As Palace’s reputation began to grow, the brand added more riders, including ex-Stereo Skateboards pro Benny Fairfax, ex-Blueprint Skateboards pros Danny Brady and Chewy Cannon and Southbank mainstays Karim Bakhtaoui and Blondey McCoy. From the outset, Palace’s approach was to mix a core skate team with a heavy emphasis on soft goods which almost immediately propelled their appeal way beyond the confines of the skateboard market and expedited their growth into one of the biggest names in the street wear arena.
The skateboard companies that are considered at the top include Element Skateboards. Founded by professional skateboarder Johnny Schillereff in 1992, the company’s goal was to expand on Johnny’s “Elementality” vision to build a company that helped to bring awareness to skateboarding. The goal is to focus on its uses in nature and the environment and the interconnecting of art and skateboarding. Developed from an urban mentality that was rough around the edges, the brand was transformed to embrace the “tree” logo with an emphasis on the positive and making the world a better place. A customer can purchase complete skateboards that include the decks, wheels, trucks, and bearings or they can customize a deck to suit their needs. Accessories and clothing are also offered. There are 20 professional skateboarders on the Elements team including such names as Brandon Westgate, Nyjah Houston, Mark Appleyard and Nick Garcia.
Goldfish and Mouse established Girl’s video aesthetic with numerous movie skits inter-cut with the skating, including the infamous Eric Koston as Charlie Chaplin skit. Pioneering skate photographer and film-maker Spike Jonze (also responsible for Blind Skateboard’s Video Days) as a part-owner of Crailtap has been involved in the making of all of their videos to date and it is his cinematic approach that lends Girl’s video output its uniqueness.
Stacy Peralta and George Powell rekindled their business relationship in 2010 and have since been extremely successful once more, particularly through the re-release of many of their classic legacy skateboards, assisted by the return of the legendary graphic artist Vernon Courtlandt Johnson (aka VCJ) who was responsible for creating many of the brand’s most iconic board graphics.
Here's some general guidelines to get you started: Narrower decks are lighter and easier to flip, but you’ll sacrifice some stability. Wider boards are more stable but are heavier and slightly less ideal for some tricks. Skaters who like flip tricks, manuals, ledges, and flat bars usually prefer boards on the narrower side of the spectrum (7.75 – 8.25 inches). Those who skate big bowls, hand rails, or like to jump down large gaps at high speeds are usually more comfortable with a larger board (8.25 – 9.0 inches).
Tensor trucks are the most highly engineered skateboard trucks on the market. Tensor trucks are like the Cadillac of trucks and have the brilliance of skateboarding legend / engineer Rodney Mullen as a driving force. Tensor trucks come in both standard and low designs, and should work excellently in most skateboarding situations. Sort of a perfect all-round well-built skateboarding truck.
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.
Krown has been producing skateboards since the late 1990s, which was the time when skateboards lived through a revival and became a popular hobby once again. Since then, Krown’s goal has been to create quality skateboards with budget prices. This has made Krown skateboards well sought after among beginners who want to try out extreme sports, and need a starting board. Even though Krown started out selling only skateboards, they have evolved to also sell longboards, pads, helmets and the alike over the years.
There’s no way have never seen a Palace logo at this point, and if you haven’t that’s cause you shleep, bruh. Palace is one of the best out there doing the whole “high fashion or skate brand?” thing, and they hold a unique place on this list for being one of the few brands not based and started in the U.S. The Palace Wayward Boys Choir, like many before them, turned their group of friends into a successful crew of respected pros, who you will never see on Fox Sports 1 skating in a multi-million dollar contest.
Baker is a classic good old fashioned, anti-establishment skateboard brand. Baker has a great professional team including founder Andrew Reynolds. Reynolds is also heavily involved in other well-known skateboard brands like Deathwish, Emerica, and Shake Junt. Notable street artist Neckface has a limited edition line of Baker decks that is one of the coolest in skateboarding in my opinion.
Ohderii Skate Skateboards are made of a High-quality Plastic deck which will not easily break even when pressed over by a car. It comes with 3.125″ all aluminum alloy trucks, 59mm 78A super smooth PU wheels and ABEC-7 stainless steel bearings. It is ready to use and you can easily store it in your backpack. It has an average rating of 4.5 on Amazon.
Another great pro option, Element is definitely one of the top 3 brands in skateboarding. This deck is also slightly slimmer than the Enjoi deck above so it would be an even better choice for someone with small feet or who is very young. This board has an iconic look that will be recognized by most skaters, and it has the quality to last much longer than most other skateboards on the market.
That Captain America-esque deck, though, is where the real magic happens. It uses Plan B’s Blk Ice tech, which means it’s lighter than your average board, stronger than standard 7-ply maple, and it’s built to slide and pop like no other without any need to add wax. This also makes it more consistent; no extra slippery or sticky spots, just a smooth ride.
Be sure to purchase from a reputable source. Buying online might save you a few dollars, but try your local skate shop first. The few extra dollars you spend support the shop and your local skate community. Developing a good relationship with a local skate shop often saves you money in the long run. The completes are not as good as custom made, but you can get them for a lot less money and upgrade any bad components later.
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.
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.