Independent has been making skateboarding trucks for over 25 years. Independent's Stage 9 truck series are quality made, lightweight and still durable. They also feature "Fast Action Independent Geometry," which means they are designed to react more quickly to your motions than other trucks. Independent trucks are usually on the wider side, but all sizes are available. Independent trucks are also guaranteed for life against manufacturer defects but should last forever anyway.
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.
In summary - recognizing a real skateboard isn’t rocket science, but it does take some amount of brand awareness and ultimately even trial and error. We tried to take the guesswork out of it by starting SkateXS and openly sharing and celebrating each and every component we use to build our skateboards. Hopefully we have been able to share the values and priorities we put into those design decisions.
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.
Canadian maple wood decks are the industry standard and is what the vast majority of decks on this list will be made of. However, is the seller just says “maple” the deck is typically made in China and the wood may be slightly softer and lower quality. This is more common among the lower cost blank decks, and most pro brands or higher end blanks are typically 100% Canadian maple. In my opinion, the difference between Canadian and Chinese maple decks is slight and in many cases, a cheaper Chinese deck may be the better option for you if you have a small budget or tend to go through decks very quickly.
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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.
Make no mistake, not all European skate brands are provincial microcosms. Cliché has one of the most stacked teams in the industry, including the Australian master of pop Andrew Brophy and manual wizard Joey Brezinski. But the real star of the squad is Frenchman Lucas Puig, who has a stellar signature shoe for adidas, and an upcoming line of caps called Hélas that you will undoubtedly be hearing more about in the near future. Team aside, thanks to strong art direction, a prolific video program, and a highly covetable product offering that includes a dope collab with NYC mainstay DQM, Cliché is très ill.
Real Skateboards are also notable for the brand’s deep involvement in raising awareness and funds for charitable concerns related to the skateboard community across the globe with the brand supporting everything from DIY skatepark builds, to releasing bespoke Real boards for fallen members of the skateboarding community including releasing a board in memory of UK skate shop owner and stalwart of the British skate scene Steven ‘Bingo’ Binks back in 2011.
By raising £790,000, the Long Live Southbank initiative managed in 2017 to curb the destruction of a forty years old spot in London due to urban planning, a salvaging operation whose effect extends beyond skateboarding. The presence of a designated skating area within this public space keeps the space under nearly constant watch and drives homeless people away, increasing the feeling of safety in and near the space. The activity attracts artists such as photographers and film makers, as well as a significant number of tourists, which in turn drives economic activity in the neighborhood.