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.
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.
In an industry as diverse as skateboarding, the sheer number of skateboard brands on the market can be bewildering. With a seemingly never-ending amount of new brands emerging, alongside the numerous pre-existing ones, the market can certainly appear over crowded and confusing at times, which is hopefully where this list of some of our favourite skateboard brands comes in.
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.
Next, you’ll need to look at the deck material. Decks are typically wooden or plastic, but they may also be made of materials like carbon and fiberglass. Plastic boards, like the pennyboard, are more affordable, and still very durable, but many adult riders find that they can look a bit like a child’s toy rather than a “real” skateboard. Wood is the most popular choice for most skateboards, although if you want to invest in the pricier fiberglass or carbon options, you’ll get a very good quality deck for your money.
Let me tell you this, Santa Cruz has a huge variety of high quality everything-skateboard so naturally picking out the best skateboard of the best was a hard task. But as usual, we have a clear winner; the Santa Cruz Youth Land Shark Cruzer, Rasta. If you are a part of the skateboarding community, there is a high chance that you might have heard about this skateboard. Intricately crafted with the best quality materials, it is one of the best skateboards in town.
Amongst the chaos of trends and contrived images GOOD Skateboards remains true to the roots. The preach and practice of the philosophy that it's not WHAT you do but HOW you do it. Spear headed by legendary pro Tosh Townend, GOOD Skateboards is that much needed breath of fresh air in an industry polluted by heartless money fiends and exploitative mind sets. Made in the USA and as Grass Roots as you could possibly get Tosh and good friend Tommy De Maria bring to you something straight from the core of skateboarding; actual skateboarding. No egos, no attitudes; GOOD Skateboards' roots run deep with an utmost respect for skateboarding's past and a rich understanding of skateboarding's history. Support GOOD and support skateboarding in the hands of skateboarders.
'90s nostalgia is the name of the game. VHS tapes. Grimey hip-hop. Drinking forties, smoking blunts, skating filthy street spots at night, and general hooliganism are cornerstones of skateboarding's mid-90s golden years, and Palace is all about that life. No wonder you see the tees and skate decks stocked at Supreme, the only brand that compares to Palace when it comes to nailing that “fuck it” aesthetic. Palace gear has been causing an uproar lately—yes, Palace was on that designer parody tee shit before everyone else, and yes, the collab with Umbro was one of the best we've seen in years—but make no mistake the brand is skate to the core, and no amount of hype will change that. Let's hope, anyway.
This entry is all about giving you an insight through the eyes of skatedeluxe. Which brands dominated your year in 2015? Our compilation of the ‘brands of the year’ is based on a combined check of deck sales, brand shop visits, your search requests and common interest on blog entries to skateboarding’s MVPs. Our in-house brand SK8DLX has been left out of the ranking. Still, we want to thank you that you keep skating our boards and that you seem to like what we put out. Enough talking, let’s start with the Top 15 skateboard deck brands of the year 2015
Quality wheels won’t mean much if you don’t have nice bearings which allow the wheels to spin freely on the axle of the skateboard truck. A quality set of bearings will spin well right away and actually get even better once broken in a bit. If quality bearings get dirty, they can typically be taken apart and cleaned relatively easily. A good set of bearings typically runs between $10 - $16.
Also called Standard Kingpin Trucks, these trucks will mount to any standard or cruiser deck. They are the most versatile type of trucks and can be used for any type of skateboarding. There are many brands and various features to consider, including truck height, weight and replaceable components. Trucks are easily adjustable and allow you to loosen or tighten the board's responsiveness. For more information on trucks, check out our Skateboard Trucks Guide.
Founded by English freestyle skater, engineer and skateboarding entrepreneur Jeremy Fox in 1987 (Fox is also reputed to be the first person to import skateboard specific footwear ‘Pro-Keds’ into the UK) Deathbox in its heyday was one of only a handful of European brands that ever controlled enough market share to be a significant player in the skateboard industry.
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.
What the fuck is Bro Style? That's what a lot of skate nerds found themselves wondering at the end of 2012. Bro Style crept onto the scene with a goofy guerrilla-style internet marketing campaign that involved little more than the thumbs up logo. Little by little, product started to trickle out—beanies, snapbacks, pocket tees, socks, and other odd ephemera—and a few video clips. Bro Style is still something of a mystery, but one thing is clear, it's not meant to be taken too seriously. And that is seriously important for the skate industry to remember.
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.
Longboards are often 8 to 12 inches longer than a standard skateboard. That added length makes them more stable for long rides or high speed downhill runs. Available in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, and truck mounting options, longboards are highly customizable for many types of riding. If you want to push long distances, skate fast down hills, or are a beginner looking for an easy board for learning to balance, check our Guide to Longboarding for more info.
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.
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.
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.
You guys still hype the brand from southern Germany which is why EMillion took their place in our top skateboard decks ranking again this year. Next to the brand, EMillion & skatedeluxe team rider Ben Dillinger proves that skateboarding is no stranger to our latitudes. EMillion skateboard decks are available at skatedeluxe from 49.99 EUR | 40.00 GBP.
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. 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. 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.
In 1976, skateboarding was transformed by the invention of the ollie by Alan "Ollie" Gelfand. It remained largely a unique Florida trick until the summer of 1978, when Gelfand made his first visit to California. Gelfand and his revolutionary maneuvers caught the attention of the West Coast skaters and the media where it began to spread worldwide. The ollie was adapted to flat ground by Rodney Mullen in 1982. Mullen also invented the "Magic Flip," which was later renamed the kickflip, as well as many other tricks including, the 360 Kickflip, which is a 360 pop shove-it and a kickflip in the same motion. The flat ground ollie allowed skateboarders to perform tricks in mid-air without any more equipment than the skateboard itself, it has formed the basis of many street skating tricks. A recent development in the world of trick skating is the 1080, which was first ever landed by Tom Schaar in 2012.
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.
Launched in 1991 by professional skateboarder Mike Ternasky who was killed in a car accident in 1994, Plan B Skateboards was renewed in 2005 by professional skateboarders Danny Way and Colin McKay. The top Skateboards brand, recognized by its unique logo, offers customization, but it also produces skateboards that come already assembled and ready for immediate action with everything a skateboarder needs including the deck, wheels, trucks, and bearings. The decks are made with a durable and thick seven-ply maple. They are also designed for you to make them uniquely yours with cool graphics that reveal your personality. In addition to the decks, Plan B also produces wheels, toolkits, and the kind of hip clothing that every skateboarder wants to be seen wearing. In addition to Way and McKay, the Plan B team consists of pro skateboarders PJ Ladd, Chris Cole, Pat Duffy, Ryan Sheckler, Torey Pudwill, Leticia Bufoni, Chris Joslin, Felipe Gustavo and Sean Sheffey.
Powell has made sure to provide their customers with more than one design of one of their most sought-after skateboards. The Golden Dragon 2 is very similar to its predecessor, the Golden Dragon and is just as reliable as its sister model. When it comes to skateboarding, you can’t ask for a better board than the Golden Dragon 2. It’s durable, firm and thanks to the concave skateboard deck design, will allow you to do many tricks. Tricks, that other boards could possibly not support as well.
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However, the diversity of Santa Cruz skateboard’s stake in the skateboard business meant that they easily survived the mid-90’s slump in popularity and returned with an newly invigorated team and powered on with video after video from the mid-90’s to the present day. Similarly to Powell-Peralta, Santa Cruz are also notable for their Veteran Division (documented in their 2007 release ‘V Day‘) celebrating pro riders such as Keith Meek, Tom Knox and Eric Dressen from earlier eras of Santa Cruz’s existence. Santa Cruz Skateboards current line of product boasts many re-released classic boards from earlier eras of the brand and are as popular, if not more so, than they were originally, thanks to an explosion in the nostalgia and collector’s markets within skateboarding.
Remember the cool skate kids wearing Workshop tees in the '90s? Well you don't see too many of those these days, but AW is still one of the best “big” skate brands going. The team alone—featuring Supreme muse Jason Dill, tech-gnar wizard Anthony Van Engelen, and the most handsome guy on a board, Dylan Rieder—puts the brand in the top 10. And even though you might not associate legacy riders like Rob Dyrdek with anything cool at all, he pulled one of the most boss moves in all skate business history when he bought the brand that first sponsored him 20 years ago back from Burton (who bought the brand from Chris Carter in 2008) last year, so Workshop is once again skater-owned.
You should also look for the type of skateboard wheels that you will be getting with your skateboard. Soft wheels are great for cruising around uneven surfaces, while harder wheels are better for skateboard tricks and hard falls, which is vital for various skateboarding styles. The key thing to remember is the smaller wheels are slower, and bigger wheels are faster.
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.