Similar to sandpaper, grip tape, or “grip” as it’s commonly referred to, is applied to the top of your deck for traction. Grip gives you the friction you need to perform tricks such as ollies and kickflips. Not all grip tape is the same however. Each brand's products perform differently, so you may want to experiment with different brands to get a feel for what you prefer.
Element, based out of Irvine, CA, is one of the cool skateboard brands today. They came in first on our list due to their quality boards, sustainable practices and the affordability they offer customers. They’re an environmentally responsible brand who creates their boards without causing any environmental damage. The Element team behind the company is comprised of a group of professional skateboarders who interact with a strong belief in the Element brand. They not only offer great products, but stand for an open minded and active lifestyle and have become one of the best skateboard brands in the world.
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.
These films have helped improve the reputation of skateboarding youth, depicting individuals of this subculture as having a positive outlook on life, prone to poking harmless fun at each other, and engaging in healthy sportsman's competition. According to the film, lack of respect, egotism and hostility towards fellow skateboarders is generally frowned upon, albeit each of the characters (and as such, proxies of the "stereotypical" skateboarder) have a firm disrespect for authority and for rules in general. Gleaming the Cube, a 1989 movie starring Christian Slater as a skateboarding teen investigating the death of his adopted Vietnamese brother, was somewhat of an iconic landmark to the skateboarding genre of the era. Many well-known skaters had cameos in the film, including Tony Hawk and Rodney Mullen, where Mullen served as Slater's stunt double.
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?
Freedom Plaza has become a popular location for skateboarding, although the activity is illegal and has resulted in police actions. A 2016 National Park Service management plan for the Historic Site states that skateboarding has damaged stonework, sculptures, walls, benches, steps, and other surfaces in some areas of the Plaza. The management plan further states that skateboarding presents a persistent law enforcement and management challenge, as popular websites advertise the Plaza's attractiveness for the activity. The plan notes that vandals have removed "No Skateboarding" signs and recommends the replacement of those signs.
Amongst the chaos of trends and contrived images GOOD Skateboards remains true to the roots. The preach and practice of the philosophy that it's not WHAT you do but HOW you do it. Spear headed by legendary pro Tosh Townend, GOOD Skateboards is that much needed breath of fresh air in an industry polluted by heartless money fiends and exploitative mind sets. Made in the USA and as Grass Roots as you could possibly get Tosh and good friend Tommy De Maria bring to you something straight from the core of skateboarding; actual skateboarding. No egos, no attitudes; GOOD Skateboards' roots run deep with an utmost respect for skateboarding's past and a rich understanding of skateboarding's history. Support GOOD and support skateboarding in the hands of skateboarders.
Zoo York originated in 1993 and is based out of New York. Its name and signature name came from the underground subway tunnel dubbed as Zoo York. The tunnel runs under the Central Park Zoo, however it’s primarily known from the graffiti subculture of the 1960’s and the 1970’s. The Zoo York tunnel was a prime hangout of its day and was originally tagged by some of the first east coast graffiti artists. Zoo York carries a unique style from the subway tunnel days, and it comes through in their graphics and street skating designs; not to mention their high durability design. They round off our list of the 10 top skateboard brands in the market. Zoo York is an innovative company that has worked its way up to being one of the best skateboard brands in the world.
They have continued to ride that wave over the past year, continuously putting out great edits, following cherry up with Sickness, Red Devil, Joyride, and Swoosh, all in collaboration with cherry’s filmer Bill Strobeck. We all know they will never fall off when it comes to putting out fire gear every new season and drop, but to keep it coming with actual great footage is another story, and is definitely making skateboarding better today.