Toy Machine is an Ed Templeton company and one of the best skateboard companies of its time. Ed is an Orange County original skater and developed the board he wanted to skate on, thus creating the Toy Machine Brand. Though the Toy Machine team has seen many changes, it has always held onto professional skaters that can provide insight in the latest needs of boards. Toy Machine skateboards are known for their signature monster graphics, which have made them a top skateboard brand.
“They built the industry before they built their business,” said Denike who became one of the early product testers as a 15-year-old when he was approached by Novak and Shuirman in a skateboard park. “It was just raw entrepreneurial spirit. They took it from a fad to an actual business and, as a group, decided they were going to focus on growing the industry. If they were good businessmen, they would get a piece of that pie.”
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.
Many jurisdictions require skateboarders to wear bicycle helmets to reduce the risk of head injuries and death. Other protective gear, such as wrist guards, also reduce injury. Some medical researchers have proposed restricting skateboarding to designated, specially designed areas, to reduce the number and severity of injuries, and to eliminate injuries caused by motor vehicles or to other pedestrians.
Zero Skateboards is one of the American top companies for skateboards that comes out of California. The brand, representing by a skull logo, was founded by professional skateboarder Jamie Thomas and is distributed by Dwindle Distribution. The Zero brand is about rebellion and freedom of expression despite society’s rules. The company offers complete skateboards that come with the deck, wheels, trucks, and bearings, as well as decks you can customize, accessories and clothing. In addition to Thomas, the Zero team is Tommy Sandoval, Dane Burman, James Brockman, Tony Cervantes, Windsor James, Adrian Lopez, Chris Wimer, and Kurt Hodge.
The Rimable Complete 22″ Skateboard is the most compact street board that are ready-to-use. It is best for exercise and fun, and very portable. There are five colors that you can choose from Black, Blue, White, Purple, and Green. It has high-quality construction, with a high-density plastic deck. It features extremely smooth 59mm wheels along with ABEC7 bearings and solid aluminum trucks. It measures 22″ long and 6″ wide and weighs 4 pounds. It has the best rating of 4.3 on Amazon.
Powell has made sure to provide their customers with more than one design of one of their most sought-after skateboards. The Golden Dragon 2 is very similar to its predecessor, the Golden Dragon and is just as reliable as its sister model. When it comes to skateboarding, you can’t ask for a better board than the Golden Dragon 2. It’s durable, firm and thanks to the concave skateboard deck design, will allow you to do many tricks. Tricks, that other boards could possibly not support as well.
Approximately two decades ago, a group of friends who were well versed in the world of skateboarding, set up their own brand; Plan B. Their knowledge and expertise helped them in setting up one of the best skateboard brands in the market with incredible gear. Not only does this Californian style skateboard company have the best-assembled skateboards, it is quite famous for its amazing decks. The customers of Plan B are literally head over heels for its amazing and durable decks. Plan B decks are made from thick 7 ply maple that gives it extra strength and minimal flexing.
In March 1976, Skateboard City skatepark in Port Orange, Florida and Carlsbad Skatepark in San Diego County, California would be the first two skateparks to be opened to the public, just a week apart. They were the first of some 200 skateparks that would be built through 1982. This was due in part to articles that were running in the investment journals at the time, stating that skateparks were a good investment. Notable skateboarders from the 1970s also include Ty Page, Tom Inouye, Laura Thornhill, Ellen O'Neal, Kim Cespedes, Bob Biniak, Jana Payne, Waldo Autry, Robin Logan, Bobby Piercy, Russ Howell, Ellen Berryman, Shogo Kubo, Desiree Von Essen, Henry Hester, Robin Alaway, Paul Hackett, Michelle Matta, Bruce Logan, Steve Cathey, Edie Robertson, Mike Weed, David Hackett, Gregg Ayres, Darren Ho, and Tom Sims.
Emerging initially via a series of spoof news bulletins created by Lev Tanju called ‘PWBC Global Skateboard News‘ and hosted on the don’twatchthat.tv site, the aesthetic that the Palace Skateboards Brand would adopt was firmly established in these early videos. Sadly now mostly deleted from the Internet, aside from a few ‘best of’ videos, the PWBC News series were a pre-cursor for the route that the brand would adopt with its comedic take on the faux-seriousness of the Skateboard Industry of the time, an emphasis on the UK grime music scene, and the introduction of numerous characters within each news segment, including Francis Shower Face who still appears in Palace releases to this day, along with snippets of footage from various sources.
The laws for skateboarding helmets vary from state to state. Many states require that skaters wear a helmet under a certain age, and some states like California make all skaters under 18 wear a CPSC Certified helmet at all times. CSPC skateboard helmets usually have an EPS protective liner that meets the safety standards for skateboarding. Make sure you check your state's regulations before ordering.
We have unfortunately seen low quality skateboards that even try to use plastic trucks (please avoid). However it can be really hard to spot a poorly made metal truck without skating it. Brand awareness can come into play here again. The manufacturers name should be marked on the trucks. A quality set of trucks (2 per board) could start out as low as around $30 and will go up from there.
“The skateboard industry’s current focus on performance by displaying almost exclusively difficult tricks, whether technical or dangerous, is not something we relate to on our daily experience on our boards. We feel that skateboarding has much more to offer than being only a sport. It has cultural, social, artistic, sociological values and much more and it seems all these aspects are being widely overlooked by the industry. Magenta is our outlet for representing the wide spectrum of possibilities that skateboarding carries within itself.”
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.
Girl Skateboards is the foundation of all the other brands under the Crailtap umbrella (Royal Trucks, Chocolate Skateboards, Lakai footwear etc) and was established by Mike Carroll and Rick Howard during a mass exodus of pro skaters from Steve Rocco’s brands (Plan B, Blind, 101, World Industries) reputably inspired after arguments of wheel sales royalties.
In an industry as diverse as skateboarding, the sheer number of skateboard brands on the market can be bewildering. With a seemingly never-ending amount of new brands emerging, alongside the numerous pre-existing ones, the market can certainly appear over crowded and confusing at times, which is hopefully where this list of some of our favourite skateboard brands comes in.