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. 
We would also like to point out one amazing detail about Plan B that makes it stand out from the other top skateboard brands, the deck technology that it uses. I already talked about how their decks are pretty strong and have minimal flex. But its other products like Plan B BLK ICE decks with wax used on their standard build decks to increase the speed and smoothness of skating a rail and the Flashback Series that uses prospect skateboard deck technology to make the boards thinner, lighter and stronger, are amazing!

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.


Santa Cruz’s earliest videos Wheels of Fire (1987), Streets on Fire (1989), Speed Freaks (1989) A Reason for Living (1990) and Risk It (1990) are viewed today as paradigm-shifting releases which promoted interest in skateboarding globally by giving a platform to every kind of skateboarding that existed, from street and vert skating, through to the more niche genres such as slalom, downhill and freestyle, whilst at the same time retaining the aesthetic of skateboarding’s subcultural position in society.
Navigator is a newer truck company and may be hard to find (the Navigator site has a store locator that should help). I've listed them here because they have some unique features on their trucks. For example, they have a special addition beneath the baseplate that holds the kingpin in place so bushings can be replaced without taking the trucks off of the skateboard. Also, Navigator is the only truck company that pins their axles, so they can guarantee their axles will NEVER slip! The Navigator site lists many other features - take a look and see what you think.

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. 

The 18 has made some moves over the past few years that have shown they’re not a bunch of old hesh dudes that piled out and are just holding onto their stronghold with guys who are all about tattoos and brews. They collabed with Supreme and had one of their legends, Andy Roy, model the lookbook, and also put out Destination Unknown, a full video about their vagabond travels in the hunt for anything to skate. Most recently, they released What’s Up Monkey?, an all iPhone full-length video shot all across the world.
From cheap skateboards to high end, custom complete skateboard decks, we have boards for riders of every skill level and tax bracket - we get it, we put skateboarding before everything else first. If you can’t always afford a new board, but go through decks like toilet paper, consider a CCS Skateboard - they cost less, but are manufactured in the same factories as other brands we carry. CCS Skateboards are held to the same standards as every skateboard we sell, but we can sell them for less.
Huf has come a long way since its humble beginnings slinging the best sneakers and streetwear in San Francisco's Tenderloin District. Keith Hufnagel and his team quickly outgrew the boutique niche and have becomea full blown skate apparel and footwear brand. Today Huf has a stacked teamed (including low-key legends like Joey Pepper, who recently got a signature shoe), a wildly popular range of product (weed socks, anyone?), and some hefty celebrity co-signs.
Browsing decks online is best when you're looking the actual brand's website, rather than a retailer that carries a lot of different brands. The company site usually gives you a taste of what the brand is all about, in addition to what their decks look like. A lot of brands have their own skateboarding teams. If you happen to like a rider on a team, that can give you a strong connection to a brand (and they'll probably have a deck with your favorite rider's name on it). You also might be drawn to a particular philosophy of the brand or a specific design or construction feature used on their decks. For example, some companies are known for killer graphics, and some play around with different materials to give their decks unique performance characteristics. 

Mark Gonzalez created bLind Skateboards in 1989, and shortly after initiated a pro team for his skateboard brand. The bLind brand is known for higher durability due to their innovative features. The boards released by bLind are developed and marketed for hardcore skaters and top other skateboarding brands. We like that bLind goes all out providing one of the strongest boards out there, and without sacrificing the flex needed for tricks. They also do it all with a sick style and an innovative business plan that has made them one of the top skateboard brands.
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. 
Well know for their creative cartoon graphics and high-quality deck construction, this Toy Machine complete is another great starting skateboard for beginners.  This deck is slightly larger than 8″ so it would be perfect for adults or people with larger feet who want a more stable ride.  This setup is another good example of generic parts with a pro quality deck for a very reasonable price.  A great option for a beginner who loves the logo and graphic, but wants to save money on the less important parts until they decide they want to take their skating the to next level.
A cruiser board is just that, a board that’s ideal for cruising across town. Cruiser boards have kicktails and are usually about the same size as “popsicle” decks, but with more variety in shapes. Cruisers are ideal for getting around because they are lighter and more nimble than larger longboards, allowing you to bob and weave through urban obstacles. Uniquely shaped cruiser decks have also become popular for transition skating because they add style and flavor without having a strong affect on the way the board skates.
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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.
Obviously, price is an important consideration for most people when looking to buy anything.  For skateboards, the price of the board is generally a good indicator of quality.  In general, most pro branded skateboards that are made up of high-quality parts are in the $70-$100 range.  You can usually find pro branded decks with average parts for $50-$70, and you can find blank options between $25-$50.  I wouldn’t touch anything under $25, as it is likely poor quality and very prone to breakage.
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.
Certain cities still oppose the building of skate parks in their neighborhoods, for fear of increased crime and drugs in the area. The rift between the old image of skateboarding and a newer one is quite visible: magazines such as Thrasher portray skateboarding as dirty, rebellious, and still firmly tied to punk, while other publications, Transworld Skateboarding as an example, paint a more diverse and controlled picture of skateboarding. As more professional skaters use hip hop, reggae, or hard rock music accompaniment in their videos, many urban youths, hip-hop fans, reggae fans, and hard rock fans are also drawn to skateboarding, further diluting the sport's punk image.
A rugged street inspired brand founded by Stevie Williams and Troy Williams, DGK has been a favorite of inner city kids for years.  Interestingly, this brand has found its way into mainstream streetwear culture through famous skateboarding rappers such as Lil Wayne and others. An overall solid brand with great products and street inspired logos and graphics.

Real Skateboards are also notable for the brand’s deep involvement in raising awareness and funds for charitable concerns related to the skateboard community across the globe with the brand supporting everything from DIY skatepark builds, to releasing bespoke Real boards for fallen members of the skateboarding community including releasing a board in memory of UK skate shop owner and stalwart of the British skate scene Steven ‘Bingo’ Binks back in 2011.
One thing can already be told – compared to 2015 a lot has changed! The selection of the ‘Brands of the Year’ is made up of the combination of sold decks, brand shop visits, search queries and your interest in blog entries regarding the top players in the business. Our own brand SK8DLX was not considered for the ranking. We are happy, however, that you love to skate our in-house boards diligently and the SK8DLX deck series is celebrated well. In this sense, a big thank you to you all! Let’s start with the 16 most popular skateboard deck brands of 2016!
Many cities also began implementing recreation plans and statutes during this time period, as part of their vision for local parks and communities to make public lands more available, in particular, for skateboarding, inviting skateboarders to come in off of the city streets and into organized skateboarding activity areas. By 2006 there were over 2,400 skateparks worldwide and the design of skateparks themselves had made a transition, as skaters turned designers.[43][60][61][62][63] Many new places to skateboard designed specifically for street skaters, such as the "Safe Spot Skate Spot" program, first initiated by professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek throughout many cities, allowed for the creation of smaller alternative safe skate plazas to be built at a lower cost.[64] One of the largest locations ever built to skateboard in the world, SMP Skatepark in China, at 12,000 square meters in size, was built complete with a 5,000-seat stadium.[65]
The problem with wheel bite is that it tends to stop the motion of the wheels. This can result not only in a bad wipeout for the rider but also damage to the wheels. With the help of the riser pads, it is easier for you to preserve the deck of your skateboard since these pads can reduce the tendency of having stress cracks on where the trucks and deck meet.
Following The Real video, the brand released full-length videos at regular intervals, with each release being celebrated as a classic overview of the era involved. 1997’s Non-Fiction, featuring founder Jim Thiebaud and a revamped team including the likes of Mark Gonzales, Keith Hufnagel, Joey Bast, Drake Jones and one-time Real female rider Jamie Reyes is seen these days as one of the precursor’s of skateboarding’s general shift away from unbridled technical progression towards a heavier emphasis on style.
Grip tape adds additional assurance for a rider's feet. It is made from a sheet of colored paper or fabric with adhesive on one side and a fine, sand paper surface on the other. Applied to the top surface of a skateboard, grip tape gives a person's feet an improved grip while maintaining stability for performing tricks. Skateboard trucks connect both the wheels and ball bearings to the deck and are directly attached to the deck themselves. They are usually constructed from aluminum alloy. The wheels are mounted to their axles via steel bearings. The wheels are made from polyurethane and available in a range of different shapes and sizes to suit most any skill level.

This period was fueled by skateboard companies that were run by skateboarders. The focus was initially on vert ramp skateboarding. The invention of the no-hands aerial (later known as the ollie) by Alan Gelfand in Florida in 1976,[39] and the almost parallel development of the grabbed aerial by George Orton and Tony Alva in California, made it possible for skaters to perform airs on vertical ramps. While this wave of skateboarding was sparked by commercialized vert ramp skating, a majority of people who skateboarded during this period didn't ride vert ramps. As most people could not afford to build vert ramps, or did not have access to nearby ramps, street skating increased in popularity.

Graphically speaking, Welcome is very distinctive, with an emphasis on hand drawn imagery and references to esoteric and occult themes mixed with bright colourways. Welcome Skateboards also offer a detailed shape guide on their website, detailing the exact dimensions of all of their 38 custom shapes, which again differentiates their product from many of the skateboard brands on the market.
There’s a bit of self-induced CONFUSION with Kryptonics inc. When they first came out, they made, literally, a Revolutionary Wheel, one that BOUNCED. That resilience made them VERY Fast on rougher surfaces, and perhaps even stickier (for a given hardness) than other wheels. You can buy that type of wheel (as a ‘Re-Issue’ “C-Series” in 55,60,65,70+75 mm sizes) now, and it’s STILL HIGH QUALITY, FAST, + STICKY! Even by today’s ‘longboard Race’ criteria, these are wheels to be reckoned with.
Silver has edged it's way onto the scene offering nice, quality skateboard trucks, with plenty of little extras to make their trucks stand out from the rest. With things like inverted kingpins and axle caps, Silver trucks are pushing their motto, "Strength with Style." Silver trucks do look nice! Silver also sports a great team, with guys like Sheckler, Dyrdek, Rodriquez and more.
Choosing a skateboard deck is a great place to start when building a complete skateboard. Unless you have experience riding a shaped board - something a little more retro or unusual, we recommend you start with a popsicle shape. CCS carries over 60 different skateboard deck brands that sell this popular popsicle shape. If you have questions on what size you should ride or have any other questions about building a complete, we recommend you check out our Skateboard Buyer’s Guide. Here, you’ll find helpful how-to’s for choosing a skateboard decks, skateboard trucks, skateboard wheels, skateboard bearings, and skateboard components. This guide explains every part of a skateboard and helps you choose which sizes and styles to best suit your needs.
If you have a great passion for the downhill ride as well as cruising and you are a beginner of longboarding, then ultimately, this board can satisfy your needs. It’s a versatile board as you can use it for cruising and downhill riding. The board is equipped with the perfect wheel size — not so big and not so small. It is big enough to give you a smooth ride but it is not too big to get wheel bite. Isn’t it cool? The 44 inches size of its wheels is perfect for comfortable cruising as well as riding downhill. It has some flex which will reduce the stress on your ankle and knees.
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.
Illegal skating includes jumping over cracks or obstacles on the sidewalk (rather than stopping, picking up one’s board and walking around the obstacle), turning, riding over certain public property and any stopping maneuver that could be considered a trick. A ticket for skateboarding is a traffic violation, but skaters are more commonly cited for vandalism or trespassing—misdemeanors that stay on a skater’s record and usually carry a fine or a sentence of 40 hours of community service, or both.
Now venturing into making boards through a sister company Jamaica after running a line of them under their own Bronze name, Bronze has not slept after catching their first break of success. They recently collabed with Palace on a collection that instantly sold out, and have already dropped the successful first half of their collaboration with HUF. Keep an eye out for the second installment of that coming soon.
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.
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.
While the skateboard has a lot of moving parts, one's safety, comfort, and ease to learn new skills and perform tricks are all of equal importance. For this reason, choosing the right type of deck and wheels should be two of the first considerations, as the board's shape, material construction, and wheel makeup will all have a significant impact on your ability to control the equipment and maintain good aerodynamics. Additionally, the width of the deck is important, so one must take their height, shoe size, and style of riding into account in order to ensure the deck offers as much support as possible, regardless of application.
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.
Certain cities still oppose the building of skate parks in their neighborhoods, for fear of increased crime and drugs in the area. The rift between the old image of skateboarding and a newer one is quite visible: magazines such as Thrasher portray skateboarding as dirty, rebellious, and still firmly tied to punk, while other publications, Transworld Skateboarding as an example, paint a more diverse and controlled picture of skateboarding. As more professional skaters use hip hop, reggae, or hard rock music accompaniment in their videos, many urban youths, hip-hop fans, reggae fans, and hard rock fans are also drawn to skateboarding, further diluting the sport's punk image.
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.
Krown has been producing skateboards since the late 1990s, which was the time when skateboards lived through a revival and became a popular hobby once again. Since then, Krown’s goal has been to create quality skateboards with budget prices. This has made Krown skateboards well sought after among beginners who want to try out extreme sports, and need a starting board. Even though Krown started out selling only skateboards, they have evolved to also sell longboards, pads, helmets and the alike over the years.
A good helmet protects your most important vital organ. Remember that in some states helmets are required by law. In Oregon, for example, skaters 15 and under can be fined for not wearing a helmet. Knee and elbow pads will also save you from bumps and bruises. Knee pads are particularly valuable when learning to skate tall vertical walls because they allow you to slide down the wall on your knees instead of having to run out of every bailed attempt. Wrist and ankle injuries are common in skateboarding, so braces are another great investment.
After leaving long time sponsor Birdhouse due to a feeling of dissatisfaction at the manner in which he himself was being marketed as a pro skater, Andrew Reynolds joined forces with a group of similarly aged pro skaters, who at the time, all lived close to each other in Huntington Beach, California in the Warner Ave housing complex and resolved to turn what had formerly been a loosely affiliated crew into a skateboard brand. Reynolds approached Tony Hawk and Per Welinder, owners of Blitz Distribution (and distributors of Birdhouse) with his idea and, rather than losing Reynolds completely, Blitz Distribution agreed to assist Reynolds with Baker and to distribute it.
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