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.
Thunder trucks are solid, with some great innovations. Thunder's light truck range claims to be the lightest available, with the quickest turning. Thunder's team is also pretty impressive, with Thomas, Appleyard, Marks, Steamer, Ellington. The list is actually pretty huge. If having a lot of pros ride the same trucks as you is important (which isn't a bad idea - these people are skating in competitions, and want the best!), then take a look at Thunder.
The most recent Girl Films production, Pretty Sweet, signified a passing of the torch for one of the most talented skate teams in the biz. Some may have been disappointed to see Rick Howard and other OGs ride the bench, but new jacks like Alex Olson and Mike Mo Capaldi, and the Trunk Boyz Elijah Berle, Raven Tershy, Stevie Perez, Vincent Alvarez, and Cory Kennedy, leave little doubt that we're in for another 20 years of epic skating and killer goods.
It's too cold and dark to skate in Sweden for about six months out of the year. That must be when brand mastermind/artist Pontus Alv schemes on the global takeover he's been orchestrating for Polar. Not only are the brand's hats, tees, and hoodies some of the most coveted gear in the skate universe, the Polar team travels the globe hosting events, filming video clips, and getting people hyped on vigilante-style street skating. Look for Polar to come to your hood and build awesome, illegal concrete skate obstacles under a bridge, then bounce like gnarly, European skate tooth fairies. Good luck finding a tee or hat at this point—hype has made to goods rare, but let's hope as the excitement grows Mr. Alv will expand his distro.
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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.
“As far as the actual look of the vast majority of contemporary graphics goes, I’d say that it feels to me as if something has been lost. It’s down to what you can do with modern heat transfer printing techniques – you can literally just take a photograph from the Internet and print it identically straight onto a skateboard. Speaking personally, there’s very little to challenge you there: either from the point of view of creating graphics, or from the consumer’s perspective. Whereas back when screen-printing was the norm, every time a graphic was produced the artist was physically cutting the key line out by hand. The key line is the final black line that forms the outline of whatever it is that you’re printing and ties in all the other colours together. You can see this in the early Sean Cliver graphics for example, where it’s clear that he has hand cut the key lines as precisely as he was able to, but looked at from today’s perspective they’re not perfectly precise, which is what gives Cliver’s earliest stuff its specific look in my opinion.”
If you are completely new to skateboarding, consider taking a minute to read through the Skateboard Decks Section in our Buyer’s Guide will be helpful, but a good rule of thumb is: the bigger your feet, the wider your board should be. If you wear a size 9 and up, you can’t go wrong with buying an 8” board. Narrow boards are easier to flip while wider boards are more stable, but there are no hard and fast rules to skateboarding. The only way to really find out what you like is by trying new shapes, sizes, and brands. Brands like Welcome, Baker, Chocolate, Deathwish, and Element all have a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and graphics.