In the skateboarding industry, brands tend to come and go with ease. It’s rare for them to stay in the spotlight for any substantial amount of time. But the constant reshuffling of the deck (pun not intended) allows for a rotation of new brands to make a name for themselves. Whether they’re known primarily for their skateboarding parts essential to the craft (like decks, trucks, wheels, and shoes) or for their apparel and accessories, the skateboarding universe has been expanding ever since the sport caught the attention of the mainstream in the late ‘90s. Everyone may remember exactly where they were when Tony Hawk landed the 900° on national television, but the world of skateboarding brands is much larger than just that and more expansive than you may realize.
Skateboarding is the best and worst thing that’ll you’ll ever have the pleasure of tearing your hair out over. In a typical day of skating, you’ll get hurt, you’ll get incredibly frustrated, and eventually land a trick that’ll make it all worth it - if you’re lucky. Choosing a skateboard is fairly simple if you know what shape and width you like. If you’ve been skating awhile, you’re probably fairly familiar with what board brands you like skating. If not, there are a number of resources to help you choose the best skateboard for your skating style. Continuing to read this little spiel is going to take the least amount of effort on your part.
What began life as a screen-printing business back in 2001 has organically morphed into one of the UK’s most celebrated low-key bedroom brands. After completing a screen-printing and fine arts degree Stuart Smith set up Lovenskate to offer bespoke screen printing services to the skateboard industry and beyond from inside his parents garage. Over time, Lovenskate grew and formally metamorphosed into a skateboard brand back in 2001.
As the oldest brand on this list, Santa Cruz rightly holds the distinction of being the oldest skateboard brand in the industry and thus, the brand which effectively created the modern skateboard brand as we know it today. Founded as part of NHS Inc. a Santa Cruz based skateboard distribution company over 40 year ago, Santa Cruz as a brand has played a large part in every era of skateboarding history since its inception.
Following stints on the US brands Mad Circle and Arcade and a pro model on the then hugely popular European brand Cliche skateboards, Pontus Alv quit his board sponsor and moved back to his hometown of Malmo, Sweden in the early to mid 00’s. During this time Pontus took what might be called a creative hiatus but which would be more accurately explained as a re-connection with his roots. After returning to Malmo, Alv became heavily involved in building and creating the scene there, working alongside friends to build a number of DIY skatespots through the city such as the now legendary Savanna-side and Steppeside projects.
By raising £790,000, the Long Live Southbank initiative managed in 2017 to curb the destruction of a forty years old spot in London due to urban planning, a salvaging operation whose effect extends beyond skateboarding. The presence of a designated skating area within this public space keeps the space under nearly constant watch and drives homeless people away, increasing the feeling of safety in and near the space. The activity attracts artists such as photographers and film makers, as well as a significant number of tourists, which in turn drives economic activity in the neighborhood.
The logos you grow up with always mean more to you than the ones that came before or after. I'm not even going to suggest that I can be unbiased about something that means so much to me; but I also like to think that as a skater who has worked within the industry as an artist and a skate rat that grew up in the Midwest, I can separate my love of the activity from my personal feelings about the industry and companies. These are important logos for many reasons. Some are more powerful and meaningful than others but what I'm addressing are icons that have come to represent skateboarding in a lot of ways... succinctly and graphically.
The first skateboards started with wooden boxes, or boards, with roller skate wheels attached to the bottom. Crate scooters preceded skateboards, having a wooden crate attached to the nose (front of the board), which formed rudimentary handlebars. The boxes turned into planks, similar to the skateboard decks of today. An American WAC, Betty Magnuson, reported seeing French children in the Montmartre section of Paris riding on boards with roller skate wheels attached to them in late 1944.
The most recent Girl Films production, Pretty Sweet, signified a passing of the torch for one of the most talented skate teams in the biz. Some may have been disappointed to see Rick Howard and other OGs ride the bench, but new jacks like Alex Olson and Mike Mo Capaldi, and the Trunk Boyz Elijah Berle, Raven Tershy, Stevie Perez, Vincent Alvarez, and Cory Kennedy, leave little doubt that we're in for another 20 years of epic skating and killer goods.
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.
The most common shape in skateboarding is called a popsicle shape. It has a curved tail and nose and features concave, which gives the board it’s shape. New skateboarders looking to learn how to carve, push, ollie, kickflip, and grind boxes, ledges, and rails should start with a popsicle shape. If you’re interested in knowing, we explain selecting a board by width, riding style, and board shape in the skateboard decks section of the buyer’s guide.
Silver has edged it's way onto the scene offering nice, quality skateboard trucks, with plenty of little extras to make their trucks stand out from the rest. With things like inverted kingpins and axle caps, Silver trucks are pushing their motto, "Strength with Style." Silver trucks do look nice! Silver also sports a great team, with guys like Sheckler, Dyrdek, Rodriquez and more.
Certain cities still oppose the building of skate parks in their neighborhoods, for fear of increased crime and drugs in the area. The rift between the old image of skateboarding and a newer one is quite visible: magazines such as Thrasher portray skateboarding as dirty, rebellious, and still firmly tied to punk, while other publications, Transworld Skateboarding as an example, paint a more diverse and controlled picture of skateboarding. As more professional skaters use hip hop, reggae, or hard rock music accompaniment in their videos, many urban youths, hip-hop fans, reggae fans, and hard rock fans are also drawn to skateboarding, further diluting the sport's punk image.
Rodney Mullen and Marc Johnson originally formed Enjoi Skateboards, one of the most innovative skateboarding brands. With the help of other professional skateboarders, they created the infamous “A-Team”, a group of skateboarders representing Enjoi. They have seen many changes over the years and have said goodbye to many great members of the Enjoi team. However, the one consistent trait is that they have continued to stand behind their signature panda boards, which are unique to other skateboarding brands. This is an all-around good brand providing quality boards great for beginners, which makes them a great skateboarding brand.
Somehow, in the great effort to fight societal conformity, skateboarding always manages to create its own conformity. Trends in styles of skating and fashion come and go. A brand gets hot for a year or two because it's on trend, then it fades to make way for the next thing. Welcome Skateboards doesn't give a fuck about all that. Yes, they are a little weird. The graphics are vaguely Illuminati, and they can't seem to make a normal shaped deck, but that's just Welcome doing its own thing, and who wouldn't welcome that?
In the early 1970s skateparks hadn't been invented yet, so skateboarders would flock and skateboard in such urban places as The Escondido reservoir in San Diego, California. Skateboarding magazine would publish the location and Skateboarders made up nicknames for each location such as the Tea Bowl, the Fruit Bowl, Bellagio, the Rabbit Hole, Bird Bath, the Egg Bowl, Upland Pool and the Sewer Slide. Some of the development concepts in the terrain of skateparks were actually taken from the Escondido reservoir. Many companies started to manufacture trucks (axles) specially designed for skateboarding, reached in 1976 by Tracker Trucks. As the equipment became more maneuverable, the decks started to get wider, reaching widths of 10 inches (250 mm) and over, thus giving the skateboarder even more control. A banana board is a skinny, flexible skateboard made of polypropylene with ribs on the underside for structural support. These were very popular during the mid-1970s and were available in a myriad of colors, bright yellow probably being the most memorable, hence the name.
Many cities also began implementing recreation plans and statutes during this time period, as part of their vision for local parks and communities to make public lands more available, in particular, for skateboarding, inviting skateboarders to come in off of the city streets and into organized skateboarding activity areas. By 2006 there were over 2,400 skateparks worldwide and the design of skateparks themselves had made a transition, as skaters turned designers. Many new places to skateboard designed specifically for street skaters, such as the "Safe Spot Skate Spot" program, first initiated by professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek throughout many cities, allowed for the creation of smaller alternative safe skate plazas to be built at a lower cost. One of the largest locations ever built to skateboard in the world, SMP Skatepark in China, at 12,000 square meters in size, was built complete with a 5,000-seat stadium.
Magenta Skateboards are one of only a few mainland European based brand in this list, founded in Paris and currently based in Bordeaux, France. Magenta’s outlook on skateboarding as a cultural phenomenon, and consequently their output in terms of both products and video, is deliberately at odds with the prevailing conception of skateboarding as represented by most major brands.
Powell has made sure to provide their customers with more than one design of one of their most sought-after skateboards. The Golden Dragon 2 is very similar to its predecessor, the Golden Dragon and is just as reliable as its sister model. When it comes to skateboarding, you can’t ask for a better board than the Golden Dragon 2. It’s durable, firm and thanks to the concave skateboard deck design, will allow you to do many tricks. Tricks, that other boards could possibly not support as well.
Regardless of the length of these boards, they each have several components in common that include a deck, grip tape, trucks, and wheels. The deck is the actual surface piece of the board on which a rider stands to perform tricks or control their degree of motion. Decks range between seven and ten inches in width and although seven-ply wood is the most common material for them, they can also be crafted out of bamboo, carbon fiber, and even plastic. Decks are shaped in several unique concave designs, which include radial, progressive, W-concave, tub, and asymmetric. Radial concave decks have U-shaped curves and are ideal for beginners, as they provide one's feet with a reliable grip.
For the latest in skateboard clothing, fashion clothing and accessories, you have come to the right place here at SkateHut. We are the number one online skate shop and we are product leaders in all things skate – and that includes one of the most extensive collections of skate clothing around! Shop online today for a full range of skate clothes; browse our website for everything from hoodies and outerwear to t-shirts and tank tops, shirts and jeans to hats, belts and accessories. We offer stylish skateboard clothing for babies and toddlers, kids and adults so you can find skate clothing for the entire family. Browse online for the best skate brands and clothing brands around including Vans, MPG, Puma, Neff, Oakley, DC, WeSC, Aplinestars, Santa Cruz, Under Armour, Nike and many, many more. To view the full range, shop now and filter by product at your own convenience and leisure or call our team if you are looking for a specific product or you need help in choosing the right skate clothing for you. With hundreds of styles to choose from, we are confident that you will find the most stylish skateboard clothing to meet your sporting requirements.
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.
Flip Skateboards is a high-level skateboards company that moved from the UK to California to take advantage of the American skateboarding industry. It was launched in 1991 by Jeremy Fox and by professional skateboarder Geoff Rowley, both of whom are from the UK. They both knew that to achieve the highest levels as a skateboarding company it was important to gain the recognition one can only get in the U.S. Furthermore, in 2017, Flip partnered with the European skateboard production and distribution company HLC. The decks of Flip Skateboards are made from 7-ply maple. Customers can enjoy the standard decks as well as the P2 models which are made with an oval-shaped fiber reinforcement panel which makes them extra durable. Psychedelic designs adorned many of the Flip skateboards as well as other designs. The Flip team has 15 professional skateboarders, including names such as Tom Penny, David Gonzalez, and Luan Oliveira.
Skateboarders like things that aren't skateboarding, too, you know. Camping, fishing, motorcycles… Uh, skateboarding? Crap. Whatever. Pro skater Adrian Lopez founded Loser machine and the Dark Seas Division as a way to explore other facets of the culture through cool clothing. Loser Machine is a complete collection that goes far beyond that typical tees, jeans, and hats formula that many skate apparel brands rely on—leather motorcycle gloves, denim vests, and floral print button-downs are all evidence that this is a well-conceived project from a skater with good taste.
Finally, consider the type of grip tape you'll want on the board. While function is important in this regard to give your feet ample support, there's nothing wrong with adding some bling to the board's surface either. Many skateboard retailers will offer you several choices of grip tape and board styles, so it's definitely important to ask a lot of questions.
After leaving long time sponsor Birdhouse due to a feeling of dissatisfaction at the manner in which he himself was being marketed as a pro skater, Andrew Reynolds joined forces with a group of similarly aged pro skaters, who at the time, all lived close to each other in Huntington Beach, California in the Warner Ave housing complex and resolved to turn what had formerly been a loosely affiliated crew into a skateboard brand. Reynolds approached Tony Hawk and Per Welinder, owners of Blitz Distribution (and distributors of Birdhouse) with his idea and, rather than losing Reynolds completely, Blitz Distribution agreed to assist Reynolds with Baker and to distribute it.