It's too cold and dark to skate in Sweden for about six months out of the year. That must be when brand mastermind/artist Pontus Alv schemes on the global takeover he's been orchestrating for Polar. Not only are the brand's hats, tees, and hoodies some of the most coveted gear in the skate universe, the Polar team travels the globe hosting events, filming video clips, and getting people hyped on vigilante-style street skating. Look for Polar to come to your hood and build awesome, illegal concrete skate obstacles under a bridge, then bounce like gnarly, European skate tooth fairies. Good luck finding a tee or hat at this point—hype has made to goods rare, but let's hope as the excitement grows Mr. Alv will expand his distro.
The National Skate Co‘s approach to marketing retained this air of intrigue with the release of their first video, ‘The National Skateboard Co. Promo‘ in 2013 with minimal promotion beforehand. This promo video featured lo-fi VX2000 footage of original team members Thomas Harrison, Danijel Stankovic, David Mackey, Joshua Young, Vaughan Jones and Neil Smith interspersed with found footage and black and white news reel clips.
Whilst early skateboarders generally rode barefoot, preferring direct foot-to-board contact, and some skaters continue to do so, one of the early leading trends associated with the sub-culture of skateboarding itself, was the sticky-soled slip-on skate shoe, most popularized by Sean Penn's skateboarding character from the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Because early skateboarders were actually surfers trying to emulate the sport of surfing, at the time when skateboards first came out on the market, many skateboarded barefoot. But skaters often lacked traction, which led to foot injuries. This necessitated the need for a shoe that was specifically designed and marketed for skateboarding, such as the Randy "720", manufactured by the Randolph Rubber Company, and Vans sneakers, which eventually became cultural iconic signifiers for skateboarders during the 1970s and '80s as skateboarding became more widespread.
Choosing a good skateboard can be tricky, if you're a beginner in the sport. There's a lot that you have to take into account, in addition to the cost. You have to also consider the complete board, the deck, the trucks, and the wheels, whether you're buying a ready-made skateboard or are putting together your own. Once you understand what makes a good skateboard, you'll be hitting up the skate parks in no time.
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.
Bianca Chandôn’s offerings can be found in high-end shops like Trés Bien and Supply, while Call Me 917, the sister company focusing on producing skateboards and hosting a skate team can be found mostly at select skate shops, such as New York’s own Labor Skateshop, but is also stocked at elite retailers like Dover Street Market. This brand duality allows Olson the freedom to explore new fields like cut-and-sew and womenswear with Bianca, while staying true to skateboarding with Call Me 917.
Theories of Atlantis is a brand that truly defies categorization. Josh Stewart’s brain child has gone through more phases than most companies, first being a means for him to put out his own series of Static videos featuring New York skaters, to now being a full blown distribution house for smaller boutique skateboarding brands featured on this list. Josh also puts out a line of soft goods with the turn of every season, playing off conspiracy theory style graphics and imagery on staple items like zip hoodies and long sleeves.
In the early 1970s skateparks hadn't been invented yet, so skateboarders would flock and skateboard in such urban places as The Escondido reservoir in San Diego, California. Skateboarding magazine would publish the location and Skateboarders made up nicknames for each location such as the Tea Bowl, the Fruit Bowl, Bellagio, the Rabbit Hole, Bird Bath, the Egg Bowl, Upland Pool and the Sewer Slide. Some of the development concepts in the terrain of skateparks were actually taken from the Escondido reservoir. Many companies started to manufacture trucks (axles) specially designed for skateboarding, reached in 1976 by Tracker Trucks. As the equipment became more maneuverable, the decks started to get wider, reaching widths of 10 inches (250 mm) and over, thus giving the skateboarder even more control. A banana board is a skinny, flexible skateboard made of polypropylene with ribs on the underside for structural support. These were very popular during the mid-1970s and were available in a myriad of colors, bright yellow probably being the most memorable, hence the name.
Welcome is doing everything the way that people would probably tell you not to when it comes to how they run their board company. With no real full-length project out since it became a company, and with no pros to name, but boasting a full roster of official riders, Welcome is as unorthodox of a skate company as it gets. They don’t even make a single board in the traditional popsicle shape most boards are made today.
As with all penny boards, the Fade has a waffletop on the deck so that you have plenty of grip and stability as you ride. The plastic material of these boards is durable enough to withstand being run over, and the trucks and wheels are of similar high quality. This board is not made for the beginner that wants to skate downhill or do a lot of speedy skating – the short length makes it dangerous for that. But if you’re just interested in commuting and want something portable, this is a great choice.
The promo was followed in late 2012 by another Polar Skate Co. Promo – No complies & wallrides & shuvits again filmed in and around Malmo, Sweden as well as Copenhagen, Denmark, New York and London, featuring skaters who appeared in the original promo, plus new addition and former Uk-born Blueprint skater Jerome Campbell and New York based Aaron Herrington who would go on to turn pro for Polar.
I'm not talking about mall chain stores, like Zumiez; I mean a locally owned and operated skateboard shop. Look around at what they sell, and talk to the staff about the different brands. Of course, they may be biased toward the brands they carry, but chances are you'll learn something that will help you make a decision. There are some big-name board brands that you'll find in most shops, but there should also be some smaller brands you may not have heard or seen around town. There might even be a a local skater or manufacturer that you could support.
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.
Destructo has some fancy skateboarding trucks. The Destructo raw series skate trucks come in low, medium and high designs and look oddly skinny. The Limited and Pro series trucks just look awesome, with simple pro signatures on the front and great color schemes. That's not to mention Destructo's "Rail Killer" series - these light trucks have extended baseplates to reduce wheelbite, and come in some incredible color schemes (including one using 24 karat gold!).
“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’”
While the skateboard has a lot of moving parts, one's safety, comfort, and ease to learn new skills and perform tricks are all of equal importance. For this reason, choosing the right type of deck and wheels should be two of the first considerations, as the board's shape, material construction, and wheel makeup will all have a significant impact on your ability to control the equipment and maintain good aerodynamics. Additionally, the width of the deck is important, so one must take their height, shoe size, and style of riding into account in order to ensure the deck offers as much support as possible, regardless of application.
For those of you who don't know, Mark Gonzales isn't just an artist who occasionally pens logos for Supreme. He's a bonafide legend, as an artist, a skater, and a personality. His brand Krooked is a perfect expression of that, with art direction from the man himself, and a videography of skate flicks that includes essential viewing Gnar Gnar, Kronichles, and Naughty. Supreme may top Krooked on this list, but true Gonz stans will always represent with Krooked.
Browsing decks online is best when you're looking the actual brand's website, rather than a retailer that carries a lot of different brands. The company site usually gives you a taste of what the brand is all about, in addition to what their decks look like. A lot of brands have their own skateboarding teams. If you happen to like a rider on a team, that can give you a strong connection to a brand (and they'll probably have a deck with your favorite rider's name on it). You also might be drawn to a particular philosophy of the brand or a specific design or construction feature used on their decks. For example, some companies are known for killer graphics, and some play around with different materials to give their decks unique performance characteristics.
The smaller the wheel diameter, the easier it is to do tricks, because it makes the board sit closer to the ground. But beginners will definitely have an easier time controlling a board with larger diameter wheels. Think of the larger wheels as being akin to training wheels. If you don’t want your board to have “pop” as you are learning, you can choose softer wheels, all the way down to a 73a. They won’t let you go as fast, and you’ll have to push off more often, but they do make it more likely that your board will stay on the ground.
Since its inception in 1990, Alien Workshop has gone through a number of changes of ownership, first being bought by Burton Snowboards in February 2008, then purchased from Burton by original Alien Workshop rider and reality TV show star Rob Dyrdek in January 2012. Following Dyrdek’s purchase of the brand and its umbrella company DNA Distribution, (also incorporating Habitat skateboards, Habitat footwear and Reflex bearings), an announcement was made in October of 2013 that Dyrdek would remain as a minority shareholder of DNA Dist, with the majority of shares purchased by Pacific Vector Holdings, (also owners of No Fear clothing and Gatorz sunglasses).