With the evolution of skateparks and ramp skating, the skateboard began to change. Early skate tricks had consisted mainly of two-dimensional freestyle manoeuvres like riding on only two wheels ("wheelie" or "manual"), spinning only on the back wheels (a "pivot"), high jumping over a bar and landing on the board again, also known as a "hippie jump", long jumping from one board to another, (often over small barrels or fearless teenagers), or slalom. Another popular trick was the Bertlemann slide, named after Larry Bertelemann's surfing manoeuvres.
Baker is a classic good old fashioned, anti-establishment skateboard brand. Baker has a great professional team including founder Andrew Reynolds. Reynolds is also heavily involved in other well-known skateboard brands like Deathwish, Emerica, and Shake Junt. Notable street artist Neckface has a limited edition line of Baker decks that is one of the coolest in skateboarding in my opinion.
Skateboards, along with other small-wheeled transportation such as in-line skates and scooters, suffer a safety problem: riders may easily be thrown from small cracks and outcroppings in pavement, especially where the cracks run across the direction of travel. Hitting such an irregularity is the major cause of falls and injuries. The risk may be reduced at higher travel speeds.
A rugged street inspired brand founded by Stevie Williams and Troy Williams, DGK has been a favorite of inner city kids for years. Interestingly, this brand has found its way into mainstream streetwear culture through famous skateboarding rappers such as Lil Wayne and others. An overall solid brand with great products and street inspired logos and graphics.
One thing can already be told – compared to 2015 a lot has changed! The selection of the ‘Brands of the Year’ is made up of the combination of sold decks, brand shop visits, search queries and your interest in blog entries regarding the top players in the business. Our own brand SK8DLX was not considered for the ranking. We are happy, however, that you love to skate our in-house boards diligently and the SK8DLX deck series is celebrated well. In this sense, a big thank you to you all! Let’s start with the 16 most popular skateboard deck brands of 2016!
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.
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.
Penny Skateboards have a reputation of exceeding customer expectations and have a growing fan base. People love their aesthetically pleasing, good functioning plastic skateboards which are also, by the way, best skateboards for beginners. Their plastic formula for skateboard decks makes their decks stronger and more flexible than all other plastic skateboards. Its light weight and small size makes it easier to use for beginners and kids alike. Moreover, Penny is also famous for the variety of skateboards that it provides ranging from their classic skateboards to their glow series, graphic and metallic fade skateboards. We saved the best for the last; you can even design your own Penny skateboard!
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.
Bearings are very important if you want to keep rolling without pushing constantly, especially while street skating. They're typically rated with the ABEC (Annular Bearing Engineering Committee) scale. The ABEC scale only measures the precision of the bearing, not how well it rolls or how long it lasts. It's a common misconception that the ABEC scale refers to how fast the bearing rolls. Anything above 1 is precision and will perform fine for skateboarding, but it's recommended to go above a 3.
Let’s now move on to our top pick from the Punisher line, the Punisher Cherry Blossom Complete skateboard (31 inch). Hands down, the Punisher Cherry Blossom skateboard is the best skateboard for girls. And I am not just saying this because the cherry design would look best for girls, it has some incredible features and specifications. We love the 9-ply stiff maple deck with a beautiful cherry design. The deck is also covered with coarse grip tape which gives the skateboard excellent grip and it makes it a good ride for girls too.
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.
That Captain America-esque deck, though, is where the real magic happens. It uses Plan B’s Blk Ice tech, which means it’s lighter than your average board, stronger than standard 7-ply maple, and it’s built to slide and pop like no other without any need to add wax. This also makes it more consistent; no extra slippery or sticky spots, just a smooth ride.
Now you need to look at the wheels of your skateboard. There are dozens of different sizes, materials, shapes, and features of skateboard wheels, and it can get confusing for beginners. The most common type of wheel is a hard plastic wheel, and for beginners, you’ll usually see a “90a” level wheel. Professional skaters often choose even harder wheels, up to a 100a, because it gives them more “pop” for tricks. But somewhere between a 90a and a 97a is usually best for beginners.
Flip Skateboards is a high-level skateboards company that moved from the UK to California to take advantage of the American skateboarding industry. It was launched in 1991 by Jeremy Fox and by professional skateboarder Geoff Rowley, both of whom are from the UK. They both knew that to achieve the highest levels as a skateboarding company it was important to gain the recognition one can only get in the U.S. Furthermore, in 2017, Flip partnered with the European skateboard production and distribution company HLC. The decks of Flip Skateboards are made from 7-ply maple. Customers can enjoy the standard decks as well as the P2 models which are made with an oval-shaped fiber reinforcement panel which makes them extra durable. Psychedelic designs adorned many of the Flip skateboards as well as other designs. The Flip team has 15 professional skateboarders, including names such as Tom Penny, David Gonzalez, and Luan Oliveira.
However, the deeper the concave is, the less stable the board will be for beginners. If you are still gaining confidence on a skateboard, it is best to start with something less dramatic. A longboard is often completely flat, or nearly so, and that makes it better for cruising on a very stable surface. This is a great choice for riders who aren’t necessarily interested in learning tricks.
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.
Skateboarders from all over know Santa Cruz Skateboards for its “Screaming Hand” logo, designed by legendary artist Jim Phillips, and the monstrous artwork displayed on the decks, including series styles such as their Star Wars and Marvel series. Founded in 1973 and distributed by NHS, Inc., the California based brand is the oldest continuous skateboard company in the world. Santa Cruz boards are made from 100% North American maple and they offer complete skateboards, decks, and cruiser boards. The Santa Cruz Skateboards team consists of 16 professional skateboarders including names such as Blake Johnson, Dylan Williams, Emmanuel Guzman, and Eric Dressen.
It is safe to say that Zero’s identity as a skateboard brand was built primarily on its skate videos which began in (1997) with Thrill of It All, there followed Misled Youth (1999), Dying to Live (2002), New Blood (2005), Strange World (2009), Cold War (2013) and No Ca$h Value (2014) with each video upping the ante in terms of the levels of danger involved.
Skateboarding might be a game but it teaches the biggest lessons of life. It helps kids to accept others being better than them and encourages them to put more effort to progress and be the best. When they ride in the park with people who are expert and know impressive drills, they come to learn that practice and efforts make a man perfect. Skateboarding also teaches kids to control and focus.
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.