Following stints on the US brands Mad Circle and Arcade and a pro model on the then hugely popular European brand Cliche skateboards, Pontus Alv quit his board sponsor and moved back to his hometown of Malmo, Sweden in the early to mid 00’s. During this time Pontus took what might be called a creative hiatus but which would be more accurately explained as a re-connection with his roots. After returning to Malmo, Alv became heavily involved in building and creating the scene there, working alongside friends to build a number of DIY skatespots through the city such as the now legendary Savanna-side and Steppeside projects.
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.
The “popsicle” deck is the most popular shape because of its versatility and durability. These decks resemble the shape of a popsicle stick because they feature both a nose and a tail that are exactly or nearly symmetrical. Since the nose and the tail are shaped about the same, it’s easy to do tricks no matter which direction you’re headed in. Most skateboarders stick to popsicle decks because of their functionality and reliability.
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.