Powell Skateboards is one of the original skateboard companies who dates back to 1978 and who has consistently been a top skateboard brand. If you or someone you know skated in the 1980’s, chances are it was on a Powell skateboard. Though Powell had a short lived split between cofounders, George Powell and Stacy Peralta, they regrouped to produce “top of the line” skateboards under the Powell Classic name and succeeded in becoming one of the most successful skateboard companies. Something stuck through that split and they made the list for clear understanding of the fundamentals of a quality skateboard and easily became a perfect quality skateboard brand..
Choosing skateboards that are made out of good, sturdy, and durable wood is vital. Most boards nowadays are made out of Canadian Maple. The skateboard deck is usually made out of a dozen or so layers. This ensures that your board will be reliable and can take some beating when you fall off or start doing skateboard tricks. You should also look for pro boards that have metal skateboard trucks, since these are the ones that support decks best.
Following Jason Dill and AVE leaving long time sponsors Alien Workshop back in 2013, Dill’s 13-year-old Fucking Awesome brand, which was formerly a clothing brand, became a board brand and began to add riders such as Dylan Rieder (RIP), Gino Iannucci, Jason Dill, Kevin Bradley, Nakel Smith, Sean Pablo, Sage Elsesser, Tyshawn Jones and Aiden Mackey.
The board also boasts of its reasonably small size and lightweight nature, making it easy to control and ride. In addition, carrying it wherever you want to go is also much easier because of its lightness. It is flexible enough that it can accommodate the needs of different kinds of users, including cruisers, travelers, beginners, expert riders, and kids.
Graphically speaking, Welcome is very distinctive, with an emphasis on hand drawn imagery and references to esoteric and occult themes mixed with bright colourways. Welcome Skateboards also offer a detailed shape guide on their website, detailing the exact dimensions of all of their 38 custom shapes, which again differentiates their product from many of the skateboard brands on the market.
In the past decade, I have begun seeing the emergence of skate decks being totally or partially made from carbon fiber or other metal materials instead of solely wood. These decks typically last longer than regular wooden decks and aren’t prone to chipping or breaking like most made from wood. The drawback to these materials is that they tend to feel “stiffer” than traditional wooden decks and experienced skaters may feel they are heavier and harder to do tricks on. Carbon fiber decks are also more expensive, but this additional cost may be worth it if you tend to break decks easily. Some brands also offer warranties against breakage under normal conditions for carbon fiber decks if you are worried about breakage.
Keep in mind how tall you are when choosing a board width. Also consider the kind of style you wish to skate. Most technical skaters (the ones who incorporate advanced flip tricks... like Rodney Mullen) tend to favor boards between 7.5 and 7.75 regardless of how tall or small they happen to be. The upper hand of having a thin board allows for quick rotation. The other side of the spectrum is the "go big" skaters (Jamie Thomas is a classic example of a "go big" guy). Most "go big" guys favor size 8.0 and up. The advantage of a wide heavy board feels more stable under your feet while in mid air and while landing (especially those who have big feet). If your a kid you might want to just stick with a 7.66 or smaller.
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.