While they might not be so well known as an apparel company as so many other brands on this list, Sk8mafia stays winning with skateboarding’s core base. Their most prominent pro, Wes Kremer, was named Thrasher’s Skater of the Year for 2014, and they continue to drop a monthly edit featuring their whole crew through Ride Channel. The Mafia keeps the streets fed.
There’s no way have never seen a Palace logo at this point, and if you haven’t that’s cause you shleep, bruh. Palace is one of the best out there doing the whole “high fashion or skate brand?” thing, and they hold a unique place on this list for being one of the few brands not based and started in the U.S. The Palace Wayward Boys Choir, like many before them, turned their group of friends into a successful crew of respected pros, who you will never see on Fox Sports 1 skating in a multi-million dollar contest.
This is an interesting option because it is basically a hybrid between a blank and pro skateboard deck. It’s like a pro board in that is has a “brand” and logo, but the cost is similar to blanks and they don’t sponsor the same quantity and caliber of professional skaters that other pro brands do. While the logo is really cool and the rest of the parts seem to be high quality, you may not get the same brand recognition with Punisher as you would with other brands like Element or Toy Machine. This deck is also 7.5″ which makes it a great choice for a younger beginner. This is the perfect beginner skateboard for someone who doesn’t really care about the brand name, but still wants the style and performance of an above average professional skateboard.
Element has also diversified their business model with ventures into retail with Element stores across the globe, advocate programs supporting artists such as Thomas Campbell and Fred ‘French Fred’ Mortagne, Women’s fashion through the Element Women’s range and the most cohesive approach to supporting European skateboarding of any brand in the industry through their dedicated European team.
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.
Skateboarding is an action sport which involves riding and performing tricks using a skateboard, as well as a recreational activity, an art form, a entertainment industry job, and a method of transportation. Skateboarding has been shaped and influenced by many skateboarders throughout the years. A 2009 report found that the skateboarding market is worth an estimated $4.8 billion in annual revenue with 11.08 million active skateboarders in the world. In 2016, it was announced that skateboarding will be represented at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Skateboarding is the best and worst thing that’ll you’ll ever have the pleasure of tearing your hair out over. In a typical day of skating, you’ll get hurt, you’ll get incredibly frustrated, and eventually land a trick that’ll make it all worth it - if you’re lucky. Choosing a skateboard is fairly simple if you know what shape and width you like. If you’ve been skating awhile, you’re probably fairly familiar with what board brands you like skating. If not, there are a number of resources to help you choose the best skateboard for your skating style. Continuing to read this little spiel is going to take the least amount of effort on your part.
Girl Skateboards is the foundation of all the other brands under the Crailtap umbrella (Royal Trucks, Chocolate Skateboards, Lakai footwear etc) and was established by Mike Carroll and Rick Howard during a mass exodus of pro skaters from Steve Rocco’s brands (Plan B, Blind, 101, World Industries) reputably inspired after arguments of wheel sales royalties.
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.
Somehow, in the great effort to fight societal conformity, skateboarding always manages to create its own conformity. Trends in styles of skating and fashion come and go. A brand gets hot for a year or two because it's on trend, then it fades to make way for the next thing. Welcome Skateboards doesn't give a fuck about all that. Yes, they are a little weird. The graphics are vaguely Illuminati, and they can't seem to make a normal shaped deck, but that's just Welcome doing its own thing, and who wouldn't welcome that?
You can get a lot of advice (and maybe too many opinions) from fellow skaters. Some of it might not be as informed or educated as a shop owner's (and some might be flat-out bad advice), but it should at least be sincere! If you don't have a local skate park, or are too uncomfortable to walk up to people and ask, you can also ask around on a skateboarding forum. People there will be more than happy to tell you what they think about deck brands.
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If you want to do cruising and street style on the same board then you probably want a large board and larger wheels, as many have already commented. I think that an 8 inch board with at least 56 mm wheels will be best. I think that you should find a local shop to support and to talk to about gear. I would advise getting a shop deck, with Independent trucks (at the correct width for your board, which is one detail that a local shop should be able to help with) Bones street tech formula wheels (I like profiles 1 and, I think 5), and Bones Reds bearings (not super reds, super reds are not super).
Read on for our complete skateboard buyers guide where you can find things to consider when buying a beginner board, beginner skateboards for adults, ABEC ratings, Sizing Chart, and more about these epic extreme sports. Looking to go electric? Check our our review of the top electric skateboards! You could also try these top-rated electric longboards.
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.
Camber & Rocker: The camber skateboards are the ones with a raised middle while rockers have dropped middle. The angle you get with camber and rocker is pretty mellow. However, the difference in shape dramatically affects the flex of your deck. Since most of the decks come with a neutral deck camber, you can still find some cruisers and longboards who feature a camber—style deck. Needless-to-say, decks having positive camber have more flex because of the higher center of gravity. In case of rocker decks, the center of gravity is low and have a sloped shape which the riders love.
The skateboarding industry has changed so much in the last few years. Female skaters now get the support they need from bigger companies. I know hoopla helped pave the way for this to happen. It was so rewarding and surreal to have had such a rad team of girls represent hoopla over the years. I am stoked to have formed friendships with such a diverse and talented group.
It can be frustrating to choose the top skateboard brand for your needs with so many brands bubbling up in the market. How do you separate the top brands from the average ones? How does a customer know which skateboard brand will give them their money’s worth? Just to help you guys answer all those questions at one place, we came up the easiest solution.
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.