Element has also diversified their business model with ventures into retail with Element stores across the globe, advocate programs supporting artists such as Thomas Campbell and Fred ‘French Fred’ Mortagne, Women’s fashion through the Element Women’s range and the most cohesive approach to supporting European skateboarding of any brand in the industry through their dedicated European team.
You should also look for the type of skateboard wheels that you will be getting with your skateboard. Soft wheels are great for cruising around uneven surfaces, while harder wheels are better for skateboard tricks and hard falls, which is vital for various skateboarding styles. The key thing to remember is the smaller wheels are slower, and bigger wheels are faster.
Another bonus of shopping at an actual skate shop is that you get to see what the boards look like in person. Most skate shops will have a cool wall of boards, and it's fun to just stand there and look at all the graphics. If one jumps out and grabs you, then you can ask the shop owner about the brand, and whether it's a good one. There's nothing wrong at all with buying a skateboard deck because you like the graphics!
FTC has grown from being the staple skate shop of the Bay Area to being a respected brand pushing skateboarding across the globe. Their SF flagship sits in the famous Haight Ashburry district, always attracting visitors and giving them a look into what skateboarding is really like in this day and age. FTC will have you covered in their own gear, and will also always be pushing the next big thing in their shops, and they never make a bad call.
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.
The skateboard has a solid and stiff mini-deck, which is around 22 inches and constructed out of 100% plastic material. Such deck is very lightweight. It is only four pounds but you have an assurance that it can handle up to 198 lbs. of weight. You will also fall in love with the board as it comes in 23 graphics and colors, so picking a favorite is much easier.