Isle is much newer to the game than a lot of the other brands mentioned on the list, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the same respect. Drawn straight from the mind of skateboarder Nick Jensen, a London native with the eye of a true artist, Isle’s graphics could just as easily be hanging in a museum rather than in skate shops. Jensen’s creative process involves him sculpting, painting and photographing every board graphic himself in his own studio, manipulating each art piece to work as a graphic. Isle offers one of the most well developed brand images in skateboarding, due in big part to the fact that it is literally an outlet of one man’s own rampant creativity.
Skateboarders from all over know Santa Cruz Skateboards for its “Screaming Hand” logo, designed by legendary artist Jim Phillips, and the monstrous artwork displayed on the decks, including series styles such as their Star Wars and Marvel series. Founded in 1973 and distributed by NHS, Inc., the California based brand is the oldest continuous skateboard company in the world. Santa Cruz boards are made from 100% North American maple and they offer complete skateboards, decks, and cruiser boards. The Santa Cruz Skateboards team consists of 16 professional skateboarders including names such as Blake Johnson, Dylan Williams, Emmanuel Guzman, and Eric Dressen.
Zoo York originated in 1993 and is based out of New York. Its name and signature name came from the underground subway tunnel dubbed as Zoo York. The tunnel runs under the Central Park Zoo, however it’s primarily known from the graffiti subculture of the 1960’s and the 1970’s. The Zoo York tunnel was a prime hangout of its day and was originally tagged by some of the first east coast graffiti artists. Zoo York carries a unique style from the subway tunnel days, and it comes through in their graphics and street skating designs; not to mention their high durability design. They round off our list of the 10 top skateboard brands in the market. Zoo York is an innovative company that has worked its way up to being one of the best skateboard brands in the world.
Ridge Skateboards For Beginners are a UK Brand and have taken over Europe. Now it is available in the U.S.A. exclusively through Amazon. The Deck measures 27″ long x 7.5″ wide (69cm x 19cm). It features 4″ wide high-performance trucks with 87A super soft yellow bushings. It is made of high quality secret plastic formula. It has a rating of 4.8 on Amazon.
This is the way most serious skateboarders buy new skateboards. In some cases they choose different brands for the wheels, bearings, trucks, deck, and hardware and customize it to their own unique style and preferences. The benefit to buying part like this you can replace only certain parts that are worn down and you have more control over each aspect of your skateboard. I recommend this approach to intermediate and advanced skateboarders who want to experiment with different brands and styles. However, if you are looking to try skateboarding for the first time or buy it as a gift for someone else I would recommend buying an already assembled complete skateboard.
Choosing skateboards that are made out of good, sturdy, and durable wood is vital. Most boards nowadays are made out of Canadian Maple. The skateboard deck is usually made out of a dozen or so layers. This ensures that your board will be reliable and can take some beating when you fall off or start doing skateboard tricks. You should also look for pro boards that have metal skateboard trucks, since these are the ones that support decks best.
The Bamboo Skateboards Galaxy Series Cosmic Cloud Skateboard Deck is an excellent option. This concave board is made exclusively of a bamboo hybrid, rather than pure maple. This means the deck is lighter, stronger, more flexible, and can even absorb shock better. The non-carbonized, light-wood deck is made of 6-ply wood and is in its fourth generation of designs.
If you are completely new to skateboarding, consider taking a minute to read through the Skateboard Decks Section in our Buyer’s Guide will be helpful, but a good rule of thumb is: the bigger your feet, the wider your board should be. If you wear a size 9 and up, you can’t go wrong with buying an 8” board. Narrow boards are easier to flip while wider boards are more stable, but there are no hard and fast rules to skateboarding. The only way to really find out what you like is by trying new shapes, sizes, and brands. Brands like Welcome, Baker, Chocolate, Deathwish, and Element all have a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and graphics.
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.
Ancheer 31″ Pro Skateboards are made of 7-ply maple wood and finished with anti-slip grip tape. It includes 60mm PU wheels ideal for riders who want to carve out sections, obtain speed and higher off the ground for tricks. It features 6″ Tony Hawk Signature aluminum trucks and 32″ long deck with double kick tail which is ideal for perfecting your favorite tricks. It comes with ABEC-7 skateboard bearings. It has style and quality which is expected from the most influential skateboarders of all time. It is one of the best-rated skateboards on Amazon with a rating of 4.8.
Remember the cool skate kids wearing Workshop tees in the '90s? Well you don't see too many of those these days, but AW is still one of the best “big” skate brands going. The team alone—featuring Supreme muse Jason Dill, tech-gnar wizard Anthony Van Engelen, and the most handsome guy on a board, Dylan Rieder—puts the brand in the top 10. And even though you might not associate legacy riders like Rob Dyrdek with anything cool at all, he pulled one of the most boss moves in all skate business history when he bought the brand that first sponsored him 20 years ago back from Burton (who bought the brand from Chris Carter in 2008) last year, so Workshop is once again skater-owned.
One of the earliest sponsored skateboarders, Patti McGee, was paid by Hobie and Vita Pak to travel around the country to do skateboarding exhibitions and to demonstrate skateboarding safety tips. McGee made the cover of Life magazine in 1965 and was featured on several popular television programs—The Mike Douglas Show, What's My Line? and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson—which helped make skateboarding even more popular at the time. Some other well known surfer-style skateboarders of the time were Danny Bearer, Torger Johnson, Bruce Logan, Bill and Mark Richards, Woody Woodward, & Jim Fitzpatrick.
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.
Huf has come a long way since its humble beginnings slinging the best sneakers and streetwear in San Francisco's Tenderloin District. Keith Hufnagel and his team quickly outgrew the boutique niche and have becomea full blown skate apparel and footwear brand. Today Huf has a stacked teamed (including low-key legends like Joey Pepper, who recently got a signature shoe), a wildly popular range of product (weed socks, anyone?), and some hefty celebrity co-signs.
Mixing a clean and colourful graphical identity with tongue-in-cheek parodies of existing brand logos (most notably the now largely discontinued Starbucks homage), Skateboard Cafe have carved a niche within the flooded UK skateboard market largely based on their skater-owned status, the lack of conceit in their identity and a regular and well-received output of video content.
The deck is expertly constructed with a vertically laminated bamboo core and bamboo veneer exterior, all attached with triaxial glass and epoxy as well as a course grip tape top. The grip tape is arranged in an unusual and stylish, yet functional, design. The 34-inch board features a 13-degree nose angle and an 18-degree tail angle. With its directional shape, you’ll easily be able to cruise on this board or pull a few tricks.