What began life as a screen-printing business back in 2001 has organically morphed into one of the UK’s most celebrated low-key bedroom brands. After completing a screen-printing and fine arts degree Stuart Smith set up Lovenskate to offer bespoke screen printing services to the skateboard industry and beyond from inside his parents garage. Over time, Lovenskate grew and formally metamorphosed into a skateboard brand back in 2001.
Santa Cruz’s earliest videos Wheels of Fire (1987), Streets on Fire (1989), Speed Freaks (1989) A Reason for Living (1990) and Risk It (1990) are viewed today as paradigm-shifting releases which promoted interest in skateboarding globally by giving a platform to every kind of skateboarding that existed, from street and vert skating, through to the more niche genres such as slalom, downhill and freestyle, whilst at the same time retaining the aesthetic of skateboarding’s subcultural position in society.
While the skate shoes design afforded better connection and traction with the deck, skaterboarders themselves could often be identified when wearing the shoes, with Tony Hawk once saying, "If you were wearing Vans shoes in 86, you were a skateboarder" Because of its connection with skateboarding, Vans financed the legendary skateboarding documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys and was the first sneaker company to endorse a professional skateboarder Stacy Peralta. Vans has a long history of being a major sponsor of many of skateboarding's competitions and events throughout skateboarding's history as well, including the Vans Warped Tour and the Vans Triple Crown Series.
'90s nostalgia is the name of the game. VHS tapes. Grimey hip-hop. Drinking forties, smoking blunts, skating filthy street spots at night, and general hooliganism are cornerstones of skateboarding's mid-90s golden years, and Palace is all about that life. No wonder you see the tees and skate decks stocked at Supreme, the only brand that compares to Palace when it comes to nailing that “fuck it” aesthetic. Palace gear has been causing an uproar lately—yes, Palace was on that designer parody tee shit before everyone else, and yes, the collab with Umbro was one of the best we've seen in years—but make no mistake the brand is skate to the core, and no amount of hype will change that. Let's hope, anyway.
Founded in 2008 in Pennsylvania, Punisher’s goal has been to make graphically pleasing skateboards that have designs that resonate with the rider on a deeper level. Each artist is handpicked by Punisher to design an original, unique image that is then incorporated into the skateboard. The fantastic graphic designs combined with the quality of the skateboard itself make for a very personalized riding experience.
These films have helped improve the reputation of skateboarding youth, depicting individuals of this subculture as having a positive outlook on life, prone to poking harmless fun at each other, and engaging in healthy sportsman's competition. According to the film, lack of respect, egotism and hostility towards fellow skateboarders is generally frowned upon, albeit each of the characters (and as such, proxies of the "stereotypical" skateboarder) have a firm disrespect for authority and for rules in general. Gleaming the Cube, a 1989 movie starring Christian Slater as a skateboarding teen investigating the death of his adopted Vietnamese brother, was somewhat of an iconic landmark to the skateboarding genre of the era. Many well-known skaters had cameos in the film, including Tony Hawk and Rodney Mullen, where Mullen served as Slater's stunt double.
A precursor to the extreme sport of street luge, that was sanctioned by the United States Skateboarding Association (USSA), also took place during the 1970s in Signal Hill, California. The competition was called "The Signal Hill Skateboarding Speed Run", with several competitors earning entries into the Guinness Book of World Records, at the time clocking speeds of over 50 mph on a skateboard. Due to technology and safety concerns at the time, when many competitors crashed during their runs, the sport did not gain popularity or support during this time.
Thunder trucks are solid, with some great innovations. Thunder's light truck range claims to be the lightest available, with the quickest turning. Thunder's team is also pretty impressive, with Thomas, Appleyard, Marks, Steamer, Ellington. The list is actually pretty huge. If having a lot of pros ride the same trucks as you is important (which isn't a bad idea - these people are skating in competitions, and want the best!), then take a look at Thunder.
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.
Hi Everyone! My name is Pete (yes, I’m a real person who lives in a cornfield just outside of Buffalo, NY – well, my house is in the middle of a cornfield!). As a former collegiate athlete in Iowa, I’ve played varsity basketball, volleyball and soccer. I also happen to be an outdoor adventure fanatic who’ll do whatever it takes to never miss my annual week-long wilderness canoe trip in the Northern Ontario wilderness. Sports equipment has come a long way over just the past few years, and I’d love to share with you the latest (and most competitively priced) products that will save you many of the frustrations I’ve dealt with over the years! Please feel free to cruise the site and drop me a line on the contact page if you have ideas for improvements or anything else!