Arguably, skateboarding was started in the 1950s, however according to the Googles, some believe it got it's beginnings in the 1940s. Either way, one thing we do know for sure. Some idiot took a plank of wood, threw some roller skates on it and said "hold my beer, watch this!" From that point on, "sidewalk surfing" was born.
Fast forward to the 1990s. A time that skateboarding was in what's known as it's "glory days". With my Wal-mart special Nash brand whale tail board, I was the king of the world! ... or at least the king of my own drive way. My brother and I would often sit on the board and scoot around until I was brave enough to stand up on it. Keep in mind, this was in a time when Facebook, Instagram and Youtube were not even a future thought process. In the early 90s, there was no one to teach us how to skate. No one to look up to. I didn't even know that true "skating" was a thing at that time... but, I digress...
In the 90s, you could get a deck for about $40 or $45 from your local skate shop - if you were lucky enough to have one. If not, the 90s were a great time to know CCS existed. You would get a catalog mailed to you and make your order based off the product number and size listed. In about 3 weeks, your new skateboard would arrive!
By the early 2000s, major brand stores like Zumiez *cough* support your local skateshop *cough* and the ability to buy boards in more cities came about. Also, the closing of local shops in cities that already had skate support began happening as well... Want to know the correlation?
In the early 2000s, you could pick up your favorite Zero deck for about $45. Real decks were about $45...
Moving on to about 2019, nationwide the trend of "small brands" had spread and it seemed like everyone and their dog had their own "brand". Skateboard factories had popped up on every side of the nation, in Mexico, Canada and about 40 in China. Most small brands were right around $40 for their decks. Most were good quality.
Then 2020 came around. An announcement was made in the Spring of 2020 telling us all that we were all going to die. A world wide pandemic was upon us. Now, no offense to anyone who lost someone in the pandemic - especially being it is still upon us- but, that is literally the attitude of the world rulers. Everything shut down, factories went to 0% production, then eventually up to about 25% production and finally to about 50% production world wide. By the Fall of 2020, the factories had opened back up fully for the most part but production was so backed up, unless you had millions of dollars to buy your way to the front, many brands had to wait 6-9 months for their product to ship.
In addition to this, it was not only the factories who were experiencing production issues. The north American lumber industry began falling behind for the same reasons.
Then, something that no one would have even believed would have happened. The housing market began to boom. It is unknown why the market boomed as much as it did, maybe it was due to the more leftist states restricting work, money and lively hood and more people were flooding out of places like California into states such as Texas... maybe it was that people were sick of being home with their families and they were deciding the home they lived in was not big enough... who knows!? What we do know is that houses began being built, renovations began getting started and wood sales nationwide skyrocketed. With the already low wood production, this created a heavy back order and wait time for wood and supply and demand became a very REAL factor.
Now at the time of writing this in April 2021, lumber costs have increased in the USA approximately 130%. Skateboards are made of wood which means Hard Canadian Maple, the wood of choice for skaters world wide, has taken a 130% increase in purchase cost. Factories have done all they can to hold back on handing the price increase over to brands and shops but unfortunately it is inevitable. The price increase IS COMING.
For 30 years, the average price tag of a deck has held firm at $40-$50. We have all become willfully accepted at the fact our most loved hobby / sport / escape has never increased it's cost while the rest of the world has gotten more expensive. Sadly, due to rising production costs, wholesale costs to your favorite skateshops will continue to rise. That means the retail cost will rise. And it should. Your local shop needs to keep it's doors open. We have all enjoyed low cost prices for so long, it is time for inflation, and the world in general, to catch up to us. I am not saying I want to pay more but it is time. Let's just hope that it does not go too high, because we can be honest. Over Priced Wood Sucks!