Skateboarding during the 1990s became dominated by street skateboarding. Most boards are about 7 1⁄4 to 8 inches (180 to 200 mm) wide and 30 to 32 inches (760 to 810 mm) long. The wheels are made of an extremely hard polyurethane, with hardness (durometer) approximately 99A. The wheel sizes are relatively small so that the boards are lighter, and the wheels' inertia is overcome quicker, thus making tricks more manageable. Board styles have changed dramatically since the 1970s but have remained mostly alike since the mid-1990s. The contemporary shape of the skateboard is derived from the freestyle boards of the 1980s with a largely symmetrical shape and relatively narrow width. This form had become standard by the mid '90s.
Choosing a skateboard deck can be approached in a few different ways: you can choose your board based off the graphic, the brand, the shape, the width, or even the color. For most skateboarders, it’s a combination of all these factors, but if you’ve never skateboarded before, you may not know what shape, width, or brand you like best. In this case, choosing your favorite graphic would make total sense.
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.
If you are a beginner, the best thing you can do before you buy a board is to ask yourself what kind of skateboarding you want to do. Do you want to go cruising around a mostly flat area for fun? A longboard may be the best choice for you. Are you interested in learning tricks and stunts? A double-kick skateboard may be the best option. A classic skateboard is perfect for the rider that isn’t really sure what they want just yet.
However, the diversity of Santa Cruz skateboard’s stake in the skateboard business meant that they easily survived the mid-90’s slump in popularity and returned with an newly invigorated team and powered on with video after video from the mid-90’s to the present day. Similarly to Powell-Peralta, Santa Cruz are also notable for their Veteran Division (documented in their 2007 release ‘V Day‘) celebrating pro riders such as Keith Meek, Tom Knox and Eric Dressen from earlier eras of Santa Cruz’s existence. Santa Cruz Skateboards current line of product boasts many re-released classic boards from earlier eras of the brand and are as popular, if not more so, than they were originally, thanks to an explosion in the nostalgia and collector’s markets within skateboarding.
In this in-depth guide, we’re going to cover how to choose the best skateboard for beginners, and review the top five beginner skateboards on the market right now. We’ll talk about how to choose the right size, what parts of a skateboard you should pay attention to, how to choose the right shape, choosing the right wheels, and more. First, let’s talk about the top five skateboards for beginners.
Punisher Skateboards Warphant measures 31 x 7.5 inch. It has a 9-Ply Maple Black Board with Concave Deck and Double Kick Tail. It comes with ABEC-3 Bearings, 5-inch V-style Heavy Duty Alloy Trucks, and Bases. It uses 54 x 36 mm PU injection molded wheels and PE Riser Pad with PU Cushion and Punisher Logo. It is perfect for learning and doing tricks. It is best suited for riders who are 8 years old and above. It has a 5 rating on Amazon.
Quality wheels won’t mean much if you don’t have nice bearings which allow the wheels to spin freely on the axle of the skateboard truck. A quality set of bearings will spin well right away and actually get even better once broken in a bit. If quality bearings get dirty, they can typically be taken apart and cleaned relatively easily. A good set of bearings typically runs between $10 - $16.
Element, based out of Irvine, CA, is one of the cool skateboard brands today. They came in first on our list due to their quality boards, sustainable practices and the affordability they offer customers. They’re an environmentally responsible brand who creates their boards without causing any environmental damage. The Element team behind the company is comprised of a group of professional skateboarders who interact with a strong belief in the Element brand. They not only offer great products, but stand for an open minded and active lifestyle and have become one of the best skateboard brands in the world.
It can be a bit obscure when Fergus Purcell and Will Bankhead design new Palace decks. The fact that the boys meet the Zeitgeist is proved by the step-up of the London brand by three places compared to last year. Nevertheless, these decks belong on the street. Just ask Benny Fairfax, Lucien Clarke, Danny Brady and Co. – Palace Decks are offered from 59,99 € | 50.00 GBP!
By the 1960s a small number of surfing manufacturers in Southern California such as Jack's, Kips', Hobie, Bing's and Makaha started building skateboards that resembled small surfboards, and assembled teams to promote their products. One of the earliest Skateboard exhibitions was sponsored by Makaha's founder, Larry Stevenson, in 1963 and held at the Pier Avenue Junior High School in Hermosa Beach, California. Some of these same teams of skateboarders were also featured on a television show called "Surf's Up" in 1964, hosted by Stan Richards, that helped promote skateboarding as something new and fun to do.
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.
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.
Choosing a skateboard deck is a great place to start when building a complete skateboard. Unless you have experience riding a shaped board - something a little more retro or unusual, we recommend you start with a popsicle shape. CCS carries over 60 different skateboard deck brands that sell this popular popsicle shape. If you have questions on what size you should ride or have any other questions about building a complete, we recommend you check out our Skateboard Buyer’s Guide. Here, you’ll find helpful how-to’s for choosing a skateboard decks, skateboard trucks, skateboard wheels, skateboard bearings, and skateboard components. This guide explains every part of a skateboard and helps you choose which sizes and styles to best suit your needs.
“As far as the actual look of the vast majority of contemporary graphics goes, I’d say that it feels to me as if something has been lost. It’s down to what you can do with modern heat transfer printing techniques – you can literally just take a photograph from the Internet and print it identically straight onto a skateboard. Speaking personally, there’s very little to challenge you there: either from the point of view of creating graphics, or from the consumer’s perspective. Whereas back when screen-printing was the norm, every time a graphic was produced the artist was physically cutting the key line out by hand. The key line is the final black line that forms the outline of whatever it is that you’re printing and ties in all the other colours together. You can see this in the early Sean Cliver graphics for example, where it’s clear that he has hand cut the key lines as precisely as he was able to, but looked at from today’s perspective they’re not perfectly precise, which is what gives Cliver’s earliest stuff its specific look in my opinion.”
Founded by the original technical street skaters Daewon Song and Rodney Mullen, Almost Skateboards always pushes the envelope with fun, artistic cartoon graphics paired with high quality materials. Almost was one of the first brands to implement carbon fiber layers to their decks in the “Impact” deck line to increase the deck’s life and better maintain its shape.