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.
Ever notice small vertical or horizontal cracks through your grip tape or by the hardware of your trucks? These are called stress or pressure cracks and are basically mini fractures of your skateboard deck that typically are seen in the areas of the deck that withstand the greatest impact (around the trucks). A few pressure cracks is generally no big deal and you won’t even notice them while skating, but they can compound and grow larger and make your deck lose “pop” and increase the chance of snapping. To avoid pressure cracks, you cant use riser pads underneath your trucks to reduce the level of impact your deck takes. You should also avoid over tightening your hardware and storing your skateboard in a very humid place as both of these practices can also make your board weaker and more susceptible to pressure cracks.
Skateboarding, in one form or another, has been around since the late 1950’s when the first brave pioneer first attached roller skate wheels to a piece of wood. As skateboarding progressed to mimic surfing, skateboards evolved with the style of riding. Skateboards grew and changed shapes as riders experimented with everything from plastic to fiberglass to aluminum constructions - all in an effort to push what was possible. Like most sports or art forms, progression is at the heart of skateboard innovation.
The Element Quadrant #14 board is 8-inches wide and 31.75-inches long, from nose to tail. This deck features a bare top that needs grip tape and a design on the bottom with four quadrants featuring the Element symbol in alternating red and black backgrounds. The wheelbase between the trucks is just over 14 inches while the nose is 7 inches and the tail is 6.325.
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.
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.
Jessup is considered to be the standard grip tape, and it is the grip we offer for free with all decks. MOB is known for their coarser grip, which gives excellent traction, but also wears down your shoes faster. MOB M-80, Grizzly and Shake Junt grip tapes fall somewhere in the middle, offering good overall traction without the heavy abrasion. There are other extra course grip options for downhill skateboarding (Vicious, Blood Orange, etc.). That stuff locks your foot in place but it is so coarse it would quickly destroy your shoes if you tried flip tricks with it.
It’s best to not go overboard with spending a lot of cash on your first skateboard. After all, it will take a lot of beating, and will surely be reduced to looking like a scratched plank of wood! Best skateboards to learn on include budget, beginner skateboards that offer you all the quality features a more expensive skateboard would, but at a lower expense. If you are new to skateboarding, it’s also recommended to get a skateboard with smaller wheels, since they go slower and are less intimidating!
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.