I've never done one of these before, but basically I will give you my opinion on the deck. I have been riding this Girl Koston size 7.5 for the past three months. I have given up on the fact of boardslides so I will not be able to judge durability well. The tail did no chip at all, but did razor tail and seem to wear down pretty easily. The nose on the other hand was beginning to split a bit. The pop on the deck seemed pretty good for the first two and a half months but the last couple of weeks you could feel that it was time for a new deck. I usually like a board with deep concave but the Girl was pretty mellow, but on top of that I did not notice too much.
I would recommend to people to try a Girl, Chocolate or Skate Mental. But I am unsure if I would buy another one, only for the reason that I think there are more companies that may suit me more.