FTC has grown from being the staple skate shop of the Bay Area to being a respected brand pushing skateboarding across the globe. Their SF flagship sits in the famous Haight Ashburry district, always attracting visitors and giving them a look into what skateboarding is really like in this day and age. FTC will have you covered in their own gear, and will also always be pushing the next big thing in their shops, and they never make a bad call.
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.
The Wonnv Retro Mini Cruiser 22 inch Complete Skateboard is 22″ Light Up Clear Banana Skateboard. It is complete with Light Up Board, Wheels, Metal Trucks, ABEC-7 Bearings, and High-Quality Bushings. The set also includes 6″ Metal Trucks, High-Speed ABEC-7 Bearings, High-Quality Bushings, and Hardware. It has a unique Textured Waffle Pattern on Deck and designed for Maximum Grip. The Deck measures about 22 x 6 x 4″. It has a 6″ Truck Axle and 3″ Truck Hanger. It requires 2 AAA Batteries and is recommended for skaters who are 6 years old and Up. It has a 5 rating on Amazon.
Proper skateboard wheels are made out of polyurethane with minimal additives. Toy skateboard wheels can be made of plastic or a low quality poly mix which leads to poor performance in the best case and even outright dangerous situations with cracked wheels in the worst case. This is a case where brand recognition and reputation can come into play.
TIP: Extra width and short noses make old school boards more difficult to flip or lift off the ground, so they are not ideal for street skating. With some old school boards, the truck mounting holes are drilled to only fit certain trucks, so make note of the truck pattern before you buy the deck. If you’re not sure your trucks will fit, just give us a call and we’ll figure it out. Shop Old School Compatible Trucks
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.
Now let us have a look at the features of the Powell Golden Dragon Flying Dragon which make it such an amazing buy. Firstly, it is affordable and works great for both, skateboard beginners and intermediate riders. We love its high rebound wheels; the hand-cast polyurethane wheels roll perfectly and have a good grip too. We also love how the aesthetically pleasing graphics bottom is paired with a top that measures 7.625 inches in width and 31.625 inches in length. The board has easy control and glides smoothly. And guess what? You get all of this at an amazing price.
Alien Workshop is a Dayton, Ohio based company, established by Chris Carter, Neil Blender and Mike Hill in 1990. They have gone through several ownership changes, including a period of being owned and operated by Burton Snowboards, but have persevered and become one of the top skateboard brands today. Alien Workshop has faced several turbulent challenges with varying outcomes, however they have remained dedicated to providing a high quality, yet also affordable boards. We like Alien Workshop for their innovative designs and conscience effort to make a great board, that many can afford. Their high quality boards has allowed them to become one of the best rated skateboard brands today.
This board also has a unique shape that makes it a lot easier to ease into turns, which is something that longboards aren’t always known for. It’s a lot easier to push off on this deck thanks to how low it sits, and you also get a one-year warranty from the manufacturer should anything go wrong. If you’ve never ridden on a board before, and don’t want to learn tricks right away, this is a great choice, especially if you’ll be riding around a lot of mostly flat areas.
Their hard and soft goods feature 90’s imagery like Kurt Cobain with Courtney Love and Corey and Topanga from Boy Meets World, and it comes together to become pure fun for the hell of it. With brand mastermind Grant Yansura holding a spot as an official videographer for Nike SB, you know he must be doing something right with all his work. His Cosmic Vomit series is just another insight into the breadth of his great work.
The first thing to consider is what kind of skateboarding you want to do. Do you want to skate your local skate park and learn tricks? Do you want something for commuting across town or campus? Or, would you enjoy charging down hills at high speeds? Take a look at the options below and note which features work well for the type of skating you want to do.
Distributed by NHS, Inc., Creature Skateboards was launched in 1994 by professional skateboarders Russ Pope, Jason Adams, Barket Barrett and Darren Navarrette. The company was revived in the mid-2000s. Creature is known for its horror themes on its skateboards and clothing. The company offers complete skateboards that include the decks, wheels, trucks, and bearings as well as customizable decks, and accessories. The Creature team includes 19 professional skateboarders. In addition to Navarrette, the roster includes such names as Al Partanen, Chris Russell, Cory Juneau and David Gravette.
Bearings are rated by the ABEC scale (1-9), which has nothing to do with skateboarding. Manufacturers know skaters believe higher ABEC ratings mean faster bearings. They do not, and you won’t find high-quality bearings on off-the-shelf skateboards. Most of these completes are slow. Make a bearing upgrade a top priority. Good bearings can make almost any skateboard fast. This article by longtime pro Anthony Pappalardo gives an insider’s perspective on bearings.
With distinctive graphics, often touching upon controversial issues such as racism with American society such as the infamous Jim Thiebaud ‘Lynch the KKK’ graphic designed by Natas Kaupas and Kevin Ancell, and classic Jeff Klindt graphics such as the James Kelch ‘James’ board, which was recently re-released, Real’s aesthetic has always been instantly recognisable.
James Haden is one of the owners of the Skateboarder community, together with Nash Gibson – his co-owner. He works as a full-time copywriter for a private company and also a true adventurer. He is an avid reader, writer, traveler, and extreme sports junkie. During his free time, he researches interesting content for their blog and continuously writes for their audience.
In 2003 Go Skateboarding Day was founded in southern California by the International Association of Skateboard Companies to promote skateboarding throughout the world. It is celebrated annually on June 21 "to define skateboarding as the rebellious, creative celebration of independence it continues to be." According to market research firm American Sports Data the number of skateboarders worldwide increased by more than 60 percent between 1999 and 2002—from 7.8 million to 12.5 million.
Without good grip tape, skaters have a tough time staying on top of their board. The main complaints about poor grip tape tend to be that it was never very grippy or lost its grip really quickly. Once again, we recommend trusting in name brands with years of experience supporting skateboarders. Unfortunately, if you are buying a pre-made complete skateboard, you probably won't have access to the brand name of the grip.