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.
It’s a beautifully designed affordable skateboard that provides an optimum ride for both amateurs and pro riders. Its high-rebound, hand-cast polyurethane wheels are built to deliver best roll and grip during an action. Its 7.625 inches wide and 31.625 inches long top board offers ample grip and stable ride for the beginners who are still learning to stand while riding without any fear of slipping off the board. Its colorful screen-printed bottom lets you ride in style. It is built to meet demanding specifications.
500AlmostAluminatiAnti HeroArborBambooBirdhouseBlindBonzingCometCreatureDarkstarDB LongboardsDogtownDusters CaliforniaElementEnjoiEverseshFlipFocusFoundationGlobeGoldCoastGravityHabitatJartKebbekKrookedLandyachtzLaybackLushMadridMakahaMoonshine MFGOmenPennyPlan BPowell PeraltaPrism SkatePunkedRayneRealRememberRivieraRoad RiderSan ClementeSanta CruzSector 9Suicidal SkatesToy MachineWarehouseZ-FlexZero
Emerging initially via a series of spoof news bulletins created by Lev Tanju called ‘PWBC Global Skateboard News‘ and hosted on the don’twatchthat.tv site, the aesthetic that the Palace Skateboards Brand would adopt was firmly established in these early videos. Sadly now mostly deleted from the Internet, aside from a few ‘best of’ videos, the PWBC News series were a pre-cursor for the route that the brand would adopt with its comedic take on the faux-seriousness of the Skateboard Industry of the time, an emphasis on the UK grime music scene, and the introduction of numerous characters within each news segment, including Francis Shower Face who still appears in Palace releases to this day, along with snippets of footage from various sources.
Regardless of the length of these boards, they each have several components in common that include a deck, grip tape, trucks, and wheels. The deck is the actual surface piece of the board on which a rider stands to perform tricks or control their degree of motion. Decks range between seven and ten inches in width and although seven-ply wood is the most common material for them, they can also be crafted out of bamboo, carbon fiber, and even plastic. Decks are shaped in several unique concave designs, which include radial, progressive, W-concave, tub, and asymmetric. Radial concave decks have U-shaped curves and are ideal for beginners, as they provide one's feet with a reliable grip.
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!
Skateboarding has also become a major source of inspiration for high-end fashion brands, as they design their own interpretations of the skate culture and style from graphic T-shirts, five-panel hats, cropped, wide-leg pants, and skateboarding sneakers from the brands like Vans. But there’s no faking the original, and the brands that do it best are the ones that have a long-time heritage in the sport of the board, unlike the luxury labels simply trying to capitalize on the look.
Mixing a clean and colourful graphical identity with tongue-in-cheek parodies of existing brand logos (most notably the now largely discontinued Starbucks homage), Skateboard Cafe have carved a niche within the flooded UK skateboard market largely based on their skater-owned status, the lack of conceit in their identity and a regular and well-received output of video content.
Freestyle skating remained healthy throughout this period, with pioneers such as Rodney Mullen inventing many of the basic tricks that would become the foundation of modern street skating, such as the "Impossible" and the "kickflip". The influence that freestyle exerted upon street skating became apparent during the mid-1980s; however, street skating was still performed on wide vert boards with short noses, slide rails, and large soft wheels. In response to the tensions created by this confluence of skateboarding "genres", a rapid evolution occurred in the late 1980s to accommodate the street skater. Since few skateparks were available to skaters at this time, street skating pushed skaters to seek out shopping centers and public and private property as their "spot" to skate. (Public opposition, in which businesses, governments, and property owners have banned skateboarding on properties under their jurisdiction or ownership, would progressively intensify over the following decades.) By 1992, only a small fraction of skateboarders continuing to take part in a highly technical version of street skating, combined with the decline of vert skating, produced a sport that lacked the mainstream appeal to attract new skaters.
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.
A skateboard consists of a deck, trucks, wheels, bearings, hardware, and griptape. All parts come in a variety of sizes, graphics, colors, and signature pro series. The deck is the essential part of any skateboard. The deck ranges generally from 7.5" to 8.5". Skaters choose their board size for many reasons, but the basic deciding factor comes down to style of skating and foot size. Transition skaters usually ride a wider deck, while street skaters tend to go with a smaller deck. Skate brands such as Girl, enjoi, and Welcome offer a wide range of boards in regards to sizes and graphics. Skateboard trucks come in either a high or low setting, and also in a range of widths. The main factors in a truck, are how well they turn, and how well they grind. Independent, Venture, and Thunder, are truck brands that are well known for their turning and grinding capabilities. The skate hardware is generally either Phillips head or Allen key bolts. The skateboard wheels range from 50mm to 60mm. Some brands offer smaller and larger sizes, but 50-60mm is the general range. Like the deck sizes, wheel sizes depend on the skater's choice of terrain: Transition skaters tend to ride bigger wheels, while street skaters usually go with smaller wheels. Bones, Spitfire, Ricta, and Wayward wheel companies all make wheels for any terrain, whether you're a street shredder or a park burner. Skate bearings follow the ABEC rating system, which includes grades 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. Bones, Bronson, and Andale are some of the top bearing brands in the skate market. CCS proudly carries all these brands, and many 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.