As the oldest brand on this list, Santa Cruz rightly holds the distinction of being the oldest skateboard brand in the industry and thus, the brand which effectively created the modern skateboard brand as we know it today. Founded as part of NHS Inc. a Santa Cruz based skateboard distribution company over 40 year ago, Santa Cruz as a brand has played a large part in every era of skateboarding history since its inception.
The first thing to consider is what kind of skateboarding you want to do. Do you want to skate your local skate park and learn tricks? Do you want something for commuting across town or campus? Or, would you enjoy charging down hills at high speeds? Take a look at the options below and note which features work well for the type of skating you want to do.
The nose and tail of a standard skateboard curve upward slightly to make tricks easier to perform. On most decks, the nose and tail are shaped slightly different. The nose is usually wider, longer and steeper than the tail which aids in nose-based (nollie) tricks, and also helps you differentiate the nose from the tail. Some shaped boards have very different nose and tail dimensions, and some old school boards lack noses all together.
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.
Remember, no skateboard lasts forever. Each board has different lifespan, regardless of the brand. Flip tends to break the easiest if you skate a lot. Almost and Girl boards usually have the longest life span. If you want a board that lasts really longer and you have the money, go for the Uber boards. Almost has three Uber boards signed by Mullen and usually start at $70 just for the deck, and completes range from $150-$250 just for the basic. If you want the perfect board, then you are talking a lot of money.
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.
In this modern era, manufacturers are incorporating hi-tech processes and top-shelf materials into the construction of the skateboard. Companies such as Almost have several versions of hi-tech decks such as the Impact, Double Impact, and Uber Light Series. Element makes Highlight decks with inlayed fiberglass beams, and Foundation has its signature Fiberprime decks. Other manufactures such as Flip, Habitat, Plan B, Skate Mental, and Zero offer boards with high-end P2 Construction. Hi-tech decks differ from traditional 7-ply Maple in that they are inlayed with Carbon Fiber, Fiberglass, Poly Ply, or Kevlar to produce a stronger skateboard with more pop. For more options, head over to our stellar selection of Hi-Tech Decks! Although hi-tech decks have made a strong presence within the market, standard 7-ply Maple remain the gold standard. This is due to the solid feeling and pop afforded through layering 7 Maple wood veneers together. The large majority of skateboard decks offered are constructed of 7-ply Maple. Most board manufacturers offer both high-tech decks and standard 7-ply Maple. No matter what you desire, CCS offers a complete selection in multiple sizes, shapes, and construction types!
Skateboard decks width is probably one of the most important factors to consider when buying a deck. Decks typically range from 7.25-8.5″. 7.5″,7.75″, and 8.0″ tend to be the standard widths if most decks and the general rule is that the bigger your feet are the wider the deck you should get. Thinner decks are slightly easier to flip, however they are harder to land on due to the decreased surface area. This is a tradeoff you have to consider, but the typical rule of thumb for younger guys is that you get wider decks the more advanced and larger you get. Street skaters typically also like smaller decks as they are easier to navigate and carry around in crowded cities and areas.
Omar Salazar suffered a bad knee injury recently and was sidelined from skating, allowing him to refocus his energy into running his company, Doomsayers. Following the demise of Alien Workshop and facing an uncertain future in the industry, Omar decided to really focus on a brand whose image is not shy about its disdain for corporate greed, which many people blame for the demise of his long time sponsor.
This brand gets its name from a slang term for strip club. One video was called “Chicken Bone Nowison,” and it opens with a scene of skater pummeling a security guard. Is that not awesome enough? If there is a company that embodies a more perfect IDGAF attitude in skateboarding, please let me know. For the homies, by the homies is their mantra, which is pretty cool with a team comprised of rippers like Theotis Beasley, Andrew Reynolds, Dustin Dollin, Jim Greco, Terry Kennedy, Lizard King… The list goes on.
Girl Skateboards is the foundation of all the other brands under the Crailtap umbrella (Royal Trucks, Chocolate Skateboards, Lakai footwear etc) and was established by Mike Carroll and Rick Howard during a mass exodus of pro skaters from Steve Rocco’s brands (Plan B, Blind, 101, World Industries) reputably inspired after arguments of wheel sales royalties.
First, you’ll need to consider the size of the skateboard. Most skateboards are about eight inches wide, but if you have very large feet, or you really want to feel very stable as you learn, consider going with something wider. Remember that the wider you go, the harder it is to learn tricks and to go around curves. If you want to rotate your board mid-air during a jump, you need a board that is no wider than eight inches.
Bearings are rated by the ABEC scale (1-9), which has nothing to do with skateboarding. Manufacturers know skaters believe higher ABEC ratings mean faster bearings. They do not, and you won’t find high-quality bearings on off-the-shelf skateboards. Most of these completes are slow. Make a bearing upgrade a top priority. Good bearings can make almost any skateboard fast. This article by longtime pro Anthony Pappalardo gives an insider’s perspective on bearings.
Thunder trucks are solid, with some great innovations. Thunder's light truck range claims to be the lightest available, with the quickest turning. Thunder's team is also pretty impressive, with Thomas, Appleyard, Marks, Steamer, Ellington. The list is actually pretty huge. If having a lot of pros ride the same trucks as you is important (which isn't a bad idea - these people are skating in competitions, and want the best!), then take a look at Thunder.
Skateboarding was popularized by the 1986 skateboarding cult classic Thrashin'. Directed by David Winters and starring Josh Brolin, it features appearances from many famous skaters such as Tony Alva, Tony Hawk, Christian Hosoi and Steve Caballero. Thrashin' also had a direct impact on Lords of Dogtown, as Catherine Hardwicke, who directed Lords of Dogtown, was hired by Winters to work on Thrashin' as a production designer where she met, worked with and befriended many famous skaters including the real Tony Alva, Tony Hawk, Christian Hosoi and Steve Caballero.
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.
Camber & Rocker: The camber skateboards are the ones with a raised middle while rockers have dropped middle. The angle you get with camber and rocker is pretty mellow. However, the difference in shape dramatically affects the flex of your deck. Since most of the decks come with a neutral deck camber, you can still find some cruisers and longboards who feature a camber—style deck. Needless-to-say, decks having positive camber have more flex because of the higher center of gravity. In case of rocker decks, the center of gravity is low and have a sloped shape which the riders love.
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.
Swing boarding is the activity where a skateboard deck is suspended from a pivot point above the rider which allows the rider to swing about that pivot point. The board swings in an arc which is a similar movement to riding a half pipe. The incorporation of a harness and frame allows the rider to perform turns spins all while flying though the air.
Velocity Boards Retro Skateboards is a complete 22″ Banana Skateboard. It includes 6″ Lightweight Aluminum Trucks, High-Speed ABEC-7 Bearings, High-Quality Wheels & Bushings and Hardware. It has a Unique Textured Waffle Pattern on Deck and is designed for Maximum Grip. The Deck measures about 22 x 6 x 4″. It has a 6″ Truck Axle and a 3″ Truck Hanger. It has a maximum weight capacity of 176 lbs. (80 kgs.). It is great for all skaters who are 6 years old and above. It has an Amazon rating of 4.7.
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.
The laws for skateboarding helmets vary from state to state. Many states require that skaters wear a helmet under a certain age, and some states like California make all skaters under 18 wear a CPSC Certified helmet at all times. CSPC skateboard helmets usually have an EPS protective liner that meets the safety standards for skateboarding. Make sure you check your state's regulations before ordering.
Skateboarders from all over know Santa Cruz Skateboards for its “Screaming Hand” logo, designed by legendary artist Jim Phillips, and the monstrous artwork displayed on the decks, including series styles such as their Star Wars and Marvel series. Founded in 1973 and distributed by NHS, Inc., the California based brand is the oldest continuous skateboard company in the world. Santa Cruz boards are made from 100% North American maple and they offer complete skateboards, decks, and cruiser boards. The Santa Cruz Skateboards team consists of 16 professional skateboarders including names such as Blake Johnson, Dylan Williams, Emmanuel Guzman, and Eric Dressen.
Habitat proved itself as an established power in skateboarding when it survived the downfall of the parent company that owned and killed Alien Workshop, being able to persevere and even name new pros through the whole restructuring. They moved their products under Tum Yeto Collective, the parent company/distribution house of other powerhouse skateboard brands like Toy Machine, and now it’s as if they were never in any danger. If you have any doubts about why Habitat is on this list, just watch Mark Suciu’s part in Search The Horizon and never question it again.
Amazing! Great pop and amazing concave. Last for a long time as long as you don't get the bamboo board. They have an earthy style like element, but with a better board quality. The only reason they are not #1 is because they aren't as well known. You cannot snap these boards! I have skated them for a couple of years because they are so good. BUY ELEMENT BOARDS! You wont regret it.
Founded by the pro skateboarder Marc Johnson in the year 2000, enjoi has been on the market for over two decades now. They have since expanded, and started producing skateboarding accessories and clothing apart from just skateboards. Since then, they have adopted a panda as their logo. This logo is featured on most of their products and has quickly become the company’s trademark.
Plan B originated out of Irvine, CA and was initially created by skating pro Mike Ternasky. Unfortunately, Ternasky was involved in a car accident in 1994 and didn’t make it. The Plan B team and the boards that have emerged as his legacy to become a top skateboarding brand. Though the Plan B team had to take some time off, so as to mourn and regroup, they have returned with a vengeance and have become known as one of the top skateboarding brands. We like Plan B because of the customizable element they bring to the skateboard market and their flexible decks that stand out above other skateboarding companies.
Typically when looking at different completes you will see size dimensions in the format of ~7-8 x 31-34″. This measurement is referring to the width and length of the skateboard deck. Typically all other parts are relatively standard and the deck size is the main thing to look for. Standard skateboard widths for beginners are between 7.5-8.25 with smaller boards being better for younger and smaller guys. You don’t really have to worry about length much as long as it’s shaped regularly. You may hear about the concave of the deck or a special type of board construction, but for the most part, it will not matter much to a beginner. If you have no idea what size would be best you will never go wrong with a 7.5 or 7.75.
Remember the cool skate kids wearing Workshop tees in the '90s? Well you don't see too many of those these days, but AW is still one of the best “big” skate brands going. The team alone—featuring Supreme muse Jason Dill, tech-gnar wizard Anthony Van Engelen, and the most handsome guy on a board, Dylan Rieder—puts the brand in the top 10. And even though you might not associate legacy riders like Rob Dyrdek with anything cool at all, he pulled one of the most boss moves in all skate business history when he bought the brand that first sponsored him 20 years ago back from Burton (who bought the brand from Chris Carter in 2008) last year, so Workshop is once again skater-owned.
If you love skateboarding, then it is a must for you to invest in a high-quality backpack or bag. It is an essential gear, especially if you are someone on the go. You need it as it lets you bring all the things and items you need while you are riding to work or school – that’s possible while still ensuring that you bring your board with you all the time.
They are also budget friendly when you compare their features and capabilities. The latest technology of developing created a new groundwork in the world of skates. That way the new skaters can quickly learn how to become better and how to practice for professional tournaments. It is widely popular, and that is the main reason why you will see at least one Alien skateboard in any skate park in the world.
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.
One European brand steady killing the game is France’s own Magenta. What Palace is for London, Magenta is for Paris, representing what it means to make do with skating in a place where you will literally get kicked out of everywhere just for riding on your board. With a recent collaboration with adidas, Magenta has shown they can turn their niche image into something with mass appeal, so long as the world will pay attention. Skateboarders already know the brand for their quick-footed style of skating and their unique illustration style, but they should know Magenta for their conscious effort to make sure we all are enjoying the pleasure and the freedom skateboarding brings.
Let me tell you this, Santa Cruz has a huge variety of high quality everything-skateboard so naturally picking out the best skateboard of the best was a hard task. But as usual, we have a clear winner; the Santa Cruz Youth Land Shark Cruzer, Rasta. If you are a part of the skateboarding community, there is a high chance that you might have heard about this skateboard. Intricately crafted with the best quality materials, it is one of the best skateboards in town.
Skateboards just aren’t what they used to be, and that doesn’t make Jim Greco, Baker and Deathwish OG, happy whatsoever. Greco started the company last year as an effort to bring back skateboard manufacturing to the USA from overseas in China, using the traditional silk screen ink transfer and hand shaping methods from the early days of skateboarding.
Mark Gonzalez created bLind Skateboards in 1989, and shortly after initiated a pro team for his skateboard brand. The bLind brand is known for higher durability due to their innovative features. The boards released by bLind are developed and marketed for hardcore skaters and top other skateboarding brands. We like that bLind goes all out providing one of the strongest boards out there, and without sacrificing the flex needed for tricks. They also do it all with a sick style and an innovative business plan that has made them one of the top skateboard brands.
“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.”
Skateboards are for people who want to try something new and extreme. If you have not given it a shot and you want to challenge yourself then you should try skateboarding. It is a fact that there are certain risks that go along with skateboarding. However, skateboarding can teach you to balance and it is also a great way of losing weight. Skateboarding can also help you in making friends while you are in the park. With skateboarding, you can learn perseverance and build confidence.
Covering multiple countries all over the world, Skatro is widely received as one of the top mini-cruiser suppliers that are in existence. Starting from a very small office and humble beginnings, Skatro brand was determined to provide excellent care and respect to their clients while maintaining a quality product that is both mechanically sound as well as financially viable.
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.