
Bamboo skateboards are lightweight, flexible, stronger, and environmentally friendly. However, some experienced skateboarders (like me) find these decks less efficient for performing tricks.
Maple skateboards are popular among pro skaters because of their pop, which is the ability to perform tricks. Crafted from layers of hard maple, these decks are reliable and showcase a timeless appeal that's as classic as your favorite pair of worn-out sneakers.
Although there are different types of maple wood, but we mostly see the decks made of hard maple wood (Rock Maple) because it delivers an unbeatable combination of strength and durability.
Maple skateboards are the undisputed champions when it comes to durability. Maple is a tough nut to crack, ensuring your board can withstand countless ollies, kickflips, and the harshest wipeouts. They boast a remarkable balance of weight and stability. Their rigidity offers precise control, making them a favorite among professional shredders.
However, let's not skate past the drawbacks. Maple boards tend to be a little heavier compared to bamboo boards.
Differences Between Bamboo vs. Maple Skateboard
As someone who has ridden both bamboo and maple skateboards, let me break down the differences between these two titans.
Bamboo skateboards are typically lighter than maple skateboards, allowing for nimble maneuvers and effortless flips. This is because bamboo is a hollow tube, while maple is a solid wood. This can be a major advantage for people who want a lightweight skateboard that is easy to carry around.
On the other hand, maple skateboards tend to be slightly heavier, providing a solid and stable feel under your feet.
Read about the lightest skateboard decks in 2023.
Bamboo skateboards excel in the flexibility department. This is because bamboo is a natural material that is more prone to bending. This can be an advantage for people who want a skateboard that is comfortable to ride on rough terrain.
Maple skateboards, while not as flexible, offer a stiffer ride, providing precise control and stability for technical tricks.
It's a clash of the titans in terms of strength. I personally believe that maple skateboards are stronger than bamboo. They possess unparalleled strength and are capable of withstanding the hardest skateboarding tricks and grinds.
Bamboo skateboards, although resilient in their own right, may not match the sheer brute force of maple.
However, some people believe that bamboo is actually stronger than maple. This is because bamboo has a higher tensile strength, which is the ability to resist being pulled apart. But this characteristic only holds the deck together, does not make it stop to get cracked over hard landings!
When it comes to durability, maple skateboards have the upper hand. These sturdy beasts are built to endure countless sessions of high-impact skating without showing signs of wear and tear.
Bamboo skateboards, while durable in their own way, might not have the same longevity as their maple competitors. They may wear out a bit faster, especially under intense riding conditions.
If you are a skater on the heavier side, weight capacity becomes a crucial consideration. In this regard, maple skateboards win the battle. With their robust construction, they can handle more weight without compromising performance. It can support riders up to 300 lbs. (136 kg)
Bamboo skateboards, while still capable of accommodating various rider sizes, may have slightly lower weight capacities. This is because bamboo is a hollow tube, while maple is a solid wood. Records show that a bamboo board can accommodate a rider with a maximum weight of 220 lbs. (99.8 kg).
Here's where bamboo takes the sustainability spotlight. Bamboo skateboards come from a rapidly renewable resource that grows quickly and requires little water. Bamboo is also known for absorbing ample amounts of carbon dioxide and releasing extra oxygen.
By opting for bamboo, you are making an eco-conscious choice and reducing your carbon footprint.
Maple skateboards, while not as environmentally friendly, typically come from sustainably managed forests, ensuring responsible sourcing. Plus, maple trees take many years (7 to 10 years) to grow and require a lot of water.
In terms of cost, bamboo skateboards often offer a more budget-friendly option. They provide excellent value for money, allowing skaters to enjoy high-quality rides without emptying their wallets.
On the other hand, maple skateboards may come with a slightly higher price tag, reflecting their durability, reputation, and premium craftsmanship.
Read about how much a skateboard costs along with its hidden expenses.
Here are some additional things to consider when choosing between a bamboo and maple skateboard:
- Your skill level: If you are a beginner, you may want to choose a maple skateboard. Maple skateboards are more durable and can handle more abuse than bamboo skateboards.
- The type of terrain you will be riding on: If you will be riding on rough terrain, you may want to choose a bamboo skateboard. Bamboo skateboards are more flexible and can absorb more shock than maple skateboards.
- Your budget: If you are on a budget, you may want to choose a maple skateboard. There are various maple skateboards available on the market at affordable prices.
To provide a clear overview of the differences between bamboo and maple skateboards, here's a comparison table:
|Factors||Bamboo Skateboards||Maple Skateboards|
|Strength||Holds together nicely||Stronger|
|Durability||Built to outlast time||More durable|
|Weight Capacity||Lower capacity||Higher capacity|
|Environmental Impact||Lower impact||Higher impact|
|Cost||More expensive||Less expensive|
Bamboo Skateboard vs Maple Skateboard: Insights from Manufacturers
Now, here's where things get interesting. Manufacturers, those masterminds behind the scenes, have some juicy insights for us.
Bamboo skateboard decks often hail from the land of Kung Fu and pandas, yes, China. This allows for efficient manufacturing and a steady supply of bamboo skateboard decks.
However, maple trees mostly grow in North America, and cutting them in abundance can be harmful to the environment. And who knows when the government will make a ban on cutting maple trees!
Manufacturers conduct physical performance comparisons between bamboo and maple decks, assessing factors such as shock absorption, pop, sustainability, and overall riding experience. These tests help determine the specific advantages and limitations of each material in terms of performance and rider preference.
Is Chinese Maple Good for Skateboards?
Chinese maple has made its mark in the skateboard world, thanks to its affordability. It's like finding a sweet deal at a dollar store! However, when it comes to quality, opinions are as divided as a split lip after a gnarly wipeout.
Here's the deal: Some Chinese maple decks meet the necessary standards for strength and durability, delivering a decent ride. It's like a budget-friendly date that surprises you with a good time!
But beware, not all Chinese maple skateboards are created equal. Some decks may suffer from inconsistent construction, like a wobbly wheel on a shopping cart. That can affect your performance and leave you feeling like a wobbly mess on the halfpipe.
If you are a pro seeking top-tier performance, Chinese maple might not be your cup of tea. You know, like trying to win the X Games with a rusty scooter. It's just not going to make it.
So, for casual riders, beginners, or those on a tight budget, Chinese maple can be a decent option. But if you crave the best of the best, you might want to invest in decks made from premium maple sources, like North American or Canadian maple.
Popular Maple Skateboard Brands
Here are the popular maple skateboard brands known for their quality and craftsmanship:
- Santa Cruz Skateboards
- Powell Peralta
- Plan B Skateboards
- Element Skateboards
- Girl Skateboards
- Almost Skateboards
- Zero Skateboards
- Baker Skateboards
- Toy Machine Skateboards
- Real Skateboards
Popular Bamboo Skateboard Brands
Some popular bamboo skateboard brands known for their quality and eco-friendly approach:
- Bamboo Skateboards
- Arbor Collective
- Loaded Boards
- Sector 9
- Bustin Boards
Read detailed reviews of best skateboard brands.
In the debate between bamboo and maple skateboards, both materials have their unique advantages and drawbacks. Bamboo skateboards are lightweight, flexible, strong, durable, and have a lower environmental impact. They are suitable for riders who prioritize flexibility and sustainability, though at a higher cost.
On the other hand, maple skateboards offer strength, durability, stiffness, and a more affordable price range. They are favored by riders who prefer a stiffer board, require higher weight capacity, and have a wider range of brand options.
Ultimately, the choice between bamboo and maple skateboards depends on your personal preferences, riding style, type of skateboarding, and budget. Whether you choose bamboo or maple, the joy of skateboarding remains, and both materials can provide an exhilarating experience on the streets or at the skate park.
Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)
Which is better, bamboo or maple?
The answer depends on your preferences and needs. Bamboo skateboards are lightweight, flexible, and eco-friendly. On the other hand, maple skateboards offer exceptional strength, durability, and a wide range of options.
Consider your riding style, desired characteristics, and environmental considerations to determine which is better suited for you. Speaking from my experience, I think maple skateboards are better in terms of performance.
What is stronger, maple or bamboo?
Maple is generally considered to be stronger than bamboo. Maple skateboard decks are popular for their robustness and ability to withstand the rigors of skateboarding.
Is bamboo or maple longboard better for dancing?
Both bamboo and maple longboards can be suitable for dancing, but it often comes down to personal preference. Bamboo longboards tend to have more flex, which can enhance the flow and fluidity of dance moves. Maple longboards, on the other hand, offer greater stability and responsiveness.
What is a maple skateboard?
A maple skateboard refers to a skateboard deck made primarily from layers of maple wood. Maple skateboard decks are widely used in the skateboarding industry due to their resilience and ability to handle high-impact tricks and maneuvers. The layers of maple veneer are bonded together to form a sturdy and reliable skateboard deck.
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