I'm not talking about mall chain stores, like Zumiez; I mean a locally owned and operated skateboard shop. Look around at what they sell, and talk to the staff about the different brands. Of course, they may be biased toward the brands they carry, but chances are you'll learn something that will help you make a decision. There are some big-name board brands that you'll find in most shops, but there should also be some smaller brands you may not have heard or seen around town. There might even be a a local skater or manufacturer that you could support. 

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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.[8] 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.[26] 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.[8][76][77][78][79][80]
If you love the outdoors, traveling in style, and prefer to have as much control over your mode of transportation as possible, a skateboard is just what you need. Not just for high school kids or sports celebrities like Tony Hawk, the skateboard can be a useful and fun tool that can take you wherever you need to go, while also being a great outlet for the release of energy.
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.
Covering multiple countries all over the world, Skatro is widely received as one of the top mini-cruiser suppliers that are in existence. Starting from a very small office and humble beginnings, Skatro brand was determined to provide excellent care and respect to their clients while maintaining a quality product that is both mechanically sound as well as financially viable.
Progressive designs deliver a more dramatic upward curve and a wider base, providing increasingly secure footing and a locked-in feel. The W-concave shape is more narrow with an additional center curve, allowing for a greater shift in energy between the heel and toe. This design also boasts more responsive control and quick turning capabilities. Tub concave decks resemble the radial shape, however their rails extend at a sharp angle instead of a gradual curve. Asymmetrical decks feature rails that extend at different angles, affording more power to a rider's heels when making turns. Less commonly used are decks with convex and completely flat shapes. Convex boards offer an upwards-arching shape, which some downhill skateboarders prefer for a more natural feel, whereas flat designs increase available foot space and are more popular for experienced riders looking to perform fancy tricks.
Distributed by NHS, Inc., Creature Skateboards was launched in 1994 by professional skateboarders Russ Pope, Jason Adams, Barket Barrett and Darren Navarrette. The company was revived in the mid-2000s. Creature is known for its horror themes on its skateboards and clothing. The company offers complete skateboards that include the decks, wheels, trucks, and bearings as well as customizable decks, and accessories. The Creature team includes 19 professional skateboarders. In addition to Navarrette, the roster includes such names as Al Partanen, Chris Russell, Cory Juneau and David Gravette.

Diamond has been a household name in streetwear for their dope caps, tees, hoodies, and sneaker collab hype that have had the Internet going nuts for years, but the brand's roots are in skate. While the list of collaborations and rapper co-signs is long (too long to list here), but for skate nerds the team is way more impressive—Raven Tershy, Ryan Sheckler, Torey Pudwill, Shane O'Neil, Stevie Williams, Paul Rodriguez… The list goes on.
Krown’s motto is to provide quality skateboards on a budget. They manage that surprisingly well; not only are their products at budget prices, but they can take quite a lot of beating too. Their skateboards arrive readily assembled and ready to ride. You won’t have to spend hours fiddling with screws and bolts to ride your new prized possession! No matter if you are a beginner or an expert looking for a good board to ride on, Krown’s product is made to fit everyone’s needs.
Buying a complete skateboard from a good brand is when you purchase an already put together board that comes with a deck, the tape already applied, the wheels, the trucks, and the bearings all screwed in. You can also make custom requirements for your complete skateboard like interchanging different trucks or bearings to better fit your own personal style of skating.
Radiate Ride Good Skateboards are made of 7-ply maple construction with epoxy resin glue. It features 356A heat-treated cast aluminum high performance 5.0 trucks with grade 8 kingpins and axles. The super high rebound 99A PU wheels with grooved running surface provide better traction and abrasion resistance. The Abec 5 high precision speed bearings offer precision performance and a smooth ride. It has an 80 grit durable color matched grip tape with transparency. It is completely assembled and ready to go. This product has a 4.3 rating on Amazon.

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.
With the evolution of skateparks and ramp skating, the skateboard began to change. Early skate tricks had consisted mainly of two-dimensional freestyle manoeuvres like riding on only two wheels ("wheelie" or "manual"), spinning only on the back wheels (a "pivot"), high jumping over a bar and landing on the board again, also known as a "hippie jump", long jumping from one board to another, (often over small barrels or fearless teenagers), or slalom. Another popular trick was the Bertlemann slide, named after Larry Bertelemann's surfing manoeuvres.
The Californian brand has performed nothing less than a triple flip and catapulted itself from #11 exactly into the centre to #8. This isn’t only nice for us, but also for skatedeluxe team rider Denny Pham, who literally stands on Flip. How hard you can skate these decks is also shown by his team colleagues Arto Saari, Louie Lopez, Curren Caples and Co. Price: from 64.99 € | 55.00 GBP!
If you are looking to buy a reliable skateboard that will keep you busy for years to come, the Whitey Panda is the ideal choice. It’s a very good entry-level skateboard that can be put through a lot of wear and tear. The solid, metal skateboard trucks ensure that you will be kept sturdy and safe both on and off the ground. This helps the rider feels more confident when doing tricks, no matter where they are.
Another great pro option, Element is definitely one of the top 3 brands in skateboarding.  This deck is also slightly slimmer than the Enjoi deck above so it would be an even better choice for someone with small feet or who is very young.  This board has an iconic look that will be recognized by most skaters, and it has the quality to last much longer than most other skateboards on the market.
Distributed by NHS, Inc., Creature Skateboards was launched in 1994 by professional skateboarders Russ Pope, Jason Adams, Barket Barrett and Darren Navarrette. The company was revived in the mid-2000s. Creature is known for its horror themes on its skateboards and clothing. The company offers complete skateboards that include the decks, wheels, trucks, and bearings as well as customizable decks, and accessories. The Creature team includes 19 professional skateboarders. In addition to Navarrette, the roster includes such names as Al Partanen, Chris Russell, Cory Juneau and David Gravette.

Destructo has some fancy skateboarding trucks. The Destructo raw series skate trucks come in low, medium and high designs and look oddly skinny. The Limited and Pro series trucks just look awesome, with simple pro signatures on the front and great color schemes. That's not to mention Destructo's "Rail Killer" series - these light trucks have extended baseplates to reduce wheelbite, and come in some incredible color schemes (including one using 24 karat gold!).
You know how people say shit like: Ernest Hemingway is “a writer's writer” and it's not really clear what that means, but you sort of get it? Well Anti-Hero is a skater's skate brand. Founded by underground hero pro skater Julien Stranger, Anti-Hero is a direct expression of his attitude towards the skate industry, which is basically that skateboarding is life and fuck everything else. Anti-hero has a reputation for being one of the gnarliest skate brands around, thanks in part to their team of heavies which includes John Cardiel, Tony Trujillo, and Chris Pfanner. 
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