With the evolution of skateparks and ramp skating, the skateboard began to change. Early skate tricks had consisted mainly of two-dimensional freestyle manoeuvres like riding on only two wheels ("wheelie" or "manual"), spinning only on the back wheels (a "pivot"), high jumping over a bar and landing on the board again, also known as a "hippie jump", long jumping from one board to another, (often over small barrels or fearless teenagers), or slalom. Another popular trick was the Bertlemann slide, named after Larry Bertelemann's surfing manoeuvres.
Peralta put together the Powell skate team under the Bones Brigade moniker, employed the services of photographer, artist and visionary C R Stecyk III and was the talent scout responsible for bringing skaters such as Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen, Lance Mountain, Mike Vallely, Guy Mariano, Tommy Guerreo and inventor of the ollie Alan ‘Ollie’ Gelfand, (amongst many others) to the attention of the global skateboard community.
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.
Founded by the original technical street skaters Daewon Song and Rodney Mullen, Almost Skateboards always pushes the envelope with fun, artistic cartoon graphics paired with high quality materials. Almost was one of the first brands to implement carbon fiber layers to their decks in the “Impact” deck line to increase the deck’s life and better maintain its shape.
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.
Presenting to you, the next in line for top skateboard brands; Powell Peralta. Established back in 1978, Powell Peralta is perhaps one of the most well-known names in the skateboarding world. It was launched at a time when skateboarding was gaining traction and Powell Peralta rose to prominence. Powell Peralta is also known for featuring the Bones Brigade, which was a team featuring the top players of that time. Peralta left the company in between but both the partners reunited to create magic in the skateboarding community.
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.
In the ever-volatile skateboarding industry, brands come and go, then come back again, only to go out once more, and eventually make room for the next person who is really in tune with what skateboarding is today. While no two brands can really be compared, the true signifier of their importance in skateboarding is how they can make a difference in the culture and bring something new to the table that hasn’t been done before. Every single brand on this list has been a part of something unique that has made us pay attention to them above all the others out there doing it in this saturated market.
Progressive designs deliver a more dramatic upward curve and a wider base, providing increasingly secure footing and a locked-in feel. The W-concave shape is more narrow with an additional center curve, allowing for a greater shift in energy between the heel and toe. This design also boasts more responsive control and quick turning capabilities. Tub concave decks resemble the radial shape, however their rails extend at a sharp angle instead of a gradual curve. Asymmetrical decks feature rails that extend at different angles, affording more power to a rider's heels when making turns. Less commonly used are decks with convex and completely flat shapes. Convex boards offer an upwards-arching shape, which some downhill skateboarders prefer for a more natural feel, whereas flat designs increase available foot space and are more popular for experienced riders looking to perform fancy tricks.
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.
Powell Peralta is a brand that has been around since the late 1970s. The Powell Golden Dragon has been on the market for over four decades now, and its popularity hasn’t decreased. It’s easy to see why even legends like Steve Caballero recommend these skateboards. Powell is known for having boards that fit every age range and skill level, satisfying the needs of many. It’s also probably the reason as to why the product is surrounded by 5-star reviews.
You know how people say shit like: Ernest Hemingway is “a writer's writer” and it's not really clear what that means, but you sort of get it? Well Anti-Hero is a skater's skate brand. Founded by underground hero pro skater Julien Stranger, Anti-Hero is a direct expression of his attitude towards the skate industry, which is basically that skateboarding is life and fuck everything else. Anti-hero has a reputation for being one of the gnarliest skate brands around, thanks in part to their team of heavies which includes John Cardiel, Tony Trujillo, and Chris Pfanner.