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Friday, April 13, 2012

Dopamine Skateboard Company 8.25" Mellow deck

Today, I received an 8.25" deck that I ordered from Dopamine Skateboard Company. Dopamine is a new skateboard company out of West Virginia that is producing and distributing some pretty compelling skate equipment. I was really impressed that they offer a choice of "mellow" or "steep" concave. I really like mellow decks - decks that don't have really steep noses and tails. A lot of skaters like steep concave decks - decks that have sharply upturned noses and tails. The side-to-side concave is usually not part of the "mellow" designation: side-to-side concave is referred to as "flat" or "deep". The terms "mellow" and "steep" are reserved for the angles of the nose and tail of a skateboard deck.

In any event, skaters who want steep decks are easy to please. In a 5-deck press, which is how most decks are pressed, the top 3 decks are pretty steep concave, while the bottom 2 are usually pretty mellow. Skateboard manufacturers sometimes offer to distributors a choice of "mellow" and "steep" decks. Dwindle, most famously, pride themselves on a "single deck press" technique that makes each product of a particular shape meet the same specifications. So, if one Dwindle deck of a certain shape is mellow, all Dwindle decks of that shape will be mellow.

So, I picked up a nice, mellow 8.25" deck:
8.25" Mellow Dopamine Skateboard Company deck. 14" wheelbase.

I was going to try out the new deck at the skatepark, but they didn't open until 4 pm today. So I skated my driveway quarter pipe, grind rail, grind box, and mini bank.

I have tried dozens and dozens of skateboard decks. This Dopamine deck, well, this Dopamine deck is how a skateboard deck SHOULD feel. It is incredibly good! The wood is crisp and just the right amount of flexy. The graphics are good to go on the first slide with no craziness.  The shape is just perfect. The concave is medium side-to-side and mellow on the nose and tail, and the deck's pockets are all in the right place. The nose and tail feel slightly scooped, imparting a sure footed-feel and very crisp pop. On a lot of decks, even my beloved Creatures and Almost Double Impacts, there's always that moment as I'm crouching for an ollie where I wonder if the board will pop nicely or not. Other decks, whether they're new, broken in, or getting soggy, don't always pop nicely. This Dopamine deck pops nicely every time. The board is stiff enough to give very good feedback on the angle of the board.

I say again: this Dopamine deck is how skateboard decks should feel.

If you are currently in the market for a new deck, I strongly, strongly encourage you to go over to Dopamine's store on bigcartel and get one. I paid $45 for mine, and it included free griptape. I'm in Maryland, and I got free shipping; you might, too.

Dopamine Skateboard Company is my new favorite skateboard deck manufacturer. Off comes the Creature sticker from my pickup truck, to be replaced by a Dopamine sticker.

Best. Deck. Ever!


  1. Nice to see a new review - still waiting for the Theeve stress-test of the full Titanium trucks ;)

    I also got a new deck.. Flip Arto Saari Hartcore... got it for a good price... also the deck is 8.5x32.88 with 15" WB (the wheelbase counts for me ;))... Great deck.. good feeling... don't ask me why but it feel lighter as the deck I rode before (Old Man Army in 8.5")... One negativ aspect, I noticed, is.. that the dreck graphics come off very fast if you doing rock n roller or kind off... it seems that all other boards I rode good a "better?" deck print... but I like the board ;)

    Currently all time fav. decks: Dogtown Skates (awesome quality).

    Cheers and have a skate'full w-end :)!

    1. That Saari model is a great deck. With all the big park skating you do, you do indeed need that long wheelbase.

      The deck's graphics are heat-transferred. The advantage to heat transfer is more detailed graphics at a much lower manufacturing price. The disadvantage is that the graphics wear off quickly. Yet, that is an advantage, too, because heat transferred graphics make for a more predictable sliding surface on the bottom of the board.

      Dogtown and Old Man Army both silkscreen their decks with paint.

      When the bulk of skaters stopped using rails in the early 1990's, the first few boardslides on a painted deck were really slippery, then the slides were really sticky for a few days, then, when all the paint was gone, the board would slide decently on the wood. With heat-transferred graphics, the boardslides are a little fast the first few slides, then predictable and smooth for the rest of the board's life. A fair tradeoff, many manufacturers said, especially since heat-transferred graphics save thousands of dollars a month in manufacturing costs.

    2. mhm... good to know... cause I didn't make thoughts about that... just found that that something must be different in the "way of printing".

      But "especially since heat-transferred graphics save thousands of dollars a month in manufacturing costs" -that suc**, cause Flip is here very expensive and they transfer a "image of quality" with NHS Factory, so I think the quality should be better ;x? Also it feels (after some bails) that the wood seems a little bit softer and lightweight (for canadian maple?)... but currently it's still alive and makes fun to ride... the concave ain't that deep but I got used to ^^

  2. btw, I tried different countries but Dopamine Skateboard Company only shipping to USA (also no other countries incl. Canada)... :/

    you notice it.. if you want to "CHECKOUT" after choosed the "shipping to" -location.

    1. Bummer, dude. They're a new company, and international shipping requires a lot of interaction with US Customs. Give them time to get their certifications.

      Next time my mother visits me here in the states, I'll give her a Dopamine deck to take back to Germany and send to you. I assume you want an 8.5" Steep?

    2. oh thanks... when my deck cracks and it's just in time than I'll contact you :)

      Btw, tell me when you're on vacation here in Germany - so we can take some session on bowl-/ pool- :) This year in june/ july is the "Berg Fest" in Münster, Nordrhein-Westfalen again... it's an bowl-/ pool- skate-event with some well known skaters (all for free)... check out:

    3. Dopamine SkateboardsApril 15, 2012 at 12:45 PM

      Sorry about the no international shipping options on the site.. I'll start pricing shipping to different countries so I can add the options! In the meantime if anyone wants to order one to another country just contact me at and tell me what you want to order and where its shipping to and I'll email you back a custom invoice :)

    4. good to see that companies care about customers :)

    5. Dopamine SkateboardsApril 19, 2012 at 9:11 PM

      Thanks to this blog we had our first international order today!!! THANKS!!!

    6. That's great! That skater will enjoy the deck. Dopamine decks are really, really good.

    7. "that skater" would be me!
      I'm very excited getting the Dopamine decks!
      Ordered 4 decks right away otherwise it would not be financially interesting. So I'm getting two 8.25' decks , one 8.00' deck and one 8.13' deck. The 8.25' decks I'm gonna ride with new Fury 8.25 trucks. The others with Ventures V5 low 5.2.
      Mainly skate in small skateparks with funboxes and miniramps. Unfortunately no bowls in my area....
      BTW it's gonna be bananas! (decks )
      Just started skating again after almost 20 years of deniel. I was surprised how many tricks i could still do! Like kickflips, shove its, no comply (ray barbee Style ofcourse ) rocknroll fakie etc. Even the occasional Smith grind comes in play from time to time. So yeah I'm an "old dude" skateboarding like i never did 5 year old Son is happy though, always someone to play with...
      Current setup: Zero Chris cole 8.125 P2 deck with Ventures V5 low, spitfire wheels. I find this setup quite good, rigid and light . Pop is not consistent , but when it pops, it pops!

    8. Crazy Dutch Dude, that is so awesome. Just curious: did you get mellow or steep?
      I really think you'll enjoy the decks, especially if you've been skating inconsistent decks, as you say. The Dopamine decks are how decks used to feel back in the 80s and early 90s - yet they're also modern in that they are lightweight and ultra-responsive in their shape. Somewhere along the line, deck manufacturers decided to go with cheaper materials and cheaper manufacturing processes, figuring kids were breaking their decks every month anyway. It is extremely refreshing to skate the Dopamine decks, because they are decks that have all the good characteristics of modern and old-school decks and none of the bad.
      Ray Barbee made the no comply into an art form. He was one of the smoothest street skaters I'd ever seen. With Ray, there was no hype, just art.
      Enjoy the decks! And please let Dopamine or me know if you need anything else.

    9. Crazy Dutch Dude (CDD)April 25, 2012 at 3:37 AM

      I got mellow. Steep is a "no-comply" with my needs.
      I actually had a Ray Barbee deck at the time i quit.
      Also had schmitt stixx Chris Miller and Steve Douglas wich were practically indestructable! Slightly heavier then Powell Peralta but much stronger and more durable. Any idea who took over Schmitt Stix?
      Have you tried Fury Evo2 trucks? What are your thoughts about them? I just got them 'cause they were the only ones available here in size 8.25 axle width.
      Ride on everyone, and don't crash your skull, it hurts !
      I'll update on the Dopa decks later...

  3. Ooh, might have to be looking into these decks for a treat when 2013 comes round, would get one sooner but it's not particularly worthwhile as I can't skate on account of my fractured skull. Damn.
    Anyway, it's nice to see that skateboarding is definitely something I can carry through life, cheers from England!

  4. This one is fantastic skateboard and the colors are also very attractive.

  5. Anyone know who the distributor is for Dopamine decks? Any info much appreciated.

  6. I really wanna know who makes these decks! I LOVE the one that I won in your contest and I'm going to buy a few more soon.