The grip tape found on a skateboard can actually be defined as the grainy sheet, which resembles sandpaper that also comes with a sticky underside. Such underside needs to adhere to the deck’s surfaces as a means of increasing traction or grip. No matter what skating style you use, the grip tape is extremely helpful in your attempt to stay on the board.
7.12"7.25"7.3"7.5"7.56"7.62"7.7"7.75"7.8"7.81"7.87"7.875"7.88"7.9"8"8.02"8.06"8.1"8.12"8.125"8.13"8.18"8.19"8.2"8.25"8.27"8.28"8.28"8.3"8.31"8.32"8.35"8.37"8.375"8.38"8.4"8.44"8.45"8.47"8.5"8.55"8.6"8.62"8.63"8.67"8.68"8.7"8.75"8.8"8.87"8.88"8.9"8.948.989"9.05"9.1"9.12"9.13"9.16"9.18"9.2"9.25"9.265"9.3"9.31"9.32"9.37"9.375"9.38"9.4"9.42"9.5"9.56"9.57"9.6"9.62"9.625"9.739.75"9.78"9.8"9.81"9.849.85"9.87"9.875"9.89"9.9"9.97"9.9810"10.1"10.2"10.25"10.34"10.37"10.5"11.2"11.75"
Figuring out how to buy a skateboard can be daunting, especially if you’re not sure what you are looking for. There are customizable parts, accessories and some fancy technology that can be overwhelming. Good news is, we can simplify it for you! At Tactics, our crew is full of daily skaters, so we put our heads together to break it all down and give you the basics, plus a few recommendations.

Many parents and grandparents visit SkateXS for their young one’s first “real” skateboard with the same fundamental quality questions. I realized we could certainly do a better job of making sense of it all! So with a bit of karmic appeal that someone will someday finally explain unicycles to me, here is a summary of something we actually know a thing or two about! 


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.
You’re just looking for a quality skateboard to buy for a beginner (either you or someone you know), but you have no idea where to start.  You see bearings, hardware, wheels, decks, and trucks being advertised but don’t want to spend hours researching which individual part to buy.  This is how I felt when I was first looking to but a complete skateboard for my nephew for Christmas many years ago. I wanted something that he would love, but also that was safe and would not break the bank.  After researching and making a decision I thought it would be useful to share this information with others who may be in a similar situation.

Element has also diversified their business model with ventures into retail with Element stores across the globe, advocate programs supporting artists such as Thomas Campbell and Fred ‘French Fred’ Mortagne, Women’s fashion through the Element Women’s range and the most cohesive approach to supporting European skateboarding of any brand in the industry through their dedicated European team.


The Wasatch Imports Good Skateboards is the ultimate compact and complete street board that is ready-to-go. It is great for exercise and fun. It is very portable and perfect for all skill levels. It has a variety of awesome vintage color combinations that you can choose from. It is made of topline construction, with a high-density plastic deck, 59mm super smooth wheels, ABEC7 bearings, and solid aluminum trucks. It measures 22″ long and 6″ wide and weighs 4 pounds. It has a  full manufacturer’s lifetime warranty on all parts, pieces, and materials. It has a weight limit of 200 pounds which can ensure that bigger skaters can join the fun.
However, the diversity of Santa Cruz skateboard’s stake in the skateboard business meant that they easily survived the mid-90’s slump in popularity and returned with an newly invigorated team and powered on with video after video from the mid-90’s to the present day. Similarly to Powell-Peralta, Santa Cruz are also notable for their Veteran Division (documented in their 2007 release ‘V Day‘) celebrating pro riders such as Keith Meek, Tom Knox and Eric Dressen from earlier eras of Santa Cruz’s existence. Santa Cruz Skateboards current line of product boasts many re-released classic boards from earlier eras of the brand and are as popular, if not more so, than they were originally, thanks to an explosion in the nostalgia and collector’s markets within skateboarding.

Choosing a skateboard deck is a great place to start when building a complete skateboard. Unless you have experience riding a shaped board - something a little more retro or unusual, we recommend you start with a popsicle shape. CCS carries over 60 different skateboard deck brands that sell this popular popsicle shape. If you have questions on what size you should ride or have any other questions about building a complete, we recommend you check out our Skateboard Buyer’s Guide. Here, you’ll find helpful how-to’s for choosing a skateboard decks, skateboard trucks, skateboard wheels, skateboard bearings, and skateboard components. This guide explains every part of a skateboard and helps you choose which sizes and styles to best suit your needs.

Punisher Skateboards Warphant measures 31 x 7.5 inch.  It has a 9-Ply Maple Black Board with Concave Deck and Double Kick Tail.  It comes with ABEC-3 Bearings, 5-inch V-style Heavy Duty Alloy Trucks, and Bases.  It uses 54 x 36 mm PU injection molded wheels and PE Riser Pad with PU Cushion and Punisher Logo.  It is perfect for learning and doing tricks.  It is best suited for riders who are 8 years old and above.  It has a 5 rating on Amazon.


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.
Playwheels Disney Skateboard For Kids is a 21″ Wood single kicktail deck with painted edges.  It has clear sand spray top grip with color graphic and full-color bottom graphics with a retro shape.  It features multi-colored composite truck and baseplate components with carbon steel axles.  This is great for kids who are starting to learn skating.  It has an average rating of 4.2 on Amazon.
Canadian maple wood decks are the industry standard and is what the vast majority of decks on this list will be made of.  However, is the seller just says “maple” the deck is typically made in China and the wood may be slightly softer and lower quality.  This is more common among the lower cost blank decks, and most pro brands or higher end blanks are typically 100% Canadian maple.  In my opinion, the difference between Canadian and Chinese maple decks is slight and in many cases, a cheaper Chinese deck may be the better option for you if you have a small budget or tend to go through decks very quickly.
When you’re at the skate park or in a freestyle environment at a parking lot or structure, you want to have the most stability possible. You wouldn’t want your trucks cracking or a ball bearing spewing out during the landing of a nice front style 360 flip. If you’re in school, then choosing a skateboard brand for college while you’re away will be extremely easy given that this board is so very cheap and durable.
With distinctive graphics, often touching upon controversial issues such as racism with American society such as the infamous Jim Thiebaud ‘Lynch the KKK’ graphic designed by Natas Kaupas and Kevin Ancell, and classic Jeff Klindt graphics such as the James Kelch ‘James’ board, which was recently re-released, Real’s aesthetic has always been instantly recognisable.
After riding Powell decks for many years, I was given the opportunity by Michael Furukawa at Skate One Corp. to create my own board brand. This was an honor but I needed a co-pilot for this mission to happen. I asked Mimi Knoop if she would join forces with me and this was the beginning of an all girls skate brand that we called hoopla skateboards.

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.[92]
The most common shape in skateboarding is called a popsicle shape. It has a curved tail and nose and features concave, which gives the board it’s shape. New skateboarders looking to learn how to carve, push, ollie, kickflip, and grind boxes, ledges, and rails should start with a popsicle shape. If you’re interested in knowing, we explain selecting a board by width, riding style, and board shape in the skateboard decks section of the buyer’s guide.
Unlike some deck options, which are completely bare, the Bamboo Skateboards Galaxy Series Cosmic Cloud Skateboard Deck features heat-stamped artwork on the underside of the board, including several geometric and interstellar designs, including a beautiful nebula. Bamboo Skateboards claims these boards last their customers three weeks longer than other decks. They come in three sizes: 7.75-by-31.5-inches, 8-by-31.75-inches, and 8.25-by-32-inches.
Peralta put together the Powell skate team under the Bones Brigade moniker, employed the services of photographer, artist and visionary C R Stecyk III and was the talent scout responsible for bringing skaters such as Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen, Lance Mountain, Mike Vallely, Guy Mariano, Tommy Guerreo and inventor of the ollie Alan ‘Ollie’ Gelfand, (amongst many others) to the attention of the global skateboard community.
Following Jason Dill and AVE leaving long time sponsors Alien Workshop back in 2013, Dill’s 13-year-old Fucking Awesome brand, which was formerly a clothing brand, became a board brand and began to add riders such as Dylan Rieder (RIP), Gino Iannucci, Jason Dill, Kevin Bradley, Nakel Smith, Sean Pablo, Sage Elsesser, Tyshawn Jones and Aiden Mackey.
However, the deeper the concave is, the less stable the board will be for beginners. If you are still gaining confidence on a skateboard, it is best to start with something less dramatic. A longboard is often completely flat, or nearly so, and that makes it better for cruising on a very stable surface. This is a great choice for riders who aren’t necessarily interested in learning tricks.
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.
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.
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.
Presenting to you, the next in line for top skateboard brands; Powell Peralta. Established back in 1978, Powell Peralta is perhaps one of the most well-known names in the skateboarding world. It was launched at a time when skateboarding was gaining traction and Powell Peralta rose to prominence. Powell Peralta is also known for featuring the Bones Brigade, which was a team featuring the top players of that time. Peralta left the company in between but both the partners reunited to create magic in the skateboarding community.

The logos you grow up with always mean more to you than the ones that came before or after. I'm not even going to suggest that I can be unbiased about something that means so much to me; but I also like to think that as a skater who has worked within the industry as an artist and a skate rat that grew up in the Midwest, I can separate my love of the activity from my personal feelings about the industry and companies. These are important logos for many reasons. Some are more powerful and meaningful than others but what I'm addressing are icons that have come to represent skateboarding in a lot of ways... succinctly and graphically.
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.[92]
No longer number one but still quite close: EMillion SkateboArts land on the second place this year, which is more than respectable regarding the competition. The Bavarian brand stands for quality, artistic designs and a motivated team, which is also represented by skatedeluxe team rider Ben Dillinger. EMillion decks are available from 49.99 € | 40.00 GBP!

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.

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.
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