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.
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.
Moose boards are very solid in all categories. They are low priced, available in a variety of different shapes and sizes, and have been around for a while so they’ve built up a reputable brand name. You won’t go wrong buying a pack of Moose blanks if you’re the type of guy that goes through decks quickly or is looking to resell them at your local skatepark.
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.
We have unfortunately seen low quality skateboards that even try to use plastic trucks (please avoid). However it can be really hard to spot a poorly made metal truck without skating it. Brand awareness can come into play here again. The manufacturers name should be marked on the trucks. A quality set of trucks (2 per board) could start out as low as around $30 and will go up from there. 
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.
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.
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