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Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Toy Machine Fiberprime decks ($59)

Two classic Toy Machine boards that feature the Fiber Prime treatment for their top layers

Almost ten years ago, Lib Technologies (yes, the snowboarding company) decided to dip its fingers into the skate market with decks comprised of thin fiberglass layers. The layers, serving as the top and bottom plies of traditional 7-ply hard-rock maple decks, helped disperse the force of impact and bolster the board's strength. Though the technology was arguably superior, the skate community wasn't ready to embrace a change -- especially one that came from a perceived "outsider." But times have changed, and now a few core respected skate companies, including Tum Yeto distribution's Toy Machine and Foundation, are manufacturing boards with varying plies of polymers and synthetics added to the maple and resin blend to give kids options for a potentially longer-lasting, stronger deck.

Two classic Toy Machine boards that feature the Fiber Prime treatment for their top layers

Fiberprime is one of Tum Yeto's answers to the request for stronger boards. A layer of woven thermal poly-ply is added as the top veneer of a deck with six veneers of hard rock maple beneath. With the special ply as the top sheet (the one you cover with griptape), the board retains a stiff feel even after weeks of skating. The bottom layer, meanwhile, looks and slides the same as any other traditional 7-ply maple deck.

I can personally attest to the quality of these Fiberprime decks. I'm currently riding a Fiberprime Josh Harmony pro model from Toy Machine, and after two weeks of solid street skating, it still feels nearly as stiff and responsive as a brand new deck. But you don't have to take my word for it. Toy Machine and Fallen pro Billy Marks rides the FiberPrime boards on the regular, and he will question your intelligence if you're not backing what he believes to be a superior product. "Toy Machine Fiberprime boards are lighter, stronger and have more pop," he says. "You're an idiot if you don't ride one."

As with any deck or essential skateboard hardgoods purchase, the first place you should look is your local skate shop. Supporting core shops that support skating is always the best look. If you can't find the boards there, or if you don't have a decent shop in the vicinity, you can always grab what you need from shops with a solid online store like Kinetic Skateboarding, NJ Skateshop and The Skatepark of Tampa.