Following Jason Dill and AVE leaving long time sponsors Alien Workshop back in 2013, Dill’s 13-year-old Fucking Awesome brand, which was formerly a clothing brand, became a board brand and began to add riders such as Dylan Rieder (RIP), Gino Iannucci, Jason Dill, Kevin Bradley, Nakel Smith, Sean Pablo, Sage Elsesser, Tyshawn Jones and Aiden Mackey.
The skateboard industry is as colorful and competitive as the sport itself. It’s no surprise that the top skateboard brands all take on that daring, free expression and edgy creativity that is quintessential to the skateboarding community. But it’s not all fun and games — it takes a lot more than producing wooden decks with dope graphics to make it to the top. It takes hands-on dedication and genuine passion for the sport.
Grip tape adds additional assurance for a rider's feet. It is made from a sheet of colored paper or fabric with adhesive on one side and a fine, sand paper surface on the other. Applied to the top surface of a skateboard, grip tape gives a person's feet an improved grip while maintaining stability for performing tricks. Skateboard trucks connect both the wheels and ball bearings to the deck and are directly attached to the deck themselves. They are usually constructed from aluminum alloy. The wheels are mounted to their axles via steel bearings. The wheels are made from polyurethane and available in a range of different shapes and sizes to suit most any skill level.
One of the earliest sponsored skateboarders, Patti McGee, was paid by Hobie and Vita Pak to travel around the country to do skateboarding exhibitions and to demonstrate skateboarding safety tips. McGee made the cover of Life magazine in 1965 and was featured on several popular television programs—The Mike Douglas Show, What's My Line? and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson—which helped make skateboarding even more popular at the time. Some other well known surfer-style skateboarders of the time were Danny Bearer, Torger Johnson, Bruce Logan, Bill and Mark Richards, Woody Woodward, & Jim Fitzpatrick.
“They built the industry before they built their business,” said Denike who became one of the early product testers as a 15-year-old when he was approached by Novak and Shuirman in a skateboard park. “It was just raw entrepreneurial spirit. They took it from a fad to an actual business and, as a group, decided they were going to focus on growing the industry. If they were good businessmen, they would get a piece of that pie.”
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.
As the name implies, pro skateboard decks are decks made by well-known skateboard brands that typically feature graphics or logos related to a specific team rider. Usually, pro decks are more expensive than team decks of the brand and much more expensive than blank decks. The increased cost goes to the pro skater and it’s a way for the buyer to support their favorite skaters and brands. Pro street decks are almost always Canadian maple, besides a few carbon fiber exceptions and they are the most commonly purchased decks see in skateparks and on the streets worldwide.
Skateboarding is one of the most popular alternative sports around the world, for kids and adults alike. But before you hop on a board and take off, it’s important to choose the right kind of board for you. Most beginners will simply grab the board that they like the looks of, and with the endless array of deck art and styles that exist, that kind of attitude can lead to choosing a board that isn’t right to learn on.
The deck is expertly constructed with a vertically laminated bamboo core and bamboo veneer exterior, all attached with triaxial glass and epoxy as well as a course grip tape top. The grip tape is arranged in an unusual and stylish, yet functional, design. The 34-inch board features a 13-degree nose angle and an 18-degree tail angle. With its directional shape, you’ll easily be able to cruise on this board or pull a few tricks.
“The skateboard industry’s current focus on performance by displaying almost exclusively difficult tricks, whether technical or dangerous, is not something we relate to on our daily experience on our boards. We feel that skateboarding has much more to offer than being only a sport. It has cultural, social, artistic, sociological values and much more and it seems all these aspects are being widely overlooked by the industry. Magenta is our outlet for representing the wide spectrum of possibilities that skateboarding carries within itself.”
In terms of their skateboard output, Palace have released numerous videos online since their inception, including Gangbanging at Ground Zero (2011), Niggaz with Altitude (2013), a Danny Brady welcome clip ‘Definitely Brady‘ in 2014 and most recently, Very Nice in 2016 featuring newer team riders Shawn Powers and early viral internet star Jamal Smith. Palace are currently working on a full-length video.
The National Skate Co‘s approach to marketing retained this air of intrigue with the release of their first video, ‘The National Skateboard Co. Promo‘ in 2013 with minimal promotion beforehand. This promo video featured lo-fi VX2000 footage of original team members Thomas Harrison, Danijel Stankovic, David Mackey, Joshua Young, Vaughan Jones and Neil Smith interspersed with found footage and black and white news reel clips.