“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.”
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.
While they might not be so well known as an apparel company as so many other brands on this list, Sk8mafia stays winning with skateboarding’s core base. Their most prominent pro, Wes Kremer, was named Thrasher’s Skater of the Year for 2014, and they continue to drop a monthly edit featuring their whole crew through Ride Channel. The Mafia keeps the streets fed.
“They built the industry before they built their business,” said Denike who became one of the early product testers as a 15-year-old when he was approached by Novak and Shuirman in a skateboard park. “It was just raw entrepreneurial spirit. They took it from a fad to an actual business and, as a group, decided they were going to focus on growing the industry. If they were good businessmen, they would get a piece of that pie.”
If you are completely new to skateboarding, consider taking a minute to read through the Skateboard Decks Section in our Buyer’s Guide will be helpful, but a good rule of thumb is: the bigger your feet, the wider your board should be. If you wear a size 9 and up, you can’t go wrong with buying an 8” board. Narrow boards are easier to flip while wider boards are more stable, but there are no hard and fast rules to skateboarding. The only way to really find out what you like is by trying new shapes, sizes, and brands. Brands like Welcome, Baker, Chocolate, Deathwish, and Element all have a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and graphics.