Element Skateboards Review:
Finding the correct skateboard equipment is really important because it helps increase your comfort when you’re skateboarding, and I always wanted an Element board so here’s my review to help you out. To be clear, I purchased one complete skateboard directly from Element and then I also purchased two additional Element decks from them. Here’s how I got on.
Brand and Model Information
Elements been around a while, and I know this because back in the 2000’s when I first started I knew of them and one of my favourite introductions to any skate video is the one in elementality. However I knew they were a premium deck and I never had any cash when I was younger, so now I’m buying into Element and really giving them a test.
What Element skateboard equipment I purchased is below…
Note: The complete is what I started to ride, then I moved the trucks and wheels etc to the other decks as I needed to move on.
Design and Graphics:
Out of the three decks I purchased, I really liked the Hiero and the Ethan Loy Shadow designs. I’m not sure what it was about the Disconnect Water deck, but even though it lasted the longest, I just didn’t seem to enjoy the look of it once I had it. All three designs did have one good thing for sure. They were painted in a single direction, and what I mean by this, is that if I flipped the board over I could tell what was the nose and tail based on the design. I like it when I can do this. None of the designs wore off very fast either, so they’ve been applied incredibly well.
Construction and Material:
I believe all the Elements decks were made from 100% maple wood, they also all had 7 layers to them, so they should be strong. I also ensured that when testing I purchased all the decks of the same size, so they were all 8.25 in width. I did purchase my own grip and apply it, because the two decks I purchased separately from Element, arrived with no grip on them. I am going to leave the durability of the decks to the performance section, so see information there.
Deck Shape and Concave:
Overall shape wise, I felt that I could see the difference between the nose and the tail, which was good. The concave, I cant say much for the Heiro deck because it didnt last too long, but the Ethan Loy and the Disconnect Water ones, were pretty good for me. I wasnt over flipping or under flipping very often on them. I also found that when I pop I wasnt having the board automatically flip due to higher concave, so the company Element uses to press the decks is not too bad for this.
Keep in mind, these are your standard pop sickle Element skateboards, not cruisers or long boards, so there shouldnt be anything strange about them.
Heiro Element Deck Performance Review
Performance is where these get interesting. Day 1 of the Heiro and it snapped, I couldnt believe what I was seeing. I did a 15 minute warm up and it was cracked already after this. I was absolutely shocked, my first element deck and it lasted so little time. Please note I am not a pro. I was in a concrete park and I did a little drop (1ft), and I could hear the deck crack.
Ethan Loy Shadow Element Deck Performance Review
After the Heiro cracked, I couldnt ride it, I just didnt feel safe. One kickflip and I figured my foot would go through the deck. My ankles are worth more than that. I therefore moved the element trucks and wheels over to the Ethan Loy Shadow Element deck and got started. I had obviously lost confidence in the brand by this point and started out with some concern. However I started to build up my confidence again and started to trust the Ethan Loy deck. It lasted me about 3-4 months (skating once a week), and it snapped quite spectacularly on a set of stairs that was 4 steps in height. I am a good 80kg, so I can’t complain about it much.
Disconnect Water Element Deck Performance Review
I’m riding the Disconnect Water Element deck now and it’s lasted me 6 months so far. I have not tried to ollie down any stair sets with it though. After 6 months, there’s been no cracks appear and I feel like I may have another month or so out of it, but I can feel that the pop is starting to leave. I can still get a good 2ft ollie, but it feels like I have to put a lot of effort into it. The concave and the ride itself feels nice still. I think if anything it’s survived about as well as my Zoo York deck did.
Riding all three of these element decks, I cant say I noticed much of a difference in the weight of them. They likely all come from the same manufacturer and they’re all using the same materials. What I will say is that they dont feel heavy, except when I transitioned from using 52mm wheels over to using 56mm wheels, I honestly struggled with getting flips completed.
I’ve been riding the element decks harder than I did with the Zoo York before I switched and I’m honestly surprised by the lack of chipping in the decks. My experience is the element skateboards either survive quite well, or they crack easily (possibly an adhesive issue with the glue between the layers of plywood). The design on the bottom seems to survive quite nicely but the tail does wear down into a razor tail quite fast (I think that may say more about how long I’m trying to make the decks last and my riding style though).
Price and Value for Money
Are element decks good value for money? If the board survives beyond it’s first ride then yes, value for money is great because if you buy direct from Element, they have some fantastic sales. Therefore watch out for a good sale. The Trucks have held up really well over all of this time and they grind well.
A few things not mentioned here, which I feel need to be discussed include the support provided by Element. When I got my first board and it cracked after only 15 minutes of riding I was quite disappointed, so I reached out to Element and their support was first class.
The other parts provided with the complete skateboard set up I first purchased have survived a year of riding, however I have transitioned away from some parts. For example I purchased some OJ wheels, and I changed the bearings quite quickly to Reds Big Balls. Never the less the trucks have performed fantastically.
So are Element boards of a pro level, are they good value for money, what gives? I think if you’re a beginner, they’re great because you’ll not be doing anything that risks snapping a deck. If you’re a mid range skater like me, then it will depend on your skating style. E.g. stick with transition and you’re fine, go to street and you may experience a few problems with stair sets, gaps and drops. If you’re a pro, I’d probably avoid these, I dont think they’d last more than a few sessions if you’re giving them a good skate.