In the skateboarding industry, brands tend to come and go with ease. It’s rare for them to stay in the spotlight for any substantial amount of time. But the constant reshuffling of the deck (pun not intended) allows for a rotation of new brands to make a name for themselves. Whether they’re known primarily for their skateboarding parts essential to the craft (like decks, trucks, wheels, and shoes) or for their apparel and accessories, the skateboarding universe has been expanding ever since the sport caught the attention of the mainstream in the late ‘90s. Everyone may remember exactly where they were when Tony Hawk landed the 900° on national television, but the world of skateboarding brands is much larger than just that and more expansive than you may realize.
Skateboarders like things that aren't skateboarding, too, you know. Camping, fishing, motorcycles… Uh, skateboarding? Crap. Whatever. Pro skater Adrian Lopez founded Loser machine and the Dark Seas Division as a way to explore other facets of the culture through cool clothing. Loser Machine is a complete collection that goes far beyond that typical tees, jeans, and hats formula that many skate apparel brands rely on—leather motorcycle gloves, denim vests, and floral print button-downs are all evidence that this is a well-conceived project from a skater with good taste.
By raising £790,000, the Long Live Southbank initiative managed in 2017 to curb the destruction of a forty years old spot in London due to urban planning, a salvaging operation whose effect extends beyond skateboarding. The presence of a designated skating area within this public space keeps the space under nearly constant watch and drives homeless people away, increasing the feeling of safety in and near the space. The activity attracts artists such as photographers and film makers, as well as a significant number of tourists, which in turn drives economic activity in the neighborhood.
Moose boards are very solid in all categories. They are low priced, available in a variety of different shapes and sizes, and have been around for a while so they’ve built up a reputable brand name. You won’t go wrong buying a pack of Moose blanks if you’re the type of guy that goes through decks quickly or is looking to resell them at your local skatepark.
Quartersnacks has been on one these past few years, making soft goods that will instantly make you look like you don’t actually suck at skating (me), and getting the honor of customizing their own Nike SB Dunk Low. Name another company in skateboarding that has that, and a book about their first decade of history coming soon through the world-renowned Random House publishing company? We’ll wait.
Grip tape adds additional assurance for a rider's feet. It is made from a sheet of colored paper or fabric with adhesive on one side and a fine, sand paper surface on the other. Applied to the top surface of a skateboard, grip tape gives a person's feet an improved grip while maintaining stability for performing tricks. Skateboard trucks connect both the wheels and ball bearings to the deck and are directly attached to the deck themselves. They are usually constructed from aluminum alloy. The wheels are mounted to their axles via steel bearings. The wheels are made from polyurethane and available in a range of different shapes and sizes to suit most any skill level.
Girl Skateboards is the foundation of all the other brands under the Crailtap umbrella (Royal Trucks, Chocolate Skateboards, Lakai footwear etc) and was established by Mike Carroll and Rick Howard during a mass exodus of pro skaters from Steve Rocco’s brands (Plan B, Blind, 101, World Industries) reputably inspired after arguments of wheel sales royalties.
In summary - recognizing a real skateboard isn’t rocket science, but it does take some amount of brand awareness and ultimately even trial and error. We tried to take the guesswork out of it by starting SkateXS and openly sharing and celebrating each and every component we use to build our skateboards. Hopefully we have been able to share the values and priorities we put into those design decisions.
Also called Standard Kingpin Trucks, these trucks will mount to any standard or cruiser deck. They are the most versatile type of trucks and can be used for any type of skateboarding. There are many brands and various features to consider, including truck height, weight and replaceable components. Trucks are easily adjustable and allow you to loosen or tighten the board's responsiveness. For more information on trucks, check out our Skateboard Trucks Guide.
Camber & Rocker: The camber skateboards are the ones with a raised middle while rockers have dropped middle. The angle you get with camber and rocker is pretty mellow. However, the difference in shape dramatically affects the flex of your deck. Since most of the decks come with a neutral deck camber, you can still find some cruisers and longboards who feature a camber—style deck. Needless-to-say, decks having positive camber have more flex because of the higher center of gravity. In case of rocker decks, the center of gravity is low and have a sloped shape which the riders love.
It is mainly because those items are guaranteed to help you familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of using them. They are a big help in making you feel comfortable when you push off with your feet while also balancing on top of the board when riding. It is not good to go for a very technical product, so it’s best to choose the mentioned types first.
If what you want is the classic skate park skateboard that you see teens riding around all day, the MINORITY is the board for you. This is an extremely sturdy and durable board that can hold up to 220 pounds, and is made for trick riding especially. The strong trucks, medium concave shape, and high-rebound bushing all make this a fantastic board for ramps, pools, and street riding.
Founded by the pro skateboarder Marc Johnson in the year 2000, enjoi has been on the market for over two decades now. They have since expanded, and started producing skateboarding accessories and clothing apart from just skateboards. Since then, they have adopted a panda as their logo. This logo is featured on most of their products and has quickly become the company’s trademark.
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.