In summary - recognizing a real skateboard isn’t rocket science, but it does take some amount of brand awareness and ultimately even trial and error. We tried to take the guesswork out of it by starting SkateXS and openly sharing and celebrating each and every component we use to build our skateboards. Hopefully we have been able to share the values and priorities we put into those design decisions. 


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.


From cheap skateboards to high end, custom complete skateboard decks, we have boards for riders of every skill level and tax bracket - we get it, we put skateboarding before everything else first. If you can’t always afford a new board, but go through decks like toilet paper, consider a CCS Skateboard - they cost less, but are manufactured in the same factories as other brands we carry. CCS Skateboards are held to the same standards as every skateboard we sell, but we can sell them for less.
Positiv decks are usually maple, but some are hard birch. They are made using the same laminating process and glue that Powell Peralta boards use. These decks have Positiv’s super slide treatment (SST), which is essentially a plastic lining that makes the board slide more easily. The stuff works, and wax becomes less necessary for slides with these boards.
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. 

This board also has a unique shape that makes it a lot easier to ease into turns, which is something that longboards aren’t always known for. It’s a lot easier to push off on this deck thanks to how low it sits, and you also get a one-year warranty from the manufacturer should anything go wrong. If you’ve never ridden on a board before, and don’t want to learn tricks right away, this is a great choice, especially if you’ll be riding around a lot of mostly flat areas.


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SkateXS is a very popular brand among parents that have kids that are enthusiastic about skating. They have a variety of skateboards, plenty of color choices and even add a name tag of your child on the grip tape. This helps the child feel like they have full control over the board and its development. This, in turn, will make them treasure it more.

Our personal favorite is the Penny Australia Classic Complete Skateboard and trust me when I tell you this, it is the best skateboard for beginners. Hands down, we love how it is amazing to look at, very portable, excellent speed and has the greatest parts like hard wheels, 7 ABEC bearings and high tensile bolts. We love this board so much that it forms part of our best skateboards 2018 list as well.
Ever notice small vertical or horizontal cracks through your grip tape or by the hardware of your trucks?  These are called stress or pressure cracks and are basically mini fractures of your skateboard deck that typically are seen in the areas of the deck that withstand the greatest impact (around the trucks).  A few pressure cracks is generally no big deal and you won’t even notice them while skating, but they can compound and grow larger and make your deck lose “pop” and increase the chance of snapping.  To avoid pressure cracks, you cant use riser pads underneath your trucks to reduce the level of impact your deck takes.  You should also avoid over tightening your hardware and storing your skateboard in a very humid place as both of these practices can also make your board weaker and more susceptible to pressure cracks.
However, this same company decided to ‘Cash-in’ on THE NAME BRAND, and now con-currently sells JUNK , made in China, at WAL MART. DO NOT BUY any ‘longboard’ they sell that has plastic trucks!! They are an accident awaiting a place to occur. I’ve seen wheels (from a company that prided itself on ‘the best wheels’) that are upwards of 4 mm out-of-round, which could easily cause speed-wobbles, even at pedestrian speeds. From my POV, they’ve opened themselves up to possibly numerous lawsuits, just because of the inferior quality, and poor design choices made in order to maximize profit.

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. 
Bianca Chandôn’s offerings can be found in high-end shops like Trés Bien and Supply, while Call Me 917, the sister company focusing on producing skateboards and hosting a skate team can be found mostly at select skate shops, such as New York’s own Labor Skateshop, but is also stocked at elite retailers like Dover Street Market. This brand duality allows Olson the freedom to explore new fields like cut-and-sew and womenswear with Bianca, while staying true to skateboarding with Call Me 917.
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.
A magazine?! This is an outrage! Yeah, it is. But Low Card has become the defacto hat brand for all the cool hesh skaters in America, so deal with it. Also, the mag's graphic tees, baseball shirts, coaches jackets, and beanies are all highly dope. The custom mesh hat program is the way to go if you feel the need to wear your “yeah, I skate” calling card on your head.

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.
Finally, consider the type of grip tape you'll want on the board. While function is important in this regard to give your feet ample support, there's nothing wrong with adding some bling to the board's surface either. Many skateboard retailers will offer you several choices of grip tape and board styles, so it's definitely important to ask a lot of questions.
The wheels are also impressive. Unlike some other skateboards that have wheels that are quite stiff, causing them to feel like they will lock up when you ride on them, the wheels in this complete skateboard for beginners are smooth and comfortable. These are also easily controllable, so rest assured that they offer a smooth and friction-free glide.

Fox and Deacon re-branded Deathbox in 1991 as Flip skateboards and announced the four man team as consisting of Geoff Rowley, Rune Glifberg, Andy Scott and Tom Penny. After nearly being put out of business when a flood destroyed much of their stock, Fox, Deacon and the four team riders began to plan their move from the UK to Huntington Beach, California in order for the brand to grow further.
Approximately two decades ago, a group of friends who were well versed in the world of skateboarding, set up their own brand; Plan B. Their knowledge and expertise helped them in setting up one of the best skateboard brands in the market with incredible gear. Not only does this Californian style skateboard company have the best-assembled skateboards, it is quite famous for its amazing decks. The customers of Plan B are literally head over heels for its amazing and durable decks. Plan B decks are made from thick 7 ply maple that gives it extra strength and minimal flexing.
This board also has a unique shape that makes it a lot easier to ease into turns, which is something that longboards aren’t always known for. It’s a lot easier to push off on this deck thanks to how low it sits, and you also get a one-year warranty from the manufacturer should anything go wrong. If you’ve never ridden on a board before, and don’t want to learn tricks right away, this is a great choice, especially if you’ll be riding around a lot of mostly flat areas.
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.
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.
The hoopla team helped to publicize just how well women can skate, and helped to create an onramp to skating's main road. Young girls and women have taken this opportunity so seriously, that they are no longer content to be part of a separate but equal skate community. In this era of the "Me Too" movement, shattered glass ceilings, and equality of pay, women have chosen to participate on each major company’s skateboard team, instead of supporting brands like hoopla, created just for women.
There are a lot of good skateboard brands out there. For a start, you can check out this list of Top Skateboard Deck Brands, but there are piles of other brands out there that are great. There are local brands, brands from other countries, and brands that you or I have never heard of. Aside from a skateboard company's reputation for quality and good design, a brand is also a brand; that is, it comes with its own character and cred. You might like a brand simply for what it represents, whether that's the company's attitude or its team or its presence at the skate park. The first step in choosing a brand is getting out there and seeing what's available.   
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.
Following Jason Dill and AVE leaving long time sponsors Alien Workshop back in 2013, Dill’s 13-year-old Fucking Awesome brand, which was formerly a clothing brand, became a board brand and began to add riders such as Dylan Rieder (RIP), Gino Iannucci, Jason Dill, Kevin Bradley, Nakel Smith, Sean Pablo, Sage Elsesser, Tyshawn Jones and Aiden Mackey.

Our only issue with Penny skateboards is that they are sold without grip tape. Though not necessary, it can make the ride a lot safer with grip tape. All in all, Penny is one of the top skateboard brands out there. Let us now look at a succinct brand scorecard of Penny Skateboards and see how it scores in various factors that we have considered while ranking the best skateboard brands.
Great option for a beginner who wants a pro deck and doesn’t mind non-pro branded parts.  Enjoi is very well known by skateboarders and the panda logo will be recognized everywhere.  This particular deck is 7.75″ wide which is why I think it’s the best as it can be skater by any size person comfortably.  One slight downside to this setup is that the board comes unassembled, however many skaters enjoy putting together their own skateboards and it can be done in just a few minutes by following a YouTube video.  You won’t go wrong with such a well-respected brand and average size, this is actually the exact skateboard I decided to buy for my nephew a few years ago and he absolutely loved it!
While they might not be so well known as an apparel company as so many other brands on this list, Sk8mafia stays winning with skateboarding’s core base. Their most prominent pro, Wes Kremer, was named Thrasher’s Skater of the Year for 2014, and they continue to drop a monthly edit featuring their whole crew through Ride Channel. The Mafia keeps the streets fed.

What’s important to consider here is choosing the length based on your riding needs. You might be a street rider and love to do some tricks. You probably need a short board with a narrow profile. Whereas the longboard is only recommended if you are a professional skateboarded and love to cruise around the town and want to improve your balance and stability.
A good helmet protects your most important vital organ. Remember that in some states helmets are required by law. In Oregon, for example, skaters 15 and under can be fined for not wearing a helmet. Knee and elbow pads will also save you from bumps and bruises. Knee pads are particularly valuable when learning to skate tall vertical walls because they allow you to slide down the wall on your knees instead of having to run out of every bailed attempt. Wrist and ankle injuries are common in skateboarding, so braces are another great investment.
HUF has clearly mastered the streetwear game and has moved on to trying to master the skate shoe game. The addition of Dylan Rieder and Austyn Gillette to their roster, and their subsequent pro shoe model releases have shown that they’re a brand that’s not afraid to take risks and try something new, pushing a fashion forward image supported by a group of guys who you might feel you can wreck in a fight, but who will probably steal your girl even after you punch their face in.

It’s best to not go overboard with spending a lot of cash on your first skateboard. After all, it will take a lot of beating, and will surely be reduced to looking like a scratched plank of wood! Best skateboards to learn on include budget, beginner skateboards that offer you all the quality features a more expensive skateboard would, but at a lower expense. If you are new to skateboarding, it’s also recommended to get a skateboard with smaller wheels, since they go slower and are less intimidating!


Phantom 2 trucks have a low profile, are lightweight and have a nice smooth edge for grinding. They also just look nice. The thing that sets Phantom trucks (both regular Phantoms and Phantom 2s) are their built in shock pads. Phantom calls it an "Impact Dispersion System," a 1.5 mm rubber shock pad built onto the bottom of the trucks. Shock pads help reduce stress from the trucks to the board.

HUF has clearly mastered the streetwear game and has moved on to trying to master the skate shoe game. The addition of Dylan Rieder and Austyn Gillette to their roster, and their subsequent pro shoe model releases have shown that they’re a brand that’s not afraid to take risks and try something new, pushing a fashion forward image supported by a group of guys who you might feel you can wreck in a fight, but who will probably steal your girl even after you punch their face in.
The criteria used to select the brands featured varies – some are included due to their commitment to technological innovation and for their efforts to improve the products they offer through experimentation, others are included for what they offer in terms of cultural depth and for their contributions to skateboarding culture as a whole, whether that be through graphics, video output or simple attitude.
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