A good helmet protects your most important vital organ. Remember that in some states helmets are required by law. In Oregon, for example, skaters 15 and under can be fined for not wearing a helmet. Knee and elbow pads will also save you from bumps and bruises. Knee pads are particularly valuable when learning to skate tall vertical walls because they allow you to slide down the wall on your knees instead of having to run out of every bailed attempt. Wrist and ankle injuries are common in skateboarding, so braces are another great investment.
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.
Whilst early skateboarders generally rode barefoot, preferring direct foot-to-board contact, and some skaters continue to do so, one of the early leading trends associated with the sub-culture of skateboarding itself, was the sticky-soled slip-on skate shoe, most popularized by Sean Penn's skateboarding character from the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Because early skateboarders were actually surfers trying to emulate the sport of surfing, at the time when skateboards first came out on the market, many skateboarded barefoot. But skaters often lacked traction, which led to foot injuries. This necessitated the need for a shoe that was specifically designed and marketed for skateboarding, such as the Randy "720", manufactured by the Randolph Rubber Company, and Vans sneakers, which eventually became cultural iconic signifiers for skateboarders during the 1970s and '80s as skateboarding became more widespread.
If Supreme wasn’t featured on this list, we might get a long list of hate in the comments, but I’m not adding it just to satisfy the hypebeasts. Over the past few years, what was previously dismissed as a brand that catered mostly to resellers has once again gained a spot at the forefront of what is important in skateboarding today. With the release of cherry in 2014, Supreme showed the world that they haven’t forgotten their roots, and reminded us they will always be a skateboard company first and foremost.
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.
Canadian maple wood decks are the industry standard and is what the vast majority of decks on this list will be made of. However, is the seller just says “maple” the deck is typically made in China and the wood may be slightly softer and lower quality. This is more common among the lower cost blank decks, and most pro brands or higher end blanks are typically 100% Canadian maple. In my opinion, the difference between Canadian and Chinese maple decks is slight and in many cases, a cheaper Chinese deck may be the better option for you if you have a small budget or tend to go through decks very quickly.
The Quest can be considered as the best improving Longboard brand because in 2014 it was in the 4th position, whereas in 2018 it is in 2nd place. This is a good improvement for a Longboard brand in these competitive days! Even though it is now in 2nd place, it has a little gap with Sector 9. They mainly focused on the customer’s needs by collecting client opinions. They have been improving the size, quality, performance, speed, design, and color of their longboards.
Jessup is considered to be the standard grip tape, and it is the grip we offer for free with all decks. MOB is known for their coarser grip, which gives excellent traction, but also wears down your shoes faster. MOB M-80, Grizzly and Shake Junt grip tapes fall somewhere in the middle, offering good overall traction without the heavy abrasion. There are other extra course grip options for downhill skateboarding (Vicious, Blood Orange, etc.). That stuff locks your foot in place but it is so coarse it would quickly destroy your shoes if you tried flip tricks with it.
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.
The fact that it has nice and attractive prints also makes it a fashion skateboard. You can use it to show not only your passion in the sport but also your fashion sense. It is also equipped with a high-density emery surface known for being both waterproof and non-slip. With that, you have a hundred percent assurance of your safety when you are riding on it.
The growth of the sport during this period can also be seen in sales figures for Makaha, which quoted $10 million worth of board sales between 1963 and 1965 (Weyland, 2002:28). By 1966 a variety of sources began to claim that skateboarding was dangerous, resulting in shops being reluctant to sell them, and parents being reluctant to buy them. In 1966 sales had dropped significantly (ibid) and Skateboarder Magazine had stopped publication. The popularity of skateboarding dropped and remained low until the early 1970s.
Tony Hawk and Per Welinder developed the Birdhouse Projects Skateboard Company following the decline professional skateboarding saw in the late 1980’s to early 1990’s. Tony Hawk gave the Birdhouse Projects name instant notoriety and made it into one of the professional skateboard brands in the world. Many skaters who have followed Hawk, have faithfully chosen a birdhouse skateboard. Birdhouse grabs the third place spot with their boards that are built to last and also provide maneuverability and for being a top rated skateboard brand.
Skateboarder owned and operated is Magenta's mantra. “No middle-man or business-person involved,” it says on the brand's site, so you know what you're getting from this French brand is pure, uncut skate to the core. All of the art direction and graphics are done by co-founder and team rider Soy Panday, who has developed a unique artistic perspective for Magenta. You'll likely to see numerous skaters kicking around on Magenta boards in NYC these days, and with a strong offering of T-shirts, coaches jackets, caps, and a funny boxer short collab with Lousy Livin, there is plenty to appreciate.
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!
The Golden Dragon is a fantastic board for beginners, and it’s all in the wheels. The high-rebound polyurethane wheels are hand-cast and offer amazing grip as you ride, plus fantastic roll. The deck itself is just slightly longer than a standard skateboard, which offers a bit more stability for beginners, who might be worried about sliding or slipping off a shorter board. Additionally, this board features the All Powell-Peralta Ligament strap, an important safety feature that keeps the deck together if it should break. This helps prevent injury and provides a little more peace of mind for the rider.
Peralta put together the Powell skate team under the Bones Brigade moniker, employed the services of photographer, artist and visionary C R Stecyk III and was the talent scout responsible for bringing skaters such as Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen, Lance Mountain, Mike Vallely, Guy Mariano, Tommy Guerreo and inventor of the ollie Alan ‘Ollie’ Gelfand, (amongst many others) to the attention of the global skateboard community.
In summary - recognizing a real skateboard isn’t rocket science, but it does take some amount of brand awareness and ultimately even trial and error. We tried to take the guesswork out of it by starting SkateXS and openly sharing and celebrating each and every component we use to build our skateboards. Hopefully we have been able to share the values and priorities we put into those design decisions.
Since its inception in 1990, Alien Workshop has gone through a number of changes of ownership, first being bought by Burton Snowboards in February 2008, then purchased from Burton by original Alien Workshop rider and reality TV show star Rob Dyrdek in January 2012. Following Dyrdek’s purchase of the brand and its umbrella company DNA Distribution, (also incorporating Habitat skateboards, Habitat footwear and Reflex bearings), an announcement was made in October of 2013 that Dyrdek would remain as a minority shareholder of DNA Dist, with the majority of shares purchased by Pacific Vector Holdings, (also owners of No Fear clothing and Gatorz sunglasses).