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.
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.
If you want to be able to practice your new hobby anywhere and everywhere, the Fade is an excellent choice. This is a short skateboard that measures only 27 inches long, made of lightweight (yet still durable) plastic. That means it’s easy to toss into a backpack and carry with you on your commute, to school, or anywhere. It’ll also fit into a locker at the gym or school quite easily.
Many cities also began implementing recreation plans and statutes during this time period, as part of their vision for local parks and communities to make public lands more available, in particular, for skateboarding, inviting skateboarders to come in off of the city streets and into organized skateboarding activity areas. By 2006 there were over 2,400 skateparks worldwide and the design of skateparks themselves had made a transition, as skaters turned designers. Many new places to skateboard designed specifically for street skaters, such as the "Safe Spot Skate Spot" program, first initiated by professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek throughout many cities, allowed for the creation of smaller alternative safe skate plazas to be built at a lower cost. One of the largest locations ever built to skateboard in the world, SMP Skatepark in China, at 12,000 square meters in size, was built complete with a 5,000-seat stadium.
Despite what many young skaters may think, there is more to choosing a skateboard deck than the graphic on the bottom of the pro skater the deck company sponsors. The best skateboard deck varies from person to person depending on external factors such as the rider’s weight, skate style, shoe size, and budget. Person preferences can also impact the decision. For example, you may want to support your favorite pro skateboarder, so you buy their pro deck.
Make no mistake, not all European skate brands are provincial microcosms. Cliché has one of the most stacked teams in the industry, including the Australian master of pop Andrew Brophy and manual wizard Joey Brezinski. But the real star of the squad is Frenchman Lucas Puig, who has a stellar signature shoe for adidas, and an upcoming line of caps called Hélas that you will undoubtedly be hearing more about in the near future. Team aside, thanks to strong art direction, a prolific video program, and a highly covetable product offering that includes a dope collab with NYC mainstay DQM, Cliché is très ill.
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 2015, Hockey was announced to the world as Fucking Awesome’s sister brand with the release of their first eponymous video clip ‘Hockey‘ featuring riders John Fitzgerald and Donovon Piscopo. Since that first release Hockey have added former Anti Hero rider Andrew Allen to their team, along with Ben Kadow, a move announced in their second video – Hockey II.
However, this same company decided to ‘Cash-in’ on THE NAME BRAND, and now con-currently sells JUNK , made in China, at WAL MART. DO NOT BUY any ‘longboard’ they sell that has plastic trucks!! They are an accident awaiting a place to occur. I’ve seen wheels (from a company that prided itself on ‘the best wheels’) that are upwards of 4 mm out-of-round, which could easily cause speed-wobbles, even at pedestrian speeds. From my POV, they’ve opened themselves up to possibly numerous lawsuits, just because of the inferior quality, and poor design choices made in order to maximize profit.
The hoopla team helped to publicize just how well women can skate, and helped to create an onramp to skating's main road. Young girls and women have taken this opportunity so seriously, that they are no longer content to be part of a separate but equal skate community. In this era of the "Me Too" movement, shattered glass ceilings, and equality of pay, women have chosen to participate on each major company’s skateboard team, instead of supporting brands like hoopla, created just for women.
Serving skateboarding since 1976, we now offer the finest complete range of skate products in the world, handcrafted to serve skaters from their first skateboard to the top professional level. Our mission is to make the best skate equipment you can buy. If you don’t already know what you want, let us help you select the skateboard components that will enable you to take your skating to the next level. Whether you’re a first-time customer or a loyal fan, we’re proud to serve you.
SkateXS makes skateboards for kids, but the quality of the product is just as high as skateboards for adults. Many parents report their children being incredibly satisfied with the product. The reviews are 90% positive, and it’s easy to see why so many family members and friends turn to buying this skateboard for their young ones. Read on for more to consider when buying a skateboard for beginners.
Let me tell you this, Santa Cruz has a huge variety of high quality everything-skateboard so naturally picking out the best skateboard of the best was a hard task. But as usual, we have a clear winner; the Santa Cruz Youth Land Shark Cruzer, Rasta. If you are a part of the skateboarding community, there is a high chance that you might have heard about this skateboard. Intricately crafted with the best quality materials, it is one of the best skateboards in town.
These films have helped improve the reputation of skateboarding youth, depicting individuals of this subculture as having a positive outlook on life, prone to poking harmless fun at each other, and engaging in healthy sportsman's competition. According to the film, lack of respect, egotism and hostility towards fellow skateboarders is generally frowned upon, albeit each of the characters (and as such, proxies of the "stereotypical" skateboarder) have a firm disrespect for authority and for rules in general. Gleaming the Cube, a 1989 movie starring Christian Slater as a skateboarding teen investigating the death of his adopted Vietnamese brother, was somewhat of an iconic landmark to the skateboarding genre of the era. Many well-known skaters had cameos in the film, including Tony Hawk and Rodney Mullen, where Mullen served as Slater's stunt double.
Longboards are often 8 to 12 inches longer than a standard skateboard. That added length makes them more stable for long rides or high speed downhill runs. Available in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, and truck mounting options, longboards are highly customizable for many types of riding. If you want to push long distances, skate fast down hills, or are a beginner looking for an easy board for learning to balance, check our Guide to Longboarding for more info.
Their fan base loves them for pushing goofy but fun looking skating that in reality is heavier and rawer than most will realize, and their board graphics and t-shirts feature art from their riders in striking colorways. Their product immediately stands out among the bunch at any shop it’s stocked. These guys are doing things exactly their way, and it’s sticking.
Whilst early skateboarders generally rode barefoot, preferring direct foot-to-board contact, and some skaters continue to do so, one of the early leading trends associated with the sub-culture of skateboarding itself, was the sticky-soled slip-on skate shoe, most popularized by Sean Penn's skateboarding character from the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Because early skateboarders were actually surfers trying to emulate the sport of surfing, at the time when skateboards first came out on the market, many skateboarded barefoot. But skaters often lacked traction, which led to foot injuries. This necessitated the need for a shoe that was specifically designed and marketed for skateboarding, such as the Randy "720", manufactured by the Randolph Rubber Company, and Vans sneakers, which eventually became cultural iconic signifiers for skateboarders during the 1970s and '80s as skateboarding became more widespread.
Skate graphics have often incorporated blood, guts, and gore into board and T-shirt designs, but few brands render gnarliness quite as well as Heroin Skateboards. It's no surprise that a brand founded by artist Mark “Fos” Foster would have such tight art direction. Fos has a loose, low-fi handstyle that can be see in much of the brand's designs, and the delinquent band of team riders and their antics are a perfect embodimentof whatever “image” Fos is after.
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.
Habitat proved itself as an established power in skateboarding when it survived the downfall of the parent company that owned and killed Alien Workshop, being able to persevere and even name new pros through the whole restructuring. They moved their products under Tum Yeto Collective, the parent company/distribution house of other powerhouse skateboard brands like Toy Machine, and now it’s as if they were never in any danger. If you have any doubts about why Habitat is on this list, just watch Mark Suciu’s part in Search The Horizon and never question it again.
Zoo York originated in 1993 and is based out of New York. Its name and signature name came from the underground subway tunnel dubbed as Zoo York. The tunnel runs under the Central Park Zoo, however it’s primarily known from the graffiti subculture of the 1960’s and the 1970’s. The Zoo York tunnel was a prime hangout of its day and was originally tagged by some of the first east coast graffiti artists. Zoo York carries a unique style from the subway tunnel days, and it comes through in their graphics and street skating designs; not to mention their high durability design. They round off our list of the 10 top skateboard brands in the market. Zoo York is an innovative company that has worked its way up to being one of the best skateboard brands in the world.
Prior to the mid-seventies many early skateboards were originally based upon the concept of “Sidewalk Surfing” and were tied to the surf culture, skateboards were surfboard like in appearance with little to no graphics located under the bottom of the skateboard-deck. Some of the early manufactured skateboards such as "Roller Derby", the "Duraflex Surfer" and the "Banana board" are characteristic. Some skateboards during that time were manufactured with company logo's or stickers across the top of the deck of the skateboard, as griptape was not initially used for construction. But as skateboarding progressed & evolved, and as artist began to design and add influence to the artwork of skateboards, designs and themes began to change.
That’s a lot of wood! But it is by no means the end. In 2016 there were many other brands that have pleased us with wooden works of art. Chocolate were inspired by modern living shown in their Modern Homes series, Welcome beautifully presented decks in original shapes, and the two German brands Inpeddo and Mob showed that seven layers do not necessarily have to come from overseas.
The use of skateboards solely as a form of transportation is often associated with the longboard. Depending on local laws, using skateboards as a form of transportation outside residential areas may or may not be legal. Backers cite portability, exercise, and environmental friendliness as some of the benefits of skateboarding as an alternative to automobiles.
In an industry as diverse as skateboarding, the sheer number of skateboard brands on the market can be bewildering. With a seemingly never-ending amount of new brands emerging, alongside the numerous pre-existing ones, the market can certainly appear over crowded and confusing at times, which is hopefully where this list of some of our favourite skateboard brands comes in.