The logos you grow up with always mean more to you than the ones that came before or after. I'm not even going to suggest that I can be unbiased about something that means so much to me; but I also like to think that as a skater who has worked within the industry as an artist and a skate rat that grew up in the Midwest, I can separate my love of the activity from my personal feelings about the industry and companies. These are important logos for many reasons. Some are more powerful and meaningful than others but what I'm addressing are icons that have come to represent skateboarding in a lot of ways... succinctly and graphically.
If you are a beginner, the best thing you can do before you buy a board is to ask yourself what kind of skateboarding you want to do. Do you want to go cruising around a mostly flat area for fun? A longboard may be the best choice for you. Are you interested in learning tricks and stunts? A double-kick skateboard may be the best option. A classic skateboard is perfect for the rider that isn’t really sure what they want just yet.
Longboards excel when covering longer distances on roads and bike paths or for “bombing” hills. The wider trucks and wheelbase provide superior stability, and larger wheel options help retain speed for faster commuting. Still, longboards are less responsive than shorter boards and don’t always have kick tails, making them less functional in tight spaces.
Buying a complete skateboard from a good brand is when you purchase an already put together board that comes with a deck, the tape already applied, the wheels, the trucks, and the bearings all screwed in. You can also make custom requirements for your complete skateboard like interchanging different trucks or bearings to better fit your own personal style of skating.
Independent has been making skateboarding trucks for over 25 years. Independent's Stage 9 truck series are quality made, lightweight and still durable. They also feature "Fast Action Independent Geometry," which means they are designed to react more quickly to your motions than other trucks. Independent trucks are usually on the wider side, but all sizes are available. Independent trucks are also guaranteed for life against manufacturer defects but should last forever anyway.
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.
Canadian maple wood decks are the industry standard and is what the vast majority of decks on this list will be made of. However, is the seller just says “maple” the deck is typically made in China and the wood may be slightly softer and lower quality. This is more common among the lower cost blank decks, and most pro brands or higher end blanks are typically 100% Canadian maple. In my opinion, the difference between Canadian and Chinese maple decks is slight and in many cases, a cheaper Chinese deck may be the better option for you if you have a small budget or tend to go through decks very quickly.
Both your height and weight should play an important role when you are choosing a skateboard. You need to find a skateboard, which fits your weight and height. Picking one, which is either too small or too big might only cause you to experience difficulty controlling it, especially if you are still a beginner learning the ins and outs of skateboarding.
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.
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!
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.
This article is about regular street skateboards. They are rounded on both ends and curved upwards. Sometimes beginners are confused by longboards that are much larger and irregularly shaped or cruiser board that can be very small. I just wanted to clarify this point, as this article is very helpful for choosing the best skateboard for beginners, but may provide incorrect or unimportant information if you are actually looking for longboards or cruisers.
Skateboarding has become a very popular means of transport over the years. Skateboards are great, no matter if you’re a student looking for a product to help you get around, a mother of two or just a skateboarding enthusiast. Getting around can be tricky, especially if your city is packed with traffic and fumes, and you don’t want to add to the problem. If you don’t mind cruising on the side of a pavement or a relatively clean road, skateboards can be a great way to have some fun and experience a new hobby.
Skate graphics have often incorporated blood, guts, and gore into board and T-shirt designs, but few brands render gnarliness quite as well as Heroin Skateboards. It's no surprise that a brand founded by artist Mark “Fos” Foster would have such tight art direction. Fos has a loose, low-fi handstyle that can be see in much of the brand's designs, and the delinquent band of team riders and their antics are a perfect embodimentof whatever “image” Fos is after.
You know how people say shit like: Ernest Hemingway is “a writer's writer” and it's not really clear what that means, but you sort of get it? Well Anti-Hero is a skater's skate brand. Founded by underground hero pro skater Julien Stranger, Anti-Hero is a direct expression of his attitude towards the skate industry, which is basically that skateboarding is life and fuck everything else. Anti-hero has a reputation for being one of the gnarliest skate brands around, thanks in part to their team of heavies which includes John Cardiel, Tony Trujillo, and Chris Pfanner.