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.


Keep in mind how tall you are when choosing a board width. Also consider the kind of style you wish to skate. Most technical skaters (the ones who incorporate advanced flip tricks... like Rodney Mullen) tend to favor boards between 7.5 and 7.75 regardless of how tall or small they happen to be. The upper hand of having a thin board allows for quick rotation. The other side of the spectrum is the "go big" skaters (Jamie Thomas is a classic example of a "go big" guy). Most "go big" guys favor size 8.0 and up. The advantage of a wide heavy board feels more stable under your feet while in mid air and while landing (especially those who have big feet). If your a kid you might want to just stick with a 7.66 or smaller.


However, the Golden Dragon does have pretty soft trucks bushings, which means the board will lean very easily and be more responsive to weight distribution. This is good news for more intermediate skaters who want easy turns, but not necessarily great for those who are still learning and may not be familiar with controlling a board. But for the price, and considering the great durability of all the other components, this is a quality choice.
Are you on a hunt for the best skateboard on the market today? Then you are in the right place as this comprehensive article is designed to give you information about skateboarding and types of skateboards in general. By learning about the different types of skateboards and what each one can do, figuring out what works for you the best is a lot easier.
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.
Punisher’s Cherry Blossom skateboard is really one of a kind. Not only does it come with a high-quality, durable pro deck, but it has a perfect price for a beginner skateboard. If you have been meaning to try out skateboarding for a while now, this is the best skateboard to start with. It has a quality craftsmanship combined with a budget-price, making it widely available to the general public. The heavy-duty design makes sure that you will get all the best features from this board. Features that can usually only be noticed when buying more expensive products!

Many parents and grandparents visit SkateXS for their young one’s first “real” skateboard with the same fundamental quality questions. I realized we could certainly do a better job of making sense of it all! So with a bit of karmic appeal that someone will someday finally explain unicycles to me, here is a summary of something we actually know a thing or two about! 


Magenta Skateboards are one of only a few mainland European based brand in this list, founded in Paris and currently based in Bordeaux, France. Magenta’s outlook on skateboarding as a cultural phenomenon, and consequently their output in terms of both products and video, is deliberately at odds with the prevailing conception of skateboarding as represented by most major brands.
Using 12 years of experience in manufacturing skateboards, Penny Skateboards was created to offer the skateboarding community high performance and high quality plastic skateboards. The brand focuses on creating each Penny skateboard with attention to detail and with the best raw materials. Not only are they meant to look good, but are meant to work just as good if not better.
Skateboarding, as we know it, was probably born sometime in the late 1940s, or early 1950s,[citation needed] when surfers in California wanted something to do when the waves were flat. This was called "sidewalk surfing" – a new wave of surfing on the sidewalk as the sport of surfing became highly popular. No one knows who made the first board; it seems that several people came up with similar ideas at around the same time. The first manufactured skateboards were ordered by a Los Angeles, California surf shop, meant to be used by surfers in their downtime. The shop owner, Bill Richard, made a deal with the Chicago Roller Skate Company to produce sets of skate wheels, which they attached to square wooden boards. Accordingly, skateboarding was originally denoted "sidewalk surfing" and early skaters emulated surfing style and maneuvers, and performed barefoot.[6][9][11]
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.[6][7][8] The boxes turned into planks, similar to the skateboard decks of today.[9] 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.[10]
You can get a lot of advice (and maybe too many opinions) from fellow skaters. Some of it might not be as informed or educated as a shop owner's (and some might be flat-out bad advice), but it should at least be sincere! If you don't have a local skate park, or are too uncomfortable to walk up to people and ask, you can also ask around on a skateboarding forum. People there will be more than happy to tell you what they think about deck brands.

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.
Element Skateboards are also one of the most popular and best skateboards in the world of boarding. If you choose to purchase it, you will get high-quality skateboards that will stand the test of time. The best thing about them is environmental friendliness that they promote along the way. Therefore, you will enjoy in Driftwood deck, which are much more affordable and lighter.
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.
In the early 1970s, Frank Nasworthy started to develop a skateboard wheel made of polyurethane, calling his company Cadillac Wheels.[7] Prior to this new material, skateboards wheels were metal or "clay" wheels. The improvement in traction and performance was so immense that from the wheel's release in 1972 the popularity of skateboarding started to rise rapidly again, causing companies to invest more in product development. Nasworthy commissioned artist Jim Evans to do a series of paintings promoting Cadillac Wheels, they were featured as ads and posters in the resurrected Skateboarder magazine, and proved immensely popular in promoting the new style of skateboarding.
Skateboarding, in one form or another, has been around since the late 1950’s when the first brave pioneer first attached roller skate wheels to a piece of wood. As skateboarding progressed to mimic surfing, skateboards evolved with the style of riding. Skateboards grew and changed shapes as riders experimented with everything from plastic to fiberglass to aluminum constructions - all in an effort to push what was possible. Like most sports or art forms, progression is at the heart of skateboard innovation.
With distinctive graphics, often touching upon controversial issues such as racism with American society such as the infamous Jim Thiebaud ‘Lynch the KKK’ graphic designed by Natas Kaupas and Kevin Ancell, and classic Jeff Klindt graphics such as the James Kelch ‘James’ board, which was recently re-released, Real’s aesthetic has always been instantly recognisable.

Even if the Rodriguez ‘One Way’ deck from Primitive suggests otherwise, there is only one direction for P-Rod: up! This is not only proved by the rocket launch of his brand into the top 16 at skatedeluxe but also by himself while being on board. Besides, neat graphics, high-quality materials and the perfect concave should convince you as well. Your new primitive deck costs 74.99 € | 60.00 GBP!
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.
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!
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.
It's apt that Tribute has taken an umbrella as the company logo. In a city that rains as much as Portland, skaters don't have too much to be stoked about. But that has done nothing to deter one of the strongest skate scenes in the US, which has the notorious Burnside skatepark, awesome brands like Tribute, and local rippers like Brent Atchley at its core.

“They built the industry before they built their business,” said Denike who became one of the early product testers as a 15-year-old when he was approached by Novak and Shuirman in a skateboard park. “It was just raw entrepreneurial spirit. They took it from a fad to an actual business and, as a group, decided they were going to focus on growing the industry. If they were good businessmen, they would get a piece of that pie.”

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.
Modern decks are made with a composite of thin layers of either maple or bamboo pressed into a near symmetrical shape with a nose equal to or longer than the tail. The deck should be concave (subtle U shape) along the whole board with both the nose and tail angled upwards (the "kick" of the board). Conceptually while the skateboard is a platform, it also serves to cup the balls of the skater’s feet with rising sides, nose and tail providing the foundation for pretty much all modern skateboard tricks.
It's apt that Tribute has taken an umbrella as the company logo. In a city that rains as much as Portland, skaters don't have too much to be stoked about. But that has done nothing to deter one of the strongest skate scenes in the US, which has the notorious Burnside skatepark, awesome brands like Tribute, and local rippers like Brent Atchley at its core.
Both your height and weight should play an important role when you are choosing a skateboard. You need to find a skateboard, which fits your weight and height. Picking one, which is either too small or too big might only cause you to experience difficulty controlling it, especially if you are still a beginner learning the ins and outs of skateboarding.
Based out of Huntington Beach, California, Good Skateboards is a grassroots inspired skate brand specializing in quality boards. Skateboarding isn’t about what you do, but how you do it. That’s Good Skateboard’s mission and they’re sticking to it! The brand is committed to supplying the skating industry with positive vibes and exceptional products that make you appreciate skateboarding all over again. Good Skateboards decks are constructed from 100% Canadian maple and made in the USA. Their decks are classic in board style and feature fun artwork from artist Vincenzo Colonna. In addition to decks, they also offer branded tees and accessories featuring their iconic “Ok” hand gesture logo. Good Skateboards t-shirts have similar graphics to what you see on their decks. You’ll see the same artwork on their stickers too!
POSITIV has begun to gain some serious momentum in the past years.  They released an entire line of team completes in sizes ranging from 7.5-8.0″ at very affordable prices. This specific deck is 7.75″ so it is a comfortable size for all ages and weights.  The great thing about this board is that it includes MiniLogo bearings and other pro brand parts.  The deck also uses a rare waterproof sealant and slide coat to ensure that the deck lasts longer and slides smoother than other skateboards on the market.  The overwhelmingly “positive” (no pun intended) reviews speak for themselves with this skateboard.
Progressive designs deliver a more dramatic upward curve and a wider base, providing increasingly secure footing and a locked-in feel. The W-concave shape is more narrow with an additional center curve, allowing for a greater shift in energy between the heel and toe. This design also boasts more responsive control and quick turning capabilities. Tub concave decks resemble the radial shape, however their rails extend at a sharp angle instead of a gradual curve. Asymmetrical decks feature rails that extend at different angles, affording more power to a rider's heels when making turns. Less commonly used are decks with convex and completely flat shapes. Convex boards offer an upwards-arching shape, which some downhill skateboarders prefer for a more natural feel, whereas flat designs increase available foot space and are more popular for experienced riders looking to perform fancy tricks.
Rarely you make notice your deck to lose concavity or flatten over time.  Although this isn’t very common, it’s typically due to water damage and is a sign of many other problems.  Wooden decks are not meant to get wet and they will warp, crack, and break if they get soaked.  It’s pretty simple and straightforward  to avoid this problem.  Keep your skateboard in a dry place, and don’t skate in the rain or through puddles.  Skating through water will also destroy your bearings, if deck warping and breaking wasn’t a good enough reason for you to not do it.
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.
Many parents and grandparents visit SkateXS for their young one’s first “real” skateboard with the same fundamental quality questions. I realized we could certainly do a better job of making sense of it all! So with a bit of karmic appeal that someone will someday finally explain unicycles to me, here is a summary of something we actually know a thing or two about! 

This board is also a very smooth ride, and surprisingly offers plenty of stability as well, which makes it safe for beginners to learn with. Finally, it’s one of the few boards on this list that comes in a huge array of styles and artwork so that you can get the board that suits your style best. If what you want is a board that looks and performs like the boards you see at sporting events, this is the perfect choice. The only downside is that it’s not the most flexible board out there, which could make it a little harder to ease into turns – however, this feature is what makes the board just right for learning tricks on.


The Wasatch Imports Good Skateboards is the ultimate compact and complete street board that is ready-to-go. It is great for exercise and fun. It is very portable and perfect for all skill levels. It has a variety of awesome vintage color combinations that you can choose from. It is made of topline construction, with a high-density plastic deck, 59mm super smooth wheels, ABEC7 bearings, and solid aluminum trucks. It measures 22″ long and 6″ wide and weighs 4 pounds. It has a  full manufacturer’s lifetime warranty on all parts, pieces, and materials. It has a weight limit of 200 pounds which can ensure that bigger skaters can join the fun.
If you love skateboarding, then it is a must for you to invest in a high-quality backpack or bag. It is an essential gear, especially if you are someone on the go. You need it as it lets you bring all the things and items you need while you are riding to work or school – that’s possible while still ensuring that you bring your board with you all the time.
This is the way most serious skateboarders buy new skateboards.  In some cases they choose different brands for the wheels, bearings, trucks, deck, and hardware and customize it to their own unique style and preferences. The benefit to buying part like this you can replace only certain parts that are worn down and you have more control over each aspect of your skateboard.  I recommend this approach to intermediate and advanced skateboarders who want to experiment with different brands and styles.   However, if you are looking to try skateboarding for the first time or buy it as a gift for someone else I would recommend buying an already assembled complete skateboard.
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.
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