Zero Skateboards is one of the American top companies for skateboards that comes out of California. The brand, representing by a skull logo, was founded by professional skateboarder Jamie Thomas and is distributed by Dwindle Distribution. The Zero brand is about rebellion and freedom of expression despite society’s rules. The company offers complete skateboards that come with the deck, wheels, trucks, and bearings, as well as decks you can customize, accessories and clothing. In addition to Thomas, the Zero team is Tommy Sandoval, Dane Burman, James Brockman, Tony Cervantes, Windsor James, Adrian Lopez, Chris Wimer, and Kurt Hodge.
Pro decks are what most people are familiar with and what is seen most commonly around skateparks and driveways around the US. These decks can have a variety of different logos and images on them and sometimes are a specific professional skater’s pro deck. Pro decks provide skaters a way to support their favorite riders and have the same equipment they see all their favorite pros using. The quality of professional decks and parts are almost always very high as they have a reputable and brand image to uphold. For this higher level of quality and you can expect to pay 2-3x the cost of a blank complete. If you want to save some money and still have a pro look, there are options available that have generic blank parts with a pro deck. This may be a good option for a beginner skater who is not yet doing complex tricks that may break these cheaper parts, but they still want the look and feel of a pro skateboard. As the skater progresses they can then switch out these generic parts for higher-end options as necessary.
However, the diversity of Santa Cruz skateboard’s stake in the skateboard business meant that they easily survived the mid-90’s slump in popularity and returned with an newly invigorated team and powered on with video after video from the mid-90’s to the present day. Similarly to Powell-Peralta, Santa Cruz are also notable for their Veteran Division (documented in their 2007 release ‘V Day‘) celebrating pro riders such as Keith Meek, Tom Knox and Eric Dressen from earlier eras of Santa Cruz’s existence. Santa Cruz Skateboards current line of product boasts many re-released classic boards from earlier eras of the brand and are as popular, if not more so, than they were originally, thanks to an explosion in the nostalgia and collector’s markets within skateboarding.
“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.”
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.
These guys are unabashedly all about London and the party boy lifestyle. The self-aware attitude they carry themselves with shines in the corresponding product copy on their website—it’s contagious and makes you want a piece of it. Everyone from A$AP Rocky to Drake, and even seemingly out-of-touch Jay Z has been seen rocking the gear, and it’s understandable why. Palace’s design team, which includes Fergus Purcell of Marc Jacobs, have created an image that’s been exclusive and dope from its inception, and they’ve yet to break that streak. Who else could follow up a dope adidas collaboration with an excellent pair of penny loafers?
The magazine only lasted four issues, but resumed publication as Skateboarder in 1975. The first broadcast of an actual skateboarding competition was the 1965 National Skateboarding Championships, which were held in Anaheim, California and aired on ABC’s “Wide World of Sports. Because skateboarding was a new sport during this time, there were only two original disciplines during competitions: flatland freestyle and slalom downhill racing.
Founded in 2008 in Pennsylvania, Punisher’s goal has been to make graphically pleasing skateboards that have designs that resonate with the rider on a deeper level. Each artist is handpicked by Punisher to design an original, unique image that is then incorporated into the skateboard. The fantastic graphic designs combined with the quality of the skateboard itself make for a very personalized riding experience.
Skateboarders from all over know Santa Cruz Skateboards for its “Screaming Hand” logo, designed by legendary artist Jim Phillips, and the monstrous artwork displayed on the decks, including series styles such as their Star Wars and Marvel series. Founded in 1973 and distributed by NHS, Inc., the California based brand is the oldest continuous skateboard company in the world. Santa Cruz boards are made from 100% North American maple and they offer complete skateboards, decks, and cruiser boards. The Santa Cruz Skateboards team consists of 16 professional skateboarders including names such as Blake Johnson, Dylan Williams, Emmanuel Guzman, and Eric Dressen.
This article is about regular street skateboards. They are rounded on both ends and curved upwards. Sometimes beginners are confused by longboards that are much larger and irregularly shaped or cruiser board that can be very small. I just wanted to clarify this point, as this article is very helpful for choosing the best skateboard for beginners, but may provide incorrect or unimportant information if you are actually looking for longboards or cruisers.
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.