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While no two brands are exactly the same and it’s difficult to compare them, the brands on this list are among those that offer their own unique spin on the skateboarding experience, which often comes from their own personal stories and love of skateboards that they discovered in their childhood. In a saturated market that now spans from the technical side of skating to streetwear-centered style brands, these are the ones that stand out the most. From the young upstarts to those with a long legacy to their name, these are the best skateboard brands out there, so get familiar—and at least learn to kickflip, man.
Of course, 2015 also stands for a line of new companies that drew a lot of attention on them and we are talking about some serious game-changers here. There was Sour Skateboards, who had an incredible launch (or are we talking of a comeback?) as well as Isle Skateboards (did you hear about the Bright European Skateboarding Awards 2016?), Krooked and many more. We are hyped for this year and can’t wait to explore whatever there is to come with all of you guys! We would love to know your opinion. Which are your favorite deck brands. Feel free to comment below.
Theories of Atlantis is a brand that truly defies categorization. Josh Stewart’s brain child has gone through more phases than most companies, first being a means for him to put out his own series of Static videos featuring New York skaters, to now being a full blown distribution house for smaller boutique skateboarding brands featured on this list. Josh also puts out a line of soft goods with the turn of every season, playing off conspiracy theory style graphics and imagery on staple items like zip hoodies and long sleeves.
Spotting a poorly made skateboard deck can be hit or miss. Some toy skateboards don’t even try to look “real". They might have no concave to their shape and may not even have a extended nose. Others may be shaped to resemble a real skateboard, but are made with cheap woods and fillers. If that is the case, they may be both thicker and heavier than a quality board, or they may be ready to fall apart quite quickly and easily. Consider that it isn’t easy to make a real skateboard deck. Most legitimate skateboard decks will sell for somewhere between $35 - $55. If you are paying that much for the entire skateboard, it is unfortunately a sign that significant corners were cut on quality.
Positiv decks are usually maple, but some are hard birch. They are made using the same laminating process and glue that Powell Peralta boards use. These decks have Positiv’s super slide treatment (SST), which is essentially a plastic lining that makes the board slide more easily. The stuff works, and wax becomes less necessary for slides with these boards.
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.
Let me tell you this, Santa Cruz has a huge variety of high quality everything-skateboard so naturally picking out the best skateboard of the best was a hard task. But as usual, we have a clear winner; the Santa Cruz Youth Land Shark Cruzer, Rasta. If you are a part of the skateboarding community, there is a high chance that you might have heard about this skateboard. Intricately crafted with the best quality materials, it is one of the best skateboards in town.
“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.
Moose boards are very solid in all categories. They are low priced, available in a variety of different shapes and sizes, and have been around for a while so they’ve built up a reputable brand name. You won’t go wrong buying a pack of Moose blanks if you’re the type of guy that goes through decks quickly or is looking to resell them at your local skatepark.
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.
A skateboard is a special type of sports equipment crafted from a long piece of maple wood with a polyurethane coating for increased durability and easy sliding while in motion. The wood is attached to four wheels and propelled forward by either the push of a rider's foot or by the gravitational forces acting upon them in a given circumstance, which means that a rider can simply stand on the board's surface and ride it downhill without using their feet at all. Skateboards are available as either long boards or short boards. Long boards are usually between thirty-five and sixty inches long and are ideal for cruising purposes and downhill racing. They are typically more expensive than short boards, which are around thirty inches long and are designed for getting air and performing stunts or tricks.
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.
Moreover, we love how this cruiser skateboard is a beautiful concave shape with stunning graphics. We love its 7 ply deck with its 65mm Road Rider 78a wheels that are perfect for a quick ride out of your door. Its cruiser shape is excellent for pulling off tricks and also downhill riding. It has one of the best trucks around bullet B137 blue and white trucks and also comes with grip tape, Sand spray grip; measures 27.7 x 8.8 inches.
Real’s video output continued with Kicked out of Everywhere (1999), Real to Reel (2001) and Seeing Double (2002). Following these full-length releases Real adopted a different approach to video making with a number of shorter tour-based and remix video releases which chimed with the shorter attention spans of the Internet generation – these include titles such as Real ‘Remix Project V1.1 (2007) and Real ‘From the Vaults V.1 (2007).
When looking at skateboarding’s history, the only thing that’s stayed the same is the overall structure: every board consists of four skateboard wheels, two skateboard trucks, and a riding surface of some kind. And while we’ve come a long way from the days of metal and clay wheels, some aspects of skateboarding - like the brands manufacturing some of the most trusted products - haven’t changed at all. Independent Trucks has been designing trucks since 1978. Powell Peralta, the company responsible for Powell Skateboards, Bones Wheels, Bones Bearings, and the Bones Brigade also started in 1978. NHS, Inc., the company that produces Santa Cruz Skateboards, Independent Trucks, Bronson Speed Bearings, Krux trucks, Flip Skateboards, Ricta Wheels, Mob Grip, and OJ Wheels started in 1973. It’s no wonder these brands are still doing so well - they’ve been with skateboarding since the beginning. Since the day skateboarding went from something surfers did when the waves were flat to its own sport that involves technique, practice, and careful consideration, a small handful companies have been there to help skateboarding become what it is today.
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.
By raising £790,000, the Long Live Southbank initiative managed in 2017 to curb the destruction of a forty years old spot in London due to urban planning, a salvaging operation whose effect extends beyond skateboarding. The presence of a designated skating area within this public space keeps the space under nearly constant watch and drives homeless people away, increasing the feeling of safety in and near the space. The activity attracts artists such as photographers and film makers, as well as a significant number of tourists, which in turn drives economic activity in the neighborhood.