Let's be clear: Mike Carroll and Rick Howard are legends and modern skating wouldn't be shit without them. There. When the two good pals left Plan B to start their own brand in 1993, skateboard history was made. Girl and Chocolate are separate brands, but they act like two sides of the same family, and after 20 years making decks and apparel for skateboarders, the clan is stronger than ever.
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.
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.
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.