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.
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?
Pro Skateboarder, Jamie Thomas developed the Zero brand in Carlsbad, CA and has built it into one of the top skateboard brands. Though the Zero brand initially distributed clothing, it eventually evolved to boards designed to suit the need for any tricks performed. The Zero team is comprised of a close group of skateboard professionals that have turned their passion into a company dedicated to provide the latest in skateboard innovation and helped Zero Skateboards become a fantastic skateboard brand. Zero boards are great for maneuvers, stability and especially grinds, with their specially designed features. Their innovation and high-quality designs has made Zero Skateboards one of the good skateboard brands today.
I'm not talking about mall chain stores, like Zumiez; I mean a locally owned and operated skateboard shop. Look around at what they sell, and talk to the staff about the different brands. Of course, they may be biased toward the brands they carry, but chances are you'll learn something that will help you make a decision. There are some big-name board brands that you'll find in most shops, but there should also be some smaller brands you may not have heard or seen around town. There might even be a a local skater or manufacturer that you could support.
We want customers to be satisfied with their products. That’s why we have spent countless hours researching and picking the best skateboards available out on the market today. If you are a beginner and need a well-versed opinion on the topic, we sincerely hope that our reviews and FAQ sections will help you decide which skateboard you should adopt as your own!
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.
Unlike California, where the sun always shines and the pavement has never seen snow and salt, New York only has a handful of skate brands. Funny when you think about the rich history skateboarding has in the City. 5Boro is one of the brands that has been keeping the tradition alive for more than a decade, and next time you see founder Steve Rodriguez out skating, thank him for making so much happen for skaters in NYC.
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.
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.
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.
Similar to sandpaper, grip tape, or “grip” as it’s commonly referred to, is applied to the top of your deck for traction. Grip gives you the friction you need to perform tricks such as ollies and kickflips. Not all grip tape is the same however. Each brand's products perform differently, so you may want to experiment with different brands to get a feel for what you prefer.
“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.”
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.