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.
Obviously, price is an important consideration for most people when looking to buy anything. For skateboards, the price of the board is generally a good indicator of quality. In general, most pro branded skateboards that are made up of high-quality parts are in the $70-$100 range. You can usually find pro branded decks with average parts for $50-$70, and you can find blank options between $25-$50. I wouldn’t touch anything under $25, as it is likely poor quality and very prone to breakage.
As with all penny boards, the Fade has a waffletop on the deck so that you have plenty of grip and stability as you ride. The plastic material of these boards is durable enough to withstand being run over, and the trucks and wheels are of similar high quality. This board is not made for the beginner that wants to skate downhill or do a lot of speedy skating – the short length makes it dangerous for that. But if you’re just interested in commuting and want something portable, this is a great choice.
Freestyle skating remained healthy throughout this period, with pioneers such as Rodney Mullen inventing many of the basic tricks that would become the foundation of modern street skating, such as the "Impossible" and the "kickflip". The influence that freestyle exerted upon street skating became apparent during the mid-1980s; however, street skating was still performed on wide vert boards with short noses, slide rails, and large soft wheels. In response to the tensions created by this confluence of skateboarding "genres", a rapid evolution occurred in the late 1980s to accommodate the street skater. Since few skateparks were available to skaters at this time, street skating pushed skaters to seek out shopping centers and public and private property as their "spot" to skate. (Public opposition, in which businesses, governments, and property owners have banned skateboarding on properties under their jurisdiction or ownership, would progressively intensify over the following decades.) By 1992, only a small fraction of skateboarders continuing to take part in a highly technical version of street skating, combined with the decline of vert skating, produced a sport that lacked the mainstream appeal to attract new skaters.
Without good grip tape, skaters have a tough time staying on top of their board. The main complaints about poor grip tape tend to be that it was never very grippy or lost its grip really quickly. Once again, we recommend trusting in name brands with years of experience supporting skateboarders. Unfortunately, if you are buying a pre-made complete skateboard, you probably won't have access to the brand name of the grip.
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.
Many jurisdictions require skateboarders to wear bicycle helmets to reduce the risk of head injuries and death. Other protective gear, such as wrist guards, also reduce injury. Some medical researchers have proposed restricting skateboarding to designated, specially designed areas, to reduce the number and severity of injuries, and to eliminate injuries caused by motor vehicles or to other pedestrians.
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.
That Captain America-esque deck, though, is where the real magic happens. It uses Plan B’s Blk Ice tech, which means it’s lighter than your average board, stronger than standard 7-ply maple, and it’s built to slide and pop like no other without any need to add wax. This also makes it more consistent; no extra slippery or sticky spots, just a smooth ride.
We would also like to point out one amazing detail about Plan B that makes it stand out from the other top skateboard brands, the deck technology that it uses. I already talked about how their decks are pretty strong and have minimal flex. But its other products like Plan B BLK ICE decks with wax used on their standard build decks to increase the speed and smoothness of skating a rail and the Flashback Series that uses prospect skateboard deck technology to make the boards thinner, lighter and stronger, are amazing!
After leaving long time sponsor Birdhouse due to a feeling of dissatisfaction at the manner in which he himself was being marketed as a pro skater, Andrew Reynolds joined forces with a group of similarly aged pro skaters, who at the time, all lived close to each other in Huntington Beach, California in the Warner Ave housing complex and resolved to turn what had formerly been a loosely affiliated crew into a skateboard brand. Reynolds approached Tony Hawk and Per Welinder, owners of Blitz Distribution (and distributors of Birdhouse) with his idea and, rather than losing Reynolds completely, Blitz Distribution agreed to assist Reynolds with Baker and to distribute it.
Freedom Plaza has become a popular location for skateboarding, although the activity is illegal and has resulted in police actions. A 2016 National Park Service management plan for the Historic Site states that skateboarding has damaged stonework, sculptures, walls, benches, steps, and other surfaces in some areas of the Plaza. The management plan further states that skateboarding presents a persistent law enforcement and management challenge, as popular websites advertise the Plaza's attractiveness for the activity. The plan notes that vandals have removed "No Skateboarding" signs and recommends the replacement of those signs.
We have unfortunately seen low quality skateboards that even try to use plastic trucks (please avoid). However it can be really hard to spot a poorly made metal truck without skating it. Brand awareness can come into play here again. The manufacturers name should be marked on the trucks. A quality set of trucks (2 per board) could start out as low as around $30 and will go up from there.
In this modern era, manufacturers are incorporating hi-tech processes and top-shelf materials into the construction of the skateboard. Companies such as Almost have several versions of hi-tech decks such as the Impact, Double Impact, and Uber Light Series. Element makes Highlight decks with inlayed fiberglass beams, and Foundation has its signature Fiberprime decks. Other manufactures such as Flip, Habitat, Plan B, Skate Mental, and Zero offer boards with high-end P2 Construction. Hi-tech decks differ from traditional 7-ply Maple in that they are inlayed with Carbon Fiber, Fiberglass, Poly Ply, or Kevlar to produce a stronger skateboard with more pop. For more options, head over to our stellar selection of Hi-Tech Decks! Although hi-tech decks have made a strong presence within the market, standard 7-ply Maple remain the gold standard. This is due to the solid feeling and pop afforded through layering 7 Maple wood veneers together. The large majority of skateboard decks offered are constructed of 7-ply Maple. Most board manufacturers offer both high-tech decks and standard 7-ply Maple. No matter what you desire, CCS offers a complete selection in multiple sizes, shapes, and construction types!
As loosely defined as Bronze is, Peter Sidlauskus seems to be incapable of doing anything wrong in his marketing for the brand, endlessly putting out amazingly hilarious and gnarly New York based edits featuring a loose group of guys we can say make up their “team.” Bronze brings an aesthetic that falls somewhere between vaporwave and deepweb, and is always making gear that you can rock on the daily, from pink dad hats to coaches jackets. You might have even seen their flip of the Windows 98 logo on the backs of people like ASAP Nast.
The skateboard companies that are considered at the top include Element Skateboards. Founded by professional skateboarder Johnny Schillereff in 1992, the company’s goal was to expand on Johnny’s “Elementality” vision to build a company that helped to bring awareness to skateboarding. The goal is to focus on its uses in nature and the environment and the interconnecting of art and skateboarding. Developed from an urban mentality that was rough around the edges, the brand was transformed to embrace the “tree” logo with an emphasis on the positive and making the world a better place. A customer can purchase complete skateboards that include the decks, wheels, trucks, and bearings or they can customize a deck to suit their needs. Accessories and clothing are also offered. There are 20 professional skateboarders on the Elements team including such names as Brandon Westgate, Nyjah Houston, Mark Appleyard and Nick Garcia.
The wheelbase of a skateboard deck is the distance between the centers of the inner most truck mounting holes. This distance ranges between 13.5 to 16 inches and is generally proportional to the deck length on standard popsicle decks. Some specially shaped boards and cruiser decks have differing length/wheelbase ratios. Wheelbase can impact stability and turning radius, but the effect is often subtle and not a major concern for a beginner.