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.
It was a slow start for 3D, who had Alex Olson bail on them when they first started out before they could even get their first run of boards inside of shops, leaving the company at just two riders: Brian Anderson and Austyn Gillette. Now, due at least partially in part to Brian Anderson’s solidified status as a skateboarding legend, 3D has taken off and become an established brand that’s not taking itself too seriously, but still putting on for skateboarding. 3Ds first video offering, featuring amateur rider Tom Karangolov in a dreamy pink colorcast world, has even showed that they’re looking to shake things up in the stale footage side of skateboarding.
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So now that you have an idea of what size and shape board you like, it’s time to choose a brand. A popular size is an 8.5 skateboard deck. If you were looking for a size 8.5 skateboard deck, you could narrow the decks offered on CCS.com to fit in the 8.25 - 8.5 range. This will show you all the boards in that range, and significantly reduce the boards you have to look through. Now, if you don’t have a preference on board brands, find a graphic you like and you’re all set. If this is your first skateboard or are still learning about what wood and brands you prefer, we recommend checking out a CCS Skateboard. They give you a bang for your buck, that's for sure.
Similar to sandpaper, grip tape, or “grip” as it’s commonly referred to, is applied to the top of your deck for traction. Grip gives you the friction you need to perform tricks such as ollies and kickflips. Not all grip tape is the same however. Each brand's products perform differently, so you may want to experiment with different brands to get a feel for what you prefer.
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.
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!
The deck will also have a material on top called grip tape. This textured surface is what keeps your shoes from sliding all over the place as you ride. Look for a very high-quality grip tape for extra stability as you are learning, or something that is very visibly textured (like the waffletop from the pennyboard on our list above). You can also replace the grip tape if you love a board but don’t love the grip tape it comes with.
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.