Almost Skateboards has been a leading skateboard name since its creation in 2003. It was founded by skateboarding legends Rod Mullen and Daewoo Song. Before starting Almost Skateboards, Mullen was part of Enjoi (still alive today) while Song had created Artafact, a short-lived skate brand.
Almost Skateboards is part of Dwindle Distribution, one of the world’s top skateboarding product distributors whose brand portfolio include big names such as Blind, Darkstar, Enjoi, Andalé, Tensor, Dusters California, etc.
Almost skateboards – and other brands in the Dwindle realm – enjoy a very strong reputation in the skateboarding community, widely considered a high-end brand. Young skateboarders generally trust the brand due to the near-legend status of founder Rod Mullen and the high-profile names in the brand’s pro team.
Almost is perceived as authentic and made by skateboarders for skateboarders without compromise on quality. Many skateboarders praise the Almost decks for their shapes, durability, and pop, and are often willing to pay a premium price for these boards.
What riders have to say about Almost Skateboards
Almost Skateboards enjoys a very positive image among the younger skateboarding tribe. The brand derives a lot of its legitimacy from its owners and pro team on the one hand, and from its product quality on the other.
Many Almost skateboard fans feel proud of riding boards made by the godfather of skateboarding (Rod Mullen), the man who invented the modern skateboard shape and pioneered essential tricks such the ollie, the kickflip, heelflip etc. They also have a lot of respect for other Almost team members such as Younes Amrani, Max Geronzi, Yuri Facchini, and Cooper Wilt.
By buying the Almost brands, many skateboarders feel they’re joining the legendary hardcore skateboard tribe and community. They often get a sense of pride from skating that brand.
Almost Skateboards product quality
Besides the brand name, riders feel the quality of Almost decks and completes is basically guaranteed by Mullen and Daewon’s ownership. Both are hardcore skaters who take heavy tolls on the boards they ride, and Almost customers believe Almost decks are strong enough for such needs.
Skateboarders also praise the technology and processes used to make the Almost decks, e.g. using carbon fiber and specialized types of resin. They feel the boards stand out from the standard, commodity decks on the market.
Almost lovers often mention the brand keeps tight control over their manufacturing quality by operating their own facility vs outsourcing to external wood shops, resulting in stronger quality decks at a better price.
While Almost decks are about twice the price (around $60) of no-brand shop decks, riders feel the former typically last twice as long. Furthermore, the Impact series decks from Almost typically last 50% longer than the regular wood series – i.e. 45 days vs 30 days of intense high-impact riding.
Almost Skateboards compared to other skate brands
Many skaters feel their Almost deck is among the best decks they’re ridden, snappier and crispier than other boards. For them, Almost’s strong points are durability, lightweight, and pop – though some skateboarders feel that among decks made by Dwindle, only the Impact Series are strong enough for hardcore skating.
Some riders feel Almost decks are comparable to other top brands such as Darkstar, Enjoi, and Blind, which they believe also offer high-quality products, though with different shape features.
Skateboarders, however, may choose an Almost deck over a Plan B, for example, to support the brand’s pro team and founders Mullen and Song. Skaters who buy Almost skateboards often become repeat buyers.
While riders praise the durability of Almost decks, some find Powell Peralta flight decks even more durable, albeit more expensive. Flip is often mentioned as a close contender to Almost.
Riders sometimes choose Almost boards for their cool or humorous graphics, or for the DC, Hanna Barbera comics, or Marvel comics themes.
Skateboarders trust Almost’s product defect guarantee, which varies from 15 days to 90 days depending on deck material and construction. Riders who file guarantee claims are generally treated well and often get a replacement board.
One caveat skaters sometimes mention about Almost Skateboard decks is that each model has a different type of concave – e.g. Youness Amarani decks have steeper concave than Cooper decks. As a result, riders have no way to know how a deck will feel until they actually buy and ride it.
Almost Skateboards deck construction
Dwindle have long been operating their own manufacturing facility in China, called DSM Premium Woodshop. DSM evolves its manufacturing processes and materials through ongoing R&D, translating the pro teams’ input into improved deck shapes and performance.
DSM is vertically integrated and imports its own high-quality Canadian maple wood from the Great Lakes Region. This consistent sourcing, transit, and storage results in higher quality materials for Almost Skateboards and other Dwindle brands.
DSM uses its own proprietary epoxy glue for bonding wood veneers together, resulting in lighter, stiffer, longer-lasting decks with less give and warpage. The Almost decks are also single-pressed (vs 5 decks at a time) which means much higher consistency in the shape and feel of each deck, and cured in advanced deck curing facilities. The decks are also drilled with very high precision (digital) for finely-tuned leverage points.
Dwindle’s reinforced Impact Support construction is built into specific Almost deck series, the Impact series. The revolves around an 8-ply maple layup pressed with epoxy resin glue, with carbon fiber laminate discs added as reinforcement at the truck mounts.
The Light version of the Impact technology uses only 7 plies instead of 8 for lighter weight, but a full carbon-fiber top laminate instead of just discs for even more strength. The Impact Plus has not only the full 8 plies, but also both the disc inserts AND top carbon fiber laminate, making it the toughest of all three. The Impact process results in longer-lasting pop and greater lifespan for Almost decks.
So we’ve discussed Almost’s positioning as an elite skateboarding brand with highly-regarded quality products and legendary pro team. Next we take a close-up look at a few of Almost’s top decks.
Almost Skateboards Mullen Dr. Seuss review
This Rodney Mullen pro deck is born from a collaboration with the renowned kids author and cartoon artist Dr. Seuss. The deck comes in two different sizes, 8.25″ x 32″ (14.25″ wheelbase) or 8″ x 31.6″ (14″ wheelbase with a full concave).
The top side of the deck has fun embossed graphics of a cat with a hat holding a tray on a grey background, while the bottom side features a small hat in hand graphic with Rodney’s first name printed on a green background.
This deck has a simple 7-ply construction with strong epoxy resin glue for long-lasting pop and no lamination. It comes with a 30-day breakage guarantee. The Almost Mullen Dr. Seuss has a mellow concave and steep kicks.
Almost Skateboards Cooper Wilt Embossed Ring Impact deck review
This Almost Cooper Wilt pro deck is 8″ wide by 31.6″ long with a 14″ wheelbase. The deck is build using the Impact Support construction with a full concave shape and steep kick. As mentioned earlier, the Impact Support technology significantly reinforces the deck around the trucks with Carbon-fiber discs at the stress-points.
The Cooper Wilt Embossed Ring has nice sober artwork on the bottom featuring two black rings on a flashy red background. The top side of the deck is unexpectedly different with a purple shade crossed by marble-like veneers, and the Almost name printed in white in cartoon-like characters.
The Almost Skateboards Cooper Wilt Embossed Ring ships with a 45-day guarantee against breakage – a longer period than the previous deck resulting from the stronger Impact construction.
Almost Skateboards Geronzi For the Birds review
This gorgeous Max Geronzi pro model also has the standard 8.0″ by 31.6″ size and 14″ wheelbase. It features mellow concave and steep kicks. This deck is built using the Impact Light construction – 7 maple plies for lightweight and a full die-cut carbon fiber laminate on top for reinforced strength.
The artwork on this deck is stunning, featuring beautiful pelican-themed graphics on a decorated black background on the deck bottom. The top side of the day shows a different version of the same theme, with this time a dark and blue-toned pelican overlapping the thick purple outline around the deck.
The Almost Geronzi Birds Impact Light also comes with a 45-day breakage guarantee.
Almost Skateboards Youness Amarani Still Life review
The Youness Amarani Still Life pro model is a larger deck with its 8.5″ width and 32.2.” length, and a 14.25″ wheelbase. It’s built using Dwindle’s resin-7 construction – 7-ply 100% Canadian Maple with Epoxy Resin Glue, which is stronger, more durable, and has more pop than industry-standard 7-ply.
This Almost pro deck features a full shape with fuller than average nose and tail. The bottom side of the deck features artsy graphics with a still life depicting a bottle, glass, and spilled wine on a blue-grey background with yellow and salmon-colored matte finish stains. The deck’s topside shows an elegant red veneer with the Almost logo printed in white.
This Almost deck comes with a 30-day breakage guarantee, similar to the brand’s other resin-7 decks (no Impact reinforcement).
Almost Skateboards Yuri Pets review
This Yuri Facchini pro model is also quite large at 8.375″ x 32.2″, wheelbase 14.25″. It’s a standard shape with a slight concave and steep kick. The Yuri Pets is also made using DSM’s proprietary Resin-7 construction, making it tougher and with more pop than a regular deck but not as strong as an Impact deck.
The artwork by artist Jean Jullien is cool and minimalist with a tuxedo-wearing cat sitting in the middle of the deck on a wood-colored background. The name “Yuri” is displayed underneath the cat is small characters slightly darker than the background. The topside of the deck features a tux-wearing cartoon character rushing on a skateboard while all while writing the artist’s name with a pen. The embossed graphics sit on a nice blue veneer background.
Featured image, Rodney Mullen Uber photo, and all Almost product shots courtesy of Dwindle Distribution