Darkstar Skateboards Review: Why They Are Good!

darkstar skateboards review

Darkstar Skateboards was created in 1997 by professional skateboarder
Chet Thomas as a skateboard wheel company in his garage. Darkstar was then bought by World Industries which later became Dwindle Distribution, later bought by Globe. Chet Thomas has been working with Globe since.

Although Darkstar was initially created for manufacturing quality wheels that wouldn’t flatspot easily, it evolved into a deck manufacturing company. From the start, Darkstar Skateboards focuses on strong product quality and powerful graphics.

Darkstar Skateboards distribution and pro team

Darkstar Skateboards products are distributed across North and South America, Europe and Africa via Dwindle Distribution, and across Australia and Asia via Hardcore Distribution, another Globe business unit. The Darkstar brand is owned by Globe International for the international market under the Dwindle Distribution umbrella, alongside other famous skate brands like Almost, Enjoi, Bind and Dusters.

The Darkstar pro team boasts famous names such as Ryan Decenzo (kickflip el toro), Greg Lutzka, Cameo Wilson, Manolo Robles, Ke’Chaud Jonhson, Dave Bachinsky, and Santana Saldana.

How good are Darkstar Skateboards?

The majority of skateboarders agree Darkstar is a pretty good brand which offers good quality decks and completes for amateur and intermediate-level skaters, from beginner to 1-2 years experience.

Most Darkstar Skateboard riders are not only attracted by the affordable prices of the completes, they also feel these boards offer very good value for the money. You’ll commonly hear skaters saying Darkstar makes decks which are very strong and never break, and sure can survive a hard grind. Skaters commonly skate Darkstar decks for 1 to 4 years without seeing more than a bit of chipping or a few scuffs.

Darkstar decks are generally described as very lightweight, sturdy, poppy, and overall high-quality. Many skaters compare Darkstar to Baker, another skate brand with a very strong reputation among riders.

What about Darkstar completes?

With regards to Darkstar completes, they are considered decent quality setups. Heavy riders or those who are into really technical skating with high-impact tricks and hard landings, however, may consider upgrading their trucks and wheels. While newer skaters may not really feel the difference, more advanced street skaters will generally choose to upgrade to higher-end components e.g. Independent trucks, Reds bearings and hardware, Grizzly grip tape, and Hotfire or equivalent wheels.

That being said, a lot of skaters do feel Darkstar makes really good wheels that, like the decks, can be used at more advanced skating levels. After all, Darkstar started out as a wheels company.

Stay clear of Wal-Mart boards

One thing to be aware of is that you should stay away from Darkstar completes sold at Wal-Mart. These are cheap, lower-quality boards that tend to crack and snap easily when doing kickflips or riding stairs. Whether these Walmart boards are true Darkstar brand products is unclear. Either way, be sure to purchase your Darkstar from a core skate shop or a trusted online merchant.

OK, let’s turn out attention to 10 of the best (in my opinion) Darkstar Skateboards completes.

1. Darkstar skateboards Full Nagel Metallic Dust review

Darkstar skateboards full nagel metallic dust review

The Darkstar Skateboards Full Nagel Metallic Dust has a 7.75″ x 31.2″ deck made of 7-ply hard rock maple with stiff glue for durability. The beautiful artwork is signed by Patrick Nagel, one of the great American illustration and graphic design artists of the 20th Century. His design features a strong, empowered yet sensual female character drawn in a cool contemporary style with clean lines and minimal black and white color shapes – as is generally found in Nagel’s exhibition posters and art books.

The completes comes with Darkstar T5 Aluminum trucks, Abec rated carbon steel bearings and quality Darkstar 51mm (95A) wheels.

Check out the price for the Full Nagel Metallic Dust complete here on Amazon.

2. Darkstar skateboards Nagel Bachinsky review

Darkstar skateboards Nagel Bachinsky review

The Darkstar Nagel Bachinski is another child of the collab between Darkstar and Patrick Nagel. The artwork again depicts a female character, this time a stylized female archer aiming and ready to shoot. The graphics use silver foil details.

This is a Dave Bachinski pro model deck, 8″ x 31.68″ with a 14″ wheelbase, a full concave, and a steep kick. It’s a solid resin-7 Canadian maple construction, single deck pressed with strong epoxy resin glue. This results in a stronger deck than the 7-ply industry standard with longer life. The deck is lighter and stiffer with a longer-lasting pop than normal.

Check out the Darkstar Nagel Bachinski deck only on Amazon, or this complete with entry-level setup (OK for beginners).

3. Darkstar Skateboards Onward Blue review

darkstar skateboards onward blue review

This awesome-looking Darkstar Skateboards deck is smaller at 7.8″ x 31.7″ with a 13.9″ wheelbase, well-suited for lightweight, small-footed, or younger riders. The custom concave gives you nice control and the 7-ply with epoxy glue gives you just the right amount of pop. This is a good deck for pool, park or vert.

The graphics feature nice and fun comics-like cartoons and typography around the happy hour theme, with blue and white colors over a black background. Overall a very upbeat, cool and lively design which breaks from the traditional dark and deadly skateboard graphics.

The Onward Blue complete skateboard comes stock with Darkstar T5 aluminum trucks and 51mm 95A (medium soft) Darkstar wheels.

See the price for the Darkstar Onward Blue here on Amazon.

4. Darkstar skateboards Heavy Metal Mag1 review

Darkstar skateboards Heavy Metal Mag1 review

The Darkstar Heavy Metal Mag1 is another smaller deck at 7.75″ x 31.2″. It has beautiful comics-style artwork featuring a fierce half-naked female warrior with a metal weapon. The warrior stands on a purple-shaded backdrop where an evil-looking monster looms in front of a shady mountain range. The “heavy metal” blue script stands out nicely on the gradient purple background color. The colorful graphics are confined between the trucks, while the deck’s tail and nose are black.

The Heavy Metal Mag1 is a solid 7-ply hardrock maple deck with strong glue for durability and pop. The complete skateboard comes with Darkstar T5 trucks and 51mm 95A Darkstar wheels.

Check out the price for the Heavy Metal on Amazon.

5. Darkstar skateboards Bulldog review

darkstar skateboards bulldog review

The Darkstar Bulldog black is also 7.75″ x 31.2″ with a shorter 13.88″ wheelbase, best-suited for smaller riders. The artwork is stunning with an awesome-looking bulldog laying across the wheelbase, with his rear paws spanning almost all the way across the nose and one of his front paws going under the front truck. The dog is staring at you blatantly with a deep look! He’s laying on a black background with the Darkstar name printed repeatedly across the deck in light color.

The Darkstar Skateboards Bulldog deck is made from 7-ply Hardrock maple with Darkstar’s Stiff Glue Extra (the strongest water-based glue). It’s single pressed, which means a consistent shape and concave across decks.

The complete skateboard comes with the T5 trucks, 51mm 95A Darkstar wheels imprinted with cool Darkstar name and graphics, and carbon steel speed bearings.

darkstar skateboards bulldog wheels

See the price for the Darkstar Bulldog here on Amazon.

6. Darkstar Skateboards Molten review

Darkstar Skateboards Molten review

The Darkstar Skateboards Molten is an 8″ by 32″ deck, well-suited for bigger riders with larger feet. Its design follows the Darkstar’s tradition with epic medieval-style typography and a medieval knight helmet. The white, yellow and green gradient shades on a black background give this board an impressive look, with the Darkstar name in epic letter spanning the full length of the deck.

The Molten deck is built from 7-ply hardrock maple with exclusive Stiff Glue Extra, Darkstar’s toughest proprietary water-based glue. The complete skateboard comes with 5.375″ T5 almuminum Darkstar trucks and 52mm (95A) park and street Darkstar wheels.

Check out the price for the Darkstar Molten Yellow or for the Molten Sunset Fade color version.

7. Darkstar skateboards Harley Davidson Freedom review

Darkstar skateboards Harley Davidson Freedom review

The Darkstar Harley Davidson Freedom results from a collaboration with Harley Davidson. This is a 7.875″ x 31.7″ deck with a 14.25″ wheelbase and full concave. It’s bottom is fully covered with classic Harley Davidson Motorcycles graphics and famous orange/black/white logo. The words “the great American freedom machine” are printed across the deck.

The Harley Davidson Freedom complete comes with T5 trucks and 52mm Darkstar wheels that come with the Harley Davidson logo printed on them.

Check out the price for the Darkstar Harley Davidson Freedom complete skateboard on Amazon.

8. Darkstar skateboards Harley Davidson Legend Cruiser review

Darkstar skateboards Harley Davidson Legend Cruiser review

The Legend cruiser is part of the range of Darkstar skateboards developed in collaboration with Harley Davidson. Unlike the double-kick popsicle street decks we’ve looked at so far, the Legend is a directional cruiser shape. Similar to the street decks, however, it has a relatively small size at 7.75″ x 31″ and is made from 7-ply Hardrock Canadian maple single pressed using super strong epoxy resin.

The graphic design on the Darkstar Legend is quite breathtaking, with a blend of classic Harley Davidson American motorcycle symbols and traditional Darkstar skull themes. The rich comics-inspired graphics boast red, blue, orange and black color shades and cover the full surface on the bottom of the deck.

The Darkstar HD Legend complete comes stock with 5″ T5 Darkstar alu trucks and soft 88A 55mm Darkstar wheels well-suited cruising as they give you for a cushioned ride over all kinds of terrain. The wheels and grip tape on this cruiser also come with Harley Davidson graphics.

See the pricing for the Darkstar Harley Davidson Legend complete on Amazon.

9. Darkstar Skateboards Box Nagel Cruiser review

Darkstar Skateboards Box Nagel Cruiser review

The Darkstar Box Nagel is a small 7.75″ x 31.375″ cruiser also born out of the official Darkstar x Nagel collaboration. Like other Darkstar decks, it boasts a stiff and durable 7-ply maple deck single pressed using Darkstar’s super strong “Stiff Glue Extra”.

The deck bottom has beautiful premium printed graphic art featuring another of Nagel’s sexy girls appearing inside a peach-background box situated between the trucks. Nagel’s own signature is printed in black underneath the box, on top of the deck’s cool lavender custom paint finish. The top graphics feature a cool pattern with multicolor lines running inward from the edges with Nagel’s signature on top of a black background:

Darkstar Skateboards Box Nagel Cruiser deck top

The Darkstar Box Nagel cruiser complete comes with soft 55mm wheels (with Darkstar’s knight helmet graphic) and soft bushings for comfortable rolling over cracks and bumps and easy turning and cruising.

darkstar box nagel skateboard complete wheels

Check out the Darkstar Box Nagel cruiser complete on Amazon.

10. Darkstar Skateboards Rich Nagel cruiser review

Darkstar Skateboards Rich Nagel cruiser review

I’ve included this other Darkstar Nagel themed cruiser, which is very similar to the Box Nagel, once again because of its stunning contemporary art graphics featuring a great-looking female character in a dark gray box between the trucks – the nose and tail have a black paint and finish. This cruiser deck has the same shape and size (7.75″ x 31″) as the Nagel Box.

Besides the bottom graphics, this Rich Nagel deck differs from the Box cruiser through the top graphics – this one has a cool grid pattern on top of the dark background.

Darkstar Skateboards Rich Nagel cruiser deck top

The Rich Nagel comes with the same grid patterned 55mm wheels as the Box.

See the price for the Darkstar Rich Nagel cruiser complete skateboard on Amazon.

Final words

Darkstar Skateboards has carved a strong reputation for itself by offering strong durable decks and good-quality complete setups for beginner to intermediate riders.

Skateboarders are also fond of Darkstar’s detailed deck graphic designs which range from traditional skulls, snakes, and armored knights to renowned contemporary art and motorcycle culture icons. These beautiful flashy art designs are featured on Darkstar’s traditional popsicle skateboards as well as their cool cruiser shaped boards.

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Photo credits:
Featured image & product shots courtesy Darkstar Skateboards

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About me

Big Kahuna

Hi I'm Jesse. All my life I've been passionate about the board riding lifestyle. Some years ago I got into longboarding, and in doing so, I discovered a whole new universe and a fantastic community. There's something for everyone in longboarding regardless of age, gender, size, and fitness level. Ride on!

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