There are three types of skateboards: classic, retro, and snake. Classic boards are the most common and what you generally find when you go shopping. Retro boards are longer and have larger wheels. They are great for skating long distances but inferior to classic boards for doing tricks. A snake board is not appropriate for kids since it requires intensive balance and has only one wheel.
Keep in mind how tall you are when choosing a board width. Also consider the kind of style you wish to skate. Most technical skaters (the ones who incorporate advanced flip tricks... like Rodney Mullen) tend to favor boards between 7.5 and 7.75 regardless of how tall or small they happen to be. The upper hand of having a thin board allows for quick rotation. The other side of the spectrum is the "go big" skaters (Jamie Thomas is a classic example of a "go big" guy). Most "go big" guys favor size 8.0 and up. The advantage of a wide heavy board feels more stable under your feet while in mid air and while landing (especially those who have big feet). If your a kid you might want to just stick with a 7.66 or smaller.
Using 12 years of experience in manufacturing skateboards, Penny Skateboards was created to offer the skateboarding community high performance and high quality plastic skateboards. The brand focuses on creating each Penny skateboard with attention to detail and with the best raw materials. Not only are they meant to look good, but are meant to work just as good if not better.

^ Jump up to: a b Costello, Becca (November 10, 2005). "Skateboarding is not a sport: Skateboarding the Sacramento streets takes skill, balance and nerve. Just don't call it a sport". Sacramento News & Review. Retrieved December 10, 2012. Despite stickers, posters and T-shirts stating the contrary, it turns out that skateboarding is, in fact, a crime. “In the downtown district, you can skateboard as transportation,” Rafter explained. “Anything other than all four wheels on the ground and getting to where you’re going, they have a problem with.”
Unlike some deck options, which are completely bare, the Bamboo Skateboards Galaxy Series Cosmic Cloud Skateboard Deck features heat-stamped artwork on the underside of the board, including several geometric and interstellar designs, including a beautiful nebula. Bamboo Skateboards claims these boards last their customers three weeks longer than other decks. They come in three sizes: 7.75-by-31.5-inches, 8-by-31.75-inches, and 8.25-by-32-inches.
However, this same company decided to ‘Cash-in’ on THE NAME BRAND, and now con-currently sells JUNK , made in China, at WAL MART. DO NOT BUY any ‘longboard’ they sell that has plastic trucks!! They are an accident awaiting a place to occur. I’ve seen wheels (from a company that prided itself on ‘the best wheels’) that are upwards of 4 mm out-of-round, which could easily cause speed-wobbles, even at pedestrian speeds. From my POV, they’ve opened themselves up to possibly numerous lawsuits, just because of the inferior quality, and poor design choices made in order to maximize profit.
Top Skateboards come from companies such as Blind Skateboards. Professional skateboarder Mark Gonzales founded the brand and it was launched in 1989. Today, products are distributed by Dwindle Distribution. The brand is intended for serious, hardcore skateboarders. It has an emphasis and an appreciation for the graphics used for its decks. In the early 1990s, Blind Skateboards set itself apart from other skateboard brands by creating videos. Their first, directed by Spike Jonze, appeared in 1991. You can get completes at Blind that includes the decks, wheels, trucks, and bearings. The Blind Team is professional skateboarders Cody McEntire, TJ Rogers, Kevin Romar, Sewa Kroetkov, Morgan Smith, Sam Beckett, Micky Papa, Yuto Horigome, and Jason Thurtle.
As the name implies, a complete skateboard contains all the parts listed above, but in an already assembled ready-to-ride skateboard.  The advantage to buying a complete is it completely eliminates the research and guesswork of buying each product individually and ensures that the skateboard is assembled correctly and safely.  This is the approach I used when buying a skateboard for my nephew and what I recommend for people buying a skateboard as a gift or as their very first skateboard for themselves.
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.
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