James Haden is one of the owners of the Skateboarder community, together with Nash Gibson – his co-owner. He works as a full-time copywriter for a private company and also a true adventurer. He is an avid reader, writer, traveler, and extreme sports junkie. During his free time, he researches interesting content for their blog and continuously writes for their audience.
The 18 has made some moves over the past few years that have shown they’re not a bunch of old hesh dudes that piled out and are just holding onto their stronghold with guys who are all about tattoos and brews. They collabed with Supreme and had one of their legends, Andy Roy, model the lookbook, and also put out Destination Unknown, a full video about their vagabond travels in the hunt for anything to skate. Most recently, they released What’s Up Monkey?, an all iPhone full-length video shot all across the world.
Founded in 2008 in Pennsylvania, Punisher’s goal has been to make graphically pleasing skateboards that have designs that resonate with the rider on a deeper level. Each artist is handpicked by Punisher to design an original, unique image that is then incorporated into the skateboard. The fantastic graphic designs combined with the quality of the skateboard itself make for a very personalized riding experience.
Habitat proved itself as an established power in skateboarding when it survived the downfall of the parent company that owned and killed Alien Workshop, being able to persevere and even name new pros through the whole restructuring. They moved their products under Tum Yeto Collective, the parent company/distribution house of other powerhouse skateboard brands like Toy Machine, and now it’s as if they were never in any danger. If you have any doubts about why Habitat is on this list, just watch Mark Suciu’s part in Search The Horizon and never question it again.
It is a mini-cruiser, which is known for its strength as well as its ability to offer real value for the money you spent. This skateboard can also be expected to deliver an impressive performance – thanks to the Abec 7 skatro bearings used in it. There are also 59-mm urethane wheels and the 3-inch GOLD aluminum trucks that can help smoothen each ride.
Bearings are standardized to fit in all kinds of skateboard wheels. All bearings will eventually get dirt and gunk in them which slows you down. Regular cleaning is recommended. Higher quality bearings will perform better, roll faster, retain more speed, and last longer when cleaned regularly. Some bearings come with bearing spacers or have spacers built into the bearing. These will fit in any wheel, but are not necessary for most types of skateboarding or longboarding.
The deck is expertly constructed with a vertically laminated bamboo core and bamboo veneer exterior, all attached with triaxial glass and epoxy as well as a course grip tape top. The grip tape is arranged in an unusual and stylish, yet functional, design. The 34-inch board features a 13-degree nose angle and an 18-degree tail angle. With its directional shape, you’ll easily be able to cruise on this board or pull a few tricks.
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. 
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