“I just felt like it was a window of opportunity within my own career. I might be one of those lucky few who’d be able to do that, start my own brand and move on. That window of opportunity only upholds for so long in skateboarding before you miss your prime, so I’d be kicking myself in the ass five years from now looking back and saying ‘how come I didn’t capitalise on that? Here I am, an older skater and not in my prime anymore and I have nothing still connecting me to skateboarding’”
Huf has come a long way since its humble beginnings slinging the best sneakers and streetwear in San Francisco's Tenderloin District. Keith Hufnagel and his team quickly outgrew the boutique niche and have becomea full blown skate apparel and footwear brand. Today Huf has a stacked teamed (including low-key legends like Joey Pepper, who recently got a signature shoe), a wildly popular range of product (weed socks, anyone?), and some hefty celebrity co-signs.
Chocolate Skateboards is a skateboarding company distributed by Crailtap. Following on the heels of Girl, Chocolate was launched in 1994 by Mike Carroll and Rick Howard and is known by its Chocolate hearts logo. Their skateboards are made of durable seven-ply maple. Graphics are also important to the Chocolate brand, and you will find things such as classic cars or cartoons. You can find complete Chocolate skateboards with deck, trucks, wheels and bearings, customized decks, accessories, and apparel. The Chocolate team consists of Vincent Alvarez, Kenny Anderson, Chico Brenes, Justin Eldridge, Jesus Fernandez, Chris Roberts, Elijah Berle, Stevie Perez, Raven Tershy, and Jerry Hsu.
Lewis Marnell became Almost’s first fully-fledged amateur, an addition announced in a bonus section of Almost’s ground-breaking mini ramp video ‘Almost Cheese and Crackers‘ from (2006) that focused upon Chris Haslam and Daewon Song’s pushing of the boundaries of mini ramp skating and has subsequently been credited with ushering in a new wave of technical transition skating in its wake.
Theories of Atlantis is a brand that truly defies categorization. Josh Stewart’s brain child has gone through more phases than most companies, first being a means for him to put out his own series of Static videos featuring New York skaters, to now being a full blown distribution house for smaller boutique skateboarding brands featured on this list. Josh also puts out a line of soft goods with the turn of every season, playing off conspiracy theory style graphics and imagery on staple items like zip hoodies and long sleeves.
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.
Their hard and soft goods feature 90’s imagery like Kurt Cobain with Courtney Love and Corey and Topanga from Boy Meets World, and it comes together to become pure fun for the hell of it. With brand mastermind Grant Yansura holding a spot as an official videographer for Nike SB, you know he must be doing something right with all his work. His Cosmic Vomit series is just another insight into the breadth of his great work.
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It's too cold and dark to skate in Sweden for about six months out of the year. That must be when brand mastermind/artist Pontus Alv schemes on the global takeover he's been orchestrating for Polar. Not only are the brand's hats, tees, and hoodies some of the most coveted gear in the skate universe, the Polar team travels the globe hosting events, filming video clips, and getting people hyped on vigilante-style street skating. Look for Polar to come to your hood and build awesome, illegal concrete skate obstacles under a bridge, then bounce like gnarly, European skate tooth fairies. Good luck finding a tee or hat at this point—hype has made to goods rare, but let's hope as the excitement grows Mr. Alv will expand his distro.
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.
The G & S video ‘Footage’ (created by Mike Hill and Neil Blender and released in 1990 just prior to them leaving to start their own brand) set the precedent for Alien Workshop’s later video aesthetic with the use of non-skate footage intercut throughout the skate sections and the mysterious, almost otherworldly atmosphere that permeates all of Alien Workshop’s subsequent video releases. To many people ‘Footage’ is the pre-cursor to every Alien video release that followed in its wake.
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.
This deck is 6-inches-by-22.5-inches with that classic cruiser shape. The board is made with 6-ply bamboo and maple construction, which is lightweight, flexible, and eco-friendly. Bamboo Skateboards claims this board has a turning radius not seen in most mini decks. The small, blank deck is heavy duty and durable in a way not all mini cruisers are. This non-carbonized board is ready for you to slap on the grip tape and artwork you want and then get riding.
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.
The Golden Dragon is a fantastic board for beginners, and it’s all in the wheels. The high-rebound polyurethane wheels are hand-cast and offer amazing grip as you ride, plus fantastic roll. The deck itself is just slightly longer than a standard skateboard, which offers a bit more stability for beginners, who might be worried about sliding or slipping off a shorter board. Additionally, this board features the All Powell-Peralta Ligament strap, an important safety feature that keeps the deck together if it should break. This helps prevent injury and provides a little more peace of mind for the rider.
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?
What’s important to consider here is choosing the length based on your riding needs. You might be a street rider and love to do some tricks. You probably need a short board with a narrow profile. Whereas the longboard is only recommended if you are a professional skateboarded and love to cruise around the town and want to improve your balance and stability.
Go for the low truck profile if you want to obtain additional stability when you do flip tricks. It also works well for small wheels. The mid-sized trucks are good for all-around use, especially in streets and parks. You can also choose the high-sized trucks that are good for carving and cruising, which is the reason why they are perfect for huge wheels.
Toy Machine is an Ed Templeton company and one of the best skateboard companies of its time. Ed is an Orange County original skater and developed the board he wanted to skate on, thus creating the Toy Machine Brand. Though the Toy Machine team has seen many changes, it has always held onto professional skaters that can provide insight in the latest needs of boards. Toy Machine skateboards are known for their signature monster graphics, which have made them a top skateboard brand.
Mini Cruisers have exploded in popularity in recent years. These short and skinny boards may not have the versatility of a standard skateboard, allowing for a full range of tricks and travel, but they are ideal for urban and college living where space for storage and riding are both minimal. If you want to ride a mini-cruiser, but you hate the plastic decks or you want to build your own, check out the Bamboo Skateboard mini cruiser deck.
The skateboard has a solid and stiff mini-deck, which is around 22 inches and constructed out of 100% plastic material. Such deck is very lightweight. It is only four pounds but you have an assurance that it can handle up to 198 lbs. of weight. You will also fall in love with the board as it comes in 23 graphics and colors, so picking a favorite is much easier.
“I think it’s just also like, people want to have fun. If you watch say those types of Street League type of skateboarders, who are super amazing skateboarders that can push these crazy tricks down rails and stairs, like switch tre down fifteen stairs or whatever trick they do — it’s amazing to see that level of skating, but if you are an average Joe living in a small town you’re just like, “I’m never going to be able to kickflip back noseblunt twenty-stair rails”. That’s always the biggest trick. If you ask me it’s like, “What videos do you really enjoy?” The videos that you can some how relate to. Like, “Hey, I could actually do some of these tricks.” You connect to it and you feel like you can picture yourself being a part of the whole thing. When people put out these amazing super stunt skateboarding videos, pushing it to the furthest level possible, that’s rad in one sense, but to me personally as a kid I could never in my wildest dreams believe that I could do that too. I respect it. I understand it. But does it make me want to go skate? No.”
The average width of decks available in skateboards is eight inches, however; there are many different varieties available as well. A wider deck provides you better balance as compared to slimmer kinds but it does not allow you to perform skateboard tricks. Decks come in a variety of materials that include wood, fiberglass or carbon. Considering the price, plastic decks come cheaper, but if we will consider quality then other options though more expensive will prove worthwhile.
Krown Rookie complete skateboards are a prime example of a product that is well liked, and of great quality. Just like with the previous Krown product we discussed, the company has given us several colors of the product o choose from. This is a great addition, since it helps riders personalize their rides whichever way they want. It also limits the possibility of running into someone that is sporting the same skateboard at you!
Skateboarding, in one form or another, has been around since the late 1950’s when the first brave pioneer first attached roller skate wheels to a piece of wood. As skateboarding progressed to mimic surfing, skateboards evolved with the style of riding. Skateboards grew and changed shapes as riders experimented with everything from plastic to fiberglass to aluminum constructions - all in an effort to push what was possible. Like most sports or art forms, progression is at the heart of skateboard innovation.
As it eventually became more apparent that skateboarding had a particular identity with a style of shoe, other brands of shoe companies began to specifically design skate shoes for functionality and style to further enhance the experience and culture of skateboarding including such brands as; Converse, Nike, DC Shoes, Globe, Adidas, Zoo York and World Industries. Many professional skateboarders are designed a pro-model skate shoe, with their name on it, once they have received a skateboarding sponsorship after becoming notable skateboarders. Some shoe companies involved with skateboarding, like Sole Technology, an American footwear company that makes the Etnies skate shoe brand, further distinguish themselves in the market by collaborating with local cities to open public Skateparks, such as the etnies skatepark in Lake Forest, California.
Lovenskate have produced a number of full-length videos throughout the 16 years of their existence, including the 2015 release Lovenskate – Smorgas’board although more recently they have followed the direction of skate media in general and concentrated on releasing shorter, rider-specific clips such as Jordan Thackeray’s Welcome clip and more recently the Batch Capture series.
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.
A skateboard consists of a deck, trucks, wheels, bearings, hardware, and griptape. All parts come in a variety of sizes, graphics, colors, and signature pro series. The deck is the essential part of any skateboard. The deck ranges generally from 7.5" to 8.5". Skaters choose their board size for many reasons, but the basic deciding factor comes down to style of skating and foot size. Transition skaters usually ride a wider deck, while street skaters tend to go with a smaller deck. Skate brands such as Girl, enjoi, and Welcome offer a wide range of boards in regards to sizes and graphics. Skateboard trucks come in either a high or low setting, and also in a range of widths. The main factors in a truck, are how well they turn, and how well they grind. Independent, Venture, and Thunder, are truck brands that are well known for their turning and grinding capabilities. The skate hardware is generally either Phillips head or Allen key bolts. The skateboard wheels range from 50mm to 60mm. Some brands offer smaller and larger sizes, but 50-60mm is the general range. Like the deck sizes, wheel sizes depend on the skater's choice of terrain: Transition skaters tend to ride bigger wheels, while street skaters usually go with smaller wheels. Bones, Spitfire, Ricta, and Wayward wheel companies all make wheels for any terrain, whether you're a street shredder or a park burner. Skate bearings follow the ABEC rating system, which includes grades 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. Bones, Bronson, and Andale are some of the top bearing brands in the skate market. CCS proudly carries all these brands, and many more.
In terms of their skateboard output, Palace have released numerous videos online since their inception, including Gangbanging at Ground Zero (2011), Niggaz with Altitude (2013), a Danny Brady welcome clip ‘Definitely Brady‘ in 2014 and most recently, Very Nice in 2016 featuring newer team riders Shawn Powers and early viral internet star Jamal Smith. Palace are currently working on a full-length video.
The deck is expertly constructed with a vertically laminated bamboo core and bamboo veneer exterior, all attached with triaxial glass and epoxy as well as a course grip tape top. The grip tape is arranged in an unusual and stylish, yet functional, design. The 34-inch board features a 13-degree nose angle and an 18-degree tail angle. With its directional shape, you’ll easily be able to cruise on this board or pull a few tricks.
Powell Peralta has gained increasing popularity in the 1980s, when skateboarding became an increasingly more sought-after action sports. Since then, they have been developing skateboards tailored to customers, taking reviews and critiques into consideration every time they were building a new model. The Powell Golden Dragon is a direct result of such careful consideration and tailored-modeling.
Diamond has been a household name in streetwear for their dope caps, tees, hoodies, and sneaker collab hype that have had the Internet going nuts for years, but the brand's roots are in skate. While the list of collaborations and rapper co-signs is long (too long to list here), but for skate nerds the team is way more impressive—Raven Tershy, Ryan Sheckler, Torey Pudwill, Shane O'Neil, Stevie Williams, Paul Rodriguez… The list goes on.
While the skateboard has a lot of moving parts, one's safety, comfort, and ease to learn new skills and perform tricks are all of equal importance. For this reason, choosing the right type of deck and wheels should be two of the first considerations, as the board's shape, material construction, and wheel makeup will all have a significant impact on your ability to control the equipment and maintain good aerodynamics. Additionally, the width of the deck is important, so one must take their height, shoe size, and style of riding into account in order to ensure the deck offers as much support as possible, regardless of application.
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.
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.