Individuality and a self-expressed casual style have always been cultural values for skateboarders, as uniforms and jerseys are not typically worn. This type of personal style for skateboarders is often reflected in the graphical designs illustrated on the bottom of the deck of skateboards, since its initial conception in the mid seventies, when Wes Humpston and Jim Muri first began doing design work for Dogtown Skateboards out of their garage by hand, creating the very first iconic skateboard-deck art with the design of the "Dogtown Cross".
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.
Emerging initially via a series of spoof news bulletins created by Lev Tanju called ‘PWBC Global Skateboard News‘ and hosted on the don’twatchthat.tv site, the aesthetic that the Palace Skateboards Brand would adopt was firmly established in these early videos. Sadly now mostly deleted from the Internet, aside from a few ‘best of’ videos, the PWBC News series were a pre-cursor for the route that the brand would adopt with its comedic take on the faux-seriousness of the Skateboard Industry of the time, an emphasis on the UK grime music scene, and the introduction of numerous characters within each news segment, including Francis Shower Face who still appears in Palace releases to this day, along with snippets of footage from various sources.
The skateboard companies that are considered at the top include Element Skateboards. Founded by professional skateboarder Johnny Schillereff in 1992, the company’s goal was to expand on Johnny’s “Elementality” vision to build a company that helped to bring awareness to skateboarding. The goal is to focus on its uses in nature and the environment and the interconnecting of art and skateboarding. Developed from an urban mentality that was rough around the edges, the brand was transformed to embrace the “tree” logo with an emphasis on the positive and making the world a better place. A customer can purchase complete skateboards that include the decks, wheels, trucks, and bearings or they can customize a deck to suit their needs. Accessories and clothing are also offered. There are 20 professional skateboarders on the Elements team including such names as Brandon Westgate, Nyjah Houston, Mark Appleyard and Nick Garcia.
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.
Hi Everyone! My name is Pete (yes, I’m a real person who lives in a cornfield just outside of Buffalo, NY – well, my house is in the middle of a cornfield!). As a former collegiate athlete in Iowa, I’ve played varsity basketball, volleyball and soccer. I also happen to be an outdoor adventure fanatic who’ll do whatever it takes to never miss my annual week-long wilderness canoe trip in the Northern Ontario wilderness. Sports equipment has come a long way over just the past few years, and I’d love to share with you the latest (and most competitively priced) products that will save you many of the frustrations I’ve dealt with over the years! Please feel free to cruise the site and drop me a line on the contact page if you have ideas for improvements or anything else!
Skateboarder owned and operated is Magenta's mantra. “No middle-man or business-person involved,” it says on the brand's site, so you know what you're getting from this French brand is pure, uncut skate to the core. All of the art direction and graphics are done by co-founder and team rider Soy Panday, who has developed a unique artistic perspective for Magenta. You'll likely to see numerous skaters kicking around on Magenta boards in NYC these days, and with a strong offering of T-shirts, coaches jackets, caps, and a funny boxer short collab with Lousy Livin, there is plenty to appreciate.
Bianca Chandôn’s offerings can be found in high-end shops like Trés Bien and Supply, while Call Me 917, the sister company focusing on producing skateboards and hosting a skate team can be found mostly at select skate shops, such as New York’s own Labor Skateshop, but is also stocked at elite retailers like Dover Street Market. This brand duality allows Olson the freedom to explore new fields like cut-and-sew and womenswear with Bianca, while staying true to skateboarding with Call Me 917.
“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.”
A magazine?! This is an outrage! Yeah, it is. But Low Card has become the defacto hat brand for all the cool hesh skaters in America, so deal with it. Also, the mag's graphic tees, baseball shirts, coaches jackets, and beanies are all highly dope. The custom mesh hat program is the way to go if you feel the need to wear your “yeah, I skate” calling card on your head.
Lewis Marnell became Almost’s first fully-fledged amateur, an addition announced in a bonus section of Almost’s ground-breaking mini ramp video ‘Almost Cheese and Crackers‘ from (2006) that focused upon Chris Haslam and Daewon Song’s pushing of the boundaries of mini ramp skating and has subsequently been credited with ushering in a new wave of technical transition skating in its wake.
Independent has been making skateboarding trucks for over 25 years. Independent's Stage 9 truck series are quality made, lightweight and still durable. They also feature "Fast Action Independent Geometry," which means they are designed to react more quickly to your motions than other trucks. Independent trucks are usually on the wider side, but all sizes are available. Independent trucks are also guaranteed for life against manufacturer defects but should last forever anyway.
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.
Playwheels Disney Skateboard For Kids is a 21″ Wood single kicktail deck with painted edges. It has clear sand spray top grip with color graphic and full-color bottom graphics with a retro shape. It features multi-colored composite truck and baseplate components with carbon steel axles. This is great for kids who are starting to learn skating. It has an average rating of 4.2 on Amazon.
Also called Standard Kingpin Trucks, these trucks will mount to any standard or cruiser deck. They are the most versatile type of trucks and can be used for any type of skateboarding. There are many brands and various features to consider, including truck height, weight and replaceable components. Trucks are easily adjustable and allow you to loosen or tighten the board's responsiveness. For more information on trucks, check out our Skateboard Trucks Guide.
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.
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.
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.
It's been a long time since Cara-beth has had a feature in an international skateboard publication and in the September 2008 issue of The Skateboard Mag the longtime silence has been broken with a CB interview. With that in mind there was an impromptu launch party for the issue at the Encinitas Y that found longtime CB mentor Duane Peters, Dave Hackett, Lester Kasai and Tony Mag in attendance. Short but sweet skate session on the vert and bowl ensued and all went home happy. Congrats on a job well done Cara-beth!
Well know for their creative cartoon graphics and high-quality deck construction, this Toy Machine complete is another great starting skateboard for beginners. This deck is slightly larger than 8″ so it would be perfect for adults or people with larger feet who want a more stable ride. This setup is another good example of generic parts with a pro quality deck for a very reasonable price. A great option for a beginner who loves the logo and graphic, but wants to save money on the less important parts until they decide they want to take their skating the to next level.
Skateboard decks width is probably one of the most important factors to consider when buying a deck. Decks typically range from 7.25-8.5″. 7.5″,7.75″, and 8.0″ tend to be the standard widths if most decks and the general rule is that the bigger your feet are the wider the deck you should get. Thinner decks are slightly easier to flip, however they are harder to land on due to the decreased surface area. This is a tradeoff you have to consider, but the typical rule of thumb for younger guys is that you get wider decks the more advanced and larger you get. Street skaters typically also like smaller decks as they are easier to navigate and carry around in crowded cities and areas.
Omar Salazar suffered a bad knee injury recently and was sidelined from skating, allowing him to refocus his energy into running his company, Doomsayers. Following the demise of Alien Workshop and facing an uncertain future in the industry, Omar decided to really focus on a brand whose image is not shy about its disdain for corporate greed, which many people blame for the demise of his long time sponsor.
If you decide that you don’t want to spend the money for a pro-quality complete, then this is your best bet for a completely blank skateboard. You’re just not going to find anything else with similar quality anywhere near this price range. This blank skateboard is an even 8″ with 9 layers of plywood in the deck. This makes it ideal for any beginner especially adults or children with large feet. A great option for someone on a budget or if you want to try a no-frills quality skateboard setup, before deciding if you want to invest further on a pro-style skateboard.
Mark Gonzalez created bLind Skateboards in 1989, and shortly after initiated a pro team for his skateboard brand. The bLind brand is known for higher durability due to their innovative features. The boards released by bLind are developed and marketed for hardcore skaters and top other skateboarding brands. We like that bLind goes all out providing one of the strongest boards out there, and without sacrificing the flex needed for tricks. They also do it all with a sick style and an innovative business plan that has made them one of the top skateboard brands.