Friday, May 15, 2009

Wood: China vs. Mexico vs. USA

I've got these three decks. All of them are the same in most aspects (width, wheel base, concave, nose length and steepness) and pretty close in all the rest (shape, tail length and steepness). The primary difference is the country it was pressed in and based on Wednesday's post, it's gonna be PS Stix - USA vs. Bareback - MEX (Assuming Alien is only using one woodshop in Mexico) vs. Random China woodshop. Let's see how they hold up.

I've already been out with the China Black Label for three sessions (roughly two hours each) at my local plaza. This is my first China made deck. The wood seems a bit soft... it's denting up a lot faster than I would expect but at the same time, the pop I get from it seems fine, not soggy feeling. There are stress cracks all over the damn board in places I typically never see them. The heat transfer is chipping all over as well.

fwiw, I break 90% of my boards... and that's primarily skating flatground or doing tricks into or out of mellow banks. The last board I had was a PS Stix USA deck that lasted forever and never broke, not even cracked. It was one of those boards that seemed to get better with age.


Brad K. said...

Thanks for documenting this for us. I've wondered how big of a quality difference there is.

I'm pretty loyal to Girl/Chocolate boards, but the last few decks I've had have those same stress cracks that Black Label has. It doesn't seem to effect much but its always a bummer. Aren't those made in the USA?

Keith said...

yeah... I rode a lot of Girl and Choco boards in the late 90's but I've moved away from their boards because I found them too flat and to me, they generally got soft faster than I expected. Obviously this was a long time ago. 10+ years. Definitely two of my favourite companies though. Great teams with solid art direction.

I've heard that all Crailtap companies are pressed in China but I have no proof. They don't have any country identifier on their decks. I've even heard some crazy talk that the team riders get decks that are pressed in the USA while the ones that go to shops are the China ones. Once again, no proof, just rumours.