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Certain cities still oppose the building of skate parks in their neighborhoods, for fear of increased crime and drugs in the area. The rift between the old image of skateboarding and a newer one is quite visible: magazines such as Thrasher portray skateboarding as dirty, rebellious, and still firmly tied to punk, while other publications, Transworld Skateboarding as an example, paint a more diverse and controlled picture of skateboarding. As more professional skaters use hip hop, reggae, or hard rock music accompaniment in their videos, many urban youths, hip-hop fans, reggae fans, and hard rock fans are also drawn to skateboarding, further diluting the sport's punk image.
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.
The World Industries logo used to be the marker of a diehard skater, but recently it's gotten into the children's skateboard market too. Because of the brand's long history and trusted reputation in the skateboard community at large, the boards are generally good quality. However, remember that the brand usually caters to hardcore skaters; some parents may not approve of some of the brand's imagery.
Efforts have been taken to improve recognition of the cultural heritage as well as the positive effects of encouraging skateboarding within designated spaces. In 2015, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., hosted an event at which skateboarders accompanied by music did tricks on a ramp constructed for a festival of American culture. The event was the climax of a ten-day project that transformed a federal institution formerly off-limits to the skateboarding community into a platform for that community to show its relevance through shared cultural action in a cultural common space.
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.
The best thing to do when getting a new board is to go to your local skate shop and talk to the people there -- they are usually very helpful. The guys at the shop will be able to tell you what board will be good for your skating needs. Keep in mind different people have different opinions on board brands. People say Plan B's are good, but I know others that say it's not. Some like DGK boards, some don't. Just test the board out and see how it suits you. You may want to double check this if you are being extremely careful with your selection.
The first skateboards started with wooden boxes, or boards, with roller skate wheels attached to the bottom. Crate scooters preceded skateboards, having a wooden crate attached to the nose (front of the board), which formed rudimentary handlebars. The boxes turned into planks, similar to the skateboard decks of today. An American WAC, Betty Magnuson, reported seeing French children in the Montmartre section of Paris riding on boards with roller skate wheels attached to them in late 1944.
While they might not be so well known as an apparel company as so many other brands on this list, Sk8mafia stays winning with skateboarding’s core base. Their most prominent pro, Wes Kremer, was named Thrasher’s Skater of the Year for 2014, and they continue to drop a monthly edit featuring their whole crew through Ride Channel. The Mafia keeps the streets fed.
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.
Using 12 years of experience in manufacturing skateboards, Penny Skateboards was created to offer the skateboarding community high performance and high quality plastic skateboards. The brand focuses on creating each Penny skateboard with attention to detail and with the best raw materials. Not only are they meant to look good, but are meant to work just as good if not better.
In the past decade, I have begun seeing the emergence of skate decks being totally or partially made from carbon fiber or other metal materials instead of solely wood. These decks typically last longer than regular wooden decks and aren’t prone to chipping or breaking like most made from wood. The drawback to these materials is that they tend to feel “stiffer” than traditional wooden decks and experienced skaters may feel they are heavier and harder to do tricks on. Carbon fiber decks are also more expensive, but this additional cost may be worth it if you tend to break decks easily. Some brands also offer warranties against breakage under normal conditions for carbon fiber decks if you are worried about breakage.
One thing can already be told – compared to 2015 a lot has changed! The selection of the ‘Brands of the Year’ is made up of the combination of sold decks, brand shop visits, search queries and your interest in blog entries regarding the top players in the business. Our own brand SK8DLX was not considered for the ranking. We are happy, however, that you love to skate our in-house boards diligently and the SK8DLX deck series is celebrated well. In this sense, a big thank you to you all! Let’s start with the 16 most popular skateboard deck brands of 2016!
Radiate Ride Good Skateboards are made of 7-ply maple construction with epoxy resin glue. It features 356A heat-treated cast aluminum high performance 5.0 trucks with grade 8 kingpins and axles. The super high rebound 99A PU wheels with grooved running surface provide better traction and abrasion resistance. The Abec 5 high precision speed bearings offer precision performance and a smooth ride. It has an 80 grit durable color matched grip tape with transparency. It is completely assembled and ready to go. This product has a 4.3 rating on Amazon.
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.
If you love the outdoors, traveling in style, and prefer to have as much control over your mode of transportation as possible, a skateboard is just what you need. Not just for high school kids or sports celebrities like Tony Hawk, the skateboard can be a useful and fun tool that can take you wherever you need to go, while also being a great outlet for the release of energy.
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.
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.
We would also like to point out one amazing detail about Plan B that makes it stand out from the other top skateboard brands, the deck technology that it uses. I already talked about how their decks are pretty strong and have minimal flex. But its other products like Plan B BLK ICE decks with wax used on their standard build decks to increase the speed and smoothness of skating a rail and the Flashback Series that uses prospect skateboard deck technology to make the boards thinner, lighter and stronger, are amazing!
Mark Gonzalez can do no wrong, and as long as he is at the head of Krooked, Krooked will be in the conversation. Krooked has been the Gonz’s brainchild for some time now, always featuring a great selection of his unique style of art and illustration. No brand can be held up by one man alone, and the Gonz has made sure to keep his selection of riders carefully picked, with each one bringing their own offerings to the table. Brad Cromer is not Ronnie Sandoval is not Mike Anderson, yet somehow it all works out and comes together to create one of the best brands out.
The most recent Girl Films production, Pretty Sweet, signified a passing of the torch for one of the most talented skate teams in the biz. Some may have been disappointed to see Rick Howard and other OGs ride the bench, but new jacks like Alex Olson and Mike Mo Capaldi, and the Trunk Boyz Elijah Berle, Raven Tershy, Stevie Perez, Vincent Alvarez, and Cory Kennedy, leave little doubt that we're in for another 20 years of epic skating and killer goods.
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.
The board itself is actually very portable in the sense that it only weighs a modest four pounds. Which means you can jump on and off in any situation that may warrant you to walk or ride. The ABEC7 bearings are top quality bearings and of the highest class. Also accompanying all of these fine features comes the kick-tail end of the board. This is to ensure that maneuvering and tricks can be performed with this utmost of ease.
In most cases, it is available in black but you can also find clear ones that are ideal for you if you want to show a specific logo. Another nice choice that you have is the die-cut grip tape, which works in displaying the color or design of the deck beneath it. Make sure to choose a grip tape at a size, which perfectly suits your skateboard’s deck.
This is an interesting option because it is basically a hybrid between a blank and pro skateboard deck. It’s like a pro board in that is has a “brand” and logo, but the cost is similar to blanks and they don’t sponsor the same quantity and caliber of professional skaters that other pro brands do. While the logo is really cool and the rest of the parts seem to be high quality, you may not get the same brand recognition with Punisher as you would with other brands like Element or Toy Machine. This deck is also 7.5″ which makes it a great choice for a younger beginner. This is the perfect beginner skateboard for someone who doesn’t really care about the brand name, but still wants the style and performance of an above average professional skateboard.
There were several artistic skateboarding pioneers that had an influence on the culture of skateboarding during the 1980s, that transformed skateboard-deck art like Jim Phillips, whose edgy comic-book style "Screaming Hand", not only became the main logo for Santa Cruz Skateboards, but eventually transcended into tattoos of the same image for thousands of people and vinyl collectible figurines over the years. Artist Vernon Courtlandt Johnson is said to have used his artwork of skeletons and skulls, for Powell Peralta, during the same time that the music genres of punk rock and new wave music were beginning to mesh with the culture of skateboarding. Some other notable skateboard artists that made contribrutions to the culture of skateboarding also include Andy Jenkins, Todd Bratrud, Neil Blender, Marc McKee, Tod Swank, Mark Gonzales, Lance Mountain, Natas Kaupas and Jim Evans.
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.
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SkateXS has been widely known to be the best brand for kids that are looking to advance their skateboarding skills. These skateboards have been designed with children in mind. That’s why there are many customizable features that you can pick when purchasing this product. If you are an avid skateboarder and want to introduce your kids to skateboarding, or just a parent that has been hearing about skateboards for weeks now, you can safely pick this product by SkateXs to help your kids safely advance in their skateboarding skills.
In an industry as diverse as skateboarding, the sheer number of skateboard brands on the market can be bewildering. With a seemingly never-ending amount of new brands emerging, alongside the numerous pre-existing ones, the market can certainly appear over crowded and confusing at times, which is hopefully where this list of some of our favourite skateboard brands comes in.