New in the top 16 ranking, but still an old stager in the business. In 2016 you gladly put Anti Hero decks under your feet, which is not surprising regarding the neat designs and the high quality of the boards. The brand stands for 100% skateboarding without high life and frills. It’s all about ripping it. Get your Anti Hero deck at skatedeluxe from 52.99 € | 45.00 GBP!
The 18 has made some moves over the past few years that have shown they’re not a bunch of old hesh dudes that piled out and are just holding onto their stronghold with guys who are all about tattoos and brews. They collabed with Supreme and had one of their legends, Andy Roy, model the lookbook, and also put out Destination Unknown, a full video about their vagabond travels in the hunt for anything to skate. Most recently, they released What’s Up Monkey?, an all iPhone full-length video shot all across the world.
Baker is a classic good old fashioned, anti-establishment skateboard brand. Baker has a great professional team including founder Andrew Reynolds. Reynolds is also heavily involved in other well-known skateboard brands like Deathwish, Emerica, and Shake Junt. Notable street artist Neckface has a limited edition line of Baker decks that is one of the coolest in skateboarding in my opinion.
To help you decide what designs you like most, we included various patterns and printings in our review section. From cherry blossoms to fiery dragons, from checkered boxes to padded pugs, there is a lot to explore. You have to remember that you will be using this skateboard for years/months to come. Therefore, it’s important to choose a design that you think is cool, not a design that will look cool to others!
It was a slow start for 3D, who had Alex Olson bail on them when they first started out before they could even get their first run of boards inside of shops, leaving the company at just two riders: Brian Anderson and Austyn Gillette. Now, due at least partially in part to Brian Anderson’s solidified status as a skateboarding legend, 3D has taken off and become an established brand that’s not taking itself too seriously, but still putting on for skateboarding. 3Ds first video offering, featuring amateur rider Tom Karangolov in a dreamy pink colorcast world, has even showed that they’re looking to shake things up in the stale footage side of skateboarding.
The “popsicle” deck is the most popular shape because of its versatility and durability. These decks resemble the shape of a popsicle stick because they feature both a nose and a tail that are exactly or nearly symmetrical. Since the nose and the tail are shaped about the same, it’s easy to do tricks no matter which direction you’re headed in. Most skateboarders stick to popsicle decks because of their functionality and reliability.
There’s no way have never seen a Palace logo at this point, and if you haven’t that’s cause you shleep, bruh. Palace is one of the best out there doing the whole “high fashion or skate brand?” thing, and they hold a unique place on this list for being one of the few brands not based and started in the U.S. The Palace Wayward Boys Choir, like many before them, turned their group of friends into a successful crew of respected pros, who you will never see on Fox Sports 1 skating in a multi-million dollar contest.
Also called Standard Kingpin Trucks, these trucks will mount to any standard or cruiser deck. They are the most versatile type of trucks and can be used for any type of skateboarding. There are many brands and various features to consider, including truck height, weight and replaceable components. Trucks are easily adjustable and allow you to loosen or tighten the board's responsiveness. For more information on trucks, check out our Skateboard Trucks Guide.
As the oldest brand on this list, Santa Cruz rightly holds the distinction of being the oldest skateboard brand in the industry and thus, the brand which effectively created the modern skateboard brand as we know it today. Founded as part of NHS Inc. a Santa Cruz based skateboard distribution company over 40 year ago, Santa Cruz as a brand has played a large part in every era of skateboarding history since its inception.
It’s best to not go overboard with spending a lot of cash on your first skateboard. After all, it will take a lot of beating, and will surely be reduced to looking like a scratched plank of wood! Best skateboards to learn on include budget, beginner skateboards that offer you all the quality features a more expensive skateboard would, but at a lower expense. If you are new to skateboarding, it’s also recommended to get a skateboard with smaller wheels, since they go slower and are less intimidating!
A rugged street inspired brand founded by Stevie Williams and Troy Williams, DGK has been a favorite of inner city kids for years. Interestingly, this brand has found its way into mainstream streetwear culture through famous skateboarding rappers such as Lil Wayne and others. An overall solid brand with great products and street inspired logos and graphics.
You can get a lot of advice (and maybe too many opinions) from fellow skaters. Some of it might not be as informed or educated as a shop owner's (and some might be flat-out bad advice), but it should at least be sincere! If you don't have a local skate park, or are too uncomfortable to walk up to people and ask, you can also ask around on a skateboarding forum. People there will be more than happy to tell you what they think about deck brands.
“I just felt like it was a window of opportunity within my own career. I might be one of those lucky few who’d be able to do that, start my own brand and move on. That window of opportunity only upholds for so long in skateboarding before you miss your prime, so I’d be kicking myself in the ass five years from now looking back and saying ‘how come I didn’t capitalise on that? Here I am, an older skater and not in my prime anymore and I have nothing still connecting me to skateboarding’”
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.
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.
The skateboards on this list will all suit one type of person or another, but they all have drawbacks that keep them from being true pro boards. The best skateboards is the one that requires the fewest upgrades to be great. Replacing skateboard parts is just part of the game, as street skating is destructive by its very nature, but it should take a while.
Figuring out how to buy a skateboard can be daunting, especially if you’re not sure what you are looking for. There are customizable parts, accessories and some fancy technology that can be overwhelming. Good news is, we can simplify it for you! At Tactics, our crew is full of daily skaters, so we put our heads together to break it all down and give you the basics, plus a few recommendations.
Mark Gonzalez created bLind Skateboards in 1989, and shortly after initiated a pro team for his skateboard brand. The bLind brand is known for higher durability due to their innovative features. The boards released by bLind are developed and marketed for hardcore skaters and top other skateboarding brands. We like that bLind goes all out providing one of the strongest boards out there, and without sacrificing the flex needed for tricks. They also do it all with a sick style and an innovative business plan that has made them one of the top skateboard brands.
Supreme may be something of an outlier in the skate industry where few brands have brick and mortar presence, and limited distribution is aproblem, not a strategy. Unlikely or not, Supreme kills it as a skate brand and as a brand in general. No other skate brand can claim the level of accomplishment that Supreme has achieved—nine retail stores around the world, collaborations with the biggest names in fashion and art, and a confounding secondary market of resellers and collectors. Supreme reigns supreme.
Whilst this A – Z is by no means exhaustive and there are many brands, both new and old that are not included, we feel that this cross section of companies represents a selection of some of the best choices out there today. The following list of 29 skateboard brands, beginning with Alien Workshop and ending with Zero, covers a huge range of the alternatives within the current market and will hopefully act as a handy guide to those dipping their feet into our world for the first time.