Skateboard decks come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, and picking out the right one for you can be confusing. This list is to help you pick out a brand you can trust - there are a lot of cheap skateboards out there that are also cheaply made. This list isn't in any particular order, and there are actually 11 - I couldn't pick one to shave off! All of these are good quality skateboard brands. To get help in picking out the size and shape, read
Build Your Own Skateboard
. If you want advice getting a more unique, but yet good quality brand, read Which Brand Should I Buy?
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Zero has always had a strong gritty image, with plenty of blood and skulls. When pro skater Jamie Thomas took over the company, Zero kept the same feel but added an even stronger Gothic tone, sprinkled with punk. Zero decks are well made, and have been one of my personal favorites for a long time. The Zero team features skaters like Jamie Thomas
, Chris Cole
, Elissa Steamer
(a girl!) and more. Mystery
is another Jamie Thomas company, and Mystery decks are made exactly like Zero boards.
Habitat is a skate deck company with a calm, earthy, stylish feel. Sort of like Element, but without even trying to appeal to the kinds of skaters who like Bam Margera. That means that Habitat might be less well known, but their boards are still very high quality, and their graphics are artistic and iconic. Habitiat has a few board styles other than the usual 7 ply: the Skylite lighter skate deck, corrugated bottom ply decks, and Terralone Earth-tone decks.
Plan B Skateboards
Plan B is a relatively newer skateboard deck company, and they have made their name with quality skate decks and by putting together a very respectable skateboarding team. Plan B decks are high grade 7 ply skate decks, with nothing really special about them besides being well made, wood, and reliable. Plan B's graphics tend to be simple. The Plan B team features skaters like Danny Way
, Colin McKay
(those two took over the team in 1994, and eventually the company), Ryan Sheckler
, Jereme Rogers
... seriously, it's an all star team, which is how Plan B originally started. Plan B decks are good quality, and I recommend 'em.
Element skateboards have been one of the higher quality brands of skateboards for a long time. Element is a highly environmentally conscious company, with boards like Triftwood decks, which are 7 ply skateboards set at a cheaper price than their lighter, higher tech Fiberlight and Featherlight boards. Element also has a Helium line of skate decks which have air chambers inside making them stiff and light. Element's graphic style is generally simple, with crisp clean imagery with complementary colors. The most famous rider on the Element team is probably Bam Margera.
George Powell teamed up with Stacey Peralta back in the stone ages of skateboarding, and created Powell Peralta, the company that founded the legendary Bones Brigade. Powell skateboards have been well built now for decades, made in California from rock hard American maple. They even brag about having a spacial unique AirLam press for the boards. The bottom line is that Powell skateboards are well built and good to ride. The style of Powell graphics varies quite a bit - it really depends on the year!
Blind's skateboard decks are good quality, and they have several unique skate deck technologies: an 8 ply board, a lighter 7 ply board, boards with a vertically laminated core, and decks with Texalium (aluminum and epoxy glass) inside. That might seem like too much to choose between, but it's not, really - just get the deck out like the look, weight and shape of! Blind's graphics tend to be very dark, gritty, violent, and death-filled (with their little "cute" reaper).
Birdhouse is Tony Hawk's
company, and he has made sure that his skateboards are good quality. Birdhouse also has its Black 6 technology - this is a 6th thicker ply in the skateboard deck's construction that is supposed to add pop and help with flicks. Tony Hawk has assembled a pretty impressive skateboarding team, with himself, Shaun White
and plenty more.
Birdhouse is part of Blitz, which also distribute Flip, Baker and Hook-Ups. These are good brands too - nothing really fancy or anything, just good quality 7-ply skateboard decks.
Girl and Chocolate are two totally different skateboard brands, but they are made the same, and are both under Crailtap. Both are great boards though - nothing super fancy, just American made 7 ply skateboard decks that you can ride on. Both companies have good teams (riders like Eric Koston
and Devine Calloway), and I've reviewed both brands and liked them each.
Toy Machine makes good 7 ply skateboard decks. They don't offer much new technologies or anything in their decks - but their decks are good quality, and well made. A lot of their graphics feature cartoon monsters. The Toy Machine skateboarding team features riders like Billy Marks, Ed Templeton and Josh Harmony.
LIB Technologies Skateboards
Lib Tech skateboard decks are strange - they are well built, and always feature some new technology that puts them in a league of their own. But, they tend to not be seen as often as regular 7 ply wood decks. But, they do tend to work very well, so if you are into trying something unique, check out Lib Tech boards. Lib Tech's graphics tend to be a little ugly in my opinion, but that doesn't mean that you won't love 'em. Lib Tech is also well known for their snowboards.
Alien Workshop makes highly artistic and unique skate deck designs. They make traditional 7 ply skateboards, have some corrugated technology decks, their Ultralight, and "Nice Price" decks that feature less ink and untreated veneers so they cost less. These are only some of the different types of boards made by Alien Workshop - they are a highly innovative skate deck company!