One European brand steady killing the game is France’s own Magenta. What Palace is for London, Magenta is for Paris, representing what it means to make do with skating in a place where you will literally get kicked out of everywhere just for riding on your board. With a recent collaboration with adidas, Magenta has shown they can turn their niche image into something with mass appeal, so long as the world will pay attention. Skateboarders already know the brand for their quick-footed style of skating and their unique illustration style, but they should know Magenta for their conscious effort to make sure we all are enjoying the pleasure and the freedom skateboarding brings.
Efforts have been taken to improve recognition of the cultural heritage as well as the positive effects of encouraging skateboarding within designated spaces. In 2015, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., hosted an event at which skateboarders accompanied by music did tricks on a ramp constructed for a festival of American culture. The event was the climax of a ten-day project that transformed a federal institution formerly off-limits to the skateboarding community into a platform for that community to show its relevance through shared cultural action in a cultural common space.
In this modern era, manufacturers are incorporating hi-tech processes and top-shelf materials into the construction of the skateboard. Companies such as Almost have several versions of hi-tech decks such as the Impact, Double Impact, and Uber Light Series. Element makes Highlight decks with inlayed fiberglass beams, and Foundation has its signature Fiberprime decks. Other manufactures such as Flip, Habitat, Plan B, Skate Mental, and Zero offer boards with high-end P2 Construction. Hi-tech decks differ from traditional 7-ply Maple in that they are inlayed with Carbon Fiber, Fiberglass, Poly Ply, or Kevlar to produce a stronger skateboard with more pop. For more options, head over to our stellar selection of Hi-Tech Decks! Although hi-tech decks have made a strong presence within the market, standard 7-ply Maple remain the gold standard. This is due to the solid feeling and pop afforded through layering 7 Maple wood veneers together. The large majority of skateboard decks offered are constructed of 7-ply Maple. Most board manufacturers offer both high-tech decks and standard 7-ply Maple. No matter what you desire, CCS offers a complete selection in multiple sizes, shapes, and construction types!
Skateboarding was popularized by the 1986 skateboarding cult classic Thrashin'. Directed by David Winters and starring Josh Brolin, it features appearances from many famous skaters such as Tony Alva, Tony Hawk, Christian Hosoi and Steve Caballero. Thrashin' also had a direct impact on Lords of Dogtown, as Catherine Hardwicke, who directed Lords of Dogtown, was hired by Winters to work on Thrashin' as a production designer where she met, worked with and befriended many famous skaters including the real Tony Alva, Tony Hawk, Christian Hosoi and Steve Caballero.
Skateboards, along with other small-wheeled transportation such as in-line skates and scooters, suffer a safety problem: riders may easily be thrown from small cracks and outcroppings in pavement, especially where the cracks run across the direction of travel. Hitting such an irregularity is the major cause of falls and injuries. The risk may be reduced at higher travel speeds.
“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.”
The skateboard companies that are considered at the top include Element Skateboards. Founded by professional skateboarder Johnny Schillereff in 1992, the company’s goal was to expand on Johnny’s “Elementality” vision to build a company that helped to bring awareness to skateboarding. The goal is to focus on its uses in nature and the environment and the interconnecting of art and skateboarding. Developed from an urban mentality that was rough around the edges, the brand was transformed to embrace the “tree” logo with an emphasis on the positive and making the world a better place. A customer can purchase complete skateboards that include the decks, wheels, trucks, and bearings or they can customize a deck to suit their needs. Accessories and clothing are also offered. There are 20 professional skateboarders on the Elements team including such names as Brandon Westgate, Nyjah Houston, Mark Appleyard and Nick Garcia.
This is an interesting option because it is basically a hybrid between a blank and pro skateboard deck. It’s like a pro board in that is has a “brand” and logo, but the cost is similar to blanks and they don’t sponsor the same quantity and caliber of professional skaters that other pro brands do. While the logo is really cool and the rest of the parts seem to be high quality, you may not get the same brand recognition with Punisher as you would with other brands like Element or Toy Machine. This deck is also 7.5″ which makes it a great choice for a younger beginner. This is the perfect beginner skateboard for someone who doesn’t really care about the brand name, but still wants the style and performance of an above average professional skateboard.
Element has also diversified their business model with ventures into retail with Element stores across the globe, advocate programs supporting artists such as Thomas Campbell and Fred ‘French Fred’ Mortagne, Women’s fashion through the Element Women’s range and the most cohesive approach to supporting European skateboarding of any brand in the industry through their dedicated European team.
As the name implies, a complete skateboard contains all the parts listed above, but in an already assembled ready-to-ride skateboard. The advantage to buying a complete is it completely eliminates the research and guesswork of buying each product individually and ensures that the skateboard is assembled correctly and safely. This is the approach I used when buying a skateboard for my nephew and what I recommend for people buying a skateboard as a gift or as their very first skateboard for themselves.
The wheels are also impressive. Unlike some other skateboards that have wheels that are quite stiff, causing them to feel like they will lock up when you ride on them, the wheels in this complete skateboard for beginners are smooth and comfortable. These are also easily controllable, so rest assured that they offer a smooth and friction-free glide.
Unlike some deck options, which are completely bare, the Bamboo Skateboards Galaxy Series Cosmic Cloud Skateboard Deck features heat-stamped artwork on the underside of the board, including several geometric and interstellar designs, including a beautiful nebula. Bamboo Skateboards claims these boards last their customers three weeks longer than other decks. They come in three sizes: 7.75-by-31.5-inches, 8-by-31.75-inches, and 8.25-by-32-inches.
The skateboard is directional, so if you’re skating switch the tail end will be forward, though, it makes for an easy switch heel flip. The deck itself is plastic. The skateboard dimensions are 3x6x22 inches. The wheels are 59MM urethane custom Skatro brand wheels. The bearings are ABEC 7 Skatro bearings. The trucks are 3 inches aluminum trucks. The board itself is only a light 4.7lbs and comes in one color.
Amazing! Great pop and amazing concave. Last for a long time as long as you don't get the bamboo board. They have an earthy style like element, but with a better board quality. The only reason they are not #1 is because they aren't as well known. You cannot snap these boards! I have skated them for a couple of years because they are so good. BUY ELEMENT BOARDS! You wont regret it.
The Moose Blank Skateboard deck is a made with a 7-ply composition and features Canadian Maple wood. The board is 8.25 inches in length, but Moose Blank offers shorter boards as well, fitting men and women of just about any size and skill. The deck itself has a modern concave, making turning a breeze for beginners and pros. The nose and tail are particularly steep for tricks and “perfect for shredding,” says Blank Moose. Although this board is 100-percent blank, Moose Blank offers stains and dips for monochromic board designs as well. There are also Moose Blank sets for sale, which provide a set of blank decks at a discount.
Our only issue with Penny skateboards is that they are sold without grip tape. Though not necessary, it can make the ride a lot safer with grip tape. All in all, Penny is one of the top skateboard brands out there. Let us now look at a succinct brand scorecard of Penny Skateboards and see how it scores in various factors that we have considered while ranking the best skateboard brands.
The criteria used to select the brands featured varies – some are included due to their commitment to technological innovation and for their efforts to improve the products they offer through experimentation, others are included for what they offer in terms of cultural depth and for their contributions to skateboarding culture as a whole, whether that be through graphics, video output or simple attitude.