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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.
Launched in 1991 by professional skateboarder Mike Ternasky who was killed in a car accident in 1994, Plan B Skateboards was renewed in 2005 by professional skateboarders Danny Way and Colin McKay. The top Skateboards brand, recognized by its unique logo, offers customization, but it also produces skateboards that come already assembled and ready for immediate action with everything a skateboarder needs including the deck, wheels, trucks, and bearings. The decks are made with a durable and thick seven-ply maple. They are also designed for you to make them uniquely yours with cool graphics that reveal your personality. In addition to the decks, Plan B also produces wheels, toolkits, and the kind of hip clothing that every skateboarder wants to be seen wearing. In addition to Way and McKay, the Plan B team consists of pro skateboarders PJ Ladd, Chris Cole, Pat Duffy, Ryan Sheckler, Torey Pudwill, Leticia Bufoni, Chris Joslin, Felipe Gustavo and Sean Sheffey.
If you want to do cruising and street style on the same board then you probably want a large board and larger wheels, as many have already commented. I think that an 8 inch board with at least 56 mm wheels will be best. I think that you should find a local shop to support and to talk to about gear. I would advise getting a shop deck, with Independent trucks (at the correct width for your board, which is one detail that a local shop should be able to help with) Bones street tech formula wheels (I like profiles 1 and, I think 5), and Bones Reds bearings (not super reds, super reds are not super).
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Both your height and weight should play an important role when you are choosing a skateboard. You need to find a skateboard, which fits your weight and height. Picking one, which is either too small or too big might only cause you to experience difficulty controlling it, especially if you are still a beginner learning the ins and outs of skateboarding.
“The skateboard industry’s current focus on performance by displaying almost exclusively difficult tricks, whether technical or dangerous, is not something we relate to on our daily experience on our boards. We feel that skateboarding has much more to offer than being only a sport. It has cultural, social, artistic, sociological values and much more and it seems all these aspects are being widely overlooked by the industry. Magenta is our outlet for representing the wide spectrum of possibilities that skateboarding carries within itself.”
Peralta put together the Powell skate team under the Bones Brigade moniker, employed the services of photographer, artist and visionary C R Stecyk III and was the talent scout responsible for bringing skaters such as Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen, Lance Mountain, Mike Vallely, Guy Mariano, Tommy Guerreo and inventor of the ollie Alan ‘Ollie’ Gelfand, (amongst many others) to the attention of the global skateboard community.
There were several artistic skateboarding pioneers that had an influence on the culture of skateboarding during the 1980s, that transformed skateboard-deck art like Jim Phillips, whose edgy comic-book style "Screaming Hand", not only became the main logo for Santa Cruz Skateboards, but eventually transcended into tattoos of the same image for thousands of people and vinyl collectible figurines over the years. Artist Vernon Courtlandt Johnson is said to have used his artwork of skeletons and skulls, for Powell Peralta, during the same time that the music genres of punk rock and new wave music were beginning to mesh with the culture of skateboarding. Some other notable skateboard artists that made contribrutions to the culture of skateboarding also include Andy Jenkins, Todd Bratrud, Neil Blender, Marc McKee, Tod Swank, Mark Gonzales, Lance Mountain, Natas Kaupas and Jim Evans.
Element is of the most mainstream brands in the industry today that has sponsored legends like Nyjah Huston and Bam Margera. There are many pro decks to choose from with some amazing tribal designs and they have introduced a “featherlight” technology that allows Element to have some of the lightest boards on the market today. Some may call Element “too mainstream” or “sellouts”, but at the end of the day, they produce quality products in a variety of artistic designs.
The “popsicle” deck is the most popular shape because of its versatility and durability. These decks resemble the shape of a popsicle stick because they feature both a nose and a tail that are exactly or nearly symmetrical. Since the nose and the tail are shaped about the same, it’s easy to do tricks no matter which direction you’re headed in. Most skateboarders stick to popsicle decks because of their functionality and reliability.
Without good grip tape, skaters have a tough time staying on top of their board. The main complaints about poor grip tape tend to be that it was never very grippy or lost its grip really quickly. Once again, we recommend trusting in name brands with years of experience supporting skateboarders. Unfortunately, if you are buying a pre-made complete skateboard, you probably won't have access to the brand name of the grip.