The best skateboard brands according to users

The best skateboard brands according to users

In the highly competitive world of skateboarding, countless skate companies exist—from boutique startups to titanic industry players. Estimates put the global market value for skateboarding between $2.5 billion to $5 billion annually, with a marked preference among skateboard enthusiasts for smaller, localized brands.

Globally, there are around 10 to 20 million active skateboarders, with roughly half residing in the United States. This explains why many skateboarding brands have American roots. Apparel often plays a crucial role in shaping a brand’s reputation and success within this community.

No matter if you’re into casual cruising, mastering intricate stunts at local skate parks, or skilled bowl carving, there’s a skateboard that’s perfect for you. Leading skateboard brands have won over loyal customer bases through an unflinching dedication to the quality of their decks, ceaseless innovation, and eye-catching artistic elements. Whether they’re heritage brands or recent market entrants, you’re bound to encounter a variety of these companies at your neighborhood skate store. So be sure to ask for expert advice or keep your eyes peeled during your next shopping trip.

Alien Workshop

Alien Workshop

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ProsCons
  • High-Quality Materials: Alien Workshop uses premium-quality materials such as Canadian Maple wood and durable urethane wheels. These ensure the skateboards are not just strong but also offer excellent performance.
  • Innovative Design and Graphics: Known for their unique and sometimes eccentric graphics, Alien Workshop skateboards are more than just functional; they’re a work of art. This attracts skateboarders who like to make a statement with their boards.
  • Broad Range of Choices: Whether you’re into street skating or prefer park terrains, Alien Workshop offers a variety of skateboard types, including cruisers and popsicle decks, to cater to various skating styles and levels of expertise.
  • Price Point: Quality and design come at a cost. Alien Workshop skateboards can be on the higher end of the price spectrum, making them less accessible for beginners or those on a tight budget.
  • Graphic Wear: Although the graphics are stunning, they can wear off relatively quickly with regular use, especially during trick-intensive skateboarding sessions.
  • Limited Availability: Due to their popularity and high demand, Alien Workshop skateboards can sometimes be hard to find in stock. This can be frustrating for riders looking to get their hands on specific models or designs.

The enigmatic allure of Alien Workshop is backed by a team with a distinct flair for all things mysterious and unexplained. Founded in 1990 by Mike Hill, Chris Carter, and Neil Blender, this brand has faced ownership transitions and temporary closures but has consistently been a cultural cornerstone in skateboarding. Headquartered in a converted nuclear bunker in Dayton, Ohio, Alien Workshop manages its entire operation from this intriguing base, also shipping its genuine, top-grade products. Their expansive range includes not just complete boards and customization parts, but also apparel and even candles, stickers, and badges for fans to show off their loyalty.

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz

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ProsCons
  • High-Quality Materials: Santa Cruz skateboards are often made using top-notch wood and composites. This ensures not just durability but also a better response and feel, which is critical for both tricks and cruising.
  • Iconic Designs and Artwork: One of the unique features of Santa Cruz skateboards is their iconic graphics. These visually appealing designs make the boards more than just functional equipment; they’re also considered a form of self-expression.
  • Broad Range of Options: The brand offers a wide variety of decks, wheels, and other skateboard components. Whether you’re a street skater, a park enthusiast, or someone who enjoys long cruises, there’s likely a Santa Cruz skateboard that fits your needs.
  • Price Point: The high-quality materials and iconic designs often come with a higher price tag compared to other brands. This may not be accessible for all skaters, particularly beginners who are still exploring the sport.
  • Heavier Builds: Some Santa Cruz boards are designed to be sturdy and durable, but this can sometimes mean they are heavier than other options on the market. This could be a drawback for skaters who prioritize lightness and maneuverability.
  • Not Always Beginner-Friendly: Given their specialized designs and features, some Santa Cruz skateboards may not be the best choice for beginners. The wide range of options can also make it more challenging for a newcomer to choose the most appropriate setup.

Emerging from the sunny beaches of California, Santa Cruz has the honor of being the skateboarding world’s most enduring brand. Started in 1973 by Richard Novak, Doug Haut, and Jay Shuirman, it continues to set high standards for quality skateboards. Notable among its offerings is the Everslick board series, which incorporates a plastic layer over the graphics to aid in smoother glides and performance boosts. Their diverse product portfolio includes complete boards, tailor-made decks, and cruisers ideal for relaxed rides along the shoreline.

Almost

Almost

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ProsCons
  • Innovative Construction: Almost is known for using innovative technologies in their board construction. Their Impact Support, Double Impact, and Uber Light technologies provide extra durability and lightness, which can help skaters perform better and execute tricks more easily.
  • Pro Skater Collaboration: Almost has a strong connection with professional skateboarders, such as Rodney Mullen and Daewon Song. These collaborations often result in high-quality boards that are designed with the pro skater’s specific style and needs in mind, ensuring you get a board that is top-tier in performance.
  • Artistic Designs: The brand has a reputation for featuring unique and eye-catching graphics on its decks. These aren’t just standard images but are often designed in collaboration with artists or have a thematic focus, making your board look as good as it performs.
  • Price Point: Almost Skateboards, especially those featuring their advanced technologies, tend to be more expensive than basic skateboards. This can be a barrier for newcomers or those on a budget.
  • Target Demographic: Given that the brand often collaborates with pro skateboarders and features advanced technologies, Almost may cater more to intermediate and advanced skaters. Beginners may find some of their options overwhelming or unnecessary for their skill level.
  • Limited Traditional Options: If you are a skateboarder who prefers a more traditional or basic setup, you might find Almost’s focus on technological innovation to be excessive for your needs, thus limiting your choices within the brand.

Created in 2003 by skateboarding legends Daewon Song and Rodney Mullen, Almost is synonymous with innovation and fun, offering robust boards that have been rigorously rider-tested. Committed to environmental responsibility, Almost utilizes eco-conscious resin made from recycled, bio-based, and renewable resources, alongside seven and eight-layered maple fortified with carbon fiber. Their product lineup covers complete boards and a plethora of customizable components, supported by an impressive team of professionals like Youness Amrani, Yuri Facchini, and the young sensation Sky Brown.

Antihero

Antihero

ProsCons
  • Durability: Antihero skateboards are known for their high-quality construction. Crafted from robust materials like seven-ply Canadian maple wood, these skateboards are designed to withstand a good amount of abuse, making them ideal for skaters who take on challenging terrains or tricks.
  • Versatile Design: Antihero offers a wide range of deck shapes and sizes. Whether you’re into street skating, vert, or cruising, you’re likely to find a board that suits your style. The varied options make it easy for both beginners and seasoned pros to find a board that meets their specific needs.
  • Signature Artwork: One standout feature of Antihero skateboards is their unique and edgy artwork. Collaborations with artists and designers result in visually striking boards that are easily recognizable and often resonate with the skateboarding community’s rebellious spirit.
  • Cost: High-quality construction and materials come at a price. Antihero skateboards can be more expensive than other brands, which may make them less accessible for skaters on a tight budget.
  • Limited Availability: Because of their popularity and specialized nature, Antihero skateboards can sometimes be difficult to find in stock, especially for sought-after limited edition releases. This can be frustrating for consumers looking to purchase a specific model.
  • Heavyweight: While the sturdy construction contributes to the board’s durability, it also makes some Antihero boards heavier than other options on the market. For some skaters, especially those who perform a lot of aerial tricks, the additional weight might be a drawback.

Antihero embodies the epitome of consistency and top-tier quality in skateboarding, celebrated for challenging the limits of what’s possible on a board. They offer a rich selection of decks featuring a range of bold, diverse graphics and a wide assortment of apparel. They uphold an unflagging dedication to the quality of wood they use, guaranteeing that each skateboarder experiences premier performance. Established in the mid-1990s by Julien Stranger and presently owned by Deluxe Distribution, the brand has drawn a series of legendary skaters over the years, such as John Cardiel, Frank Gerwer, and Tony Trujillo.

Baker

Baker

ProsCons
  • Durability: Baker skateboards are well-known for their durable 7-ply maple construction, allowing them to withstand the rigors of street and park skating. The quality materials ensure that the boards don’t easily snap or suffer from wear and tear.
  • Design Aesthetic: Baker’s graphics and designs often capture the gritty, underground spirit of skateboarding. This aesthetic appeal makes them a favorite among skateboarders who are looking for boards that stand out visually.
  • Rider Endorsements: Baker has a strong team of professional skateboarders, including founder Andrew Reynolds. The brand’s boards are not just tested but also promoted by some of the best in the field, ensuring high-performance standards.
  • Cost: High-quality materials and brand prestige come at a cost. Baker skateboards can be more expensive compared to other entry-level options, potentially making them less accessible for beginners or those on a tight budget.
  • Target Demographic: Baker’s designs and brand image are specifically geared towards the street and pro-skating crowd. For those who are interested in a more casual or family-friendly skateboard, Baker may not be the best fit.
  • Limited Variety for Beginners: While Baker offers a range of boards suitable for various skill levels, their focus tends to be on professional and advanced boards. This could limit options for beginners who are looking for more basic or educational models.

Forged in the energetic core of California’s sidewalk surfing community, Baker Skateboards bloomed in the new millennium, under the watchful eye of skate virtuoso Andrew Reynolds. Now, it manifests as a beacon of positive vibes, uncluttered visual appeal, and a kaleidoscope of board styles and dimensions, making the act of personalizing your board effortless. Constructed with pure Canadian Maple, Baker decks offer lasting performance without stretching your wallet. The brand’s roster also sports skateboarding luminaries like Riley Hawk and Theotis Beasley, among others.

Element

Element

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ProsCons
  • High-Quality Materials: Element skateboards are often made with premium 7-ply Canadian maple wood, ensuring durability and performance. The quality of the material makes for a more responsive and sturdy skateboard, enhancing the overall riding experience.
  • Eco-Friendly Initiatives: Element is known for its commitment to environmentally sustainable practices. They have various lines of boards made from eco-friendly materials and even produce apparel made from organic cotton, reflecting a conscientious approach to skateboarding.
  • Wide Range of Designs and Collaborations: Element offers a broad array of designs, styles, and sizes, catering to all kinds of skateboarders. They have also collaborated with artists, musicians, and other brands to produce unique and limited-edition boards, allowing riders to express their personal style.
  • Price Point: Element skateboards, especially the pro models and limited-edition collaborations, can be quite expensive. This could be a limiting factor for beginners or those on a budget.
  • Not Ideal for Absolute Beginners: Due to their professional-grade quality, Element skateboards may not be the best choice for absolute beginners. The boards are designed with performance in mind and could be challenging for someone just starting to learn the basics of skateboarding.
  • Availability: Element’s limited-edition boards and certain designs can sell out quickly, making it difficult for consumers to get their hands on specific models they may desire. This can be particularly frustrating for fans of the brand who are looking for a particular style or collaboration.

Going beyond the realms of mere skateboarding, Element harmonizes the worlds of artistry and environmental consciousness. Debuting in the early ’90s thanks to Johnny Schillereff, the brand is animated by its “Elementality” creed, spotlighting sincerity, eco-friendliness, and societal outreach. Its quad-element icon, a visual mnemonic for earth, air, water, and fire, holds universal recognition. From head-to-toe skateboard builds to standalone accessories, Element’s offerings are comprehensive. Their eclectic attire collection caters to all ages, echoing their holistic vision.

Toy Machine

Toy Machine

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ProsCons
  • High-Quality Graphics: Toy Machine is well-known for its distinctive and eye-catching graphics. These designs often stand out at the skatepark and appeal to skateboarders who want to make a visual statement. The artwork is usually durable and lasts a long time without fading, thanks to high-quality printing methods.
  • Diverse Deck Options: Toy Machine offers a range of skateboard decks in various sizes and shapes, catering to skaters of different styles and skill levels. Whether you’re a street skater or more into vert, you can find a Toy Machine deck that fits your needs.
  • Team-Endorsed: Toy Machine skateboards are ridden and endorsed by a team of professional skateboarders. This not only gives credibility to the brand but also means that the boards are designed to meet the standards of high-level skateboarding.
  • Price Point: Toy Machine skateboards are often priced higher compared to other entry-level skateboards. The cost can be a barrier for beginners or those on a tight budget who are looking for a more affordable option.
  • Limited Availability: Depending on the region or country you’re in, Toy Machine products may not be readily available. This scarcity can make it challenging to purchase or replace specific components like decks or wheels locally.
  • Not Beginner-Friendly: While Toy Machine offers a variety of options, their boards are often geared towards intermediate to advanced skaters. Beginners may find some of their deck shapes and compositions a bit challenging to handle initially.

Immerse yourself in the extensive variety of deck proportions provided by Toy Machine, welcoming skateboarders of all ages. Whether you’re keen on pre-fitted boards or prefer crafting your individual skateboard ensemble, the brand offers a potpourri of elements like decks and wheels. Operating under Tum Yeto’s distribution wing but ideated by Ed Templeton in ’93, Toy Machine captivates with its bold color schemes and eye-catching artistry. Their septuple-layered maple constructions ensure both structural integrity and snap, factors contributing to their passionate following.

Zero

Zero

ProsCons
  • Durable Construction: Zero skateboards are known for their durability and robust build, often using a 7-ply Canadian Maple construction. This makes them ideal for skaters who perform advanced tricks and stunts, requiring a board that can withstand high impact.
  • High-Quality Graphics and Designs: Zero offers a variety of unique and edgy designs that resonate with many skaters. The brand often collaborates with artists and designers to bring visually stunning boards to the market.
  • Performance-Oriented: With its roots in street and park skating, Zero skateboards are designed for performance. The brand offers various shapes and sizes to cater to different styles of skateboarding, making it easier for skaters to find a board that suits their needs.
  • Price Point: Zero skateboards can be on the expensive side, especially for beginners who might not yet be sure if they want to commit to the sport. The higher price is often attributed to the brand’s focus on quality and durability, but it can be a barrier for newcomers.
  • Targeted Demographics: The edgy and aggressive designs of Zero skateboards might not appeal to everyone. Those looking for a more casual or retro aesthetic might find the brand’s offerings not to their taste.
  • Limited Versatility: While Zero skateboards are excellent for street and park skating, they may not be the best choice for those interested in other skateboarding disciplines like cruising or downhill riding. Their focus on performance skateboarding makes them less versatile for those who want an all-around board.

Girl

Girl

ProsCons
  • Quality Construction: Girl Skateboards are renowned for their high-quality construction, using premium materials such as Canadian maple wood for decks. This ensures that the skateboard is not only durable but also offers excellent performance on various terrains.
  • Innovative Designs: The brand collaborates with artists and designers to produce skateboards that are aesthetically pleasing. Their creative graphics and styles make them highly appealing, not just as a skating equipment but also as a lifestyle product.
  • Professional Endorsement: Girl Skateboards is backed by a team of professional skateboarders. The boards are designed with input from experts, ensuring that they meet the standards of high-level performance required for competitive skateboarding.
  • Price Point: One of the drawbacks of Girl Skateboards is that they are often priced higher than entry-level skateboards, which might be a hurdle for beginners or those on a budget.
  • Availability: While Girl is a well-known brand, its products are often in high demand. This sometimes results in limited availability, making it difficult for customers to get the exact model or design they want.
  • Target Demographic: Girl Skateboards are generally aimed at more experienced or professional skateboarders. This may mean that some of their models are not as beginner-friendly in terms of design and usability.

Boasting a cadre of heavy-hitters like Mike Carroll and Spike Jonze, Girl Skateboards guarantees sublime quality. Their decks, fabricated from seven sheets of sturdy maple, stand as paragons of reliability and aesthetic charm. Distinguished by their restroom sign-inspired logo and a plethora of captivating designs, Girl presents options for both tailor-made and pre-assembled skate setups. Moreover, their wardrobe offerings, which range from tees to beanies, extend their brand ethos, affirmed by celebrated team members like Cory Kennedy and Sean Malto.

Flip

Flip

ProsCons
  • High-Quality Construction: Flip Skateboards are known for their durable 7-ply maple construction, which lends to a long-lasting and sturdy skateboard. The use of high-quality materials ensures a reliable board that can withstand the rigors of skateboarding.
  • Variety of Designs: Flip offers a wide range of deck graphics and designs, catering to different aesthetic preferences. Their collaborations with artists and skaters provide unique looks that stand out from the crowd.
  • Professional Endorsement: Flip Skateboards has a long history of sponsorship deals with professional skateboarders, indicating a level of trust and approval from the skateboarding community. Skateboarders like Tom Penny, Luan Oliveira, and Arto Saari have been associated with the brand, lending it credibility and appeal.
  • Price Point: The high-quality construction and professional endorsement often come with a higher price tag. Some skateboarders may find Flip boards to be more expensive compared to other entry-level brands.
  • Weight: Due to their sturdy construction, Flip Skateboards can sometimes be a bit heavier than other brands. This can be a drawback for those who prioritize lightweight boards for certain tricks or for transportation.
  • Availability: While Flip is a popular brand, their boards might not always be readily available in all local skate shops or in certain countries. This limited availability can be inconvenient for those who prefer to shop in-person rather than online.

Initially a UK-based venture, Flip Skateboards was conceived by Jeremy Fox and Geoff Rowley, later transplanting itself to California to captivate the American skateboarding landscape. Their portfolio combines classic decks with their resilient P2 versions fortified with fibrous reinforcements. Dive into their repertoire of fantastical and vivid deck illustrations, or opt for a comprehensive board kit. Their limited-edition t-shirt line rounds off their product suite.

Birdhouse

Birdhouse

ProsCons
  • High-Quality Materials: Birdhouse skateboards are renowned for their durability due to the use of high-grade maple wood and top-quality urethane wheels. This means you get a skateboard that is not only strong but also offers optimal performance.
  • Designed by Pros: Founded by skateboarding legends Tony Hawk and Per Welinder, Birdhouse has boards designed with the professional skater’s needs in mind. The boards come in various shapes and sizes tailored for different styles of skateboarding, such as street or vert skating.
  • Excellent Graphics and Aesthetics: Birdhouse skateboards often feature eye-catching designs and unique graphics that stand out. Not only do you get a high-performing board, but you also get one that looks good while you ride.
  • Price Point: Because of their high-quality materials and pro-level design, Birdhouse skateboards can be more expensive compared to budget or beginner boards. This might be a drawback for new skaters or those on a budget.
  • Limited Range for Beginners: While Birdhouse does offer a variety of designs, their primary focus is often on boards suitable for intermediate to advanced skaters. Beginners may find fewer options that cater specifically to their needs.
  • Heavier Boards: The use of high-quality materials can sometimes result in a slightly heavier board, which may not be ideal for those who prefer lighter skateboards for certain tricks or for carrying around.

Backed by the indomitable reputation of skate legends Tony Hawk and Per Welinder, Birdhouse Skateboards has become synonymous with quality and versatility. Offering a broad spectrum of seven-layer maple boards tailored for an array of skate terrains, the brand champions diversity in boarding disciplines, from vert to street. Anchored by a team of esteemed professionals like Lizzie Armanto and David Loy, Birdhouse extends its range to include both complete skate kits and standalone decks, as well as lifestyle merchandise like tees and headwear.

Creature

Creature

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ProsCons
  • High Durability: Creature skateboards are known for their robust construction, typically using seven-ply maple wood, which ensures a long-lasting product. This makes it a great choice for skateboarders who are looking for a durable option that can withstand regular wear and tear.
  • Versatility: Creature offers a variety of board styles and designs, suitable for different skateboarding genres such as street, park, and transition. This means that whether you’re a beginner or an advanced skater, you’re likely to find a board that fits your specific needs.
  • Unique Graphics: Creature skateboards often come with eye-catching, often macabre or edgy graphics that distinguish them from other brands. For skaters who care about the aesthetic appeal of their board, Creature offers a unique flair that stands out.
  • Cost: High-quality materials and craftsmanship come at a price. Creature skateboards are generally not the cheapest option available, which might be a barrier for those on a tight budget.
  • Weight: Due to the robust construction, some Creature boards can be on the heavier side. This could make certain tricks more difficult to execute, especially for younger or less experienced skaters.
  • Graphic Durability: While the designs are unique and appealing, they can also be prone to wear and scratching over time. This is common for most skateboards but can be disappointing for those who want to maintain the aesthetic appeal of the board.

If you’re a fan of eerie movies and spine-chilling haunted abodes, Creature is the skateboard brand crafted just for your sensibilities. Its signature macabre motifs, filled with an array of skulls and nightmarish entities, have become the brand’s hallmark. Co-founded in 1994 by industry figures Russ Pope, Jason Adams, Barket Barrett, and Darren Navarrette, Creature operates under the NHS Inc distribution network. The brand boasts a remarkable roster of skateboarders, like Al Partanen and Cody Lockwood, among others. You can choose from ready-to-ride boards, standalone decks, and a variety of apparel and accessories.

Globe

Globe

ProsCons
  • Quality Construction: Globe skateboards are often made with high-grade maple wood and resin-7 construction, which results in a durable and long-lasting skateboard deck.
  • Wide Range of Designs: Globe offers a plethora of unique graphic designs, catering to a variety of styles and tastes. This makes it easier for skaters to find a board that resonates with them aesthetically.
  • Complete Packages: Globe often provides ready-to-ride complete skateboards, equipped with high-quality trucks, wheels, and bearings. This is especially advantageous for beginners who may not yet know how to assemble a skateboard.
  • Price Point: Globe skateboards can be on the pricier side, especially when compared to other brands aimed at beginners. The cost might be a barrier for those who are just starting out or are on a tight budget.
  • Limited Specialization: Globe produces a broad range of skateboarding products but is not specialized in any specific type of skateboarding like street or vert. This may not be the best option for professionals seeking highly specialized gear.
  • Heavier Boards: Some Globe boards are made with additional features like built-in LEDs or thicker materials, which can add to the overall weight of the skateboard, potentially affecting maneuverability for some riders.

Originating from Australia in 1994 by skateboarding pros Matt, Steven, and Peter Hill, Globe offers a wide array of board sports options, from surfing and snowboarding to skateboarding, as well as accompanying lifestyle elements. Shop their diverse collection of fully assembled boards, cruiser skateboards, and longboards, or customize your own setup with individual components. Round off your look with Globe’s line of clothing and footwear. With concept stores from Melbourne to Los Angeles and a presence in over 100 countries, Globe serves as a global hub for board sports enthusiasts.

Plan B

Plan B

ProsCons
  • High-Quality Construction: Plan B skateboards are known for their durable 7-ply maple construction. This ensures a long-lasting deck that can withstand the wear and tear of heavy skateboarding, providing a solid and reliable performance.
  • Innovative Designs: Plan B often collaborates with artists and designers to bring about visually appealing and unique skateboard graphics. These designs cater to a wide audience and make their boards stand out in a crowded market.
  • Pro Rider Endorsements: The brand is backed by some of the most influential skateboarders in the industry, such as Paul Rodriguez and Ryan Sheckler. Their input goes into the design and performance aspects of the boards, providing an assurance of quality and functionality.
  • Price Point: High-quality and pro-model skateboards from Plan B can be quite expensive. This can make the brand less accessible for beginners or those on a budget.
  • Limited Availability: Due to their popularity and high demand, Plan B skateboards can sometimes be hard to find in stock, particularly the special editions or collaborations. This can be frustrating for potential customers.
  • Specialization: Plan B primarily focuses on street and park skateboarding, meaning their board setups may not be the most suitable for other styles like cruising or long-distance riding. This might limit the range of skateboarding experiences for some users.

Plan B invites you to explore its rich array of vibrant and creative deck designs, all adorned with the brand’s signature emblem. Beyond just decks, Plan B provides a comprehensive range of ready-to-skate boards furnished with all necessary components. Founded in 1991 by the late visionary Mike Ternasky, the brand re-emerged in 2005 under the leadership of original team riders Danny Way and Colin McKay. Now, it stands as one of the premier skateboard enterprises, featuring an elite list of skateboarders like Ryan Sheckler and Felipe Gustavo.

Krooked

Krooked

ProsCons
  • High-Quality Materials: Krooked skateboards are known for their top-tier construction, often using high-quality maple wood and durable grip tapes that enhance the board’s longevity and performance.
  • Artistic Design: Founded by skateboarding legend Mark Gonzales, Krooked offers a wide range of unique and eye-catching designs. The aesthetic appeal of these boards often sets them apart from other brands.
  • Versatility: Krooked offers a variety of board sizes and types, catering to different styles of skateboarding. Whether you’re into street skating, park skating, or just cruising, there’s likely a Krooked board designed for your specific needs.
  • Price Point: Quality comes at a cost, and Krooked skateboards are generally on the pricier end of the spectrum. This may be a barrier to entry for beginners or those on a budget.
  • Limited Availability: Due to their popularity and the boutique nature of their designs, Krooked skateboards can sometimes be hard to find in stock, especially for limited edition releases.
  • Target Demographic: The brand heavily leans into the skate culture, which might not appeal to everyone. If you’re looking for a more minimalist or understated design, Krooked’s vibrant and artistic boards may not be the best fit for you.

With its eye-catching, artistically designed deck graphics, Krooked—founded by skateboarding icon Mark ‘Gonz’ Gonzales in 2002—captures imaginations instantly. Whether you’re in search of an assembled board or a standalone deck for your own customization, Krooked offers ample choices. They also present a varied line of apparel, from t-shirts to hoodies. Stay tuned for their special “guest decks,” which are limited releases honoring skateboarders from competing brands.

Sector 9

Sector 9

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ProsCons
  • Diverse Range of Products: Sector 9 offers a wide variety of skateboard styles, including cruisers, longboards, and downhill boards, to suit a range of skating needs. This allows skaters to choose the perfect board according to their specific requirements.
  • High-Quality Materials: Sector 9 is known for using top-notch materials like bamboo and high-grade urethane in their wheels, contributing to the durability and performance of their skateboards.
  • Customizable Components: Many of Sector 9’s skateboards come with the option for customization, allowing riders to swap out wheels, trucks, and bearings according to their preferences for a more personalized experience.
  • Cost Factor: The premium materials and construction quality often translate into a higher price point for Sector 9 skateboards, which may be a hurdle for beginners or budget-conscious riders.
  • Weight: Some of Sector 9’s longboards and cruisers can be on the heavier side, potentially making them less ideal for tricks or for carrying around for extended periods.
  • Limited Street Skating Options: While Sector 9 excels in longboards and cruisers, their range of street skateboards is comparatively limited. This might deter skaters who primarily focus on street or park skating.

Sector 9 promises a skateboarding experience tailored to every rider’s individual style. With a diverse range of complete boards and separate components, the brand caters to an array of skateboarding activities, be it commuting, park skating, or downhill riding. Sector 9 also features a selection of safety gear, clothing, and unique accessories. Their collaborations with artists and designers, such as Jor Ros and OnceVibe Creative Studios, keep them on the cutting edge of aesthetic innovation.

Powell Peralta

Powell Peralta

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ProsCons
  • High-Quality Materials: Powell Peralta skateboards are known for using top-grade materials like hard-rock maple for their decks. This ensures long-lasting durability and superior performance.
  • Innovative Technology: The brand continually invests in skateboard technology, like the Flight Deck construction, which makes their boards lighter, stronger, and more flexible than traditional wooden skateboards.
  • Iconic Designs: Powell Peralta is famous for its graphics and designs, which often feature intricate art and iconic characters. These designs add an aesthetic value that is appreciated by skateboarders and collectors alike.
  • Price Point: High-quality materials and construction techniques come at a cost, making Powell Peralta skateboards relatively expensive when compared to budget brands.
  • Target Audience: The company primarily focuses on advanced and professional skateboarders, which may make some of their products less suitable for beginners in terms of design and price.
  • Availability: Due to their popularity and specialization, Powell Peralta skateboards can sometimes be hard to find in stock, particularly the more popular or limited-edition models.

A foundational brand in the skateboarding community, Powell Peralta has been a dominant force since its establishment in 1978 by George Powell and Stacy Peralta. Known for engineering top-tier, lightweight boards like the acclaimed Flight Deck, the brand employs innovative materials and adhesive techniques. Complement your deck with specialized wheels and grip tape, or choose a pre-assembled board. Complete your skate-oriented look with their assortment of clothing and headgear. Notably, the team roster features acclaimed skateboarders like Steve Caballero and Brad McClain.

Blind

Blind

ProsCons
  • High-Quality Materials: Powell Peralta skateboards are known for using top-grade materials like hard-rock maple for their decks. This ensures long-lasting durability and superior performance.
  • Innovative Technology: The brand continually invests in skateboard technology, like the Flight Deck construction, which makes their boards lighter, stronger, and more flexible than traditional wooden skateboards.
  • Iconic Designs: Powell Peralta is famous for its graphics and designs, which often feature intricate art and iconic characters. These designs add an aesthetic value that is appreciated by skateboarders and collectors alike.
  • Price Point: High-quality materials and construction techniques come at a cost, making Powell Peralta skateboards relatively expensive when compared to budget brands.
  • Target Audience: The company primarily focuses on advanced and professional skateboarders, which may make some of their products less suitable for beginners in terms of design and price.
  • Availability: Due to their popularity and specialization, Powell Peralta skateboards can sometimes be hard to find in stock, particularly the more popular or limited-edition models.

Before establishing Krooked, Mark ‘Gonz’ Gonzales launched Blind in 1988. Operating under the World Industries umbrella until 1993, Blind has garnered a passionate following, particularly among committed skateboarders. The brand stands out as an early innovator of skateboarding films, debuting its first video in 1991, directed by the esteemed Spike Jonze. Choose from a comprehensive range of decks and complete boards adorned with audacious graphics. Blind also supplies an array of accessories and clothing to complete your skating get-up.

Darkstar

Darkstar

ProsCons
  • Budget-Friendly: Darkstar skateboards are generally more affordable than some other premium skateboard brands, making them a great choice for beginners or those on a budget.
  • Durability: Darkstar boards are known for their strong 7-ply construction, providing a good lifespan and durability even with regular use.
  • Variety in Design: The brand offers a wide range of designs and graphics that appeal to various age groups and style preferences, making it easier for riders to find something that suits their taste.
  • Beginner-Focused: Darkstar skateboards are often considered beginner to intermediate-level boards, which might not meet the requirements of advanced or professional skateboarders.
  • Quality Consistency: While the boards are generally durable, there can sometimes be quality inconsistencies, particularly in their entry-level or budget options.
  • Limited Customization: Darkstar primarily produces complete skateboards, which may offer fewer opportunities for customization compared to brands that specialize in individual components.

Originally launched from the humble garage of its founder, Chet Thomas, Darkstar initially carved its niche as a wheel manufacturer before diversifying into skateboard decks and evolving into a comprehensive skateboard label. The company offers a premium array of boards, partnering with a diverse roster of artists to launch exclusive pro-series decks that feature cultural icons like Felix the Cat, Luke Pelletier, and Joe King. Additionally, Darkstar seeks to disrupt the budget-friendly skateboard sector by providing economically priced, complete boards sold through Walmart, despite some criticisms, providing an accessible option for novices or those on a limited budget.

enjoi

enjoi

ProsCons
  • Quality Construction: Enjoi skateboards are well-known for their durable seven-ply maple wood construction, making them sturdy and long-lasting. This quality craftsmanship ensures that the board can withstand rigorous use, making it ideal for skaters of all levels.
  • Innovative Designs: One of the unique selling points of Enjoi is their visually appealing and often humorous graphics. These designs not only make the skateboards stand out but also add a fun, personal touch that resonates with a younger audience.
  • Affordability: Compared to other premium skateboard brands, Enjoi offers a more affordable range without compromising on the quality of materials or performance. This makes it a great choice for beginners or those looking for a budget-friendly yet reliable option.
  • Limited Customization: Enjoi mainly focuses on complete skateboards, meaning that the boards come pre-assembled. While convenient for beginners, this could be a limitation for advanced skaters looking for more customized options in terms of deck shape, wheel hardness, or truck tightness.
  • Target Audience: The playful and cheeky branding of Enjoi may not appeal to everyone, especially older skaters or those who prefer a more classic or minimalist aesthetic.
  • Wider Availability of Alternatives: The skateboard market is quite saturated with multiple brands offering similar or even better features. This means that while Enjoi has its advantages, there are other brands available that may offer additional features or superior performance.

With its roots laid down in 2000 by co-founders Marc Johnson and Rodney Mullen, enjoi seamlessly fuses practicality with a sense of playfulness, echoing over two decades of industry presence. Known for its superior-quality decks adorned with whimsical designs and their recognizable panda emblem, enjoi offers a wide range of products, from decks to complete setups, as well as a diverse line of apparel and accessories like shirts, hoodies, belts, and caps. Their pro skateboarding team includes talents like Ben Raemers, Caswell Berry, Deedz, Samarria Brevard, and Nestor Judkins.

Habitat

Habitat

ProsCons
  • High-Quality Construction: Habitat skateboards are known for their durable construction, often using seven layers of Canadian maple wood. This ensures that the board can withstand the wear and tear associated with skateboarding.
  • Innovative Design: Habitat often collaborates with artists and designers to create unique graphics and themes, making their boards not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing.
  • Eco-Friendly: Habitat has a focus on environmental sustainability, often incorporating eco-friendly materials like bamboo and using water-based glue for their boards. This makes them a good choice for the environmentally conscious consumer.
  • Price Point: Due to the high-quality materials and craftsmanship, Habitat skateboards tend to be more expensive than budget-friendly options available in the market.
  • Limited Availability: Habitat skateboards are often produced in limited editions, especially the artist series. This can make it difficult for consumers to find a specific board design they want if it’s no longer in production.
  • Target Demographic: The designs and features are often catered to professional or serious skateboarders, which might not be suitable for beginners who are looking for simpler, less-expensive boards.

Established in 1999 as a collaborative effort between pro skaters Chris Carter, Mike Hill, and Neil Blender, Habitat serves as a sibling brand to Alien Workshop and Reflex Bearings under the Tum Yeto distribution umbrella. Renowned for its eco-friendly ethos, the brand produces boards made from sustainable materials like bamboo, hemp, and cork, bound together with water-soluble glues. Habitat’s trademark Skylite Construction assures a lightweight yet robust design. The brand’s extensive product catalog allows customers to choose from complete skateboards, decks, wheels, trucks, bearings, and grip tape, in addition to a versatile apparel line for all age groups.

Zoo York

Zoo York

ProsCons
  • Quality Materials: Zoo York skateboards are known for their durable construction. Typically made from high-quality Canadian maple wood, these boards are built to withstand the wear and tear of regular skateboarding, offering long-lasting performance.
  • Versatile Designs: Zoo York offers a wide range of designs and styles to suit different types of skaters. Whether you are into street skating, park, or even cruising, there’s likely a Zoo York board tailored to your needs.
  • Affordability: Compared to other high-end skateboarding brands, Zoo York skateboards tend to be more affordable. This makes them a great option for both beginners and experienced skaters looking for a high-performance board without breaking the bank.
  • Heavier Builds: Some users find Zoo York skateboards to be a bit on the heavier side, particularly due to their robust construction. This added weight can affect maneuverability and make tricks more challenging for some skaters.
  • Limited Advanced Features: While Zoo York skateboards offer great basic functionalities, they may lack some of the advanced features or technologies found in other premium skateboard brands. This can make them less suitable for professional or competitive skateboarding.
  • Availability: Zoo York boards may not always be easily available in all regions or skate shops. This could limit your options if you’re looking to try one out in person before making a purchase.

Zoo York set forth to capture the essence of skate and street culture unique to the eastern U.S., serving as an alternative to the predominantly west-coast-focused skate industry. Conceived by Rodney Smith, Eli Morgan Gesner, and Adam Schatz, the brand debuted by vending decks and tees from a raw Lower Manhattan warehouse. Over the years, it blossomed into a global streetwear icon, despite experiencing fluctuations in ownership and brand direction. However, the original founding trio recently rejoined as Creative Directors, renewing their commitment to the brand’s core identity. Currently, Zoo York’s product line spans skate decks, wheels, bearings, and an extensive range of apparel and accessories.

DGK (Dirty Ghetto Kids)

DGK

ProsCons
  • High-Quality Construction: DGK skateboards often use seven-ply Canadian maple in their deck construction, which provides a high level of durability and performance. This ensures that the board can withstand the stress of frequent skateboarding, including tricks and jumps.
  • Unique Artwork and Branding: DGK is known for its eye-catching designs that often reflect urban culture, making these skateboards popular among those who value aesthetics in addition to functionality. The brand’s unique identity appeals to a specific demographic that identifies with its ethos.
  • Affordability: Compared to some other brands in the market, DGK skateboards are relatively affordable, making them accessible for skaters on a budget without compromising on quality.
  • Limited Versatility: While DGK skateboards are excellent for street skating and tricks, they may not be the best option for those looking for a board for multiple disciplines like vert or long-distance cruising. The design and construction are tailored more towards specific styles of skateboarding.
  • Target Demographic: The brand’s unique style and urban aesthetic might not appeal to everyone. Skaters looking for a more traditional or understated design might find DGK’s offerings too flashy or niche.
  • Availability Issues: DGK skateboards are popular and sometimes sell out quickly, making it difficult for consumers to get the exact model they desire. This could be frustrating for those looking to purchase a DGK skateboard on short notice.

Co-founded by Stevie Williams and Troy Morgan, DGK is a subsidiary of The Kayo Corp and offers extensive customization options. Whether you’re seeking individual components like decks, bearings, and wheels or prefer a ready-to-use, pre-assembled board, DGK has you covered. Their diverse clothing line ranges from t-shirts and hoodies to pants and shorts. Notably, the brand has escalated its deck art through various partnerships with artists, designers, and other brands, including collaborative projects with Virgil Abloh, Pete Thompson, Ryan Gee, and Ron English.

Primitive

Primitive

ProsCons
  • High-Quality Materials: Primitive Skateboards are known for using high-quality materials like 7-ply Canadian maple wood for their decks. This ensures a robust and durable board that can withstand the rigors of skateboarding, making it a great choice for both beginners and seasoned skaters.
  • Collaborative Designs: Primitive often collaborates with artists, celebrities, and well-known franchises to bring out unique and eye-catching designs. This makes their boards not just functional but also aesthetically pleasing, attracting skateboarders who want to express their style.
  • Professional Endorsement: Backed by professional skateboarders like Paul Rodriguez, Primitive Skateboards come with a stamp of approval from those who know the sport best. This adds a layer of credibility and assurance, motivating skaters to opt for this brand.
  • Cost Factor: The use of high-quality materials and the brand’s professional endorsements can make Primitive Skateboards relatively expensive. This might be a barrier for some, particularly those who are new to the sport and not yet willing to invest in a high-end board.
  • Limited Availability: Due to their popularity and frequent collaborations, some of their special edition or collaboration boards can be hard to find. This scarcity can be frustrating for customers who are looking for specific designs or editions.
  • Not Beginner-Focused: Although the high quality is a plus, the brand primarily targets more experienced skateboarders. Beginners may find that the advanced features and performance-focused design of Primitive Skateboards make them less accessible or harder to maneuver when they are just starting out.

Initially conceived in 2008 as a retail venture for skateboards and apparel by Andy Netkin and Jubal Jones, with Paul Rodriguez joining as a partner, Primitive has since evolved into a leading skateboard brand. Officially launching its debut line of skateboards in 2014, Primitive’s product scope has widened to include apparel for all ages, along with skate decks, complete setups, wheels, and grip tape. Their impressive skate team features luminaries such as Tiago Lemon, Miles Silvas, Carlos Ribeiro, and Wade Desarmo. The brand also stands out for its creative board art, incorporating popular culture references like Dragon Ball Z, Rick & Morty, and Sailor Moon.

Jart

Jart

ProsCons
  • High-Quality Construction: Jart Skateboards are known for their premium build quality, often using Hard Rock Maple sourced from the Great Lakes area in North America. This ensures a highly durable and long-lasting deck that can withstand the stress of skateboarding tricks and impacts.
  • Eco-Friendly Practices: The brand takes sustainability seriously and is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This means that the wood used in their skateboards is sourced responsibly, making it a suitable option for environmentally conscious skateboarders.
  • Wide Range of Designs and Technologies: Jart offers a variety of skateboard deck graphics, shapes, and sizes, catering to various skateboarding styles and preferences. They also incorporate technologies like “Low Pro” and “High Concave” to offer improved board control and trick execution.
  • Price Point: High-quality materials and ethical practices make Jart Skateboards a bit more expensive than other skateboards in the market. This might not be the best option for beginners who are not sure if they will stick with the sport.
  • Availability: Jart Skateboards is a European brand, and while they have a global presence, their products may not be as easily accessible in some countries, leading to potential increased costs due to shipping or import fees.
  • Targeted Towards Intermediate to Advanced Skaters: While this is subjective, the board technologies and design aspects may cater more to seasoned skaters. Beginners might find the intricacies of Jart boards overwhelming or not necessary for their level of skateboarding.

Originating from Spain, Jart is an eco-conscious skateboard label that prioritizes environmental responsibility. Their sustainable practices start with sourcing hard rock maple wood from responsibly managed American forests and adhere to rigorous European manufacturing standards. Jart boards are engineered to suit skaters of various skill levels, incorporating a strong inner core that augments strength, speed, and durability. Consumers can either choose from readily available complete skateboards or customize their setup with a curated selection of decks, wheels, bearings, and grip tape. Jart’s deck graphics derive their creative spark from an eclectic mix of inspirations, including comic series like Tin Tin, nautical motifs, and abstract art, all complemented by matching wheels for a unified aesthetic.

What are the best skateboard brands?
Some of the top skateboard brands include Powell Peralta, Santa Cruz, Element, and Plan B. These brands are known for their quality decks, durable components, and innovative designs, making them popular choices among skateboarders worldwide.

Selecting the Ideal Skateboard: A Comprehensive Guide

Before you walk into your nearby skate store, it’s vital to be aware of several key considerations that can help you pinpoint the skateboard that fits you like a glove. Identifying the kind of skateboarding you’re interested in—or aim to learn if you’re a novice—will significantly influence most of your choices. Furthermore, you’ll need to decide whether to go for a ready-to-ride complete skateboard or to build one from scratch with customized components. Factors like the board’s dimensions, deck structure, truck specs, wheel characteristics, board geometry, and grip surface also come into play. Don’t fret if this seems intimidating—experienced salespeople at your local skate shop are always on hand to offer specialized advice.

Pre-assembled vs. Custom-Built Skateboards

When it comes to acquiring your skateboard, you generally have two main paths: a pre-assembled, or “complete,” skateboard, and a custom build. If you’re a skateboarding newcomer or someone who values simplicity, a complete board can be a great option. This approach saves you from having to make multiple choices, as it comes with a pre-selected set of wheels, trucks, and bearings, usually from a single brand. For seasoned skateboarders who have individual preferences or crave high-end components, crafting your board from the ground up is an excellent strategy. This method allows for brand-mixing, varied wheel hardness, and specific bearings adjustments. Keep in mind that even if you initially go for a complete setup, you can modify it down the line by replacing particular elements.

The Importance of Board Dimensions

The size of your board is significant for a couple of central reasons. Firstly, it must correspond to your skateboarding style, as varying styles require different board sizes and shapes. Secondly, the board should be a good fit for your body size, especially if you’re new to the sport. Skateboard width, usually ranging between seven and nine inches, is the primary dimension to consider. Wider decks offer more stability but might make tricks harder to execute. A board that accommodates your feet comfortably will facilitate better control and handling. Generally, an eight-inch width works for most people, while children might prefer a narrower, seven-inch deck. Ultimately, your ideal size will hinge on what feels most natural and comfortable for you.

Board Dimensions

What are good skateboard brands?
Some popular skateboard brands known for their quality and performance include Element, Plan B, Santa Cruz, and Powell Peralta. These brands offer a range of decks, trucks, and wheels suitable for various styles of skateboarding, making them favorites among both beginners and experienced skaters.

Critical Deck Features to Examine

In scrutinizing skateboard decks, several attributes deserve special attention, beyond just the aesthetic appeal and appropriate dimensions. Check out both the deck’s length and its wheelbase—the distance between the inner bolt holes. A shorter wheelbase makes the board more responsive, while a longer one lends itself to speed and works well on ramps and bowls. Also, consider the deck’s nose and tail, which influence trick execution. Usually, the tail is more compact and steeper, providing greater leverage for tricks, whereas the nose is elongated and less steep for easier catches. Material composition is also key; most quality decks use North American hard rock maple with at least a seven-ply construction for an optimal balance of strength and weight. Premium models might feature additional reinforcement layers like carbon fiber.

Decoding Skateboard Trucks

Trucks act as the skateboard’s axles, affecting your turning, ollieing, and grinding capabilities. The primary consideration here is to ensure the trucks are the right size so that they align flush with your board’s edges. The materials for trucks often blend aluminum and alloy steel to achieve a functional, durable, and lightweight design.

How to Choose Skateboard Wheels

When it comes to wheels, the Durometer A Scale is crucial. This 100-point scale gauges hardness, with softer wheels falling between 78a-86a and versatile wheels in the 92a-95a range. Extremely hard wheels (99-101a) are great for skate parks due to their speed and slide capabilities. If you’re a beginner, all-rounders (92a-95a) are ideal—they offer a balanced ride and grip, and are effective across a variety of terrains like streets, ramps, parks, pools, and bowls. Wheel size is also a factor; for street skating, go for smaller wheels (50-54mm), while ramps and skate parks work best with larger wheels (53-56mm). For vertical ramps or bowls, even larger wheels (56-60mm) are recommended.

Skateboard Shape Preferences

Skateboard Shape Preferences

Various deck shapes cater to different types of skateboarding. Beginners should generally start with a traditional board shape to master basic tricks and bowl navigation. Longboards and cruisers are ideal for commuting and casual cruising. The deck’s concave—the curve on the sides of the midsection—can also be a matter of personal preference, although some argue that a deeper concave aids in flipping tricks.

Grip Surface Necessities

Grip tape is crucial for ensuring your feet stay affixed to the skateboard deck, reducing the risk of slipping. It resembles sandpaper and sticks to the deck’s top surface. Over time, it’ll wear out and need replacing, which can be a bit of work but is worth the effort. Typically, higher-quality grip tape makes for easier replacement. While black grip tape is standard, many brands now offer designs to add flair to your deck.

Top Skateboard Brands

  • Alien Workshop
  • Santa Cruz
  • Almost
  • Antihero
  • Baker
  • Element
  • Toy Machine
  • Zero
  • Girl
  • Flip
  • Birdhouse
  • Creature
  • Globe
  • Plan B
  • Krooked
  • Sector 9
  • Powell Peralta
  • BlindDarkstar
  • Enjoi
  • Habitat
  • Zoo York
  • DGK (Dirty Ghetto Kids)
  • Primitive
  • Jart
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