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.
The wheelbase of a skateboard deck is the distance between the centers of the inner most truck mounting holes. This distance ranges between 13.5 to 16 inches and is generally proportional to the deck length on standard popsicle decks. Some specially shaped boards and cruiser decks have differing length/wheelbase ratios. Wheelbase can impact stability and turning radius, but the effect is often subtle and not a major concern for a beginner.
Diamond has been a household name in streetwear for their dope caps, tees, hoodies, and sneaker collab hype that have had the Internet going nuts for years, but the brand's roots are in skate. While the list of collaborations and rapper co-signs is long (too long to list here), but for skate nerds the team is way more impressive—Raven Tershy, Ryan Sheckler, Torey Pudwill, Shane O'Neil, Stevie Williams, Paul Rodriguez… The list goes on.
Powell has made sure to provide their customers with more than one design of one of their most sought-after skateboards. The Golden Dragon 2 is very similar to its predecessor, the Golden Dragon and is just as reliable as its sister model. When it comes to skateboarding, you can’t ask for a better board than the Golden Dragon 2. It’s durable, firm and thanks to the concave skateboard deck design, will allow you to do many tricks. Tricks, that other boards could possibly not support as well.
As the only female-focused and female-owned skateboard brand on this list, Meow Skateboards is notable for boldly stepping into the male-dominated skateboard industry and succeeding where other similar projects have failed. Prior to establishing the Meow Skateboard Brand, Lisa Whitaker was already a driving force within female skateboarding as the founder of the largest online resource for female skateboarding in the world – Girls Skate Network.
This board is also a very smooth ride, and surprisingly offers plenty of stability as well, which makes it safe for beginners to learn with. Finally, it’s one of the few boards on this list that comes in a huge array of styles and artwork so that you can get the board that suits your style best. If what you want is a board that looks and performs like the boards you see at sporting events, this is the perfect choice. The only downside is that it’s not the most flexible board out there, which could make it a little harder to ease into turns – however, this feature is what makes the board just right for learning tricks on.
It's apt that Tribute has taken an umbrella as the company logo. In a city that rains as much as Portland, skaters don't have too much to be stoked about. But that has done nothing to deter one of the strongest skate scenes in the US, which has the notorious Burnside skatepark, awesome brands like Tribute, and local rippers like Brent Atchley at its core.
Girl Skateboards, with its distinct “women’s bathroom” logo, is a brand distributed by Crailtap and founded in 1993 mainly by professional skateboarders Mike Carroll and Rick Howard and was created to give pro skateboarders a future. A “Girl” deck is made of seven-ply maple, which is strong and resistant. Decks can be customized in a wide variety of graphics or can feature the “Girl” logo. For those who don’t want to customize, complete skateboards are available that include the deck, wheels, trucks and bearings. Clothing, featuring the Girl logo, are available in a wide variety of styles. Not only does Girl distribute skateboards, but they also make films, videos and more. The Girl team consists of Sean Malto, Brandon Biebel, Andrew Brophy, Mike Mo Capaldi, Cory Kennedy, Rick McCrank, Jeron Wilson, Mike Carroll, Rick Howard, Tyler Pacheco, and Simon Bannerot.
Top Skateboards come from companies such as Blind Skateboards. Professional skateboarder Mark Gonzales founded the brand and it was launched in 1989. Today, products are distributed by Dwindle Distribution. The brand is intended for serious, hardcore skateboarders. It has an emphasis and an appreciation for the graphics used for its decks. In the early 1990s, Blind Skateboards set itself apart from other skateboard brands by creating videos. Their first, directed by Spike Jonze, appeared in 1991. You can get completes at Blind that includes the decks, wheels, trucks, and bearings. The Blind Team is professional skateboarders Cody McEntire, TJ Rogers, Kevin Romar, Sewa Kroetkov, Morgan Smith, Sam Beckett, Micky Papa, Yuto Horigome, and Jason Thurtle.
Trick wise, you can perform many different tricks. The price is well worth it because of the lightweight nature and solid design of the skateboard brand. The trucks and bearings are custom made by the company so there is no room for error as the quality is promised to be upheld by the company. Also, the package itself comes with a mini T-tool which is great for on the spot replacement of wheels, adjusting the bearings, and also interchanging the trucks if need be.
Goldfish and Mouse established Girl’s video aesthetic with numerous movie skits inter-cut with the skating, including the infamous Eric Koston as Charlie Chaplin skit. Pioneering skate photographer and film-maker Spike Jonze (also responsible for Blind Skateboard’s Video Days) as a part-owner of Crailtap has been involved in the making of all of their videos to date and it is his cinematic approach that lends Girl’s video output its uniqueness.
These guys are unabashedly all about London and the party boy lifestyle. The self-aware attitude they carry themselves with shines in the corresponding product copy on their website—it’s contagious and makes you want a piece of it. Everyone from A$AP Rocky to Drake, and even seemingly out-of-touch Jay Z has been seen rocking the gear, and it’s understandable why. Palace’s design team, which includes Fergus Purcell of Marc Jacobs, have created an image that’s been exclusive and dope from its inception, and they’ve yet to break that streak. Who else could follow up a dope adidas collaboration with an excellent pair of penny loafers?
Isle is much newer to the game than a lot of the other brands mentioned on the list, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the same respect. Drawn straight from the mind of skateboarder Nick Jensen, a London native with the eye of a true artist, Isle’s graphics could just as easily be hanging in a museum rather than in skate shops. Jensen’s creative process involves him sculpting, painting and photographing every board graphic himself in his own studio, manipulating each art piece to work as a graphic. Isle offers one of the most well developed brand images in skateboarding, due in big part to the fact that it is literally an outlet of one man’s own rampant creativity.
We want customers to be satisfied with their products. That’s why we have spent countless hours researching and picking the best skateboards available out on the market today. If you are a beginner and need a well-versed opinion on the topic, we sincerely hope that our reviews and FAQ sections will help you decide which skateboard you should adopt as your own!
Following The Real video, the brand released full-length videos at regular intervals, with each release being celebrated as a classic overview of the era involved. 1997’s Non-Fiction, featuring founder Jim Thiebaud and a revamped team including the likes of Mark Gonzales, Keith Hufnagel, Joey Bast, Drake Jones and one-time Real female rider Jamie Reyes is seen these days as one of the precursor’s of skateboarding’s general shift away from unbridled technical progression towards a heavier emphasis on style.
When looking at skateboarding’s history, the only thing that’s stayed the same is the overall structure: every board consists of four skateboard wheels, two skateboard trucks, and a riding surface of some kind. And while we’ve come a long way from the days of metal and clay wheels, some aspects of skateboarding - like the brands manufacturing some of the most trusted products - haven’t changed at all. Independent Trucks has been designing trucks since 1978. Powell Peralta, the company responsible for Powell Skateboards, Bones Wheels, Bones Bearings, and the Bones Brigade also started in 1978. NHS, Inc., the company that produces Santa Cruz Skateboards, Independent Trucks, Bronson Speed Bearings, Krux trucks, Flip Skateboards, Ricta Wheels, Mob Grip, and OJ Wheels started in 1973. It’s no wonder these brands are still doing so well - they’ve been with skateboarding since the beginning. Since the day skateboarding went from something surfers did when the waves were flat to its own sport that involves technique, practice, and careful consideration, a small handful companies have been there to help skateboarding become what it is today.
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.
If you are completely new to skateboarding, consider taking a minute to read through the Skateboard Decks Section in our Buyer’s Guide will be helpful, but a good rule of thumb is: the bigger your feet, the wider your board should be. If you wear a size 9 and up, you can’t go wrong with buying an 8” board. Narrow boards are easier to flip while wider boards are more stable, but there are no hard and fast rules to skateboarding. The only way to really find out what you like is by trying new shapes, sizes, and brands. Brands like Welcome, Baker, Chocolate, Deathwish, and Element all have a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and graphics.