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.
Rarely you make notice your deck to lose concavity or flatten over time. Although this isn’t very common, it’s typically due to water damage and is a sign of many other problems. Wooden decks are not meant to get wet and they will warp, crack, and break if they get soaked. It’s pretty simple and straightforward to avoid this problem. Keep your skateboard in a dry place, and don’t skate in the rain or through puddles. Skating through water will also destroy your bearings, if deck warping and breaking wasn’t a good enough reason for you to not do it.
Grip tape adds additional assurance for a rider's feet. It is made from a sheet of colored paper or fabric with adhesive on one side and a fine, sand paper surface on the other. Applied to the top surface of a skateboard, grip tape gives a person's feet an improved grip while maintaining stability for performing tricks. Skateboard trucks connect both the wheels and ball bearings to the deck and are directly attached to the deck themselves. They are usually constructed from aluminum alloy. The wheels are mounted to their axles via steel bearings. The wheels are made from polyurethane and available in a range of different shapes and sizes to suit most any skill level.
The Powell Golden Dragon 2 Skateboard is an affordable and complete skateboard for the beginners and also for the advanced skaters. It has high-rebound, hand-cast polyurethane wheels to give you a great roll and grip. It measures 7.5 inches wide with a colorful screen-printed bottom. It is made in China and has an average rating of 4.2 on Amazon.
Baker is a classic good old fashioned, anti-establishment skateboard brand. Baker has a great professional team including founder Andrew Reynolds. Reynolds is also heavily involved in other well-known skateboard brands like Deathwish, Emerica, and Shake Junt. Notable street artist Neckface has a limited edition line of Baker decks that is one of the coolest in skateboarding in my opinion.
After expanding from a successful board brand featuring Pontus’s own art and photography, the brand grew into making a high quality line of apparel that borders between athletic wear and traditional skate style. Over the last couple of years, Polar dropped jerseys and polos in high quality athletic materials, collabed with Converse on a couple of Chuck Taylors, and always kept a steady stock of their classic heavy chinos and hoodies, building up a brand you could literally rock head-to-toe.
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.
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.
They have continued to ride that wave over the past year, continuously putting out great edits, following cherry up with Sickness, Red Devil, Joyride, and Swoosh, all in collaboration with cherry’s filmer Bill Strobeck. We all know they will never fall off when it comes to putting out fire gear every new season and drop, but to keep it coming with actual great footage is another story, and is definitely making skateboarding better today.