Freestyle skating remained healthy throughout this period, with pioneers such as Rodney Mullen inventing many of the basic tricks that would become the foundation of modern street skating, such as the "Impossible" and the "kickflip". The influence that freestyle exerted upon street skating became apparent during the mid-1980s; however, street skating was still performed on wide vert boards with short noses, slide rails, and large soft wheels. In response to the tensions created by this confluence of skateboarding "genres", a rapid evolution occurred in the late 1980s to accommodate the street skater. Since few skateparks were available to skaters at this time, street skating pushed skaters to seek out shopping centers and public and private property as their "spot" to skate. (Public opposition, in which businesses, governments, and property owners have banned skateboarding on properties under their jurisdiction or ownership, would progressively intensify over the following decades.) By 1992, only a small fraction of skateboarders continuing to take part in a highly technical version of street skating, combined with the decline of vert skating, produced a sport that lacked the mainstream appeal to attract new skaters.
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.
In the skateboarding world, there is considerable shuffling of the famous top brands as not many of them manage to stay in the spotlight for long. This continuous reshuffling paves way for new skateboard brands to come into the spotlight. However, it is important to note that no two brands are the same and comparing them is difficult but the following list has been created by extensive research of the saturated skateboard market and features the best skateboard brands out there that you must give a try.
If you are looking to buy a reliable skateboard that will keep you busy for years to come, the Whitey Panda is the ideal choice. It’s a very good entry-level skateboard that can be put through a lot of wear and tear. The solid, metal skateboard trucks ensure that you will be kept sturdy and safe both on and off the ground. This helps the rider feels more confident when doing tricks, no matter where they are.
Pro decks are what most people are familiar with and what is seen most commonly around skateparks and driveways around the US. These decks can have a variety of different logos and images on them and sometimes are a specific professional skater’s pro deck. Pro decks provide skaters a way to support their favorite riders and have the same equipment they see all their favorite pros using. The quality of professional decks and parts are almost always very high as they have a reputable and brand image to uphold. For this higher level of quality and you can expect to pay 2-3x the cost of a blank complete. If you want to save some money and still have a pro look, there are options available that have generic blank parts with a pro deck. This may be a good option for a beginner skater who is not yet doing complex tricks that may break these cheaper parts, but they still want the look and feel of a pro skateboard. As the skater progresses they can then switch out these generic parts for higher-end options as necessary.
Bearings are rated by the ABEC scale (1-9), which has nothing to do with skateboarding. Manufacturers know skaters believe higher ABEC ratings mean faster bearings. They do not, and you won’t find high-quality bearings on off-the-shelf skateboards. Most of these completes are slow. Make a bearing upgrade a top priority. Good bearings can make almost any skateboard fast. This article by longtime pro Anthony Pappalardo gives an insider’s perspective on bearings.
Element, based out of Irvine, CA, is one of the cool skateboard brands today. They came in first on our list due to their quality boards, sustainable practices and the affordability they offer customers. They’re an environmentally responsible brand who creates their boards without causing any environmental damage. The Element team behind the company is comprised of a group of professional skateboarders who interact with a strong belief in the Element brand. They not only offer great products, but stand for an open minded and active lifestyle and have become one of the best skateboard brands in the world.
Well know for their creative cartoon graphics and high-quality deck construction, this Toy Machine complete is another great starting skateboard for beginners. This deck is slightly larger than 8″ so it would be perfect for adults or people with larger feet who want a more stable ride. This setup is another good example of generic parts with a pro quality deck for a very reasonable price. A great option for a beginner who loves the logo and graphic, but wants to save money on the less important parts until they decide they want to take their skating the to next level.
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.
Krown’s motto is to provide quality skateboards on a budget. They manage that surprisingly well; not only are their products at budget prices, but they can take quite a lot of beating too. Their skateboards arrive readily assembled and ready to ride. You won’t have to spend hours fiddling with screws and bolts to ride your new prized possession! No matter if you are a beginner or an expert looking for a good board to ride on, Krown’s product is made to fit everyone’s needs.
Independent has been making skateboarding trucks for over 25 years. Independent's Stage 9 truck series are quality made, lightweight and still durable. They also feature "Fast Action Independent Geometry," which means they are designed to react more quickly to your motions than other trucks. Independent trucks are usually on the wider side, but all sizes are available. Independent trucks are also guaranteed for life against manufacturer defects but should last forever anyway.
Skateboard hardware is used to connect the skateboard trucks to the skateboard deck. Skateboard hardware refers to the bolts and locknuts used when building a board. The bolts can have an Allen or Phillips head. Skateboard hardware comes in many different lengths, and often includes one different colored bolt so that the rider can mark the nose of their board.
This article is about regular street skateboards. They are rounded on both ends and curved upwards. Sometimes beginners are confused by longboards that are much larger and irregularly shaped or cruiser board that can be very small. I just wanted to clarify this point, as this article is very helpful for choosing the best skateboard for beginners, but may provide incorrect or unimportant information if you are actually looking for longboards or cruisers.
Krown Rookie complete skateboards are a prime example of a product that is well liked, and of great quality. Just like with the previous Krown product we discussed, the company has given us several colors of the product o choose from. This is a great addition, since it helps riders personalize their rides whichever way they want. It also limits the possibility of running into someone that is sporting the same skateboard at you!
Following stints on the US brands Mad Circle and Arcade and a pro model on the then hugely popular European brand Cliche skateboards, Pontus Alv quit his board sponsor and moved back to his hometown of Malmo, Sweden in the early to mid 00’s. During this time Pontus took what might be called a creative hiatus but which would be more accurately explained as a re-connection with his roots. After returning to Malmo, Alv became heavily involved in building and creating the scene there, working alongside friends to build a number of DIY skatespots through the city such as the now legendary Savanna-side and Steppeside projects.
Skateboarding is thrilling as well as a very dangerous sport if not taken seriously. That’s why whenever you plan to ride a skateboard you must choose the best skateboard for a beginner. Being a beginner in skateboarding you get plenty of challenges in discovering your personal riding style. You can minimize various hassles by having the best skateboard for a beginner. For this reason, we have compiled a great in-depth guide for beginners to help them get started with this amazing journey of skateboarding. Making the best choice as a beginner can beat the odds of failing to ride or not having the best experience in skateboarding. Read on to find out.
Founder Richard Novak is also widely credited as creating the skateboard industry as we know it today by establishing skateboarding as a separate culture and business by wrestling the sport away from the control of the roller-skating industry in the early 1970’s and promoting it through sponsoring events, supporting the nascent skateboard magazine culture, pioneering technologies within skateboard, truck and wheel construction and establishing the edgy cultural identity of skateboarding from the very beginning.
The first thing to consider is what kind of skateboarding you want to do. Do you want to skate your local skate park and learn tricks? Do you want something for commuting across town or campus? Or, would you enjoy charging down hills at high speeds? Take a look at the options below and note which features work well for the type of skating you want to do.
“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.”
Decks come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can choose a mini-board, a cruiser, a drop-through, or a standard deck for your favorite set of wheels and hardware. Widths range too from a few inches with a 22-inch board to the wide size of a true cruiser. Some decks are flat as possible while others are significantly concave for optimized turning. You can buy a deck with artwork and grip tape already attached for a quick install or you can get a bare-bones wooden deck to truly customize.
Without good grip tape, skaters have a tough time staying on top of their board. The main complaints about poor grip tape tend to be that it was never very grippy or lost its grip really quickly. Once again, we recommend trusting in name brands with years of experience supporting skateboarders. Unfortunately, if you are buying a pre-made complete skateboard, you probably won't have access to the brand name of the grip.
Started by a group of guys who decided to stick together after the fall of Alien Workshop, Quasi skateboards presses boards and prints shirts featuring psychedelic art for the year 2015, offering something different than most board brands today. Backed by a team boasting hometown heroes and certified style gawds, Quasi is a board company everybody wanted that nobody had made yet.
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.