The wheels of your skateboard can greatly affect your ride in numerous ways, such as the speed, your ability to take control of the skateboard’s movements, and what you feel while riding the board. The good news is that they come in various sizes, levels of durability, and colors, allowing you to pick one that suits your skateboard preference and style.
In an industry as diverse as skateboarding, the sheer number of skateboard brands on the market can be bewildering. With a seemingly never-ending amount of new brands emerging, alongside the numerous pre-existing ones, the market can certainly appear over crowded and confusing at times, which is hopefully where this list of some of our favourite skateboard brands comes in.
The deck will also have a material on top called grip tape. This textured surface is what keeps your shoes from sliding all over the place as you ride. Look for a very high-quality grip tape for extra stability as you are learning, or something that is very visibly textured (like the waffletop from the pennyboard on our list above). You can also replace the grip tape if you love a board but don’t love the grip tape it comes with.
Skateboard hardware is used to connect the skateboard trucks to the skateboard deck. Skateboard hardware refers to the bolts and locknuts used when building a board. The bolts can have an Allen or Phillips head. Skateboard hardware comes in many different lengths, and often includes one different colored bolt so that the rider can mark the nose of their board.
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.
The Golden Dragon is a fantastic board for beginners, and it’s all in the wheels. The high-rebound polyurethane wheels are hand-cast and offer amazing grip as you ride, plus fantastic roll. The deck itself is just slightly longer than a standard skateboard, which offers a bit more stability for beginners, who might be worried about sliding or slipping off a shorter board. Additionally, this board features the All Powell-Peralta Ligament strap, an important safety feature that keeps the deck together if it should break. This helps prevent injury and provides a little more peace of mind for the rider.
Skateboard decks width is probably one of the most important factors to consider when buying a deck. Decks typically range from 7.25-8.5″. 7.5″,7.75″, and 8.0″ tend to be the standard widths if most decks and the general rule is that the bigger your feet are the wider the deck you should get. Thinner decks are slightly easier to flip, however they are harder to land on due to the decreased surface area. This is a tradeoff you have to consider, but the typical rule of thumb for younger guys is that you get wider decks the more advanced and larger you get. Street skaters typically also like smaller decks as they are easier to navigate and carry around in crowded cities and areas.
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.
Playwheels Disney Skateboard For Kids is a 21″ Wood single kicktail deck with painted edges. It has clear sand spray top grip with color graphic and full-color bottom graphics with a retro shape. It features multi-colored composite truck and baseplate components with carbon steel axles. This is great for kids who are starting to learn skating. It has an average rating of 4.2 on Amazon.
No longer number one but still quite close: EMillion SkateboArts land on the second place this year, which is more than respectable regarding the competition. The Bavarian brand stands for quality, artistic designs and a motivated team, which is also represented by skatedeluxe team rider Ben Dillinger. EMillion decks are available from 49.99 € | 40.00 GBP!
If you’re a beginner and you want a board that gives you a little of everything to discover, you cannot go wrong with this ENJOI board. You get everything you need, all ready to go out of the box, and made with professional-grade components. The ENJOI also earns points for having that classic cool artwork on the deck that makes it fun to show off at the park.
The ENJOI line of skateboards is made to professional standards, which means that not only are you getting a durable ride, but you’ll also get a skateboard made to handle a lot of situations. You can ride this board on the street, at the skate park, on trails, and more. These decks are made with a very consistent method that is ideal for trick riding, especially.
The skateboards on this list will all suit one type of person or another, but they all have drawbacks that keep them from being true pro boards. The best skateboards is the one that requires the fewest upgrades to be great. Replacing skateboard parts is just part of the game, as street skating is destructive by its very nature, but it should take a while.
Similar to sandpaper, grip tape, or “grip” as it’s commonly referred to, is applied to the top of your deck for traction. Grip gives you the friction you need to perform tricks such as ollies and kickflips. Not all grip tape is the same however. Each brand's products perform differently, so you may want to experiment with different brands to get a feel for what you prefer.
“I just felt like it was a window of opportunity within my own career. I might be one of those lucky few who’d be able to do that, start my own brand and move on. That window of opportunity only upholds for so long in skateboarding before you miss your prime, so I’d be kicking myself in the ass five years from now looking back and saying ‘how come I didn’t capitalise on that? Here I am, an older skater and not in my prime anymore and I have nothing still connecting me to skateboarding’”
It's really hard to continue with a small girls’ board brand when so many companies are now interested in the women's market. We feel like it's the right time to close down the brand and move on to the next chapter. Thanks to George and Juli Powell as well as Michael Furukawa for their vision and support of the brand and our mission over the last decade. Thanks to those who bought our products, our team riders, media, and to those that believed in what we were doing from the very beginning. I also want to thank Mimi Knoop who wore multiple hats over the years and was responsible for making hoopla a brand that was respected, legitimate, and one that we were proud to be a part of.
This brand gets its name from a slang term for strip club. One video was called “Chicken Bone Nowison,” and it opens with a scene of skater pummeling a security guard. Is that not awesome enough? If there is a company that embodies a more perfect IDGAF attitude in skateboarding, please let me know. For the homies, by the homies is their mantra, which is pretty cool with a team comprised of rippers like Theotis Beasley, Andrew Reynolds, Dustin Dollin, Jim Greco, Terry Kennedy, Lizard King… The list goes on.
Skateboarding is one of the most popular alternative sports around the world, for kids and adults alike. But before you hop on a board and take off, it’s important to choose the right kind of board for you. Most beginners will simply grab the board that they like the looks of, and with the endless array of deck art and styles that exist, that kind of attitude can lead to choosing a board that isn’t right to learn on.
Girl Skateboards, with its distinct “women’s bathroom” logo, is a brand distributed by Crailtap and founded in 1993 mainly by professional skateboarders Mike Carroll and Rick Howard and was created to give pro skateboarders a future. A “Girl” deck is made of seven-ply maple, which is strong and resistant. Decks can be customized in a wide variety of graphics or can feature the “Girl” logo. For those who don’t want to customize, complete skateboards are available that include the deck, wheels, trucks and bearings. Clothing, featuring the Girl logo, are available in a wide variety of styles. Not only does Girl distribute skateboards, but they also make films, videos and more. The Girl team consists of Sean Malto, Brandon Biebel, Andrew Brophy, Mike Mo Capaldi, Cory Kennedy, Rick McCrank, Jeron Wilson, Mike Carroll, Rick Howard, Tyler Pacheco, and Simon Bannerot.
SkateXS is a very popular brand among parents that have kids that are enthusiastic about skating. They have a variety of skateboards, plenty of color choices and even add a name tag of your child on the grip tape. This helps the child feel like they have full control over the board and its development. This, in turn, will make them treasure it more.
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.
However, the diversity of Santa Cruz skateboard’s stake in the skateboard business meant that they easily survived the mid-90’s slump in popularity and returned with an newly invigorated team and powered on with video after video from the mid-90’s to the present day. Similarly to Powell-Peralta, Santa Cruz are also notable for their Veteran Division (documented in their 2007 release ‘V Day‘) celebrating pro riders such as Keith Meek, Tom Knox and Eric Dressen from earlier eras of Santa Cruz’s existence. Santa Cruz Skateboards current line of product boasts many re-released classic boards from earlier eras of the brand and are as popular, if not more so, than they were originally, thanks to an explosion in the nostalgia and collector’s markets within skateboarding.
One European brand steady killing the game is France’s own Magenta. What Palace is for London, Magenta is for Paris, representing what it means to make do with skating in a place where you will literally get kicked out of everywhere just for riding on your board. With a recent collaboration with adidas, Magenta has shown they can turn their niche image into something with mass appeal, so long as the world will pay attention. Skateboarders already know the brand for their quick-footed style of skating and their unique illustration style, but they should know Magenta for their conscious effort to make sure we all are enjoying the pleasure and the freedom skateboarding brings.
Sizing plays an important role in the performance of any deck. A large majority range in size from 7.75" to 8.5" in width. These will provide a great platform for shredding any obstacle and will excel in street and skatepark environments alike. For those who prefer a smaller board, decks are offered down to 7.5" in width- benefiting people with smaller feet or the technical skater. Conversely, those looking for a wider board will enjoy our selection ranging up to 8.9" wide. Larger decks will accommodate those with very large feet, as well as offer an amazing experience for cruising and shredding large ramps and transitions.
The first skateboards started with wooden boxes, or boards, with roller skate wheels attached to the bottom. Crate scooters preceded skateboards, having a wooden crate attached to the nose (front of the board), which formed rudimentary handlebars. The boxes turned into planks, similar to the skateboard decks of today. An American WAC, Betty Magnuson, reported seeing French children in the Montmartre section of Paris riding on boards with roller skate wheels attached to them in late 1944.
Their fan base loves them for pushing goofy but fun looking skating that in reality is heavier and rawer than most will realize, and their board graphics and t-shirts feature art from their riders in striking colorways. Their product immediately stands out among the bunch at any shop it’s stocked. These guys are doing things exactly their way, and it’s sticking.
Supreme may be something of an outlier in the skate industry where few brands have brick and mortar presence, and limited distribution is aproblem, not a strategy. Unlikely or not, Supreme kills it as a skate brand and as a brand in general. No other skate brand can claim the level of accomplishment that Supreme has achieved—nine retail stores around the world, collaborations with the biggest names in fashion and art, and a confounding secondary market of resellers and collectors. Supreme reigns supreme.
Toy Machine is an Ed Templeton company and one of the best skateboard companies of its time. Ed is an Orange County original skater and developed the board he wanted to skate on, thus creating the Toy Machine Brand. Though the Toy Machine team has seen many changes, it has always held onto professional skaters that can provide insight in the latest needs of boards. Toy Machine skateboards are known for their signature monster graphics, which have made them a top skateboard brand.
WKND turned a successful web series on the popular skateboarding site The Berrics into a company that is truly nothing but homies having fun and making videos they think are funny. Some people might dismiss them as another flash in the pan brand started by a crew of guys with some extra cash, but those same people have probably never watched American WKND and realized these guys are no fluke.
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.