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.
While no two brands are exactly the same and it’s difficult to compare them, the brands on this list are among those that offer their own unique spin on the skateboarding experience, which often comes from their own personal stories and love of skateboards that they discovered in their childhood. In a saturated market that now spans from the technical side of skating to streetwear-centered style brands, these are the ones that stand out the most. From the young upstarts to those with a long legacy to their name, these are the best skateboard brands out there, so get familiar—and at least learn to kickflip, man.
That’s a lot of wood! But it is by no means the end. In 2016 there were many other brands that have pleased us with wooden works of art. Chocolate were inspired by modern living shown in their Modern Homes series, Welcome beautifully presented decks in original shapes, and the two German brands Inpeddo and Mob showed that seven layers do not necessarily have to come from overseas.
Skateboarding is one of the most popular alternative sports around the world, for kids and adults alike. But before you hop on a board and take off, it’s important to choose the right kind of board for you. Most beginners will simply grab the board that they like the looks of, and with the endless array of deck art and styles that exist, that kind of attitude can lead to choosing a board that isn’t right to learn on.
Illegal skating includes jumping over cracks or obstacles on the sidewalk (rather than stopping, picking up one’s board and walking around the obstacle), turning, riding over certain public property and any stopping maneuver that could be considered a trick. A ticket for skateboarding is a traffic violation, but skaters are more commonly cited for vandalism or trespassing—misdemeanors that stay on a skater’s record and usually carry a fine or a sentence of 40 hours of community service, or both.
Quartersnacks has been on one these past few years, making soft goods that will instantly make you look like you don’t actually suck at skating (me), and getting the honor of customizing their own Nike SB Dunk Low. Name another company in skateboarding that has that, and a book about their first decade of history coming soon through the world-renowned Random House publishing company? We’ll wait.
We would also like to point out one amazing detail about Plan B that makes it stand out from the other top skateboard brands, the deck technology that it uses. I already talked about how their decks are pretty strong and have minimal flex. But its other products like Plan B BLK ICE decks with wax used on their standard build decks to increase the speed and smoothness of skating a rail and the Flashback Series that uses prospect skateboard deck technology to make the boards thinner, lighter and stronger, are amazing!
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.
“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.”
I'm not talking about mall chain stores, like Zumiez; I mean a locally owned and operated skateboard shop. Look around at what they sell, and talk to the staff about the different brands. Of course, they may be biased toward the brands they carry, but chances are you'll learn something that will help you make a decision. There are some big-name board brands that you'll find in most shops, but there should also be some smaller brands you may not have heard or seen around town. There might even be a a local skater or manufacturer that you could support.
Supreme may be something of an outlier in the skate industry where few brands have brick and mortar presence, and limited distribution is aproblem, not a strategy. Unlikely or not, Supreme kills it as a skate brand and as a brand in general. No other skate brand can claim the level of accomplishment that Supreme has achieved—nine retail stores around the world, collaborations with the biggest names in fashion and art, and a confounding secondary market of resellers and collectors. Supreme reigns supreme.
So now that you have an idea of what size and shape board you like, it’s time to choose a brand. A popular size is an 8.5 skateboard deck. If you were looking for a size 8.5 skateboard deck, you could narrow the decks offered on CCS.com to fit in the 8.25 - 8.5 range. This will show you all the boards in that range, and significantly reduce the boards you have to look through. Now, if you don’t have a preference on board brands, find a graphic you like and you’re all set. If this is your first skateboard or are still learning about what wood and brands you prefer, we recommend checking out a CCS Skateboard. They give you a bang for your buck, that's for sure.
Group spirit supposedly influences the members of this community. In presentations of this sort, showcasing of criminal tendencies is absent, and no attempt is made to tie extreme sports to any kind of illegal activity. Female based skateboarding groups also exist, such as Brujas which is based in New York City. Many women use their participation in skate crews to perform an alternative form of femininity. These female skate crews offer a safe haven for women and girls in cities, where they can skate and bond without male expectations or competition.
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.