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.
A precursor to the extreme sport of street luge, that was sanctioned by the United States Skateboarding Association (USSA), also took place during the 1970s in Signal Hill, California. The competition was called "The Signal Hill Skateboarding Speed Run", with several competitors earning entries into the Guinness Book of World Records, at the time clocking speeds of over 50 mph on a skateboard. Due to technology and safety concerns at the time, when many competitors crashed during their runs, the sport did not gain popularity or support during this time.
However, this same company decided to ‘Cash-in’ on THE NAME BRAND, and now con-currently sells JUNK , made in China, at WAL MART. DO NOT BUY any ‘longboard’ they sell that has plastic trucks!! They are an accident awaiting a place to occur. I’ve seen wheels (from a company that prided itself on ‘the best wheels’) that are upwards of 4 mm out-of-round, which could easily cause speed-wobbles, even at pedestrian speeds. From my POV, they’ve opened themselves up to possibly numerous lawsuits, just because of the inferior quality, and poor design choices made in order to maximize profit.
The Moose Blank Skateboard deck is a made with a 7-ply composition and features Canadian Maple wood. The board is 8.25 inches in length, but Moose Blank offers shorter boards as well, fitting men and women of just about any size and skill. The deck itself has a modern concave, making turning a breeze for beginners and pros. The nose and tail are particularly steep for tricks and “perfect for shredding,” says Blank Moose. Although this board is 100-percent blank, Moose Blank offers stains and dips for monochromic board designs as well. There are also Moose Blank sets for sale, which provide a set of blank decks at a discount.
Magenta Skateboards are one of only a few mainland European based brand in this list, founded in Paris and currently based in Bordeaux, France. Magenta’s outlook on skateboarding as a cultural phenomenon, and consequently their output in terms of both products and video, is deliberately at odds with the prevailing conception of skateboarding as represented by most major brands.
Moreover, we love the amazing variety of skateboards that Plan B has. Plan B’s team consists of some of the most famous professionals out there like Ryan Sheckler, Torey Pudwill and Chris Cole and all of their pro boards are available. Ranging from small skateboards (like Team Tripper mini) that are best skateboards for kids to their full size deck range that starts at 7.6 with the Felipe Flashback deck, Plan B has covered it all. Might I add that their full size skateboards are ideal for a smooth ride in the park and carve out all the turns perfectly. Most of the Plan B skateboards are around the 8 inch to 8.25 inch size which is the most popular size of the skateboard at the moment.
Unlike California, where the sun always shines and the pavement has never seen snow and salt, New York only has a handful of skate brands. Funny when you think about the rich history skateboarding has in the City. 5Boro is one of the brands that has been keeping the tradition alive for more than a decade, and next time you see founder Steve Rodriguez out skating, thank him for making so much happen for skaters in NYC.
Moving on to our favorite pick from the Plan B series, Plan B Skateboard Complete Felipe Victory 7.6″ Tensor Assembled, suitable for all kinds of riders, but is an ideal skateboard for intermediate skateboard riders. The deck is made from 100% North American maple and measures 7,6 inches. Its wheels are 52mm TGM wheels which means it is excellent for both street and park skating. We also love its lightweight trucks and heavy-duty aluminium with grade 8 steel kingpins and axles plus the bushings (USA made) and pivot cups. The bearings are rated 5 on the ABEC scale.
The magazine only lasted four issues, but resumed publication as Skateboarder in 1975. The first broadcast of an actual skateboarding competition was the 1965 National Skateboarding Championships, which were held in Anaheim, California and aired on ABC’s “Wide World of Sports. Because skateboarding was a new sport during this time, there were only two original disciplines during competitions: flatland freestyle and slalom downhill racing.
In the ever-volatile skateboarding industry, brands come and go, then come back again, only to go out once more, and eventually make room for the next person who is really in tune with what skateboarding is today. While no two brands can really be compared, the true signifier of their importance in skateboarding is how they can make a difference in the culture and bring something new to the table that hasn’t been done before. Every single brand on this list has been a part of something unique that has made us pay attention to them above all the others out there doing it in this saturated market.
First off, it’s important to decide what you will be using your skateboard for and what you will be doing with it. That’s why it’s important to ask a few key questions: Are you going to be using it every day? Is it for a new hobby? Is it for competition practice? What surface will you be skating on? Will you be partaking in park skating, or street skating?
The smaller the wheel diameter, the easier it is to do tricks, because it makes the board sit closer to the ground. But beginners will definitely have an easier time controlling a board with larger diameter wheels. Think of the larger wheels as being akin to training wheels. If you don’t want your board to have “pop” as you are learning, you can choose softer wheels, all the way down to a 73a. They won’t let you go as fast, and you’ll have to push off more often, but they do make it more likely that your board will stay on the ground.
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.