When it comes to skating products, finding the right skateboard can be a daunting process. The best skateboard brands have engineered good products by making quality decks with cool designs in different shapes and sizes while offering a range of durable trucks, wheels, bearings and accessories. These skate brands continue to innovate with modern technology, set industry trends and offer the top skateboards on the market.
Whether you’re looking to build a high-quality custom board and are willing to pay a premium or just want a complete product that rides well for an affordable price, there are several skateboard companies to consider. Experienced skaters will want high-end skateboards from professional brands that can be used to perform tricks, while beginners will likely prefer a board with a nice deck from a well-known company that manufactures long-lasting products they can use to ride around town. With so many different name brand boards and designs, it can be a challenge choosing the perfect skateboard.
To help you find the right products, we’ve compiled a list of the best skateboard brands. From Antihero and Almost to Baker and Element, explore the most popular skateboard companies to find a cool deck and quality parts.
Best Skateboard Brands
With some of the top skating products on the market, Antihero is one of the best skateboard companies on the market and has been keeping competition fierce since it was founded in 1995. This brand has remained popular since its inception as it has effortlessly kept up with the needs of the modern skater. Allowing riders to showcase their personalities with unique designs while keeping innovation at the forefront of their mission, this skating company puts consumers first. Their ethos is one of equality; believing that every skater should have a chance to succeed, Antihero stocks a range of premium and affordable boards to suit any budget. Regardless of their price, you’ll find quality wood and vibrant artwork on every board.
Selling everything from decks to apparel, Almost is an American skateboard brand that was brought to life by professional skaters Rodney Mullen and Daewon Song. The company uses seven-ply, eight-ply and carbon fiber in their decks, making their boards some of the most durable and lightweight on the market. With US manufacturing and minimal outsourcing, this company prides itself on quality control and using only eco-friendly resin. For the toughest board around, choose from the premium Impact Plus product line. Available in several awesome designs, these hard-wearing boards are an excellent option for serious skaters.
Santa Cruz is one of the oldest and most recognized skateboard designers in the world. Founded in 1973 by Richard Novak, Doug Haut and Jay Shuirman, this company has been creating trendy and well-made boards for decades. This company focuses on manufacturing high-performing boards with excellent construction and craftsmanship. Using North American maple wood, you’ll find a range of complete and custom boards that are stylish and provide smooth sliding. While there are several eye-catching graphic designs to explore, the Classic Dot is by far the most popular board. With its pintail shape and superior build, this skateboard will make you the envy of everyone at the skate park.
Alien Workshop is a popular American skateboard brand that was started in 1990 by founders Chris Carter, Mike Hill, and Neil Blender in Dayton, Ohio. Aiming to break barriers with their radical designs, this reputable company manufactures high-quality and unique products that skaters love. The brand offers several complete boards, but you can also purchase performance parts to customize your current board.
Selling reliable boards with great pop, Baker is an American skateboard brand that has been rocking the industry since 2000. This reputable company manufactures decks, wheels and accessories, and is well-known for commissioning external artists to design their products. This approach makes them slightly more expensive than competing brands, but the standout artwork is worth investing in. The visual aspect of these boards is a major selling point, but they are also highly durable and easy to grip for beginner skaters. Able to withstand harsh conditions and botched tricks, Baker boards can weather any storm.
Perfectly blending sustainability with performance, Element is an established skateboard designer that continues to successfully make high-quality products for all types of skaters. The company recognizes that skateboards need to be replaced quite often and therefore chooses undyed wood to reduce the need for manufacturing chemicals in the production process. Their eco-friendly approach is commendable, but this name brand is also geared towards skaters who need customized boards. Small riders will appreciate the thinner Featherlight decks, whereas hardcore skaters will love the durable Thriftwood range. Whatever you need, Element will help you find the perfect match.
Founded by professional skateboarder Ed Templeton in 1993, Toy Machine is all about using exciting graphics to make a statement. Not only can you grab artistic decks from this prolific skating brand, but you’ll also be able to pick up wheels, hardware, accessories and apparel to spice things up. The use of seven-ply maple results in a sturdy deck, making regular replacements a thing of the past. With amazing pop, a variety of lengths, and seriously imaginative designs on offer, Toy Machine continues to be one of the top-selling skateboard brands in the world.
Hailing from California, Zero is a skating brand that makes edgy products for riders who love to stand out from the crowd. Wanting to bring skateboarding back to its rebellious roots, founder Jamie Thomas began creating decks with eye-catching graphics in 1996. Now that the brand has solidified its badass image, they use their team of pro skaters to prove just how radical their gear is. Boards and decks are their most popular products, but you can also grab wheels, accessories, skate shoes and apparel to rep this brand in and out of the skate park.
Girl is a skateboarding company committed to designing durable decks that match performance with structure and style. While the name may be deceiving, Girl skateboards offer something for everyone. Founded in 1993 by Rick Howard, Mike Carroll, Megan Baltimore and Spike Jonze, this brand rose to prominence with their tongue-in-cheek graphics and use of the “ladies” bathroom logo on their product range. Girl was started to combat the issues each founder had with competing names on the market. As a result, you can expect to find unbeatable construction and customizable features across its boards. You can get a deck and customize your skateboard or pick up a completed piece that includes the trucks, wheels and bearings. With a motto that skateboarding should be productive, fun and thrilling, Girl remains one of the top skating companies of all time.
Flip is a famous skateboard brand that started its journey in the UK but quickly moved over to California to take advantage of the US skate scene. Each deck uses seven-layered maple wood to achieve a glide that won’t fail. If you need a sturdier board, the enhanced P2 models are manufactured with fiber fortification for ultimate resilience. You can either create a custom board using this brand’s versatile deck designs or purchase one of their ready-to-go completes. Flip is one of the coolest brands around and this is reflected in their top-tier skating team. Consisting of famous skaters like David Gonzalez and Tom Penny, you’ll know you’re in good hands.
Known globally as a one-stop shop for skating enthusiasts, Birdhouse is a skateboarding brand that was founded by the legendary Tony Hawk and Per Welinder in 1992. Their use of seven-ply maple wood produces durable boards that can tackle any terrain. However, the company’s riding team is what makes Birdhouse one of the most popular skating brands around. Featuring names like Ben Raybourn, Clint Walker and Shawn Hale, their lineup is truly inspiring.
When it comes to expressing your wild side, Creature makes some of the best skateboards on the market. They launched under Russ Pope, Jason Adams, Barket Barrett and Darren Navarrette in 1994 to represent the “Darker Side of Skateboarding”. Although their designs may be edgy and rebellious, these cool decks and complete boards appeal to a wide range of guys and girls. With awesome t-shirts, sweaters, hats and jackets available, you can also show your love for Creature on the streets.
Globe has been one of the leading skateboard brands since its creation in 1985. Frustrated by the lack of quality skating products available in Australia and New Zealand, the Hills brothers decided to solve the supply problem themselves. Offering a versatile range of complete boards that range in size, this brand has several options that will get you up and running quickly. For a customized ride, explore the brand’s exciting decks, wheels and accessories online or in one of their many in-person locations.
Based in San Diego, California, Plan B is a skateboarding company that has been dominating the industry since 1991. The company was founded by trendsetter Mike Ternasky, who believed that professional riders should be the face of skating as opposed to faceless corporate manufacturers. When Ternasky died in a tragic car accident in 1994, the team was taken over by passionate riders Danny Way and Colin McKay. The brand’s current focus is on vibrant, colorful decks but you can also purchase wheels and accessories to take your board to the next level. For the ultimate skater outfit, shop around and explore their cool apparel.
Krooked is an excellent skateboard maker that owes its success to creative deck designs and fashionable streetwear. Durable and well-made, these boards don’t sacrifice substance for style. The company’s products are highly intelligent and are known for their dramatic concave shapes and wider nose structure. Most designs come from the mind of founder Mark ‘Gonz’ Gonzales, but fans should always keep an eye out for limited edition artwork inspired by professional riders.
As an iconic skating company, Sector 9 produces everything from top-quality decks and trucks to commuter, carving, cruise, freeride and park skateboards. With seven-ply maple customizable commuter decks and complete boards available, this company makes all types of skating products. Beginners will appreciate the Lookout deck since it has plenty of moving space to help you find your feet. Shredders will prefer the Ninety-Five street cruiser. Whether you’re a beginner or an established skater, you’re sure to enjoy the high build quality, smooth feel and durability of these boards.
If you’re looking for unbreakable skateboards that are fit for heavy rides, Powell Peralta is a great brand to check out. Founded in 1978 by George Powell and Stacy Peralta, this is a skateboarding company that has remained relevant with its innovative decks, wheels and accessories. Infused with maple and fiberglass, Powell Flight deck boards are extremely lightweight and virtually impossible to snap. To show off your flair and unique edge, pair your gear with items from their apparel range.
With its bold and brazen artwork, Blind has become a standout brand in the skateboarding industry. Founded in 1988 by Mark ‘Gonz’ Gonzales before the launch of Krooked, this brand has remained a top choice for professional skaters searching for decks that can take a beating. Made from eight-ply maple wood and boasting a steep concave for endurance, these boards don’t give up without a fight. The company is currently run by Spike Jonze and the riding team features famous skaters like Cody McEntire, Kevin Romar and Morgan Smith.
Darkstar started its journey as a humble skateboard wheel business, but it is now one of the most prolific skating companies in the world. Darkstar decks are high-quality and come in carbon fiber and fiberglass variations. Aiming to make skating inclusive for all, this brand sells products online and in retail stores all around the United States. They may not be able to compete with premium boards, but Darkstar’s affordable and accessible approach makes them the perfect choice for beginners.
Enjoi may be best known for producing skateboard decks, but this brand is also praised for its high-quality accessories and apparel. Enjoi boards are instantly recognizable as they feature the famous black and white panda in different settings. Unlike other skating brands, Enjoi keeps its designs light-hearted and humorous. You can choose a complete product, but the company’s versatile line of accessories makes customizing your gear a blast.
Founded in 1999 by professional riders Chris Carter, Mike Hill and Neil Blender, Habitat is a successful skateboarding brand that is known for its exceptional construction and design work. This company may be the sister brand to Alien Workshop and Reflex Bearings, but it sets itself apart with a more environmentally friendly approach. Each board is made with sustainable seven-ply maple wood and water-based glue, giving riders an eco-conscious deck that is incredibly strong. If you want to customize your board, this brand offers performance wheels for a smooth riding experience. Those looking for a functional and stylish outfit that will hold up at the skate park should consider grabbing a few wardrobe essentials from their apparel collection.
Top skateboarders Rodney Smith, Eli Morgan Gessner and Adam Schatz united to form Zoo York in 1985, giving a face to the under-represented skating culture in the United States. Although decks are still their primary focus, this brand has evolved to produce an eye-catching streetwear collection. The brand suffered several ownership changes that made finding its identity difficult, but its current range of unique decks, bearings, apparel and skating accessories prove that Zoo York is back and better than ever.
When it comes to unique skateboards, clothing and accessories, DGK comes to mind as one of the finest choices out there. The brand name stands for Dirty Ghetto Kids and their boards are fully customizable, allowing you to showcase your authentic self with every trip to the skate park. Experienced skaters can supplement their board with wheels and bearings, but beginners may prefer a something that is ready to go. Combining quality and style with their series of artist collaborations, you’re sure to look trendy rocking products from this brand.
Primitive is an American skate and apparel brand that burst onto the scene in 2008. They may be relatively new to the game, but with the help of Andy Netkin, Jubal Jones and Paul Rodriguez, this skating brand has risen through the ranks to offer some of the best quality decks, wheels and accessories around. There are clothing and board sizes available for every age group, making Primitive a great choice for the whole family.
In the world of skateboarding, Jart is known for its environmentally friendly approach to manufacturing. To meet the strictest standards, all Jart boards are made in Europe using sustainable felling. This makes the boards as kind to the planet as they are to your pocketbook. With durable inner cores and concave designs for greater control, Jart skateboards can handle muddy trails and urban concrete with ease.
Offering a variety of deck sizes, Welcome is an inclusive and independent American skating brand that is taking the world by storm. Believing that a good skating brand should be about more than a logo and graphics, the brand ensures that its decks and accessories are expertly engineered, hard-wearing and well-suitable for all skaters. In light of their increasing popularity, Welcome have taken on a team of expert riders who will inspire you to try out new tricks.
How To Choose The Best Skateboards
The Best Places To Buy A New Skateboard
A local skate shop is one of the best places to buy a new skateboard. It’s tempting to purchase your gear online, but you’ll miss out on the expertise of friendly store staff and the opportunity to help local businesses. You can use your time in-store to ask questions about the specs of each board and find the perfect fit for you. Whether you’re a beginner or a skating pro, you should have plenty of top-quality brands to choose from at any local skating store.
Complete vs Custom
When shopping, you’ll need to consider whether you want a complete or custom skateboard. Complete boards are ready-made, whereas custom products require you to put the parts of a skateboard together yourself. Completes are best for beginners as they are simple and don’t require expert knowledge. However, more experienced skaters love customizing their own boards for a one-of-a-kind design. Although you can safely mix brands, just make sure that you get the measurements right for each component.
Size may not seem like a major factor to consider when choosing a skateboard but getting the right length and width for your ride is crucial. All skaters need a board that matches their frame for enhanced stability and a smooth ride. To be safe, beginners will want a wider deck of eight inches to nine inches. This width provides plenty of room to find your footing and should give you greater control. Kids should stick to boards that are around seven inches wide to keep their balance steady.
Graphics and artwork certainly make a skateboard attractive, but there’s more to a solid deck than looks alone. Once you’ve chosen a design and size that’s right for you, you’ll want to look more closely at the length and wheelbase of your deck. Your final pick will depend on whether responsiveness or speed is more important to you. Shorter wheelbases help with the former and longer wheelbases are essential for the latter. If you’re an experienced skater, you’ll want to perform cool tricks. Therefore, you should pay attention to the nose and tail. Generally, a short tail and a long nose make gripping your board easier. Those who value durability should go for seven or eight-ply maple wood decks with extra reinforcement.
When buying a set of trucks for turning and grinding, you’ll need to focus on your deck width to purchase the right size. Perfect trucks will match your deck width and they should never go too far out towards the edges of your board. As a rule, low trucks tend to offer stability but less turn, high trucks are great for ramps and bowls and mid trucks are the best all-rounders for street skating.
When it comes to high-performance skating, wheels can make or break you. Harder wheels tend to be fast and more intense, but soft wheels have a better grip which makes them ideal for street skaters. The hardest wheels measure 99-101a on the Durometer A Scale, whereas soft wheels come in at 78-86a. If you’re looking for a versatile set of wheels, go for wheels measuring 92-95a on the scale. Expert skaters can choose wheels that best suit the terrain they favor, whereas beginners should start training on the 92-95a wheels.
“Different strokes for different folks” is a phrase that should come to mind when considering the shape of your deck. Conventional boards are best for beginners as they don’t require specialized foot placement, whereas longboards and cruisers are better suited to flat terrain and street skating. Your final choice will depend on what you like to do on your board.
Grip tape gives you the traction you need to stay put on your board. This tape is bound to the top of your skateboard and gives you a sandpaper-like grip that keeps your feet stable. It does become less effective over time and should be frequently replaced. You can choose black tape for a classic look or more vibrant designs to showcase your unique style.
Avoid Discount Stores
While finding an affordable product is important, you should avoid discount stores when shopping for a skateboard. Discount stores like Target and Walmart tend to stock cheaply made boards that will break easily and require regular replacement. Most skaters are better off investing in a high-quality skateboard from a reputable skate shop that will last for years.