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.
Powell Peralta has gained increasing popularity in the 1980s, when skateboarding became an increasingly more sought-after action sports. Since then, they have been developing skateboards tailored to customers, taking reviews and critiques into consideration every time they were building a new model. The Powell Golden Dragon is a direct result of such careful consideration and tailored-modeling.
By 2001 skateboarding had gained so much popularity that more people under the age of 18 rode skateboards (10.6 million) than played baseball (8.2 million), although traditional organized team sports still dominated youth programs overall. Skateboarding and skateparks began to be viewed and used in a variety of new ways to complement academic lessons in schools, including new non-traditional physical education skateboarding programs, like Skatepass and Skateistan, to encourage youth to have better attendance, self-discipline and confidence. This was also based on the healthy physical opportunities skateboarding was understood to bring participants for muscle & bone strengthening and balance, as well as the positive impacts it can have on youth in teaching them mutual respect, social networking, artistic expression and an appreciation of the environment.
For example, regular skateboards are around 7.5” x 31”-8.5” x 32.5”, while skateboards for children are commonly sized 7”x28”. This ensures that young kids won’t be overwhelmed with the design of bigger skateboards from this buying guide. It also helps children ease-in into the skateboarding world, allowing them to see if it’s the right sport for them at an early age.
One of the skateboarding companies that are at the op is Almost Skateboards, founded by pro skateboarders Daewon Song and Rodney Mullen in 2003 and distributed by Dwindle Distribution. Both had ceased participating in their previous companies, Enjoi and Artafact, respectively. Almost is a brand that concentrates on fun and creativity but on also not taking oneself too seriously. The company produces decks made of 7-ply, 8-ply and carbon fiber constructions, bound with resin epoxy glue. The brand offers completes that include skateboards with the deck, wheels, trucks and bearings, as well as wheels, accessories and apparel. The team consists of Rodney Mullen, Daewon Song, Cooper Wilt, Youness Amrani, Yuri Facchini, Tyson Bowerbank, Fran Molina, and Mitchie Brusco.
Omar Salazar suffered a bad knee injury recently and was sidelined from skating, allowing him to refocus his energy into running his company, Doomsayers. Following the demise of Alien Workshop and facing an uncertain future in the industry, Omar decided to really focus on a brand whose image is not shy about its disdain for corporate greed, which many people blame for the demise of his long time sponsor.
One thing can already be told – compared to 2015 a lot has changed! The selection of the ‘Brands of the Year’ is made up of the combination of sold decks, brand shop visits, search queries and your interest in blog entries regarding the top players in the business. Our own brand SK8DLX was not considered for the ranking. We are happy, however, that you love to skate our in-house boards diligently and the SK8DLX deck series is celebrated well. In this sense, a big thank you to you all! Let’s start with the 16 most popular skateboard deck brands of 2016!
Covering multiple countries all over the world, Skatro is widely received as one of the top mini-cruiser suppliers that are in existence. Starting from a very small office and humble beginnings, Skatro brand was determined to provide excellent care and respect to their clients while maintaining a quality product that is both mechanically sound as well as financially viable.
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.
Real’s video output continued with Kicked out of Everywhere (1999), Real to Reel (2001) and Seeing Double (2002). Following these full-length releases Real adopted a different approach to video making with a number of shorter tour-based and remix video releases which chimed with the shorter attention spans of the Internet generation – these include titles such as Real ‘Remix Project V1.1 (2007) and Real ‘From the Vaults V.1 (2007).
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.
Many parents and grandparents visit SkateXS for their young one’s first “real” skateboard with the same fundamental quality questions. I realized we could certainly do a better job of making sense of it all! So with a bit of karmic appeal that someone will someday finally explain unicycles to me, here is a summary of something we actually know a thing or two about!
The skateboarding industry has changed so much in the last few years. Female skaters now get the support they need from bigger companies. I know hoopla helped pave the way for this to happen. It was so rewarding and surreal to have had such a rad team of girls represent hoopla over the years. I am stoked to have formed friendships with such a diverse and talented group.
The Wasatch Imports Good Skateboards is the ultimate compact and complete street board that is ready-to-go. It is great for exercise and fun. It is very portable and perfect for all skill levels. It has a variety of awesome vintage color combinations that you can choose from. It is made of topline construction, with a high-density plastic deck, 59mm super smooth wheels, ABEC7 bearings, and solid aluminum trucks. It measures 22″ long and 6″ wide and weighs 4 pounds. It has a full manufacturer’s lifetime warranty on all parts, pieces, and materials. It has a weight limit of 200 pounds which can ensure that bigger skaters can join the fun.
Our personal favorite is the Penny Australia Classic Complete Skateboard and trust me when I tell you this, it is the best skateboard for beginners. Hands down, we love how it is amazing to look at, very portable, excellent speed and has the greatest parts like hard wheels, 7 ABEC bearings and high tensile bolts. We love this board so much that it forms part of our best skateboards 2018 list as well.
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.
There really isn’t a best brand….I prefer boards that are made in America by small companies or for small companies by mid sized companies. but that’s my general preference Watson and PS Stix also makes boards for a lot of companies (mostly outside the USA from what I understand) I have a couple of Welcome Jordon Sanchez decks (pressed by PS Stix) on my spare board shelf that I can wait to skate.
In 2003 Go Skateboarding Day was founded in southern California by the International Association of Skateboard Companies to promote skateboarding throughout the world. It is celebrated annually on June 21 "to define skateboarding as the rebellious, creative celebration of independence it continues to be." According to market research firm American Sports Data the number of skateboarders worldwide increased by more than 60 percent between 1999 and 2002—from 7.8 million to 12.5 million.
The criteria used to select the brands featured varies – some are included due to their commitment to technological innovation and for their efforts to improve the products they offer through experimentation, others are included for what they offer in terms of cultural depth and for their contributions to skateboarding culture as a whole, whether that be through graphics, video output or simple attitude.