Remember the cool skate kids wearing Workshop tees in the '90s? Well you don't see too many of those these days, but AW is still one of the best “big” skate brands going. The team alone—featuring Supreme muse Jason Dill, tech-gnar wizard Anthony Van Engelen, and the most handsome guy on a board, Dylan Rieder—puts the brand in the top 10. And even though you might not associate legacy riders like Rob Dyrdek with anything cool at all, he pulled one of the most boss moves in all skate business history when he bought the brand that first sponsored him 20 years ago back from Burton (who bought the brand from Chris Carter in 2008) last year, so Workshop is once again skater-owned.
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,[39] 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.
However, the diversity of Santa Cruz skateboard’s stake in the skateboard business meant that they easily survived the mid-90’s slump in popularity and returned with an newly invigorated team and powered on with video after video from the mid-90’s to the present day. Similarly to Powell-Peralta, Santa Cruz are also notable for their Veteran Division (documented in their 2007 release ‘V Day‘) celebrating pro riders such as Keith Meek, Tom Knox and Eric Dressen from earlier eras of Santa Cruz’s existence. Santa Cruz Skateboards current line of product boasts many re-released classic boards from earlier eras of the brand and are as popular, if not more so, than they were originally, thanks to an explosion in the nostalgia and collector’s markets within skateboarding.
Best cruiser skateboards include large wheels, since they offer you both stability and speed. They usually have much softer wheels than the regular skateboards you use for doing skateboard tricks and ollies. A good beginner cruise skateboard for beginners can be the La Sports Retro board. It has a simple design and is surrounded by 5-star reviews all around! Many customers report it feeling sturdy and firm, while going at very good speeds.
The skateboard companies that are considered at the top include Element Skateboards. Founded by professional skateboarder Johnny Schillereff in 1992, the company’s goal was to expand on Johnny’s “Elementality” vision to build a company that helped to bring awareness to skateboarding. The goal is to focus on its uses in nature and the environment and the interconnecting of art and skateboarding. Developed from an urban mentality that was rough around the edges, the brand was transformed to embrace the “tree” logo with an emphasis on the positive and making the world a better place. A customer can purchase complete skateboards that include the decks, wheels, trucks, and bearings or they can customize a deck to suit their needs. Accessories and clothing are also offered. There are 20 professional skateboarders on the Elements team including such names as Brandon Westgate, Nyjah Houston, Mark Appleyard and Nick Garcia.
Element is of the most mainstream brands in the industry today that has sponsored legends like Nyjah Huston and Bam Margera.  There are many pro decks to choose from with some amazing tribal designs and they have introduced a “featherlight” technology that allows Element to have some of the lightest boards on the market today.  Some may call Element “too mainstream” or “sellouts”, but at the end of the day, they produce quality products in a variety of artistic designs.
Flip Skateboards is a high-level skateboards company that moved from the UK to California to take advantage of the American skateboarding industry. It was launched in 1991 by Jeremy Fox and by professional skateboarder Geoff Rowley, both of whom are from the UK. They both knew that to achieve the highest levels as a skateboarding company it was important to gain the recognition one can only get in the U.S. Furthermore, in 2017, Flip partnered with the European skateboard production and distribution company HLC. The decks of Flip Skateboards are made from 7-ply maple. Customers can enjoy the standard decks as well as the P2 models which are made with an oval-shaped fiber reinforcement panel which makes them extra durable. Psychedelic designs adorned many of the Flip skateboards as well as other designs. The Flip team has 15 professional skateboarders, including names such as Tom Penny, David Gonzalez, and Luan Oliveira.
“As far as the actual look of the vast majority of contemporary graphics goes, I’d say that it feels to me as if something has been lost. It’s down to what you can do with modern heat transfer printing techniques – you can literally just take a photograph from the Internet and print it identically straight onto a skateboard. Speaking personally, there’s very little to challenge you there: either from the point of view of creating graphics, or from the consumer’s perspective. Whereas back when screen-printing was the norm, every time a graphic was produced the artist was physically cutting the key line out by hand. The key line is the final black line that forms the outline of whatever it is that you’re printing and ties in all the other colours together. You can see this in the early Sean Cliver graphics for example, where it’s clear that he has hand cut the key lines as precisely as he was able to, but looked at from today’s perspective they’re not perfectly precise, which is what gives Cliver’s earliest stuff its specific look in my opinion.”
Mark Gonzalez created bLind Skateboards in 1989, and shortly after initiated a pro team for his skateboard brand. The bLind brand is known for higher durability due to their innovative features. The boards released by bLind are developed and marketed for hardcore skaters and top other skateboarding brands. We like that bLind goes all out providing one of the strongest boards out there, and without sacrificing the flex needed for tricks. They also do it all with a sick style and an innovative business plan that has made them one of the top skateboard brands.
The best thing to do when getting a new board is to go to your local skate shop and talk to the people there -- they are usually very helpful. The guys at the shop will be able to tell you what board will be good for your skating needs. Keep in mind different people have different opinions on board brands. People say Plan B's are good, but I know others that say it's not. Some like DGK boards, some don't. Just test the board out and see how it suits you. You may want to double check this if you are being extremely careful with your selection.
That Captain America-esque deck, though, is where the real magic happens. It uses Plan B’s Blk Ice tech, which means it’s lighter than your average board, stronger than standard 7-ply maple, and it’s built to slide and pop like no other without any need to add wax. This also makes it more consistent; no extra slippery or sticky spots, just a smooth ride.
QuartetQuasiR.A.D.RandalRayneRealReality GripReflexRemind InsolesRicher PoorerRictaRIPNDIPRoger SkateboardsRogueRoyalRVCASabreSalt & StoneSanta CruzSanta Monica AirlinesSchmitt StixScramSector 9Shake JuntShortysSilverSK8MAFIASk8ologySkate MentalSkateknifeSkeleton Key MFGSkullcandySml.S-OneSourSOVRNSpitfireSquare UpStanceStateStereoTensorThank YouThe HundredsThe Killing FloorThe Quiet LifeTheoriesThrasherThunder TrucksTiredToy MachineTrafficTransworldTriple EightTurbokolorTwo Cents SkateboardsUnitVagrantVansVenomVentureVicious GriptapeVideoVisionVolcomWayward WheelsWelcomeWKNDZ FlexZero
After leaving long time sponsor Birdhouse due to a feeling of dissatisfaction at the manner in which he himself was being marketed as a pro skater, Andrew Reynolds joined forces with a group of similarly aged pro skaters, who at the time, all lived close to each other in Huntington Beach, California in the Warner Ave housing complex and resolved to turn what had formerly been a loosely affiliated crew into a skateboard brand. Reynolds approached Tony Hawk and Per Welinder, owners of Blitz Distribution (and distributors of Birdhouse) with his idea and, rather than losing Reynolds completely, Blitz Distribution agreed to assist Reynolds with Baker and to distribute it.
What began life as a screen-printing business back in 2001 has organically morphed into one of the UK’s most celebrated low-key bedroom brands. After completing a screen-printing and fine arts degree Stuart Smith set up Lovenskate to offer bespoke screen printing services to the skateboard industry and beyond from inside his parents garage. Over time, Lovenskate grew and formally metamorphosed into a skateboard brand back in 2001.

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!


Moving on to our favorite pick from the Plan B series, Plan B Skateboard Complete Felipe Victory 7.6″ Tensor Assembled, suitable for all kinds of riders, but is an ideal skateboard for intermediate skateboard riders. The deck is made from 100% North American maple and measures 7,6 inches. Its wheels are 52mm TGM wheels which means it is excellent for both street and park skating. We also love its lightweight trucks and heavy-duty aluminium with grade 8 steel kingpins and axles plus the bushings (USA made) and pivot cups. The bearings are rated 5 on the ABEC scale.

Keep in mind how tall you are when choosing a board width. Also consider the kind of style you wish to skate. Most technical skaters (the ones who incorporate advanced flip tricks... like Rodney Mullen) tend to favor boards between 7.5 and 7.75 regardless of how tall or small they happen to be. The upper hand of having a thin board allows for quick rotation. The other side of the spectrum is the "go big" skaters (Jamie Thomas is a classic example of a "go big" guy). Most "go big" guys favor size 8.0 and up. The advantage of a wide heavy board feels more stable under your feet while in mid air and while landing (especially those who have big feet). If your a kid you might want to just stick with a 7.66 or smaller.
While no two brands are exactly the same and it’s difficult to compare them, the brands on this list are among those that offer their own unique spin on the skateboarding experience, which often comes from their own personal stories and love of skateboards that they discovered in their childhood. In a saturated market that now spans from the technical side of skating to streetwear-centered style brands, these are the ones that stand out the most. From the young upstarts to those with a long legacy to their name, these are the best skateboard brands out there, so get familiar—and at least learn to kickflip, man.
The wheels are also impressive. Unlike some other skateboards that have wheels that are quite stiff, causing them to feel like they will lock up when you ride on them, the wheels in this complete skateboard for beginners are smooth and comfortable. These are also easily controllable, so rest assured that they offer a smooth and friction-free glide.
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Since Fine Artists Vol 1, Element have released numerous videos including Element – Third Eye View (1998), Element – Rise Up (2005) which focused on the brand’s European team, and more recently, the short video Element – Rise and Shine (2011) focusing on Element team rider Nyjah Huston. Element’s video output is unparalleled with releases from all over the globe – most of which can be found via the link above..
Our personal favorite is the Penny Australia Classic Complete Skateboard and trust me when I tell you this, it is the best skateboard for beginners. Hands down, we love how it is amazing to look at, very portable, excellent speed and has the greatest parts like hard wheels, 7 ABEC bearings and high tensile bolts. We love this board so much that it forms part of our best skateboards 2018 list as well.
While they might not be so well known as an apparel company as so many other brands on this list, Sk8mafia stays winning with skateboarding’s core base. Their most prominent pro, Wes Kremer, was named Thrasher’s Skater of the Year for 2014, and they continue to drop a monthly edit featuring their whole crew through Ride Channel. The Mafia keeps the streets fed.

This board also has a unique shape that makes it a lot easier to ease into turns, which is something that longboards aren’t always known for. It’s a lot easier to push off on this deck thanks to how low it sits, and you also get a one-year warranty from the manufacturer should anything go wrong. If you’ve never ridden on a board before, and don’t want to learn tricks right away, this is a great choice, especially if you’ll be riding around a lot of mostly flat areas.
SkateXS has been widely known to be the best brand for kids that are looking to advance their skateboarding skills. These skateboards have been designed with children in mind. That’s why there are many customizable features that you can pick when purchasing this product. If you are an avid skateboarder and want to introduce your kids to skateboarding, or just a parent that has been hearing about skateboards for weeks now, you can safely pick this product by SkateXs to help your kids safely advance in their skateboarding skills.

Blank decks have no graphic on them and are typically priced very reasonably.  Blank decks are usually colored a solid color or may even be made of unpainted wood.  Historically blank decks have gotten a bad reputation for poor quality, however, there are a few brands of blanks today that are very similar in quality to pro boards and much more affordable.  The downside to buying a blank complete with all blank parts is the lack of style and customization when compared to a pro deck.  Also, blank skateboards may vary in quality from batch to batch, so it may be hard to find the same blank skateboard if you want to buy another one.  Overall, blank skateboards can be a solid option if you have a tight budget and the person you are buying for doesn’t really care about the logo and brand.

Alien Workshop is a Dayton, Ohio based company, established by Chris Carter, Neil Blender and Mike Hill in 1990. They have gone through several ownership changes, including a period of being owned and operated by Burton Snowboards, but have persevered and become one of the top skateboard brands today. Alien Workshop has faced several turbulent challenges with varying outcomes, however they have remained dedicated to providing a high quality, yet also affordable boards. We like Alien Workshop for their innovative designs and conscience effort to make a great board, that many can afford. Their high quality boards has allowed them to become one of the best rated skateboard brands today.


Real’s video output continued with Kicked out of Everywhere (1999), Real to Reel (2001) and Seeing Double (2002). Following these full-length releases Real adopted a different approach to video making with a number of shorter tour-based and remix video releases which chimed with the shorter attention spans of the Internet generation – these include titles such as Real ‘Remix Project V1.1 (2007) and Real ‘From the Vaults V.1 (2007).
These boards are perfect! perfect shape (for me anyways) medium concave (which is better than deep or mellow in my opinion) perfect shape of the tail and nose, and have perfect pop (which last FOREVER) they're very durable too. Everything is perfect but why they're ranked so low is because not many people get deluxe boards than come here to write about how awesome they are.

No longer number one but still quite close: EMillion SkateboArts land on the second place this year, which is more than respectable regarding the competition. The Bavarian brand stands for quality, artistic designs and a motivated team, which is also represented by skatedeluxe team rider Ben Dillinger. EMillion decks are available from 49.99 € | 40.00 GBP!


Flip Skateboards is a high-level skateboards company that moved from the UK to California to take advantage of the American skateboarding industry. It was launched in 1991 by Jeremy Fox and by professional skateboarder Geoff Rowley, both of whom are from the UK. They both knew that to achieve the highest levels as a skateboarding company it was important to gain the recognition one can only get in the U.S. Furthermore, in 2017, Flip partnered with the European skateboard production and distribution company HLC. The decks of Flip Skateboards are made from 7-ply maple. Customers can enjoy the standard decks as well as the P2 models which are made with an oval-shaped fiber reinforcement panel which makes them extra durable. Psychedelic designs adorned many of the Flip skateboards as well as other designs. The Flip team has 15 professional skateboarders, including names such as Tom Penny, David Gonzalez, and Luan Oliveira.
Zoo York originated in 1993 and is based out of New York. Its name and signature name came from the underground subway tunnel dubbed as Zoo York. The tunnel runs under the Central Park Zoo, however it’s primarily known from the graffiti subculture of the 1960’s and the 1970’s. The Zoo York tunnel was a prime hangout of its day and was originally tagged by some of the first east coast graffiti artists. Zoo York carries a unique style from the subway tunnel days, and it comes through in their graphics and street skating designs; not to mention their high durability design. They round off our list of the 10 top skateboard brands in the market. Zoo York is an innovative company that has worked its way up to being one of the best skateboard brands in the world.

Top Skateboards come from companies such as Blind Skateboards. Professional skateboarder Mark Gonzales founded the brand and it was launched in 1989. Today, products are distributed by Dwindle Distribution. The brand is intended for serious, hardcore skateboarders. It has an emphasis and an appreciation for the graphics used for its decks. In the early 1990s, Blind Skateboards set itself apart from other skateboard brands by creating videos. Their first, directed by Spike Jonze, appeared in 1991. You can get completes at Blind that includes the decks, wheels, trucks, and bearings. The Blind Team is professional skateboarders Cody McEntire, TJ Rogers, Kevin Romar, Sewa Kroetkov, Morgan Smith, Sam Beckett, Micky Papa, Yuto Horigome, and Jason Thurtle.
Swing boarding is the activity where a skateboard deck is suspended from a pivot point above the rider which allows the rider to swing about that pivot point. The board swings in an arc which is a similar movement to riding a half pipe. The incorporation of a harness and frame allows the rider to perform turns spins all while flying though the air.
Founder Richard Novak is also widely credited as creating the skateboard industry as we know it today by establishing skateboarding as a separate culture and business by wrestling the sport away from the control of the roller-skating industry in the early 1970’s and promoting it through sponsoring events, supporting the nascent skateboard magazine culture, pioneering technologies within skateboard, truck and wheel construction and establishing the edgy cultural identity of skateboarding from the very beginning.
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After leaving long time sponsor Birdhouse due to a feeling of dissatisfaction at the manner in which he himself was being marketed as a pro skater, Andrew Reynolds joined forces with a group of similarly aged pro skaters, who at the time, all lived close to each other in Huntington Beach, California in the Warner Ave housing complex and resolved to turn what had formerly been a loosely affiliated crew into a skateboard brand. Reynolds approached Tony Hawk and Per Welinder, owners of Blitz Distribution (and distributors of Birdhouse) with his idea and, rather than losing Reynolds completely, Blitz Distribution agreed to assist Reynolds with Baker and to distribute it.
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