FTC was cool before there were skate and hype blogs around to tell you that they were cool. Mastermind Kent Uyehara built his brand from the back of a sporting goods shop into an international symbol of cool, with franchise locations in Sacramento, Tokyo, and Barcelona. FTC isn't just the go-to spot for skate gear in those cities-it's a full-blown brand that any skater would be proud to wear.
Polar’s inaugural video release, The Polar Skate Co. Promo – Wallride Oh Yeah Oh Yeah Oh Yeah (2012) with the tagline ‘Inspire others to inspire themselves’ featuring Pontus, fellow Swedes Oskar Rozenberg and Davd Stenstrom, Polish rider Michal Juras, Dane Hjalte Halberg, Tjark Thielker and original rider and Polar artistic contributor Jakke Ovgren.
Thunder trucks are solid, with some great innovations. Thunder's light truck range claims to be the lightest available, with the quickest turning. Thunder's team is also pretty impressive, with Thomas, Appleyard, Marks, Steamer, Ellington. The list is actually pretty huge. If having a lot of pros ride the same trucks as you is important (which isn't a bad idea - these people are skating in competitions, and want the best!), then take a look at Thunder.
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.
This board is also a very smooth ride, and surprisingly offers plenty of stability as well, which makes it safe for beginners to learn with. Finally, it’s one of the few boards on this list that comes in a huge array of styles and artwork so that you can get the board that suits your style best. If what you want is a board that looks and performs like the boards you see at sporting events, this is the perfect choice. The only downside is that it’s not the most flexible board out there, which could make it a little harder to ease into turns – however, this feature is what makes the board just right for learning tricks on.
This board also has a unique shape that makes it a lot easier to ease into turns, which is something that longboards aren’t always known for. It’s a lot easier to push off on this deck thanks to how low it sits, and you also get a one-year warranty from the manufacturer should anything go wrong. If you’ve never ridden on a board before, and don’t want to learn tricks right away, this is a great choice, especially if you’ll be riding around a lot of mostly flat areas.
They have continued to ride that wave over the past year, continuously putting out great edits, following cherry up with Sickness, Red Devil, Joyride, and Swoosh, all in collaboration with cherry’s filmer Bill Strobeck. We all know they will never fall off when it comes to putting out fire gear every new season and drop, but to keep it coming with actual great footage is another story, and is definitely making skateboarding better today.
As it eventually became more apparent that skateboarding had a particular identity with a style of shoe, other brands of shoe companies began to specifically design skate shoes for functionality and style to further enhance the experience and culture of skateboarding including such brands as; Converse, Nike, DC Shoes, Globe, Adidas, Zoo York and World Industries. Many professional skateboarders are designed a pro-model skate shoe, with their name on it, once they have received a skateboarding sponsorship after becoming notable skateboarders. Some shoe companies involved with skateboarding, like Sole Technology, an American footwear company that makes the Etnies skate shoe brand, further distinguish themselves in the market by collaborating with local cities to open public Skateparks, such as the etnies skatepark in Lake Forest, California.
If what you want out of your first skateboard is something very stable to just get the feel of riding without the danger, the Atom Drop Deck is perfect. This is a longboard, meaning it’s perfect for longer rides and cruising around. The components are made to handle lots of wear and tear, and the low-ride deck makes you feel more in control, closer to the ground, and more stable.
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.
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.
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.
Almost every skate shop will have a wall of boards that is either organized by brand, size, or alphabetically. At our CCS skate shop, we have multiple walls of boards that we try and keep ordered alphabetically. A wall of skateboards, at first glance, can be overwhelming, but if you know what size and roughly what brands you like, it should be fairly easy for you to figure out what board you want. Now would be a good time to mention our CCS Skateboard Buyer’s Guide, specifically the Decks Guide. In the CCS Decks Guide, you’ll find all the information you need to gain a basic understanding of skateboard decks.
The “popsicle” deck is the most popular shape because of its versatility and durability. These decks resemble the shape of a popsicle stick because they feature both a nose and a tail that are exactly or nearly symmetrical. Since the nose and the tail are shaped about the same, it’s easy to do tricks no matter which direction you’re headed in. Most skateboarders stick to popsicle decks because of their functionality and reliability.
The criteria used to select the brands featured varies – some are included due to their commitment to technological innovation and for their efforts to improve the products they offer through experimentation, others are included for what they offer in terms of cultural depth and for their contributions to skateboarding culture as a whole, whether that be through graphics, video output or simple attitude.