“We make 38 different proprietary shapes, and what is more important than the shape is the leverage that we design on each board. The mold we use, and where we drill on each mold is the magic. Do all popsicles ride the same? Of course not. We are a step beyond almost everyone with that because I am nerdy about how stuff rides and performs. This is what our riders skate and love, we aren’t trying to capture some demographic.
Welcome is doing everything the way that people would probably tell you not to when it comes to how they run their board company. With no real full-length project out since it became a company, and with no pros to name, but boasting a full roster of official riders, Welcome is as unorthodox of a skate company as it gets. They don’t even make a single board in the traditional popsicle shape most boards are made today.
The first skateboards started with wooden boxes, or boards, with roller skate wheels attached to the bottom. Crate scooters preceded skateboards, having a wooden crate attached to the nose (front of the board), which formed rudimentary handlebars. The boxes turned into planks, similar to the skateboard decks of today. An American WAC, Betty Magnuson, reported seeing French children in the Montmartre section of Paris riding on boards with roller skate wheels attached to them in late 1944.
In an industry as diverse as skateboarding, the sheer number of skateboard brands on the market can be bewildering. With a seemingly never-ending amount of new brands emerging, alongside the numerous pre-existing ones, the market can certainly appear over crowded and confusing at times, which is hopefully where this list of some of our favourite skateboard brands comes in.
Almost every skate shop will have a wall of boards that is either organized by brand, size, or alphabetically. At our CCS skate shop, we have multiple walls of boards that we try and keep ordered alphabetically. A wall of skateboards, at first glance, can be overwhelming, but if you know what size and roughly what brands you like, it should be fairly easy for you to figure out what board you want. Now would be a good time to mention our CCS Skateboard Buyer’s Guide, specifically the Decks Guide. In the CCS Decks Guide, you’ll find all the information you need to gain a basic understanding of skateboard decks.
In March 1976, Skateboard City skatepark in Port Orange, Florida and Carlsbad Skatepark in San Diego County, California would be the first two skateparks to be opened to the public, just a week apart. They were the first of some 200 skateparks that would be built through 1982. This was due in part to articles that were running in the investment journals at the time, stating that skateparks were a good investment. Notable skateboarders from the 1970s also include Ty Page, Tom Inouye, Laura Thornhill, Ellen O'Neal, Kim Cespedes, Bob Biniak, Jana Payne, Waldo Autry, Robin Logan, Bobby Piercy, Russ Howell, Ellen Berryman, Shogo Kubo, Desiree Von Essen, Henry Hester, Robin Alaway, Paul Hackett, Michelle Matta, Bruce Logan, Steve Cathey, Edie Robertson, Mike Weed, David Hackett, Gregg Ayres, Darren Ho, and Tom Sims.
Skateboard decks width is probably one of the most important factors to consider when buying a deck. Decks typically range from 7.25-8.5″. 7.5″,7.75″, and 8.0″ tend to be the standard widths if most decks and the general rule is that the bigger your feet are the wider the deck you should get. Thinner decks are slightly easier to flip, however they are harder to land on due to the decreased surface area. This is a tradeoff you have to consider, but the typical rule of thumb for younger guys is that you get wider decks the more advanced and larger you get. Street skaters typically also like smaller decks as they are easier to navigate and carry around in crowded cities and areas.
There are three types of skateboards: classic, retro, and snake. Classic boards are the most common and what you generally find when you go shopping. Retro boards are longer and have larger wheels. They are great for skating long distances but inferior to classic boards for doing tricks. A snake board is not appropriate for kids since it requires intensive balance and has only one wheel.
As it eventually became more apparent that skateboarding had a particular identity with a style of shoe, other brands of shoe companies began to specifically design skate shoes for functionality and style to further enhance the experience and culture of skateboarding including such brands as; Converse, Nike, DC Shoes, Globe, Adidas, Zoo York and World Industries. Many professional skateboarders are designed a pro-model skate shoe, with their name on it, once they have received a skateboarding sponsorship after becoming notable skateboarders. Some shoe companies involved with skateboarding, like Sole Technology, an American footwear company that makes the Etnies skate shoe brand, further distinguish themselves in the market by collaborating with local cities to open public Skateparks, such as the etnies skatepark in Lake Forest, California.
Another great pro option, Element is definitely one of the top 3 brands in skateboarding. This deck is also slightly slimmer than the Enjoi deck above so it would be an even better choice for someone with small feet or who is very young. This board has an iconic look that will be recognized by most skaters, and it has the quality to last much longer than most other skateboards on the market.
If you decide that you don’t want to spend the money for a pro-quality complete, then this is your best bet for a completely blank skateboard. You’re just not going to find anything else with similar quality anywhere near this price range. This blank skateboard is an even 8″ with 9 layers of plywood in the deck. This makes it ideal for any beginner especially adults or children with large feet. A great option for someone on a budget or if you want to try a no-frills quality skateboard setup, before deciding if you want to invest further on a pro-style skateboard.
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.
Krux make some great trucks. Krux makes "downlows" trucks, that have a lower hanger and kingpin than even Grind King. However, you will need a hex tool to adjust them. The Krux IIIs with Topless System are even lighter, with special bushings that feel broken in from the start, but that also provide a faster snap back into position. Krux trucks are light and low.
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.