Aside from their prodigious online output since the release of their last full-length video, (often via Daewon Song’s own Instagram account which currently has close to a million followers alone), Almost are also renowned for their experiments in board construction technology – in particular the Almost Impact Support range and the Über Light series which incorporate carbon-fibre into skateboard construction to reduce weight and increase strength/flex.
Pro decks are what most people are familiar with and what is seen most commonly around skateparks and driveways around the US. These decks can have a variety of different logos and images on them and sometimes are a specific professional skater’s pro deck. Pro decks provide skaters a way to support their favorite riders and have the same equipment they see all their favorite pros using. The quality of professional decks and parts are almost always very high as they have a reputable and brand image to uphold. For this higher level of quality and you can expect to pay 2-3x the cost of a blank complete. If you want to save some money and still have a pro look, there are options available that have generic blank parts with a pro deck. This may be a good option for a beginner skater who is not yet doing complex tricks that may break these cheaper parts, but they still want the look and feel of a pro skateboard. As the skater progresses they can then switch out these generic parts for higher-end options as necessary.
George Powell continued in business as the Powell Corporation and the brand released numerous videos throughout the 90’s and 00’s, including titles such as Suburban Diners (1994), Scenic Drive (1995) and FUN (2009), whilst simultaneously kick starting the careers of many skaters who went on to become household names such as Chris Senn, Adam McNatt and the UK’s own Danny Wainwright, along with stalwart Bones Brigade member Steve Caballero who stayed with the Powell brand throughout.
The deck will also have a material on top called grip tape. This textured surface is what keeps your shoes from sliding all over the place as you ride. Look for a very high-quality grip tape for extra stability as you are learning, or something that is very visibly textured (like the waffletop from the pennyboard on our list above). You can also replace the grip tape if you love a board but don’t love the grip tape it comes with.
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.
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.
FTC has grown from being the staple skate shop of the Bay Area to being a respected brand pushing skateboarding across the globe. Their SF flagship sits in the famous Haight Ashburry district, always attracting visitors and giving them a look into what skateboarding is really like in this day and age. FTC will have you covered in their own gear, and will also always be pushing the next big thing in their shops, and they never make a bad call.
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.
It's really hard to continue with a small girls’ board brand when so many companies are now interested in the women's market. We feel like it's the right time to close down the brand and move on to the next chapter. Thanks to George and Juli Powell as well as Michael Furukawa for their vision and support of the brand and our mission over the last decade. Thanks to those who bought our products, our team riders, media, and to those that believed in what we were doing from the very beginning. I also want to thank Mimi Knoop who wore multiple hats over the years and was responsible for making hoopla a brand that was respected, legitimate, and one that we were proud to be a part of.
Longboards excel when covering longer distances on roads and bike paths or for “bombing” hills. The wider trucks and wheelbase provide superior stability, and larger wheel options help retain speed for faster commuting. Still, longboards are less responsive than shorter boards and don’t always have kick tails, making them less functional in tight spaces.
Skateboarder owned and operated is Magenta's mantra. “No middle-man or business-person involved,” it says on the brand's site, so you know what you're getting from this French brand is pure, uncut skate to the core. All of the art direction and graphics are done by co-founder and team rider Soy Panday, who has developed a unique artistic perspective for Magenta. You'll likely to see numerous skaters kicking around on Magenta boards in NYC these days, and with a strong offering of T-shirts, coaches jackets, caps, and a funny boxer short collab with Lousy Livin, there is plenty to appreciate.
As loosely defined as Bronze is, Peter Sidlauskus seems to be incapable of doing anything wrong in his marketing for the brand, endlessly putting out amazingly hilarious and gnarly New York based edits featuring a loose group of guys we can say make up their “team.” Bronze brings an aesthetic that falls somewhere between vaporwave and deepweb, and is always making gear that you can rock on the daily, from pink dad hats to coaches jackets. You might have even seen their flip of the Windows 98 logo on the backs of people like ASAP Nast.
Skateboarding is one of the most popular alternative sports around the world, for kids and adults alike. But before you hop on a board and take off, it’s important to choose the right kind of board for you. Most beginners will simply grab the board that they like the looks of, and with the endless array of deck art and styles that exist, that kind of attitude can lead to choosing a board that isn’t right to learn on.
Element, based out of Irvine, CA, is one of the cool skateboard brands today. They came in first on our list due to their quality boards, sustainable practices and the affordability they offer customers. They’re an environmentally responsible brand who creates their boards without causing any environmental damage. The Element team behind the company is comprised of a group of professional skateboarders who interact with a strong belief in the Element brand. They not only offer great products, but stand for an open minded and active lifestyle and have become one of the best skateboard brands in the world.
Isle is much newer to the game than a lot of the other brands mentioned on the list, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the same respect. Drawn straight from the mind of skateboarder Nick Jensen, a London native with the eye of a true artist, Isle’s graphics could just as easily be hanging in a museum rather than in skate shops. Jensen’s creative process involves him sculpting, painting and photographing every board graphic himself in his own studio, manipulating each art piece to work as a graphic. Isle offers one of the most well developed brand images in skateboarding, due in big part to the fact that it is literally an outlet of one man’s own rampant creativity.
In the ever-volatile skateboarding industry, brands come and go, then come back again, only to go out once more, and eventually make room for the next person who is really in tune with what skateboarding is today. While no two brands can really be compared, the true signifier of their importance in skateboarding is how they can make a difference in the culture and bring something new to the table that hasn’t been done before. Every single brand on this list has been a part of something unique that has made us pay attention to them above all the others out there doing it in this saturated market.
Following The Real video, the brand released full-length videos at regular intervals, with each release being celebrated as a classic overview of the era involved. 1997’s Non-Fiction, featuring founder Jim Thiebaud and a revamped team including the likes of Mark Gonzales, Keith Hufnagel, Joey Bast, Drake Jones and one-time Real female rider Jamie Reyes is seen these days as one of the precursor’s of skateboarding’s general shift away from unbridled technical progression towards a heavier emphasis on style.
Jump up ^ Williamson, Elizabeth (October 11, 2013). "Skateboarders See a (Kick) Flip Side to the Government Closing: With Washington Plazas Empty and Patrols Down, a Banned Sport Is Suddenly On" (video). The Wall Street Journal, U.S. Edition. Retrieved March 30, 2017. One positive thing about the gov't shutdown – spots at gov't buildings are now skateable – Darren Harper, Pro Skateboarder, via Facebook.
The promo was followed in late 2012 by another Polar Skate Co. Promo – No complies & wallrides & shuvits again filmed in and around Malmo, Sweden as well as Copenhagen, Denmark, New York and London, featuring skaters who appeared in the original promo, plus new addition and former Uk-born Blueprint skater Jerome Campbell and New York based Aaron Herrington who would go on to turn pro for Polar.
Another great pro option, Element is definitely one of the top 3 brands in skateboarding. This deck is also slightly slimmer than the Enjoi deck above so it would be an even better choice for someone with small feet or who is very young. This board has an iconic look that will be recognized by most skaters, and it has the quality to last much longer than most other skateboards on the market.
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.
Group spirit supposedly influences the members of this community. In presentations of this sort, showcasing of criminal tendencies is absent, and no attempt is made to tie extreme sports to any kind of illegal activity. Female based skateboarding groups also exist, such as Brujas which is based in New York City. Many women use their participation in skate crews to perform an alternative form of femininity. These female skate crews offer a safe haven for women and girls in cities, where they can skate and bond without male expectations or competition.
A skateboard is fundamentally a sum of its parts. If you want a good skateboard, you’ll want each component to be high quality. We’ll take a look at each part of a skateboard and talk about what quality means for the that component. We’ll try to give tips on how to spot a high or low quality implementation of that component and then we’ll share how SkateXS Skateboards measure up.
Welcome is doing everything the way that people would probably tell you not to when it comes to how they run their board company. With no real full-length project out since it became a company, and with no pros to name, but boasting a full roster of official riders, Welcome is as unorthodox of a skate company as it gets. They don’t even make a single board in the traditional popsicle shape most boards are made today.
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.
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!
Canadian maple wood decks are the industry standard and is what the vast majority of decks on this list will be made of. However, is the seller just says “maple” the deck is typically made in China and the wood may be slightly softer and lower quality. This is more common among the lower cost blank decks, and most pro brands or higher end blanks are typically 100% Canadian maple. In my opinion, the difference between Canadian and Chinese maple decks is slight and in many cases, a cheaper Chinese deck may be the better option for you if you have a small budget or tend to go through decks very quickly.
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.
In 2003 Go Skateboarding Day was founded in southern California by the International Association of Skateboard Companies to promote skateboarding throughout the world. It is celebrated annually on June 21 "to define skateboarding as the rebellious, creative celebration of independence it continues to be." According to market research firm American Sports Data the number of skateboarders worldwide increased by more than 60 percent between 1999 and 2002—from 7.8 million to 12.5 million.
Whilst early skateboarders generally rode barefoot, preferring direct foot-to-board contact, and some skaters continue to do so, one of the early leading trends associated with the sub-culture of skateboarding itself, was the sticky-soled slip-on skate shoe, most popularized by Sean Penn's skateboarding character from the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Because early skateboarders were actually surfers trying to emulate the sport of surfing, at the time when skateboards first came out on the market, many skateboarded barefoot. But skaters often lacked traction, which led to foot injuries. This necessitated the need for a shoe that was specifically designed and marketed for skateboarding, such as the Randy "720", manufactured by the Randolph Rubber Company, and Vans sneakers, which eventually became cultural iconic signifiers for skateboarders during the 1970s and '80s as skateboarding became more widespread.
The Powell Golden Dragon 2 Skateboard is an affordable and complete skateboard for the beginners and also for the advanced skaters. It has high-rebound, hand-cast polyurethane wheels to give you a great roll and grip. It measures 7.5 inches wide with a colorful screen-printed bottom. It is made in China and has an average rating of 4.2 on Amazon.
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.