In the ever-volatile skateboarding industry, brands come and go, then come back again, only to go out once more, and eventually make room for the next person who is really in tune with what skateboarding is today. While no two brands can really be compared, the true signifier of their importance in skateboarding is how they can make a difference in the culture and bring something new to the table that hasn’t been done before. Every single brand on this list has been a part of something unique that has made us pay attention to them above all the others out there doing it in this saturated market.
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.
Prior to the mid-seventies many early skateboards were originally based upon the concept of “Sidewalk Surfing” and were tied to the surf culture, skateboards were surfboard like in appearance with little to no graphics located under the bottom of the skateboard-deck. Some of the early manufactured skateboards such as "Roller Derby", the "Duraflex Surfer" and the "Banana board" are characteristic. Some skateboards during that time were manufactured with company logo's or stickers across the top of the deck of the skateboard, as griptape was not initially used for construction. But as skateboarding progressed & evolved, and as artist began to design and add influence to the artwork of skateboards, designs and themes began to change.
In summary - recognizing a real skateboard isn’t rocket science, but it does take some amount of brand awareness and ultimately even trial and error. We tried to take the guesswork out of it by starting SkateXS and openly sharing and celebrating each and every component we use to build our skateboards. Hopefully we have been able to share the values and priorities we put into those design decisions.
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As it eventually became more apparent that skateboarding had a particular identity with a style of shoe, other brands of shoe companies began to specifically design skate shoes for functionality and style to further enhance the experience and culture of skateboarding including such brands as; Converse, Nike, DC Shoes, Globe, Adidas, Zoo York and World Industries. Many professional skateboarders are designed a pro-model skate shoe, with their name on it, once they have received a skateboarding sponsorship after becoming notable skateboarders. Some shoe companies involved with skateboarding, like Sole Technology, an American footwear company that makes the Etnies skate shoe brand, further distinguish themselves in the market by collaborating with local cities to open public Skateparks, such as the etnies skatepark in Lake Forest, California.
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FTC has grown from being the staple skate shop of the Bay Area to being a respected brand pushing skateboarding across the globe. Their SF flagship sits in the famous Haight Ashburry district, always attracting visitors and giving them a look into what skateboarding is really like in this day and age. FTC will have you covered in their own gear, and will also always be pushing the next big thing in their shops, and they never make a bad call.
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!
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.
The fact that it has nice and attractive prints also makes it a fashion skateboard. You can use it to show not only your passion in the sport but also your fashion sense. It is also equipped with a high-density emery surface known for being both waterproof and non-slip. With that, you have a hundred percent assurance of your safety when you are riding on it.
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.
You seem to love Toy Machine deep in your heart! Ed Tempelton’s brand did well this year and landed four places above last year’s ranking. In addition to many other exhilarating designs, the Turtles deck series was the most acclaimed one. The quality is proven by team riders such as Leo Romero, Collin Provost, Daniel Lutheran and Co. You can get your Toy Machine deck from 59.99 € | 50.00 GBP!
The Golden Dragon 2 can also reach very high speeds thanks to the smooth ride skateboard wheels that have been incorporated into the design. Many people report this skateboard to hold up very well, even after several seasons and years of use. This makes them perfect skateboards for adults and kids that are looking to use the board very regularly for practice purposes.
Founded by English freestyle skater, engineer and skateboarding entrepreneur Jeremy Fox in 1987 (Fox is also reputed to be the first person to import skateboard specific footwear ‘Pro-Keds’ into the UK) Deathbox in its heyday was one of only a handful of European brands that ever controlled enough market share to be a significant player in the skateboard industry.
The grip tape found on a skateboard can actually be defined as the grainy sheet, which resembles sandpaper that also comes with a sticky underside. Such underside needs to adhere to the deck’s surfaces as a means of increasing traction or grip. No matter what skating style you use, the grip tape is extremely helpful in your attempt to stay on the board.
Bearings are very important if you want to keep rolling without pushing constantly, especially while street skating. They're typically rated with the ABEC (Annular Bearing Engineering Committee) scale. The ABEC scale only measures the precision of the bearing, not how well it rolls or how long it lasts. It's a common misconception that the ABEC scale refers to how fast the bearing rolls. Anything above 1 is precision and will perform fine for skateboarding, but it's recommended to go above a 3.
Longboards are often 8 to 12 inches longer than a standard skateboard. That added length makes them more stable for long rides or high speed downhill runs. Available in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, and truck mounting options, longboards are highly customizable for many types of riding. If you want to push long distances, skate fast down hills, or are a beginner looking for an easy board for learning to balance, check our Guide to Longboarding for more info.
The Californian brand has performed nothing less than a triple flip and catapulted itself from #11 exactly into the centre to #8. This isn’t only nice for us, but also for skatedeluxe team rider Denny Pham, who literally stands on Flip. How hard you can skate these decks is also shown by his team colleagues Arto Saari, Louie Lopez, Curren Caples and Co. Price: from 64.99 € | 55.00 GBP!
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.
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.
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.