One thing can already be told – compared to 2015 a lot has changed! The selection of the ‘Brands of the Year’ is made up of the combination of sold decks, brand shop visits, search queries and your interest in blog entries regarding the top players in the business. Our own brand SK8DLX was not considered for the ranking. We are happy, however, that you love to skate our in-house boards diligently and the SK8DLX deck series is celebrated well. In this sense, a big thank you to you all! Let’s start with the 16 most popular skateboard deck brands of 2016!
Started by a group of guys who decided to stick together after the fall of Alien Workshop, Quasi skateboards presses boards and prints shirts featuring psychedelic art for the year 2015, offering something different than most board brands today. Backed by a team boasting hometown heroes and certified style gawds, Quasi is a board company everybody wanted that nobody had made yet.
Want the same great performance and high-quality construction as a name brand deck but don’t have a large budget? Blank decks are your answer. Depending on the brand, blank decks can be similar or better than pro decks and are available in just as many or more shape options. These decks are perfect for people who love skating and don’t really care about supporting a profession or the graphic on their deck. Blanks are also great for aggressive skaters who go through decks quickly as many blank skateboard decks are sold in bulk packs of 3, 5, or even 10 decks per pack.
Make no mistake, not all European skate brands are provincial microcosms. Cliché has one of the most stacked teams in the industry, including the Australian master of pop Andrew Brophy and manual wizard Joey Brezinski. But the real star of the squad is Frenchman Lucas Puig, who has a stellar signature shoe for adidas, and an upcoming line of caps called Hélas that you will undoubtedly be hearing more about in the near future. Team aside, thanks to strong art direction, a prolific video program, and a highly covetable product offering that includes a dope collab with NYC mainstay DQM, Cliché is très ill.
Navigator is a newer truck company and may be hard to find (the Navigator site has a store locator that should help). I've listed them here because they have some unique features on their trucks. For example, they have a special addition beneath the baseplate that holds the kingpin in place so bushings can be replaced without taking the trucks off of the skateboard. Also, Navigator is the only truck company that pins their axles, so they can guarantee their axles will NEVER slip! The Navigator site lists many other features - take a look and see what you think.
This brand gets its name from a slang term for strip club. One video was called “Chicken Bone Nowison,” and it opens with a scene of skater pummeling a security guard. Is that not awesome enough? If there is a company that embodies a more perfect IDGAF attitude in skateboarding, please let me know. For the homies, by the homies is their mantra, which is pretty cool with a team comprised of rippers like Theotis Beasley, Andrew Reynolds, Dustin Dollin, Jim Greco, Terry Kennedy, Lizard King… The list goes on.
The Atom has also improved its position from 4th to 3rd in 2018. You can trust these Longboards. They are continuously improving their product quality and increasing communication with general and potential customers. Correspondingly, they provide an opportunity for customers to select from a wide range of style, color, design and price to the customers. If the improving rate becomes constant, it will quickly switch to the upper position immediately.
Following stints on the US brands Mad Circle and Arcade and a pro model on the then hugely popular European brand Cliche skateboards, Pontus Alv quit his board sponsor and moved back to his hometown of Malmo, Sweden in the early to mid 00’s. During this time Pontus took what might be called a creative hiatus but which would be more accurately explained as a re-connection with his roots. After returning to Malmo, Alv became heavily involved in building and creating the scene there, working alongside friends to build a number of DIY skatespots through the city such as the now legendary Savanna-side and Steppeside projects.
The core of the skateboard trucks is extremely lightweight, compared to the other skateboards we listed. They still sport a heavy-duty aluminum, but their initial design helps the skateboard be lighter and easier to pivot. It also arrives un-assembled which allows for the adult or child to have a sense of accomplishment when they put the board together. You will also be able to customize it to your heart’s content!
A precursor to the extreme sport of street luge, that was sanctioned by the United States Skateboarding Association (USSA), also took place during the 1970s in Signal Hill, California. The competition was called "The Signal Hill Skateboarding Speed Run", with several competitors earning entries into the Guinness Book of World Records, at the time clocking speeds of over 50 mph on a skateboard. Due to technology and safety concerns at the time, when many competitors crashed during their runs, the sport did not gain popularity or support during this time.
In the past decade, I have begun seeing the emergence of skate decks being totally or partially made from carbon fiber or other metal materials instead of solely wood. These decks typically last longer than regular wooden decks and aren’t prone to chipping or breaking like most made from wood. The drawback to these materials is that they tend to feel “stiffer” than traditional wooden decks and experienced skaters may feel they are heavier and harder to do tricks on. Carbon fiber decks are also more expensive, but this additional cost may be worth it if you tend to break decks easily. Some brands also offer warranties against breakage under normal conditions for carbon fiber decks if you are worried about breakage.
Quartersnacks has been on one these past few years, making soft goods that will instantly make you look like you don’t actually suck at skating (me), and getting the honor of customizing their own Nike SB Dunk Low. Name another company in skateboarding that has that, and a book about their first decade of history coming soon through the world-renowned Random House publishing company? We’ll wait.
Their hard and soft goods feature 90’s imagery like Kurt Cobain with Courtney Love and Corey and Topanga from Boy Meets World, and it comes together to become pure fun for the hell of it. With brand mastermind Grant Yansura holding a spot as an official videographer for Nike SB, you know he must be doing something right with all his work. His Cosmic Vomit series is just another insight into the breadth of his great work.
The board itself is actually very portable in the sense that it only weighs a modest four pounds. Which means you can jump on and off in any situation that may warrant you to walk or ride. The ABEC7 bearings are top quality bearings and of the highest class. Also accompanying all of these fine features comes the kick-tail end of the board. This is to ensure that maneuvering and tricks can be performed with this utmost of ease.
Spotting a poorly made skateboard deck can be hit or miss. Some toy skateboards don’t even try to look “real". They might have no concave to their shape and may not even have a extended nose. Others may be shaped to resemble a real skateboard, but are made with cheap woods and fillers. If that is the case, they may be both thicker and heavier than a quality board, or they may be ready to fall apart quite quickly and easily. Consider that it isn’t easy to make a real skateboard deck. Most legitimate skateboard decks will sell for somewhere between $35 - $55. If you are paying that much for the entire skateboard, it is unfortunately a sign that significant corners were cut on quality.
This period was fueled by skateboard companies that were run by skateboarders. The focus was initially on vert ramp skateboarding. The invention of the no-hands aerial (later known as the ollie) by Alan Gelfand in Florida in 1976, and the almost parallel development of the grabbed aerial by George Orton and Tony Alva in California, made it possible for skaters to perform airs on vertical ramps. While this wave of skateboarding was sparked by commercialized vert ramp skating, a majority of people who skateboarded during this period didn't ride vert ramps. As most people could not afford to build vert ramps, or did not have access to nearby ramps, street skating increased in popularity.
Moose boards are very solid in all categories. They are low priced, available in a variety of different shapes and sizes, and have been around for a while so they’ve built up a reputable brand name. You won’t go wrong buying a pack of Moose blanks if you’re the type of guy that goes through decks quickly or is looking to resell them at your local skatepark.
They have continued to ride that wave over the past year, continuously putting out great edits, following cherry up with Sickness, Red Devil, Joyride, and Swoosh, all in collaboration with cherry’s filmer Bill Strobeck. We all know they will never fall off when it comes to putting out fire gear every new season and drop, but to keep it coming with actual great footage is another story, and is definitely making skateboarding better today.