Toy Machine is an Ed Templeton company and one of the best skateboard companies of its time. Ed is an Orange County original skater and developed the board he wanted to skate on, thus creating the Toy Machine Brand. Though the Toy Machine team has seen many changes, it has always held onto professional skaters that can provide insight in the latest needs of boards. Toy Machine skateboards are known for their signature monster graphics, which have made them a top skateboard brand.
Now venturing into making boards through a sister company Jamaica after running a line of them under their own Bronze name, Bronze has not slept after catching their first break of success. They recently collabed with Palace on a collection that instantly sold out, and have already dropped the successful first half of their collaboration with HUF. Keep an eye out for the second installment of that coming soon.
It’s a beautifully designed affordable skateboard that provides an optimum ride for both amateurs and pro riders. Its high-rebound, hand-cast polyurethane wheels are built to deliver best roll and grip during an action. Its 7.625 inches wide and 31.625 inches long top board offers ample grip and stable ride for the beginners who are still learning to stand while riding without any fear of slipping off the board. Its colorful screen-printed bottom lets you ride in style. It is built to meet demanding specifications.
Whilst this A – Z is by no means exhaustive and there are many brands, both new and old that are not included, we feel that this cross section of companies represents a selection of some of the best choices out there today. The following list of 29 skateboard brands, beginning with Alien Workshop and ending with Zero, covers a huge range of the alternatives within the current market and will hopefully act as a handy guide to those dipping their feet into our world for the first time.
Velocity Boards Retro Skateboards is a complete 22″ Banana Skateboard. It includes 6″ Lightweight Aluminum Trucks, High-Speed ABEC-7 Bearings, High-Quality Wheels & Bushings and Hardware. It has a Unique Textured Waffle Pattern on Deck and is designed for Maximum Grip. The Deck measures about 22 x 6 x 4″. It has a 6″ Truck Axle and a 3″ Truck Hanger. It has a maximum weight capacity of 176 lbs. (80 kgs.). It is great for all skaters who are 6 years old and above. It has an Amazon rating of 4.7.
“As far as the actual look of the vast majority of contemporary graphics goes, I’d say that it feels to me as if something has been lost. It’s down to what you can do with modern heat transfer printing techniques – you can literally just take a photograph from the Internet and print it identically straight onto a skateboard. Speaking personally, there’s very little to challenge you there: either from the point of view of creating graphics, or from the consumer’s perspective. Whereas back when screen-printing was the norm, every time a graphic was produced the artist was physically cutting the key line out by hand. The key line is the final black line that forms the outline of whatever it is that you’re printing and ties in all the other colours together. You can see this in the early Sean Cliver graphics for example, where it’s clear that he has hand cut the key lines as precisely as he was able to, but looked at from today’s perspective they’re not perfectly precise, which is what gives Cliver’s earliest stuff its specific look in my opinion.”
Ever notice small vertical or horizontal cracks through your grip tape or by the hardware of your trucks? These are called stress or pressure cracks and are basically mini fractures of your skateboard deck that typically are seen in the areas of the deck that withstand the greatest impact (around the trucks). A few pressure cracks is generally no big deal and you won’t even notice them while skating, but they can compound and grow larger and make your deck lose “pop” and increase the chance of snapping. To avoid pressure cracks, you cant use riser pads underneath your trucks to reduce the level of impact your deck takes. You should also avoid over tightening your hardware and storing your skateboard in a very humid place as both of these practices can also make your board weaker and more susceptible to pressure cracks.
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Huf has come a long way since its humble beginnings slinging the best sneakers and streetwear in San Francisco's Tenderloin District. Keith Hufnagel and his team quickly outgrew the boutique niche and have becomea full blown skate apparel and footwear brand. Today Huf has a stacked teamed (including low-key legends like Joey Pepper, who recently got a signature shoe), a wildly popular range of product (weed socks, anyone?), and some hefty celebrity co-signs.
Skateboarding damages urban terrain features such as curbs, benches, and ledges when skateboarders perform "grinds" and other tricks on these surfaces. Private industry has responded to this problem by using skate deterrent devices, such as the Skatestopper, in efforts to prevent further damage and to reduce skateboarding on these surfaces.
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!
Sizing plays an important role in the performance of any deck. A large majority range in size from 7.75" to 8.5" in width. These will provide a great platform for shredding any obstacle and will excel in street and skatepark environments alike. For those who prefer a smaller board, decks are offered down to 7.5" in width- benefiting people with smaller feet or the technical skater. Conversely, those looking for a wider board will enjoy our selection ranging up to 8.9" wide. Larger decks will accommodate those with very large feet, as well as offer an amazing experience for cruising and shredding large ramps and transitions.
When looking at skateboarding’s history, the only thing that’s stayed the same is the overall structure: every board consists of four skateboard wheels, two skateboard trucks, and a riding surface of some kind. And while we’ve come a long way from the days of metal and clay wheels, some aspects of skateboarding - like the brands manufacturing some of the most trusted products - haven’t changed at all. Independent Trucks has been designing trucks since 1978. Powell Peralta, the company responsible for Powell Skateboards, Bones Wheels, Bones Bearings, and the Bones Brigade also started in 1978. NHS, Inc., the company that produces Santa Cruz Skateboards, Independent Trucks, Bronson Speed Bearings, Krux trucks, Flip Skateboards, Ricta Wheels, Mob Grip, and OJ Wheels started in 1973. It’s no wonder these brands are still doing so well - they’ve been with skateboarding since the beginning. Since the day skateboarding went from something surfers did when the waves were flat to its own sport that involves technique, practice, and careful consideration, a small handful companies have been there to help skateboarding become what it is today.
Another great pro option, Element is definitely one of the top 3 brands in skateboarding. This deck is also slightly slimmer than the Enjoi deck above so it would be an even better choice for someone with small feet or who is very young. This board has an iconic look that will be recognized by most skaters, and it has the quality to last much longer than most other skateboards on the market.
Skateboarding, in one form or another, has been around since the late 1950’s when the first brave pioneer first attached roller skate wheels to a piece of wood. As skateboarding progressed to mimic surfing, skateboards evolved with the style of riding. Skateboards grew and changed shapes as riders experimented with everything from plastic to fiberglass to aluminum constructions - all in an effort to push what was possible. Like most sports or art forms, progression is at the heart of skateboard innovation.
Where do you live? I forget that this is a global community. If you're US/CA I would recommend going to a local shop and testing some out and see what you like the most cause a Girl will be different from an Almost from an Expedition in very little ways that might turn you off the board shape more than their graphics/team. I would get between a 8" and 8.25" deck though.
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.
The brand directs their concentration on towards freerides, carves, and downhill rides for all levels. Rayne offers one-offs and protos in their sales. The boards from Rayne in our observation can ride with double kicks, pushers, dancers and cruisers. You can entrust in the authenticity and progression of Rayne since their foundation dated back in 2004 and has not failed any of their fans.
Typically when looking at different completes you will see size dimensions in the format of ~7-8 x 31-34″. This measurement is referring to the width and length of the skateboard deck. Typically all other parts are relatively standard and the deck size is the main thing to look for. Standard skateboard widths for beginners are between 7.5-8.25 with smaller boards being better for younger and smaller guys. You don’t really have to worry about length much as long as it’s shaped regularly. You may hear about the concave of the deck or a special type of board construction, but for the most part, it will not matter much to a beginner. If you have no idea what size would be best you will never go wrong with a 7.5 or 7.75.
Modern decks are made with a composite of thin layers of either maple or bamboo pressed into a near symmetrical shape with a nose equal to or longer than the tail. The deck should be concave (subtle U shape) along the whole board with both the nose and tail angled upwards (the "kick" of the board). Conceptually while the skateboard is a platform, it also serves to cup the balls of the skater’s feet with rising sides, nose and tail providing the foundation for pretty much all modern skateboard tricks.
Skateboards just aren’t what they used to be, and that doesn’t make Jim Greco, Baker and Deathwish OG, happy whatsoever. Greco started the company last year as an effort to bring back skateboard manufacturing to the USA from overseas in China, using the traditional silk screen ink transfer and hand shaping methods from the early days of skateboarding.
This is an interesting option because it is basically a hybrid between a blank and pro skateboard deck. It’s like a pro board in that is has a “brand” and logo, but the cost is similar to blanks and they don’t sponsor the same quantity and caliber of professional skaters that other pro brands do. While the logo is really cool and the rest of the parts seem to be high quality, you may not get the same brand recognition with Punisher as you would with other brands like Element or Toy Machine. This deck is also 7.5″ which makes it a great choice for a younger beginner. This is the perfect beginner skateboard for someone who doesn’t really care about the brand name, but still wants the style and performance of an above average professional skateboard.
If you’re a beginner and you want a board that gives you a little of everything to discover, you cannot go wrong with this ENJOI board. You get everything you need, all ready to go out of the box, and made with professional-grade components. The ENJOI also earns points for having that classic cool artwork on the deck that makes it fun to show off at the park.
It’s long deck and premium bearings will give you the ease of pushing which will help you to tear out of around- town traveling. It has a unique shape of the perimeter which offers you 9.6 inches of leverage per turn. Can you imagine it? It also helps you to eliminate the wheel bite. This board has a maple covered deck that will certainly catch the attention of others. It is almost impossible that you cease to enjoy the splendor and elegance of this board. Furthermore, along with your stylish longboard, 245 mm axles are incorporated.
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.
Diamond has been a household name in streetwear for their dope caps, tees, hoodies, and sneaker collab hype that have had the Internet going nuts for years, but the brand's roots are in skate. While the list of collaborations and rapper co-signs is long (too long to list here), but for skate nerds the team is way more impressive—Raven Tershy, Ryan Sheckler, Torey Pudwill, Shane O'Neil, Stevie Williams, Paul Rodriguez… The list goes on.
The logo is the powerful icon that represents the company's legacy, while graphic styles tend to ebb and flow. Just as skateboarding has evolved and changed over the decades, the skateboard logo has as well, for better and for worse. Picking out the top 50 logos in skateboarding isn't an easy task. Do you separate the logo from the company and base it on visual appeal? I think that's impossible given the nature of skating. Ultimately, these are logos from companies that built the landscape of skateboarding from the ground up. So you have to take into consideration the impact of the brand as well as the logo it represents. If a logo has personal importance to you, then that's all that matters. My list is only one opinion and forged from jumping into skateboarding in 1984.
Girl Skateboards, with its distinct “women’s bathroom” logo, is a brand distributed by Crailtap and founded in 1993 mainly by professional skateboarders Mike Carroll and Rick Howard and was created to give pro skateboarders a future. A “Girl” deck is made of seven-ply maple, which is strong and resistant. Decks can be customized in a wide variety of graphics or can feature the “Girl” logo. For those who don’t want to customize, complete skateboards are available that include the deck, wheels, trucks and bearings. Clothing, featuring the Girl logo, are available in a wide variety of styles. Not only does Girl distribute skateboards, but they also make films, videos and more. The Girl team consists of Sean Malto, Brandon Biebel, Andrew Brophy, Mike Mo Capaldi, Cory Kennedy, Rick McCrank, Jeron Wilson, Mike Carroll, Rick Howard, Tyler Pacheco, and Simon Bannerot.
Goldfish and Mouse established Girl’s video aesthetic with numerous movie skits inter-cut with the skating, including the infamous Eric Koston as Charlie Chaplin skit. Pioneering skate photographer and film-maker Spike Jonze (also responsible for Blind Skateboard’s Video Days) as a part-owner of Crailtap has been involved in the making of all of their videos to date and it is his cinematic approach that lends Girl’s video output its uniqueness.