QuartetQuasiR.A.D.RandalRayneRealReality GripReflexRemind InsolesRicher PoorerRictaRIPNDIPRoger SkateboardsRogueRoyalRVCASabreSalt & StoneSanta CruzSanta Monica AirlinesSchmitt StixScramSector 9Shake JuntShortysSilverSK8MAFIASk8ologySkate MentalSkateknifeSkeleton Key MFGSkullcandySml.S-OneSourSOVRNSpitfireSquare UpStanceStateStereoTensorThank YouThe HundredsThe Killing FloorThe Quiet LifeTheoriesThrasherThunder TrucksTiredToy MachineTrafficTransworldTriple EightTurbokolorTwo Cents SkateboardsUnitVagrantVansVenomVentureVicious GriptapeVideoVisionVolcomWayward WheelsWelcomeWKNDZ FlexZero
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!
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.
One of the earliest sponsored skateboarders, Patti McGee, was paid by Hobie and Vita Pak to travel around the country to do skateboarding exhibitions and to demonstrate skateboarding safety tips. McGee made the cover of Life magazine in 1965 and was featured on several popular television programs—The Mike Douglas Show, What's My Line? and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson—which helped make skateboarding even more popular at the time. Some other well known surfer-style skateboarders of the time were Danny Bearer, Torger Johnson, Bruce Logan, Bill and Mark Richards, Woody Woodward, & Jim Fitzpatrick.
The laws for skateboarding helmets vary from state to state. Many states require that skaters wear a helmet under a certain age, and some states like California make all skaters under 18 wear a CPSC Certified helmet at all times. CSPC skateboard helmets usually have an EPS protective liner that meets the safety standards for skateboarding. Make sure you check your state's regulations before ordering.
Powell Peralta has gained increasing popularity in the 1980s, when skateboarding became an increasingly more sought-after action sports. Since then, they have been developing skateboards tailored to customers, taking reviews and critiques into consideration every time they were building a new model. The Powell Golden Dragon is a direct result of such careful consideration and tailored-modeling.
Keep in mind that the deck width will also affect the size of the trucks that you use. You’ll need wider trucks to make a wider deck more stable. If you see a wide deck with narrow trucks, you can expect the ride to be wobbly and hard to manage. Pay attention to the bushings on the board as well. If the bushings are very firm, you’ll have a more stable ride, but it also makes it harder to turn. Soft bushings are much more responsive, but you do lose a little bit of stability. If you don’t know if your bushings are firm or soft, you likely have soft bushings, since this is the default.
Since Fine Artists Vol 1, Element have released numerous videos including Element – Third Eye View (1998), Element – Rise Up (2005) which focused on the brand’s European team, and more recently, the short video Element – Rise and Shine (2011) focusing on Element team rider Nyjah Huston. Element’s video output is unparalleled with releases from all over the globe – most of which can be found via the link above..
A magazine?! This is an outrage! Yeah, it is. But Low Card has become the defacto hat brand for all the cool hesh skaters in America, so deal with it. Also, the mag's graphic tees, baseball shirts, coaches jackets, and beanies are all highly dope. The custom mesh hat program is the way to go if you feel the need to wear your “yeah, I skate” calling card on your head.
Skateboarding, in one form or another, has been around since the late 1950’s when the first brave pioneer first attached roller skate wheels to a piece of wood. As skateboarding progressed to mimic surfing, skateboards evolved with the style of riding. Skateboards grew and changed shapes as riders experimented with everything from plastic to fiberglass to aluminum constructions - all in an effort to push what was possible. Like most sports or art forms, progression is at the heart of skateboard innovation.
Founded by the pro skateboarder Marc Johnson in the year 2000, enjoi has been on the market for over two decades now. They have since expanded, and started producing skateboarding accessories and clothing apart from just skateboards. Since then, they have adopted a panda as their logo. This logo is featured on most of their products and has quickly become the company’s trademark.
As Palace’s reputation began to grow, the brand added more riders, including ex-Stereo Skateboards pro Benny Fairfax, ex-Blueprint Skateboards pros Danny Brady and Chewy Cannon and Southbank mainstays Karim Bakhtaoui and Blondey McCoy. From the outset, Palace’s approach was to mix a core skate team with a heavy emphasis on soft goods which almost immediately propelled their appeal way beyond the confines of the skateboard market and expedited their growth into one of the biggest names in the street wear arena.
Radiate Ride Good Skateboards are made of 7-ply maple construction with epoxy resin glue. It features 356A heat-treated cast aluminum high performance 5.0 trucks with grade 8 kingpins and axles. The super high rebound 99A PU wheels with grooved running surface provide better traction and abrasion resistance. The Abec 5 high precision speed bearings offer precision performance and a smooth ride. It has an 80 grit durable color matched grip tape with transparency. It is completely assembled and ready to go. This product has a 4.3 rating on Amazon.
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.
Alex Olson’s Bianca Chandôn has quickly blurred and crossed back and forth between the line that currently divides high fashion and skateboarding, pushing an androgynous aesthetic inspired by looks found in Tom Bianchi’s Polaroid book Fire Island Pines, which nobody was ready for. Olson has turned what started off as an idea for a small board brand into a hype machine that has become a hit across the world.
The first skateboards started with wooden boxes, or boards, with roller skate wheels attached to the bottom. Crate scooters preceded skateboards, having a wooden crate attached to the nose (front of the board), which formed rudimentary handlebars. The boxes turned into planks, similar to the skateboard decks of today. An American WAC, Betty Magnuson, reported seeing French children in the Montmartre section of Paris riding on boards with roller skate wheels attached to them in late 1944.
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.
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.
The deck will also have a material on top called grip tape. This textured surface is what keeps your shoes from sliding all over the place as you ride. Look for a very high-quality grip tape for extra stability as you are learning, or something that is very visibly textured (like the waffletop from the pennyboard on our list above). You can also replace the grip tape if you love a board but don’t love the grip tape it comes with.
Our only issue with Penny skateboards is that they are sold without grip tape. Though not necessary, it can make the ride a lot safer with grip tape. All in all, Penny is one of the top skateboard brands out there. Let us now look at a succinct brand scorecard of Penny Skateboards and see how it scores in various factors that we have considered while ranking the best skateboard brands.
Following Jason Dill and AVE leaving long time sponsors Alien Workshop back in 2013, Dill’s 13-year-old Fucking Awesome brand, which was formerly a clothing brand, became a board brand and began to add riders such as Dylan Rieder (RIP), Gino Iannucci, Jason Dill, Kevin Bradley, Nakel Smith, Sean Pablo, Sage Elsesser, Tyshawn Jones and Aiden Mackey.
It's really hard to continue with a small girls’ board brand when so many companies are now interested in the women's market. We feel like it's the right time to close down the brand and move on to the next chapter. Thanks to George and Juli Powell as well as Michael Furukawa for their vision and support of the brand and our mission over the last decade. Thanks to those who bought our products, our team riders, media, and to those that believed in what we were doing from the very beginning. I also want to thank Mimi Knoop who wore multiple hats over the years and was responsible for making hoopla a brand that was respected, legitimate, and one that we were proud to be a part of.
In the skateboarding industry, brands tend to come and go with ease. It’s rare for them to stay in the spotlight for any substantial amount of time. But the constant reshuffling of the deck (pun not intended) allows for a rotation of new brands to make a name for themselves. Whether they’re known primarily for their skateboarding parts essential to the craft (like decks, trucks, wheels, and shoes) or for their apparel and accessories, the skateboarding universe has been expanding ever since the sport caught the attention of the mainstream in the late ‘90s. Everyone may remember exactly where they were when Tony Hawk landed the 900° on national television, but the world of skateboarding brands is much larger than just that and more expansive than you may realize.
In the early 1970s skateparks hadn't been invented yet, so skateboarders would flock and skateboard in such urban places as The Escondido reservoir in San Diego, California. Skateboarding magazine would publish the location and Skateboarders made up nicknames for each location such as the Tea Bowl, the Fruit Bowl, Bellagio, the Rabbit Hole, Bird Bath, the Egg Bowl, Upland Pool and the Sewer Slide. Some of the development concepts in the terrain of skateparks were actually taken from the Escondido reservoir. Many companies started to manufacture trucks (axles) specially designed for skateboarding, reached in 1976 by Tracker Trucks. As the equipment became more maneuverable, the decks started to get wider, reaching widths of 10 inches (250 mm) and over, thus giving the skateboarder even more control. A banana board is a skinny, flexible skateboard made of polypropylene with ribs on the underside for structural support. These were very popular during the mid-1970s and were available in a myriad of colors, bright yellow probably being the most memorable, hence the name.
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.