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.
The deck will also have a material on top called grip tape. This textured surface is what keeps your shoes from sliding all over the place as you ride. Look for a very high-quality grip tape for extra stability as you are learning, or something that is very visibly textured (like the waffletop from the pennyboard on our list above). You can also replace the grip tape if you love a board but don’t love the grip tape it comes with.
Launched in 1991 by professional skateboarder Mike Ternasky who was killed in a car accident in 1994, Plan B Skateboards was renewed in 2005 by professional skateboarders Danny Way and Colin McKay. The top Skateboards brand, recognized by its unique logo, offers customization, but it also produces skateboards that come already assembled and ready for immediate action with everything a skateboarder needs including the deck, wheels, trucks, and bearings. The decks are made with a durable and thick seven-ply maple. They are also designed for you to make them uniquely yours with cool graphics that reveal your personality. In addition to the decks, Plan B also produces wheels, toolkits, and the kind of hip clothing that every skateboarder wants to be seen wearing. In addition to Way and McKay, the Plan B team consists of pro skateboarders PJ Ladd, Chris Cole, Pat Duffy, Ryan Sheckler, Torey Pudwill, Leticia Bufoni, Chris Joslin, Felipe Gustavo and Sean Sheffey.
Polar’s focus on its European roots and representing a type of skateboarding that everyone could relate to, plus Pontus’ masterful approach to video-making and product, created a groundswell of popularity for the brand which has retained its momentum. Mixing a heavy global team with an eclectic approach to soft goods, Polar is now viewed as one of the most influential brands in the skateboard industry as a whole.
In March 1976, Skateboard City skatepark in Port Orange, Florida and Carlsbad Skatepark in San Diego County, California would be the first two skateparks to be opened to the public, just a week apart. They were the first of some 200 skateparks that would be built through 1982. This was due in part to articles that were running in the investment journals at the time, stating that skateparks were a good investment. Notable skateboarders from the 1970s also include Ty Page, Tom Inouye, Laura Thornhill, Ellen O'Neal, Kim Cespedes, Bob Biniak, Jana Payne, Waldo Autry, Robin Logan, Bobby Piercy, Russ Howell, Ellen Berryman, Shogo Kubo, Desiree Von Essen, Henry Hester, Robin Alaway, Paul Hackett, Michelle Matta, Bruce Logan, Steve Cathey, Edie Robertson, Mike Weed, David Hackett, Gregg Ayres, Darren Ho, and Tom Sims.
That Captain America-esque deck, though, is where the real magic happens. It uses Plan B’s Blk Ice tech, which means it’s lighter than your average board, stronger than standard 7-ply maple, and it’s built to slide and pop like no other without any need to add wax. This also makes it more consistent; no extra slippery or sticky spots, just a smooth ride.
Harsh weather, cracked pavement, angry cops—all things that make Raw New England just so raw. The name is also an acronym for Ready Amongst Willing—a perfect moniker for one of the East Coast's toughest brands. Raw's product drops aren't quite as frequent or bountiful as some other brands on this list, but the decks, tees, hoodies, and caps with the bold RAW logo are must-haves for New England's skate crowd. Visit the brand's shops in Boston or in CT to get the goods in person.
Hanna-Barbera, DC Comics and Todd Francis – at Almost, childhood dreams come true. But on the top sheet, however, is no place for childishness: Willow, Haslam, Song, Mullen and Co. are ripping it on these decks and can hardly be surpassed in ability. To provide the needed strength for the guys Almost has invented the innovative Impact Technology. The two lost places are a minor matter because Almost makes their own thing anyway. Up to 8 layers are available from 62.99 € | 55.00 GBP!
“As far as the actual look of the vast majority of contemporary graphics goes, I’d say that it feels to me as if something has been lost. It’s down to what you can do with modern heat transfer printing techniques – you can literally just take a photograph from the Internet and print it identically straight onto a skateboard. Speaking personally, there’s very little to challenge you there: either from the point of view of creating graphics, or from the consumer’s perspective. Whereas back when screen-printing was the norm, every time a graphic was produced the artist was physically cutting the key line out by hand. The key line is the final black line that forms the outline of whatever it is that you’re printing and ties in all the other colours together. You can see this in the early Sean Cliver graphics for example, where it’s clear that he has hand cut the key lines as precisely as he was able to, but looked at from today’s perspective they’re not perfectly precise, which is what gives Cliver’s earliest stuff its specific look in my opinion.”
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.
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.