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.
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.
Despite what many young skaters may think, there is more to choosing a skateboard deck than the graphic on the bottom of the pro skater the deck company sponsors. The best skateboard deck varies from person to person depending on external factors such as the rider’s weight, skate style, shoe size, and budget. Person preferences can also impact the decision. For example, you may want to support your favorite pro skateboarder, so you buy their pro deck.
In the skateboarding world, there is considerable shuffling of the famous top brands as not many of them manage to stay in the spotlight for long. This continuous reshuffling paves way for new skateboard brands to come into the spotlight. However, it is important to note that no two brands are the same and comparing them is difficult but the following list has been created by extensive research of the saturated skateboard market and features the best skateboard brands out there that you must give a try.
The best criticism you could make about skateboarding in general right now is that it takes itself too seriously. Rightfully so. Skateboarders are often under attack, and what they do is illegal in most places. Skate culture is constantly being ripped off and bastardized. That's why it's so important to have a healthy sense of humor about it all, and that's why it's important that skateboarding has Roger.
Camber & Rocker: The camber skateboards are the ones with a raised middle while rockers have dropped middle. The angle you get with camber and rocker is pretty mellow. However, the difference in shape dramatically affects the flex of your deck. Since most of the decks come with a neutral deck camber, you can still find some cruisers and longboards who feature a camber—style deck. Needless-to-say, decks having positive camber have more flex because of the higher center of gravity. In case of rocker decks, the center of gravity is low and have a sloped shape which the riders love.
With distinctive graphics, often touching upon controversial issues such as racism with American society such as the infamous Jim Thiebaud ‘Lynch the KKK’ graphic designed by Natas Kaupas and Kevin Ancell, and classic Jeff Klindt graphics such as the James Kelch ‘James’ board, which was recently re-released, Real’s aesthetic has always been instantly recognisable.
There’s no way have never seen a Palace logo at this point, and if you haven’t that’s cause you shleep, bruh. Palace is one of the best out there doing the whole “high fashion or skate brand?” thing, and they hold a unique place on this list for being one of the few brands not based and started in the U.S. The Palace Wayward Boys Choir, like many before them, turned their group of friends into a successful crew of respected pros, who you will never see on Fox Sports 1 skating in a multi-million dollar contest.
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.