Skateboarding is an action sport which involves riding and performing tricks using a skateboard, as well as a recreational activity, an art form, a entertainment industry job, and a method of transportation. Skateboarding has been shaped and influenced by many skateboarders throughout the years. A 2009 report found that the skateboarding market is worth an estimated $4.8 billion in annual revenue with 11.08 million active skateboarders in the world. In 2016, it was announced that skateboarding will be represented at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
After riding Powell decks for many years, I was given the opportunity by Michael Furukawa at Skate One Corp. to create my own board brand. This was an honor but I needed a co-pilot for this mission to happen. I asked Mimi Knoop if she would join forces with me and this was the beginning of an all girls skate brand that we called hoopla skateboards.
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.
Be sure to purchase from a reputable source. Buying online might save you a few dollars, but try your local skate shop first. The few extra dollars you spend support the shop and your local skate community. Developing a good relationship with a local skate shop often saves you money in the long run. The completes are not as good as custom made, but you can get them for a lot less money and upgrade any bad components later.
Choosing skateboards that are made out of good, sturdy, and durable wood is vital. Most boards nowadays are made out of Canadian Maple. The skateboard deck is usually made out of a dozen or so layers. This ensures that your board will be reliable and can take some beating when you fall off or start doing skateboard tricks. You should also look for pro boards that have metal skateboard trucks, since these are the ones that support decks best.
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.
Zoo York originated in 1993 and is based out of New York. Its name and signature name came from the underground subway tunnel dubbed as Zoo York. The tunnel runs under the Central Park Zoo, however it’s primarily known from the graffiti subculture of the 1960’s and the 1970’s. The Zoo York tunnel was a prime hangout of its day and was originally tagged by some of the first east coast graffiti artists. Zoo York carries a unique style from the subway tunnel days, and it comes through in their graphics and street skating designs; not to mention their high durability design. They round off our list of the 10 top skateboard brands in the market. Zoo York is an innovative company that has worked its way up to being one of the best skateboard brands in the world.
Decks come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can choose a mini-board, a cruiser, a drop-through, or a standard deck for your favorite set of wheels and hardware. Widths range too from a few inches with a 22-inch board to the wide size of a true cruiser. Some decks are flat as possible while others are significantly concave for optimized turning. You can buy a deck with artwork and grip tape already attached for a quick install or you can get a bare-bones wooden deck to truly customize.