Manufacturers started to experiment with more exotic composites and metals, like fiberglass and aluminium, but the common skateboards were made of maple plywood. The skateboarders took advantage of the improved handling of their skateboards and started inventing new tricks. Skateboarders, most notably Ty Page, Bruce Logan, Bobby Piercy, Kevin Reed, and the Z-Boys started to skate the vertical walls of swimming pools that were left empty in the 1976 California drought. This started the "vert" trend in skateboarding. With increased control, vert skaters could skate faster and perform more dangerous tricks, such as slash grinds and frontside/backside airs. This caused liability concerns and increased insurance costs to skatepark owners, and the development (first by Norcon, then more successfully by Rector) of improved knee pads that had a hard sliding cap and strong strapping proved to be too-little-too-late. During this era, the "freestyle" movement in skateboarding began to splinter off and develop into a much more specialized discipline, characterized by the development of a wide assortment of flat-ground tricks.
Distributed by NHS, Inc., Creature Skateboards was launched in 1994 by professional skateboarders Russ Pope, Jason Adams, Barket Barrett and Darren Navarrette. The company was revived in the mid-2000s. Creature is known for its horror themes on its skateboards and clothing. The company offers complete skateboards that include the decks, wheels, trucks, and bearings as well as customizable decks, and accessories. The Creature team includes 19 professional skateboarders. In addition to Navarrette, the roster includes such names as Al Partanen, Chris Russell, Cory Juneau and David Gravette.

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 smaller the wheel diameter, the easier it is to do tricks, because it makes the board sit closer to the ground. But beginners will definitely have an easier time controlling a board with larger diameter wheels. Think of the larger wheels as being akin to training wheels. If you don’t want your board to have “pop” as you are learning, you can choose softer wheels, all the way down to a 73a. They won’t let you go as fast, and you’ll have to push off more often, but they do make it more likely that your board will stay on the ground.
Harsh weather, cracked pavement, angry cops—all things that make Raw New England just so raw. The name is also an acronym for Ready Amongst Willing—a perfect moniker for one of the East Coast's toughest brands. Raw's product drops aren't quite as frequent or bountiful as some other brands on this list, but the decks, tees, hoodies, and caps with the bold RAW logo are must-haves for New England's skate crowd. Visit the brand's shops in Boston or in CT to get the goods in person.
FTC has grown from being the staple skate shop of the Bay Area to being a respected brand pushing skateboarding across the globe. Their SF flagship sits in the famous Haight Ashburry district, always attracting visitors and giving them a look into what skateboarding is really like in this day and age. FTC will have you covered in their own gear, and will also always be pushing the next big thing in their shops, and they never make a bad call.
Penny Skateboards have a reputation of exceeding customer expectations and have a growing fan base. People love their aesthetically pleasing, good functioning plastic skateboards which are also, by the way, best skateboards for beginners. Their plastic formula for skateboard decks makes their decks stronger and more flexible than all other plastic skateboards. Its light weight and small size makes it easier to use for beginners and kids alike. Moreover, Penny is also famous for the variety of skateboards that it provides ranging from their classic skateboards to their glow series, graphic and metallic fade skateboards. We saved the best for the last; you can even design your own Penny skateboard!
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.
Founded by the original technical street skaters Daewon Song and Rodney Mullen, Almost Skateboards always pushes the envelope with fun, artistic cartoon graphics paired with high quality materials.  Almost was one of the first brands to implement carbon fiber layers to their decks in the “Impact” deck line to increase the deck’s life and better maintain its shape.
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