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.
I'm not talking about mall chain stores, like Zumiez; I mean a locally owned and operated skateboard shop. Look around at what they sell, and talk to the staff about the different brands. Of course, they may be biased toward the brands they carry, but chances are you'll learn something that will help you make a decision. There are some big-name board brands that you'll find in most shops, but there should also be some smaller brands you may not have heard or seen around town. There might even be a a local skater or manufacturer that you could support. 

Before Zoo York, Supreme, and 5Boro, New York had SHUT. For a short while, SHUT ruled, but soon the business fell out and founder Rodney Smith left to start Zoo York with Eli Morgan Gesner (who drew the original SHUT logo), and Adam Schatz. SHUT went dormant while the three men grew Zoo York into a successful business, and when they sold it off to Ecko in 2006, SHUT was reborn. The brand's flagship store resides on New York City's Lower East Side, so you can go witness skateboard history in person any time you want.
Habitat proved itself as an established power in skateboarding when it survived the downfall of the parent company that owned and killed Alien Workshop, being able to persevere and even name new pros through the whole restructuring. They moved their products under Tum Yeto Collective, the parent company/distribution house of other powerhouse skateboard brands like Toy Machine, and now it’s as if they were never in any danger. If you have any doubts about why Habitat is on this list, just watch Mark Suciu’s part in Search The Horizon and never question it again.
Many jurisdictions require skateboarders to wear bicycle helmets to reduce the risk of head injuries and death. Other protective gear, such as wrist guards, also reduce injury. Some medical researchers have proposed restricting skateboarding to designated, specially designed areas, to reduce the number and severity of injuries, and to eliminate injuries caused by motor vehicles or to other pedestrians.[102]
A skateboard is fundamentally a sum of its parts. If you want a good skateboard, you’ll want each component to be high quality. We’ll take a look at each part of a skateboard and talk about what quality means for the that component. We’ll try to give tips on how to spot a high or low quality implementation of that component and then we’ll share how SkateXS Skateboards measure up.  
The skateboard has a solid and stiff mini-deck, which is around 22 inches and constructed out of 100% plastic material. Such deck is very lightweight. It is only four pounds but you have an assurance that it can handle up to 198 lbs. of weight. You will also fall in love with the board as it comes in 23 graphics and colors, so picking a favorite is much easier.

Prior to the mid-seventies many early skateboards were originally based upon the concept of “Sidewalk Surfing” and were tied to the surf culture, skateboards were surfboard like in appearance with little to no graphics located under the bottom of the skateboard-deck. Some of the early manufactured skateboards such as "Roller Derby", the "Duraflex Surfer" and the "Banana board" are characteristic. Some skateboards during that time were manufactured with company logo's or stickers across the top of the deck of the skateboard, as griptape was not initially used for construction. But as skateboarding progressed & evolved, and as artist began to design and add influence to the artwork of skateboards, designs and themes began to change.[92]

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Started by a group of guys who decided to stick together after the fall of Alien Workshop, Quasi skateboards presses boards and prints shirts featuring psychedelic art for the year 2015, offering something different than most board brands today. Backed by a team boasting hometown heroes and certified style gawds, Quasi is a board company everybody wanted that nobody had made yet.
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.

Punisher Skateboards Warphant measures 31 x 7.5 inch.  It has a 9-Ply Maple Black Board with Concave Deck and Double Kick Tail.  It comes with ABEC-3 Bearings, 5-inch V-style Heavy Duty Alloy Trucks, and Bases.  It uses 54 x 36 mm PU injection molded wheels and PE Riser Pad with PU Cushion and Punisher Logo.  It is perfect for learning and doing tricks.  It is best suited for riders who are 8 years old and above.  It has a 5 rating on Amazon.
Skateboarding was popularized by the 1986 skateboarding cult classic Thrashin'. Directed by David Winters and starring Josh Brolin, it features appearances from many famous skaters such as Tony Alva, Tony Hawk, Christian Hosoi and Steve Caballero. Thrashin' also had a direct impact on Lords of Dogtown, as Catherine Hardwicke, who directed Lords of Dogtown, was hired by Winters to work on Thrashin' as a production designer where she met, worked with and befriended many famous skaters including the real Tony Alva, Tony Hawk, Christian Hosoi and Steve Caballero.
Harsh weather, cracked pavement, angry cops—all things that make Raw New England just so raw. The name is also an acronym for Ready Amongst Willing—a perfect moniker for one of the East Coast's toughest brands. Raw's product drops aren't quite as frequent or bountiful as some other brands on this list, but the decks, tees, hoodies, and caps with the bold RAW logo are must-haves for New England's skate crowd. Visit the brand's shops in Boston or in CT to get the goods in person.
The skateboarding industry has changed so much in the last few years. Female skaters now get the support they need from bigger companies. I know hoopla helped pave the way for this to happen. It was so rewarding and surreal to have had such a rad team of girls represent hoopla over the years. I am stoked to have formed friendships with such a diverse and talented group.
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.

Isle is much newer to the game than a lot of the other brands mentioned on the list, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the same respect. Drawn straight from the mind of skateboarder Nick Jensen, a London native with the eye of a true artist, Isle’s graphics could just as easily be hanging in a museum rather than in skate shops. Jensen’s creative process involves him sculpting, painting and photographing every board graphic himself in his own studio, manipulating each art piece to work as a graphic. Isle offers one of the most well developed brand images in skateboarding, due in big part to the fact that it is literally an outlet of one man’s own rampant creativity.
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.

As with all penny boards, the Fade has a waffletop on the deck so that you have plenty of grip and stability as you ride. The plastic material of these boards is durable enough to withstand being run over, and the trucks and wheels are of similar high quality. This board is not made for the beginner that wants to skate downhill or do a lot of speedy skating – the short length makes it dangerous for that. But if you’re just interested in commuting and want something portable, this is a great choice.


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.
It is safe to say that Zero’s identity as a skateboard brand was built primarily on its skate videos which began in (1997) with Thrill of It All, there followed Misled Youth (1999), Dying to Live (2002), New Blood (2005), Strange World (2009), Cold War (2013) and No Ca$h Value (2014) with each video upping the ante in terms of the levels of danger involved.

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.
“I just felt like it was a window of opportunity within my own career. I might be one of those lucky few who’d be able to do that, start my own brand and move on. That window of opportunity only upholds for so long in skateboarding before you miss your prime, so I’d be kicking myself in the ass five years from now looking back and saying ‘how come I didn’t capitalise on that? Here I am, an older skater and not in my prime anymore and I have nothing still connecting me to skateboarding’”
Certain cities still oppose the building of skate parks in their neighborhoods, for fear of increased crime and drugs in the area. The rift between the old image of skateboarding and a newer one is quite visible: magazines such as Thrasher portray skateboarding as dirty, rebellious, and still firmly tied to punk, while other publications, Transworld Skateboarding as an example, paint a more diverse and controlled picture of skateboarding. As more professional skaters use hip hop, reggae, or hard rock music accompaniment in their videos, many urban youths, hip-hop fans, reggae fans, and hard rock fans are also drawn to skateboarding, further diluting the sport's punk image.
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.
No longer number one but still quite close: EMillion SkateboArts land on the second place this year, which is more than respectable regarding the competition. The Bavarian brand stands for quality, artistic designs and a motivated team, which is also represented by skatedeluxe team rider Ben Dillinger. EMillion decks are available from 49.99 € | 40.00 GBP!

The core of the skateboard trucks is extremely lightweight, compared to the other skateboards we listed. They still sport a heavy-duty aluminum, but their initial design helps the skateboard be lighter and easier to pivot. It also arrives un-assembled which allows for the adult or child to have a sense of accomplishment when they put the board together. You will also be able to customize it to your heart’s content!
Emerging initially via a series of spoof news bulletins created by Lev Tanju called ‘PWBC Global Skateboard News‘ and hosted on the don’twatchthat.tv site, the aesthetic that the Palace Skateboards Brand would adopt was firmly established in these early videos. Sadly now mostly deleted from the Internet, aside from a few ‘best of’ videos, the PWBC News series were a pre-cursor for the route that the brand would adopt with its comedic take on the faux-seriousness of the Skateboard Industry of the time, an emphasis on the UK grime music scene, and the introduction of numerous characters within each news segment, including Francis Shower Face who still appears in Palace releases to this day, along with snippets of footage from various sources.
Bearings are very important if you want to keep rolling without pushing constantly, especially while street skating. They're typically rated with the ABEC (Annular Bearing Engineering Committee) scale. The ABEC scale only measures the precision of the bearing, not how well it rolls or how long it lasts. It's a common misconception that the ABEC scale refers to how fast the bearing rolls. Anything above 1 is precision and will perform fine for skateboarding, but it's recommended to go above a 3.
The deck is expertly constructed with a vertically laminated bamboo core and bamboo veneer exterior, all attached with triaxial glass and epoxy as well as a course grip tape top. The grip tape is arranged in an unusual and stylish, yet functional, design. The 34-inch board features a 13-degree nose angle and an 18-degree tail angle. With its directional shape, you’ll easily be able to cruise on this board or pull a few tricks.

We would also like to point out one amazing detail about Plan B that makes it stand out from the other top skateboard brands, the deck technology that it uses. I already talked about how their decks are pretty strong and have minimal flex. But its other products like Plan B BLK ICE decks with wax used on their standard build decks to increase the speed and smoothness of skating a rail and the Flashback Series that uses prospect skateboard deck technology to make the boards thinner, lighter and stronger, are amazing!

If you have a great passion for the downhill ride as well as cruising and you are a beginner of longboarding, then ultimately, this board can satisfy your needs. It’s a versatile board as you can use it for cruising and downhill riding. The board is equipped with the perfect wheel size — not so big and not so small. It is big enough to give you a smooth ride but it is not too big to get wheel bite. Isn’t it cool? The 44 inches size of its wheels is perfect for comfortable cruising as well as riding downhill. It has some flex which will reduce the stress on your ankle and knees.


“I think it’s just also like, people want to have fun. If you watch say those types of Street League type of skateboarders, who are super amazing skateboarders that can push these crazy tricks down rails and stairs, like switch tre down fifteen stairs or whatever trick they do — it’s amazing to see that level of skating, but if you are an average Joe living in a small town you’re just like, “I’m never going to be able to kickflip back noseblunt twenty-stair rails”. That’s always the biggest trick. If you ask me it’s like, “What videos do you really enjoy?” The videos that you can some how relate to. Like, “Hey, I could actually do some of these tricks.” You connect to it and you feel like you can picture yourself being a part of the whole thing. When people put out these amazing super stunt skateboarding videos, pushing it to the furthest level possible, that’s rad in one sense, but to me personally as a kid I could never in my wildest dreams believe that I could do that too. I respect it. I understand it. But does it make me want to go skate? No.”
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.
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