The concave of a skateboard deck is how curved the width of the deck is. Very few skateboard decks have no concavity and are completely flat as then they would break very easily and be hard to do flip tricks on. Steep concave decks are the most study and best to do flip tricks on because the slope of the deck catches the skater’s toe or heel more easily and flips the board faster than a shallower deck. Shallow concave boards are better for cruising around and vert skating as they are more comfortable on your feet and more controllable. In practice, these recommendations are pretty general and it ultimately comes down to personal preference on the the best deck concavity. But if you have no idea, following the recommendations or picking a board with moderate concavity is a good place to start.
Buying a complete skateboard from a good brand is when you purchase an already put together board that comes with a deck, the tape already applied, the wheels, the trucks, and the bearings all screwed in. You can also make custom requirements for your complete skateboard like interchanging different trucks or bearings to better fit your own personal style of skating.
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.
Skateboarding, in one form or another, has been around since the late 1950’s when the first brave pioneer first attached roller skate wheels to a piece of wood. As skateboarding progressed to mimic surfing, skateboards evolved with the style of riding. Skateboards grew and changed shapes as riders experimented with everything from plastic to fiberglass to aluminum constructions - all in an effort to push what was possible. Like most sports or art forms, progression is at the heart of skateboard innovation.
While they might not be so well known as an apparel company as so many other brands on this list, Sk8mafia stays winning with skateboarding’s core base. Their most prominent pro, Wes Kremer, was named Thrasher’s Skater of the Year for 2014, and they continue to drop a monthly edit featuring their whole crew through Ride Channel. The Mafia keeps the streets fed.
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.
Started by a group of guys who decided to stick together after the fall of Alien Workshop, Quasi skateboards presses boards and prints shirts featuring psychedelic art for the year 2015, offering something different than most board brands today. Backed by a team boasting hometown heroes and certified style gawds, Quasi is a board company everybody wanted that nobody had made yet.
In 1976, skateboarding was transformed by the invention of the ollie by Alan "Ollie" Gelfand. It remained largely a unique Florida trick until the summer of 1978, when Gelfand made his first visit to California. Gelfand and his revolutionary maneuvers caught the attention of the West Coast skaters and the media where it began to spread worldwide. The ollie was adapted to flat ground by Rodney Mullen in 1982. Mullen also invented the "Magic Flip," which was later renamed the kickflip, as well as many other tricks including, the 360 Kickflip, which is a 360 pop shove-it and a kickflip in the same motion. The flat ground ollie allowed skateboarders to perform tricks in mid-air without any more equipment than the skateboard itself, it has formed the basis of many street skating tricks. A recent development in the world of trick skating is the 1080, which was first ever landed by Tom Schaar in 2012.
You might have seen people talking about cruising styles and board drills but don’t find the talk attractive because you are not a skateboarder. This game gives you a lot of stuff to talk about with your friends and family relatives who skate as well. In fact, when you will get old, you will love to contribute to the pro conversations about skateboarding styles and maneuvers. It’s all about the ride and talks!
The Bamboo Skateboards Galaxy Series Cosmic Cloud Skateboard Deck is an excellent option. This concave board is made exclusively of a bamboo hybrid, rather than pure maple. This means the deck is lighter, stronger, more flexible, and can even absorb shock better. The non-carbonized, light-wood deck is made of 6-ply wood and is in its fourth generation of designs.
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.
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.
Next, you’ll need to look at the deck material. Decks are typically wooden or plastic, but they may also be made of materials like carbon and fiberglass. Plastic boards, like the pennyboard, are more affordable, and still very durable, but many adult riders find that they can look a bit like a child’s toy rather than a “real” skateboard. Wood is the most popular choice for most skateboards, although if you want to invest in the pricier fiberglass or carbon options, you’ll get a very good quality deck for your money.
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.
If you have a great passion for the downhill ride as well as cruising and you are a beginner of longboarding, then ultimately, this board can satisfy your needs. It’s a versatile board as you can use it for cruising and downhill riding. The board is equipped with the perfect wheel size — not so big and not so small. It is big enough to give you a smooth ride but it is not too big to get wheel bite. Isn’t it cool? The 44 inches size of its wheels is perfect for comfortable cruising as well as riding downhill. It has some flex which will reduce the stress on your ankle and knees.
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Before Zoo York, Supreme, and 5Boro, New York had SHUT. For a short while, SHUT ruled, but soon the business fell out and founder Rodney Smith left to start Zoo York with Eli Morgan Gesner (who drew the original SHUT logo), and Adam Schatz. SHUT went dormant while the three men grew Zoo York into a successful business, and when they sold it off to Ecko in 2006, SHUT was reborn. The brand's flagship store resides on New York City's Lower East Side, so you can go witness skateboard history in person any time you want.
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.
Obviously, price is an important consideration for most people when looking to buy anything. For skateboards, the price of the board is generally a good indicator of quality. In general, most pro branded skateboards that are made up of high-quality parts are in the $70-$100 range. You can usually find pro branded decks with average parts for $50-$70, and you can find blank options between $25-$50. I wouldn’t touch anything under $25, as it is likely poor quality and very prone to breakage.
Now you need to look at the wheels of your skateboard. There are dozens of different sizes, materials, shapes, and features of skateboard wheels, and it can get confusing for beginners. The most common type of wheel is a hard plastic wheel, and for beginners, you’ll usually see a “90a” level wheel. Professional skaters often choose even harder wheels, up to a 100a, because it gives them more “pop” for tricks. But somewhere between a 90a and a 97a is usually best for beginners.
Skateboard Cafe’s video releases to date include the initial Skateboard Cafe Promo (2012) featuring the original team of Harry Ogilvie, Shaun Currie, Josh Arnott, Tom Gibbs, Louis Marshall and Pat Garrahy plus associated friends. This was followed by Skateboard Cafe’s first full-length video ‘Alfresco‘ in 2015, followed by a rash of single rider and tour-based video releases since. Skateboard Cafe are also notable for conducting every aspect of their business in-house with all video, design and product sourcing undertaken by the owners, as well as using video look-books to promote each new drop of Skateboard Cafe product.
After riding Powell decks for many years, I was given the opportunity by Michael Furukawa at Skate One Corp. to create my own board brand. This was an honor but I needed a co-pilot for this mission to happen. I asked Mimi Knoop if she would join forces with me and this was the beginning of an all girls skate brand that we called hoopla skateboards.
Whilst this A – Z is by no means exhaustive and there are many brands, both new and old that are not included, we feel that this cross section of companies represents a selection of some of the best choices out there today. The following list of 29 skateboard brands, beginning with Alien Workshop and ending with Zero, covers a huge range of the alternatives within the current market and will hopefully act as a handy guide to those dipping their feet into our world for the first time.