Originally referred to as sidewalk surfing, the birth of skateboarding dates back to the early 1940s and the use of wooden boxes with roller skates attached to their bottoms. While the board itself cannot necessarily be attributed to a single inventor of the time and was, instead, a spontaneous invention from multiple sources, the modern style of many of today's skateboards took form during the 1950s when California surfers were looking for a physical activity to keep them busy during times when the waves were flat. The first manufactured skateboards were ordered by a Los Angeles surf shop and were designed to be used by surf enthusiasts during their downtime. At the time, the shop owner set up an arrangement with the Chicago Roller Skate Company to produce sets of skate wheels, which the shop would then attach to square wooden boards.
This board is also a very smooth ride, and surprisingly offers plenty of stability as well, which makes it safe for beginners to learn with. Finally, it’s one of the few boards on this list that comes in a huge array of styles and artwork so that you can get the board that suits your style best. If what you want is a board that looks and performs like the boards you see at sporting events, this is the perfect choice. The only downside is that it’s not the most flexible board out there, which could make it a little harder to ease into turns – however, this feature is what makes the board just right for learning tricks on.
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.
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.
Element has also diversified their business model with ventures into retail with Element stores across the globe, advocate programs supporting artists such as Thomas Campbell and Fred ‘French Fred’ Mortagne, Women’s fashion through the Element Women’s range and the most cohesive approach to supporting European skateboarding of any brand in the industry through their dedicated European team.
Skateboarding is one of the most popular alternative sports around the world, for kids and adults alike. But before you hop on a board and take off, it’s important to choose the right kind of board for you. Most beginners will simply grab the board that they like the looks of, and with the endless array of deck art and styles that exist, that kind of attitude can lead to choosing a board that isn’t right to learn on.
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.
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.
If you are completely new to skateboarding, consider taking a minute to read through the Skateboard Decks Section in our Buyer’s Guide will be helpful, but a good rule of thumb is: the bigger your feet, the wider your board should be. If you wear a size 9 and up, you can’t go wrong with buying an 8” board. Narrow boards are easier to flip while wider boards are more stable, but there are no hard and fast rules to skateboarding. The only way to really find out what you like is by trying new shapes, sizes, and brands. Brands like Welcome, Baker, Chocolate, Deathwish, and Element all have a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and graphics.
If what you want is the classic skate park skateboard that you see teens riding around all day, the MINORITY is the board for you. This is an extremely sturdy and durable board that can hold up to 220 pounds, and is made for trick riding especially. The strong trucks, medium concave shape, and high-rebound bushing all make this a fantastic board for ramps, pools, and street riding.
What began life as a screen-printing business back in 2001 has organically morphed into one of the UK’s most celebrated low-key bedroom brands. After completing a screen-printing and fine arts degree Stuart Smith set up Lovenskate to offer bespoke screen printing services to the skateboard industry and beyond from inside his parents garage. Over time, Lovenskate grew and formally metamorphosed into a skateboard brand back in 2001.
The wheels are also impressive. Unlike some other skateboards that have wheels that are quite stiff, causing them to feel like they will lock up when you ride on them, the wheels in this complete skateboard for beginners are smooth and comfortable. These are also easily controllable, so rest assured that they offer a smooth and friction-free glide.
Top Skateboards come from companies such as Blind Skateboards. Professional skateboarder Mark Gonzales founded the brand and it was launched in 1989. Today, products are distributed by Dwindle Distribution. The brand is intended for serious, hardcore skateboarders. It has an emphasis and an appreciation for the graphics used for its decks. In the early 1990s, Blind Skateboards set itself apart from other skateboard brands by creating videos. Their first, directed by Spike Jonze, appeared in 1991. You can get completes at Blind that includes the decks, wheels, trucks, and bearings. The Blind Team is professional skateboarders Cody McEntire, TJ Rogers, Kevin Romar, Sewa Kroetkov, Morgan Smith, Sam Beckett, Micky Papa, Yuto Horigome, and Jason Thurtle.
Krooked’s video release to date include ‘Krooked Kronichles‘ (2006), the experimental ‘Krooked – Gnar Gnar‘ (2007) only released on VHS in limited numbers, predating the explosion of interest in the outdated VHS format as foregrounded by brands such as Palace skateboards some years later, ‘Krooked – Naughty‘ (2008) and Krooked – Krook3D (filmed in both regular and 3D formats) (2010).
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.
Both your height and weight should play an important role when you are choosing a skateboard. You need to find a skateboard, which fits your weight and height. Picking one, which is either too small or too big might only cause you to experience difficulty controlling it, especially if you are still a beginner learning the ins and outs of skateboarding.
If you are a beginner, the best thing you can do before you buy a board is to ask yourself what kind of skateboarding you want to do. Do you want to go cruising around a mostly flat area for fun? A longboard may be the best choice for you. Are you interested in learning tricks and stunts? A double-kick skateboard may be the best option. A classic skateboard is perfect for the rider that isn’t really sure what they want just yet.
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.
This is the way most serious skateboarders buy new skateboards. In some cases they choose different brands for the wheels, bearings, trucks, deck, and hardware and customize it to their own unique style and preferences. The benefit to buying part like this you can replace only certain parts that are worn down and you have more control over each aspect of your skateboard. I recommend this approach to intermediate and advanced skateboarders who want to experiment with different brands and styles. However, if you are looking to try skateboarding for the first time or buy it as a gift for someone else I would recommend buying an already assembled complete skateboard.
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.
Just like our previous skateboard, also produced by Punisher, the Elphantasm looks just as attractive as its sister model, the Butterfly Jive. Both have very outgoing designs that can fit the style of skating for many riders nowadays. The highly artistic image of this skateboard is, as Punisher states, one of its main attractive features. Combining the high-quality design with the quality craftsmanship of the Candian Maple deck has been one of Punisher’s better choices. It makes this board one of the most durable skateboards out there.
Girl’s next full-length video came in 2003 with the release of ‘Yeah Right‘ which introduced a crew of younger Girl riders including Paul Rodriguez and Jereme Rogers, along with announcing videographer Ty Evans addition to the Crailtap family. From 2002 onwards, Ty Evans had been the main driving force behind Crailtap’s video output as Spike Jonze’s Hollywood directorial career took off.
With distinctive graphics, often touching upon controversial issues such as racism with American society such as the infamous Jim Thiebaud ‘Lynch the KKK’ graphic designed by Natas Kaupas and Kevin Ancell, and classic Jeff Klindt graphics such as the James Kelch ‘James’ board, which was recently re-released, Real’s aesthetic has always been instantly recognisable.