Following stints on the US brands Mad Circle and Arcade and a pro model on the then hugely popular European brand Cliche skateboards, Pontus Alv quit his board sponsor and moved back to his hometown of Malmo, Sweden in the early to mid 00’s. During this time Pontus took what might be called a creative hiatus but which would be more accurately explained as a re-connection with his roots. After returning to Malmo, Alv became heavily involved in building and creating the scene there, working alongside friends to build a number of DIY skatespots through the city such as the now legendary Savanna-side and Steppeside projects.
Harsh weather, cracked pavement, angry cops—all things that make Raw New England just so raw. The name is also an acronym for Ready Amongst Willing—a perfect moniker for one of the East Coast's toughest brands. Raw's product drops aren't quite as frequent or bountiful as some other brands on this list, but the decks, tees, hoodies, and caps with the bold RAW logo are must-haves for New England's skate crowd. Visit the brand's shops in Boston or in CT to get the goods in person.
Girl skateboards are know for their witty graphics and high quality canadian maple decks. This specific complete features Mike Carroll’s pro deck and it comes fully assembled directly from the manufacturer (Girl). The reason this is such a great option for beginners is that all parts of this complete are truly pro quality and it’s built to last. The width is also perfect for all ages and shoe sizes at a moderate 7.8″. Definitely a great skateboard for beginners if you like the graphic and logo.
The wheels are also impressive. Unlike some other skateboards that have wheels that are quite stiff, causing them to feel like they will lock up when you ride on them, the wheels in this complete skateboard for beginners are smooth and comfortable. These are also easily controllable, so rest assured that they offer a smooth and friction-free glide.
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.
What’s important to consider here is choosing the length based on your riding needs. You might be a street rider and love to do some tricks. You probably need a short board with a narrow profile. Whereas the longboard is only recommended if you are a professional skateboarded and love to cruise around the town and want to improve your balance and stability.
As the name implies, a complete skateboard contains all the parts listed above, but in an already assembled ready-to-ride skateboard. The advantage to buying a complete is it completely eliminates the research and guesswork of buying each product individually and ensures that the skateboard is assembled correctly and safely. This is the approach I used when buying a skateboard for my nephew and what I recommend for people buying a skateboard as a gift or as their very first skateboard for themselves.
If you are completely new to skateboarding, consider taking a minute to read through the Skateboard Decks Section in our Buyer’s Guide will be helpful, but a good rule of thumb is: the bigger your feet, the wider your board should be. If you wear a size 9 and up, you can’t go wrong with buying an 8” board. Narrow boards are easier to flip while wider boards are more stable, but there are no hard and fast rules to skateboarding. The only way to really find out what you like is by trying new shapes, sizes, and brands. Brands like Welcome, Baker, Chocolate, Deathwish, and Element all have a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and graphics.
In terms of their skateboard output, Palace have released numerous videos online since their inception, including Gangbanging at Ground Zero (2011), Niggaz with Altitude (2013), a Danny Brady welcome clip ‘Definitely Brady‘ in 2014 and most recently, Very Nice in 2016 featuring newer team riders Shawn Powers and early viral internet star Jamal Smith. Palace are currently working on a full-length video.
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.
Signature Sick Graphics – bLind initially used a grim reaper as their signature design. Today, they still use the grim reaper along with several other skull graphics. Decks are often released with sick graphics of flame engulfed skulls, high detailed grim reapers or graffiti blocks. The graphics used on bLind decks are one of a kind masterpieces that loudly display the bLind company message.
Navigator is a newer truck company and may be hard to find (the Navigator site has a store locator that should help). I've listed them here because they have some unique features on their trucks. For example, they have a special addition beneath the baseplate that holds the kingpin in place so bushings can be replaced without taking the trucks off of the skateboard. Also, Navigator is the only truck company that pins their axles, so they can guarantee their axles will NEVER slip! The Navigator site lists many other features - take a look and see what you think.
The best criticism you could make about skateboarding in general right now is that it takes itself too seriously. Rightfully so. Skateboarders are often under attack, and what they do is illegal in most places. Skate culture is constantly being ripped off and bastardized. That's why it's so important to have a healthy sense of humor about it all, and that's why it's important that skateboarding has Roger.
SkateXS has been widely known to be the best brand for kids that are looking to advance their skateboarding skills. These skateboards have been designed with children in mind. That’s why there are many customizable features that you can pick when purchasing this product. If you are an avid skateboarder and want to introduce your kids to skateboarding, or just a parent that has been hearing about skateboards for weeks now, you can safely pick this product by SkateXs to help your kids safely advance in their skateboarding skills.
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.
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.
As the only female-focused and female-owned skateboard brand on this list, Meow Skateboards is notable for boldly stepping into the male-dominated skateboard industry and succeeding where other similar projects have failed. Prior to establishing the Meow Skateboard Brand, Lisa Whitaker was already a driving force within female skateboarding as the founder of the largest online resource for female skateboarding in the world – Girls Skate Network.
Ancheer 31″ Pro Skateboards are made of 7-ply maple wood and finished with anti-slip grip tape. It includes 60mm PU wheels ideal for riders who want to carve out sections, obtain speed and higher off the ground for tricks. It features 6″ Tony Hawk Signature aluminum trucks and 32″ long deck with double kick tail which is ideal for perfecting your favorite tricks. It comes with ABEC-7 skateboard bearings. It has style and quality which is expected from the most influential skateboarders of all time. It is one of the best-rated skateboards on Amazon with a rating of 4.8.
I rode for them as a ‘Amateur’ skateboarder in ‘79-’80, and they, at that time, had one of the Best boards out on the market, made of Fiberglass in a torsion box, with a foam core, and urethane ‘bumpers’ all around. I still have that board, and one set of C-70 Reds from then. I skated that gear hard, for many years, too. I still own 6–7 full sets of “krypto’s” for skateboards, and 8 that’re on quad-roller-skates. Great wheels, and they’re still in use.
It's too cold and dark to skate in Sweden for about six months out of the year. That must be when brand mastermind/artist Pontus Alv schemes on the global takeover he's been orchestrating for Polar. Not only are the brand's hats, tees, and hoodies some of the most coveted gear in the skate universe, the Polar team travels the globe hosting events, filming video clips, and getting people hyped on vigilante-style street skating. Look for Polar to come to your hood and build awesome, illegal concrete skate obstacles under a bridge, then bounce like gnarly, European skate tooth fairies. Good luck finding a tee or hat at this point—hype has made to goods rare, but let's hope as the excitement grows Mr. Alv will expand his distro.
Somehow, in the great effort to fight societal conformity, skateboarding always manages to create its own conformity. Trends in styles of skating and fashion come and go. A brand gets hot for a year or two because it's on trend, then it fades to make way for the next thing. Welcome Skateboards doesn't give a fuck about all that. Yes, they are a little weird. The graphics are vaguely Illuminati, and they can't seem to make a normal shaped deck, but that's just Welcome doing its own thing, and who wouldn't welcome that?
Skateboards, along with other small-wheeled transportation such as in-line skates and scooters, suffer a safety problem: riders may easily be thrown from small cracks and outcroppings in pavement, especially where the cracks run across the direction of travel. Hitting such an irregularity is the major cause of falls and injuries. The risk may be reduced at higher travel speeds.
One thing can already be told – compared to 2015 a lot has changed! The selection of the ‘Brands of the Year’ is made up of the combination of sold decks, brand shop visits, search queries and your interest in blog entries regarding the top players in the business. Our own brand SK8DLX was not considered for the ranking. We are happy, however, that you love to skate our in-house boards diligently and the SK8DLX deck series is celebrated well. In this sense, a big thank you to you all! Let’s start with the 16 most popular skateboard deck brands of 2016!
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.
After riding Powell decks for many years, I was given the opportunity by Michael Furukawa at Skate One Corp. to create my own board brand. This was an honor but I needed a co-pilot for this mission to happen. I asked Mimi Knoop if she would join forces with me and this was the beginning of an all girls skate brand that we called hoopla skateboards.
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.
In the early 1970s, Frank Nasworthy started to develop a skateboard wheel made of polyurethane, calling his company Cadillac Wheels. Prior to this new material, skateboards wheels were metal or "clay" wheels. The improvement in traction and performance was so immense that from the wheel's release in 1972 the popularity of skateboarding started to rise rapidly again, causing companies to invest more in product development. Nasworthy commissioned artist Jim Evans to do a series of paintings promoting Cadillac Wheels, they were featured as ads and posters in the resurrected Skateboarder magazine, and proved immensely popular in promoting the new style of skateboarding.
Certain cities still oppose the building of skate parks in their neighborhoods, for fear of increased crime and drugs in the area. The rift between the old image of skateboarding and a newer one is quite visible: magazines such as Thrasher portray skateboarding as dirty, rebellious, and still firmly tied to punk, while other publications, Transworld Skateboarding as an example, paint a more diverse and controlled picture of skateboarding. As more professional skaters use hip hop, reggae, or hard rock music accompaniment in their videos, many urban youths, hip-hop fans, reggae fans, and hard rock fans are also drawn to skateboarding, further diluting the sport's punk image.
Quality wheels won’t mean much if you don’t have nice bearings which allow the wheels to spin freely on the axle of the skateboard truck. A quality set of bearings will spin well right away and actually get even better once broken in a bit. If quality bearings get dirty, they can typically be taken apart and cleaned relatively easily. A good set of bearings typically runs between $10 - $16.
Founded by English freestyle skater, engineer and skateboarding entrepreneur Jeremy Fox in 1987 (Fox is also reputed to be the first person to import skateboard specific footwear ‘Pro-Keds’ into the UK) Deathbox in its heyday was one of only a handful of European brands that ever controlled enough market share to be a significant player in the skateboard industry.