Mark Gonzalez created bLind Skateboards in 1989, and shortly after initiated a pro team for his skateboard brand. The bLind brand is known for higher durability due to their innovative features. The boards released by bLind are developed and marketed for hardcore skaters and top other skateboarding brands. We like that bLind goes all out providing one of the strongest boards out there, and without sacrificing the flex needed for tricks. They also do it all with a sick style and an innovative business plan that has made them one of the top skateboard brands.
A cruiser board is just that, a board that’s ideal for cruising across town. Cruiser boards have kicktails and are usually about the same size as “popsicle” decks, but with more variety in shapes. Cruisers are ideal for getting around because they are lighter and more nimble than larger longboards, allowing you to bob and weave through urban obstacles. Uniquely shaped cruiser decks have also become popular for transition skating because they add style and flavor without having a strong affect on the way the board skates.
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.

Skateboarders like things that aren't skateboarding, too, you know. Camping, fishing, motorcycles… Uh, skateboarding? Crap. Whatever. Pro skater Adrian Lopez founded Loser machine and the Dark Seas Division as a way to explore other facets of the culture through cool clothing. Loser Machine is a complete collection that goes far beyond that typical tees, jeans, and hats formula that many skate apparel brands rely on—leather motorcycle gloves, denim vests, and floral print button-downs are all evidence that this is a well-conceived project from a skater with good taste.

“I think it’s just also like, people want to have fun. If you watch say those types of Street League type of skateboarders, who are super amazing skateboarders that can push these crazy tricks down rails and stairs, like switch tre down fifteen stairs or whatever trick they do — it’s amazing to see that level of skating, but if you are an average Joe living in a small town you’re just like, “I’m never going to be able to kickflip back noseblunt twenty-stair rails”. That’s always the biggest trick. If you ask me it’s like, “What videos do you really enjoy?” The videos that you can some how relate to. Like, “Hey, I could actually do some of these tricks.” You connect to it and you feel like you can picture yourself being a part of the whole thing. When people put out these amazing super stunt skateboarding videos, pushing it to the furthest level possible, that’s rad in one sense, but to me personally as a kid I could never in my wildest dreams believe that I could do that too. I respect it. I understand it. But does it make me want to go skate? No.”


When you’re searching for one of the best decks on the market, it’s important to not go overboard. You don’t need one that is made from the rarest wood or that has the most unique design. The best boards may be the ones that balance cost, design, and quality. After all, with healthy use, you’ll eventually have to replace your deck anyway. You want the one that will give you the most functionality and enjoyment while you use it.
“I just felt like it was a window of opportunity within my own career. I might be one of those lucky few who’d be able to do that, start my own brand and move on. That window of opportunity only upholds for so long in skateboarding before you miss your prime, so I’d be kicking myself in the ass five years from now looking back and saying ‘how come I didn’t capitalise on that? Here I am, an older skater and not in my prime anymore and I have nothing still connecting me to skateboarding’”
Mini Cruisers have exploded in popularity in recent years. These short and skinny boards may not have the versatility of a standard skateboard, allowing for a full range of tricks and travel, but they are ideal for urban and college living where space for storage and riding are both minimal. If you want to ride a mini-cruiser, but you hate the plastic decks or you want to build your own, check out the Bamboo Skateboard mini cruiser deck.
Skateboard Cafe’s video releases to date include the initial Skateboard Cafe Promo (2012) featuring the original team of Harry Ogilvie, Shaun Currie, Josh Arnott, Tom Gibbs, Louis Marshall and Pat Garrahy plus associated friends. This was followed by Skateboard Cafe’s first full-length video ‘Alfresco‘ in 2015, followed by a rash of single rider and tour-based video releases since. Skateboard Cafe are also notable for conducting every aspect of their business in-house with all video, design and product sourcing undertaken by the owners, as well as using video look-books to promote each new drop of Skateboard Cafe product.
The skateboarding industry has changed so much in the last few years. Female skaters now get the support they need from bigger companies. I know hoopla helped pave the way for this to happen. It was so rewarding and surreal to have had such a rad team of girls represent hoopla over the years. I am stoked to have formed friendships with such a diverse and talented group.
Spotting a poorly made skateboard deck can be hit or miss. Some toy skateboards don’t even try to look “real". They might have no concave to their shape and may not even have a extended nose. Others may be shaped to resemble a real skateboard, but are made with cheap woods and fillers. If that is the case, they may be both thicker and heavier than a quality board, or they may be ready to fall apart quite quickly and easily. Consider that it isn’t easy to make a real skateboard deck. Most legitimate skateboard decks will sell for somewhere between $35 - $55. If you are paying that much for the entire skateboard, it is unfortunately a sign that significant corners were cut on quality. 
Proper skateboard wheels are made out of polyurethane with minimal additives. Toy skateboard wheels can be made of plastic or a low quality poly mix which leads to poor performance in the best case and even outright dangerous situations with cracked wheels in the worst case. This is a case where brand recognition and reputation can come into play. 
Bearings are very important if you want to keep rolling without pushing constantly, especially while street skating. They're typically rated with the ABEC (Annular Bearing Engineering Committee) scale. The ABEC scale only measures the precision of the bearing, not how well it rolls or how long it lasts. It's a common misconception that the ABEC scale refers to how fast the bearing rolls. Anything above 1 is precision and will perform fine for skateboarding, but it's recommended to go above a 3.
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.
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