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.
This is an interesting option because it is basically a hybrid between a blank and pro skateboard deck. It’s like a pro board in that is has a “brand” and logo, but the cost is similar to blanks and they don’t sponsor the same quantity and caliber of professional skaters that other pro brands do. While the logo is really cool and the rest of the parts seem to be high quality, you may not get the same brand recognition with Punisher as you would with other brands like Element or Toy Machine. This deck is also 7.5″ which makes it a great choice for a younger beginner. This is the perfect beginner skateboard for someone who doesn’t really care about the brand name, but still wants the style and performance of an above average professional skateboard.
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.
SkateXS has custom skateboards for kids of every young age. From ages 5-7 we have skateboards sizes 7” x 28”. For kids between the ages of 8-10 we have skateboards sized between 7.25” x 29”. These are the perfect sizes for young kids, since it helps them feel less overwhelmed by the board. It also helps provide them with a board that is ideal to their side, encouraging safe cruising and skateboard tricks.
This past year, they dropped the insant classic VHS series of decks, playing off of the nostalgia of old blank VHS tapes used to film back in the 90’s, creating a high demand for restocks in skate shops across the world. This series almost singlehandedly brought them back in the forefront of skating to the world beyond New York, and we can only wait to see what they’ll do next.
The smaller the wheel diameter, the easier it is to do tricks, because it makes the board sit closer to the ground. But beginners will definitely have an easier time controlling a board with larger diameter wheels. Think of the larger wheels as being akin to training wheels. If you don’t want your board to have “pop” as you are learning, you can choose softer wheels, all the way down to a 73a. They won’t let you go as fast, and you’ll have to push off more often, but they do make it more likely that your board will stay on the ground.
The brand directs their concentration on towards freerides, carves, and downhill rides for all levels. Rayne offers one-offs and protos in their sales. The boards from Rayne in our observation can ride with double kicks, pushers, dancers and cruisers. You can entrust in the authenticity and progression of Rayne since their foundation dated back in 2004 and has not failed any of their fans.
We would also like to point out one amazing detail about Plan B that makes it stand out from the other top skateboard brands, the deck technology that it uses. I already talked about how their decks are pretty strong and have minimal flex. But its other products like Plan B BLK ICE decks with wax used on their standard build decks to increase the speed and smoothness of skating a rail and the Flashback Series that uses prospect skateboard deck technology to make the boards thinner, lighter and stronger, are amazing!
Navigator is a newer truck company and may be hard to find (the Navigator site has a store locator that should help). I've listed them here because they have some unique features on their trucks. For example, they have a special addition beneath the baseplate that holds the kingpin in place so bushings can be replaced without taking the trucks off of the skateboard. Also, Navigator is the only truck company that pins their axles, so they can guarantee their axles will NEVER slip! The Navigator site lists many other features - take a look and see what you think.
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.
Mark Gonzalez can do no wrong, and as long as he is at the head of Krooked, Krooked will be in the conversation. Krooked has been the Gonz’s brainchild for some time now, always featuring a great selection of his unique style of art and illustration. No brand can be held up by one man alone, and the Gonz has made sure to keep his selection of riders carefully picked, with each one bringing their own offerings to the table. Brad Cromer is not Ronnie Sandoval is not Mike Anderson, yet somehow it all works out and comes together to create one of the best brands out.
Skate graphics have often incorporated blood, guts, and gore into board and T-shirt designs, but few brands render gnarliness quite as well as Heroin Skateboards. It's no surprise that a brand founded by artist Mark “Fos” Foster would have such tight art direction. Fos has a loose, low-fi handstyle that can be see in much of the brand's designs, and the delinquent band of team riders and their antics are a perfect embodimentof whatever “image” Fos is after.