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.
These guys are unabashedly all about London and the party boy lifestyle. The self-aware attitude they carry themselves with shines in the corresponding product copy on their website—it’s contagious and makes you want a piece of it. Everyone from A$AP Rocky to Drake, and even seemingly out-of-touch Jay Z has been seen rocking the gear, and it’s understandable why. Palace’s design team, which includes Fergus Purcell of Marc Jacobs, have created an image that’s been exclusive and dope from its inception, and they’ve yet to break that streak. Who else could follow up a dope adidas collaboration with an excellent pair of penny loafers?
Powell Peralta is a brand that has been around since the late 1970s. The Powell Golden Dragon has been on the market for over four decades now, and its popularity hasn’t decreased. It’s easy to see why even legends like Steve Caballero recommend these skateboards. Powell is known for having boards that fit every age range and skill level, satisfying the needs of many. It’s also probably the reason as to why the product is surrounded by 5-star reviews.
The board also boasts of its reasonably small size and lightweight nature, making it easy to control and ride. In addition, carrying it wherever you want to go is also much easier because of its lightness. It is flexible enough that it can accommodate the needs of different kinds of users, including cruisers, travelers, beginners, expert riders, and kids.
Girl skateboards are know for their witty graphics and high quality canadian maple decks. This specific complete features Mike Carroll’s pro deck and it comes fully assembled directly from the manufacturer (Girl). The reason this is such a great option for beginners is that all parts of this complete are truly pro quality and it’s built to last. The width is also perfect for all ages and shoe sizes at a moderate 7.8″. Definitely a great skateboard for beginners if you like the graphic and logo.
Isle is much newer to the game than a lot of the other brands mentioned on the list, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the same respect. Drawn straight from the mind of skateboarder Nick Jensen, a London native with the eye of a true artist, Isle’s graphics could just as easily be hanging in a museum rather than in skate shops. Jensen’s creative process involves him sculpting, painting and photographing every board graphic himself in his own studio, manipulating each art piece to work as a graphic. Isle offers one of the most well developed brand images in skateboarding, due in big part to the fact that it is literally an outlet of one man’s own rampant creativity.
A good helmet protects your most important vital organ. Remember that in some states helmets are required by law. In Oregon, for example, skaters 15 and under can be fined for not wearing a helmet. Knee and elbow pads will also save you from bumps and bruises. Knee pads are particularly valuable when learning to skate tall vertical walls because they allow you to slide down the wall on your knees instead of having to run out of every bailed attempt. Wrist and ankle injuries are common in skateboarding, so braces are another great investment.
Real Skateboards are also notable for the brand’s deep involvement in raising awareness and funds for charitable concerns related to the skateboard community across the globe with the brand supporting everything from DIY skatepark builds, to releasing bespoke Real boards for fallen members of the skateboarding community including releasing a board in memory of UK skate shop owner and stalwart of the British skate scene Steven ‘Bingo’ Binks back in 2011.
The wheels are also impressive. Unlike some other skateboards that have wheels that are quite stiff, causing them to feel like they will lock up when you ride on them, the wheels in this complete skateboard for beginners are smooth and comfortable. These are also easily controllable, so rest assured that they offer a smooth and friction-free glide.
Proper skateboard wheels are made out of polyurethane with minimal additives. Toy skateboard wheels can be made of plastic or a low quality poly mix which leads to poor performance in the best case and even outright dangerous situations with cracked wheels in the worst case. This is a case where brand recognition and reputation can come into play.
Zero Skateboards is one of the American top companies for skateboards that comes out of California. The brand, representing by a skull logo, was founded by professional skateboarder Jamie Thomas and is distributed by Dwindle Distribution. The Zero brand is about rebellion and freedom of expression despite society’s rules. The company offers complete skateboards that come with the deck, wheels, trucks, and bearings, as well as decks you can customize, accessories and clothing. In addition to Thomas, the Zero team is Tommy Sandoval, Dane Burman, James Brockman, Tony Cervantes, Windsor James, Adrian Lopez, Chris Wimer, and Kurt Hodge.
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.
Most skaters consider width is the most important dimension of the deck. That is measured straight across at the widest point of the deck. Skateboard decks generally range between 7.0 to 10.0 inches depending on the shape of the deck. There are boards that are narrower and wider than that, but they are not common and not practical for all around skating.
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.
The Quest can be considered as the best improving Longboard brand because in 2014 it was in the 4th position, whereas in 2018 it is in 2nd place. This is a good improvement for a Longboard brand in these competitive days! Even though it is now in 2nd place, it has a little gap with Sector 9. They mainly focused on the customer’s needs by collecting client opinions. They have been improving the size, quality, performance, speed, design, and color of their longboards.
It is a mini-cruiser, which is known for its strength as well as its ability to offer real value for the money you spent. This skateboard can also be expected to deliver an impressive performance – thanks to the Abec 7 skatro bearings used in it. There are also 59-mm urethane wheels and the 3-inch GOLD aluminum trucks that can help smoothen each ride.
Top Skateboards come from companies such as Blind Skateboards. Professional skateboarder Mark Gonzales founded the brand and it was launched in 1989. Today, products are distributed by Dwindle Distribution. The brand is intended for serious, hardcore skateboarders. It has an emphasis and an appreciation for the graphics used for its decks. In the early 1990s, Blind Skateboards set itself apart from other skateboard brands by creating videos. Their first, directed by Spike Jonze, appeared in 1991. You can get completes at Blind that includes the decks, wheels, trucks, and bearings. The Blind Team is professional skateboarders Cody McEntire, TJ Rogers, Kevin Romar, Sewa Kroetkov, Morgan Smith, Sam Beckett, Micky Papa, Yuto Horigome, and Jason Thurtle.
For those of you who don't know, Mark Gonzales isn't just an artist who occasionally pens logos for Supreme. He's a bonafide legend, as an artist, a skater, and a personality. His brand Krooked is a perfect expression of that, with art direction from the man himself, and a videography of skate flicks that includes essential viewing Gnar Gnar, Kronichles, and Naughty. Supreme may top Krooked on this list, but true Gonz stans will always represent with Krooked.
Blank decks have no graphic on them and are typically priced very reasonably. Blank decks are usually colored a solid color or may even be made of unpainted wood. Historically blank decks have gotten a bad reputation for poor quality, however, there are a few brands of blanks today that are very similar in quality to pro boards and much more affordable. The downside to buying a blank complete with all blank parts is the lack of style and customization when compared to a pro deck. Also, blank skateboards may vary in quality from batch to batch, so it may be hard to find the same blank skateboard if you want to buy another one. Overall, blank skateboards can be a solid option if you have a tight budget and the person you are buying for doesn’t really care about the logo and brand.
In this in-depth guide, we’re going to cover how to choose the best skateboard for beginners, and review the top five beginner skateboards on the market right now. We’ll talk about how to choose the right size, what parts of a skateboard you should pay attention to, how to choose the right shape, choosing the right wheels, and more. First, let’s talk about the top five skateboards for beginners.
Grind King skateboard trucks are the best trucks available for grinding. The truck hangar is made from aluminum, making it softer and weaker, but better for grinding. This means you will have to replace them faster if you grind, but your grinds will be smoother and better. Grind King trucks do use special hex-head kingpins, so you will need a special tool to adjust them.
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Obviously, price is an important consideration for most people when looking to buy anything. For skateboards, the price of the board is generally a good indicator of quality. In general, most pro branded skateboards that are made up of high-quality parts are in the $70-$100 range. You can usually find pro branded decks with average parts for $50-$70, and you can find blank options between $25-$50. I wouldn’t touch anything under $25, as it is likely poor quality and very prone to breakage.
The National Skate Co‘s approach to marketing retained this air of intrigue with the release of their first video, ‘The National Skateboard Co. Promo‘ in 2013 with minimal promotion beforehand. This promo video featured lo-fi VX2000 footage of original team members Thomas Harrison, Danijel Stankovic, David Mackey, Joshua Young, Vaughan Jones and Neil Smith interspersed with found footage and black and white news reel clips.
Another bonus of shopping at an actual skate shop is that you get to see what the boards look like in person. Most skate shops will have a cool wall of boards, and it's fun to just stand there and look at all the graphics. If one jumps out and grabs you, then you can ask the shop owner about the brand, and whether it's a good one. There's nothing wrong at all with buying a skateboard deck because you like the graphics!
There are a lot of good skateboard brands out there. For a start, you can check out this list of Top Skateboard Deck Brands, but there are piles of other brands out there that are great. There are local brands, brands from other countries, and brands that you or I have never heard of. Aside from a skateboard company's reputation for quality and good design, a brand is also a brand; that is, it comes with its own character and cred. You might like a brand simply for what it represents, whether that's the company's attitude or its team or its presence at the skate park. The first step in choosing a brand is getting out there and seeing what's available.
Individuality and a self-expressed casual style have always been cultural values for skateboarders, as uniforms and jerseys are not typically worn. This type of personal style for skateboarders is often reflected in the graphical designs illustrated on the bottom of the deck of skateboards, since its initial conception in the mid seventies, when Wes Humpston and Jim Muri first began doing design work for Dogtown Skateboards out of their garage by hand, creating the very first iconic skateboard-deck art with the design of the "Dogtown Cross".
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.