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.
As loosely defined as Bronze is, Peter Sidlauskus seems to be incapable of doing anything wrong in his marketing for the brand, endlessly putting out amazingly hilarious and gnarly New York based edits featuring a loose group of guys we can say make up their “team.” Bronze brings an aesthetic that falls somewhere between vaporwave and deepweb, and is always making gear that you can rock on the daily, from pink dad hats to coaches jackets. You might have even seen their flip of the Windows 98 logo on the backs of people like ASAP Nast.
Want the same great performance and high-quality construction as a name brand deck but don’t have a large budget? Blank decks are your answer. Depending on the brand, blank decks can be similar or better than pro decks and are available in just as many or more shape options. These decks are perfect for people who love skating and don’t really care about supporting a profession or the graphic on their deck. Blanks are also great for aggressive skaters who go through decks quickly as many blank skateboard decks are sold in bulk packs of 3, 5, or even 10 decks per pack.
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.
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.
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.
Element is of the most mainstream brands in the industry today that has sponsored legends like Nyjah Huston and Bam Margera. There are many pro decks to choose from with some amazing tribal designs and they have introduced a “featherlight” technology that allows Element to have some of the lightest boards on the market today. Some may call Element “too mainstream” or “sellouts”, but at the end of the day, they produce quality products in a variety of artistic designs.
Originally referred to as sidewalk surfing, the birth of skateboarding dates back to the early 1940s and the use of wooden boxes with roller skates attached to their bottoms. While the board itself cannot necessarily be attributed to a single inventor of the time and was, instead, a spontaneous invention from multiple sources, the modern style of many of today's skateboards took form during the 1950s when California surfers were looking for a physical activity to keep them busy during times when the waves were flat. The first manufactured skateboards were ordered by a Los Angeles surf shop and were designed to be used by surf enthusiasts during their downtime. At the time, the shop owner set up an arrangement with the Chicago Roller Skate Company to produce sets of skate wheels, which the shop would then attach to square wooden boards.
Pro Skateboarder, Jamie Thomas developed the Zero brand in Carlsbad, CA and has built it into one of the top skateboard brands. Though the Zero brand initially distributed clothing, it eventually evolved to boards designed to suit the need for any tricks performed. The Zero team is comprised of a close group of skateboard professionals that have turned their passion into a company dedicated to provide the latest in skateboard innovation and helped Zero Skateboards become a fantastic skateboard brand. Zero boards are great for maneuvers, stability and especially grinds, with their specially designed features. Their innovation and high-quality designs has made Zero Skateboards one of the good skateboard brands today.
Be sure to purchase from a reputable source. Buying online might save you a few dollars, but try your local skate shop first. The few extra dollars you spend support the shop and your local skate community. Developing a good relationship with a local skate shop often saves you money in the long run. The completes are not as good as custom made, but you can get them for a lot less money and upgrade any bad components later.
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.