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.


First off, it’s important to decide what you will be using your skateboard for and what you will be doing with it. That’s why it’s important to ask a few key questions: Are you going to be using it every day? Is it for a new hobby? Is it for competition practice? What surface will you be skating on? Will you be partaking in park skating, or street skating?
If what you want out of your first skateboard is something very stable to just get the feel of riding without the danger, the Atom Drop Deck is perfect. This is a longboard, meaning it’s perfect for longer rides and cruising around. The components are made to handle lots of wear and tear, and the low-ride deck makes you feel more in control, closer to the ground, and more stable.
Positiv decks are usually maple, but some are hard birch. They are made using the same laminating process and glue that Powell Peralta boards use. These decks have Positiv’s super slide treatment (SST), which is essentially a plastic lining that makes the board slide more easily. The stuff works, and wax becomes less necessary for slides with these boards.
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.
This is the way most serious skateboarders buy new skateboards.  In some cases they choose different brands for the wheels, bearings, trucks, deck, and hardware and customize it to their own unique style and preferences. The benefit to buying part like this you can replace only certain parts that are worn down and you have more control over each aspect of your skateboard.  I recommend this approach to intermediate and advanced skateboarders who want to experiment with different brands and styles.   However, if you are looking to try skateboarding for the first time or buy it as a gift for someone else I would recommend buying an already assembled complete skateboard.

You can get a lot of advice (and maybe too many opinions) from fellow skaters. Some of it might not be as informed or educated as a shop owner's (and some might be flat-out bad advice), but it should at least be sincere! If you don't have a local skate park, or are too uncomfortable to walk up to people and ask, you can also ask around on a skateboarding forum. People there will be more than happy to tell you what they think about deck brands.


Hardware won’t have an effect on your skating. Standard 7/8 - 1 inch hardware will work for most skateboards. However, if you use riser pads, be sure that you have long enough hardware to go all the way through the deck, trucks and riser pad. If you're unsure what length of hardware you need, give one of our experts a call at 888.450.5060 and we'll be stoked to help you out.
Polar’s inaugural video release, The Polar Skate Co. Promo – Wallride Oh Yeah Oh Yeah Oh Yeah (2012) with the tagline ‘Inspire others to inspire themselves’ featuring Pontus, fellow Swedes Oskar Rozenberg and Davd Stenstrom, Polish rider Michal Juras, Dane Hjalte Halberg, Tjark Thielker and original rider and Polar artistic contributor Jakke Ovgren.
Isle is much newer to the game than a lot of the other brands mentioned on the list, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the same respect. Drawn straight from the mind of skateboarder Nick Jensen, a London native with the eye of a true artist, Isle’s graphics could just as easily be hanging in a museum rather than in skate shops. Jensen’s creative process involves him sculpting, painting and photographing every board graphic himself in his own studio, manipulating each art piece to work as a graphic. Isle offers one of the most well developed brand images in skateboarding, due in big part to the fact that it is literally an outlet of one man’s own rampant creativity.
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.

This board is also a very smooth ride, and surprisingly offers plenty of stability as well, which makes it safe for beginners to learn with. Finally, it’s one of the few boards on this list that comes in a huge array of styles and artwork so that you can get the board that suits your style best. If what you want is a board that looks and performs like the boards you see at sporting events, this is the perfect choice. The only downside is that it’s not the most flexible board out there, which could make it a little harder to ease into turns – however, this feature is what makes the board just right for learning tricks on.


In March 1976, Skateboard City skatepark in Port Orange, Florida and Carlsbad Skatepark in San Diego County, California would be the first two skateparks to be opened to the public, just a week apart. They were the first of some 200 skateparks that would be built through 1982. This was due in part to articles that were running in the investment journals at the time, stating that skateparks were a good investment.[6][27][38] Notable skateboarders from the 1970s also include Ty Page, Tom Inouye, Laura Thornhill, Ellen O'Neal, Kim Cespedes, Bob Biniak, Jana Payne, Waldo Autry, Robin Logan, Bobby Piercy, Russ Howell, Ellen Berryman, Shogo Kubo, Desiree Von Essen, Henry Hester, Robin Alaway, Paul Hackett, Michelle Matta, Bruce Logan, Steve Cathey, Edie Robertson, Mike Weed, David Hackett, Gregg Ayres, Darren Ho, and Tom Sims.[35]
The nose and tail of a standard skateboard curve upward slightly to make tricks easier to perform. On most decks, the nose and tail are shaped slightly different. The nose is usually wider, longer and steeper than the tail which aids in nose-based (nollie) tricks, and also helps you differentiate the nose from the tail. Some shaped boards have very different nose and tail dimensions, and some old school boards lack noses all together.

Baker’s first company video proper ‘Baker 2G‘, featuring the original team of Mike Maldonado, Jeff Lenoce, Andrew Reynolds, Jeff Lenoce, Erik Ellington, Alex “Trainwreck” Gall, Knox Godoy, Bryan Herman, Terry Kennedy, Evan Hernandez, Jim Greco and Dustin Dollin was released in 2000, still featuring the distinctive elephant logo created by former Reynolds’ associate Jay Strickland, who went on to start up Bootleg skateboards.
In the early 1970s, Frank Nasworthy started to develop a skateboard wheel made of polyurethane, calling his company Cadillac Wheels.[7] Prior to this new material, skateboards wheels were metal or "clay" wheels. The improvement in traction and performance was so immense that from the wheel's release in 1972 the popularity of skateboarding started to rise rapidly again, causing companies to invest more in product development. Nasworthy commissioned artist Jim Evans to do a series of paintings promoting Cadillac Wheels, they were featured as ads and posters in the resurrected Skateboarder magazine, and proved immensely popular in promoting the new style of skateboarding.
Last year, Element didn’t even make it to the top 3, but in 2016 it reached the top and therefore is our top skateboard deck brand on skatedeluxe! We can only congratulate! Even after 24 years the old hand of the skateboarding industry, which was founded in 1992, does not forget how to provide you with decks that push tears of joy out of your feet. What to expect for 2017? A big anniversary! Can’t wait for that! Get your new Element deck from skatedeluxe starting at 59.99 €| 50.00 GBP!

That’s a lot of wood! But it is by no means the end. In 2016 there were many other brands that have pleased us with wooden works of art. Chocolate were inspired by modern living shown in their Modern Homes series, Welcome beautifully presented decks in original shapes, and the two German brands Inpeddo and Mob showed that seven layers do not necessarily have to come from overseas.
Want the same great performance and high-quality construction as a name brand deck but don’t have a large budget?  Blank decks are your answer. Depending on the brand, blank decks can be similar or better than pro decks and are available in just as many or more shape options.  These decks are perfect for people who love skating and don’t really care about supporting a profession or the graphic on their deck.  Blanks are also great for aggressive skaters who go through decks quickly as many blank skateboard decks are sold in bulk packs of 3, 5, or even 10 decks per pack.

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Where do you live? I forget that this is a global community. If you're US/CA I would recommend going to a local shop and testing some out and see what you like the most cause a Girl will be different from an Almost from an Expedition in very little ways that might turn you off the board shape more than their graphics/team. I would get between a 8" and 8.25" deck though.

What started off as a crew of Montreal skaters filming full videos featured on SLAP magazine has suddenly turned into one of the highest quality and apparel brands in skating today. When Virgil Abloh drops by to your pop-up shop and your skate contest, you must be doing something right. Coming fresh off a recent collaboration with Vans, Dime seems to be keeping the clean silhouettes and instant classics on deck.

Top Skateboards come from companies such as Blind Skateboards. Professional skateboarder Mark Gonzales founded the brand and it was launched in 1989. Today, products are distributed by Dwindle Distribution. The brand is intended for serious, hardcore skateboarders. It has an emphasis and an appreciation for the graphics used for its decks. In the early 1990s, Blind Skateboards set itself apart from other skateboard brands by creating videos. Their first, directed by Spike Jonze, appeared in 1991. You can get completes at Blind that includes the decks, wheels, trucks, and bearings. The Blind Team is professional skateboarders Cody McEntire, TJ Rogers, Kevin Romar, Sewa Kroetkov, Morgan Smith, Sam Beckett, Micky Papa, Yuto Horigome, and Jason Thurtle.


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.
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?
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Founded in 1994, and going strong ever since, Globe is one of the top quality skateboard brands in the world. They are a global producer and distributor of skateboards and skateboarding gear; selling products in over 100 countries. This is the best brand of skateboard. They are known for their purpose-built apparel, skateboard decks, trucks, wheels, etc, footwear and major surfing and skateboarding events (just to name a few of their ventures). Due to their presence in the boarding industry, Globe has gradually become one of the best skateboard brands in the market.
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.
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.

Many parents and grandparents visit SkateXS for their young one’s first “real” skateboard with the same fundamental quality questions. I realized we could certainly do a better job of making sense of it all! So with a bit of karmic appeal that someone will someday finally explain unicycles to me, here is a summary of something we actually know a thing or two about! 


Element, based out of Irvine, CA, is one of the cool skateboard brands today. They came in first on our list due to their quality boards, sustainable practices and the affordability they offer customers. They’re an environmentally responsible brand who creates their boards without causing any environmental damage. The Element team behind the company is comprised of a group of professional skateboarders who interact with a strong belief in the Element brand. They not only offer great products, but stand for an open minded and active lifestyle and have become one of the best skateboard brands in the world.
In terms of their skateboard output, Palace have released numerous videos online since their inception, including Gangbanging at Ground Zero (2011), Niggaz with Altitude (2013), a Danny Brady welcome clip ‘Definitely Brady‘ in 2014 and most recently, Very Nice in 2016 featuring newer team riders Shawn Powers and early viral internet star Jamal Smith. Palace are currently working on a full-length video.
Make no mistake, not all European skate brands are provincial microcosms. Cliché has one of the most stacked teams in the industry, including the Australian master of pop Andrew Brophy and manual wizard Joey Brezinski. But the real star of the squad is Frenchman Lucas Puig, who has a stellar signature shoe for adidas, and an upcoming line of caps called Hélas that you will undoubtedly be hearing more about in the near future. Team aside, thanks to strong art direction, a prolific video program, and a highly covetable product offering that includes a dope collab with NYC mainstay DQM, Cliché is très ill.

^ Jump up to: a b Costello, Becca (November 10, 2005). "Skateboarding is not a sport: Skateboarding the Sacramento streets takes skill, balance and nerve. Just don't call it a sport". Sacramento News & Review. Retrieved December 10, 2012. Despite stickers, posters and T-shirts stating the contrary, it turns out that skateboarding is, in fact, a crime. “In the downtown district, you can skateboard as transportation,” Rafter explained. “Anything other than all four wheels on the ground and getting to where you’re going, they have a problem with.”
After numerous tour-based releases and the epic Lakai footwear video ‘Fully Flared‘ (2007), Girl Skateboard’s last (to date) full-length company release came in the form of ‘Pretty Sweet‘ (2012) which, aside from showcasing ground-breaking skateboarding, also set a new standard in terms of production values with Ty Evans employing cinematic camera technologies to capture the skateboarding, as well as the skits.
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