Skateboarders from all over know Santa Cruz Skateboards for its “Screaming Hand” logo, designed by legendary artist Jim Phillips, and the monstrous artwork displayed on the decks, including series styles such as their Star Wars and Marvel series. Founded in 1973 and distributed by NHS, Inc., the California based brand is the oldest continuous skateboard company in the world. Santa Cruz boards are made from 100% North American maple and they offer complete skateboards, decks, and cruiser boards. The Santa Cruz Skateboards team consists of 16 professional skateboarders including names such as Blake Johnson, Dylan Williams, Emmanuel Guzman, and Eric Dressen.
Somehow, in the great effort to fight societal conformity, skateboarding always manages to create its own conformity. Trends in styles of skating and fashion come and go. A brand gets hot for a year or two because it's on trend, then it fades to make way for the next thing. Welcome Skateboards doesn't give a fuck about all that. Yes, they are a little weird. The graphics are vaguely Illuminati, and they can't seem to make a normal shaped deck, but that's just Welcome doing its own thing, and who wouldn't welcome that?
You’re just looking for a quality skateboard to buy for a beginner (either you or someone you know), but you have no idea where to start. You see bearings, hardware, wheels, decks, and trucks being advertised but don’t want to spend hours researching which individual part to buy. This is how I felt when I was first looking to but a complete skateboard for my nephew for Christmas many years ago. I wanted something that he would love, but also that was safe and would not break the bank. After researching and making a decision I thought it would be useful to share this information with others who may be in a similar situation.
Sending sincere thanks to everyone that supported us over the last decade – including team riders, fans, customers, photographers, filmers, & mags. Thanks to George & Juli Powell & everyone at Skate One Corp. who believed in us & helped facilitate our vision. Thanks most of all to Cara-Beth Burnside for whom without her influence, leadership, & no-bullshit-spirit none of this would have ever been possible.
Powell has made sure to provide their customers with more than one design of one of their most sought-after skateboards. The Golden Dragon 2 is very similar to its predecessor, the Golden Dragon and is just as reliable as its sister model. When it comes to skateboarding, you can’t ask for a better board than the Golden Dragon 2. It’s durable, firm and thanks to the concave skateboard deck design, will allow you to do many tricks. Tricks, that other boards could possibly not support as well.
There were several artistic skateboarding pioneers that had an influence on the culture of skateboarding during the 1980s, that transformed skateboard-deck art like Jim Phillips, whose edgy comic-book style "Screaming Hand", not only became the main logo for Santa Cruz Skateboards, but eventually transcended into tattoos of the same image for thousands of people and vinyl collectible figurines over the years. Artist Vernon Courtlandt Johnson is said to have used his artwork of skeletons and skulls, for Powell Peralta, during the same time that the music genres of punk rock and new wave music were beginning to mesh with the culture of skateboarding. Some other notable skateboard artists that made contribrutions to the culture of skateboarding also include Andy Jenkins, Todd Bratrud, Neil Blender, Marc McKee, Tod Swank, Mark Gonzales, Lance Mountain, Natas Kaupas and Jim Evans.
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Bianca Chandôn’s offerings can be found in high-end shops like Trés Bien and Supply, while Call Me 917, the sister company focusing on producing skateboards and hosting a skate team can be found mostly at select skate shops, such as New York’s own Labor Skateshop, but is also stocked at elite retailers like Dover Street Market. This brand duality allows Olson the freedom to explore new fields like cut-and-sew and womenswear with Bianca, while staying true to skateboarding with Call Me 917.
A precursor to the extreme sport of street luge, that was sanctioned by the United States Skateboarding Association (USSA), also took place during the 1970s in Signal Hill, California. The competition was called "The Signal Hill Skateboarding Speed Run", with several competitors earning entries into the Guinness Book of World Records, at the time clocking speeds of over 50 mph on a skateboard. Due to technology and safety concerns at the time, when many competitors crashed during their runs, the sport did not gain popularity or support during this time.
It's apt that Tribute has taken an umbrella as the company logo. In a city that rains as much as Portland, skaters don't have too much to be stoked about. But that has done nothing to deter one of the strongest skate scenes in the US, which has the notorious Burnside skatepark, awesome brands like Tribute, and local rippers like Brent Atchley at its core.
First off, it’s important to decide what you will be using your skateboard for and what you will be doing with it. That’s why it’s important to ask a few key questions: Are you going to be using it every day? Is it for a new hobby? Is it for competition practice? What surface will you be skating on? Will you be partaking in park skating, or street skating?
The skateboard companies that are considered at the top include Element Skateboards. Founded by professional skateboarder Johnny Schillereff in 1992, the company’s goal was to expand on Johnny’s “Elementality” vision to build a company that helped to bring awareness to skateboarding. The goal is to focus on its uses in nature and the environment and the interconnecting of art and skateboarding. Developed from an urban mentality that was rough around the edges, the brand was transformed to embrace the “tree” logo with an emphasis on the positive and making the world a better place. A customer can purchase complete skateboards that include the decks, wheels, trucks, and bearings or they can customize a deck to suit their needs. Accessories and clothing are also offered. There are 20 professional skateboarders on the Elements team including such names as Brandon Westgate, Nyjah Houston, Mark Appleyard and Nick Garcia.
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.
“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.”
However, the diversity of Santa Cruz skateboard’s stake in the skateboard business meant that they easily survived the mid-90’s slump in popularity and returned with an newly invigorated team and powered on with video after video from the mid-90’s to the present day. Similarly to Powell-Peralta, Santa Cruz are also notable for their Veteran Division (documented in their 2007 release ‘V Day‘) celebrating pro riders such as Keith Meek, Tom Knox and Eric Dressen from earlier eras of Santa Cruz’s existence. Santa Cruz Skateboards current line of product boasts many re-released classic boards from earlier eras of the brand and are as popular, if not more so, than they were originally, thanks to an explosion in the nostalgia and collector’s markets within skateboarding.
I have a dream to hook up some of the world’s best skateboarders, and make everybody know and love this awesome sport! So, in the summer of 2017, I launched SkatesZone with little more than a dollar and want it to become an interesting place for all skaters where you can find a plenty of skateboards information, tips & tricks, instructions, and more.
Our personal favorite is the Penny Australia Classic Complete Skateboard and trust me when I tell you this, it is the best skateboard for beginners. Hands down, we love how it is amazing to look at, very portable, excellent speed and has the greatest parts like hard wheels, 7 ABEC bearings and high tensile bolts. We love this board so much that it forms part of our best skateboards 2018 list as well.
The Skatro Mini Cruiser Skateboard includes Abec 7 Skatro Bearings, 59MM Urethane Skatro wheels, and 3-inch lightweight aluminum trucks. The Skatro Flexy Technology ensures optimal flex on every board. Skatro outperforms most of the leading brands and it has an amazing value. You can take this board on the subway, plane, train, and even on the bus. It includes a color matching T-tool. It has the best rating of 4.8 on Amazon.
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.
There are a lot of good skateboard brands out there. For a start, you can check out this list of Top Skateboard Deck Brands, but there are piles of other brands out there that are great. There are local brands, brands from other countries, and brands that you or I have never heard of. Aside from a skateboard company's reputation for quality and good design, a brand is also a brand; that is, it comes with its own character and cred. You might like a brand simply for what it represents, whether that's the company's attitude or its team or its presence at the skate park. The first step in choosing a brand is getting out there and seeing what's available.
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.
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.
Keep in mind how tall you are when choosing a board width. Also consider the kind of style you wish to skate. Most technical skaters (the ones who incorporate advanced flip tricks... like Rodney Mullen) tend to favor boards between 7.5 and 7.75 regardless of how tall or small they happen to be. The upper hand of having a thin board allows for quick rotation. The other side of the spectrum is the "go big" skaters (Jamie Thomas is a classic example of a "go big" guy). Most "go big" guys favor size 8.0 and up. The advantage of a wide heavy board feels more stable under your feet while in mid air and while landing (especially those who have big feet). If your a kid you might want to just stick with a 7.66 or smaller.
Lewis Marnell became Almost’s first fully-fledged amateur, an addition announced in a bonus section of Almost’s ground-breaking mini ramp video ‘Almost Cheese and Crackers‘ from (2006) that focused upon Chris Haslam and Daewon Song’s pushing of the boundaries of mini ramp skating and has subsequently been credited with ushering in a new wave of technical transition skating in its wake.