Jessup is considered to be the standard grip tape, and it is the grip we offer for free with all decks. MOB is known for their coarser grip, which gives excellent traction, but also wears down your shoes faster. MOB M-80, Grizzly and Shake Junt grip tapes fall somewhere in the middle, offering good overall traction without the heavy abrasion. There are other extra course grip options for downhill skateboarding (Vicious, Blood Orange, etc.). That stuff locks your foot in place but it is so coarse it would quickly destroy your shoes if you tried flip tricks with it.
Following Jason Dill and AVE leaving long time sponsors Alien Workshop back in 2013, Dill’s 13-year-old Fucking Awesome brand, which was formerly a clothing brand, became a board brand and began to add riders such as Dylan Rieder (RIP), Gino Iannucci, Jason Dill, Kevin Bradley, Nakel Smith, Sean Pablo, Sage Elsesser, Tyshawn Jones and Aiden Mackey.
Skateboarding is the best and worst thing that’ll you’ll ever have the pleasure of tearing your hair out over. In a typical day of skating, you’ll get hurt, you’ll get incredibly frustrated, and eventually land a trick that’ll make it all worth it - if you’re lucky. Choosing a skateboard is fairly simple if you know what shape and width you like. If you’ve been skating awhile, you’re probably fairly familiar with what board brands you like skating. If not, there are a number of resources to help you choose the best skateboard for your skating style. Continuing to read this little spiel is going to take the least amount of effort on your part.
If you want to be able to practice your new hobby anywhere and everywhere, the Fade is an excellent choice. This is a short skateboard that measures only 27 inches long, made of lightweight (yet still durable) plastic. That means it’s easy to toss into a backpack and carry with you on your commute, to school, or anywhere. It’ll also fit into a locker at the gym or school quite easily.
It's too cold and dark to skate in Sweden for about six months out of the year. That must be when brand mastermind/artist Pontus Alv schemes on the global takeover he's been orchestrating for Polar. Not only are the brand's hats, tees, and hoodies some of the most coveted gear in the skate universe, the Polar team travels the globe hosting events, filming video clips, and getting people hyped on vigilante-style street skating. Look for Polar to come to your hood and build awesome, illegal concrete skate obstacles under a bridge, then bounce like gnarly, European skate tooth fairies. Good luck finding a tee or hat at this point—hype has made to goods rare, but let's hope as the excitement grows Mr. Alv will expand his distro.
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.
Quality wheels won’t mean much if you don’t have nice bearings which allow the wheels to spin freely on the axle of the skateboard truck. A quality set of bearings will spin well right away and actually get even better once broken in a bit. If quality bearings get dirty, they can typically be taken apart and cleaned relatively easily. A good set of bearings typically runs between $10 - $16.
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.
Element is of the most mainstream brands in the industry today that has sponsored legends like Nyjah Huston and Bam Margera. There are many pro decks to choose from with some amazing tribal designs and they have introduced a “featherlight” technology that allows Element to have some of the lightest boards on the market today. Some may call Element “too mainstream” or “sellouts”, but at the end of the day, they produce quality products in a variety of artistic designs.
Founded by the original technical street skaters Daewon Song and Rodney Mullen, Almost Skateboards always pushes the envelope with fun, artistic cartoon graphics paired with high quality materials. Almost was one of the first brands to implement carbon fiber layers to their decks in the “Impact” deck line to increase the deck’s life and better maintain its shape.
Trick wise, you can perform many different tricks. The price is well worth it because of the lightweight nature and solid design of the skateboard brand. The trucks and bearings are custom made by the company so there is no room for error as the quality is promised to be upheld by the company. Also, the package itself comes with a mini T-tool which is great for on the spot replacement of wheels, adjusting the bearings, and also interchanging the trucks if need be.
A good helmet protects your most important vital organ. Remember that in some states helmets are required by law. In Oregon, for example, skaters 15 and under can be fined for not wearing a helmet. Knee and elbow pads will also save you from bumps and bruises. Knee pads are particularly valuable when learning to skate tall vertical walls because they allow you to slide down the wall on your knees instead of having to run out of every bailed attempt. Wrist and ankle injuries are common in skateboarding, so braces are another great investment.
Another bonus of shopping at an actual skate shop is that you get to see what the boards look like in person. Most skate shops will have a cool wall of boards, and it's fun to just stand there and look at all the graphics. If one jumps out and grabs you, then you can ask the shop owner about the brand, and whether it's a good one. There's nothing wrong at all with buying a skateboard deck because you like the graphics!
One of the earliest sponsored skateboarders, Patti McGee, was paid by Hobie and Vita Pak to travel around the country to do skateboarding exhibitions and to demonstrate skateboarding safety tips. McGee made the cover of Life magazine in 1965 and was featured on several popular television programs—The Mike Douglas Show, What's My Line? and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson—which helped make skateboarding even more popular at the time. Some other well known surfer-style skateboarders of the time were Danny Bearer, Torger Johnson, Bruce Logan, Bill and Mark Richards, Woody Woodward, & Jim Fitzpatrick.
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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.