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.
As the name implies, pro skateboard decks are decks made by well-known skateboard brands that typically feature graphics or logos related to a specific team rider. Usually, pro decks are more expensive than team decks of the brand and much more expensive than blank decks. The increased cost goes to the pro skater and it’s a way for the buyer to support their favorite skaters and brands. Pro street decks are almost always Canadian maple, besides a few carbon fiber exceptions and they are the most commonly purchased decks see in skateparks and on the streets worldwide.
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.
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!
Individuality and a self-expressed casual style have always been cultural values for skateboarders, as uniforms and jerseys are not typically worn. This type of personal style for skateboarders is often reflected in the graphical designs illustrated on the bottom of the deck of skateboards, since its initial conception in the mid seventies, when Wes Humpston and Jim Muri first began doing design work for Dogtown Skateboards out of their garage by hand, creating the very first iconic skateboard-deck art with the design of the "Dogtown Cross".
Best cruiser skateboards include large wheels, since they offer you both stability and speed. They usually have much softer wheels than the regular skateboards you use for doing skateboard tricks and ollies. A good beginner cruise skateboard for beginners can be the La Sports Retro board. It has a simple design and is surrounded by 5-star reviews all around! Many customers report it feeling sturdy and firm, while going at very good speeds.
The skateboard industry is as colorful and competitive as the sport itself. It’s no surprise that the top skateboard brands all take on that daring, free expression and edgy creativity that is quintessential to the skateboarding community. But it’s not all fun and games — it takes a lot more than producing wooden decks with dope graphics to make it to the top. It takes hands-on dedication and genuine passion for the sport.
Moreover, we love how this cruiser skateboard is a beautiful concave shape with stunning graphics. We love its 7 ply deck with its 65mm Road Rider 78a wheels that are perfect for a quick ride out of your door. Its cruiser shape is excellent for pulling off tricks and also downhill riding. It has one of the best trucks around bullet B137 blue and white trucks and also comes with grip tape, Sand spray grip; measures 27.7 x 8.8 inches.
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.
Bearings are rated by the ABEC scale (1-9), which has nothing to do with skateboarding. Manufacturers know skaters believe higher ABEC ratings mean faster bearings. They do not, and you won’t find high-quality bearings on off-the-shelf skateboards. Most of these completes are slow. Make a bearing upgrade a top priority. Good bearings can make almost any skateboard fast. This article by longtime pro Anthony Pappalardo gives an insider’s perspective on bearings.
We have unfortunately seen low quality skateboards that even try to use plastic trucks (please avoid). However it can be really hard to spot a poorly made metal truck without skating it. Brand awareness can come into play here again. The manufacturers name should be marked on the trucks. A quality set of trucks (2 per board) could start out as low as around $30 and will go up from there.
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.
Rodney Mullen and Marc Johnson originally formed Enjoi Skateboards, one of the most innovative skateboarding brands. With the help of other professional skateboarders, they created the infamous “A-Team”, a group of skateboarders representing Enjoi. They have seen many changes over the years and have said goodbye to many great members of the Enjoi team. However, the one consistent trait is that they have continued to stand behind their signature panda boards, which are unique to other skateboarding brands. This is an all-around good brand providing quality boards great for beginners, which makes them a great skateboarding brand.
Omar Salazar suffered a bad knee injury recently and was sidelined from skating, allowing him to refocus his energy into running his company, Doomsayers. Following the demise of Alien Workshop and facing an uncertain future in the industry, Omar decided to really focus on a brand whose image is not shy about its disdain for corporate greed, which many people blame for the demise of his long time sponsor.
“I think it’s just also like, people want to have fun. If you watch say those types of Street League type of skateboarders, who are super amazing skateboarders that can push these crazy tricks down rails and stairs, like switch tre down fifteen stairs or whatever trick they do — it’s amazing to see that level of skating, but if you are an average Joe living in a small town you’re just like, “I’m never going to be able to kickflip back noseblunt twenty-stair rails”. That’s always the biggest trick. If you ask me it’s like, “What videos do you really enjoy?” The videos that you can some how relate to. Like, “Hey, I could actually do some of these tricks.” You connect to it and you feel like you can picture yourself being a part of the whole thing. When people put out these amazing super stunt skateboarding videos, pushing it to the furthest level possible, that’s rad in one sense, but to me personally as a kid I could never in my wildest dreams believe that I could do that too. I respect it. I understand it. But does it make me want to go skate? No.”
Let's be clear: Mike Carroll and Rick Howard are legends and modern skating wouldn't be shit without them. There. When the two good pals left Plan B to start their own brand in 1993, skateboard history was made. Girl and Chocolate are separate brands, but they act like two sides of the same family, and after 20 years making decks and apparel for skateboarders, the clan is stronger than ever.
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.
The Wonnv Retro Mini Cruiser 22 inch Complete Skateboard is 22″ Light Up Clear Banana Skateboard. It is complete with Light Up Board, Wheels, Metal Trucks, ABEC-7 Bearings, and High-Quality Bushings. The set also includes 6″ Metal Trucks, High-Speed ABEC-7 Bearings, High-Quality Bushings, and Hardware. It has a unique Textured Waffle Pattern on Deck and designed for Maximum Grip. The Deck measures about 22 x 6 x 4″. It has a 6″ Truck Axle and 3″ Truck Hanger. It requires 2 AAA Batteries and is recommended for skaters who are 6 years old and Up. It has a 5 rating on Amazon.
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.
I rode for them as a ‘Amateur’ skateboarder in ‘79-’80, and they, at that time, had one of the Best boards out on the market, made of Fiberglass in a torsion box, with a foam core, and urethane ‘bumpers’ all around. I still have that board, and one set of C-70 Reds from then. I skated that gear hard, for many years, too. I still own 6–7 full sets of “krypto’s” for skateboards, and 8 that’re on quad-roller-skates. Great wheels, and they’re still in use.
For example, regular skateboards are around 7.5” x 31”-8.5” x 32.5”, while skateboards for children are commonly sized 7”x28”. This ensures that young kids won’t be overwhelmed with the design of bigger skateboards from this buying guide. It also helps children ease-in into the skateboarding world, allowing them to see if it’s the right sport for them at an early age.
Severe injuries are relatively rare. Commonly, a skateboarder who falls suffers from scrapes, cuts, bruises, and sprains. Among injuries reported to a hospital, about half involve broken bones, usually the long bones in the leg or arm. One-third of skateboarders with reported injuries are very new to the sport, having started skating within one week of the injury. Although less common, involving 3.5–9 percent of reported injuries, traumatic head injuries and death are possible severe outcomes.
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.