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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.
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.
If you want to be able to practice your new hobby anywhere and everywhere, the Fade is an excellent choice. This is a short skateboard that measures only 27 inches long, made of lightweight (yet still durable) plastic. That means it’s easy to toss into a backpack and carry with you on your commute, to school, or anywhere. It’ll also fit into a locker at the gym or school quite easily.
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.
Plan B originated out of Irvine, CA and was initially created by skating pro Mike Ternasky. Unfortunately, Ternasky was involved in a car accident in 1994 and didn’t make it. The Plan B team and the boards that have emerged as his legacy to become a top skateboarding brand. Though the Plan B team had to take some time off, so as to mourn and regroup, they have returned with a vengeance and have become known as one of the top skateboarding brands. We like Plan B because of the customizable element they bring to the skateboard market and their flexible decks that stand out above other skateboarding companies.
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.
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!
Pro Skateboarder, Jamie Thomas developed the Zero brand in Carlsbad, CA and has built it into one of the top skateboard brands. Though the Zero brand initially distributed clothing, it eventually evolved to boards designed to suit the need for any tricks performed. The Zero team is comprised of a close group of skateboard professionals that have turned their passion into a company dedicated to provide the latest in skateboard innovation and helped Zero Skateboards become a fantastic skateboard brand. Zero boards are great for maneuvers, stability and especially grinds, with their specially designed features. Their innovation and high-quality designs has made Zero Skateboards one of the good skateboard brands today.
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.
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.
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.
Wedding Rodney Mullen‘s decades of technical experience regarding board shaping, concaves and the technical minutiae of skateboard manufacturing, (along with his huge fame and celebrated status as the father of modern street skating), with Daewon’s irrepressibly enthusiastic persona and supernatural skateboard talents, Almost was, from the outset, a brand predicated on celebrating the ‘fun’ side of skateboarding whilst simultaneously pushing the technical parameters of what could be done.
The Californian brand has performed nothing less than a triple flip and catapulted itself from #11 exactly into the centre to #8. This isn’t only nice for us, but also for skatedeluxe team rider Denny Pham, who literally stands on Flip. How hard you can skate these decks is also shown by his team colleagues Arto Saari, Louie Lopez, Curren Caples and Co. Price: from 64.99 € | 55.00 GBP!
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.
Chocolate Skateboards is a skateboarding company distributed by Crailtap. Following on the heels of Girl, Chocolate was launched in 1994 by Mike Carroll and Rick Howard and is known by its Chocolate hearts logo. Their skateboards are made of durable seven-ply maple. Graphics are also important to the Chocolate brand, and you will find things such as classic cars or cartoons. You can find complete Chocolate skateboards with deck, trucks, wheels and bearings, customized decks, accessories, and apparel. The Chocolate team consists of Vincent Alvarez, Kenny Anderson, Chico Brenes, Justin Eldridge, Jesus Fernandez, Chris Roberts, Elijah Berle, Stevie Perez, Raven Tershy, and Jerry Hsu.
The logos you grow up with always mean more to you than the ones that came before or after. I'm not even going to suggest that I can be unbiased about something that means so much to me; but I also like to think that as a skater who has worked within the industry as an artist and a skate rat that grew up in the Midwest, I can separate my love of the activity from my personal feelings about the industry and companies. These are important logos for many reasons. Some are more powerful and meaningful than others but what I'm addressing are icons that have come to represent skateboarding in a lot of ways... succinctly and graphically.
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.
I'm not talking about mall chain stores, like Zumiez; I mean a locally owned and operated skateboard shop. Look around at what they sell, and talk to the staff about the different brands. Of course, they may be biased toward the brands they carry, but chances are you'll learn something that will help you make a decision. There are some big-name board brands that you'll find in most shops, but there should also be some smaller brands you may not have heard or seen around town. There might even be a a local skater or manufacturer that you could support.
Since Fine Artists Vol 1, Element have released numerous videos including Element – Third Eye View (1998), Element – Rise Up (2005) which focused on the brand’s European team, and more recently, the short video Element – Rise and Shine (2011) focusing on Element team rider Nyjah Huston. Element’s video output is unparalleled with releases from all over the globe – most of which can be found via the link above..
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.
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“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’”
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.
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.
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.
Let’s now move on to our top pick from the Punisher line, the Punisher Cherry Blossom Complete skateboard (31 inch). Hands down, the Punisher Cherry Blossom skateboard is the best skateboard for girls. And I am not just saying this because the cherry design would look best for girls, it has some incredible features and specifications. We love the 9-ply stiff maple deck with a beautiful cherry design. The deck is also covered with coarse grip tape which gives the skateboard excellent grip and it makes it a good ride for girls too.
Moreover, we love the amazing variety of skateboards that Plan B has. Plan B’s team consists of some of the most famous professionals out there like Ryan Sheckler, Torey Pudwill and Chris Cole and all of their pro boards are available. Ranging from small skateboards (like Team Tripper mini) that are best skateboards for kids to their full size deck range that starts at 7.6 with the Felipe Flashback deck, Plan B has covered it all. Might I add that their full size skateboards are ideal for a smooth ride in the park and carve out all the turns perfectly. Most of the Plan B skateboards are around the 8 inch to 8.25 inch size which is the most popular size of the skateboard at the moment.
Powell Skateboards is one of the original skateboard companies who dates back to 1978 and who has consistently been a top skateboard brand. If you or someone you know skated in the 1980’s, chances are it was on a Powell skateboard. Though Powell had a short lived split between cofounders, George Powell and Stacy Peralta, they regrouped to produce “top of the line” skateboards under the Powell Classic name and succeeded in becoming one of the most successful skateboard companies. Something stuck through that split and they made the list for clear understanding of the fundamentals of a quality skateboard and easily became a perfect quality skateboard brand..
Sending sincere thanks to everyone that supported us over the last decade – including team riders, fans, customers, photographers, filmers, & mags. Thanks to George & Juli Powell & everyone at Skate One Corp. who believed in us & helped facilitate our vision. Thanks most of all to Cara-Beth Burnside for whom without her influence, leadership, & no-bullshit-spirit none of this would have ever been possible.
Since its inception in 1990, Alien Workshop has gone through a number of changes of ownership, first being bought by Burton Snowboards in February 2008, then purchased from Burton by original Alien Workshop rider and reality TV show star Rob Dyrdek in January 2012. Following Dyrdek’s purchase of the brand and its umbrella company DNA Distribution, (also incorporating Habitat skateboards, Habitat footwear and Reflex bearings), an announcement was made in October of 2013 that Dyrdek would remain as a minority shareholder of DNA Dist, with the majority of shares purchased by Pacific Vector Holdings, (also owners of No Fear clothing and Gatorz sunglasses).