In the skateboarding industry, brands tend to come and go with ease. It’s rare for them to stay in the spotlight for any substantial amount of time. But the constant reshuffling of the deck (pun not intended) allows for a rotation of new brands to make a name for themselves. Whether they’re known primarily for their skateboarding parts essential to the craft (like decks, trucks, wheels, and shoes) or for their apparel and accessories, the skateboarding universe has been expanding ever since the sport caught the attention of the mainstream in the late ‘90s. Everyone may remember exactly where they were when Tony Hawk landed the 900° on national television, but the world of skateboarding brands is much larger than just that and more expansive than you may realize.
After riding Powell decks for many years, I was given the opportunity by Michael Furukawa at Skate One Corp. to create my own board brand. This was an honor but I needed a co-pilot for this mission to happen. I asked Mimi Knoop if she would join forces with me and this was the beginning of an all girls skate brand that we called hoopla skateboards.
The National Skate Co‘s approach to marketing retained this air of intrigue with the release of their first video, ‘The National Skateboard Co. Promo‘ in 2013 with minimal promotion beforehand. This promo video featured lo-fi VX2000 footage of original team members Thomas Harrison, Danijel Stankovic, David Mackey, Joshua Young, Vaughan Jones and Neil Smith interspersed with found footage and black and white news reel clips.
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.
You know how people say shit like: Ernest Hemingway is “a writer's writer” and it's not really clear what that means, but you sort of get it? Well Anti-Hero is a skater's skate brand. Founded by underground hero pro skater Julien Stranger, Anti-Hero is a direct expression of his attitude towards the skate industry, which is basically that skateboarding is life and fuck everything else. Anti-hero has a reputation for being one of the gnarliest skate brands around, thanks in part to their team of heavies which includes John Cardiel, Tony Trujillo, and Chris Pfanner.
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.
Whilst this A – Z is by no means exhaustive and there are many brands, both new and old that are not included, we feel that this cross section of companies represents a selection of some of the best choices out there today. The following list of 29 skateboard brands, beginning with Alien Workshop and ending with Zero, covers a huge range of the alternatives within the current market and will hopefully act as a handy guide to those dipping their feet into our world for the first time.
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.
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.
Polar’s focus on its European roots and representing a type of skateboarding that everyone could relate to, plus Pontus’ masterful approach to video-making and product, created a groundswell of popularity for the brand which has retained its momentum. Mixing a heavy global team with an eclectic approach to soft goods, Polar is now viewed as one of the most influential brands in the skateboard industry as a whole.
New in the top 16 ranking, but still an old stager in the business. In 2016 you gladly put Anti Hero decks under your feet, which is not surprising regarding the neat designs and the high quality of the boards. The brand stands for 100% skateboarding without high life and frills. It’s all about ripping it. Get your Anti Hero deck at skatedeluxe from 52.99 € | 45.00 GBP!
That Captain America-esque deck, though, is where the real magic happens. It uses Plan B’s Blk Ice tech, which means it’s lighter than your average board, stronger than standard 7-ply maple, and it’s built to slide and pop like no other without any need to add wax. This also makes it more consistent; no extra slippery or sticky spots, just a smooth ride.
Choosing a skateboard deck can be approached in a few different ways: you can choose your board based off the graphic, the brand, the shape, the width, or even the color. For most skateboarders, it’s a combination of all these factors, but if you’ve never skateboarded before, you may not know what shape, width, or brand you like best. In this case, choosing your favorite graphic would make total sense.
Spotting a poorly made skateboard deck can be hit or miss. Some toy skateboards don’t even try to look “real". They might have no concave to their shape and may not even have a extended nose. Others may be shaped to resemble a real skateboard, but are made with cheap woods and fillers. If that is the case, they may be both thicker and heavier than a quality board, or they may be ready to fall apart quite quickly and easily. Consider that it isn’t easy to make a real skateboard deck. Most legitimate skateboard decks will sell for somewhere between $35 - $55. If you are paying that much for the entire skateboard, it is unfortunately a sign that significant corners were cut on quality.
They have continued to ride that wave over the past year, continuously putting out great edits, following cherry up with Sickness, Red Devil, Joyride, and Swoosh, all in collaboration with cherry’s filmer Bill Strobeck. We all know they will never fall off when it comes to putting out fire gear every new season and drop, but to keep it coming with actual great footage is another story, and is definitely making skateboarding better today.