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.
Magenta Skateboards are one of only a few mainland European based brand in this list, founded in Paris and currently based in Bordeaux, France. Magenta’s outlook on skateboarding as a cultural phenomenon, and consequently their output in terms of both products and video, is deliberately at odds with the prevailing conception of skateboarding as represented by most major brands.
Powell Skateboards is one of the original skateboard companies who dates back to 1978 and who has consistently been a top skateboard brand. If you or someone you know skated in the 1980’s, chances are it was on a Powell skateboard. Though Powell had a short lived split between cofounders, George Powell and Stacy Peralta, they regrouped to produce “top of the line” skateboards under the Powell Classic name and succeeded in becoming one of the most successful skateboard companies. Something stuck through that split and they made the list for clear understanding of the fundamentals of a quality skateboard and easily became a perfect quality skateboard brand..
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.
There really isn’t a best brand….I prefer boards that are made in America by small companies or for small companies by mid sized companies. but that’s my general preference Watson and PS Stix also makes boards for a lot of companies (mostly outside the USA from what I understand) I have a couple of Welcome Jordon Sanchez decks (pressed by PS Stix) on my spare board shelf that I can wait to skate.
However, this same company decided to ‘Cash-in’ on THE NAME BRAND, and now con-currently sells JUNK , made in China, at WAL MART. DO NOT BUY any ‘longboard’ they sell that has plastic trucks!! They are an accident awaiting a place to occur. I’ve seen wheels (from a company that prided itself on ‘the best wheels’) that are upwards of 4 mm out-of-round, which could easily cause speed-wobbles, even at pedestrian speeds. From my POV, they’ve opened themselves up to possibly numerous lawsuits, just because of the inferior quality, and poor design choices made in order to maximize profit.
Destructo has some fancy skateboarding trucks. The Destructo raw series skate trucks come in low, medium and high designs and look oddly skinny. The Limited and Pro series trucks just look awesome, with simple pro signatures on the front and great color schemes. That's not to mention Destructo's "Rail Killer" series - these light trucks have extended baseplates to reduce wheelbite, and come in some incredible color schemes (including one using 24 karat gold!).
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.
Element is of the most mainstream brands in the industry today that has sponsored legends like Nyjah Huston and Bam Margera. There are many pro decks to choose from with some amazing tribal designs and they have introduced a “featherlight” technology that allows Element to have some of the lightest boards on the market today. Some may call Element “too mainstream” or “sellouts”, but at the end of the day, they produce quality products in a variety of artistic designs.
After numerous tour-based releases and the epic Lakai footwear video ‘Fully Flared‘ (2007), Girl Skateboard’s last (to date) full-length company release came in the form of ‘Pretty Sweet‘ (2012) which, aside from showcasing ground-breaking skateboarding, also set a new standard in terms of production values with Ty Evans employing cinematic camera technologies to capture the skateboarding, as well as the skits.
So now that you have an idea of what size and shape board you like, it’s time to choose a brand. A popular size is an 8.5 skateboard deck. If you were looking for a size 8.5 skateboard deck, you could narrow the decks offered on CCS.com to fit in the 8.25 - 8.5 range. This will show you all the boards in that range, and significantly reduce the boards you have to look through. Now, if you don’t have a preference on board brands, find a graphic you like and you’re all set. If this is your first skateboard or are still learning about what wood and brands you prefer, we recommend checking out a CCS Skateboard. They give you a bang for your buck, that's for sure.
It’s not just standard deck sizes that are available for creating or replacing your board. You can just as easily get a great longboard deck to work on in your basement or garage. One of the best and best-reviewed options out there is the Loaded Boards Poke Longboard Skateboard Deck. This standard-design longboard deck has it all to help you make the ideal board.
If you decide that you don’t want to spend the money for a pro-quality complete, then this is your best bet for a completely blank skateboard. You’re just not going to find anything else with similar quality anywhere near this price range. This blank skateboard is an even 8″ with 9 layers of plywood in the deck. This makes it ideal for any beginner especially adults or children with large feet. A great option for someone on a budget or if you want to try a no-frills quality skateboard setup, before deciding if you want to invest further on a pro-style skateboard.
Skateboarding, as we know it, was probably born sometime in the late 1940s, or early 1950s, when surfers in California wanted something to do when the waves were flat. This was called "sidewalk surfing" – a new wave of surfing on the sidewalk as the sport of surfing became highly popular. No one knows who made the first board; it seems that several people came up with similar ideas at around the same time. The first manufactured skateboards were ordered by a Los Angeles, California surf shop, meant to be used by surfers in their downtime. The shop owner, Bill Richard, made a deal with the Chicago Roller Skate Company to produce sets of skate wheels, which they attached to square wooden boards. Accordingly, skateboarding was originally denoted "sidewalk surfing" and early skaters emulated surfing style and maneuvers, and performed barefoot.
Proper skateboard wheels are made out of polyurethane with minimal additives. Toy skateboard wheels can be made of plastic or a low quality poly mix which leads to poor performance in the best case and even outright dangerous situations with cracked wheels in the worst case. This is a case where brand recognition and reputation can come into play.
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.
In this modern era, manufacturers are incorporating hi-tech processes and top-shelf materials into the construction of the skateboard. Companies such as Almost have several versions of hi-tech decks such as the Impact, Double Impact, and Uber Light Series. Element makes Highlight decks with inlayed fiberglass beams, and Foundation has its signature Fiberprime decks. Other manufactures such as Flip, Habitat, Plan B, Skate Mental, and Zero offer boards with high-end P2 Construction. Hi-tech decks differ from traditional 7-ply Maple in that they are inlayed with Carbon Fiber, Fiberglass, Poly Ply, or Kevlar to produce a stronger skateboard with more pop. For more options, head over to our stellar selection of Hi-Tech Decks! Although hi-tech decks have made a strong presence within the market, standard 7-ply Maple remain the gold standard. This is due to the solid feeling and pop afforded through layering 7 Maple wood veneers together. The large majority of skateboard decks offered are constructed of 7-ply Maple. Most board manufacturers offer both high-tech decks and standard 7-ply Maple. No matter what you desire, CCS offers a complete selection in multiple sizes, shapes, and construction types!
Go for the low truck profile if you want to obtain additional stability when you do flip tricks. It also works well for small wheels. The mid-sized trucks are good for all-around use, especially in streets and parks. You can also choose the high-sized trucks that are good for carving and cruising, which is the reason why they are perfect for huge wheels.
Zero Skateboards is one of the American top companies for skateboards that comes out of California. The brand, representing by a skull logo, was founded by professional skateboarder Jamie Thomas and is distributed by Dwindle Distribution. The Zero brand is about rebellion and freedom of expression despite society’s rules. The company offers complete skateboards that come with the deck, wheels, trucks, and bearings, as well as decks you can customize, accessories and clothing. In addition to Thomas, the Zero team is Tommy Sandoval, Dane Burman, James Brockman, Tony Cervantes, Windsor James, Adrian Lopez, Chris Wimer, and Kurt Hodge.
The logos you grow up with always mean more to you than the ones that came before or after. I'm not even going to suggest that I can be unbiased about something that means so much to me; but I also like to think that as a skater who has worked within the industry as an artist and a skate rat that grew up in the Midwest, I can separate my love of the activity from my personal feelings about the industry and companies. These are important logos for many reasons. Some are more powerful and meaningful than others but what I'm addressing are icons that have come to represent skateboarding in a lot of ways... succinctly and graphically.
See, not all boards are actually bidirectional. Most have a thick tail and a small nose but not this board. So if you’re a switch skater then this board brand is perfect for you. The urethane wheels are designed for the high stress environments and provide the top speed available. The deck tape provides the perfect grip even for those of us with older shoes that are essentially smooth on the bottom.
As the name implies, a complete skateboard contains all the parts listed above, but in an already assembled ready-to-ride skateboard. The advantage to buying a complete is it completely eliminates the research and guesswork of buying each product individually and ensures that the skateboard is assembled correctly and safely. This is the approach I used when buying a skateboard for my nephew and what I recommend for people buying a skateboard as a gift or as their very first skateboard for themselves.
Signature Sick Graphics – bLind initially used a grim reaper as their signature design. Today, they still use the grim reaper along with several other skull graphics. Decks are often released with sick graphics of flame engulfed skulls, high detailed grim reapers or graffiti blocks. The graphics used on bLind decks are one of a kind masterpieces that loudly display the bLind company message.
There are a lot of good skateboard brands out there. For a start, you can check out this list of Top Skateboard Deck Brands, but there are piles of other brands out there that are great. There are local brands, brands from other countries, and brands that you or I have never heard of. Aside from a skateboard company's reputation for quality and good design, a brand is also a brand; that is, it comes with its own character and cred. You might like a brand simply for what it represents, whether that's the company's attitude or its team or its presence at the skate park. The first step in choosing a brand is getting out there and seeing what's available.
FTC was cool before there were skate and hype blogs around to tell you that they were cool. Mastermind Kent Uyehara built his brand from the back of a sporting goods shop into an international symbol of cool, with franchise locations in Sacramento, Tokyo, and Barcelona. FTC isn't just the go-to spot for skate gear in those cities-it's a full-blown brand that any skater would be proud to wear.
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.
Plan B originated out of Irvine, CA and was initially created by skating pro Mike Ternasky. Unfortunately, Ternasky was involved in a car accident in 1994 and didn’t make it. The Plan B team and the boards that have emerged as his legacy to become a top skateboarding brand. Though the Plan B team had to take some time off, so as to mourn and regroup, they have returned with a vengeance and have become known as one of the top skateboarding brands. We like Plan B because of the customizable element they bring to the skateboard market and their flexible decks that stand out above other skateboarding companies.
Hardware won’t have an effect on your skating. Standard 7/8 - 1 inch hardware will work for most skateboards. However, if you use riser pads, be sure that you have long enough hardware to go all the way through the deck, trucks and riser pad. If you're unsure what length of hardware you need, give one of our experts a call at 888.450.5060 and we'll be stoked to help you out.
Certain cities still oppose the building of skate parks in their neighborhoods, for fear of increased crime and drugs in the area. The rift between the old image of skateboarding and a newer one is quite visible: magazines such as Thrasher portray skateboarding as dirty, rebellious, and still firmly tied to punk, while other publications, Transworld Skateboarding as an example, paint a more diverse and controlled picture of skateboarding. As more professional skaters use hip hop, reggae, or hard rock music accompaniment in their videos, many urban youths, hip-hop fans, reggae fans, and hard rock fans are also drawn to skateboarding, further diluting the sport's punk image.
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.