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.
Skateboarding has also become a major source of inspiration for high-end fashion brands, as they design their own interpretations of the skate culture and style from graphic T-shirts, five-panel hats, cropped, wide-leg pants, and skateboarding sneakers from the brands like Vans. But there’s no faking the original, and the brands that do it best are the ones that have a long-time heritage in the sport of the board, unlike the luxury labels simply trying to capitalize on the look.
Using 12 years of experience in manufacturing skateboards, Penny Skateboards was created to offer the skateboarding community high performance and high quality plastic skateboards. The brand focuses on creating each Penny skateboard with attention to detail and with the best raw materials. Not only are they meant to look good, but are meant to work just as good if not better.
You know how people say shit like: Ernest Hemingway is “a writer's writer” and it's not really clear what that means, but you sort of get it? Well Anti-Hero is a skater's skate brand. Founded by underground hero pro skater Julien Stranger, Anti-Hero is a direct expression of his attitude towards the skate industry, which is basically that skateboarding is life and fuck everything else. Anti-hero has a reputation for being one of the gnarliest skate brands around, thanks in part to their team of heavies which includes John Cardiel, Tony Trujillo, and Chris Pfanner.
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Toy Machine is an Ed Templeton company and one of the best skateboard companies of its time. Ed is an Orange County original skater and developed the board he wanted to skate on, thus creating the Toy Machine Brand. Though the Toy Machine team has seen many changes, it has always held onto professional skaters that can provide insight in the latest needs of boards. Toy Machine skateboards are known for their signature monster graphics, which have made them a top skateboard brand.
Bearings are standardized to fit in all kinds of skateboard wheels. All bearings will eventually get dirt and gunk in them which slows you down. Regular cleaning is recommended. Higher quality bearings will perform better, roll faster, retain more speed, and last longer when cleaned regularly. Some bearings come with bearing spacers or have spacers built into the bearing. These will fit in any wheel, but are not necessary for most types of skateboarding or longboarding.
The first thing to consider is what kind of skateboarding you want to do. Do you want to skate your local skate park and learn tricks? Do you want something for commuting across town or campus? Or, would you enjoy charging down hills at high speeds? Take a look at the options below and note which features work well for the type of skating you want to do.
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.