Figuring out how to buy a skateboard can be daunting, especially if you’re not sure what you are looking for. There are customizable parts, accessories and some fancy technology that can be overwhelming. Good news is, we can simplify it for you! At Tactics, our crew is full of daily skaters, so we put our heads together to break it all down and give you the basics, plus a few recommendations.
“As far as the actual look of the vast majority of contemporary graphics goes, I’d say that it feels to me as if something has been lost. It’s down to what you can do with modern heat transfer printing techniques – you can literally just take a photograph from the Internet and print it identically straight onto a skateboard. Speaking personally, there’s very little to challenge you there: either from the point of view of creating graphics, or from the consumer’s perspective. Whereas back when screen-printing was the norm, every time a graphic was produced the artist was physically cutting the key line out by hand. The key line is the final black line that forms the outline of whatever it is that you’re printing and ties in all the other colours together. You can see this in the early Sean Cliver graphics for example, where it’s clear that he has hand cut the key lines as precisely as he was able to, but looked at from today’s perspective they’re not perfectly precise, which is what gives Cliver’s earliest stuff its specific look in my opinion.”
Pro decks are what most people are familiar with and what is seen most commonly around skateparks and driveways around the US.  These decks can have a variety of different logos and images on them and sometimes are a specific professional skater’s pro deck.  Pro decks provide skaters a way to support their favorite riders and have the same equipment they see all their favorite pros using.  The quality of professional decks and parts are almost always very high as they have a reputable and brand image to uphold.  For this higher level of quality and you can expect to pay 2-3x the cost of a blank complete.  If you want to save some money and still have a pro look, there are options available that have generic blank parts with a pro deck.  This may be a good option for a beginner skater who is not yet doing complex tricks that may break these cheaper parts, but they still want the look and feel of a pro skateboard.  As the skater progresses they can then switch out these generic parts for higher-end options as necessary.
Buying a complete skateboard from a good brand is when you purchase an already put together board that comes with a deck, the tape already applied, the wheels, the trucks, and the bearings all screwed in. You can also make custom requirements for your complete skateboard like interchanging different trucks or bearings to better fit your own personal style of skating.
Modern decks are made with a composite of thin layers of either maple or bamboo pressed into a near symmetrical shape with a nose equal to or longer than the tail. The deck should be concave (subtle U shape) along the whole board with both the nose and tail angled upwards (the "kick" of the board). Conceptually while the skateboard is a platform, it also serves to cup the balls of the skater’s feet with rising sides, nose and tail providing the foundation for pretty much all modern skateboard tricks.
Most skaters consider width is the most important dimension of the deck. That is measured straight across at the widest point of the deck. Skateboard decks generally range between 7.0 to 10.0 inches depending on the shape of the deck. There are boards that are narrower and wider than that, but they are not common and not practical for all around skating.
If you love the outdoors, traveling in style, and prefer to have as much control over your mode of transportation as possible, a skateboard is just what you need. Not just for high school kids or sports celebrities like Tony Hawk, the skateboard can be a useful and fun tool that can take you wherever you need to go, while also being a great outlet for the release of energy.

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.


Theories of Atlantis is a brand that truly defies categorization. Josh Stewart’s brain child has gone through more phases than most companies, first being a means for him to put out his own series of Static videos featuring New York skaters, to now being a full blown distribution house for smaller boutique skateboarding brands featured on this list. Josh also puts out a line of soft goods with the turn of every season, playing off conspiracy theory style graphics and imagery on staple items like zip hoodies and long sleeves.
If you are looking to buy a reliable skateboard that will keep you busy for years to come, the Whitey Panda is the ideal choice. It’s a very good entry-level skateboard that can be put through a lot of wear and tear. The solid, metal skateboard trucks ensure that you will be kept sturdy and safe both on and off the ground. This helps the rider feels more confident when doing tricks, no matter where they are.
Independent has been making skateboarding trucks for over 25 years. Independent's Stage 9 truck series are quality made, lightweight and still durable. They also feature "Fast Action Independent Geometry," which means they are designed to react more quickly to your motions than other trucks. Independent trucks are usually on the wider side, but all sizes are available. Independent trucks are also guaranteed for life against manufacturer defects but should last forever anyway.

Blank decks have no graphic on them and are typically priced very reasonably.  Blank decks are usually colored a solid color or may even be made of unpainted wood.  Historically blank decks have gotten a bad reputation for poor quality, however, there are a few brands of blanks today that are very similar in quality to pro boards and much more affordable.  The downside to buying a blank complete with all blank parts is the lack of style and customization when compared to a pro deck.  Also, blank skateboards may vary in quality from batch to batch, so it may be hard to find the same blank skateboard if you want to buy another one.  Overall, blank skateboards can be a solid option if you have a tight budget and the person you are buying for doesn’t really care about the logo and brand.
Punisher Skateboards Warphant measures 31 x 7.5 inch.  It has a 9-Ply Maple Black Board with Concave Deck and Double Kick Tail.  It comes with ABEC-3 Bearings, 5-inch V-style Heavy Duty Alloy Trucks, and Bases.  It uses 54 x 36 mm PU injection molded wheels and PE Riser Pad with PU Cushion and Punisher Logo.  It is perfect for learning and doing tricks.  It is best suited for riders who are 8 years old and above.  It has a 5 rating on Amazon.
If you are looking to buy a reliable skateboard that will keep you busy for years to come, the Whitey Panda is the ideal choice. It’s a very good entry-level skateboard that can be put through a lot of wear and tear. The solid, metal skateboard trucks ensure that you will be kept sturdy and safe both on and off the ground. This helps the rider feels more confident when doing tricks, no matter where they are.
Element has also diversified their business model with ventures into retail with Element stores across the globe, advocate programs supporting artists such as Thomas Campbell and Fred ‘French Fred’ Mortagne, Women’s fashion through the Element Women’s range and the most cohesive approach to supporting European skateboarding of any brand in the industry through their dedicated European team.
Habitat proved itself as an established power in skateboarding when it survived the downfall of the parent company that owned and killed Alien Workshop, being able to persevere and even name new pros through the whole restructuring. They moved their products under Tum Yeto Collective, the parent company/distribution house of other powerhouse skateboard brands like Toy Machine, and now it’s as if they were never in any danger. If you have any doubts about why Habitat is on this list, just watch Mark Suciu’s part in Search The Horizon and never question it again.
In the past decade, I have begun seeing the emergence of skate decks being totally or partially made from carbon fiber or other metal materials instead of solely wood.  These decks typically last longer than regular wooden decks and aren’t prone to chipping or breaking like most made from wood.  The drawback to these materials is that they tend to feel “stiffer” than traditional wooden decks and experienced skaters may feel they are heavier and harder to do tricks on.  Carbon fiber decks are also more expensive, but this additional cost may be worth it if you tend to break decks easily.  Some brands also offer warranties against breakage under normal conditions for carbon fiber decks if you are worried about breakage.
This article is about regular street skateboards.  They are rounded on both ends and curved upwards.  Sometimes beginners are confused by longboards that are much larger and irregularly shaped or cruiser board that can be very small.  I just wanted to clarify this point, as this article is very helpful for choosing the best skateboard for beginners, but may provide incorrect or unimportant information if you are actually looking for longboards or cruisers.

When looking at skateboarding’s history, the only thing that’s stayed the same is the overall structure: every board consists of four skateboard wheels, two skateboard trucks, and a riding surface of some kind. And while we’ve come a long way from the days of metal and clay wheels, some aspects of skateboarding - like the brands manufacturing some of the most trusted products - haven’t changed at all. Independent Trucks has been designing trucks since 1978. Powell Peralta, the company responsible for Powell Skateboards, Bones Wheels, Bones Bearings, and the Bones Brigade also started in 1978. NHS, Inc., the company that produces Santa Cruz Skateboards, Independent Trucks, Bronson Speed Bearings, Krux trucks, Flip Skateboards, Ricta Wheels, Mob Grip, and OJ Wheels started in 1973. It’s no wonder these brands are still doing so well - they’ve been with skateboarding since the beginning. Since the day skateboarding went from something surfers did when the waves were flat to its own sport that involves technique, practice, and careful consideration, a small handful companies have been there to help skateboarding become what it is today.


The skateboard has a solid and stiff mini-deck, which is around 22 inches and constructed out of 100% plastic material. Such deck is very lightweight. It is only four pounds but you have an assurance that it can handle up to 198 lbs. of weight. You will also fall in love with the board as it comes in 23 graphics and colors, so picking a favorite is much easier.
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. 

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.[93][94][95] 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.[8][96][97] 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.[98][99]
Unlike some deck options, which are completely bare, the Bamboo Skateboards Galaxy Series Cosmic Cloud Skateboard Deck features heat-stamped artwork on the underside of the board, including several geometric and interstellar designs, including a beautiful nebula. Bamboo Skateboards claims these boards last their customers three weeks longer than other decks. They come in three sizes: 7.75-by-31.5-inches, 8-by-31.75-inches, and 8.25-by-32-inches.
Serving skateboarding since 1976, we now offer the finest complete range of skate products in the world, handcrafted to serve skaters from their first skateboard to the top professional level. Our mission is to make the best skate equipment you can buy. If you don’t already know what you want, let us help you select the skateboard components that will enable you to take your skating to the next level. Whether you’re a first-time customer or a loyal fan, we’re proud to serve you.

Founded by the original technical street skaters Daewon Song and Rodney Mullen, Almost Skateboards always pushes the envelope with fun, artistic cartoon graphics paired with high quality materials.  Almost was one of the first brands to implement carbon fiber layers to their decks in the “Impact” deck line to increase the deck’s life and better maintain its shape. 
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