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!
Figuring out how to buy a skateboard can be daunting, especially if you’re not sure what you are looking for. There are customizable parts, accessories and some fancy technology that can be overwhelming. Good news is, we can simplify it for you! At Tactics, our crew is full of daily skaters, so we put our heads together to break it all down and give you the basics, plus a few recommendations.
If you’re a beginner and you want a board that gives you a little of everything to discover, you cannot go wrong with this ENJOI board. You get everything you need, all ready to go out of the box, and made with professional-grade components. The ENJOI also earns points for having that classic cool artwork on the deck that makes it fun to show off at the park.

Similar to sandpaper, grip tape, or “grip” as it’s commonly referred to, is applied to the top of your deck for traction. Grip gives you the friction you need to perform tricks such as ollies and kickflips. Not all grip tape is the same however. Each brand's products perform differently, so you may want to experiment with different brands to get a feel for what you prefer.


This article is about regular street skateboards.  They are rounded on both ends and curved upwards.  Sometimes beginners are confused by longboards that are much larger and irregularly shaped or cruiser board that can be very small.  I just wanted to clarify this point, as this article is very helpful for choosing the best skateboard for beginners, but may provide incorrect or unimportant information if you are actually looking for longboards or cruisers.
By the 1960s a small number of surfing manufacturers in Southern California such as Jack's, Kips', Hobie, Bing's and Makaha started building skateboards that resembled small surfboards, and assembled teams to promote their products. One of the earliest Skateboard exhibitions was sponsored by Makaha's founder, Larry Stevenson, in 1963 and held at the Pier Avenue Junior High School in Hermosa Beach, California.[12][13][14] Some of these same teams of skateboarders were also featured on a television show called "Surf's Up" in 1964, hosted by Stan Richards, that helped promote skateboarding as something new and fun to do.[15]
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.
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.
Illegal skating includes jumping over cracks or obstacles on the sidewalk (rather than stopping, picking up one’s board and walking around the obstacle), turning, riding over certain public property and any stopping maneuver that could be considered a trick. A ticket for skateboarding is a traffic violation, but skaters are more commonly cited for vandalism or trespassing—misdemeanors that stay on a skater’s record and usually carry a fine or a sentence of 40 hours of community service, or both.

Tensor trucks are the most highly engineered skateboard trucks on the market. Tensor trucks are like the Cadillac of trucks and have the brilliance of skateboarding legend / engineer Rodney Mullen as a driving force. Tensor trucks come in both standard and low designs, and should work excellently in most skateboarding situations. Sort of a perfect all-round well-built skateboarding truck.


Skate graphics have often incorporated blood, guts, and gore into board and T-shirt designs, but few brands render gnarliness quite as well as Heroin Skateboards. It's no surprise that a brand founded by artist Mark “Fos” Foster would have such tight art direction. Fos has a loose, low-fi handstyle that can be see in much of the brand's designs, and the delinquent band of team riders and their antics are a perfect embodimentof whatever “image” Fos is after.
Unlike football and cricket, skateboarding has no age limitations. People might say that it’s an ideal sport for kids and teens but that’s not true. Even the oldies can step up on the skateboard and perform thrilling drills to have some fun activity in their routine. The biggest examples are Lance Mountain and Chris Millers who are showing their skateboard talent in their 40s and 50s and nobody knows when they will stop.
Rarely you make notice your deck to lose concavity or flatten over time.  Although this isn’t very common, it’s typically due to water damage and is a sign of many other problems.  Wooden decks are not meant to get wet and they will warp, crack, and break if they get soaked.  It’s pretty simple and straightforward  to avoid this problem.  Keep your skateboard in a dry place, and don’t skate in the rain or through puddles.  Skating through water will also destroy your bearings, if deck warping and breaking wasn’t a good enough reason for you to not do it.
A good helmet protects your most important vital organ. Remember that in some states helmets are required by law. In Oregon, for example, skaters 15 and under can be fined for not wearing a helmet. Knee and elbow pads will also save you from bumps and bruises. Knee pads are particularly valuable when learning to skate tall vertical walls because they allow you to slide down the wall on your knees instead of having to run out of every bailed attempt. Wrist and ankle injuries are common in skateboarding, so braces are another great investment.
If what you want is the classic skate park skateboard that you see teens riding around all day, the MINORITY is the board for you. This is an extremely sturdy and durable board that can hold up to 220 pounds, and is made for trick riding especially. The strong trucks, medium concave shape, and high-rebound bushing all make this a fantastic board for ramps, pools, and street riding.
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!).

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.
Despite what many young skaters may think, there is more to choosing a skateboard deck than the graphic on the bottom of the pro skater the deck company sponsors.  The best skateboard deck varies from person to person depending on external factors such as the rider’s weight, skate style, shoe size, and budget.  Person preferences can also impact the decision.  For example, you may want to support your favorite pro skateboarder, so you buy their pro deck.
The smaller the wheel diameter, the easier it is to do tricks, because it makes the board sit closer to the ground. But beginners will definitely have an easier time controlling a board with larger diameter wheels. Think of the larger wheels as being akin to training wheels. If you don’t want your board to have “pop” as you are learning, you can choose softer wheels, all the way down to a 73a. They won’t let you go as fast, and you’ll have to push off more often, but they do make it more likely that your board will stay on the ground.
Originally referred to as sidewalk surfing, the birth of skateboarding dates back to the early 1940s and the use of wooden boxes with roller skates attached to their bottoms. While the board itself cannot necessarily be attributed to a single inventor of the time and was, instead, a spontaneous invention from multiple sources, the modern style of many of today's skateboards took form during the 1950s when California surfers were looking for a physical activity to keep them busy during times when the waves were flat. The first manufactured skateboards were ordered by a Los Angeles surf shop and were designed to be used by surf enthusiasts during their downtime. At the time, the shop owner set up an arrangement with the Chicago Roller Skate Company to produce sets of skate wheels, which the shop would then attach to square wooden boards.
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If you're in the market for a skateboard for your child, there are some general points to keep in mind: A complete skateboard is one that comes fully built, size doesn't matter, and as with all things you buy, you get what you pay for. Conventional wisdom says to go with a good-quality board that will last longer and is safer. Here are some good choices to check out.
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.
If you love skateboarding, then it is a must for you to invest in a high-quality backpack or bag. It is an essential gear, especially if you are someone on the go. You need it as it lets you bring all the things and items you need while you are riding to work or school – that’s possible while still ensuring that you bring your board with you all the time.

Alien Workshop is a Dayton, Ohio based company, established by Chris Carter, Neil Blender and Mike Hill in 1990. They have gone through several ownership changes, including a period of being owned and operated by Burton Snowboards, but have persevered and become one of the top skateboard brands today. Alien Workshop has faced several turbulent challenges with varying outcomes, however they have remained dedicated to providing a high quality, yet also affordable boards. We like Alien Workshop for their innovative designs and conscience effort to make a great board, that many can afford. Their high quality boards has allowed them to become one of the best rated skateboard brands today.
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.
This board is an excellent option for beginners because of its simplicity and durability. The lightly concave design allows for simple turns but doesn’t require the rider to be an excellent navigator. You can start off riding this deck down the street and use it as you learn ollies, kickflips, and how to drop in to a half pipe. It will withstand it all and look good doing it.
As the only female-focused and female-owned skateboard brand on this list, Meow Skateboards is notable for boldly stepping into the male-dominated skateboard industry and succeeding where other similar projects have failed. Prior to establishing the Meow Skateboard Brand, Lisa Whitaker was already a driving force within female skateboarding as the founder of the largest online resource for female skateboarding in the world – Girls Skate Network.
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.

Krown Rookie complete skateboards are a prime example of a product that is well liked, and of great quality. Just like with the previous Krown product we discussed, the company has given us several colors of the product o choose from. This is a great addition, since it helps riders personalize their rides whichever way they want. It also limits the possibility of running into someone that is sporting the same skateboard at you!


This board is also a very smooth ride, and surprisingly offers plenty of stability as well, which makes it safe for beginners to learn with. Finally, it’s one of the few boards on this list that comes in a huge array of styles and artwork so that you can get the board that suits your style best. If what you want is a board that looks and performs like the boards you see at sporting events, this is the perfect choice. The only downside is that it’s not the most flexible board out there, which could make it a little harder to ease into turns – however, this feature is what makes the board just right for learning tricks on.

Group spirit supposedly influences the members of this community. In presentations of this sort, showcasing of criminal tendencies is absent, and no attempt is made to tie extreme sports to any kind of illegal activity. Female based skateboarding groups also exist, such as Brujas which is based in New York City. Many women use their participation in skate crews to perform an alternative form of femininity.[75] These female skate crews offer a safe haven for women and girls in cities, where they can skate and bond without male expectations or competition.


Also called the mounting hardware, the skateboard hardware is useful in connecting the trucks to the deck. Every truck is actually in need of 4 bolts and locknuts. If you are planning to buy hardware for your custom skateboard, then note that they are often sold in sets composed of 8 parts, though it is also possible for you to buy individual parts separately when required.
From cheap skateboards to high end, custom complete skateboard decks, we have boards for riders of every skill level and tax bracket - we get it, we put skateboarding before everything else first. If you can’t always afford a new board, but go through decks like toilet paper, consider a CCS Skateboard - they cost less, but are manufactured in the same factories as other brands we carry. CCS Skateboards are held to the same standards as every skateboard we sell, but we can sell them for less.

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.
If you're in the market for a skateboard for your child, there are some general points to keep in mind: A complete skateboard is one that comes fully built, size doesn't matter, and as with all things you buy, you get what you pay for. Conventional wisdom says to go with a good-quality board that will last longer and is safer. Here are some good choices to check out.
In terms of their skateboard output, Palace have released numerous videos online since their inception, including Gangbanging at Ground Zero (2011), Niggaz with Altitude (2013), a Danny Brady welcome clip ‘Definitely Brady‘ in 2014 and most recently, Very Nice in 2016 featuring newer team riders Shawn Powers and early viral internet star Jamal Smith. Palace are currently working on a full-length video.
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 board itself is actually very portable in the sense that it only weighs a modest four pounds. Which means you can jump on and off in any situation that may warrant you to walk or ride. The ABEC7 bearings are top quality bearings and of the highest class. Also accompanying all of these fine features comes the kick-tail end of the board. This is to ensure that maneuvering and tricks can be performed with this utmost of ease.

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.

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..
SkateXS makes skateboards for kids, but the quality of the product is just as high as skateboards for adults. Many parents report their children being incredibly satisfied with the product. The reviews are 90% positive, and it’s easy to see why so many family members and friends turn to buying this skateboard for their young ones. Read on for more to consider when buying a skateboard for beginners.
Toy Machine is an Ed Templeton company and one of the best skateboard companies of its time. Ed is an Orange County original skater and developed the board he wanted to skate on, thus creating the Toy Machine Brand. Though the Toy Machine team has seen many changes, it has always held onto professional skaters that can provide insight in the latest needs of boards. Toy Machine skateboards are known for their signature monster graphics, which have made them a top skateboard brand.
“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.”
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